leading figure in microphotography, manfred p. kage, drop genesis NFTs

elementum debuts manfred p. kage’s artwork AS NFT’s

As one of the first to use the new possibilities of NFTs with art, elementum is a pioneering platform for visionary digital creatives and collectors – just land at Zurich airport to watch the immersive NFT Gallery for example. The platform is at the forefront of digital art by partnering exclusively with pioneers of algorithmic art. As such, elementum dropped the genesis of NFT from the famous figure in microphotography, Manfred P. Kage (1935-2019).


Image © 1966 Manfred P. Kage with Carl Strüwe group exhibition, Copyright © KAGE Mikrofotografie

Manfred P. Kage (1935-2019) was a renowned artist, science photographer, filmmaker, and inventor who was a prominent member of the ZERO art movement. Using the terms “science art” and “modern science art,” his work used innovative techniques to visually represent the complexity of nature. From New York’s Museum of Modern Art to global events such as the Olympic Games, EXPO and the Venice Biennale, Kage’s creations revolutionized the synthesis of science and art. A true digital art pioneer whose work has now been dropped by the elementum as NFTs for the first time platform.

“The fact that things are not what they seem was a relief to me then, it was like opening the door to a mysterious world – a universe that can explore step by step and gain insights,” said Manfred P. Kage.

leading figure in microphotography, manfred p.  kage, drop genesis NFTs
Image © Manfred P. Kage, courtesy elementum, Radiolarie – No. 2, 2004

elementums manfred p. kage’s genesis NFT series

The first of the origin series is titled ‘Radiolarie – nr. 2’. Radiolaria are microscopic single-celled organisms that form aesthetically pleasing silica skeletons in the sea. Fifty of these skeletons fit on the size of a pencil dot. The artwork realized Manfred P. Kage’s creative challenge to visually expose the aesthetics of the tiniest microworlds. The artist made this tangible to viewers through his work, thanks to the invention of SEM science art using a scanning electron microscopy, established in 1977.

leading figure in microphotography, manfred p.  kage, drop genesis NFTs
Image © Manfred P. Kage, courtesy elementum, Dimensionssprung, 2007

With a seemingly natural blur of vibrant colors, ‘Dimensionssprung’ is the second work of the NFT series. The artwork was part of Manfred P. Kage’s ‘Microverse of Crystals’ series, crystal-optic pictorial works created using a polychromator. This machine is an optical synthesizer used for microphotography, invented by Kage himself in 1957.

leading figure in microphotography, manfred p.  kage, drop genesis NFTs
Image © Manfred P. Kage, courtesy of elementum, Mikrokosmos Verschmelzung, 2009

Kage’s three NFTs are currently on display at the group exhibition ‘Liebe Maschine, male mir’ at the pop-up elementum.art NFT Gallery at Zurich Airport, in collaboration between elementum and Kate Vass Galerie. Manfred P. Kage’s ‘Mikrokosmos Verschmelzung’ transports art to the stratosphere. It highlights the invisible connection between human existence, nature and the cosmos in its new multimedia. The artwork visually combines the crystallization of acenaphth compounds in the microscope with a NASA astro image. The explosions of elements capture the all-encompassing rhythm of chaos and order in organisms.

“When I first met Manfred P. Kage at the ZERO exhibition at Martin at Gropius Bau in Berlin in 2015, it was a great revelation for me to experience an immersive multimedia performance guided by microscopic imagery. I immediately saw the deep connection between the hidden secrets of nature and the mathematical beauty in digital art. The sheer amount of Kage’s self-constructed devices and inventions in microscopy history was quite overwhelming,explains Georg Bakadvisor digital art and curator of the NFT drop.

In my numerous conversations with Gottfried Jäger (founder of generative photography) and Herbert W. Franke (a close friend of Manfred P. Kage, who wrote his obituary), I learned that many of the early computer artists were heavily influenced by microscopic art. Gottfried Jäger curated an exhibition with Manfred P. Kage and Carl Strüwe (another great microscopic photographer) in Bielefeld in the 1960s. Looking back at the historical art + technology exhibitions, such as “The New Landscape in Art and Science” by György Kepes, for example, microscopic images were quite prominent. However, the context of microscopic and scientific images within digital art is still relatively unexplored.

series info:

platform: elementary

artist: Manfred P. Kage

drop date: Friday, December 9 at 5:00 PM CET

Explore the Manfred P. Kage works on the elementum.art platform and the secondary market on OpenSea.

Visit the group exhibition ‘Liebe Maschine, male mir’, on view at the elementum.art NFT Gallery, Circle 18, 8058 in Zurich.

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