How Chromie Squiggles Pioneered Generative NFT Art
Unexpectedly, Coachella inspired Chromie Squiggles, the generative NFT art Blocks and the most prominent NFT collection (and probably the Art Blocks NFT marketplace itself). Erick Calderon, also known as Snowfro, the founder of Art Blocks, first noticed the artwork on exhibit that night while watching Amon Tobin perform at Coachella in 2012.
What he observed was generative NFT art, more specifically, projection mapping. And it inspired Snowfro to consider how its boundless potential may promote artistic expression. In an interview with Bright Moments, he stated, “If I had to pick a period in time where I recognised that I could become an artist myself, it was there.” “Tobin’s show’s use of projection mapping and lighting gave me the idea that I could create something akin. Art didn’t have to be created by hand; it could be interactive and technological.
What led Snowfro to become the creator of one of the most significant collections of generative art that the NFT realm has seen from amazed fans at the Coachella festival grounds?
#9 goes to @ArtOnBlockchain for providing inspiration and encouragement to purse my creative coding efforts. Snowfro also has set the bar on the charitable aspects of gen art and has motivated me to do so (see below). pic.twitter.com/cP3A0maqcL
— 0xTechno (@0xTechno) December 31, 2022
A keystroke and a squiggle
According to a Right Click Save article, Snowfro worked a 9 to 5 job in the tiling industry before becoming the founder and steward of Art Blocks. He developed models for generative art and practised coding in his own time. However, it took him a long time to realise how generative art experiments may lead to a full-time career in the arts.
In a video chat, Snofrow expressed his excitement over the situation. He learned about CryptoPunks in 2017 (when gas fees were just $35 per mint), at which point he saw that NFTs held the key to realising the full potential of generative art in a contemporary, democratised setting. “When I claimed some CryptoPunks that day, I recognised that there was a time when you might maybe show ownership of something digital for the first time in history. “And all of a sudden, this idea that you could own something digital came together with all of my past experience, creative coding, and immersive art pieces.
Yeah, I think the blockchain would be a beautiful way for generative art to be distributed. I just kind of had this thought.
He began work on what would eventually become Art Blocks, a mainstay in hosting cutting-edge generative NFT art today, by fusing his goal to build a fully blockchain-native experience with his love for generative art. It was appropriate that in order to finance this project, he had to sell 34 of the CryptoPunks he had first created after Larva Labs’ inception.
However, after the release of Art Blocks, Snowfro faced a new challenge. To illustrate its genuinely exceptional user experience, he required a project. Items offered on Art Blocks don’t exist until they are bought and minted, in contrast to most NFT marketplaces. When a collector buys a piece from any collection placed on Art Blocks, they get an unfiltered output that corresponds to the generative script that the collection’s creator initially gave. Therefore, rather than being actual “parts,” pieces represent the output of a script. The number of times a script is instructed to produce an output determines how big a collection may be, and only when minting is complete can each “piecerarity “be fully appreciated.
Also, read – The Meebits Guide: More Than Just 3D CryptoPunks
Chromie Squiggle NFTs unpacking
That is how the Chromie Squiggles NFT collection came to be, one of only two generative art collections made by Snowfro that are now in existence. Snowfro wrote the script for Chromie Squiggles before it was released, giving collectors 9,000 opportunities to get an output from it at launch. The collection was initially only intended to demonstrate the principle behind Art Blocks’ original approach to generating art. But as time went on, Chromie Squiggles’ scope expanded to encompass much more. After all, who better showcase Art Blocks’ powers than its creator?
Snowfrow remarked, “It has utterly disrupted my life. It’s fascinating to observe how this has come to be regarded as a representation of generative art. Despite how enthusiastically the generative art community in the NFT space has welcomed this understated collection of squiggles, Snowfro hopes that other generative artists seeking to be heard in the area won’t be constrained into thinking that Chromie Squiggles fully reflects them. Given the more ethereal elements of Chromie Squiggles’ legacy, an understanding and appropriate response.
But it’s good because this is like a symbol of empathy within the space. It serves as a symbol of inclusivity and compassion in the area. I believe that a small amount of humanity is also desired by space. So it has utterly shocked me how the public has received the Chromie Squiggles. I’m quite pleased with myself and eager to see where things go from here.
However, the only way to create a brand-new Chromie Squiggle is to go directly to its manufacturer. Only 756 Chromie Squiggle NFTs remain to be minted as of this writing, and all mint keys are presently in Snowfro’s custody for him to “give out as he pleases,” according to the Chromie Squiggles website.
Despite the collection’s seemingly straightforward design, Snowfro’s coding has opened up a wide range of options for would-be minters when they produce a Chromie Squiggle. Thankfully, a robust secondary market for these NFTs is also noted on the Chromie Squiggles page. However, they won’t be inexpensive. Although floor prices for the collection are currently north of 13.5 ETH (bearing in mind that this doesn’t account for Chromie Squiggles’ rarity), not every Squiggle will sell for anywhere near the $2.44 million price tag one buyer paid for Chromie Squiggle #3984. The twenty “perfect spectrum Squiggles,” which represent exactly 256 colours, are at the upper end of the Chromie Squiggle value range.
Even though Chromie Squiggles’ website acknowledges that it sometimes falls short of the traditional (museum-based) aesthetic experience, this collection was instrumental in establishing and popularising one of the most significant scenes in contemporary NFT art. By purchasing a fraction of a Chromie Squiggle through its DAO, people can choose to join the Chromie Squiggles community and help the next generation of generative artists further create this expanding branch of NFT art.