Interview

In Conversation with Beervangeer on The Field

by Jordan Kantor

Beervangeer is an interactive media artist, working in the field of biofeedback art. He moves between experimental art projects and the world of applied art integration in healthcare. By use of biofeedback and physiological data he creates modern day rituals, in which generative art is used to gain insight in the human unconsciousness. I spoke with Beer in advance of his upcoming Art Blocks release The Field.

Jordan Kantor: Beer, great to speak with you. The Field is your fifth project on Art Blocks—following HyperHash, HashCrash, UltraWave 369, and EnergySculpture. Your production has been prodigious! Can you give us a sense of the development of your generative practice across these projects? Are these projects referential to each other or part of a long term concept or field of investigation? Are there specific points of growth that you can underline for us, and describe?

Beervangeer: Hi there, thanks for inviting me back for a new interview and very happy to release a second curated project on ArtBlocks! I think every project has a bit of a different story, but all can relate to my practice in the use of generative art with biofeedback design in the daily work I do with my company. Because I work with physiological data as an input for my generative works, certain topics always return. For example, the relationship between chaos and order recur in some of the outputs of projects like UltraWave, HashCrash and Coalescence.

Left Beervangeer, Coalescence #0, 2022.  Right Beervangeer, Coalescence #1, 2022.

When I work with data captured from the breathing or heart rate of a person, for example, the relation between chaos and order can be especially interesting, as it is very related to conscious versus unconscious interaction. Chaotic data is produced when a user is unconsciously being recorded, for example, but once a user becomes conscious and starts to interact with specific breathing patterns, order can be produced and observed in the recorded data. The workflow with biofeedback is very similar to how at Art Blocks random data is being produced into the hash string—the input can both exist out of chaotic and orderly patterns.

Beervangeer, HyperHash #0, 2021.

HyperHash and EnergyScultpure don’t really connect so much to these topics explicitly, but are still connected to my biofeedback practice in the sense that they translate a complex and difficult-to-read data string into recognizable objects. They continue my research in symbolism.

Beervangeer, EnergySculpture #256, 2021.

So what you see on Art Blocks is mostly reflecting my already-developed concepts and research ideas that I apply in my daily practice. This makes me maybe somewhat different than other artists who make art solely for its own sake. For me, I really like when I can connect my art practice to real life situations. These Art Blocks pieces give some insight into my developments. With The Field and also HashCrash, this is a bit different because I really made this with the primary intention to be a digital artwork, and it was not previously part of my other research. 

HashCrash is also somewhat distinct from the rest. It also contains some returning concepts, especially in relation to feedback mechanisms that create the complex patterns in the animations. But with this work I played around a bit more with the meme culture around NFTs. I wanted to make a reference to the story of Snow Crash, the science fiction book by Neil Stephenson that predicted a lot of the stuff we are doing now with NFTs. This work is maybe the most simple, but I like how it can evoke a physical reaction that relates to its conceptual underpinnings. It reflects on the physiological reactions NFTs can have on people, the addictive, seductive, darker side of the NFT space.

Beervangeer, HashCrash #298, 2022.

I think The Field takes it a step further, and reflects some of the progress I made. With every release I learned something. For example, I would like to think my coloring and shading skills have improved a lot with this project. With The Field, I reflected back on my previous work and also literally mixed them up, taking the best aspects of the other works to elevate them here. It takes feedback mechanisms from HashCrash, Ultrawave, and Coalescence and shading techniques from HyperHash and EnergySculpture.

Beervangeer, The Field #0, 2022.
JK: Thank you for walking us through that. It is always interesting to see a practice develop and build across projects, and to hear from the artists about where they see connections and even (hopefully) growth. Zooming out a little bit, can you comment on the relation of your generative art practice to the other work you do in your design studio?

BVG: Yes, my generative work is very much connected to my research and practice I do with my studio. The difference is that the studio work always has an applied dimension, as there is an interaction with a user. By involving a user in the creative process, the work becomes more explicitly personal and can act as a vehicle for a moment of reflection and transformation. It can bring you inside unconscious behavior. That’s what I’m still missing a bit with my work on Art Blocks, here the work is more standalone and is missing on that interaction side.

Installation view of Spiritual Urgency, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, 2022, featuring Beervangeer and Julie de Ruijter, Totem, 2022.

At the moment I’m part of an exhibition with my project Totem together with my girlfriend Studio Poca, at the Stedelijk Museum Schiedam in the Netherlands about the urgency of spirituality in modern life. The exhibition shows young and older artists that reflect on this topic through art. It’s very cool how generative art is being displayed alongside a painting by Wassily Kandinsky (1866–1944), for example. In a 1911 essay, “On the Spiritual in Art,” Kandinsky wrote that his abstract paintings were intended to evoke spiritual feelings. He believed that art had the power to transcend the material world and tap into the inner world of emotions and feelings. I have a similar belief with my work and hope to make a bridge one day with biofeedback practice and Art Blocks, to make even deeper connections to the inner world of the viewer. I think events like Bright Moments can be a great way to do this because of the physical minting process, I think Aaron Penne with his event Rituals already did a great job in this regard!

There is also one work on Art Blocks that I think is especially interesting in relation to this topic of spirituality and that’s THE SOURCE CoDE by Ofir Liberman. Here the minting experience also becomes a moment of reflection, adding this layer of interaction that gives more personal meaning to the minted object.

“I really like when I can connect my art practice to real life situations.”
JK: You are speaking a lot about the inner world of the viewer. I wonder if we could zoom out a bit and reflect on external context for a moment as well. Do you have any thoughts on events outside the studio, in the almost two years that separate The Field from HyperHash, as they have affected your practice?

BVG: When I created HyperHash, the energy in the crypto space was really buzzing, it was the start of another bullrun in the crypto space and the start of Art Blocks. I’m always really sensitive to these kinds of waves. It’s like a collective energy attracting momentum, creating these huge hypes. HyperHash also contained this energy I think (it was not for nothing called Hyper 😄). 

The release of HyperHash unleashed a huge transformation for me the following year. I was not only active in Art Blocks, but was setting up all kinds of other things in the NFT space (for example The Realm of MU), connecting to new projects, and experimenting with DeFi. Together with first COVID-19 lockdowns, I really got sucked into too much digital activity—I was almost disappearing on my screen. This really had a negative effect on my health—my senses were totally overloaded. It has only been in the last couple of months that things have calmed down for me, and I think this new calm is reflected in The Field, which I hope can reflect and offer a moment of rest, reflection, recovering and healing.

JK: I think we can all relate to the value of moments of rest and reflection. Can you give collectors a sense of what to look for in The Field as the series is revealed, or do you have any particular ideal ways of viewing the work?

BVG: I hope that collectors also pay attention to the animations and take time to look at them in fullscreen. The still renderings are really beautiful but I think the animations can really give a sense of calm and tranquility. They all have pretty different feelings to it. Also it’s very fun to explore the field yourself and find a nice stop to dwell in. I think for all the collections on ArtBlocks, it is important to take your time to enjoy it, because the art pieces all evolve over time. 

JK: Thank you very much for designating a charity component to this project. Can you tell us a little bit about the cause you have chosen to support?

BVG: For several years I’ve been running a foundation called Ademruimte (meaning breathing space). With this foundation we focus on making contemplative art available in public space, with the goal to create places for reflection and gaining insight through interactive art. The projects we present are combining science, art, and ritual. For the coming year, we would like to set up a grant program with the collected funds from Art Blocks. We will select projects ourselves, and we want to publish an open-call to distribute several small grants to kick-start projects that resonate with the foundation.

JK: Thanks for all these insights, Beer. We are really looking forward to seeing The Field outputs. Do you have any links to share for people to follow your work and to learn more?

BVG: Yes, my general website, The Field project website, and on Twitter.

Beervangeer is an interactive media artist, working in the field of biofeedback art. He moves between experimental art projects and the world of applied art integration in healthcare. By use of biofeedback and physiological data he creates modern day rituals, in which generative art is used to gain insight in the human unconsciousness. I spoke with Beer in advance of his upcoming Art Blocks release The Field.

Jordan Kantor: Beer, great to speak with you. The Field is your fifth project on Art Blocks—following HyperHash, HashCrash, UltraWave 369, and EnergySculpture. Your production has been prodigious! Can you give us a sense of the development of your generative practice across these projects? Are these projects referential to each other or part of a long term concept or field of investigation? Are there specific points of growth that you can underline for us, and describe?

Beervangeer: Hi there, thanks for inviting me back for a new interview and very happy to release a second curated project on ArtBlocks! I think every project has a bit of a different story, but all can relate to my practice in the use of generative art with biofeedback design in the daily work I do with my company. Because I work with physiological data as an input for my generative works, certain topics always return. For example, the relationship between chaos and order recur in some of the outputs of projects like UltraWave, HashCrash and Coalescence.

Left Beervangeer, Coalescence #0, 2022.  Right Beervangeer, Coalescence #1, 2022.

When I work with data captured from the breathing or heart rate of a person, for example, the relation between chaos and order can be especially interesting, as it is very related to conscious versus unconscious interaction. Chaotic data is produced when a user is unconsciously being recorded, for example, but once a user becomes conscious and starts to interact with specific breathing patterns, order can be produced and observed in the recorded data. The workflow with biofeedback is very similar to how at Art Blocks random data is being produced into the hash string—the input can both exist out of chaotic and orderly patterns.

Beervangeer, HyperHash #0, 2021.

HyperHash and EnergyScultpure don’t really connect so much to these topics explicitly, but are still connected to my biofeedback practice in the sense that they translate a complex and difficult-to-read data string into recognizable objects. They continue my research in symbolism.

Beervangeer, EnergySculpture #256, 2021.

So what you see on Art Blocks is mostly reflecting my already-developed concepts and research ideas that I apply in my daily practice. This makes me maybe somewhat different than other artists who make art solely for its own sake. For me, I really like when I can connect my art practice to real life situations. These Art Blocks pieces give some insight into my developments. With The Field and also HashCrash, this is a bit different because I really made this with the primary intention to be a digital artwork, and it was not previously part of my other research. 

HashCrash is also somewhat distinct from the rest. It also contains some returning concepts, especially in relation to feedback mechanisms that create the complex patterns in the animations. But with this work I played around a bit more with the meme culture around NFTs. I wanted to make a reference to the story of Snow Crash, the science fiction book by Neil Stephenson that predicted a lot of the stuff we are doing now with NFTs. This work is maybe the most simple, but I like how it can evoke a physical reaction that relates to its conceptual underpinnings. It reflects on the physiological reactions NFTs can have on people, the addictive, seductive, darker side of the NFT space.

Beervangeer, HashCrash #298, 2022.

I think The Field takes it a step further, and reflects some of the progress I made. With every release I learned something. For example, I would like to think my coloring and shading skills have improved a lot with this project. With The Field, I reflected back on my previous work and also literally mixed them up, taking the best aspects of the other works to elevate them here. It takes feedback mechanisms from HashCrash, Ultrawave, and Coalescence and shading techniques from HyperHash and EnergySculpture.

Beervangeer, The Field #0, 2022.
JK: Thank you for walking us through that. It is always interesting to see a practice develop and build across projects, and to hear from the artists about where they see connections and even (hopefully) growth. Zooming out a little bit, can you comment on the relation of your generative art practice to the other work you do in your design studio?

BVG: Yes, my generative work is very much connected to my research and practice I do with my studio. The difference is that the studio work always has an applied dimension, as there is an interaction with a user. By involving a user in the creative process, the work becomes more explicitly personal and can act as a vehicle for a moment of reflection and transformation. It can bring you inside unconscious behavior. That’s what I’m still missing a bit with my work on Art Blocks, here the work is more standalone and is missing on that interaction side.

Installation view of Spiritual Urgency, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, 2022, featuring Beervangeer and Julie de Ruijter, Totem, 2022.

At the moment I’m part of an exhibition with my project Totem together with my girlfriend Studio Poca, at the Stedelijk Museum Schiedam in the Netherlands about the urgency of spirituality in modern life. The exhibition shows young and older artists that reflect on this topic through art. It’s very cool how generative art is being displayed alongside a painting by Wassily Kandinsky (1866–1944), for example. In a 1911 essay, “On the Spiritual in Art,” Kandinsky wrote that his abstract paintings were intended to evoke spiritual feelings. He believed that art had the power to transcend the material world and tap into the inner world of emotions and feelings. I have a similar belief with my work and hope to make a bridge one day with biofeedback practice and Art Blocks, to make even deeper connections to the inner world of the viewer. I think events like Bright Moments can be a great way to do this because of the physical minting process, I think Aaron Penne with his event Rituals already did a great job in this regard!

There is also one work on Art Blocks that I think is especially interesting in relation to this topic of spirituality and that’s THE SOURCE CoDE by Ofir Liberman. Here the minting experience also becomes a moment of reflection, adding this layer of interaction that gives more personal meaning to the minted object.

“I really like when I can connect my art practice to real life situations.”
JK: You are speaking a lot about the inner world of the viewer. I wonder if we could zoom out a bit and reflect on external context for a moment as well. Do you have any thoughts on events outside the studio, in the almost two years that separate The Field from HyperHash, as they have affected your practice?

BVG: When I created HyperHash, the energy in the crypto space was really buzzing, it was the start of another bullrun in the crypto space and the start of Art Blocks. I’m always really sensitive to these kinds of waves. It’s like a collective energy attracting momentum, creating these huge hypes. HyperHash also contained this energy I think (it was not for nothing called Hyper 😄). 

The release of HyperHash unleashed a huge transformation for me the following year. I was not only active in Art Blocks, but was setting up all kinds of other things in the NFT space (for example The Realm of MU), connecting to new projects, and experimenting with DeFi. Together with first COVID-19 lockdowns, I really got sucked into too much digital activity—I was almost disappearing on my screen. This really had a negative effect on my health—my senses were totally overloaded. It has only been in the last couple of months that things have calmed down for me, and I think this new calm is reflected in The Field, which I hope can reflect and offer a moment of rest, reflection, recovering and healing.

JK: I think we can all relate to the value of moments of rest and reflection. Can you give collectors a sense of what to look for in The Field as the series is revealed, or do you have any particular ideal ways of viewing the work?

BVG: I hope that collectors also pay attention to the animations and take time to look at them in fullscreen. The still renderings are really beautiful but I think the animations can really give a sense of calm and tranquility. They all have pretty different feelings to it. Also it’s very fun to explore the field yourself and find a nice stop to dwell in. I think for all the collections on ArtBlocks, it is important to take your time to enjoy it, because the art pieces all evolve over time. 

JK: Thank you very much for designating a charity component to this project. Can you tell us a little bit about the cause you have chosen to support?

BVG: For several years I’ve been running a foundation called Ademruimte (meaning breathing space). With this foundation we focus on making contemplative art available in public space, with the goal to create places for reflection and gaining insight through interactive art. The projects we present are combining science, art, and ritual. For the coming year, we would like to set up a grant program with the collected funds from Art Blocks. We will select projects ourselves, and we want to publish an open-call to distribute several small grants to kick-start projects that resonate with the foundation.

JK: Thanks for all these insights, Beer. We are really looking forward to seeing The Field outputs. Do you have any links to share for people to follow your work and to learn more?

BVG: Yes, my general website, The Field project website, and on Twitter.

Beervangeer is an interactive media artist, working in the field of biofeedback art. He moves between experimental art projects and the world of applied art integration in healthcare. By use of biofeedback and physiological data he creates modern day rituals, in which generative art is used to gain insight in the human unconsciousness. I spoke with Beer in advance of his upcoming Art Blocks release The Field.

Jordan Kantor: Beer, great to speak with you. The Field is your fifth project on Art Blocks—following HyperHash, HashCrash, UltraWave 369, and EnergySculpture. Your production has been prodigious! Can you give us a sense of the development of your generative practice across these projects? Are these projects referential to each other or part of a long term concept or field of investigation? Are there specific points of growth that you can underline for us, and describe?

Beervangeer: Hi there, thanks for inviting me back for a new interview and very happy to release a second curated project on ArtBlocks! I think every project has a bit of a different story, but all can relate to my practice in the use of generative art with biofeedback design in the daily work I do with my company. Because I work with physiological data as an input for my generative works, certain topics always return. For example, the relationship between chaos and order recur in some of the outputs of projects like UltraWave, HashCrash and Coalescence.

Left Beervangeer, Coalescence #0, 2022.  Right Beervangeer, Coalescence #1, 2022.

When I work with data captured from the breathing or heart rate of a person, for example, the relation between chaos and order can be especially interesting, as it is very related to conscious versus unconscious interaction. Chaotic data is produced when a user is unconsciously being recorded, for example, but once a user becomes conscious and starts to interact with specific breathing patterns, order can be produced and observed in the recorded data. The workflow with biofeedback is very similar to how at Art Blocks random data is being produced into the hash string—the input can both exist out of chaotic and orderly patterns.

Beervangeer, HyperHash #0, 2021.

HyperHash and EnergyScultpure don’t really connect so much to these topics explicitly, but are still connected to my biofeedback practice in the sense that they translate a complex and difficult-to-read data string into recognizable objects. They continue my research in symbolism.

Beervangeer, EnergySculpture #256, 2021.

So what you see on Art Blocks is mostly reflecting my already-developed concepts and research ideas that I apply in my daily practice. This makes me maybe somewhat different than other artists who make art solely for its own sake. For me, I really like when I can connect my art practice to real life situations. These Art Blocks pieces give some insight into my developments. With The Field and also HashCrash, this is a bit different because I really made this with the primary intention to be a digital artwork, and it was not previously part of my other research. 

HashCrash is also somewhat distinct from the rest. It also contains some returning concepts, especially in relation to feedback mechanisms that create the complex patterns in the animations. But with this work I played around a bit more with the meme culture around NFTs. I wanted to make a reference to the story of Snow Crash, the science fiction book by Neil Stephenson that predicted a lot of the stuff we are doing now with NFTs. This work is maybe the most simple, but I like how it can evoke a physical reaction that relates to its conceptual underpinnings. It reflects on the physiological reactions NFTs can have on people, the addictive, seductive, darker side of the NFT space.

Beervangeer, HashCrash #298, 2022.

I think The Field takes it a step further, and reflects some of the progress I made. With every release I learned something. For example, I would like to think my coloring and shading skills have improved a lot with this project. With The Field, I reflected back on my previous work and also literally mixed them up, taking the best aspects of the other works to elevate them here. It takes feedback mechanisms from HashCrash, Ultrawave, and Coalescence and shading techniques from HyperHash and EnergySculpture.

Beervangeer, The Field #0, 2022.
JK: Thank you for walking us through that. It is always interesting to see a practice develop and build across projects, and to hear from the artists about where they see connections and even (hopefully) growth. Zooming out a little bit, can you comment on the relation of your generative art practice to the other work you do in your design studio?

BVG: Yes, my generative work is very much connected to my research and practice I do with my studio. The difference is that the studio work always has an applied dimension, as there is an interaction with a user. By involving a user in the creative process, the work becomes more explicitly personal and can act as a vehicle for a moment of reflection and transformation. It can bring you inside unconscious behavior. That’s what I’m still missing a bit with my work on Art Blocks, here the work is more standalone and is missing on that interaction side.

Installation view of Spiritual Urgency, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, 2022, featuring Beervangeer and Julie de Ruijter, Totem, 2022.

At the moment I’m part of an exhibition with my project Totem together with my girlfriend Studio Poca, at the Stedelijk Museum Schiedam in the Netherlands about the urgency of spirituality in modern life. The exhibition shows young and older artists that reflect on this topic through art. It’s very cool how generative art is being displayed alongside a painting by Wassily Kandinsky (1866–1944), for example. In a 1911 essay, “On the Spiritual in Art,” Kandinsky wrote that his abstract paintings were intended to evoke spiritual feelings. He believed that art had the power to transcend the material world and tap into the inner world of emotions and feelings. I have a similar belief with my work and hope to make a bridge one day with biofeedback practice and Art Blocks, to make even deeper connections to the inner world of the viewer. I think events like Bright Moments can be a great way to do this because of the physical minting process, I think Aaron Penne with his event Rituals already did a great job in this regard!

There is also one work on Art Blocks that I think is especially interesting in relation to this topic of spirituality and that’s THE SOURCE CoDE by Ofir Liberman. Here the minting experience also becomes a moment of reflection, adding this layer of interaction that gives more personal meaning to the minted object.

“I really like when I can connect my art practice to real life situations.”
JK: You are speaking a lot about the inner world of the viewer. I wonder if we could zoom out a bit and reflect on external context for a moment as well. Do you have any thoughts on events outside the studio, in the almost two years that separate The Field from HyperHash, as they have affected your practice?

BVG: When I created HyperHash, the energy in the crypto space was really buzzing, it was the start of another bullrun in the crypto space and the start of Art Blocks. I’m always really sensitive to these kinds of waves. It’s like a collective energy attracting momentum, creating these huge hypes. HyperHash also contained this energy I think (it was not for nothing called Hyper 😄). 

The release of HyperHash unleashed a huge transformation for me the following year. I was not only active in Art Blocks, but was setting up all kinds of other things in the NFT space (for example The Realm of MU), connecting to new projects, and experimenting with DeFi. Together with first COVID-19 lockdowns, I really got sucked into too much digital activity—I was almost disappearing on my screen. This really had a negative effect on my health—my senses were totally overloaded. It has only been in the last couple of months that things have calmed down for me, and I think this new calm is reflected in The Field, which I hope can reflect and offer a moment of rest, reflection, recovering and healing.

JK: I think we can all relate to the value of moments of rest and reflection. Can you give collectors a sense of what to look for in The Field as the series is revealed, or do you have any particular ideal ways of viewing the work?

BVG: I hope that collectors also pay attention to the animations and take time to look at them in fullscreen. The still renderings are really beautiful but I think the animations can really give a sense of calm and tranquility. They all have pretty different feelings to it. Also it’s very fun to explore the field yourself and find a nice stop to dwell in. I think for all the collections on ArtBlocks, it is important to take your time to enjoy it, because the art pieces all evolve over time. 

JK: Thank you very much for designating a charity component to this project. Can you tell us a little bit about the cause you have chosen to support?

BVG: For several years I’ve been running a foundation called Ademruimte (meaning breathing space). With this foundation we focus on making contemplative art available in public space, with the goal to create places for reflection and gaining insight through interactive art. The projects we present are combining science, art, and ritual. For the coming year, we would like to set up a grant program with the collected funds from Art Blocks. We will select projects ourselves, and we want to publish an open-call to distribute several small grants to kick-start projects that resonate with the foundation.

JK: Thanks for all these insights, Beer. We are really looking forward to seeing The Field outputs. Do you have any links to share for people to follow your work and to learn more?

BVG: Yes, my general website, The Field project website, and on Twitter.

Beervangeer is an interactive media artist, working in the field of biofeedback art. He moves between experimental art projects and the world of applied art integration in healthcare. By use of biofeedback and physiological data he creates modern day rituals, in which generative art is used to gain insight in the human unconsciousness. I spoke with Beer in advance of his upcoming Art Blocks release The Field.

Jordan Kantor: Beer, great to speak with you. The Field is your fifth project on Art Blocks—following HyperHash, HashCrash, UltraWave 369, and EnergySculpture. Your production has been prodigious! Can you give us a sense of the development of your generative practice across these projects? Are these projects referential to each other or part of a long term concept or field of investigation? Are there specific points of growth that you can underline for us, and describe?

Beervangeer: Hi there, thanks for inviting me back for a new interview and very happy to release a second curated project on ArtBlocks! I think every project has a bit of a different story, but all can relate to my practice in the use of generative art with biofeedback design in the daily work I do with my company. Because I work with physiological data as an input for my generative works, certain topics always return. For example, the relationship between chaos and order recur in some of the outputs of projects like UltraWave, HashCrash and Coalescence.

Left Beervangeer, Coalescence #0, 2022.  Right Beervangeer, Coalescence #1, 2022.

When I work with data captured from the breathing or heart rate of a person, for example, the relation between chaos and order can be especially interesting, as it is very related to conscious versus unconscious interaction. Chaotic data is produced when a user is unconsciously being recorded, for example, but once a user becomes conscious and starts to interact with specific breathing patterns, order can be produced and observed in the recorded data. The workflow with biofeedback is very similar to how at Art Blocks random data is being produced into the hash string—the input can both exist out of chaotic and orderly patterns.

Beervangeer, HyperHash #0, 2021.

HyperHash and EnergyScultpure don’t really connect so much to these topics explicitly, but are still connected to my biofeedback practice in the sense that they translate a complex and difficult-to-read data string into recognizable objects. They continue my research in symbolism.

Beervangeer, EnergySculpture #256, 2021.

So what you see on Art Blocks is mostly reflecting my already-developed concepts and research ideas that I apply in my daily practice. This makes me maybe somewhat different than other artists who make art solely for its own sake. For me, I really like when I can connect my art practice to real life situations. These Art Blocks pieces give some insight into my developments. With The Field and also HashCrash, this is a bit different because I really made this with the primary intention to be a digital artwork, and it was not previously part of my other research. 

HashCrash is also somewhat distinct from the rest. It also contains some returning concepts, especially in relation to feedback mechanisms that create the complex patterns in the animations. But with this work I played around a bit more with the meme culture around NFTs. I wanted to make a reference to the story of Snow Crash, the science fiction book by Neil Stephenson that predicted a lot of the stuff we are doing now with NFTs. This work is maybe the most simple, but I like how it can evoke a physical reaction that relates to its conceptual underpinnings. It reflects on the physiological reactions NFTs can have on people, the addictive, seductive, darker side of the NFT space.

Beervangeer, HashCrash #298, 2022.

I think The Field takes it a step further, and reflects some of the progress I made. With every release I learned something. For example, I would like to think my coloring and shading skills have improved a lot with this project. With The Field, I reflected back on my previous work and also literally mixed them up, taking the best aspects of the other works to elevate them here. It takes feedback mechanisms from HashCrash, Ultrawave, and Coalescence and shading techniques from HyperHash and EnergySculpture.

Beervangeer, The Field #0, 2022.
JK: Thank you for walking us through that. It is always interesting to see a practice develop and build across projects, and to hear from the artists about where they see connections and even (hopefully) growth. Zooming out a little bit, can you comment on the relation of your generative art practice to the other work you do in your design studio?

BVG: Yes, my generative work is very much connected to my research and practice I do with my studio. The difference is that the studio work always has an applied dimension, as there is an interaction with a user. By involving a user in the creative process, the work becomes more explicitly personal and can act as a vehicle for a moment of reflection and transformation. It can bring you inside unconscious behavior. That’s what I’m still missing a bit with my work on Art Blocks, here the work is more standalone and is missing on that interaction side.

Installation view of Spiritual Urgency, Stedelijk Museum Schiedam, 2022, featuring Beervangeer and Julie de Ruijter, Totem, 2022.

At the moment I’m part of an exhibition with my project Totem together with my girlfriend Studio Poca, at the Stedelijk Museum Schiedam in the Netherlands about the urgency of spirituality in modern life. The exhibition shows young and older artists that reflect on this topic through art. It’s very cool how generative art is being displayed alongside a painting by Wassily Kandinsky (1866–1944), for example. In a 1911 essay, “On the Spiritual in Art,” Kandinsky wrote that his abstract paintings were intended to evoke spiritual feelings. He believed that art had the power to transcend the material world and tap into the inner world of emotions and feelings. I have a similar belief with my work and hope to make a bridge one day with biofeedback practice and Art Blocks, to make even deeper connections to the inner world of the viewer. I think events like Bright Moments can be a great way to do this because of the physical minting process, I think Aaron Penne with his event Rituals already did a great job in this regard!

There is also one work on Art Blocks that I think is especially interesting in relation to this topic of spirituality and that’s THE SOURCE CoDE by Ofir Liberman. Here the minting experience also becomes a moment of reflection, adding this layer of interaction that gives more personal meaning to the minted object.

“I really like when I can connect my art practice to real life situations.”
JK: You are speaking a lot about the inner world of the viewer. I wonder if we could zoom out a bit and reflect on external context for a moment as well. Do you have any thoughts on events outside the studio, in the almost two years that separate The Field from HyperHash, as they have affected your practice?

BVG: When I created HyperHash, the energy in the crypto space was really buzzing, it was the start of another bullrun in the crypto space and the start of Art Blocks. I’m always really sensitive to these kinds of waves. It’s like a collective energy attracting momentum, creating these huge hypes. HyperHash also contained this energy I think (it was not for nothing called Hyper 😄). 

The release of HyperHash unleashed a huge transformation for me the following year. I was not only active in Art Blocks, but was setting up all kinds of other things in the NFT space (for example The Realm of MU), connecting to new projects, and experimenting with DeFi. Together with first COVID-19 lockdowns, I really got sucked into too much digital activity—I was almost disappearing on my screen. This really had a negative effect on my health—my senses were totally overloaded. It has only been in the last couple of months that things have calmed down for me, and I think this new calm is reflected in The Field, which I hope can reflect and offer a moment of rest, reflection, recovering and healing.

JK: I think we can all relate to the value of moments of rest and reflection. Can you give collectors a sense of what to look for in The Field as the series is revealed, or do you have any particular ideal ways of viewing the work?

BVG: I hope that collectors also pay attention to the animations and take time to look at them in fullscreen. The still renderings are really beautiful but I think the animations can really give a sense of calm and tranquility. They all have pretty different feelings to it. Also it’s very fun to explore the field yourself and find a nice stop to dwell in. I think for all the collections on ArtBlocks, it is important to take your time to enjoy it, because the art pieces all evolve over time. 

JK: Thank you very much for designating a charity component to this project. Can you tell us a little bit about the cause you have chosen to support?

BVG: For several years I’ve been running a foundation called Ademruimte (meaning breathing space). With this foundation we focus on making contemplative art available in public space, with the goal to create places for reflection and gaining insight through interactive art. The projects we present are combining science, art, and ritual. For the coming year, we would like to set up a grant program with the collected funds from Art Blocks. We will select projects ourselves, and we want to publish an open-call to distribute several small grants to kick-start projects that resonate with the foundation.

JK: Thanks for all these insights, Beer. We are really looking forward to seeing The Field outputs. Do you have any links to share for people to follow your work and to learn more?

BVG: Yes, my general website, The Field project website, and on Twitter.

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