The ConstitutionDAO came up in the Fall of 2021 as I was getting back into generative art and experimenting with the NFT space. I had heard about DAOs before, but never participated in one until the ConstitutionDAO. The experience was interesting and exciting. When the auction was lost there was a feeling of disappointment as well. Most of us who participated in the DAO, knew that "technically", we were not going to "own a fraction" of the Constitution *if acquired — but I think a lot of us felt like we were in fact going to be a fractional owner...
In the period shortly after losing the auction, I had been working on experiments with generative art projects. As I was noodling on things, and taking breaks observing chatter in the ConstitutionDAO Discord, I was inspired to work on an art project which could be shared with fellow ConstitutionDAO contributors. And so the generative art collection: Constitution Fractionalized (CFRAC) was born.
The digital copies of the Constitution made available by the National Archives are quite beautiful in their own way — so sampling from them seemed like a good starting point. When thinking of a larger sized generative art collection one of the challenges is to make the individual art pieces unique in their own way, while still feeling like they belong to the larger collection. I decided to take the very simple approach of literally "fractionalizing" copies of the Constitution into pieces and displaying them in a visually "fun" way. Further given that the copies of the Constitution are across 4 pages — sampling all 4 pages allows for the collection to clearly have 4 distinct "types" of NFTs — and collectors may want to collect all 4 pages. Another simple variable to have fun with is the background color — the color palette ranges from “fun” to “serious”.
When thinking through the "visually fun way" to display the fractions I was reminded of Georg Nees' work from the late 60s... He is considered to be one of the founders of generative computer art. An iconic piece, Gravel (Schotter) is a display of the delicate balance between order and disorder — this idea really speaks to me — and translated perfectly with what I wanted to achieve with the Constitution Fractionalized collection. Taking inspiration from this simple algorithm the CFRAC collection adds further variation with tile sizing, density, and the approach in applying the algorithm to the different pages of the Constitution.
As Web3 has matured my curiosity of the technology driving it has increasingly grown. As a developer I was running out of excuses not to dive further into it; now combined with the world of generative art and NFTs I felt a new renaissance was emerging and I needed to be a part of it. So I put my developer hat on and dove in head first into making a dApp minting website and writing an NFT smart contract. It has been a fun learning experience. With this genesis project on Ethereum I decided to generate all the artwork based on unique token IDs and stored on IPFS. As I've learned more about Solidity and what is possible with smart contracts I'm looking forward to experimenting further. I especially appreciate durable, totally on-chain NFT projects which output SVGs as a tokenURI, with no external dependencies like IPFS. I look up to artists like Pak who can turn around a project like Censored for the AssangeDAO in a matter of days from concept to fully functioning viral NFT project. Sorry ConstitutionDAO, this NFT project took a couple of months -- but hey, at least it lives on the blockchain forever!
This collection is offered as a gift to the community borne out of the ConstitutionDAO and can be minted for free. The collection details can be found on https://constitution.y4000.xyz