Acephalous by The Weeknd x Strangeloop Studios Image

Acephalous by The Weeknd x Strangeloop Studios

The Weeknd releases their genesis nifty collection Acephalous on Nifty Gateway!

Acephalous is a collection of 8 works from Abel “The Weeknd” Tesfaye and LA-based design team Strangeloop Studios. The Weeknd and Strangeloop Studios have collaborated on concert visuals and audio-visual works since 2015, establishing an aesthetic thread that has remained consistent throughout the stylistic permutations of each album cycle and tour design.

Through a shared love of the dialogue between neo-futurism and dystopian narratives, and seeing natural forms represented in digital space, The Weeknd and Strangeloop Studios developed a common language of myth and culture in popular art. The pieces in Acephalous explore those key sentiments: a “source” sculpt of The Weeknd, rendered in a vacant void, and discovered in various “artifacts” and “remnants” left behind by the passage of time. The value of the art is preserved not only in the “actual” material or image, but also in the meaning and memory signified by the image.

The creative conversation between The Weeknd and Strangeloop Studios has always been a synaesthetic process of cross-influence between audio and visual. The medium of NFTs provided an opportunity for the teams to collaborate in a new space with unprecedented autonomy, where both sides of the creative process could flourish and enhance one another. The “headless” implication of Acephalous refers both to the decentralized governance of blockchain communities, and the decapitated visage featured in the pieces, severed from the source of its initial value.

The collection feature 8 pieces: one 1/1 auction, featuring an unreleased song by The Weeknd and the “source” sculpt; three audio-visual pieces offered as Open Editions, each containing a section of the same song with a filtered effect, and visuals of three “artifacts”; as well as four static artworks, offered as 2x silent auctions and 2x drawings.

The descriptions of each piece contain epigraphs from thinkers such as Ta-Nehisi Coates, Judith Butler, George Batailles, Susan Sontag, James Baldwin, and Walter Benjamin, prodding at the thematic tensions of the audio-visual works: original vs. copy, scarcity vs. accessibility, memory vs. myth.