Created in the World Trade Center by contemporary Mexican artist Vicente Ortiz Cortez, Presale of the Falling States of America (USA Presale) is a participatory performance which raises questions about nationalism, capitalism, and their roles in fueling the issues tearing the US apart.

The series consists of 50 installations representing each state and various issues afflicting the country. With a contemporary take on Sol LeWitt's wall drawing certificates, installations are tied to NFTs that function as the certificates of authenticity. Certificates grant collectors the right to display their states as videos, prints, or as the physical installations they represent. Proof of ownership for all certificates is stored on the Ethereum blockchain, where the NFTs act as archives of US history.

A project from the Silver Art Projects artist residency in the World Trade Center, USA Presale is inspired by the 9/11 Memorial and memories from the news of people falling from the Twin Towers. The series reflects on the state of the country, and how 20 years after the September 11 attacks, the country itself is on the brink of collapse.

Presale of the Falling States of America partly takes its name from Richard Drew’s The Falling Man, alluding to the states being in a state of free fall. The series is informed by David Hammons’ 1983 Bliz-aard Ball Sale, a performance in which Hammons sold snowballs on the streets of New York City as commentary on capitalism, and by Dread Scott’s 1988 What is the Proper Way to Display a U.S. Flag?, an installation that invited participants to step on the US flag to write their responses to the question on blank books. The use of soil in the series references previous works by Ortiz Cortez, who grew up in rural Mexico. The nature of the series, as a sale of the states, is a cathartic response to US interference in Latin America.

The states are available on Follow the project on Instagram / Twitter

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Photo: Colibri Workshop; Editing: The Artist

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2022 Two-Person Show (Upcoming)

2022 Avant-Garde, The Women’s Caucus for Art - Philadelphia, Henry Gallery, The Pennsylvania State University - Great Valley, Malvern, PA, USA (juried) (virtual)


2022 The Inherent Art of NFTs, Sandra Lopez, El Deadline, Medium

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NFT owners can request high resolution images of their states. Email studio at ortizcortez dot com with your wallet address and NFT code for files.

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Programs used: Blender, Adobe After Effects

Video resolution: 1,080 x 1,350 pixels

Video durations variable, all looped, silent