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Today we sit down with Joren Cull to discuss his newly minted NFT “The Million Dollar Line”. The Million Dollar Line is a controversial piece that has been receiving a lot of positive and negative attention online. I was eager to sit down to talk with him about it.
Hi Joren. Thanks so much for taking my call. Who are you?
(laughs) Well my name is Joren Cull. I’m a crypto artist from Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
I’m eager to discuss “The Million Dollar Line” but I do want to give my readers a bit of context about your work. Would you mind briefly filling them in?
Sure! What do you want to know?
Well I have seen on your site you have a long list of high profile clients and awards. Maybe you could tell me about some of the clients you were most excited to work with.
Ya for sure! Well I’ve been a freelance artist for going on ten years now. I’ve worked with a lot of different people. I’ve had my work in The New York Times, Readers Digest, Bloomberg Business, National Geographic and many other neat magazines. I’ve done music videos and official merchandise for artists like Weird Al, They Might Be Giants, and Jeff Rosenstock. Oh I’ve also had my work featured in commercials for Wendy’s, General Motors, Coca Cola, Labatt, General Mills, and many others. I recently wrapped a project for The Bachelorette too!
That’s cool. I’m a big fan of your “A Brief History of Goth” video for Pitchfork which won a Webby Award. Would you care to rally off some of your awards?
Ya! That Webby was a huge honor. I also got picked by the New York Times as one of their favorite artists of the year a while back. I was really excited about that. I also once got a National Magazine award, and somewhere along the line of 12 American Illustration awards. Some highlights for sure.
Do you have a favorite client?
Not really, but I think my biggest thrill was getting to make an official poster for Weird Al. He was my favorite as a kid!
So I’m eager to hear what you have to say about “The Million Dollar Line”.
Definitely. Well, I was a bit reluctant to explain my “Million Dollar Line” at first. I really do want to leave it open to interpretation. So I think I’d like to provide a bit of context and then leave it to the viewer to decide.
That’s fair. Maybe we can start by you telling me what “The Million Dollar Line” means to you.
To me, the line represents the power an artists now has in the new NFT market. And how the literal line between reality and virtual reality is being crossed more and more these days. A single stroke can now change a life. New artworks now all have a fighting chance to find their biggest fan. A line is both divisive and connecting.
That’s really interesting. The concept is so complex yet simple. As is the piece.
Ya! That’s what I was going for with it! I think the beauty of it, is in the simplicity.
So why a line?
I see the line as the culmination of my experiences, both as an artist and as a human. I am a product of everything I have been through and at that very moment, the line is a time stamp of it all up until that point.
What would you say to people that write off the piece as lazy, sarcastic, or thrown together?
(laughs) Well everyone is entitled to their opinion. I have read a lot on people dismissing the crypto art space as selling amateur works as well as accusations on ridiculous stuff like money laundering, and low effort art sold for huge amounts of money. The piece is meant to play on those stereotypes, and communicate both points of view. It forces the viewer to decide their own perspective of the situation. Is a line nothing but a thoughtless stroke or is there value and integrity behind it? I know the whole “what is art” argument is a bit trite at this point, but I feel like with the birth of the NFT space an entire new dimension is added to this argument. Now that sale prices are so public and there is an open playing field for so many outsider artists to create. The idea of “what is art” becomes more individual as everyone has the ability to bid, and everyone has a vote. (Sort of like GME stock or Bitcoin). The power has been taken away from the gallery space and given back to the public.
I think I’ve said too much, so I’ll just leave it at that. I want the piece to be an open ended question.
I’ve noticed the price tag is listed at a million, are you entertaining other offers?
I don’t think so. I truly believe this line is worth over a million dollars. Whoever is astute enough to buy it will probably realize that they will activate a legendary viral media storm. The news hysteria on purchasing the line for a million dollars will make the piece go viral and instantly double if not triple its value I believe. This NFT is a conceptual investment. Just waiting for someone to pull the trigger on it.
When the line’s sold the story would be picked up by so many news outlets that the piece would increase in value substantially. That’s a really interesting point.
Oh, (laughs) thanks. I have put a lot of thought into this. I don’t want to give too much away about the line but I did want to give people something to chew on. Everything of course is open to interpretation and subject to taste. I already feel like I have a million dollars just by owning this line. It’s an NFT in it’s purest form.
I found it interesting that the price is set in ETH so depending how ETH is doing the price could be substantially more or less than a million usd.
The piece functions as a time capsule of many things.
That’s really interesting Joren. Is there anything else you want to add?
No not really! Could you put my Instagram account and twitter and stuff so people can find me? I make lots of stuff if you aren’t into this specific project.
For sure. Thanks so much again for your time. Good luck with “The Million Dollar Line”, though I don’t think you’ll need it.
(laughs) Thanks! Cheers!!