Generative Arts to launch Enchiridion in 2nd Art Blocks project
Unity and dispersion exist in a relative dichotomy, and in Generative Artworks upcoming project, the team explores a style quite different from their first project. While Empyrean featured soft, amorphous lines on dark backgrounds, Enchiridion relies on a series of rectangular shapes linked together in vibrant color patterns.
The contrast in style is by design. Enchiridion is influenced by Enchiridion Physicae Restitutae by Jean D'Espagnet, which rejected the idea of the empyrean. Enchiridion represents the idea that all natural things exist in unity through a series of linked geometric shapes.
Generative Artworks is a collaborative effort between former college roommates, Alex and Stephen. They’ve worked together for years, beginning with an idea of making individually unique t-shirts by printing a generative artwork on each shirt. That idea lead them to building an Instagram following for their work, and eventually to NFTs and a meeting with Snowfro, who quickly sold them on the idea behind Art Blocks.
Enchiridion will mark Generative Artwork’s second project on the Art Blocks platform, after previously launching the 500 piece collection in March 2021. The team also offers other generative art prints, as well as t-shirts and other merchandise featuring their work.
Jean D'Espagnet, who rejected the idea of the Empyrean, is cited as an inspiration behind your upcoming project Enchiridion. What's the inspiration for these two seemingly opposite approaches to your first two AB projects?
Empyrean was originally called “CircleWeb”. The name Empyrean came about by chance while reading about ancient Greek philosophy and we thought it fit our personal understanding of the piece we had created; the amorphous and fluid forms of the piece mapped well to our mental picture of what a realm of divine beings would look like.
With Enchiridion, we wanted to stay in the same realm of thought as Empyrean but were looking to create something with a more rigid structure alluding to architectural forms. We thought we could allude to this dichotomy in the name and Jean D'Espagnet's work lined up perfectly.
What brought Generative Artworks together & into generative art NFTs?
Stephen: We were roommates in college (both Computer Science majors) and we’ve always worked on side projects together. In June 2020 Alex brought up the idea of creating generative art. What got us excited originally was the possibility of making 1of1ofX t-shirts with print-on-demand services (which we still haven’t accomplished, but we’re working on it).
From there we grew our Instagram page by taking turns posting generative art daily and learned more and more about the generative art community until we inevitably fell into the NFT space. After our first meeting with Snowfro we knew it was the right path for us to pursue as Generative Artworks.
Alex: In terms of generative NFTs I was into crypto early on trying to mine Bitcoin on the first computer I built in 2012, but never had the skills or money to really participate in the space, so it became a passive interest over the years. In February NFTs came to my attention and while doing a deep dive I learned about Art Blocks and brought it up Stephen because it fit in perfectly with our idea of making 1of1ofX t-shirts.
How does your team-approach to projects work?
We’ve been working together for so long now that it just comes naturally. It usually starts with one of us coming up with an idea for a piece, whether that’s an algorithm or a general concept, and the other noodles around with it adding their own unique flair and personality.
Once we feel the piece has a solid foundation, we have voice calls almost daily to discuss it. After making some more progress, we get together in person for a hackathon-style weekend of fun and code, brainstorming, polishing stuff up, and removing features that don’t quite fit the style or we don’t like.
Who influences your work?
Stephen: The Beatles, Yayoi Kusama, M. C. Escher, the generative art community
Alex: Frank Lloyd Wright, Bjarke Ingles, and Georg Nees
What details make you excited about Enchiridion?
Alex: That's a hard question. I don't want to give away some of the weirder features, but this algorithm is wild in a lot of ways making it hard to control or predict. This means there is a ton of variety for such a small set and the pieces can range from extremely detailed to simple patterns. I think this will provide a lot of opportunity for community members to curate their own sets and share them with each other which I am excited to see.
Stephen: I’m most excited to see how the community receives the piece. I was new to this space when Empyrean dropped and the community response was better than I could have ever expected. I also can’t wait to watch people participate in our next community event. ;)
Enchiridion will be unpaused on the Art Blocks Monday July 5, 2021 at 12pm EDT (UTC-4) at https://artblocks.io/project/101
The Rinkeby testnet is currently available to preview the series