Alicja Kwade: Everything could be a NFT, even DNA

NFTs have had an enourmous impact in both art market and art making. We are not yet sure if this technology is about a temporary trend or if it is really going to change the way in which we conceive digital aesthetics and images in general. In the meantime a new project is exploring the possibilities of turn part of the human body into DNA

Alicja Kwade (Poland, 1979), know for investigates and questions convential and accepted notions of space, time, science and philosophy, have presented a new project involving her own ADN and the now-so-popular NFTs. One of the main objectives of the arists, in her own words: I wished to globally spread my DNA in virtual form, whereby using blockchain technology seemed a logical progression.”

Selbstportrait (10361 x 25p), 2020 is a unique digital work. Minted onto 25 pages, each consists of 11.696 letters of Kwade’s DNA, in total 292.400 letters, an amount that corresponds with the size of many human genes. In addition to receiving the digital file, a PDF can be downloaded, allowing the buyer to print each individual A4-sheet. Accordingly, Kwade’s Selbstportrait (10361 x 25p), 2020 explores the boundaries between digital NFT and physical artwork.

Alicja Kwade, Selbstportrait (2022). Series of 10,361 NFTs. Courtesy the artist and KÖNIG GALERIE. Photo: Roman Maerz.


Selbsportrait seems to be a interesting project in the intersection between bioart, art with technology and visual art. As in most of her works, in Selbstportrait Kwade utilize the properties of her chosen materials to reveal the nature of systems used to understand the world.