This is one project that came about that wouldn’t have existed as it is had I not been in cryptoart. Generally speaking, I prefer static mediums. I do a lot of video and motion graphics work that is, well, work. I also struggle with the utility of artwork that moves – because I like to imagine my art being printed and adorning walls or clothing or as stickers on well-worn notebooks. I feel that video work has such limited use by comparison, but it’s all the rage in cryptoart. I suppose anytime you have a medium where there’s such potential for novel expressions: an NFT itself can’t really be printed (although the artwork in it can) – and so it lends itself to having more of an objet d’art sort of final product (thanks DFW for teaching me that term).
So the first real motion design-piece (which still generates neat stills, I think) was an attempt to make a style based on the Andy Warhol Amiga designs. After coding Lazlo, I knew it could be done – and done by me with much less modding of other people’s code than I usually do. So I sat down when I finally had the nerve to do so, and started writing a script to generate patterns like the ones you see in this early GraphiCraft V27 image. This also, you’ll notice, draws on an Andy Warhol style in his print work: thresholds. Andy used thresholds for his screen prints – and it’s a coincidence that using thresholds in imaging software yields similar results. So when I jumped into trying to create the series, I knew I wanted patterns that were surprising combined with thresholds, and all of it in a very bright and vibrant and non-mapped sort of way. That is, no palettes that I chose – only colors that the Processing sketch called “cyborg_warhol” generated.
Can you imagine if Warhol hadn’t been shot or in frail health, and if he had really lived well-into the digital art world? I like to imagine that in the world where Jareddd and LFP exist, there’s a version of Warhol that adopted transhumanism as an ideal, and used a sketch like mine to allow him to screen print with living video textures like the ones in the cyborg_warhol_factory_print series. I was doing the whole thing as kind of a lark (the way any good project starts) and my friend Tom “Lucky Charm” Okina and ethereal_zephyr sat in the stream while I worked out the first render from this series. They helped me decide how much to sell for etc. – and that same day one of my favorite CRT artists, Sarah Zucker, bought the first factory_print. I was thrilled, and I want to carry the series on. It’s still in its infancy as a developed style, and each piece takes a long time to make compared to some of my other techniques. I may get an artists rendering of cyborg_warhol one day and then use that as a trading card, or just use this GIF here that I love, and pack the program into the trading card.
I did another series based on the concept of cyborg_warhol as art cards for Paras.id – a cross-reference with an interesting part of Warhol’s career from when he was working with Basquiat. Basquiat did what he does, and Warhol did stencil paints of corporate logos. It always seemed like a strange total appropriation to me – almost a return to form to his Brillo boxes, but this time just huge logos that he made into art.
Keeping with my mandate of total abstraction, I took logos that don’t really have real world object references and made cards of the cyborg_warhol patterns as those logos. Some are still for sale on Paras, I believe. Even though they’re simple, just “brand_riffs,” seeing just how much the output of that sketch can make something mundane and corporate into something interesting was fun. Most everything I have on Paras is there because it was fun to make, less because I consider it the highest of art/
You would not believe how embarrassing it was to fumble a login and actually lose the keys to my NEAR wallet. Those Paras.id pieces live without me now – and if they ever become worth something it’ll be an interesting example of truly “lost” cryptoart from my perspective. I did come back to cyborg_warhol a few times back on ETH and explored several new themes: irregular shapes and non-defined shapes and then vaporwave combined with cyborg_warhol.
I tried making shapes that couldn’t be described as any particular geometrical primal, and then also experimented with ovals, squashed and stretched in kind of a deconstructivist way. Harmonious only in the most general sense, balanced as a whole and not in the particulars. I don’t know, it was a neat way to experiment with more types of compositions.
I hope to carry on the sadboy_bops as I was calling them – basically a fleeting thought of what it would be like if Andy Warhol were around to experience sad boys and vaporwave and all the junk consumerist aesthetic of it. Would he like it? This is also the beginning of me experimenting with dithering – since I tried it out on the first few cyborg_warhol_sadboy_bop desings.