Fire: Xiaomi 12T Pro Daniel Arsham Edition
Buy: Online at the Highsnobiety Shop
Release Date: Presale opens December 5 exclusively from the Highsnobiety Shop, sign up for the Highsnobiety Newsletter to get early access.
Price: €899 ($949)
Editor’s notes: The list of things that Daniel Arsham has turned into what he refers to as “fictional archaeology” is ever-expanding. We’ve seen the artist use his signature style on Porsche sports cars, Pokémon characters, basketballs, and the latest item to be decorated with his eroding aesthetic is a smartphone.
The artist has come together with Xiaomi to create a limited-edition version of its 12T Pro model which will be available exclusively at the Highsnobiety Shop from December 5 before it releases worldwide.
“I think the phone is probably the most ubiquitous object today that we engage with. So it’s a very interesting piece of our everyday life to alter,” Arsham tells Highsnobiety. “I’m always interested in bringing my work into arenas outside the typical art world scenario.”
The phone is decked in a dark green marbled colorway which is made to look like it has partially eroded away through its textured finish, making space for contrasting bronze metallic accents. It continues the conversation that Arsham has been generating with his art using contemporary subjects which meld together the past, present, and future.
This isn’t just limited to the phone, but also expands to the box in which it comes. Also designed by the artist, the weighty wood box comes with the same eroded look used on the phone, created through gold foil paper and three-dimensional embossing. Meanwhile, the inside has paper packaging with matt UV technology and weighted through a magnetic structure.
Arsham explains that he sees the box as an art object in itself, “in 20 years, there will be people who have this phone but don’t use it as a phone anymore. Instead, it becomes a sculptural object linked to a particular moment in time. It moves beyond functionality — it becomes a sculpture.”
This sentiment is echoed by Xiaomi, who describes it as “not only a smartphone but advanced technology used to actualize the artist’s design.”
The device which Arsham is using as his canvas is the Chinese consumer electronics giant’s most cutting-edge smartphone, building on its popular 12 Pro model with a 200-megapixel main camera sensor and upgraded Snapdragon® 8+ Gen 1 processor.
It arrives in limited numbers, with only 2000 units available in Europe. Alongside the exclusive pre-sale, we are also offering the chance to have your device hand-signed by Arsham.
A popup at our Berlin HQ will be open from December 16 to December 17, with Daniel Arsham being there in person at 3pm CET on Friday to sign the first 100 phones sold. If you’d like to come down here’s the address: Genthiner Str. 32-34, 10785 Berlin.