A Visual and Interpretive Analysis of Beeple’s Into The Ether
The piece depicts two people gazing at a levitating Ethereum logo. The people look like astronauts: they wear white space suits, black boots, and carry two oxygen-like tanks on their back. The tanks are labelled “HODL”. They stand upright and unfazed by this mysterious, enticing symbol that emanates light. Framed in a rainbow halo, the Ethereum symbol floats above the ground, illuminating the darkness around it. High above, in the night sky, a universe of stars shines. In the distant background, a faint sunset covers a mountain. Around the two astronauts, stalagmites cover the ground, glowing from the inside. This is another world, and you are here. Are you ready to go into the ether?
Beeple depicts two people as astronauts. Astronauts are trailblazers. They go where few men have gone before. They go beyond what we know, and into the unknown. They are amazing, and so is their work. Astronauts are brave explorers. They are adventurers. And so are those who venture in Ethereum, who venture into the ether. The ether is the space beyond the earth’s atmosphere. Beeple’s title and artwork depict Ethereum as the space beyond what we know, something that fascinates all of us. Just like astronauts, venturing into this space means our curiosity will be rewarded with plenty of wonders, many of which we do not yet understand. And that’s fine. What matters is the venturing.
Venturing into the ether(eum) is dangerous. To survive, we must do one thing. We must breathe from our HODL tanks. We must carefully conserve our resources in order to explore this new world. We must carefully expend our ETH. Just like oxygen, ETH will allow us to survive, but it is not enough to thrive. To thrive, we must actively explore and participate. We must reach out our hands, just like one of the astronauts does. We must follow the light while being aware we are in a strange and wondrous land.
The pointy rock structures on the ground are made of the same material as the floating Ethereum logo. The structures resemble stalagmites. Stalagmites typically rise from the ground when materials drop from a ceiling in a cave. Did the symbol float into its current position? Small stalagmites thread a path into the distance. Where the astronauts stand, larger stalagmites have grown. Perhaps the message is that wonders grow when and where people meet Ethereum. This is true for us; we keep being amazed; we feel like seeing wonders, and we feel like explorers. This piece captures that meaning for us.
This article represents a short, subjective analysis of Beeple’s tokenized artwork “Into The Ether”. The focus is a visual, interpretive analysis of the artwork itself, not of the artist, nor its context, nor its financial value. The focus is on the meaning of the artwork itself.