timeless by luca benites



The artist who has burnt into ashes his lifework back in 2017, going through an existential questioning about the pass of Time and the irreversible nature of life, is now exploring the possibilities of blockchain technology.

In a dynamic NFT project, represented by a digital workpiece that evolves in real time, the word “Time” handwritten by Luca will vanish through a 30 days process, from 1st till April 30th.

Buyers of each NFT will receive a physical art piece of the work consisting of the frame that the word has evolved to at the time of the purchase. This piece will be numbered and signed by the artist. The last NFT will be auctioned and will include a physical collection of all the frames that have passed through the 30 days period.

The project in the press: Panorama Mercantil, Exame, Cointelegraph, Blockmarket, R7, Band (min 40:40)

Curated by Aurelien Le Genissel

Given Time

Perhaps, the best way to define the digital world, is a space where the laws of time don´t apply. In that world, messages arrive instantly, files can be eternal, users navigate indefinitely, and things are lost in a permanent acceleration, as Hartmut Rosa explained in his famous essay “Alienation and acceleration”. A speed and stagnation limbo, where we seem to lose that existential “temporality” (Zeitlichkeit) that, according to Heidegger, deeply defines us.

The arrival of NFTs perhaps is the colophon of that utopic dream of perpetuity, longevity, and eternity that modernity has pursued. How then, can we reintroduce a more human and more ontological bond with “natural” time, in an ephemeral and immutable environment?

Timeless, from Luca Benites, presents itself as a project in which finiteness assumes a central role in the art piece, even in this digital space. A finiteness that has been in the heart of the artist’s work, since he conceived his project FOGO, where in a movement of detachment and existential questioning on the pass of time and the irreversible nature of life, he turned all his work into ashes. The same concept is reflected on Timeless, a new series of NFTs where pixels progressively disappear out of the word “TIME”, accumulating at the bottom of the screen, as a representation of that past time, that irrecoverable experience, or that unreachable trail. The result -after 30 days- is some kind of void, or trace of what it has been. A phenomenology of time itself, if it´s true that “all that we give resides in time and that we always give all our time”, as Jacques Derrida expresses in a beautiful formula from his book “Given Time”.


Rethinking our finite character

We are born, grow; we try to thrive and then, at a given time, we disappear. This project is all about emphasizing our own transience. It seeks to remind us about  simple and mundane matters, such as the time we are given.

Using a format that proposes the eternity and perpetuity of something for a period of only 30 days, might seem odd, but that is exactly the point under the spotlight. The Timeless project brings forward a kind  of connection with the present that not only highlights our bond with the “here” and “now”, but it also invites the beholder to contemplate what might happen in a 30 days time frame, and it is this “waiting”, something that I am deeply interested to explore.

We tend to be immersed in a continuous foresight about what is to come, many times leaving the most important things, like the marks we leave in the people we care about, and our influence in the physical world, into oblivion. 

Timeless, as our own existence, will soon vanish.


About Luca Benites

Luca Benites is a brazilian artist living between europe and south america. Since his famous project “Fogo” (Austria, 2017), where he burned 20 years of artworks and used the ashes to offer a reflection on time, Luca has created different works that talk about our existence. Architect and multifaceted artist he is currently working with monumental sculptures but has already made installations, site – specifics, paintings, video art and photography. In this opportunity he presents his latest work “timeless”, a NFT (non-fungible token) which again questions the fleeting nature of time, this instance by a means that refers directly to eternity. With collections in important institutions around the world, Benites has more than 100 exhibitions in countries such as the United States, Brazil, Spain, Germany, Denmark, China, South Korea, Portugal, Argentina, Uruguay, Peru, among others.