I bought my first NFT yesterday. It was from an art collection called Coquina by the artist Jacob Gold. I’m generally still hesitant towards the whole NFT space because I think there is a lot of hype that is purely driven by the desire to get rich quick, but the artblocks project around generative NFT art feels very close to the original spirit of NFTs, owning a piece of digital art that supports the artist (and a good cause with 25% of this piece’s proceeds going to charity).

There’s something special about getting art from these projects because you are participating in the art’s creation the moment you mint each piece. At the moment you commission an item, you and the entropy of the universe are the foundational inputs channeled through the artist’s algorithmic structures and creative logic to form a one-of-a-kind piece.

The way Artblocks works is that an artist creates a collection on the platform where the code for generating each piece of art is committed to the chain so that it can’t change as the minting happens, and can always be recreated even if Artblocks goes down or stops operating. At the moment you mint, a pseudorandom seed along with initial variables like the transaction metadata are input into the preserved code to generate the final asset which is transferred to your wallet.

In the web3 world, where everything is permanent, stored on-chain forever. This chaotic, ephemeral process of creation is especially compelling. It harkens to the instability of the current Internet, how pieces can slip out from under your feet at any time and entire neighborhoods rot and disappear. Through this generative medium, you snapshot a piece of the universe and combine it with an artist’s vision to birth a new permanent work of art. This method offers a space for the user in the final outputβ€”a sort of collaboration between artist and consumer.

I’m curious to see how this space develops to enable more of these moments of collaborative creation of art, something that seems unique to digital art.

This is the 83rd installment in my experiment of publishing raw, lightly edited mini-essays every day towards achieving 100 public pieces. Check out the rationale and the full list here.