Digital Art Language
The development of digital painting has gone through 20 years from mouse painting, to professional hardware painting, and to today’s digital integrated modeling. The current stage of development is very mature. The vast majority of effects that can be imagined can be achieved with a wide range of software and ideas.
Yet the sudden advancement of art technology has not translated into sufficient nourishment for contemporary art. This is a pity. Especially at a time in history when contemporary art is faced with the dilemma of feeling innovation and value innovation.
The Digital Library of Babel will make extensive use of techniques that are not available in easel painting, rather than just using PS and hand-painted panels instead of brushes and canvases. These techniques include, but are not limited to, digital collage, algorithmic filters, AI-assisted imaging, and 3D technology. The process of visually recreating the Library of Babel, i.e., the process of finding a unique aesthetic taste for digital modeling.
– Wang Xing, “Digital Library of Babel White Paper” 11
Is encrypted art merely a formal update of “classical” art? Or does it introduce new technical tools and possibilities for art? I have always been curious about this question. Besides the “techniques that are not available for easel painting” that Wang Xing mentions in “The Library of Babel,” what else is unique to crypto art?
Shortly after the launch of Golden Legend 1, a user named Cat Paradise created an NFT called Random Cat Card 7. The difference between this NFT and other NFTs before it is that the NFT links to a server that returns different images at random, rather than a specific image. If you have this NFT, you will see a different cat every time you open the cat card to enjoy it.
Although the format does not escape the “randomly played photo album”, the random cat card is an interesting attempt to combine images with technology. web uri links and a server that returns random images, together with the NFT meta information written on the blockchain, make a dynamic work. From there, it seemed like we could create something more interesting. So after the random cat and cat card, there was also This Person Does Not Exist 11 and some ideas about NFTs 11.
And maybe even more fun.
The blockchain (especially the PoW chain) is itself an arrow of time 2, and by combining time with rules, we can create works that grow on their own. Metacellular automata 7, for example, is one such game that is entirely defined by initial rules and time. We can first implement a meta-automaton engine, write specific rules when creating an NFT, and start with the block created by the NFT, evolving one step with each new block, and keep watching the work to see a world evolving.
Game of Life is a zero player game. If we then introduce the randomness of the blockchain (e.g. block hash) into the work, we can turn any 1-player game into a work. For example, we can define a generation function with block hash as input, and the function uses block hash as a random seed to output the direction and length of the next N steps of the LOGO 2 turtle, and the block hash at the time of NFT creation determines what this work will look like. generates a different piece of artwork. It is also possible to have the work rendered according to the block hash of the current highest block, producing an ever-changing work. More complex works can be generated by combining blockchain random numbers with the more sophisticated Algorithmic art 4 engine.
The above is an entirely algorithmically generated work. We can also combine on-chain randomness with human creation to produce a dynamic GIF, where the crypto-artist sets the frame and tone of the work, and the algorithm and blockchain fill in the details. We can also extend the rendering engine from visual to aural, producing music composed by the composer and the blockchain together.
(Artwork from James R. Eads & Chris Mcdaniel 2)
Taking this a step further, we can also introduce smart contracts, which allow users to interact with the creator and the work, forming a community to create an evolving work. Each person can leave a mark on the work, and each person can be part of the work. Will the work become the conscious or unconscious embodiment of the group?
All these new possibilities are possible with CKB. The rendering engine can be placed in a separate Cell referenced by the NFT Cell, which specifies the engine to be used and the rendering algorithm, and the rendering engine can use the randomness and other contextual information provided by the blockchain. Each such NFT Cell is a unit containing all the information about the work, and any client capable of running a rendering engine and understanding the NFT standard will be able to render the work.
Will these new presentation techniques become mandatory for crypto artists? Will these works, which can be passed down forever and have a sense of time and life, become the most valuable crypto artworks? I am looking forward to the day when they appear.
Such an NFT, with its information completely on the chain and tied to the chain, will be a true Crypto Native Art . The meaning of Native/Native is that the work not only exists completely on the chain, but its uniqueness/uniqueness is guaranteed by the chain and cannot be copied. The unrepeatable part is that the work introduces the randomness of the chain, which is unpredictable and unrepeatable. Even the original author has no way to create a copy.