mass






Mass is a shared 3D interactive space that lives on the blockchain. Everyone shares the same space, but it appears differently to each viewer and changes in unexpected ways over time.

Mass is a surveillance machine, recording every action its owners take on-chain and communicating them back to the group through changes in the dynamic 3D compositions. But there are bugs in the code. The errors make the communication of events unreliable. The visual environment has also been constructed incorrectly and its digital objects are fragmented.

The artwork brings together a community, but also distances them from each other. It’s an abstract reimagining of our shared online environment. A system stripped of its agency to condition behaviour. A broken structure that resists fixed readings and interpretations.
More about Mass



‘Without their market, most NFTs would simply be digital art, like back when people still talked about computer art,
net art and new media art without the blockchain and everyone knew what was meant.
Without the blockchain and its market, MASS by James Bloom could not live.’

Anika Meier

Imagine NFTs Are Alive


physicals




‘Physical 02’


‘Physical 06’


‘Physical 03’

‘Physicals’ are a series of reliefs carved with a 3-axis CNC router into polyurethane model board. The artworks are based on CAM 3D models which are constructed on a computer. All the objects appearing in the works are taken from popular internet libraries. This common semiotic material is then subjected to processes including extrusion and multiplication, before being composed and carved.

The resulting artworks mimic the process of production used to create many of the things that surround us, from buildings to luxury goods. Breaking down these processes to produce alien forms, the series explores ideas of incursion, authenticity and presence in an environment where physical objects are often a secondary product of their digital design. Physicals coming soon to Strouk Gallery



burner




BURNER #10: live dynamic view





The disappearance of the current moment is a common experience. Its replacement with a moment yet-to-arrive is now anticipated. People fetishise digital images and networked markets, which in turn are designed to keep us hooked.

BURNER dynamically reacts to people’s activity on the blockchain. It harnesses network processes to create a neverending stream of dopamine-triggering visual stimulation. It demonstrates disappearing states, the burning away of moments in time.

All 256 pieces are interconnected and all are dependent on the live state of Ethereum. As network usage increases, increasing gas prices as a result, a more forceful artwork develops. As such, BURNER strives to picture a kind of sum total of the inscrutible processes happening on the chain. 

Ethereum gas prices are made from the competing desires, intentions and beliefs of millions of entities. Digital transactions create overwhelming amounts of this information in block time, cyclically revealing fresh states. Likewise BURNER is never finished, there's always a new variant.

Taking found imagery of real gas and digitally processing it to the point where the original forms break down, BURNER pictures an unending network process we participate in but which escapes our comprehension. 
More about BURNER
‘The Stack is an accidental megastructure, one that we are building both deliberately and unwittingly is in turn building us in its own image. This planetary-scale computing infrastructure… is powerful and dangerous, both remedy and poison, a utopian and dystopian machine at once.’

Benjamin H Bratton

The Stack, MIT Press





‘Every block is an update of information. A database forever expanding and reacting in coordination to things happening inside and outside of [the Ethereum Virtual Machine]. The more we ask it things, the more it amasses information on us. Does it understand us? Can it speak back?
We look at it, but does it look back at us? Does it shape us as we shape it?’

Loucas Braconnier
Essay on BURNER



gold



GOLD is a collection that changes dynamically in response to the series’ own live NFT market activity. The actions of GOLD collectors are part of this ever-changing artwork, where prices, levels of activity and on-chain provenance define the art itself.

How does the market affect the way we see art? Does the sale price of an NFT change our perception of it? In GOLD, market factors literally influence the composition and imagery, with market forces manifesting inside the frame.

From a sale to a listing, from the amount of time an artwork is held to whether it has recently been flipped, all this data is recorded by the contract and reflected live in each GOLD piece, through optimistic colour schemes named after beach holiday destinations.

GOLD is a critical exploration of NFT art market behaviour. It also explores how we see in digital environments and how market networks influence how we see.





GOLD is made up of hundreds of artistic elements, taken from online clipart libraries. These picture parts, including market charts, icons, varied symbols and figures, are brought together dynamically according to the market and its actors. Are you viewing an artwork or its market?

By tracking collectors’ live behaviour and reflecting it inside the frame, the artworks become contingent on their own market. But the context through which the NFT market is seen by collectors and viewers is defined by the artist. 

The signifiers and iconography are in a constant state of change, so any reading of the compositions is also fluid over time. The artworks present a stream of changing and ambiguous meaning, not unlike a social media or online market feed.

The series is 100% on-chain – the artworks are composed and rendered directly from the blockchain – with live data streamed from an Ethereum node. The full spectrum of possibilities in GOLD will take years to reveal.
More about GOLD




‘Is this an elaborate reward system? A challenge or a trick. A test of patience? Or a mirror held up.
Is the gamification of art taking it to the next level here?’

Anika Meier

On Optimism and Market Art