What is Art Blocks? A guide to the pioneer of the NFT art –
art blocks is an Ethereum-based NFT creation platform where artists can create and sell generative art on demand. Each outlet is unique and buyers usually don’t know exactly what the artwork will look like before they buy it.
This type of programmatic, or generative, art uses algorithmic processes that make artistic creation autonomous. Random factors are introduced into the code so that each work of art is unique.
Artists upload their algorithms to the Art Blocks platform and set the maximum number of editions to mint. In some cases, collectors can choose a style from the options to generate the art. The artwork is minted in existente time on the blockchain as soon as it is purchased, and the result shipped is a randomly generated artwork as an ERC-721 NFT, sent directly to the collector’s wallet.
Known NFT profile picture projects, como Bored Ape Yacht Club o Crypto Punks, they also use the generative art process to randomize the creation of the 10,000 NFTs in their collection.
Some Art Blocks projects include interactive works of art, as in the case of asterisms, while others may be static, as in the case of Archetype.
A brief history of art blocks
Erick Calderon, or Snowfro, launched Art Blocks in November 2020, citing inspiration for the project from his experience claiming Cryptopunks in 2017. Calderón leaned on his understanding of smart contracts and tech experts to manipulate the minting process to acquire the CryptoPunks. with the rarest attributes. (the zombies).
The experience pushed Calderón to explore creating a version of NFT in which the end user had no foresight of the NFT they would receive. Encrypt NFT properties within the code. Seeking to combine provenance with generative production, Snowfro launched the first collection in Art Blocks called the chrome doodle.
This collection combined uniqueness with simplicity. Each of the 10,000 pieces in the Squiggle collection was exactly that: a colorful doodle with different textures and opacities.
In 2021, Art Blocks exceeded $100 million in sales volume, spread over a mundial cojín of more than 9,000 collectors and dealers. His popularity seemed to reach a crescendo in March 2021, with attention magnified by Tyler Hobb’s release of the fidenza collection in Art Blocks. This was around the same time that generative art profile picture projects like Bored Ape Yacht Club also began to pick up steam, overlapping many of the same Art Blocks collectors.
Today, each piece in the Chromie Squiggle collection is now cherished for its historical value and role in the early NFT ecosystem. At the time of writing, the minimum price at OpenSea the market is 6 ETH, and the highest Squiggle sale of all time was Squiggle #3784 for a whopping 750 ETH, or $2.44 million.
Art Blocks 101: How Art Blocks Work
To better understand Art Blocks, it is helpful to know the basics of how NFTs work.
Non-Fungible Tokens, or NFTs, are tokens that are completely unique and valued as such. So, Art Blocks takes control of the features that make a project unique and gives them to an algorithm to generate. Since Art Blocks is based on the Ethereum (ETH) network, all Art Blocks pieces are standard non-fungible tokens that are ERC-721 compliant.
When submitting your code to Art Blocks, the following sequence occurs behind the scenes:
- A random hexadecimal string or seed is created.
- Each element of the seed specifies an attribute of the artwork within parameters that are consistent with the aesthetics of the artwork. For example, the Chrome Squiggle algorithm would not start dropping random emojis in the works, unless that is what the creator specified in the programming.
- Finally, the final product is created. All the variations boil down to what the algorithm returns: one could specify a yellow hue, while one could be green, and so on.
The final NFT could be anything from a 3D model, an interactive experience, or just a static image.
exist three types of projects on the Art Blocks platform.
Cured: These projects include the collections approved by the Art Blocks board of curatorship. They better represent the official vision of the platform. Projects in this category are published in quarterly sets.
Playground: These projects do not undergo an in-depth review process and are more real in nature. Only those artists who have already released curated projects on the platform before can be chosen for Playground projects. It’s a way for Art Blocks to support the artists it already works with to play with new ideas. An artist can only have one active playground project at any given time. To submit a new such project, the artist must first release another curated project.
Factory: This universal collection is open to artists who are not considered for the curated collections. Artists must sell all of their Factory artwork before launching another Factory project on the platform. Artists must also wait two months between project releases.
Art Blocks projects are normally sold as dutch auctions; the price starts at an initial minting price and decreases periodically by a fixed amount until it reaches the lowest price the project will sell for.
The most popular secondary market for ETH-based NFTs is Open sea, and the various Art Blocks are particularly popular.
According to Cryptoslam data, the total sales volume is $1,161,060,106.15 as of January 16, 2022.
Most famous art block projects
The most financially successful Art Blocks project is the Fidenza series created by artist Tyler Hobbs. The collection recorded a historical volume of 42,164,650 ETH on the OpenSea platform, and the artworks regularly sell for more than $200,000. At the time of writing, the minimum price for Fidenze is 76 ETH.
Named after an Italian city, the collection created 999 pieces of generative art inspired by the artworks of abstract expressionist painter Francis Klein. It launched at an initial mint price of 0.17ETH.
Stamps for Dmitri Cherniak is another remarkable project from Art Blocks. Cherniak, a leading figure in generative art circles, explores the concept of wrapping a string around a set of pegs where the algorithm could produce an almost infinite number of combinations. the collection minimal price it is 41 ETH on the OpenSea platform at the time of writing.
The Archetype Project of Kjetil Golid studied how the inclusion of repetition as a counterweight to random structures could cause a sense of intentionality.
Archetype #467 was included in the well-known auction house Christie’s “From post-war to present: NFTs” auction.
Sotheby’s Art Block Auctions
In June 2021, Sotheby’s hosted an auction called “Natively Digital: a Curated NFT Sale / Lot4”. The bundle included 19 carefully selected works of art by Erick Calderon and Jeff Davis from their Art Blocks collections and sold for $81,900.
In December 2021, ten never-before-minted editions of the flamante Chromie Squiggle collection were included in Sotheby’s Metaverse Auction. The collection was found by a buyer for $478,800.
Sotheby’s y Snowfro @ArtOnBlockchain proudly presents an iconic sale for an icon of generative art. Chromie Squiggle: THROW IT! presents a lot of 10 unminted, never-before-seen Cromies Squiggles. Bidding is open until December 13 https://t.co/hZvYIkO3xx pic.twitter.com/9iHcb6rJ3Z
— Metaverso de Sotheby’s (@Sothebysverse) December 6, 2021
Final Thoughts: Why Art Blocks Matter
The Art Blocks platform contributes a lot to the development, reputation and appreciation of generative art because the artists have to accept every exit of the algorithm they create; they cannot simply filter the results and choose the best results to show to the public.
Like the founder Snowfro he said in an interview, art enthusiasts have the opportunity to acquire a small slice of an artist’s soul through their generative art on the platform. He emphasizes that the platform will strive to explore the sense of individuality and accessibility to art in the coming years.
Art Blocks collections are algorithmically sophisticated, aesthetically appealing, and have a pretty high standard for their curated content. Art Blocks experienced a meteoric rise in popularity, evolving from a niche art startup project to something of a blue-chip NFT studio, and has a unique role in block chain art history.