Pak, formerly known as Murat Pak, is a digital artist, cryptocurrency investor, and programmer. The identity of Pak is unknown and some speculate that it may be a team. Pak is known for creating the curation platform Archillect, an internet bot which reshares media based on user interactions with content hosted on various social platforms.
Pak is best known for working with non-fungible tokens. Pak’s highest-selling NFT, “Merge”, generated $91.8 million in sales in December 2021 and tops the list of most expensive non-fungible tokens. Pak’s NFTs have been sold on platforms including Sotheby’s, Nifty Gateway, MakersPlace, SuperRare, and Async Art. Pak is credited with introducing Beeple to NFTs.
In 2014, Pak created Archillect (a portmanteau of archive and intellect), an internet bot that acts as a curation platform. It searches through social media and posts images to several social media platforms. Posts are selected in order to be shared as widely as possible, adapting to provide more of the content people are sharing. Archillect has been compared to AI composer Emily Howell as examples of “artistic bots”. It has also been described as a mood board. Pak described Archillect as a “digital muse” and refers to it as “she”.
As of 2021, the account has over 2.7 million followers on Twitter.
Pak is known for a style that takes advantage of blockchain technology, specifically its smart contracts, described as an appeal to cryptocurrency fans. The images associated with Pak’s NFTs use geometric shapes or programmatically generated images. Pak frequently embeds hidden messages into NFTs, and uses social media platforms in a candid way to promote and discuss them. Pak’s use of NFTs has been described as challenging the concepts of value and ownership.
Pak’s first NFT, “Cloud Monument Dark”, was released on February 3, 2020 on SuperRare, an NFT marketplace. In August 2020, Pak released project “X” on NiftyGateway, an “open edition” sale of NFTs with a scarcity mechanism based on time rather than volume. Thirteen NFTs were offered for sale in multiples for a window of twenty-four hours.
In March 2021, Charles Stewart, CEO of Sotheby’s, announced a partnership with Pak to launch the auction house’s first NFT sale. This partnership resulted in “The Fungible”, an open edition which generated $16.8 million in sales across 6,156 NFTs over two days. The Sotheby’s sale and subsequent press raised Pak’s public profile, specifically with regards to the role of NFTs in the art world. As part of Pak’s partnership with Sotheby’s, Pak also auctioned “The Pixel”, which sold for $1.36 million, and “The Switch”, which sold for $1.4 million.
On October 15, 2021, Sotheby’s launched the “Sotheby’s Metaverse”, a digital art platform for selling and curating NFTs, which offers users a unique personal profile picture generated by Pak.
On December 2, 2021, Pak launched the sale of “Merge” on Nifty Gateway. “Merge” was made available for 48 hours, with buyers able to purchase “mass units” rather than individual copies of an NFT edition. Buyers received a single NFT with its associated image generated based the transaction metadata and the number of “mass units” purchased. A total of 312,686 mass units were sold to 28,983 buyers during the initial two-day sale. Generating $91.8 million in revenue, “Merge” tops the list of most expensive non-fungible tokens.
“Pak_(creator)” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, n.d.