Interview With Fxhash Founder Ciphrd: 3 Insights From the GeNFT Weekly Inaugural Talk
December 16, 2021
Yesterday saw the inaugural episode of GeNFT Weekly, a new weekly Twitter spaces-series focussed around Generative art on Tezos initiated by Electric Artefacts co-founder @aljaparis and collector @delta_alpha_ohm. For this very first talk they invited generative artist and founder of the fxhash platform @ciphrd to share about his practice as well as goals for his booming generative art platform. Here’s some of the things we learned:
1. From the get-go, generative art’s attraction for ciphrd lay in the breaking down of limitations and restrictions
Ciphrd has a background as a developer, and was interested in the possibility of creating interactive worlds. He got more into the generative realm through the development of video games: while he enjoyed creating those worlds, they are centred around the player and that created constraints. However, with generative art “the visuals themselves could be the art with no limitations” says ciphrd. His own collection, 'RGB Elementary Cellular Automaton', was inspired through his interest “in algorithms from which life-like structures can emerge.” Through it, he paid a tribute to Stephen Wolfram’s Automata as well as demonstrated what the platform could do.
However, with generative art “the visuals themselves could be the art with no limitations” says ciphrd. Initially put off by the high gas fees on many NFT-platforms, he eventually found the cost-efficient and curator-less format of Hic et Nunc on the Tezos Blockchain and the ball started rolling towards a similar open model. Ciphrd explained: “when I opened hic et nunc for the first time, something clicked, this was raw content, there was the ability to join the party for little cost.”
2. Ciphrd set up fxhash partially just because it was something he himself was looking for as a creator
With 170000 mints in just over the first month, fxhash has grown explosively and ciphrd has barely had the time to stop and process it all. When asked about why he initially started the platform, he answered simply that he “created a tool that I wanted for myself as an artist.” But others were looking for it also and collectors as well, especially in a post-Hic et Nunc closing down vacuum. Regarding the future for fxhash as a platform, ciphrd shares that the “goal is to remove all those gates that prevent artists from posting their work.” These encompass both technical aspects (such as storage space) and hurdles in the way some spaces are gate-kept through curation. Instead, fxhash is meant to be open for anyone to enter. Ciphrd stated that “these components make the platform”, and that it’s “important for the community to have tools that are as open and transparent as possible.”
3. The concept of fxhash opening and closing each day was borne out of chaos and necessity
The concept of opening and closing of the platform for minting “came out of chaos.” The system was simply unable to allow for all the people minting stuff, so they shut down for the system to cool off a bit. People “enjoy those rest times”, as ciphrd puts it, as it allows us to reconsider things and has led to an appreciation of the system for a generative art platform. You need some time to properly understand what you are minting: do you like it? Do you want to sell it? Downtime is an opportunity to rest and prepare.