A new visual series about reclaiming human expression, by Patternbase and Takens Theorem
Our information space, already saturated, now grows in tidal waves of content from artificial neural networks. De-Automated expresses the desire many of us have to go in reverse. To reclaim artifacts of our digital environment back into ones that echo the presence of fellow minds. We bring automation to heel by appropriating it.
We wrote an algorithm to illustrate some blockchain history. The algorithm produced automated visuals, densities of data capturing history on chain. We used NFT history on Ethereum to express this automation.
The algorithm uses a sample of market data spanning 2018 to the mania that took hold in later 2021 with the “on-chain SVGs” like Loot and its derivatives. The algorithm visualizes market activity around a given date, and using a distinct color for each project, it captures the volume of market activity for a set of projects around that date.
An example is shown below for an early and later date (note: the sample for each will be around an approximate date, so the visual might represent several weeks of market activity). The color densities get more complex as the market grows, with larger numbers of projects occupying the blockchain as the NFT space expands. The result can be a gaudy, noisy mixture of projects as the mania takes hold.
One of us (Takens Theorem) sent these automations to another (Patternbase), whose hand-drawn process compels the automations to reveal the presence of human aesthetic intuition. Patternbase preserves the density of colors, but rearranges them with provocative complexities (trait: “Glitch”) or satisfying symmetries (trait: “Illustration”).
To amplify this expression to de-automate, pieces can be de-digitized. Owners of tokens can claim a physical realization of the piece. Captured and worn. A velvet representation that was once automated data, a proclamation of reclamation. See details below.
Textile details: Double-sided with white topstitching; lush, double-sided textile in super-soft and durable matte luxe Performance Velvet. Each throw features a topstitched hem and subtle white topstitching. All throw blankets are printed and sewn in the USA. (May be used as decorative textile, throw blanket, etc.)
See Patternbase’s website for more illustrations and details.
I am on Twitter. I spend a lot of my time on creative data visualization projects, including several fully on-chain works like the_coin, one of the first NFT projects that lets owners update contract storage to modify the NFTs.