Decentralized Arts #2 | August 30
Bankless DAO Weekly NFT and Cryptoart Newsletter
Dear Bankless Nation,
Art lovers often do not know the motivations of the artists they follow, the depth of their inspiration, or the origin of their art. There are few who open their souls to others, but when it happens, everything becomes clearer and the artist's work somehow becomes less complex.
In contrast to this, when art meets technology, the effects are immediately visible, comprehensible and often, beautiful. This week we are exploring how algorithms create art and celebrating EIP-1559 and decentralized history with the Proof of Beauty $LONDON Gift.
Welcome to Decentralized Arts
Authors: Bankless DAO Writers Guild (Grendel, Kouros, tomahawk, siddhearta, frogmonkee)
This is the official NFT newsletter of the Bankless DAO. If you were a Premium Member of the Bankless Newsletter as of May 1st 2021 you have been subscribed to this newsletter at launch. To unsubscribe edit your settings here.
Artist of the Week
🧑🎨 Artist: yusaymon
🏦 Auction Type: 1/1 auction edition
💰 Price: 1 wETH
My mother left with me to a place called the happy hill with a man that I thought was my real father. It was not a happy hill; it was a clandestine and poor area where I spent part of my childhood locked up with recycled sheets, crayons, some books, abuse, mistreatment, and dysfunction... My refuge in the ''darkness'' is this painting that spills. Molded by this, I recycle my pain.
bDAO: Tell us how you became a crypto artist.
yusaymon: I started in Steemit painting, creating poetry and singing. This was my beginning as a crypto artist. I met a lot of artists, and I participated in different contests.
bDAO: Define what cryptoart is for you.
yusaymon: I believe that is the ‘’metamorphosis’’ of an old system without many opportunities for artists and everyone. Art is the root of a completely free human being in its maximum expression. This, together with cryptocurrencies, is an excellent way to improve the environment that surrounds us.
bDAO: What evolution do you see in the world of cryptoart?
yusaymon: I imagine this movement will evolve in the DAOs. Everything happens very quickly - the unpredictability of this is addictive for me too.
bDAO: Tell us about the works we are dropping.
yusaymon: ‘’Money 4 the people’’ - maybe you cannot see the reference of an inverted pyramid in a beautiful chaos. Like all programmable principles, I like to mix the rudimentary way of painting with the abstract form of a code behind a "beautiful system" or "beautiful software". I think the title speaks by itself.
Curated NFT News
Visa buys ‘CryptoPunk’ NFT for $150K in ethereum
Visa is the most recent household company to jump into the NFT craze by adding CryptoPunk #7610 to their collection. Visa stated that they support the creators, collectors, and artists driving the future of NFT-commerce and added the following statement:
“We think NFTs will play an important role in the future of retail, social media, entertainment, and commerce. To help our clients and partners participate, we need a firsthand understanding of the infrastructure requirements for a global brand to purchase, store, and leverage an NFT”
OpenSea sees $2B in transactions this month
The biggest NFT marketplace has seen a big increase in sales from from $8 million in January to $2.3 billion so far in August.
CELEBRATING ETHEREUM LORE & DECENTRALIZED HISTORY THROUGH GENERATIVE ART
In the weeks leading up to the Ethereum Network’s London Hard Fork (EIP-1559), Proof of Beauty (POB) studio launched $LONDON, a social token experiment. In a time of gas wars, the $LONDON token mechanics incentivized low-gas txn and social coordination, as users minted the ERC-20 token tied to gas price via a bonding curve.
$LONDON tokens were free to mint. The amount of $LONDON users could mint at a time was tied to the price of gas, measured in gwei, necessary to complete the mint transaction. The optimal gas price to purchase $LONDON tokens from the $LONDON bonding curve was 15.59 gwei, returning 1559 $LONDON. Higher or lower gas prices used to complete mint txns returned exponentially fewer $LONDON.
POB's HASH NFTs create works of generative art using the input of Ethereum network txn hashes. This theoretically ties each txn processed on Ethereum to a visual, ERC-721 record, a living archive curated by minters who capture signals out of the the noise of the Ethereum Virtual Machine. On August 12, 2021 @BulletEyeDK captured a HASH of the first 15.59 gwei $LONDON token mint, noting that “transactions with exactly 15.59 gwei were [formerly] a rare event, as only 252 transactions had ever used that gas price up until July 8, 2021…[while] during the $LONDON mint period, [there] more than 20k transactions with a gas price of 15.59 gwei.”
Immediately after the London hard-fork, POB's 'gift shoppe'💃 went live. On launch, minters celebrated EIP-1559 by redeeming 1559 $LONDON for a unique work of generative art, a "LONDON Gift." Fittingly, community members minting LONDON NFTS played an outsized role in the transactions confirmed during network's first deflationary block, and for a time, the LONDON Gift contract occupied the number one place on the EIP-1559 🔥$ETH burn🔥 leaderboard:
LONDON Gift NFTs are algorithmically generated art pieces inspired by abstract forms found in Kjetil Golid's works, such as Archetype and Tilework. They are visually mesmerizing and quirkily titled names such as “bashful skillful secretary,” “quicksand," and “ode to Vitalik.” After mint, LONDON Gift NFTs became available on the secondary market.
Many LONDON Gift NFTs were minted in ETH’s first deflationary block, following the Hard Fork. This HASH captures the mint of the LONDON Gift “large army #5158,” minted in this block. The first mint in this block was "hurt cloth#5088," minted in a txn which used the most gas in Ethereum's first deflationary block. In the words of @rapapoach, this txn was "an ultrasound txn for an ultrasound mint!"
Building on LONDON's history as a social experiment, the community has played a central role in defining the future direction and purpose of the LONDON DAO. The $LONDON tokens collected during the initial mint and ETH from secondary sale royalties on OpenSea have been used to create and fund the LONDON Night Club DAO and its treasury. What comes next will be up for the newly formed community to decide.
The DAO will provide a mechanism for LONDON Gift NFT and token holders to govern the project directly, bringing the spirit of experimentation with tokenomics and generative art into the future. As POB decentralizes ownership of the project, placing control in the hands of the community, the DAO treasury will support the growth and development of new projects, experimental crypto-experiences, and will provide the basis for crypto-native creators, artists and archivists to tinker with the radical open-source technology of Ethereum.
The DAOs first project, 'Ultra Sound,' will celebrate the ongoing history and process of the Merge, the transition from ETH1 to ETH2. Ultra Sound will document the relationship between the Ethereum network and its many communities of end users, a community in the process of transformation, recording and observing key moments in the birth of ETH2. Ultra Sound explores the nature of participation in decentralized networks, where self-referential history is continually co-created and memorialized. What are the obligations of Ethereum users to decode and translate these notable moments for a cautious, but curious outside world? Ultra Sound will deploy the technology of ERC-721 to capture our particular on-chain home(s), as the world begins to come knocking.
Project 0: $LONDON was developed before EIP-1559, and is the currency of the old Pre-Burn Era of Ethereum. Minted by transactions that had a gas price as close to 15.59 as possible.
Project 1: LONDON GIFT, on the First Burn Day, when EIP-1559 came into effect, it was the first NFT in the Post-Burn Era of Ethereum, at the symbolic price of 1559 $LONDON.
Project 2: CODE BURN, similar to how Ethereum has been burning ETH with each new block in the Post-Burn Era since EIP-1559, every interaction with CODE BURN NFT will cost something. No Gain without Payment, heralding the coming Merge and the deflationary future of Ethereum.
As the story is continuously written, what moment will be captured next in Ethereum lore? 👀
ALGORITHMS IN ART, FEATURING KEVIN ABOSCH
Kevin Abosch is an Irish conceptual artist known for his works in photography, sculpture, installation, AI, blockchain and film. His work has been featured in exhibits throughout the world.
What do you think of the blockchain as a medium for artists to sell their art? In meeting an artist who is involved with both physical and digital art, one of the most interesting aspects to investigate is their view on the concepts and applications of blockchain and their relationship to art. Abosch’s take is particularly nuanced.
“There are artists like myself who use blockchain technology as the medium or a method in making art and there are those who use the blockchain as a means of distribution. Natively digital work is especially well-suited to tokenization. Historically, much generative art was never ideally destined to be printed on a physical substrate but rather viewed on a screen or CRT monitor. Blockchain of course allows for the engineering of scarcity in the digital realm, a reality full of philosophical complications. On the one hand, it’s an elegant solution to bring a digital work to market, but on the other hand one must question if it is in good faith to create artificial scarcity solely for the purpose of commercial exploitation, when for all intents and purposes, there are no limitations with respect to the cost of materials. In any case, the evolution of both non-fungible and fungible tokens is terribly exciting.”
Abosch has been working with digital mediums for the entirety of his 32 years as a practicing artist. What most of us perceive as a recent trend is actually many years in the making.
“If it feels like there has been a ‘transition’ from the physical to the virtual, I would posit that this is an illusion. The NFT for example, as immaterial as it may appear, is hyper-physical! From the hardware needed to support a digital artwork’s existence to the millions of invisible faces behind the output devices, the servers and the power infrastructure, it’s difficult for me to appreciate that digital art is anything but physical.”
The artist became interested in data and algorithms using objects as proxies to distill the emotional value that emerged through the processes. The artist works with deep learning algorithms to bring out truths from the data and cryptographic keys as proxies to distil value from the output of the algorithms.
“I’m interested in data that seems well-ordered and clear, but particularly in data that is seemingly banal or utterly confusing. My focus is on data pertaining to sociologic dilemmas and developments that challenge our value systems and sense of identity.”
Kevin Abosch understands how some people believe that his work is designed to be deciphered or even solved. This assumes that the artist is playing an intellectual game with the audience, but this is not the case. Rather, the artist wants to try to emotionally engage the audience and convey the most significant truths. As Abosch puts it: "The things that cannot be explained through science, but which perhaps can also be alluded to with a superficial knowledge of quantum mechanics. I'm not trying to win a Nobel Prize through an ingenious practical use of technology. I make art."
bDAO: How are the works of this collection generated?
Kevin Abosch: I work with deep-learning algorithms, and machine-learning in general, as part of a feedback loop in which I take turns processing input data. I think it’s fair to say that at a point I fall under the influence of the technology and perceive things differently than in my “sober” state. For my 1111 series, it’s a hybridized AI in which the line between artist and tool does blur, but ultimately it’s the artist who decides when to stop. The aesthetics of the pieces are a bit more under my “control”, but the alphanumerics, which I view as sacred, are not manipulated for the sake of aesthetics or to produce objects of particular scarcity.
bDAO: Some of your works are incorporated into a DAO and communities will be able to interact with these pieces. Can you reveal more about this and about your next projects?
Kevin Abosch: In time these works will evolve, in stages. Yes, in the metadata of each 1111 work that resides on the Arweave Permaweb, there is the data that indicates that there is a DAO just waiting to be unlocked. It is something that collectors will have to make a choice as to whether they wish to opt in or not. If they do, they will be able to keep or allocate 1000 of the total 1111 shares in the DAO for each work. I’ve said too much. There will be an evolution on November 11th. Perhaps we’ll find out more then. Perhaps.
I have my mind full at the moment with 1111. It’s going to be a long journey, hopefully amplifying intrinsic value along the way. A satellite launch is coming soon, which will produce valuable thermal image data for environmental scientists as well as allow me to use this data to create work in orbit and ‘space drop’ some work to collectors of 1111. The project is called 1111 KOSMOS. I’m also putting the finishing touches on a feature film that explores post-truth society, radicalization, and the metaverse. Now, I must tend to my tomatoes.”
BanklessDAO NFT Updates
Last week’s weekly showcase numbers
The series "Conscious Money" by @DavidBollt that explores consciousness and evolution as embodied by the Ethereum logo made a total of 1.76 ETH in sales.
Since the birth of BanklessDAO, the creation of an NFT platform has been hypothesized. This platform would allow the DAO to become independent from other marketplaces. As technology and designs evolved, it was also considered to add more features - minting the NFTs of DAO members and curated creators, for example. One of the main contributors to the DAO, LiveTheLifeTV, has given his willingness to lead this effort, taking it even beyond the intended specs. In his words, "the goal is to be the shopify for NFT's, so artists, DAOs and curators/collectors can have their own branded platform and smart contract. Focus will be heavily on the minting and distribution. There will be an Artist Series, Curated Series, and Freestyle Series". The project is still being defined but will soon be presented to the DAO.
Season 1 POAP Contest
To commemorate Bankless DAO’s Season 1, we are launching a contest to design a POAP that people can claim when voting for the Season 2 specs Snapshot later in September. This contest is open for Bankless DAO members only and there will be only one submission allowed for each member.
The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, September 8th 12:00 PM (Midday) UTC.
The POAPs need to be 500px PNGs, round in shape, and less than 200KB each. Please DM your designs to @Kouros in Discord in order to enter the contest. There will then be a poll where Bankless DAO members can select the winning design.
The prize for the winner is 10,000 BANK. Good luck to everyone!