Revealing digital objects in networked art

What is the essence of a digital object? Given their elusive nature and their contingency on networked social relations, it might seem strange to think these objects could have any innate being-ness. Maybe digital art has some role it could play in revealing a glimpse of their inner nature. 

Firstly, digital objects are material. They don’t exist in some alternate universe and it doesn’t really help us to think of them that way, as Jacob Gaboury pointed out in his book Image Objects.
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Blockchain art and the aesthetics of impermanence

The disappearance of the current moment is a common experience for us all. In our screen lives, few of us have time to consider what’s in front of us before scrolling to what’s next. The data networks we rely on are constantly in motion so we grab what we can and move on.

The replacement of the present with moments yet-to-come is something we now anticipate. In financial markets the stream of incoming data has often already been ‘priced in’. Our credit system is similar, running on expectations. The now has been superceded by the future.
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The NFT Art Market and the Changing Image

When I first thought of GOLD as a dynamic blockchain art series, my idea was that it could be a series of composable, modular artworks. Any collector would be able to take apart all the individual elements in an artwork and trade them individually, swap them for other compositional elements and so on.

What I liked about this idea was the cold market logic. Any of my artworks could be taken apart and reassembled like commodities by any collector depending on their intent or financial ambition. NFTs are causing the hyper-financialisation of art and it seemed a good way to illustrate this reality.
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SALT: impermanent beauty

originally published in vertical
Great cryptoart is almost a sort of magic. Dynamic on-chain cryptoart – where the blockchain is used in a dynamic way to change the artwork – can leave with you a feeling of awe. The computers are doing things that are beyond our ability and when it’s done well, it can be a bit like staring into the starry void at night. 

SALT is a series of 180 images, each one an abstract photograph that feels like you’re looking at something you recognise, but you can’t make out what it is. The artworks cycle on a daily rhythm, so every day you see a new picture. It takes 180 days to complete a full cycle, with each collector having every SALT in their wallet for a day.
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Dynamic cryptoart: the new generation

originally published in vertical
Dynamic cryptoart is uniquely appealing because it makes use of the blockchain itself as part of the artwork. The blockchain isn’t just used as an identifier of ownership, it’s harnessed to generate the art. The artwork is created, in part, by the blockchain.

A number of artists are now finding new ways to use crypto blockchains to create innovative and stunning works. These pieces use techniques - and code - that are native to the blockchain and also push the boundaries of what’s possible in art. They’re early examples of a completely new medium.
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The Spirit of Trash

originally published in vertical
Trash Art is a term you hear a lot in cryptoart circles. Sometimes people talk with reverence about it as an OG movement. Some collectors describe it as ‘low effort’ art. It’s hard to know exactly what Trash Art is - it’s not immediately obvious.

Trash is sometimes used synonymously with Glitch Art. The colour spectrum is pushed to the edge of what your display can handle. Analogue or digital static, some kind of error inside the machine, lots of images of trash cans with a filter over the top. But what’s the point?
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