State of SEEN — Deep Dive #1

Our deep dive series aims to provide in-depth analysis on important trends happening in the NFT space.

This week’s article was written by community contributor @doublewordscore

Seemingly every day, digital artists are finding new and creative ways to express their ideas. The crypto community moves swiftly and its digital artists are no different.

Perhaps the most intriguing recent trend has been generative art, a genre that sits at the intersection of mathematics and aesthetics, and the dichotomy between those contrasting principles is what makes this sector truly fascinating.

Generative artists use algorithms and data structures to populate empty canvases. They typically create automated processes with predefined rulesets that assign certain design specifications to corresponding alphanumeric inputs. This results in unpredictable, complex, and often beautiful collections full of depth and without human interaction. It should come as no surprise that the idea of using math to create art has resonated with the like-minded crypto community.

Through a series of highly popular drops, Art Blocks has become the leading distributor of the generative art scene. Norwegian artist Kjetil Golid dropped his first collection Archetypes on February 27 with incredible demand: the entire 600 piece collection sold out within 3 minutes. The cost of minting each piece was set to 0.2 ETH and “floor” pieces are already trading on the secondary market for over 2.5 ETH.

Archetypes is a project based on the formation and layering of two and three dimensional rectangles with a multitude of patterns and shading techniques. Aesthetically, the pieces range from muted mid century tones to more modern pop art saturation. The cube layout (#213) is among the most sought after traits with only 10 pieces in existence, while corner scenes and frameless pieces are also scarce traits.

There are even a handful of one of one unique color palettes that will appeal to hardcore collectors. The secondary market has been active thus far with heavy trading volume, with Archetype #216 fetching an eyecatching 17 ETH on OpenSea.

Older projects featured on Art Blocks have also seen increased volume this week. Ringers, the ostensibly definitive generative art project created by Dimitri Cherniak, has seen overwhelming demand, with floor pieces costing upwards of 8 ETH, an increase of nearly 90% this week.

Total Ringer secondary sales have passed $1M, an incredible milestone. The Ringers collection highlights geometric dissonance, emphasizes horizontal and vertical spacing, bold primary colors, and a battle against symmetry. Many collectors consider Cherniak to be the technical leader in the space and he is a popular figure within the community and whose consistent ideology regarding generative art serves a manual for others.

He recently tweeted, “My artistic medium is automation. I automate for the sake of opportunity cost, whatever that may be. It’s a reflection of the society I was raised in and the mindset that pigeonholed me from a young age to pursue a technical path instead of art. My art embraces and rebels against these norms at the same time. This is so deeply ingrained in my psyche it is hard to untangle. In fact, I would argue I was programmed this way. Whether I like it or not. Just like generative art.”

Additionally, the Singularity, Ignition, and Color Study collections have also shown increased trading volume on OpenSea recently. The past week alone has seen Art Blocks projects trade for over 2200 ETH in volume, a 156% increase from last week. With more anticipated projects on the horizon, expect generative art to be a major part in the NFT world.

There’s always been an expectation and certain inevitability of connecting the music industry to the NFT scene, but so far, most ideas haven’t been entirely effective. That might have changed with the introduction of Euler Beats, an algorithmically generated rhythmic and percussion based music project created by Treum.

27 original master copies were minted in this first run. However, the project was not limited to those few who were early adopters. Collectors are actually able to buy “prints” of each master, and in return, holders of the original copy receive a 8% commission. It is the first mainstream NFT project that produces cash flow which has drastically changed the dynamics of how people value NFTs.

Furthermore, the economics for the creation and burning of prints adds another twist. Transactions of prints operate on a steep bonding curve. When someone decides to buy a print, the price of the next print on the curve moves up. When someone decides to sell a print, the copy is burned and the price moves back down the curve, allowing a holder instant access to liquidity. This has solved one of the major issues that the NFT critics have voiced: lack of liquidity for most NFT markets.

Thus far, Euler Beats has been popular with both NFT collectors and DeFi investors that can use these NFTs to generate yield. The master for LP 05 sold for 105 ETH and there have been offers of 200 and 300 ETH rebuffed in the Euler Beats discord chat room for other master copies. The market for prints has also been active. The print for LP 01 currently costs 43 ETH to mint while less popular mixes can be found for as little as 6 ETH.

Euler Beats’ innovative economic model that monetizes its NFTs creates a new definition of asset ownership and it’s likely that future NFT projects will use similar economic incentives and DeFi hybrid principles into the NFT space.


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