Jack Butcher's Opepen Odyssey
Flipping the script on PFPs
In this bearish NFT szn, Jack Butcher is experimenting with mechanisms for the long haul of web3.
The former creative director for Fortune 100 brands started a consulting agency called Visualize Value before moving on to creating NFTs in 2021.
Butcher released the free Checks collection in January 2023, and has also introduced Originals and Opepen Editions. His minimalistic style brings a breath of fresh air to all our timelines. But his latest announcement yesterday has everyone in web3 talking.
Here’s a breakdown of what this Opepen odyssey means, and where it began.
CHECKS: THE ORIGIN STORY
Checks - VV Edition were a free January mint of simple colored checkmarks that symbolized the new Twitter verification process. Before the Elon Musk Twitter era, this verified check mark next to your name was earned. Now, it’s for anyone who can pay for it; hence the fine print: “this account may or may not be notable.”
According to the website, “Checks is an infinite canvas for expression that is designed to challenge the concept of ownership and authorship in the age of the internet.” ☑️
Butcher started experimenting with changing the metadata (image) of the Checks NFT, and the floor price shot up when a burn was introduced. This burn returns a random-trait immutable Checks Originals NFT at a 2:1 ratio (example: burn 2 x 80-grid VV Checks = 40 Checks Originals grid).
The lower the grid number, the more desirable; all the way down to the single black check, which has yet to be revealed. Holders also get to decide which token ID to keep, which is yet another point of experimentation.
Checks went crazy in February and pumped to an over 2 ETH floor. Image: @spenduehh
Alongside the Checks mint in January, Butcher also released an NFT collection called Opepen Edition for a mint duration of 60 minutes. This was a nod to the open edition meta in the NFT space that exploded in late 2022, and of course to the iconic Pepe meme (which the internet is still obsessed with).
After Butcher teased an Opepen PFP, people started creating tools to “Opepe-fy” their own PFP and posted the results on Twitter. They took the original canvas and created a new PFP based on colors from their existing one, which was a strangely fun exercise, even for non-holders.
A few weeks later, Butcher created a detailed thread about exploring AI to reimagine the Opepen in different forms, and then changed the metadata to all the same image. The community anxiously awaited his next announcement about the future of Opepens. 👀
Opepen comes in many forms. Image: @jackbutcher
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THE “SUB-EDITION” ANNOUNCEMENT
Yesterday, Butcher tweeted a huge thread about the ambitious future of Opepens. There will be 200 collections within the collection — revealing 80 Opepens at a time — in order to “map an infinite number of combinations of visual consciousness onto a recognizable symbol."
The more low-number Checks Originals one owns, it increases the likelihood of the Opepen being revealed in an earlier, lower number drop. Butcher says this mechanic should allow both collections to live alongside one another without conflict.
The thread also questioned the future of NFT PFPs as we know them, and discusses how the insane growth of AI will result in the commodification of image-making. Therefore, “the idea > the image.”
[In the NFT space] there is simultaneously an expectation of absolute clarity, and perpetual suspense.
This mechanic is a reflection of that, and the first of many experiments we will run.
Butcher also tweeted that an announcement on Friday would shed some more light on this— perhaps it will be the first sub-edition reveal.
What will it look like? What will it be? What will it do?
At the time of writing this, the floor on Opepen Editions are 0.39 ETH and Checks Originals are at 0.36 ETH.
A blank Opepen canvas.
The web3 space is always evolving and changing. Butcher’s experimental mechanics and stunning visuals are drawing attention from all corners of the NFT space.
His stream-of-consciousness tweet style allows his collectors to see his process for evolving Checks and Opepens in real-time, adding additional transparency and community involvement.
As many of us watch our portfolio values droop day after day, Butcher inspires a good dose of curiosity and wonder— which is what brought many of us together here in the first place.
nft twitter when jack butcher tweets two words:
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