Man and Machine: Generative Art, Featuring Radarboy3000

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The article is available in Tagalog and English

Generative art is a category that is gathering pace in the Tezos ecosystem with many popular artists leading the charge in this new realm.

Last 28 September, 4-5 PM, TZ APAC presented a lecture by leading generative artist and organizer of Crypto Art Week Asia 2022, radarboy3000.

What is generative art?

In generative art, humans rely on autonomous systems (e.g. software, AI, machines, or natural language rules) to create artwork.

One of the earliest examples of generative art was a musical game created by the famous composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in 1972. In this game, fragments of music were randomly picked from dice rolls, which were then joined together to complete the piece.

Here are some key principles of generative art:

Collaboration between man and machine

Generative art is about a partnership between two parties – the human artist and the system. It isn’t about replacing the human element, but rather about creating synergy between human creativity and automated efficiency.

While generative artists aren’t the ones holding the brushes, they create the code and work with the system to create masterful pieces. Through the input of code, prompts, and instructions, artists passionately communicate their inspiration, emotions, and desires through shapes and colors. This is a skill on its own — the degree of skill reflects the quality of the output. In fact, AI developer/NFT artist CS Lim firmly believes that for the best results, the designer and user of AI for artistic endeavors should be the same person.

Further, despite all that machines can do, they cannot fully replicate the human sense of aesthetic judgment, philosophy, and emotions. For that, you need a human to be the conductor, guiding it with creative vision.

Autonomy must be involved

Generative art requires some degree of autonomy from the system. This is also known as “randomness”.

When creating the generative code, artists set the parameters of randomness – the set of variables (what colors, thickness of lines, number of circles) that determines the final product. This is usually done through algorithmic functions.

With NFTs, the ones with rare traits are highly valued. Collectors all hope to get rare pieces – this randomness is part of what makes the game so exciting.

CryptoPunks, the first historically significant NFT project, was born out of a generative algorithm by Larva Labs. 10,000 NFTs were generated, every single one unique with a combination of random attributes like hair, color, and species.

CryptoPunks “OG” collector Snowfro was inspired to start Art Blocks, the first platform solely focused on generative blockchain art. The first generative art project launched there was Chromie Squiggles, which successfully proved that generating tens of thousands of non-identical outputs was possible.

Smart contracts are a great tool for making generative art. Essentially, actions are triggered upon hitting certain conditions. For example, when minting an NFT, the transaction hash itself may act as the random condition upon which NFT traits are selected. Since then, it has become increasingly popular for artists to make generative art on blockchain – through smart contracts, instead of algorithms.

However, veteran generative artist and teacher at MIT Media Lab Zach Lieberman point out a barrier commonly faced by artists – the cost of minting an NFT on Ethereum. However, he also notes that “many in the generative art community have turned to the Tezos blockchain for lower-cost experimentation”.

On Tezos, the open platform fxhash was created with the philosophy of being accessible to all artists, with no curation nor gatekeeping. Artists publish Generative Tokens (GT), stored on the Tezos chain. When collectors mint the GT, the minting transaction generates a unique hash that acts as a seed alongside the original GT, creating a completely unique piece of generative artwork as an NFT.

For artists or collectors interested in generative art, come find out more from experienced generative artist radarboy3000 on 28 September. He will also cover how to mint a generative NFT on fxhash.

Who is radarboy3000?

radarboy300, also known as George Galanakis, is a well-known generative artist with an incredible body of work in the NFT space. He describes himself as a crypto artist, creative hacker, and techno utopianist. Living in Singapore, he’s also the organizer of Crypto Art Week Asia 2022.

Since young, George has always been attracted to code and computer graphics. Starting his career in experimental new media design, he soon became an award-winning designer and disc/video jockey. While success in the advertising industry naturally followed him, George’s nature dictated that he would be drawn to more experimental work like data/generative art and sound, and motion reactive graphics.

“I never really fit, being this weird hybrid artist, technologist (before there was a thing called a creative technologist), I don’t think they ever knew what to do with me.”

In order to push himself and further explore the world he loved, George started the practice of coding daily, building his own Javascript library. The process of creatively coding artwork every day has truly allowed George to find his own monochromatic minimalistic style and vibe that his fans enjoy today.

In 2020, George discovered crypto and unsurprisingly dove in head first.

“Although I was still comparatively early, I was annoyed with myself that I hadn’t paid closer attention to what was going on and jumped in sooner. I’ve always loved tech and art, so it felt like this new crypto art world was made for me.”

George’s work and NFTs are inspired by the aesthetics of dance music culture, 80’s computer graphics, and early generative artists. Of course, for George, NFTs are more than just a trend or artistic medium.

“I think of myself as a creative hacker and a techno-utopianist, so my work always has an element of that in it.”

“For me, my interest has always been in crypto art, which is different from NFTs. Crypto art is a techno-utopian art movement that’s using technology as an integral part of the art.

Crypto art is already paving the roads to an ideal society – it enables us to think in new ways, imagine, and build new realities. NFTs have enabled an art explosion never before seen in the history of the world.

Art, culture, and freedom are heavily interlinked. More art means more-vibrant sub-cultures, free-er societies, and more social justice. Some may look at art and think it’s trivial. But artists define civilizations and artists imagine our future into reality. So, really, there’s nothing more important than art.

While wild NFT speculation in the bull market has polluted the movement, NFTs have given so many people a creative outlet and given a whole new generation a new love and appreciation for art. Now, everyone can collect – and most people have collected more art in the last year than in their entire lives. This is amazing.”

Being the maverick that he is, one of George’s art projects is to hack and disrupt art itself. He decided to create a community of like-minded artists who shared a similar goal of bubbling up weirdness and brilliance and supporting each other to grow. This was the path to the creation of Crypto Art Week Asia, which George is convinced will blow people away by the sheer amount of talent taking part.

“I hope visitors to CAWA can take away that art can be experienced, which is what CAWA is all about. The movement has evolved and matured, and so has the talent in Asia.

Art and music will forever be intertwined, and experience design and AV performances are the future. As I mentioned previously, the NFT bubble helped a lot of artists but also did some harm in terms of perception. So, most importantly, I hope people come away with a new love and appreciation for this new form of art and the artists. And I especially hope they have a good time. We have over 150 artists, dancers, musicians, DJs, performers, and more. This is not your usual art show!”


Tagalog

Ang Generative Art ay isang kategorya na nakakakuha ngayon ng atensyon sa Tezos ecosystem na may maraming sikat na mga artist na nangunguna sa bagong mundong ito,

Ngayong September 28, ika-4 hanggang ika-5 ng hapon, ipepresenta ng TZ APAC ang isang lecture na pangungunahan ng nangungunang generative artist at organizer ng Crypto Art Week Asia 2022 na si radarboy3000.

Ano ang Generative Art?

Sa generative art, ang mga tao ay umaasa sa mga autonomous systems (hal. Software, AI, machines, o natural language rules) para makabuo ng isang artwork.

Ang isa sa pinakaunang halimbawa ng generative art ay isang musical game na nilikha ng sikat na composer na si Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart noong 1972. Sa larong ito, ang mga bahagi ng kanta ay random na mapipili mula sa pagrolyo ng dice, kung saan ang mga ito ay pagsasamahin upang makabuo ng isang piyesa.

Ito ang ilan sa mga key principle ng generative art:

Kolaborasyon sa pagitan ng tao at ng makina

Ang generative art ay tungkol sa kolaborasyon sa pagitan ng dalawang partido – ang taong artist at ang sistema. Hindi ito usapin para palitan ang elemento ng tao, pero ito ay tungkol sa paglikha ng sinerhiya sa pagitan ng pagkamalikhain ng tao at ng eficiency na makukuha sa automation.

Samantalang ang mga generative artists ay hindi mismo humahawak ng paint brush, sila naman ang lumilikha sa code at tumatrabaho sa sistema upang makabuo ng isang malikhaing piyesa. Sa pamamagitan ng pag-input ng code, prompts, at instructions, marubdob na naipapabatid ng artist ang kanilang inspirasyon, emosyon, at pagnanais sa pamamagitan ng hugis at kulay. Ito ay isang natatanging kakayahan – ang lebel ng kakayahan ay sumsalamin sa kalidad ng output. Sa katunayan, naniniwala ang AI developer at NFT artist na si CS Lim na para makakuha ng pinakamahusay na resulta, ang designer at user ng AI para sa kanilang artistic endeavors ay dapat iisang tao lamang.

Dagdag pa rito, sa kabila ng lahat na kayang gawin ng makina, hindi nila kayang ireplika ang human sense ng aesthetic judgement, philosophy, at emotions. Para dito, kailangan mo ng tao para magsilbing tagakumpas, na gagabay rito nang may malikhaing pananaw. 

May awtonomiya dapat

Ang generative art ay nangangailangan ng ilang degree ng awtonomiya mula sa sistema. Ito ay kilala rin sa tawag na “randomness.”

Kapag gumagawa ng generative code, sineset ng mga artist ang mga parameter ng randomness – ang set ng variables (kung anong kulay, kapal ng linya, at bilang ng bilog) na tutukoy sa final product. Ito ay kadalasang ginagawa sa pamamagitan ng algorithmic functions.

Sa pamamagitan ng NFT, ang ilan na may pambihirang katangian ang siyang may mas mataas na halaga. Ang mga collector ay naghahangad na makakuha ng mga pambihirang piyesang ito – ang randomness ay isa sa mga salik na nagpapa-excite sa larong ito.

Ano ang koneksyon sa pagitan ng generative art at ng NFT?

Ang CryptoPunks, ang kauna-unahang NFT project na may kahalagahang pangkasaysayan, ay nalikha mula sa isang algorithm na ginawa ng Larva Labs. 10,000 mga NFT ang na-generate, ang bawat isa ay kakaiba na may kombinasyon ng random na mga katangian tulad ng buhok, kulay at lahi. 

Ang CryptoPunks “OG” collector na si Snowfro ay nabigyang inspirasyon na simulan ang Art Blocks, ang unang platfrom na tanging nakapokus sa generative blokckhain art. Ang unang generative art project na nailunsad dito ay ang Chrome Squiggles, na siya namang nagpatunay na ang pag-generate ng libo-libong mga non-identical outputs ay posible.

Ang smart contracts ay isang magandang kasangkapan upang makabuo ng generative art. Sa esensya, ang mga aksyon ay nati-trigger kapag natatamaan ang ilang partikular na conditions. Halimbawa, kapag nagmimint ng NFT, ang transaction hash mismo ay maaaring magsilbing random condition na siyang pagbabasehan sa pagpili ng NFT trait. Simula noon, naging mas popular na para sa mga artists ang generative art sa blockchain – sa pamamagitan na rin ng smart contracts, imbis na algorithms.

Gayunpaman, tinukoy ng  beteranong generative artist at guro sa MIT Media Lab na si Zach Lieberman ang isang hadlang na madalas nararanasan ng mga artists –  ang halaga ng pagmint ng isang NFT sa Ethereum. Gayunpaman, sinabi rin niya na “many in the generative art community have turned to the Tezos blockchain for lower-cost experimentation.” (Marami nang nasa generative art community ang lumipat na sa Tezos blockchain dahil sa mababang halaga ng experimentation.)

Sa Tezos, ang open platform na fxhash ay nilikhang na bukas para sa lahat ng arists, nang walang curation o gatekeeping. Ang mga artist ay nagpapublish ng Generative Tokens (GT), na nakaimbak sa Tezos chain. Kapag magmimint ng GT ang mga collector, ang minting transaction ay nag-gegenerate ng isang natatanging hash na nagsisilbing isang seed kasama ang orihinal na GT, na siyang lilikha sa isang natatanging piraso ng generative artwork bilang isang NFT. 

Para sa mga artist o collectors na interesado sa generative art, halina’t tuklasin pa ang maramig bagay mula sa mga karanasan ng generative artist na si radarboy3000 sa darating na September 28. Tatalakakayin din niya ang paraan kung paano magmint ng isang generative NFT sa fxhash.

Sino si radarboy3000?

Si radarboy3000, kilala rin bilang si George Galanakis, ay isang sikat na generative artist na may kahanga-hangang mga likha sa NFT space. Inilalarawan niya ang kaniyang sarili bilang isang crypto artist, creative hacker, at techno utopianist. Nakatira sa Singapore, siya rin ang naging organizer ng Crypto Art Week Asia 2022.

Simula pagkabata, si George ay dati pang hilig ang pagcode at computer graphics. SInimulan niya ang kaniyang karera sa experimental new media design, at ‘di kalaunan ay naging award-winning designer at disc/video jockey. Habang ang tagumpay sa advertising industry ay natural nang nakasunod sa kaniya, ang kalikasan ni George ang nagdikta sa kaniya na pumunta sa mas eksperimental na trabaho tulad ng data/generative art and sound, at motion reactive graphics.

“I never really fit, being this weird hybrid artist, technologist (before there was a thing called a creative technologist), I don’t think they ever knew what to do with me.” (Hindi talaga ako nababagay, bilang isang weird na hybrd artist, na tawaging technologist (bago nagkaroon ng bagay na tinatawag na creative technologist), Hindi ko naisip na alam nila ang gusto nilang gawin sa akin.)

Para maitulak ang sarili at lalong tuklasin ang mundong kaniyang minahal, sinimulan ni George na magsanay sa pagcode araw-araw, at duamting sa punto na nakabuo siya ng sarili niyang Javascript library. Ang proseso ng malikhaing pagcode ng artwork araw-araw ay nagbigay kakahayan kay George na hanapin ang kaniyang sariling monochromatic minimalistic style at vibe na ngayo’y naeenjoy ng kaniyang fans.

Nitong 2022, nadiskubre ni George ang crypto at kagulat-gulat na pinasok ang mundong ito.

“Although I was still comparatively early, I was annoyed with myself that I hadn’t paid closer attention to what was going on and jumped in sooner. I’ve always loved tech and art, so it felt like this new crypto art world was made for me.” 

(“Kahit pa sabihin nating maaga pa, nabwisit ako sa aking sarili dahil hindi ko masyadong pinagtuunang pansin ang mga nangyayari at pinasok ko ito nang masyadong maaga. Dati ko pang gusto ang tech at sining, kaya naramdaman kong ang bagong crypto art world na ito ay para sa akin.”)

Ang mga likha at NFT ni George ay kumukuha ng inspirasyon mula sa aesthetics ng dance music culture, 80’s computer graphics, at mga naunang generative artist. Siyempre, para kay George, ang NFT ay higt pa sa isang trend o artistic medium lamang.

“I think of myself as a creative hacker and a techno-utopianist, so my work always has an element of that in it.” 

(“Nakikita ko ang aking sarili bilang isang creative hacker at isang techno-utopianist, kaya ang mga gawa ko ay laging mayroong mga elemento nito.”)

“For me, my interest has always been in crypto art, which is different from NFTs. Crypto art is a techno-utopian art movement that’s using technology as an integral part of the art.” 

(“Para sa akin, ang aking interes ay laging nasa crypto art, na iba sa NFT. Ang crypto art ay isang techno-utopian art movement na ginagamit ang teknolohiya bilang integral na bahagi ng sining.”)

“Crypto art is already paving the roads to an ideal society – it enables us to think in new ways, imagine, and build new realities. NFTs have enabled an art explosion never before seen in the history of the world.”

(Binubuksan na ng crypto art ang daan patungo sa isang ideyal na lipunan – pinahihintulutan tayo nitong mag-isip sa mga bagong paraann, mag-imagine, at bumuo ng mga bagong realidad. Pinahintulutan ng NFT ang art explosion na hindi nakita noong sa kasaysayan ng mundo.)

Art, culture, and freedom are heavily interlinked. More art means more-vibrant sub-cultures, free-er societies, and more social justice. Some may look at art and think it’s trivial. But artists define civilizations and artists imagine our future into reality. So, really, there’s nothing more important than art. 

(“Ang sining, kultura at kalayaan na labis na magkakaugnay, Ang mas maraming sining ay nangangahulugan ng mas maraming sub-cultures, mas malayang lipunan, at mas maayos na katarungang panlipunan. Maaaring may ilan na tinitignan at iniisip ang sining na trivial lamang. Pero ang mga artist ang nhagpapakahulugan sa mga sibilisasyon at ang mga artist rin ang nag-iimagine sa ating hinaharap para maging isang realidad.”)

“While wild NFT speculation in the bull market has polluted the movement, NFTs have given so many people a creative outlet and given a whole new generation a new love and appreciation for art. Now, everyone can collect – and most people have collected more art in the last year than in their entire lives. This is amazing.” 

(“Habang pinuputakte ang movement ng mga matitinding ispekulasyon sa NFT tungkol sa bull market, nakapagbigay na ang NFT ng isang creative outlet sa maraming tao at nakapagbigay rin ng ng isang buong bagong henerasyon at bagong pag-ibig at pagpapahalaga sa sining. Ngayon, pwede nang mangolekta ang kahit sino – at marami nang tao ang nakapangolekta ng mas maraming sining nitong nakaraang taon lamang kumpara sa buo nilang buhay. Ito ay nakakamangha.”)

Bilang isang maverick at kakaibang tao, ang isa sa proyekto ni George ay ang paghack at pagsira sa sining mismo. Napagdesisyunan niyang bumuo ng isang community ng mga artist na kapareho niya ng pag-iisip at may parehong layunin na pairalin ang weirdness at brilliance at pagsuporta sa bawat isa upang lumago. Ito ang daan patungosa pagkakabuo ng Crypto Art Week Asia, na kung saan nakumbinsi si George na ang kaganapang ito ay  makakapagpapamangha sa mga tao dahil sa dami ng talentong kabahagi dito.

“I hope visitors to CAWA can take away that art can be experienced, which is what CAWA is all about. The movement has evolved and matured, and so has the talent in Asia.” 

(Nawa maiuwi ng mga bisita sa CAWA ang kaisipan na ang sining ay maaaring aranasan, na siyang dahilan kung bakit naitatag ang CAWA. Ang movement ay nag-evolve at mature na, kaya mayroon na itong talento sa Asya.)

“Art and music will forever be intertwined, and experience design and AV performances are the future. As I mentioned previously, the NFT bubble helped a lot of artists but also did some harm in terms of perception. So, most importantly, I hope people come away with a new love and appreciation for this new form of art and the artists. And I especially hope they have a good time. We have over 150 artists, dancers, musicians, DJs, performers, and more. This is not your usual art show!” 

(“Ang sining at musika ay laging magkaugnay, at ang experienc design at AV performance ay ang ating hinaharap. Ayon nga sa nabanggit nitong nakaraan, ang NFT bubble ay nakatulong sa maraming artist ngunit nakapagdala rin ng kapahamakan sa pamamagitan ng persepsyon. Kaya  sana magkaroon ang mga tao ng bagong pag-ibig at pagpapahalaga sa bagong anyo ng sining at mga manlilikha nito. At bukod kong inaasahan na nawa’ymagkaroon sila ng magandang karanasan dito. Mayroon tayo ngayong lagpas sa 150 mga artist, dancer, musikero, DJ, performer at marami pang iba. Hindi ito pangkaraniwang art show lamang!”)

This article is published on BitPinas: Man and Machine: Generative Art, Featuring Radarboy3000

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