Art Blocks

decentralized creativity platform


what is art blocks?

The Art Blocks project provides tools that dependably generate pseudo random outputs for digital, generative projects.

Each project is assigned an Art Node which is simply software that supplies a long hash string like this:


as an output approximately every 15 seconds. Each hash string is guaranteed to be unique therefore any project listening to an Art Node will continually produce a unique output.

Art Nodes can receive hashes from two sources. The first is the Ethereum blockchain which generates a new hash every 15 seconds as it processes transactions on the network. As long as the Ethereum blockchain is operational an Art Node can count on dependably being able to receive a unique hash every 15 seconds. 

Genesis Project by @dacaldera

Genesis Project by @dacaldera

The second source of block hashes is supplied to Art Nodes by participants that want to interact with a digital project that is connected to an Art Node . Users can acquire digital tokens that are minted with hash strings that are also guaranteed to be unique to each token and compatible with the Art Node software. When a token holder interacts with an Art Node, the Art Node automatically switches from outputting the most recent block hash from the Ethereum blockchain to outputting the hash string stored on the user’s token. If the output is generated deterministically the result is reproducible anytime that same hash is processed by the connected project.

Art generated by the Blockchain

Art Blocks is a platform which allows digital artists and creatives to have their work react to the outputs of the Ethereum blockchain using smart contract technology. These smart contracts, known as Art Nodes, produce a single output in the form of a hash string.

Virtually any development platform, from Processing to Python, can make calls to Art Nodes and receive the latest hash output. Creatives can use the characters contained in these hashes as parameters to control generative content within their work.

Each Art Node is deployed with an interface for the user to modify Art Node settings and see where the latest hashes are coming from. This control panel shows whether the most recent block hash was sourced from the blockchain or from an Interface Token, and if from an Interface Token will also show the nickname associated with that token.

Art Nodes are also accompanied by their own endpoints that can be used by creators to connect digital projects to the Art Node output. Using HTTP GET procedures connected projects can consume the output hash generated by an Art Node through the endpoints.

EtherCoil by @HEX0x6C

EtherCoil by @HEX0x6C

Here is a very simple example project that is connected to an Art Blocks endpoint.

If you click the link you'll notice that the image is regenerated every few seconds. Each new image represents an interpretation of the most recent Ethereum block hash by the code that generates the resulting image.

Additionally, users can send ETH to the above project's contract address. For every 0.01 ETH sent to the contract address the user will be "purchasing" a block of time where the project will interpret the block hash stored on his or her Interface Token. ETH received from users that do not own an Interface Token will not trigger any reactions from the project.


If you're curious and want to play around with the concept get yourself an Interface Token and send some ETH to the Art Node contract that controls the demo. The contract address is 0xd5027a93d556b9c4d07db2c9ef6624de041ec7a3 and if you're on mobile you can scan this QR code directly. When your transaction is processed, you’ll see a custom EtherCoil which will automatically be saved to your hard drive. And remember you can always monitor the hash being output to the project through the contract's control panel

Art Nodes connected to the Ethereum blockchain will never receive the same hash input twice, and therefore projects connected to those endpoints are guaranteed to constantly and dependably produce unique outputs. The only exception is if a user that owns an Interface Token wants to interact with the connected art project by sending ETH to the project's contract address. In this case the connected project will interpret that user's Interface Token hash as often as the user wants to interact with the project and can thus recreate the output at will.

A portion of all ETH sent to Art Nodes (currently 5%) is automatically set aside to fund grants that will be distributed to artists who submit proposals for projects built on the Art Blocks platform. These grants will be distributed using a voting mechanism where TOKN holders will be able to vote for winning proposals through a decentralized ballot system.

The Art Blocks platform establishes an innovative approach for creatives to encourage user interaction with their generative projects and create a potential revenue stream using the transparency of blockchain technology.



Please visit our Discord for more information on how you can implement this technology into your projects and to chat with other creatives interested in this project.


apply as an artist

Art Nodes are freely deployed for qualified creatives looking to connect a project to the Art Blocks platform. Click the button below to begin the application process.

art block tokens


Interaction with an Art Blocks Art Node is possible through use of an Interface Token (TOKN).  Each TOKN stores a unique hash string that matches the formatting of an Ethereum block hash. When a user that owns a TOKN sends ETH to an Art Node contract address, the Art Node switches from outputting the most recent Ethereum block hash to the unique hash stored on the sender's Interface Token.

The hash stored on an Interface Token is guaranteed to be unique so any output generated by a creative project connected to an Art Node is also guaranteed to be unique. Since it is possible to prove ownership of the particular hash stored on an Interface Token, a token holder essentially owns the output of a project connected to the platform when it is interpreting that particular token's hash.

Interface Tokens are not transferred when interacting with projects. Art Nodes simply verify that a sender owns a token when it received ETH from an Ethereum address.



Art Blocks Beneficiaries

Digital art projects require maintenance. Art Nodes provide for creatives to designate additional beneficiaries and a percentage split for all funds received with the Art Node contract address. This optional beneficiary could be a municipality for a public art project where a portion of the funds sent to the Art Node are used to make sure the project is kept in good operational shape, a collaborating artist or fabricator on a project, or a gallery hosting a work of art.

All payments made to beneficiaries happen transparently and automatically through the Art Node smart contract.



apply as a gallery

Galleries that are interested in digital art or the Art Blocks platform can apply for an Art Node to be used in their establishment. A gallery can invite generative artists to exhibit work in their space by pointing their projects to the gallery's Art Node output allowing both the gallery and the artist to receive a portion of any proceeds sent to the Art Node contract.

art nodes

Pay to Play

Art Nodes can be configured so that they only pass along a hash when the project is interacted with by a TOKN holder. When not active, the output of the Art Node is simply "0x00000". When the Art Node receives funds from a participant the output then becomes the sender's TOKN hash after which the output will revert back to "0x00000".

Artists also configure the associated cost for interacting with a project. In order to interject a hash stored on a TOKN, a user is "purchasing" blocks. Each block lasts 15 seconds and therefore the Art Node will interject that user's hash for 15 seconds for every block purchased. If users want to see their hash interpreted for 5 minutes then they would purchase 20 blocks, for example. Once the purchased blocks have been exhausted the Art Node will revert to outputting the Ethereum blockchain's block hash or "0x00000" depending on how it is set up by the artist. Or if there is a queue of participants wanting to interact with the project the Art Node will automatically interject the next hash in the queue for as many blocks as are purchased.

One final setting that an artist can adjust is the maximum number of blocks that can be purchased in one go. This is to allow as many different people as possible to interact with a single project.



What Lies Ahead

In the future Art Nodes will be implemented with additional features. For example the next edition of an Art Node will include a jukebox functionality that enables people to jump to the front of the queue if they're willing to pay a premium just like on a jukebox at a bar. We are constantly working to add functionality to this simple concept of hash outputs and are open to suggestions from the community.


apply as aN Institution

Any institution, public or private, can apply to receive one or multiple Art Nodes for educational purposes. Art Nodes can be used to challenge students to think generatively and provide an excellent foundation for blockchain education.