“Atlas” is part of the first collection of NFTs dropped by the newly relaunched Blank.art, an NFT marketplace that distributes work by emerging creators across cyber cultures and disciplines. That collection, curated by Xin Wang, the platform’s head of content, will also include NFTs by and later this spring. In her essay on the launch, Wang describes
Liu as an artist “interrogating and transforming” digital mediums while asking “audacious questions about new technologies that reshape our sensibilities, values, and social organization.” For Wang, Liu materializes the mid-20th-century impulse of wanting to image Earth as a way to imagine a collective humanity.
“Atlas” was born out of early COVID-19 quarantine boredom when Liu and her partner, artist Gershon Dublon, began listening to open analog radio channels to pass time in their Brooklyn apartment. Radio cruising, she explained
, led them to “open-source platforms that allow individuals to tap into the frequency and receive signals from retired NOAA satellites.” The images from her first experiments were published in a photo series in 2021. Since then, Liu has redefined the project into a series of NFTs that feature the downloaded satellite image along with the code of the original frequency as part of its blockchain.