Plans for the Museum of Modern Art's new NFT pavilion are underway. Lol Omfg / MoMA NFT!!!!!!

To offset the environmental impact of a recent donation of NFTs, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) has announced its acquisition of the Amazon rainforest. Roughly 262,000 non-fungible tokens were donated to the museum by an anonymous donor, known by the handle r/b00bZXÆA-12 on Reddit. 

The new works, all purchased in February and March of this year, are a wide range, encompassing artists from at least four US states, three European countries, Singapore, and Japan. MoMA Director Glenn Lowry lauded the breadth of the collection, which he explained, “Represents the masterpieces of the micro-period known as Late Pandemic, and will fill the hallowed halls of the former library with the pixels of progress.” 

To offset the extreme ecological impact of the 262,000 works, MoMA announced that its negotiations with the Brazilian, Colombian, and Peruvian governments have been successful, allowing the art museum to acquire the entire rainforest as a means of carbon offsetting. The institution plans to organize trips to the Amazon starting in 2022 for trustees and other donors to showcase the institution’s innovative approach to collecting. MoMA has already been working with Heatherwick Studio architects to design a series of solar-powered NFT viewing pods throughout the forest for Indigenous inhabitants. When asked at yesterday’s press conference if the NFT viewing pods were suitable for a region with a number of uncontacted tribes, Lowry replied, “We posted the concept on Instagram and all the replies were favorable. I think it’s clear the public wants it.”

One of the renderings by Heatherwick Studio for the Amazon pavilions (image courtesy HeatherwickAmazing)

The collection of NFTs has already made a mark at the MoMA, as the collection, which will be known of the NFTapedia, contains what is believed to be the world’s largest selection of nipple gifs, Simpsons-related jpegs, audio sex files, rainbows, Matrix fan art, and other curious features that have expanded the lexicon of art.

During the press conference, a group of 90 protesters gathered outside the museum to decry the colossal environmental cost of the acquisition. “They took our beautiful central public library and turned into a temple of 8chan. Now they are treating the rainforest like an air filter, and we all know offsets don’t really work,” explained protester Yen Knickerbocker to Hyperallergic. 

When asked about the protest, a MoMA representative avoided the question, pointing out that the museum’s new internship cohort is the most diverse it has ever been thanks to the inclusion of young professionals who attended state colleges and universities. The spokesperson added that the works will be housed in a special new 42nd pavilion acquired by MoMA from the New York Public Library after it was forced to sell its landmark building after Mayor Andrew Yang gutted the city’s library services in favor of yearly Amazon vouchers.

Hrag Vartanian is editor-in-chief and co-founder of Hyperallergic.