The accusation comes on Thursday, directly after lunch hour; there are bits of nigiri still waiting to be cleared from the table when the guests hear it, the afternoon sun coming through the curtains to light up fatty cuts of underbelly.
At the core of the accusation is a question, but it’s delivered more like an urgent announcement. “Alright everyone! Where the hell is the Williams painting?”
The work in question, a hyper-realist rendition of an ocean wave crashing neatly onto itself, has supposedly vanished.
In a flushed concern, the guests rush out of their seats to see the empty wall left in the painting’s absence for themselves. First to get up is Sasha, the famous art journalist and a huge Williams fan.
Sasha and seven others were invited to this extravagant home in Sagaponack on the promise of a week of creative exploration “at the intersection of art and technology.” The summer of 2029 was nearing its end, and assembled here were the greatest minds of all major industries to collectively “reckon with the new-age ‘30s,” as the host put it.
Even Sasha could admit that the house was the perfect place for this elitist incubator inaugural. It was a one-time home to Willem De Kooning, and a permanent one to Jackson Pollack and Lee Krasner, both buried in the nearby Green River cemetery. Sasha was the lone writer in the group, among an Ecuadorian cryptocurrency magnate, a choreographer famous for her work with incorporating drones, and a poet who was much better known for her anarchist projection art.
The accuser was none of these, however. It was Horner Brentman, the host, founder of the residency and famed inventor and entrepreneur. His company, Atuma, had developed a carbon- based printer so advanced it ushered in a new age of commerce and even language, relegating the term “3D printing” to the past. He referred to his process lovingly in interviews as “molecular manifestation” and held six patents related to hydrogen collision. With Brentman’s technology, people could—and did by the thousands—order anything online, only for it to immediately appear, “molecularly manifested,” in their home in seconds. In addition to convenience, this eliminated the need for packaging and shipping, making Horner an ally to both environmental groups and investors.