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Pace Verso

Glenn Kaino

Pass the Baton

As part of Pace’s presentation at Art Basel Miami Beach 2021, the gallery spotlighted a hologram from Glenn Kaino’s digital art project Pass the Baton.

NFTs from the Pass the Baton series, presented by Pace Verso, are inspired by the storied career of Olympic track and field athlete Tommie Smith, Kaino’s longtime collaborator in his Legacy Team works. Smith is known for his salute for human rights at the 1968 Olympic Games, a gesture that has been deeply impactful for future generations.

Through the Pass the Baton project, baton NFTs facilitate a generative crypto-giving structure that directly funds social justice efforts and organizations. Informed by Smith’s record breaking 1600-meter relay race in 1966, these unique digital works bear the names of prominent activists, advocates, and changemakers alongside Smith’s, with each name linking to a nonprofit organization focused on social justice. Smart contracts ensure that the associated organizations receive ongoing support through Pass the Baton.

With the Legacy Team project, which includes Pass the Baton, Kaino has said, “Our charge is to create sustainable ways for the memory of Tommie’s salute to live on for generations, and for as many people around the world to benefit from the hardship that he endured, and the sacrifices he suffered as the result of his courageous act … Pass the Baton is a technology-driven art project that has as its core the intention to create a sustainable engine for philanthropy, one that drives resources to 23 different organizations around the country who all are engaged in the fight for equality and human rights. It is meant to bring together the best qualities from the disparate worlds of art, blockchain, and social justice that it connects.”


About the Artist

Glenn Kaino is known internationally for his expansive vision and activist-minded practice, which encompasses painting, sculpture, installation, performance, monumental public art, theatrical production, and feature film. Examining a wide range of political, social, and environmental issues in his work, Kaino takes a multidisciplinary and collaborative approach to art making. His work brings together systems of knowledge, forms of production, and people that do not normally have a chance to connect, and often involves long-term partnerships with a diverse array of visionary collaborators. Kaino’s work in any media and within any system is distinguished by his obsessive investment in technical virtuosity, functionality, and legitimacy.

Learn More

  • Pace Verso — Glenn Kaino: Pass the Baton, Nov 18, 2021