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Newsticker, link list, time machine: HOLO.mg/stream logs emerging trajectories in art, science, technology, and culture––every day
“We’ve been fixing the airplane while flying it for twenty years now—we’re really trying to make it more sustainable for the people involved.”
– Processing co-founder Casey Reas, summarizing two decades of open source software development. In conversation with kenconsumer, Reas and Raphaël de Courville reflect on the state of generative art, why NFTs took off during the pandemic, and recent Processing Foundation initiatives.

Jan Robert Leegte’s solo exhibition ”No Content: Contemplations on Software” opens at Upstream Gallery in Amsterdam, examining digital media through “the carrier and reality that holds it.” JPEG (2023), for example, is a series of algorithmic images that fully express the signature compression; Broken Images (2023) foregrounds the volatility of digital assets by minting broken links as NFTs, and Scrollbars (image)—a Leegte classic—presents obsolete interface elements as sculptural and cultural debris.

The public mint for Social Contracts, an Ethereum wallet network visualization by Turkish artist Burak Arikan closes. In all, 899 editions were minted by NFT collectors who were curious to see what their purchase history reveals about their nearest neighbours on the blockchain. Built by Arikan using his Graph Commons platform, the token visualizes connections between the owner and other collectors, predicts future NFT acquisitions, and evolves with each purchase and transfer of ownership.

“The food banks in New York were in serious trouble due to food scarcity. And then all the while, people were focusing on this super rare digital object.”
– Automation artist Dmitri Cherniak, on the furor around Dead Ringers (2022), which sent NFTs to random Ethereum addresses rather than making them available to rabid collectors. Chatting with Jason Bailey, the Canadian artist shares that (some of) his works are a “a response to people treating me like an object or a way to make money.”

Completing the NFT-release-to-exhibition trajectory in just six months, Tyler Hobbs’ “QQL: Analogs” opens at Pace New York. The American artist describes his solo show as “an examination of ways to integrate the hand and the machine in painting,” and explores the texture and imperfections introduced when using oil and acrylic paint to plot selected outputs of his eponymous circle packing algorithm. Closing the loop, each of the 12 large paintings on sale are bundled with the NFT used to generate it (e.g.)

Generative art NFT platform fxhash announces a new feature that “enables collectors to collaborate in the creative process.” Entitled fx(params), the functionality allows artists to designate certain parameters (e.g. colour, geometry, velocity) within their code as adjustable for primary market buyers. Instead of leaving an NFT’s appearance entirely to chance, the collector can tweak the artist’s system to their liking before minting their copy (image: fx(params) interface for 1mpo$ter’s Smash, 2023).


“Chain Reaction,” a collection of NFTs curated by Christiane Paul, is released on Feral File. Artists including Stephanie Dinkins, Sara Ludy, and Jennifer & Kevin McCoy contribute NFTs that probe the “social, aesthetic, and environmental contexts and networks in which these assets are embedded.” Ira Greenberg & Marina Zurkow’s The Dorises (image, 2023), for example, takes the programmable rarity associated with the medium, and uses it to generate weird oyster physiology and lore.

Omar Kholeif
Showcasing key works from Lawrence Abu Hamdan, Lynn Hershman Leeson, Nam June Paik, Heather Phillipson, Wu Tsang, and other innovators, author and curator Omar Kholeif traces the history of internet art, from the emergence of browser-based experiments to the dawn of NFTs.

“Value Flows,” a pop-up show curated by the decentralized JPG community opens as part of NFT Paris. Artists including Kim Asendorf, Dmitri Cherniak, Deafbeef, Simon Denny & Guile Twardowski, and Sarah Friend contribute works revealing the “on-chain transactions and mechanisms, or off-chain interactions between humans, that live at the core of every blockchain system.” Rippling with DIY energy, it juxtaposes ad-hoc pyramids of analogue displays (image) with the backdrop of a bustling trade show.

“Creators will gradually stop maintaining and perfecting their existing collections, and instead be forced to focus on always dropping new things.”
– Conceptual artist Harm van den Dorpel, explaining the dramatic impact (leading NFT marketplace) OpenSea’s decision to make artist royalties optional would have on creators. “I used to employ multiple programmers to maintain projects on a daily basis,” he adds, describing how that vital income stream funded the ongoing preservation of his NFT projects.
“A right-wing talking point is often that the Centre Pompidou should be self-funded by selling its collection—and now they are no longer able.”
– Swedish artist Jonas Lund, rejoicing at the politics of the museum’s acquisition of his NFT artwork Smart Burn Contract – Hoarder (2021). Part of a series of contractual agreements, Hoarder prohibits the owner from ever selling any works in their collection. If the agreement is broken, Lund will destroy the piece by burning the NFT and thus removing it from the museum’s wallet. [quote edited]

Paris’ Centre Pompidou adds 18 NFTs from 13 artists including aaajiao, John Gerrard, Larva Labs, Jonas Lund (image: Smart Burn Contract – Hoarder, 2021), Sarah Meyohas, Jill Magid, and Rafaël Rozendaal to its collection. “The acquisition is deeply rooted in a genealogy of dematerialization,” curators Marcella Lista and Philippe Bettinelli say about continuing the museum’s new media tradition. “It offers a unique reflection on the crypto ecosystem and its impact on the artwork, the author, the collection, and the public.”

Rhea Myers’ solo exhibition “The Ego, and It’s 0wned” opens at Nagel Draxler’s Crypto Kiosk in Berlin, offering blockchain-based “symbolic forms” that ponder property, representation, identity, and secrecy. In the titular piece (2023), for example, the British artist and hacker tokenizes her brain wave recordings while Type Opposite Images (2023, image) reverses colourful Vaporwave tropes. Also on view: new NFT editions of iconic Ethereum works that Myers created in 2014.

“No currency, no collectors, no cashing out. Just having fun swapping and chatting about work that we made and loved.”
Kyle McDonald, on the joys of trading digital art before the NFT boom. In 2019, McDonald and a few dozen peers joined a2p, a speculative blockchain-based exchange run by artists Casey Reas, Addie Wagenknecht, Rick Silva, and exonemo. “It’s an artist-to-artist system to build and curate a collection,” Reas wrote in the platform’s brief. “It’s a performance, but also a way to think about what happens to the work after it’s made.”
“It almost doesn’t matter what the market is doing … if crypto’s down—great—everything’s on sale.”
– Pseudonymous NFT collector and Waiting To Be Signed co-host Trinity, opining that as the “generative art community starts to separate itself from Web3,” the Tezos NFT ecosystem will flourish (“because it’s such a non-financialized chain”)
“This commitment, for the first time perhaps, meaningfully positions artworks that engage with NFTs amidst the rigorous art history that preceded them.”
– Writer and curator Eileen Isagon Skyers, praising the recent “Peer to Peer” NFT exhibition on Feral File. Curated by Buffalo AKG Art Museum curator Tina Rivers Ryan, the show features new works by 13 key blockchain artists working in response to their ‘peers’—Homer, Magritte, Rothko—in the museum’s collection.
“Metaverse homeowners associations. Metaverse building permit red tape. Metaverse NIMBYs. Metaverse property liens. Metaverse neighbourhood watch.”
– Software engineer and Web3 watchdog Molly White, anticipating “other horrific parts of the system of homeownership get recreated virtually” after Decentraland announced it now allows land owners to rent out property
Metalabel x co—matter
After the Creator Economy
A physical and digital zine with contributors including Amber Case, Kei Kreutler, and Mat Dryhurst exploring new ways to produce, distribute, and monetize creative work online
“It’s in our DNA to acquire paintings when the paint is still drying—acquire contemporary art when it is contemporary. That continues here: we’re exploring what work a museum can do in the blockchain space right now.”
– Buffalo AKG Art Museum Curator Tina Rivers Ryan, in conversation with Simon Denny, Sarah Friend, and Rhea Myers to mark the launch of “Peer to Peer,“ an NFT exhibition co-presented with Feral File
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