written by Harry Martin
Happy New Year! Welcome to this week’s VerticalCrypto Art Curatorial Picks! 👋
Hi everyone! Happy New Year ⭐️ and welcome back to another VerticalCrypto Curatorial Pick. This week, we are excited to bring you another four talented creators from the VCA community: Hypereikon, Latent Entropy, Sarah Friend and Mariana Ju.
The topic of this week’s Curatorial Picks is generative mark-making. Generative art has been used extensively in this entry to express a wide array of emotions, revise former art histories and create new living organisms on the blockchain.
Each artist presented below is highly diligent in their generative craft, and so we hope you enjoy learning about their unique materials and processes.
With that being said, let’s begin! 🏁
Artist #1 — Hypereikon ‘🏵️’
Hypereikon is a digital and Crypto Art duo, comprised of artists María Constanza Lobos and Sebastian Rojas from Valdivia, Chile.
Using creative coding, machine learning techniques and sonic mediums, Hypereikon creates surreal, generative artworks. Exploring the spatial dimension of the blockchain, their work searches for post-organic entities and environments inspired by Latin American roots (what they have coined ‘imaginación maquínica’).
Developing a body of illusory artworks, Hypereikon has been minting pieces on Hicetnunc, Foundation and FxHash (under the ‘lilcode’ side project) platforms since February, 2021. They are currently Cohort II residents of the VerticalCrypto Art Residency programme.
‘🏵️’ is a recent HEN creation by Hypereikon, made using what they call ‘artificial imagination’.
Combining CLIP + VQGAN neural network feedback with Latin American iconography, ‘🏵️’ is a looping video depicting an infinite floral illusion. Decadent in its choice of palette (presumably sought from Latin American flowers), ‘🏵️’ is saturated with bold strokes and dancing accents.
‘🏵️’ has been chosen for this week’s Curatorial Pick thanks to its ethereal composition. Utilising imaginación maquínica through uses of GAN technology and flowers, this work is in a constant flux of glittering destruction, transformation and recreation.
In short, Hypereikon’s work is simply delightful. Make sure to pay them due diligence and check it out for yourself! 👇
Artist #2 — Latent Entropy, ‘Florence’ 🖼️
Latent Entropy is an anonymous digital and crypto artist from San Francisco, USA.
Using a pseudonym defined as an unrealised state of disorder, Latent Entropy combines neural network technology with machine-based learning to create surreal digital artworks. Inspired by what appears to be Japanese Nihonga, Entropy feeds images of art to GANs in creating unforeseen compositions.
An emerging figure within the Crypto Art, Latent Entropy has been creating works on Hicetnunc and OpenSea platforms since November, 2021. They are currently a Cohort II resident of the VerticalCrypto Art Residency programme.
‘Florence’ is a late generative piece created by Latent Entropy, minted on Hicetnunc in celebration of HEN500K.
Made using a CLIP + VQGAN AI technique, ‘Florence’ sees Entropy describing Nihonga artwork to a system of machine learning models, rendering an abstract figure and surrounding generative imagery. In the artist’s own words, this technique creates a ‘synthesis between the artist’s ability to compose a compelling text prompt and the machine’s understanding of the human world’.
‘Florence’ has been included in this week’s Curatorial Pick thanks to Entropy’s unique ability to combine past and art histories with machine learning and rejuvenate them with new narratives and fascinating results.
Presenting an image of undefined shapes made with creative utilities of negative space and abstract portraiture, Latent Entropy redefines the imagination behind Nihonga art in the face of developing AI technologies.
Feeling immersed? You haven’t seen Latent Entropy’s larger portfolio yet! Make sure you follow their socials below!
Artist #3 — Sarah Friend, ‘Lifeforms’ 🦠 🧫
Sarah Friend is a crypto artist and software engineer residing in Berlin, Germany.
As one of the earliest developers in the Ethereum ecosystem, Friend is an artist specialising in blockchain technology and the peer-to-peer web. Hosting exhibitions at institutions such as Illingworth Kerr Gallery, Kunstverein in Hamburg and Galerie Nagel Draxler, she is most well known for creating games and interactive experiences.
Friend is a co-curator of Ender Gallery, an artist residency taking place inside Minecraft. She is also the co-founder of Bitspossessed, a co-operative of software developers supporting communities to realise technologically-driven ideas) and is a current resident of the Berlin Program for Artists. Sarah has been creating digital experiences on the blockchain since 2017.
‘Lifeforms’ is Friend’s latest NFT project, minted on the ecologically-friendly Polygon blockchain.
Open to public adoption for ~10 MATIC cryptocurrency, Lifeforms are readily available, non-fungible organisms which exist on the blockchain. Having a finite life expectancy and requiring regular care and treatment, Lifeforms must be transferred to other wallet addresses within 90 days; otherwise, they will die.
After Lifeforms has existed for a prolonged period of time, Friend will present further data related to her decentralised species (such as population and life expectancy) on the official Lifeforms website.
‘Lifeforms’ has been selected for this week’s Curatorial Pick thanks to its interesting take on performative on-chain projects in recent months. Sharing similarities with artworks such as Pak’s ‘Fade’ and Pau Roselló’s/Fragcolour’s generative series, Lifeforms cleverly takes advantage of the blockchain’s ability to hide NFTs from wallets and add new temporal dimensions to artworks.
Sarah Friend is a true innovator and champion of the larger Web3/blockchain community. Visit her channels below! 👇
Artist #4 — Mariana Ju, ‘EᖉᖉOᖉ Ɩ0Ɩ’ 🖥️ 🌎
Mariana Ju is a semi-anonymous 2D and 3D visual crypto artist, architect and baby cyborg residing in the Metaverse.
Reflecting on personal experiences through generative, glitch-based animations, Ju creates autobiographical artworks using various audio samples and analogue digital textures.
As another emerging figure in the Crypto Art space, Ju has been minting artworks on the Hicetnunc platform since September, 2021.
‘EᖉᖉOᖉ Ɩ0Ɩ’ is one of three ‘oddities’ from Mariana’s latest Hicetnunc series, ‘HͪIͤˡ1ˡ0ͦ ʷᵒʳˡᵈ!’ (‘Hello World’): an audio-visual project exploring the various faces of social anxiety through ‘missing file’ errors, unallocated textures and generative animations.
Presenting an endlessly rotating ‘Hello World’ error in front of a static background, ‘EᖉᖉOᖉ Ɩ0Ɩ’ laments on a specific form of social anxiety commonly shared between virtual and physical realms; one that is both restricting and recurring.
‘EᖉᖉOᖉ Ɩ0Ɩ’ has been chosen for this week’s Curatorial Pick thanks to its effective portrayal of stress in digital and physical contexts. The piece’s overlapping and spiralling motion suggests nervousness, met with an itch of fear to the physical world.
Mariana Ju is a hidden gem on HEN. Her abstract works are largely satisfying in their bold and effective use of colour, iconography and generative mark-making. Be sure to check out her work below!👇
That’s a Wrap! 🙏
That’s all for this week, folks! Thank you very much for stopping by; it’s always great to see you. Make sure to tune in next Wednesday for another round of VerticalCrypto Art’s Curatorial Pick. Until then, take care and happy new year! 🎉
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