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showing mint #801

Matt Kane
1000 of 1000 minted

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Since the dawn of humanity, the Moon's phases have fascinated humans, influencing any number of activities on Earth including ocean tides, seasons, harvests, migrations, hunting, crime, sleeping, sex, and has inspired countless works of art. The first lunar calendar, dated to 32,000 BC was discovered, drawn on animal bone in caves. It's believed hunters during the last Ice Age used these portable lunar calendars to anticipate the behavior of different animals like Mammoths. Since then, our Moon has been imprinted across all our ancient and modern cultures, even becoming the system from which our Gregorian calendar evolved from. In the present day, investors in crypto have used the Moon symbolically. What does it mean for all of us in crypto to be so ahead of our time, all while using the same metaphor of the Moon for the various measures of success and individual goals we collectively share in crypto? And how will the future appreciate our ambitions and perseverance within the present moment's growing pains on our way to mass adoption? These are some of the questions that Gazers ask. On the surface, Gazers function as a lunar calendar, algorithmically synching closely with Moon phases in the sky, joining the blockchain with one of humanity's longest running lineages in art. Gazers seeks to create a community of collectors celebrating the change of our perceptions that happen over time, our collective goals in crypto, and our love of color theory, astronomy, and generative art. What we are building in blockchain and NFTs will primarily be for the benefit of the future. As such, this artwork was designed to pace itself and speed up its frame rate over time, scaling into anticipated advancements in technology that will steadily allow the artwork to run at faster speeds while at larger scales. Each NFT starts out with the assignment of a date from the past 20 years. These dates correspond to events that happened under particular New Moons that shaped my path as an artist. This is the Origin Moon trait and how Gazers is in part a conceptual self portrait. Starting from the Origin Moon, each New Moon that arrives will speed up the potential animation of the NFT. For example, an NFT with a 20 year old Origin Moon might run at 20 frames per second, appearing as an animation. But one with an Origin Moon fresh from the sale will run closer to 1 frame per second, appearing more like a slowly evolving painting. Every moment, the frame rate of the artwork speeds up fractionally, indecipherable to our eyes. Stacking these advancements over time creates a generational evolution of experience. There is something undeniably beautiful about everything speeding up within our lifetimes, but the Moon, high above us, continues to carry on at the same meandering rate of 29.53 days in each cycle. Much like these blockchain technologies and NFT markets, this artwork was designed to be collected by the present, but appreciated in a greater sense than we can even imagine by the future. I created Gazers to be like a living artwork, to be lived with, and to not only have the artwork evolve over time but also the appreciation and experience of viewers. As I coded the work, I imagined it hanging on the wall of collectors, a fixture in their physical space. Collectors might spend a moment admiring their work, walk away for a couple hours, and then come back to be delighted, noticing the most subtle of shifts. Each layer of the work consists of pattern designs. With the passage of time, the thickness of the layered lines pulse and the direction a design moves will advance or rotate, changing our perception of color in the most subtle and optical of ways. Each day at midnight, each layer receives a new set of rules in terms of how to rise or shine over the next 24 hours. The result is color that rises and sets, echoing the change of light in our sky. My use of color has consistently been what I've been best known for across my 20 year artistic career. In all my work until now, I've made all the color and design choices as I've painted as a human in the moment. But in Gazers, I designed a complex system around color theory as I understand it, joining my talent for coding with my vision for color. Many NFT collectors of my work might be familiar with the additional experiences some of their NFTs unlock at my website. Rather than use a Gazers NFT to unlock a website, I decided this time to create rendering modes that unlock within the code over time. These additional modes of viewing are intended to help a collector better understand the architecture of their artwork's design and also benefit from greater enjoyment of it. The addition of these experiences should present an additional benefit to HODLing for some. Every 29 and a half days, we reach a Moon phase called the New Moon. This is when the dark side of the Moon is fully visible and no sunlight is reflected from the lunar surface back to Earth. In Gazers, each New Moon phase creates a New Moon design. In this artwork, the hash seed creates color theory and design rules. These rules are deterministic and dictate all the moons that will generatively be created into infinity. Time reveals our moons. Pairing time with deterministic generative code creates the ephemeral moment. We can all agree that looking at the Moon in the sky never seems to be the exact same experience twice, nor the exact same from different locations. I wanted to echo this nature in Gazers and emphasize the urgency and rarity of our present moment and how an artwork can capture this. As individuals, we all have our own version of the Moon and what reaching it means. Just as our goals change over time, often subtly, sometimes dramatically, so will our moons, creating a visual representation that might coincide with what's changing inside of us. In crypto, we are all ahead of our time. We are all gazers. And we are all waiting for our next Moon.

library: p5js

license: CC BY-NC 4.0


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