As the bizarre 2020 nears its inevitable end, mysterious monoliths began popping up around the world.
On Nov. 18, a 10- to 12-foot shiny monolith was discovered in the remote wilderness of Utah. But the day after Thanksgiving, it disappeared, apparently dismantled and hauled away by a group of men.
Then another one appeared in Romania, and that one, too, vanished just as mysteriously. And then a third one appeared last Wednesday, this time atop Pine Mountain in California.
No one has known who erected them — until now.
“The community of artists known as The Most Famous Artist posted a photo of the monolith on their Instagram account Friday saying only ‘monolith-as-a-service.com,'” the New York Post reported over the weekend. “The photo of the three-sided metal monolith included specs of the artwork noting: ‘Authentic dimensions and museum quality materials; edition of 3+1 artist proof; delivery and installation included; Blockchain certification of authenticity, signed and dated “The Most Famous Artists 2020″‘ – and added delivery would take 4 to 6 weeks.”
The group, based in New Mexico, later posted on Instagram, “ANOTHER Monolith outside of Joshua Tree. That makes 4. What does it mean?”
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“At the end of the day, to provide proof, the final post featured a masked artist in the process of making one of the mythical monoliths, and poking fun of the alien conspiracies, saying: ‘You mean it wasn’t aliens?!'” the Post said.
In an interview with Mashable, the founder of the collective, Matty Mo, was evasive when asked if he was claiming credit. “I am not able to say much because of legalities of the original installation,” Mo wrote to Mashable via Twitter. “I can say we are well known for stunts of this nature and at this time we are offering authentic art objects through monoliths-as-a-service. I cannot issue additional images at this time, but I can promise more on this in the coming days and weeks.”
The Utah installation occurred on public land.
“What better way to end this f***ed up year than let the world briefly think aliens made contact only to be disappointed that it’s just The Most Famous Artist playing tricks again,” he added.
The group also responded to a question on Instagram asking, “Was it you?” The Most Famous Artist’s account replied, “if by you you mean us, yes.”
After the Utah monolith was found, hikers Riccardo Marino and Sierra Van Meter went to the remote site hoping to take some pictures. They drove eight hours to a trail that leads to the spot, located south of Moab and just east of Canyonlands National Park. “We’re gonna’ get some sweet photos, potentially some alien-type photos with the ground. We’re gonna have to cross through a little bit of a brush in Canyon country to get there, but without further ado, let’s hike to the Utah monolith,” Marino said on Instagram.
Then they hiked to the site.
“We believe we might be the first people to come to the Utah monolith and have it not be here anymore. Unfortunately. But what we do see, though, is someone wrote ‘bye b****’ and clearly took a pee on where the monolith once stood. On the ground here you can literally see fresh tracks of some kind of wheel that pulled this thing out of here. And we’re literally walking down this trail,” Marino said.
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