Exclusive: Collectors of Yuga Labs’ TwelveFold Ordinals Project Can Now Claim Physicals

A year after Yuga Labs launched TwelveFold, its Ordinals collection, holders of the 300 pieces will be able to claim a free, museum-quality 1.2-meter square physical of their piece—shipped anywhere in the world.

In addition, holders will be able to download a high-resolution image for each of their TwelveFold pieces.

The claim mechanism, verifying owners’ holdings and connecting them to a Shopify site to arrange the ordering and shipping of their physicals, went live at 3 pm Eastern time on Thursday, Mar. 14.

nft now spoke to figge, Yuga’s Chief Creative Officer and the artist behind TwelveFold, for an exclusive interview—which he took in an airy atelier with many of the TwelveFold physicals on display.


An example of a Yuga Labs TwelveFold Ordinal NFT
Yuga Labs

While many digital art creators have partnered with other studios to produce physicals, Yuga Labs has done this one in-house—and the pieces are startlingly beautiful, printed, matted, and framed to a high level of quality.

“We have a printer in LA that does the work—probably one of the best print shops in town. They’ve done Banksy stuff, for instance, and they’re really great. We have a separate framer who helped put the framing part of this together; it’s framed in a very nice wood, and it’s a floating print. At print scale, they’re 1.2 meters by 1.2 meters—because it’s called TwelveFold,  we try to keep everything to 1,2, even down to the sat points on the Ordinals,” figge told us.

Figge has been an Ordinals enthusiast from the beginning; to him, this thorough focus on the details is part of appealing to true believers in the protocol, who have rarely been offered fine art physicals. “We haven’t seen a whole lot of fine art places, especially those who want to break into the physical world, so that’s really interesting for this project,” he said.

“Our goal is to get these into collectors’ hands as soon as possible—we’re very much in touch with all the collectors, and there’s a lot of interest in getting showings in a lot of different places around the world.”

figge

Intriguingly, this isn’t a print-on-demand proposition: all of the TwelveFold physicals have already been printed and will be claimable for a long period of time (this has not yet been precisely set). The hope is to create opportunities for galleries to exhibit Ordinals in cooperation with holders. “Our goal is to get these into collectors’ hands as soon as possible—we’re very much in touch with all the collectors, and there’s a lot of interest in getting showings in a lot of different places around the world,” said figge.

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Yuga has long championed TwelveFold as a stand-alone project: no roadmap and no external utility, like Punks. They see the physical drop as a way to broaden TwelveFold’s reach, according to figge. “We can’t help ourselves sometimes—we’ve got to do some cool stuff. It’s a way that you can appreciate the finality of the piece but still be contributing to how it permeates through various parts of the culture,” he said.

TwelveFold’s physicals. Credit: Yuga Labs

For this reason, the TwelveFold physicals won’t have an authenticating NFC chip as we’ve seen in other phygital products. “When it comes to the chip-able nature of it, we thought that might be crossing over the absolute nature of what the Ordinal is. So there isn’t a chip on [the physical’s] face, but they are all signed, numbered prints framed in museum glass. One of the things with the collection is it’s actually so small that we can keep track of where the physicals are,” figge explained.

After TwelveFold came out, Ordinals subsequently entered a fairly stagnant period, with low volume and floor prices, but they’ve bounced back during the bull as Ordinals have achieved a commanding share of digital collectible volume. The current floor price of TwelveFold is a healthy .69 BTC at the time of this writing, and we were interested to hear figge’s impressions of its performance.

“When you talk to museums, they’re like, ‘Oh, yeah, this room that we’re curating is planned years in advance, or this exhibit took ten years to produce.’ They say stuff like that. In Web3, we want something to be produced in like ten days.”

figge

“In this space, we can’t avoid the financialization of art and culture—it’s the backbone of how all of this is intertwined. There were definitely people that came in to speculate and go in for a quick flip. And we’re always trying to reconcile that things are at two very different speeds, right? This stuff is positioned as fine art. And it’s digital art. [Traditional art] moves at a glacial speed compared to the speed of Web3. When you talk to museums, they’re like, ‘Oh, yeah, this room that we’re curating is planned years in advance, or this exhibit took ten years to produce.’ They say stuff like that. In Web3, we want something to be produced in like ten days. So these are two very different mindsets to reconcile. But as you’ve seen, when we did the sale, Bitcoin was maybe a third of what it is today. I think it was around $22,000 when we did the sale a year ago. And now it’s at $70,000. So yeah, in fiat pricing, it’s actually showing that people believe in what the project can become,” he said.

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Credit: Yuga Labs

To figge, the artistic meaning of the project is what’s helped it rise in price. “I think that it’s mainly because people like the underlying narrative of TwelveFold. To get away from talking about money—I think that, although that’s interesting, I think there are way more interesting parts about the piece,” he said.

The lore and intricacies of the Bitcoin blockchain and how it relates to our perceptions of time are a significant concept at the heart of TwelveFold.

“The same people who have conviction about Bitcoin are really aligned with what this piece is trying to scratch at, which is how things can change dramatically over time.”

figge

“I’ve always been intrigued by how we interpret time via Bitcoin. We know that there are a finite amount of Bitcoins coming out. But we don’t even know, down to the year, when that will be—we think it’s the year 2140. It’s because of the block times—even though we try to grok it with our human time, the block times are variable, and over the time span of all this, we’re all going to be dead by the time the last Bitcoin gets mined. I think that being able to tap into that narrative is something that a lot of people in the Bitcoin community have lived every day for over a decade. The same people who have conviction about Bitcoin are really aligned with what this piece is trying to scratch at, which is how things can change dramatically over time. And so that’s why the conceit of the visual is based around how we visualize those blocks closing. I’m sure you’ve seen block explorers and the different ways that the Bitcoin blocks, like the blue box, fill up with a giant block. I think that there are explorations on that, of how things fill up in a grid, and how sometimes they’re big and clunky and sometimes they’re really granular, like grains of sand, filling up a block. I think people were able to see that. Like I said, because Bitcoin is going to keep going until we’re gone, people can see that in the pieces—they captured a moment in time that will continue to evolve,” he said.

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With the advent of high-definition visuals of the pieces—which had to be kept a bit smaller at launch to work as Ordinals—we were interested to know if they would have a virtual version in the Otherside metaverse. Figge is keeping this close to his chest. “I’ll just say that myself and Eric Reid, who’s the general manager of Otherside, have talked about this a lot,” he said.

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