GOLD by Crashblossom

GOLD: The making of a dynamic blockchain art series by James Bloom

October 2022

My social media timeline is full of commentary on art versus the market. Money in the NFT market is moving so fast, yet many artists feel drowned by this activity. I might be able to address this by making a series of artworks that are composed dynamically in response to trades and other on-chain collector behaviour. By making a series where the art itself is subsumed by its own market, maybe I can reflect back something of cultural value. The basic concept of GOLD is born.

 

November 2022

Fingerprints DAO get in touch. Great news! They love my last series BURNER and ask if I want to release a collection with them. I’m a big fan of what they do, so we arrange a call and I tell them my idea. We start talking to solidity devs and I work on the imagery, with the premise that each artwork will change to make numerous different artistic scenes. At any time, the composition reacts to the on-chain actions of collectors. It’s a very nebulous idea at this point. I just keep working until something gels visually.

 

December 2022

Frustrated. I can’t find a developer in the NFT community that really gets my idea or knows how to execute it. I bring in 0xggiv, a coder and creator I’ve known for years. We use code to animate my imagery around the frame. We have many late-night conversations discussing how composition and movement can relate to market activity. Although the imagery is far from finished and the code is basic, the idea starts to take shape in front of us. It’s reassuring to know my thoughts can actually translate to reality.

 

January 2023

Making dynamic art is a slow and iterative process. Seeing the compositions in motion inspires me to create new imagery, adjust the layouts and try new colour schemes. Many versions of the code are written as I swap imagery and functionality back and forth, until it makes sense. Luckily, 0xggiv seems to enjoy this long and iterative process as much as I do, contributing his own ideas as well as solving the problems I create. Developers like him are literally worth their weight in gold.

 

February 2023

Ordinals are everywhere I look. 100% on-chain NFTs on the Bitcoin blockchain. I’m already a fan of Bitcoin NFTs, especially Rare Pepes, so creating a dynamic collection on BTC while ordinals are still nascent is very tempting. I come up with RECALL, a series of dynamic ordinals that respond to the Bitcoin mempool, the waiting room for transactions. For a viewer to see all the dynamic variations RECALL is capable of, they must leave the artwork open for hours, days, weeks, in a kind of controlled waiting game. We complete RECALL in one month and the 77 artworks sell out immediately.

 

March 2023

GOLD. That will be the name of the new series. It makes sense. Besides the focus on the market, the compositions have an uncanny ability to evoke the feeling of catching a glimpse of something seen, like light touching a building at golden hour. The artworks are ambiguous. Forms and scenes emerge then disappear dynamically. The concept, imagery and code are starting to feel as one.

 

April 2023

Fingerprints introduce me to 0xjj – a great solidity dev – and we link the javascript code we already have to the Ethereum Virtual Machine. We hit brick wall after brick wall. It’s one of the most frustrating things about working in a new medium, but no point getting dragged down. Some of the time we’re able to draw from precedents, or get advice from on-chain innovators like ChainLeft, TheDude and Tokenfox. But a lot of the time there is no precedent for what we’re doing. We just have to invent it ourselves. Long late night discussions pay off and we manage to break through those walls.

 

May 2023

Testing. Bug fixing. Testing. Bug fixing. I can’t really do justice here to the amount of work we did in this month, but it’s the most intense period of technical development of the series. Blood, sweat and tears are shed, but by the end we have a working Testnet version deployed. The feeling of seeing the GOLD pieces react live to sales, transfers and other market activity on the chain is genuinely magical. This is an art series that does things never seen before.

 

June 2023

With the help of the Fingerprints team we get the website up and prepare for launch. It’s nerve-racking as we approach launch day. I’m getting little sleep and exercising to keep my mind off it. The GOLD sale lasts one and a half hours and it mints out at a respectable price given we’re in an NFT ‘bear’. After launch there’s a lot of secondary market trading and the artworks are in a state of high activity for many days.

 

July 2023

The series is out but the work isn’t over. My social media timeline and DMs are crazy. After a few weeks it calms a little and the fun begins. I post about market activity as it happens. The performance element of GOLD takes shape. Collectors and their behaviour are part of the artwork – their actions are tracked and made visible in each piece. GOLD is doing what it was designed for: making the market visible within the art itself.

 

To learn more about GOLD visit https://www.making.gold/

 

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