These six works available in the Artnet Auctions Sale ‘ArtNFT: Beginnings’ redefine generative art


The art of generative and artificial intelligence could sound like something straight out of a science fiction film. However, the idea that a work of art can be created by a machine without a human hand or by autonomous and algorithmic systems is not far-fetched. For the past six decades, artists have experimented with technology, creating computer art, media art, video art, and digital art, and eventually tokenizing works of art on the blockchain.

Now, Artnet’s first NFT auction, “ArtNFT: beginnings”Focuses on the historical course of digital art and its points of contact with the development of NFTs. Read on to find out more about seven artists including Dmitri Cherniak, Vuk Ćosić and Georg Nees who have been at the forefront of the generative and AI art movements and whose works will run until the age of 21.ArtNFT: Beginnings. “

Dmitri Cherniak
Ringtones # 887 (2021)

Dmitri Tscherniak, Ringtones # 887, (2021). Now available in “ArtNFT: Beginnings” on Artnet Auctions. Estimate: 70-90 ETH ($ 272,000-349,000).

“Automation is my artistic medium. Hand-coded goods, ”writes Dmitri Cherniak. On January 31, 2021, the Canadian artist provided his “Ringtones “ Project on Artblocks, a program that hosts generative content on the Ethereum blockchain.

The series, limited to 1,000 unique NFTs, is based on the premise that there are almost infinite ways to wrap a string around a set of pegs. “Ringtones “ are a computer generated algorithmic series created from Javascript code, and each work has its own unique transaction hash. Minimal in their aesthetics “,Ringtones ” are valued for qualities such as crochet count, size, layout, background, break orientation, break style, scale, body color, check mark style, and additional color. Ringtones # 887 has a woven wrap style and a monochrome filled black body that emphasizes its visually striking, angular pattern. Above all, Ringtone # 109 sold for 2,100 ETH (then 6.9 million US dollars), making it the most expensive Art Blocks NFT ever sold.

Cherniak started crypto in 2014, and while researching the impact of blockchain-based generative art for years, it wasn’t until 2019 that he started sharing his own work and remained committed to algorithmic diversity in his practice.

Vuk osi
Deep ASCII (1998)

Vuk osic, Deep ASCII (1998). Now available in “ArtNFT: Beginnings” on Artnet Auctions. Estimated: 12-15 ETH. ($ 46,600- $ 58,300).

Slovenian artist Vuk Ćosić is best known for his role as a founding pioneer of, an internet art movement that began in 1994, and for his early application of coding technology to visual graphics. Ćosić tries to bypass traditional methods of creating art by using the digital sphere, but emphasizes that most high-tech technologies do not need to be applied. This artistic approach has fueled many of his projects, including the ASCII Art Ensemble with various moving images and videos in the American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) characteristically formed by numbered coding patterns.

Symbol for the pioneering spirit of Ćosić, Deep ASCII is an NFT conversion of his 1998 work of the same name, which depicts a scene from the porn film Deepthroat rendered in ASCII.

Kevin and Jennifer McCoy
Quantum Leap (Urstern 2) (2021)

Jennifer and Kevin McCoy, Quantum Leap (Urstern 2) (2021). Now available in “ArtNFT: Beginnings” on Artnet Auctions. Estimate: 40-60 ETH ($ 155,374-233,060).

Quantum leap by Jennifer and Kevin McCoy is the longest-running generative work of art to develop over a three-year cycle. The code-based NFT is inspired by the work of the artists from 2014 Quantum, the first work of art to be tokenized on the blockchain.

Constantly moving through changing states, the NFT relies on art historical and scientific theories to develop and spawn new versions of itself in real time that replicate in ways that resemble the current ecosystem of social and technological innovation. Rapidly and unpredictably, the title of the work refers to a physical theory that tries to answer questions about the initial phases of the universe.

Urstern 2 is the second of a series of eight unique tokens that contain layers of code-based systems that interact to create an expanding mandala-like digital animation inspired by the ever-changing life cycle of stars. Over the token’s three-year cycle, it will spawn offspring – new stars and offspring tokens that have their own parameters and unique visual rendering software patterns.

PP_F_024_2 (2015-21)

Quayola, PP_F_024_2 (2015-21). Now available in “ArtNFT: Beginnings” on Artnet Auctions. Estimate: 8-12 ETH ($ 31,000- $ 46,600).

The Italian artist Davide Quayola sees technology as a complement to classical religious iconography and traditional landscape images. Most commonly referred to as Quayola, the artist works in many media, including audiovisual performance, video, sculpture, and works on paper. PP_F_024_2 is an NFT that draws inspiration from impressionism and works with technology to propose a new understanding of nature. The work is an algorithmic composition that merges opposing areas: nature and technology, representation and abstraction and ultimately man and machine.

Inspired by the work of Vincent Van Gogh, Quayola visited the Provence countryside around 130 years after the Dutch artist to capture some of these iconic natural compositions. Quayola uses bespoke software to convert its source videos into algorithmic animations that resemble real color. PP_F_024_2, was generated, for example, by analyzing ultra high definition videos.

Pindar Van Arman
New faces (2020)

Pindar Van Arman, New faces (2020). Now available in “ArtNFT: Beginnings” on Artnet Auctions. Estimate: 60-80 ETH (233,000-310,800 USD).

Pindar Van Arman is an American artist, robotist, and digital art pioneer. Van Arman has been building robots for his artistic practice since 2015 and has programmed software applications such as CrowdPainter, bitPaintr and CloudPainter. Using artificial intelligence (AI) software, Van Arman’s robots hold a brush and paint patterns controlled by an algorithm.

Pindar Van Arman, a digital art pioneer, is an American artist and robotist. Van Arman has been building robots for his artistic practice since 2005 and has programmed CrowdPainter, bitPaintr and CloudPainter. Everything is based on artificial intelligence software and Van Arman instructs his robots to hold a brush and paint a pattern controlled by an algorithm.

New faces is the product of a collaboration between Van Arman and Robert “3D” Del Naja, a British street artist and member of the electronic band Massive Attack. This work – an NFT accompanied by a physical work – combines Del Naja’s signature style with Van Arman’s technical programming skills. AI layered the textures and colors of Del Naja’s paintings to create a composite idea of ​​their dominant properties, as an exploration of facial recognition software.

Desmond Paul Henry
# 287 (1963)

Desmond Paul Henry, # 287 (1963). Now available in “ArtNFT: Beginnings” on Artnet Auctions. Estimate: 2.5-3 ETH ($ 9,700- $ 11,700).

Desmond Paul Henry is one of the greatest pioneers of early computer art, which is now regarded as the pre-eminent forerunner of generative art. In the 1960s he constructed three mechanical drawing machines whose technology was based on the analog bomb sighting computers used during World War II. Inspired by the “unprecedented parables” of the inner workings of computers, Henry tried to recreate the mechanical movements with ballpoint pens, tube pens, and ink pens to create abstract, curvilinear, repetitive line drawings on paper.

# 287 is a physical work of art created in multicolored ballpoint pens on paper by one of Henry’s drawing machines.

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