Collective Behaviour NFT with Toi Toi Toi

Elliot Woods
10 min readJan 14, 2022

Tickets : https://linktr.ee/collectivebehaviour

Kimchi and Chips are releasing their first NFT to support their contemporary dance performance Collective Behaviour in collaboration with choreographer Simone Wierød. The NFT will be available for audience members to buy in-person at the theatre, and will contain reworked video excerpts of the performance. Revenue from the NFT sales will be used to support the costs of the live performance.

The NFT’s will be distributed through a unique platform called Toi Toi Toi developed by the artists, and will exist on the energy efficient Klaytn blockchain. After Collective Behaviour, Kimchi and Chips plan to enable other artists to use this platform to help support their own performances.

The live performance of Collective Behaviour takes place in Seoul on 21st, 22nd January 2022 at the Sogang Merry Hall theatre.

Update : Collective Behaviour NFT series is now minted on Klaytn and visible on OpenSea.

이 기사의 한국어 버전은 여기에서 볼 수 있습니다…

Dancers left-to-right: Boram Jun, Woosang Jeon and Yunjoo Song

The project is now live. NFT’s bought as physical tokens can be redeemed at https://toitoitoi.xyz. Redeemed NFT’s can be viewed and traded at https://opensea.io/collection/collective-behaviour.

On the 21st and 22nd January 2022 we will present the Seoul premiere of a contemporary dance performance that has been in development since 2018. The work involves a complex scenography of mirrors and lighting in coordination with tightly coordinated choreography. Collective Behaviour interprets notions of collective identity, social mirroring and how people understand themselves through the image of others.

The showcase premiered in Copenhagen December 2019, and given the COVID restrictions on theatre audiences and travel since then, this is now the first chance to premiere the performance in Seoul. Collaborators for the project have now arrived in Seoul from Denmark, Germany and around South Korea to create the next edition of the performance for a live audience.

Since 2009, Kimchi and Chips have been designing, engineering and producing artworks that use technology to develop alternative relationships between reality and images. These works are principally large scale public artworks and pay for the work of up to 100 people each time they are shown (designers, stage crew, producers, security staff, safety officers, programmers, architects, engineers, welders, electronic engineers, mathematicians, photographers, dancers).

Another Moon (2021) by Kimchi and Chips at New Now Festival, Essen. 40 towers collect the sun’s energy throughout the day and project that light back into the sky at night using lasers that overlap to form a three-dimensional second moon in the sky. The artwork took 6 years to realise and was commissioned by Stiftung Zollverein´s NEW NOW Festival with support from the Arts Council of Korea, Korea Arts Management Service and LaserAnimation Sollinger. Photo © Jochen Tack I Stiftung Zollverein I NEW NOW

Our artworks are partially funded by public institutions, which has allowed us to be experimental and ambitious with our projects. Collective Behaviour is supported by the Arts Council of Korea (ARKO) and the Danish Arts Foundation, but public funding often comes with significant restrictions, and in this particular case we are disallowed from gaining the revenue from ticket sales to break even on our production costs. Since the project costs are higher than the awarded funding, we wanted to experiment with an alternative way for the audience to help support the costs of production. First we considered accepting donations to directly contribute towards the production costs, and this idea eventually evolved into a collection of NFT’s where we could also give our patrons something in return.

We admire the actions of artist duo Jeanne-Claude and Christo who created numerous profound works of public art throughout their life. They did this entirely without public funding or sponsorship, whilst frequently employing hundreds of people in the realisation of their projects. They funded their works by selling collectibles of their projects including preparatory drawings, collages and prints.

Jeanne-Claude and Christo’s L’Arc de Triomph Wrapped, a temporary artwork for Paris, was on view for 16 days from Saturday, September 18 to Sunday, October 3, 2021. The Arc de Triomphe was wrapped in 25,000 square meters of recyclable polypropylene fabric in silvery blue, and with 3,000 meters of red rope. Photo by Retis used here under creative commons license

Kimchi and Chips artworks have created new ways for imaginary and digital objects to exist in the real world, and our intention is to stay focused on works that are experienced in public physical space. We see NFT’s as an avenue for collectors to engage and support these public works, and to own a little part of their story.

Halo (2018) by Kimchi and Chips at Somerset House, London UK. 99 robotic mirrors continuously move throughout the day to follow the sun like sunflowers. These mirrors, each emit a beam of sunlight into a cloud of water mist. The beams are computationally aligned so that together they draw a bright circle in the air, creating an image of the sun out of sunlight. Dependent entirely on the presence of the sun for its completion, the work explores the possibilities and limitations of technology to capture what is out of reach, to harness nature and bring the sun down to earth. Collaborating with the natural fluctuations in the climate, Halo appears only for moments when the wind, sun, water, and technology coincide, creating a form which exists between the material and immaterial.

As our first project in the NFT space, we are releasing a set of digital collectibles that can be bought in-person at the performance venue. To make this work, we are developing our own system called Toi Toi Toi that allows collectors to buy an NFT even if they have never heard of a crypto-wallet or a blockchain before. The NFT will be encoded into a physical token created by the artists that audience members can buy in-person using cash. The NFT stored inside the physical token can be securely transferred into a collector’s crypto-wallet at any time in the future.

If the experiment works, then we will develop the Toi Toi Toi platform to enable other performance groups to support their own projects. We are joining with other blockchain communities to help enable compelling performance works, especially whilst performers continue to experience the harsh difficulties of the era of COVID. There are many challenges to make this system work well for everybody involved, and we hope to make this project into a meaningful case study of how NFT’s can support the performance scene.

FAQ

This section will continue to be updated…

What is an NFT?

NFT’s are a technique to track the ownership of digital files without any central authority. They generally allow everybody to access the files, whilst keeping track of who owns them. This system also allows for ownership to be transferred and traded securely.

Perhaps have a look at ART News’ article What is an NFT?

Why “Toi Toi Toi” and how do you pronounce it?

Toi Toi Toi is the name of our system for selling NFT tokens in the physical world at live event venues.

“Toi Toi Toi” is what you say to a performer before to wish them good luck. It literally means to spit 3 times (퉤퉤퉤). It’s pronounced like ‘toy toy toy’ (토이 토이 토이).

How much do the Collective Behaviour NFT’s cost?

For this first release, we will be selling the NFT tokens for 100,000 KRW each.

Why would I buy this NFT?

There are different reasons why you might want to buy this NFT, e.g.:

  • To keep an eternal piece of memorabilia from the performance
  • To collect the first NFT by Kimchi and Chips and Simone Wierød
  • To be a patron of Collective Behaviour
  • To give the NFT as a gift to somebody who wasn’t able to attend in-person
  • To cheer on the Toi Toi Toi project to support performance arts into the future

What will collectors receive?

Collectors can select between 5 different video sequences. Each is a 1 minute excerpt from the performance shot in a highly edited dance-video format with motion graphics that echo the physical design of the stage.

All NFT collectors will be able to join an exclusive mailing list for collectors of artwork by Kimchi and Chips. Members of the mailing list will have access to pre-announcements for future exhibition openings, ticket releases and NFT drops.

Any collector who purchases all 5 types of the NFT will be awarded an additional NFT that contains a longer video of the performance.

How many editions will there be?

There will be 50 editions of each of the 5 types.

How does it work?

We imagine the NFT being bought in the way that you might buy a theatre programme as a keep-sake of a memorable performance.

NFT purchases will be made via cash, bank transfer or Kakao Pay (this is quite normal for Korea), and the collector will receive a physical token that contains their NFT. The NFT will be tied to that token, and it will be impossible for anybody to redeem the NFT without it so please don’t lose it!

From now until any time in the future, you can visit the URL that is printed on the token. At this page you will be guided through a procedure to setup your crypto wallet and to transfer your NFT into it. After the NFT has been transferred to your wallet, it can be seen and traded on third party platforms such as OpenSea.

Who can buy the NFT’s?

Initially the NFT’s will only be available to attendees of the performance in the lobby of the venue. Any NFT’s not sold at the event will remain in the artist’s wallet and may be sold at a later date.

Where will my NFT’s exist?

Your NFT’s are stored on the Klaytn blockchain with assets stored on the IPFS data storage network.

What is Klaytn?

Klaytn is a blockchain from South Korea developed in partnership with Kakao. Klaytn is based on Ethereum, but uses Proof of Stake which is much more energy efficient. Klaytn is one of 3 blockchains currently supported by OpenSea (the world’s first and largest NFT marketplace).

Where will the money go?

All revenue will go towards the production costs of the performance. Any leftover funds will be put aside for the next edition of Collective Behaviour.

How can I make the payment? Do you accept credit card?

Sadly we can’t accept card payments. Payments are to be made by cash, bank transfer or Kakao Pay.

Can I get a tax receipt for my purchase?

There is no tax charged on purchases of artworks in South Korea, but you will be able to register your tax details during the purchase so that we can declare it to the tax authorities.

Will I be able to see my NFT’s in my Klip Wallet?

We currently do not support the Kakao Klip wallet, but we are trying to see if this might also be possible in the future.

Aren’t NFT’s bad for the environment?

Short story : Not the one’s we’re selling.

Long story:

The climate impact of some older blockchain networks using Proof of Work (e.g. Ethereum and Bitcoin) are a significant and real concern since they account for a measurable proportion of global energy usage. Prominent digital artists including

and have led the way in discussing the misuse of PoW NFT’s in the arts. The Ethereum foundation even states that Ethereum’s “current energy expenditure with proof-of-work is too high and unsustainable.”

Our NFT’s are minted and operated on the Klaytn blockchain which uses a different algorithm that can avoid the profound inefficiencies of Proof of Work networks. Think of it like riding a bus to work instead of taking an airplane. One quotable number is that Ethereum will reduce its energy use by 99.5% when it switches to PoS.

Although we respect the work of artists who use Ethereum, we do not see any reason right now why we would engage with these blockchains until they can solve their efficiency issues.

If you want to learn more, I’d suggest this recent report on Ethereum Emissions by

, or check out his conversation with and Matt Dryhurst on their Interdependance podcast (their podcast is full of fantastic discussions including on how blockchain technologies are being used to create self-sustaining communities within the arts).

Can I get a more technical explanation of how it works?

The NFT’s are pre-minted and begin life in our wallet.

During the cash sale, we generate a random key on-site that will be used to redeem the NFT at a later date. We write this key manually onto the physical token and don’t take a copy ourselves. We double check that the key is written accurately.

We transfer the ownership of the NFT from our wallet into a ‘voucher contract’ that represents the physical token on-chain. When performing the transfer we also include a SHA-3 hash of the generated key. The voucher contract then stores a mapping of hashes to NFT’s. The original key has not been transacted on the blockchain at this point in time. From this point on, the NFT can only be transferred out of the voucher contract when the original key is presented (even we can’t access the NFT).

When the buyer wants to transfer the NFT to a wallet, they visit a webpage that is able to perform transactions with their wallet. Here they enter the key which is now sent openly to the voucher contract, which then internally takes a hash of the key and finds the NFT to be redeemed in the mapping. The contract then transfers the correct NFT to a wallet selected by the collector (default is the collector’s wallet). This also deletes the voucher entry from its mapping.

We expect that many of our collectors will be first time crypto users without any currency in their account, and therefore we want the collector to not have to pay any gas fees. Therefore all transactions made by the collector will be performed through fee delegation.

Are there any blockchain related projects and communities have you been interested in recently?

  • Refraction Festival — An underground music festival both physical and online
  • Interdependence podcast — “$5 grad school by Holly Herndon & Mat Dryhurst”
  • Mars Green— Seoul contemporary art gallerist Sohyeon Park’s NFT gallery
  • Feral File — An online NFT gallery with guest curators. Co-founded by Casey Reas (co-creator of P5 Processing)

Credits

BEYOND by Simone Wierød

Collective Behaviour is a collaboration between artist duo Kimchi and Chips (Mimi Son and Elliot Woods) and Danish choreographer Simone Wierød. Dancers Boram Jun, Yunjoo Song and Woosang Jeon. Sound by M€RCY. Producer Lee Soyoung. Videography by Tim Panduro. Production by C2 Artechnolozy. Lighting with Park Hyunjeong. NFT technology development by Kimchi and Chips with Park Saemin. Costume design by Marie Nørgaard Nielsen. Additional music by Josefine Opsahl.

Collective Behaviour takes place at the Sogang Merry Hall on 21st and 22nd January 2022.

Reserve a ticket for the performance

Press release for performance (Korean)

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