Electric Artefacts’ June Artwork Picks: #HENthousand, #9999left and NFTs Are Not Dead Yet
June 18, 2021
As the NFT-world keeps growing one can’t see the wood for the trees. So Electric Artefacts is back with some of our favourite hic et nunc picks of the month - feast your eyes on some of the artworks that graced our screens.
With the weekend starting, artist John Karel kicked off a new initiative on hic et nunc: #HENthousand. Artists mint a work in an edition of 10,000 at 1 tez each, leave it up for 24-36 hours and then burn the remaining editions after people have had the chance to purchase. This gives beginning collectors an opportunity to expand their collection and explore new work, and artists a place to showcase their work and reach new eyes. A parallel thread also highlighted the lesser known artists works, available here.
One of the artists participating is the Jakarta-based Diela Maharanie. The self-taught illustrator and visual artist’s piece ‘10000 Astrogurl’ shows colourful cut-outs surrounding a girl in space-costume - a sweet composition characteristic of her work.
Another participant in the #HENthousand challenge is the fabricating future forests project by Vincent Charlebois, who spent the last 12 years working as a tree planter in Canada. He explains: “as I was working in these natural/industrial landscapes, I started exploring how photography could show the beauty and devastation of the type of environment forestry operates within.” Charlebois has now moved onto using GAN to manipulate his dataset of images, echoing the scale at which humans manipulate their environments. For each edition sold of Charlebois’ work during #HENthousand he has vouched to plant a tree.
"Undoubtedly a standout NFT of the past month is Mexican artist Moxarra Gonzalez’s artwork surrounding the notion that NFTs may be - according to some - dead. Moxarra took the statement “NFTs are dead” going around on twitter at the time, and mockingly created an NFT in his signature cartoonish style, adding “long live the NFTs” in its description. Personally, we think the thriving ecosystem of hic et nunc is evidence enough that NFTs are anything but dead. Moxarra’s work is known for capturing the tipping points of crypto art (some may have seen the NFTs are evil Twitter-post during the climate debates earlier in the year) and this piece documents yet another iconic moment.
Recommended by Fabiola Larios during our Tweeterview with her this week, Violet Forest’s work stands out for evoking the pop-culture tribes influential in the first decades of the 21st century. Vaporwavey and emo shapes and portraits feature in her oeuvre, but also delicate GAN-generated alien creatures. ‘Porcelain Being’ is one of these - somewhere between a Fabergé egg and one of Alexander McQueen’s early runway creations.
Golan Levin is an artist, researcher and director of the Studio for Creative Inquiry at Carnegie Mellon University. In 1997 for his MA thesis, "Painterly Interfaces for Audiovisual Performance," he described a way to manipulate the shape and movement of animation. Now, 24 years later, Levin minted a series of animations produced through that software back then. The abstract pink-hued compositions serve as an example of technology catching up with creativity.
Brooklyn-based Gossamer Rozen is one of the first tattooists we have seen to properly enter the NFT-space. Functioning sort of like a regular flash tattoo sale, Rozen sells off the drawings she makes as part of her tattooing-process as NFTs. Though acquiring a single edition work does not grant the buyer permission to get the work tattooed by any other artist, Rozen is available to tattoo any lucky buyer after consultation. Her styles include a range of traditional tattoo designs and many figures from the animal kingdom, like this pair of toads.
Under the nickname plum_rich, the abstract digital artist explores colour, texture and composition throughout the multitude of his work. The series reveal a soothing aesthetic that captures fictional surfaces of dreamy colourful virtual worlds. Taking advantage of the digital medium, plum_rich experiments with colour, texture, shapes and shadows while maintaining the right level of balance for one to notice consistency across his work.
Golding is a fine artist specializing in drawing/painting portraits and figures inspired from life, imagination, Indigenous culture and nature. For #HENthousand challenge he presents a colored pencil illustration dedicated to the Goroka Tribe of the Goroka province in Papua, New Guinea. In the description, Jay Golding mentions that 30% of each edition sold will be donated to Survival International; an organization dedicated to the protection of tribal rights.
Another iconic pick includes the morphing and dancing GAN-generated figures by Adi Oohgaga aka @oohgaga_. The Frankfurt-based musician, photographer and artist describes his practice as “trying to find the heart in GAN,” leading to intricate and sometimes haunting portraits. Or in this case - a looping movement flashing by like a stroboscope in a club. In response to the rising centralization of attention on the most popular artists' work of #HENThousand, @oohgaga_ made a call for artists to use the #9999left hashtag to shed light on the lesser popular items. Together with @aljaparis they set out to capture a list of participating artists that can be viewed here.
The work of the French Thami Ouafssou consists of studies on the human image, composed using a combination of painting and digital rendering. Amongst the computer-graphics that much of the NFT-worlds consist of, Ouafssou’s brushstrokes stand out. Because of the combination of techniques used, ‘Chrysalide’ looks like there are different layers to it, carefully placed on top of each other.
Minjun Kim is a Korean photographer based in Paris. Though working in fashion, Kim also takes stunning images of urban landscapes and everyday moments of street life across Europe. ‘Balcón de Europa’ shows an older man crouched over a bench overlooking a tranquil Spanish bay in Malaga. Though photography is starting to enter the NFT space, like with Ouafssou’s paintings, it isn’t the most common medium to come across. Kim’s black and white photographs stand out as snapshots of the world that remind of a wider world past the computer screen.
Aleksandra Artamonovskaja & Nina Lissone
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