I can and will only make the art I want to make. Art that comes to me from the Muse.
— Alpha Centauri Kid
The first thing you notice when you do a quick Google search for ‘ACK,’ aka Alpha Centauri Kid, is how little of a digital footprint he leaves behind. There is no extensive “about” page, or any website detailing who he is. In every article and marketplace profile dedicated to ACK’s work, he describes himself with the simple dictum: “Letting the whispers of the Muse guide my way.”
Alpha Centauri Kid has embraced the anonymity of the blockchain as a form of identity, preferring to let his artistic output speak for itself, rather than marketing based on a cult of personality. This method has proven successful for the artist. Since emerging on the scene in 2021, ACK has become one of the most prolific and highly valued NFT artists in the space. His often glitchy and humorous style draws on crypto culture for deeper inspiration, with referential and interactive works that explore the nature of memes, the Muse, and Death. But who is he?
SuperRare’s Brand Copywriter Chris Kokiousis sat down with the elusive artist for a Q&A to probe his thoughts on his work, what excites him in the NFT world, and the Muse.
Q&A with SuperRare Artist ACK
CK: Paint us a picture of your life pre-NFT. What kind of art were you creating, and when did the Muse first appear? Were there any formative experiences that really shaped your artistic vision?
ACK: Pre-NFT I was making art and music, but just for myself really. Since childhood, I was always passionate about art, creativity, and the role they play in our daily lives.
The Muse first appeared to me when I was in somewhat of a ‘rock-bottom’ personally; after quitting art and music for the second time. I swore it off, but the Muse revived me and I submitted to Her. Since then, She has been prevalent every step of the way. It’s quite amazing really.
The formative experiences that shaped my artistic vision are not doing what others have recommended and pushed on me. I’ve had several big collectors try to dictate the style of art I create, and that’s something that really bothers me and something I could never let happen. I can and will only make the art I want to make. Art that comes to me from the Muse.
CK: How did you get exposed to NFTs, and what was the lightbulb/galaxy brain moment for you about the technology’s potential?
ACK: Beeple’s headlines back in March of 2021 caught my eye. Realizing that people care about memes and art was a major lightbulb for me and I got to work straight away.
CK: The Muse seems to be a crucial part of your creative process, and you mention the Muse in works like “she loves me not.” How does the Muse relate to Death? How do you see their relationship?
ACK: This is my favorite question I’ve ever been asked, lol, thank you!
So… In my world, Death has been in love with the Muse for thousands of years, but without reciprocation. The Muse chose life and art instead, so Death’s revenge is taking all life. But, through the Muse, through art, our stories will continue on, leaving Death defeated. Also, I am noticing in real time how heavily influenced I am by the whispers of the Muse and it’s interesting to see what happens and how it affects my art in the short and long term. I wager by the end of my journey, we will see the real face of the Muse and the shrine built for Her.
CK: Which of your pieces do you feel the strongest emotional connection to and why? Which piece feels the most personal?
ACK: Hmmm… I have one piece I have not minted yet. It’s sitting here on my iMac and my phone and I think it is the most powerful piece I’ve made thus far. I think because it reveals the true face of the Muse.
As far as minted works go, I would say my piece “crypto art” because its whole theme is based on the emotions I felt while creating it. Also, “til death do us part” because I often worry I am running out of time to update it.
CK: What advice would you offer to a new artist entering the space?
ACK: I would say; Do not follow what everyone else is doing, especially if it’s things like airdrops… focus on the art. Price low, and don’t rush to mint. I know creatives always feel like we have to get the next piece out or we will be forgotten but it’s simply not true. I’ll admit it’s a struggle though.
CK: What’s your advice on pricing for an artist putting out their first NFT? Any potential pitfalls to avoid?
ACK: I started at .1ETH and have always recommended the same but I also don’t see anything wrong with starting at .5ETH area either.
CK: How do you approach building relationships with collectors in the NFT space? How is it different from the traditional art world?
ACK: I don’t know too much about the trad art world other than what my friends and peers tell me, but it is indeed very beneficial to have good relationships with collectors. At a minimum, good collectors will help weigh hard creative decisions, but also not be offended if you choose to go your own way. I try to not overshare art with collectors or ask too many opinions because it takes away from the mystery of it all.
CK: What ideas and technologies are you most excited about when it comes to the future of NFTs?
ACK: Being able to talk to a canvas and have it talk back.
CK: Tell us a little bit about the ACK PFP (profile picture) project you have in the works — any new details that you can share with us? How do you hope to differentiate it from other PFP collections?
ACK: With ACKPFP I do one piece on auction, but very spaced out, and with no utility or roadmap nonsense. Certainly I will do airdrops for PFP holders at some point, but they’ll have to be patient as I don’t plan those kinds of things.
I think long term my PFP collection will be looked back on as important due to me not just dropping trash to get rich quick. I could have done a 10k PFP project but it just sounds boring and overcomplicated. Dropping it one at a time also helps avoid people who are just quick flipping. Most of the people bidding don’t seem like the type to relist the next day for a loss.
CK: You’ve already achieved so much in the NFT space in a short period of time. Longer term, what would be a dream project/collaboration for you?
ACK: I’ve wanted to branch out into trad art on occasion and release a few 1/1 prints and paintings over time. I think having art both on and off the blockchain is important for the longevity of my career. Plus, something just hits different about holding a 1/1 in hand.
Lastly, thank you so much for the interview, it’s been fun and I always appreciate someone who has thoughtful questions about the Muse, so thank you for taking the time on that. Cheers!
SuperRare editor Oli Scialdone considers the social experience of provenance and its relationship with community in the Web3 space.