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Newsticker, link list, time machine: HOLO.mg/stream logs emerging trajectories in art, science, technology, and culture––every day

“GEN/GEN: Generative Generations,” a generative art survey linking practitioners past and present, opens at Gazelli Art House London. Artists including Sougwen Chung, Licia He, Tyler Hobbs, Rhea Myers, Piter Pasma, Melissa Wiederrecht, and Stephen Willats contribute prints, plots, screen-based works, and NFTs. Multi-generational, visitors can take in 1980s paintings by Harold Cohen’s prescient AARON program in one glance and Brendan Dawes’ sculpture You, Me And The Machine (2022), the next.

“The Haring NFTs demonstrate that the smart contract can be a flexible tool, using metadata and code to accommodate the various needs and contexts of digital art.”
Outland’s Brian Droitcour, on Web3 developers Digital Practice setting a new standard for the blockchain-based sale and preservation of historical digital art. Having learned from the 2021 Warhol NFT controversy, the forthcoming NFTs of Keith Haring’s Amiga drawings “offer both flexibility and fidelity, encompassing files suitable for display on today’s screens as well as a faithful replica of the original pixels in contemporary code.”
“The Amiga drawings are significant because they were created at the dawn of the consumer computer age. Even then, Keith knew that computers were going to be important to people’s lives as their capabilities continued to advance.”
– Gil Vazquez, executive director and president of Keith Haring Foundation, on the forthcoming Christie’s NFT auction of the pop art icon’s pixelations from the late 1980s. “Long stored on floppy disks, the drawings had never seen the light of day—until now,” Artnet’s Min Chen writes.

“Exploring the Decentralized Web – Art on the Blockchain” opens at Basel’s HEK (House of Electronic Arts), concluding the institution’s recent excursion into Web3. HEK’s Sabine Himmelbach and Boris Magrini gather some of crypto art’s finest including Simon Denny, Mario Klingemann & Botto, Sarah Friend, Chloé Michel, Rhea Myers, Operator, Lukas Truniger and others, to lay bare the politics and potentials of the metaverse. Of note: Kyle McDonald’s Amends (2022), a potent eco-critical work that’s on view for the very first time.

“Today’s sentence should serve as a warning to other corporate insiders that insider trading—in any marketplace—will not be tolerated.”
– Southern District of New York Attorney Damian Williams, on former OpenSea executive Nathanial Chastain’s sentencing of three years probation, the forfeiture of his ill-gotten gains, and a hefty fine as the first person convicted for digital asset insider trading. During the 2021 crypto boom, Chastain bought NFTs scheduled to be featured on OpenSea—and sold them for 200-500% profit when they were.

Generative art NFT platform fxhash announces a $5 million seed raise with venture capital firms and angel investors including Tezos Foundation, PunkVenturesDAO, Casey Reas, and thefunnyguys (Le Random). The funds will be used to hire more team members, support development of a 2.0 release (integrating Ethereum) and tools for art institutions, and bolster the platform’s mission of “empowering anyone, anywhere, to artistically express themselves with code,” they tweet (image: Zancan Garden, Monoliths, 2021).


Showcasing work spanning video and print, Zach Lieberman’s solo exhibition “Studies in Color, Light and Geometry” opens at Cromwell Place in London. Organized by the Verse NFT platform alongside several digital editions, it presents a selection of the American artist’s polychromatic horizontal banding and reflection studies. Nodding to precedents László Moholy-Nagy and Abraham Palatnik, it encapsulates the “geometry, animation, gesture, and graphic forms” at play in Lieberman’s steady stream of daily code sketches.

What Just Happened?:
Burak Arikan Maps Power Structures, Financial Flows, and Networks of Influence

The New York-based artist discusses the collector ecosystem revealed by his ‘meta NFT’ Social Contracts (2023) and the evolution of peer-to-peer economies

“Unlike traditional artists, I think generative artists operate a lot more, structurally speaking, like musicians. When a musician releases new music, they have tour tickets, which are somewhat reasonably priced and fans can feel like they’re directly supporting the artist.”
– Digital artist Maya Man, on how NFT releases (in the hundreds or thousands) facilitate more “expansive” artist-collector relationships than limited editions aimed at a few wealthy collectors

In anticipation of a July platform refresh, “FF1” opens on Feral File. Founding curator Casey Reas selects a memorable piece from each of the 33 shows mounted on the marketplace since its (pre-NFT boom) origins as a 2019 social experiment. Featured are Morehshin Allahyari, Kim Asendorf, Claudia Hart, p1xelfool (image: 3 + 2 * 11, 2022), Rafaël Rozendaal, and many others. “This is the end of the beginning and we’re ready to keep it moving,” writes Reas.

“The Goose looks like nothing in the collection and however many times you would have run the algorithm before or afterwards, you would not expect to replicate it.”
– Pseudonymous digital art collector 6529, contextualizing his $6.2M purchase of Dmitri Cherniak‘s NFT Ringers #879 (The Goose) in a Sotheby’s auction

Ringers #879 (The Goose), from Canadian artist Dmitri Cherniak’s 2021 Art Blocks NFT series, is sold at a Sotheby’s London auction for $6.2M. The sale to collector 6529 completes an ‘only in crypto’ journey, as the NFT was amongst the liquidated assets of collapsed crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital. ‘The Goose’ is perhaps Ringers most beloved output, for the avian neck, beak, and eye that serendipitously peeks out from an algorithmic exploration of the myriad ways to wrap pegs with string.

“I’m so grateful that the AI revolution came along if for no other reason than that it showed us what it looks like when consumers actually get excited about something. It truly revealed that the crypto story was about 98% hype.”
– Tech columnist Casey Newton, chiding crypto boosters who keep saying that ‘it’s time to build!’ “There is not one crypto product to my knowledge that has, say, 100 million users,” Newton vents. “Meanwhile, ChatGPT comes along and gets 100 million users, allegedly, within the first couple of months or so.”

Basel’s House of Electronic Arts (HEK) opens “Collective Worldbuilding,” an international group exhibition of “Art in the Metaverse.” 16 artists including Ian Cheng, Simon Denny, Sarah Friend, Holly Herndon, LaTurbo Avedon, Jonas Lund, and Omsk Social Club explore how—or if—a decentralized internet advances self-determination. In her new video piece Untitled (2023, image), for example, Friend explores market edge cases and identity boundaries with NSFW (not safe for work) AI images fine-tuned on herself.

“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.
Christiane Paul
Digital Art (World of Art)
The forth edition of the digital art curator’s acclaimed 2003 survey includes recent developments like AI, augmented and mixed realities, and NFTs (and features pioneer Caudia Hart on the cover).

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.”
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