A series of rare Studio 54 images, along with a new 8-bit video game based on the seminal New York club, have been developed into NFTs (non-fungible tokens) in collaboration with the SuperRare marketplace, raising money for charities in the process.
The first part of the project comprises four visual works, each featuring digitised film photographs, collages, and mixed-media slide shows celebrating the heyday of New York disco, none of which have ever been seen before.
Pictures were first captured by Bill Bernstein, a Big Apple nightlife photographer who garnered a reputation for shooting inside Studio 54 from a documentarian's perspective. The content itself focuses on the dancefloor, party people, and High NRG sound pioneer, Patrick Cowley, who, among other things, produced for iconic vocalist Sylvester.
A separate NFT, centred on post-disco institution Paradise Garage, also features in the series of drops, which culminated with a final sale on Monday 11th October, coinciding with National Coming Out Day in the US. The project also precedes Bernstein's new book, 'Last Dance', which dives into New York nightlife between 1977 and 1981. Proceeds are being donated to LGBTQ+ organisation, The Marsha P. Johnson Institute.
In addition to the photo-based offerings, SuperRare Labs has collaborated on a new 8-bit video game based on Studio 54, 'PIXEL 54', again delivered as NFT works. Split over four drops, with the last landing this Friday 15th October, each features a unique, loopable pixel art animation, produced by Uriel Gomez and Victor Athayde, known for their work with Netflix.
Contents also include original music featured on two new releases from offshoot label Studio 54 Music, which launched last year. 'Night Magic Vol.1' comprises anthems from the eponymous club reimagined by contemporary disco heads, namely Razor-N-Tap boss JKRIV and DFA producer Morgan Whiley. Tunes by Don Ray/Cerrone, Voyage, and T-Connection have received the re-edit treatment.
Meanwhile, 'Help Yo Self' is a forthcoming maxi-single from Jitwam & TEYMORI, with tracks focused on mental health and self-help. A portion of royalties, plus 10%, will go to Sound Mind Live, which works to open dialogue around mental health through the power of music.
NFTs are a form of digital data which can be used to prove ownership rights, among other things. In April DJ Mag published a long read on how this technology could revolutionise the dance music industry.