June 9th, 2022

[i.wonder] Q&A

A discussion with digital artist frederative about his experience collaborating on the fxhash generative art token [i.wonder] with the NFT Museum of Newberry, SC.

Collaborative NFT i.wonder #1

Let’s start by learning about your background in generative art. How long have you been creative coding and which tools do you like to use while creating?

I have been writing code since the early 90’s, though not creatively really until a few years back. I found creative coding as many did, via TheCodingTrain. I’d watch his videos as I’d put my kids to sleep and got really interested in using coding as a creative outlet. To me it is cathartic - making art has become a mental release and I love it.

I have a bit of experience in game development as a hobby, so creating visual effects with code was not new. However, seeing classical mathematical functions visualized as something beautiful was a game changer for me. In terms of tools, I mainly use P5.js and whichever algorithm catches my fancy.

Why did you decide to publish your work on the Tezos blockchain? Do you publish work on any other chains or platforms?

When I started I was pretty strongly against anything that is not a Proof of Stake blockchain given its environmental impact. Unless there is some sort of paradigm shift, you’ll never find my work on anything Proof of Work (BTC/ETH/etc.).

Plus, there’s the lower barrier of entry with Tezos in terms of gas/fees. That in and of itself significantly makes creating and distributing art far more feasible.

Why did you agree to explore a collaboration with the NFT Museum of Newberry, SC? And how did that process unfold?

That is a great question. I think seeing one of my pieces randomly splayed on a wall was a mental game changer for me (Valentine’s 2022 I think?). Up until that point I had thought this was simply a hobby or a mental release. I’m not a formal artist by training and actually seeing that somebody was displaying what I had created gave me a feeling I’d never had before. Spoiler: it was a mixture of warm and fuzzy.

Plus, I absolutely love what the NFT Museum is doing for artists and patrons alike. A collaboration here was the easiest decision I’ve ever made.

How did you choose the name [i.wonder] and what was the thinking behind this motif?

When we initially started our collaboration I was tasked with communicating history via generative art. While there are many problems with the world right now, the one that I could speak to most is our experiences with the Covid pandemic. As a parent, I always wonder if I’m doing the right thing with my kids. That led me down the path of the experiences my wife and I had growing up with our parents and the actions they’d take, the stories they’d tell, and the things they would do. They were reacting to life in the Great Depression (and times beyond) and imparting their experiences with that in mind. Things that are odd, eyebrow-raising, or chuckle-worthy these days. It made me wonder if the pandemic has had a similar impact on parents and how we raise our kids. And, being horribly unimaginative with titles, that led me to [i.wonder].

Prior to the fxhash alpha release there was no collaboration feature on the platform. What was your experience using this new feature and do you plan to do more collaborations in the future?

Absolutely, the fxhash collaboration feature was exceedingly easy to use. My only advice for anybody reading this would be to be in communication with your collaborators when you are set to release, as everybody needs to sign off on any changes or updates to a piece (releasing, pricing, etc.).

What suggestions do you have for artists who are just now exploring generative art? Any suggestions or tips that you can provide to emerging artists?

Most likely the same advice any artist of any form would give - experience what others are doing. See what is possible and work on your techniques, get involved with others in your area (Discord, Twitter, etc.), find a community that suits you! But most of all, make sure you’re happy with what you’re creating. I make the art that I want to make and fortunately others seem to like that as well.

Only other bit of advice is that art in and of itself is ridiculously hard as a medium to break into and the generative/Web3 side seems to have reduced that barrier significantly. Every time I’d put up a piece that didn’t sell I’d wonder if I was doing something wrong, be it artistically or from a marketing perspective. Most likely both in my case, but you have to be your own advocate in this space and just keep creating and find an audience.

Last bit of advice, I lied. Check out what the NFT Museum is up to in SC. I don’t know of any other place that is doing what they’re doing!

What new ideas are you exploring and what new projects can we look forward to?

Right now I’m fascinated with taking something beautiful or symmetric and glitching it out to make something imperfect. Interestingly, that’s more difficult for me than classic generative techniques as it involves breaking things while still making them look reasonably pleasing.

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This interview was conducted with generative artist frederative. You can view his fxhash NFT projects here: https://www.fxhash.xyz/u/frederative

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