On the evening of July 5th, Beijing time, representatives from Art Pray Love, a digital collection organization dedicated to supporting digital artists in the Z era, attended an online seminar on generative art. The focus of the discussion was on the new definition and value of artists’ works at home and abroad in the context of digital technology, as well as the niche art field derived from the development of blockchain and artificial intelligence – generative art.
“From this moment on, you can have a free generative artwork.” After typing this line, Libertas posted it on her own art website and clicked send on Twitter; her first generative art series “Spectrum of the Miserable World” was officially released.
As an algorithm engineer who likes art, this is the first art series generated by AI on the server, after a half year’s attempt, that combines the context of the Miserable World and her own designed algorithm. It is named Spectrum because different colors appear in each picture and she hopes that people can see light and hope even in difficult situations.
The representatives of Art Pray Love shared that for the first series of Libertas, they did not carry out any publicity, and directly set the price of Mint as free, with a total of 350 completely different artworks. Twenty-four hours after its release, the series was snapped up, and then the trading volume reached nearly 40 ETH, nearly one million RMB. on Opensea, the famous NFT trading website, that was among the top 10 of NFT transactions at that time（https://opensea.io/collection/libertasart). This represents the great potential of generative art as a new market. Art Pray Love will also invest more resources in the future to explore this field with Libertas and more digital artists.
Figure 1: The initial series produced by Libertas, created nearly 40 ETH transaction amounts on the first day on Opensea
The representatives of Art Pray Love also discussed the core topic of this activity with other artists from all over the world, “Does generative art count as art?”. The perspectives included the art of algorithmic encryption, the development and challenges of generative art and the value and connotation of art.
The representative from Art Pray Love believes that NFT, as a non homogeneous token, embodies of the greatest value in the field of art. From Beeple’s 5000 Everday, which sold at auction for $70 million, to Yuga club’s Bored Ape Yacht Club, which is popular all over the world.
In contrast, generative art is a niche, but it is also special because of its niche. Generative art can be regarded as a high combination of artistic creation and technology, and can be understood as a kind of algorithmic art. Artists write code through programming language and output a series of visual results through computer compilation. This process can be directly entered into the code, or after editing the algorithm, it can be handed over to the machine for learning and completed through artificial intelligence.
Figure 2: Bored Ape Yacht Club, which has become the leader in the field of NFT
Compared with traditional art, generative art pays more attention to the creative process and the contingency of works. After algorithm processing, works will produce a variety of representations, and even the creator himself cannot predict its final form. With the development of blockchain, generative artists put their own code on the chain, and buyers can buy the creative process and finished products together. This artistic experience is unprecedented. People can see a variety of generative art series on Art Blocks, the generative art agent platform. Among them, the founder’s own Chromie Squiggles has won the recognition and great success of the market. The properties of each Squiggle are unique, including start color, end color, color diffusion, color direction, height, segment and step between segments.
In the past year encryption art has rapidly developed, more and more generative artists’ names are well known to the public. For example, Pak sold a total of more than 60,000 works, including his “Merge” series released in December 2021, which set a record high for encryption art, reaching $ 90 million. Other well-known generative artists include Tyler Hobbs, Rich Lord, Monica Rizzoli, Piter Pasma, Stefano Contiero, and young artists like Libertas. They express their voice to the society through different works in different styles and attract a variety of buyers. It also opens up more possibilities to new generative artist.
Figure 3: Pak’s experimental NFT project Merge
They also discussed many emerging tools and software in the field of digital art and generative art, which would enable the public to create generative art. The earliest one, Processing, is an open-source software of programming language and development environment. It was born in the Media Laboratory of MIT in 2001, and was specially designed for electronic art and visual interaction. At present, most of the generative art works people see are made with P5.JS, and also serve as a function library, especially suitable for creators. In addition, people can also see different types of design tools, such as Biomes, which can quickly generate three-dimensional cubes, and Mandelbulb 3D (MB3D) for 3D fractal imaging.
If the creative ability and works are produced by tools, can this be defined as “art”? Will art become cheap because of its low-cost creation? The progress of science and technology should be the basis for promoting art to break through the boundary. The value of art should not be evaluated solely based on scarcity and time cost, but should take the ideas given by the creator, as well as the recognition and consensus of the market and the public into consideration. At the same time, generative art is embedded with different degrees of programmed rarity, which also gives collectors unique pleasure and value. APL, Art Pray Love, is one of the new collection institutions emerging in this environment. Its goal is to represent and collect the works of these new generative artists and occupy a place in the new field of digital art.
Figure 4: Art Pray Love, an art collection organization dedicated to supporting digital artists in Z Era
The development of generative art is still in its early stage, so it also faces many challenges. Even with tools, artists’ creative ability is still scarce. In recent months, people can obviously see that Art Block, the generative art platform is actively carrying out various types of publicity, hoping to attract more artists to join the alliance and create more artwork. This also reflects the reality that good art creators and works of art are always scarce. When Libertas’s first series was introduced to the market, in fact, the encryption market was not a bull market. That the works received recognition, to a greater extent, was a result of people’s recognition of the artistic quality and artistic concept of their works. Looking forward to supporting more young artists like Libertas in the future, which will constantly bring surprises to the market.
Figure 5：Spectrum of the Miserable World #18
1. LibertasArt: www.libertasart.io
2. ArtPrayLove: www.artpraylove.io
About the authors
1. Minmin Zeng, Web 3 investor and NFT enthusiast, is a Harvard alum and serial entrepreneur. She now mainly focuses on education and technology investments. She also publishes articles on NFT, metaverse, and Web 3.0.
2. April Yuxin Li, a 10th Grade high school student, and a NFT enthusiast, currently is studying at The Groton School in Massachusetts. She is passionate about modern architectural aesthetics and environmental protection. She won National Silver Medal of Scholastic Art and Writing Awards in 2022.