Education

Types of Generative Projects on Art Blocks

by Art Blocks Editorial

As the project list on Art Blocks grows, so too do the possibilities for on-chain generative art. Artists releasing on the platform have continually pushed this art form forward, creating works with many different types of outputs. Here are some examples of the myriad typologies released to date. (Note: to experience each project’s features as the artist intended, please use the links provided below to see the token in “live view.”)

Static

Like a traditional painting or drawing, static images are fully realized as such.

Running Moon by Licia He
Licia He, Running Moon #165, 2022 .

Running Moon depicts the nuanced interaction between clouds and moonlight. It is a search for boundaries between structure and fluidity, precision and errors. It is a quest for harmony. The rendering of Running Moon is inspired by stained glass and watercolor. It captures the sharpness of the glass and the softness of light using abstract forms. As organic shapes gradually expand to fill the space, brush-pen-like stripes solder these pieces together to form intricate compositions.” —Licia He

Made with: Pure JavaScript

Live view: Running Moon #165

Anticyclone  by William Mapan
William Mapan, Anticyclone #470, 2022.

“Anticyclones are a weather phenomena. They pierce through darkness to instill peace and calm. Their planetary scale reminds us of how little we are and how powerful they can be.

High pressure, rotation, air flow… The Anticyclone series is an artistic exploration and interpretation of those concepts.

The rendering borrows its aesthetics from traditional and organic media like paper and crayons, to lend an analog/archival look.

‘Can a computer draw like a human?’ The question is asked and challenged once more through Anticyclone.” —William Mapan

Made with: THREE.js

Live view: Anticyclone #470

Fidenza   by Tyler Hobbs
Tyler Hobbs, Fidenza #0, 2021.

Fidenza is by far my most versatile algorithm to date. Although the program stays focused on structured curves and blocks, the varieties of scale, organization, texture, and color usage it can employ create a wide array of generative possibilities.” —Tyler Hobbs

Made with: p5.js

Live view: Fidenza #0

Animated

While the resting state of animated projects often yields a static image that is compelling on its own terms, motion is at the heart of the following projects.

Cosmic Reef   by Leo Villareal
Leo Villareal, Cosmic Reef #0, 2022.

“A particular order can be found in deepest space, in our oceans and forests, and in all living things, including ourselves — a unified code producing endless variation. Gravity and cosmic winds shape star-forming nebulas into coral-like forms. Flowers self-organize in radial symmetry with signals hidden from the human eye. Stars are birthed, explode, collapse, and are reborn. Invertebrates move on the tides of oceans, signaling with ever-changing bioluminescence.

Light bends time as events unfold in our own lives.” —Leo Villareal

Cosmic Reef reflects on the ordered randomness in nature, capable of producing beauty and symmetry. The individual works begin with a simple geometry that becomes more complex through composed dynamic layers, each born of a combination of human control and computational chance. (From the artist’s project description)

Made with: THREE.js

Live view: Cosmic Reef #0

Glitch Crystal Monsters   by Alida Sun
Alida Sun, Glitch Crystal Monsters #53, 2021.

“A synthesis of over 777 days of generative artmaking, motion as survival, and coding as transformative ritual. Sky gardens of trustless techno-leviathans crystallize, entangle, and play between dimensions online and AFK, generating new forms altogether. I channel these speculative phenomena to highlight the fluid, transformative possibilities of structures perceived as rigid and immutable. Their intricate geometries move freely beyond limited social media compression that severely reduces the experience of digital art. These formations also embody choreographic elements from collaborative live coding dance performance.” —Alida Sun

Made with: p5.js

Live view: Glitch Crystal Monsters #53

Being Yourself While Fitting In   by  LIA
LIA, Being Yourself While Fitting In #20, 2022.

“This piece began as a formal study in composition using simple layered shapes, but when I started experimenting with animation it took on a life of its own. The final work visualizes in form, color, and motion the tension between social conformity and self-expression. At times all of us are required to keep ourselves under control, so that we can live and work together without having to negotiate a thousand tiny idiosyncrasies. Other times we are free to act as wild as we like, but even within this freedom we often find ourselves expressing different kinds of alignment and harmonization. Negotiating our lives involves finding a balance between these forces: conformity and harmony on one hand, and expression and freedom on the other. As long as we share space with others, we must always think about how our actions fit in with those of the people around us.” —LIA

LIA has been making generative software art since 1995, and her work has been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide. This piece extends her signature process of overlapping simple shapes in complex ways, applying a new quality of motion to paint and re-paint the composition, forming hypnotic, shifting patterns of movement and stillness.

Instructions: Animation runs automatically—click/tap to pause and unpause

WARNING: This artwork may potentially trigger seizures for people with photosensitive epilepsy. Viewer discretion is advised.

Made with: p5.js

Live view: Being Yourself While Fitting In #20

FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT  by  Maya Man
Maya Man, FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT #645, 2022.

FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT borrows from the bubbly language and pastel aesthetics of text driven instagram graphics to scrutinize the promotion of wellness, self-care, and confidence on social media.

The piece concentrates on the rhetoric employed in these posts. Persuasive, upbeat, and relentlessly inspirational, there’s a sense of authority embedded in each one. By remixing words and phrases sourced from these types of existing instagram posts, the program generates combinations that mimic their cheerful tone, but range from feeling vaguely familiar to totally absurd.

Text is wrapped in the sugar cookie aesthetic world of “girl power positive vibes boss babe” kind of media, imitating the graphics designed to catch your eye as you’re scrolling through your feed. Visual variables include the output’s background style, color palette, and layout, as well as other decorative elements such as stars ✹, hearts ♡, flowers ✿, and sparkles ✧ :D

Online, these media objects survive on likes, comments, and shares. What do I believe? becomes What do I want to appear to believe? Fake it till you make it! Maybe your dream life lives here: In a digital, fantasy world where the algorithm plays god and loving yourself feels like looking into the light of your screen.

ଘ(੭ˊᵕˋ)੭* ੈ✩‧₊♡ ✧・゚: *✧・゚:*゚✧・゚: *✧・゚:*゚✧・゚: ✧・゚: *✧・゚:*゚✧・゚: *✧・゚:*゚✧・゚” —Maya Man

Made with: p5.js

Live view: FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT #645

Interactive 2-D

These dynamic pieces contain specific interactive elements which are outlined in the project description and experienced though your browser.

Colorspace   by Tabor Robak
Tabor Robak, Colorspace #595, 2022.

Colorspace is a tribute to creating on the computer. An animated painting with programmed brushes, erasers, and accents. Based on the gestures of classic screensavers and operating system UI elements. (From the artist’s project description)

Made with: p5.js

Live view: Colorspace #595

CENTURY  by Casey REAS
Casey REAS, CENTURY #261, 2021.

CENTURY is my homage to paintings and drawings from the twentieth century and the countless hours I’ve spent looking at them. The references span the origins of concrete and non-objective art to color-field painting and minimalism. The strongest direct reference is a series of pictures created by Ellsworth Kelly in the 1950s where he cut his paintings into pieces and reassembled them in different orders. CENTURY creates a distinct picture for each unique transaction hash, and you can “cut” and “reassemble” it in different ways by pressing ‘1’ on your keyboard. Press ‘2’ to put the slices in the original order. These are landscapes; they look best large and in motion running as live code.” —Casey REAS

Made with: p5.js

Live view: CENTURY #261

Two Mathematicians  by  MA
MA, Two Mathematicians #241, 2022.

This project explores the highly mathematical world of Islamic geometric patterns.

Islamic design is one of the world's great artistic traditions, but not much is known about the methods used by artisans in centuries past to construct them. One of the first attempts to formalize the geometry behind Islamic patterns was E.H. Hankin's seminal 1908 paper “Polygons in Contact,” which remains a key technique today. Our project combines the approach described by Hankin with transformations of designs found at real-world historical sites.

Two Mathematicians avoids traditional ornamentation and coloring. It seeks to find beauty in the geometry of the patterns themselves, embellishing only with subtle combinations of basic line and dot shapes. Its two archetypes contrast the precision and order found in Islamic patterns with the informality of a rough draft. In that, it reflects the personalities of its creators, alternating between the obsessive need for order and exactness, and the embrace of just winging it. 

Controls: Zoom in or out with scroll wheel, or arrow up/down. Press /i/ to see the underlying structure. (From the artist’s project description)

Made with: p5.js

Live view: Two Mathematicians #241

Interactive 3-D

The following interactive 3-D projects all have a world-building aspect to them, an exciting characteristic that presents great opportunities for further exploration and development.

Ignition   by ge1doot
ge1doot, Ignition #254, 2021.

“Launched into crypto-space for the first time, I present my genesis project, a limited series of interactive 3D structures, rotating endlessly from their self gravitational force. Each token minted is the result of a complex set of rules, an algorithm that processes the transaction hash and generates a unique piece of crypto-art. Purely written in JavaScript, using no external libraries or dependencies of any sort, these voyagers will forever be the testimony of hardcoded workmanship, a heritage of the old times. Deep space, do you copy?” —ge1doot

Made with: JavaScript

Live view: Ignition #254

Democracity   by Generative Artworks
Generative Artworks, Democracity #324 , 2021.

“Democracity is inspired by the diorama of the same name at the 1939 New York World’s Fair which depicted a utopian city of the future. This piece satirizes the concept showing that the optimism of the 1930’s did not account for the problems of the future brought about by climate change such as flooding. This piece is fully interactive with the best way to experience it being to explore and try to understand the stories that the different city layouts are trying to tell you.” —Generative Artworks

Made with: THREE.js

Live view: Democracity #324

Functional

Some generative pieces have real-world functionality. Alexis André’s 720 Minutes, a clock set to your local time, is exemplary in this regard. Not only does it tell your system’s time, but each piece has a unique “special” minute—one of the titular 720 minutes in a 12 hour cycle—in which extra features reveal themselves. The linked work below is set for 9:31. If you check the live view at 9:31AM and 9:31PM, you will experience the full range of the piece.

720 Minutes   by  Alexis André
Alexis André, 720 Minutes #219, 2021.

A real-time live interactive piece that also acts as a clock. 720 unique ways to show the current time, one per minute over twelve hours. Each clock will activate on its given minute, giving you a special moment every twelve hours to consider what one minute means to you. (From the artist’s project description)

Made with: Pure JavaScript

Live view: 720 Minutes #219

Audio/Visual

Generative music has a long and robust history that runs parallel to developments in generative art. In several projects on the Art Blocks platform, collaborative teams have come together to bring these two traditions together in new on-chain, audio/visual interdisciplinary works.

AlgoRhythms   by  Han × Nicolas Daniel
Han x Nicolas Daniel, AlgoRhythms #864, 2021.

AlgoRhythms is a collection of generative audio-visual data sculptures. Each unique hash drives the combination of colors, patterns and musical scales into a music box. (From the artists’ project description)

Made with: Tone.js

Live view: AlgoRhythms #864

Polychrome Music  by  Rafaël Rozendaal and Danny Wolfers (Legowelt)
Rafaël Rozendaal and Danny Wolfers (Legowelt), Polychrome Music #227, 2022.

“👉 For Polychrome Music I designed a generative music system that plays an infinite composition on 3 different audio channels, each with their own synthesizer. These randomly generate simple musical timbres inspired by early computer sound chips. 🌴 The music itself is generated by randomly selecting 3 patterns out of a pool of 180. These patterns, which are little 8-bar music pieces, were written in the same C# Dorian scale so they always fit together. This is a pleasant sounding minor and colorful scale that I believe fits the general vibe of Rafaël’s work. 🌲 Composition wise, channel 1 plays the bassline and channels 2 and 3 the melody, countermelody, arpeggios and harmonies. 🌳 The system changes the patterns each time they are played, reversing, speeding up or slowing down the pattern or changing the synthesizer channel they are played on. In essence the system infinitely randomly remixes the source melodies to create ever new surprising pieces that harmonize with the colorful compositions. 👈” —Legowelt

Made with: Tone.js

Live view: Polychrome Music #227

Gaming

Gaming is an area of development and growth in this space in general, and on-chain generative games present specific opportunities to leverage interactive features and community building.

celestial cyclones   by hideo
hideo, celestial cyclones #535, 2021.

An interactive experience inspired by the classic breakout game. Destroy all the orbiting barriers and reach the core, while creating your own unique melody.

Controls: Click to start. Left and right arrow keys or Mouse/trackpad to control the baton. P to pause. Look out for power-ups! (From the artist’s project description)

Made with: THREE.js

Live view: celestial cyclones #535

Virtual Reality (VR)

These projects take advantage of the immersive possibilities of a VR interface.

Beatboxes   by Zeblocks
Zeblocks, Beatboxes #538, 2021.

Beatboxes are fully immersive, virtual reality, audiovisual generative art on the Ethereum blockchain. Beatboxes consist of 841 generated unique rooms where you can fully immerse yourself with any virtual reality device. You can also enjoy them from your PC in a more conventional way …The goal with this collection was to create an environment where you can escape your reality for a moment and enjoy your unique piece of art while stimulating the most senses possible. You can open your eyes inside your unique art piece and explore by looking around and listening as you enjoy something you own … Have fun!” —Zeblocks

Made with: A-Frame

Live view: Beatboxes #538

Beauty of Skateboarding  by JEANVASCRIPT
JEANVASCRIPT, Skateboarding #321, 2022.

“Skateboarding is a discipline like no other, some people call it a sport but I like to think of it as a way of expression. Very much like generative art, it is very technical yet creative and requires a lot of practice and dedication to master. In this project I want to show the beauty lying behind some of the most popular tricks by using the skateboard’s movement as input to generate 3D moving real-time sculptures // Every iterations are WebXR enabled and can be viewed in immersive VR and AR…” —JEANVASCRIPT

Made with: THREE.js

Live view: Skateboarding #321

What’s Next?

Artists are constantly writing creative code that pushes the limits of what’s possible for generative art, and future Art Blocks projects promise to expand the types of experiences available on-chain. Stay tuned!

Adapted from a text first published as Druid, “Types of On-Chain Projects So Far…What’s Next?” in The Link: Art Blocks, on October 3, 2021, which can be accessed here.

As the project list on Art Blocks grows, so too do the possibilities for on-chain generative art. Artists releasing on the platform have continually pushed this art form forward, creating works with many different types of outputs. Here are some examples of the myriad typologies released to date. (Note: to experience each project’s features as the artist intended, please use the links provided below to see the token in “live view.”)

Static

Like a traditional painting or drawing, static images are fully realized as such.

Running Moon by Licia He
Licia He, Running Moon #165, 2022 .

Running Moon depicts the nuanced interaction between clouds and moonlight. It is a search for boundaries between structure and fluidity, precision and errors. It is a quest for harmony. The rendering of Running Moon is inspired by stained glass and watercolor. It captures the sharpness of the glass and the softness of light using abstract forms. As organic shapes gradually expand to fill the space, brush-pen-like stripes solder these pieces together to form intricate compositions.” —Licia He

Made with: Pure JavaScript

Live view: Running Moon #165

Anticyclone  by William Mapan
William Mapan, Anticyclone #470, 2022.

“Anticyclones are a weather phenomena. They pierce through darkness to instill peace and calm. Their planetary scale reminds us of how little we are and how powerful they can be.

High pressure, rotation, air flow… The Anticyclone series is an artistic exploration and interpretation of those concepts.

The rendering borrows its aesthetics from traditional and organic media like paper and crayons, to lend an analog/archival look.

‘Can a computer draw like a human?’ The question is asked and challenged once more through Anticyclone.” —William Mapan

Made with: THREE.js

Live view: Anticyclone #470

Fidenza   by Tyler Hobbs
Tyler Hobbs, Fidenza #0, 2021.

Fidenza is by far my most versatile algorithm to date. Although the program stays focused on structured curves and blocks, the varieties of scale, organization, texture, and color usage it can employ create a wide array of generative possibilities.” —Tyler Hobbs

Made with: p5.js

Live view: Fidenza #0

Animated

While the resting state of animated projects often yields a static image that is compelling on its own terms, motion is at the heart of the following projects.

Cosmic Reef   by Leo Villareal
Leo Villareal, Cosmic Reef #0, 2022.

“A particular order can be found in deepest space, in our oceans and forests, and in all living things, including ourselves — a unified code producing endless variation. Gravity and cosmic winds shape star-forming nebulas into coral-like forms. Flowers self-organize in radial symmetry with signals hidden from the human eye. Stars are birthed, explode, collapse, and are reborn. Invertebrates move on the tides of oceans, signaling with ever-changing bioluminescence.

Light bends time as events unfold in our own lives.” —Leo Villareal

Cosmic Reef reflects on the ordered randomness in nature, capable of producing beauty and symmetry. The individual works begin with a simple geometry that becomes more complex through composed dynamic layers, each born of a combination of human control and computational chance. (From the artist’s project description)

Made with: THREE.js

Live view: Cosmic Reef #0

Glitch Crystal Monsters   by Alida Sun
Alida Sun, Glitch Crystal Monsters #53, 2021.

“A synthesis of over 777 days of generative artmaking, motion as survival, and coding as transformative ritual. Sky gardens of trustless techno-leviathans crystallize, entangle, and play between dimensions online and AFK, generating new forms altogether. I channel these speculative phenomena to highlight the fluid, transformative possibilities of structures perceived as rigid and immutable. Their intricate geometries move freely beyond limited social media compression that severely reduces the experience of digital art. These formations also embody choreographic elements from collaborative live coding dance performance.” —Alida Sun

Made with: p5.js

Live view: Glitch Crystal Monsters #53

Being Yourself While Fitting In   by  LIA
LIA, Being Yourself While Fitting In #20, 2022.

“This piece began as a formal study in composition using simple layered shapes, but when I started experimenting with animation it took on a life of its own. The final work visualizes in form, color, and motion the tension between social conformity and self-expression. At times all of us are required to keep ourselves under control, so that we can live and work together without having to negotiate a thousand tiny idiosyncrasies. Other times we are free to act as wild as we like, but even within this freedom we often find ourselves expressing different kinds of alignment and harmonization. Negotiating our lives involves finding a balance between these forces: conformity and harmony on one hand, and expression and freedom on the other. As long as we share space with others, we must always think about how our actions fit in with those of the people around us.” —LIA

LIA has been making generative software art since 1995, and her work has been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide. This piece extends her signature process of overlapping simple shapes in complex ways, applying a new quality of motion to paint and re-paint the composition, forming hypnotic, shifting patterns of movement and stillness.

Instructions: Animation runs automatically—click/tap to pause and unpause

WARNING: This artwork may potentially trigger seizures for people with photosensitive epilepsy. Viewer discretion is advised.

Made with: p5.js

Live view: Being Yourself While Fitting In #20

FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT  by  Maya Man
Maya Man, FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT #645, 2022.

FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT borrows from the bubbly language and pastel aesthetics of text driven instagram graphics to scrutinize the promotion of wellness, self-care, and confidence on social media.

The piece concentrates on the rhetoric employed in these posts. Persuasive, upbeat, and relentlessly inspirational, there’s a sense of authority embedded in each one. By remixing words and phrases sourced from these types of existing instagram posts, the program generates combinations that mimic their cheerful tone, but range from feeling vaguely familiar to totally absurd.

Text is wrapped in the sugar cookie aesthetic world of “girl power positive vibes boss babe” kind of media, imitating the graphics designed to catch your eye as you’re scrolling through your feed. Visual variables include the output’s background style, color palette, and layout, as well as other decorative elements such as stars ✹, hearts ♡, flowers ✿, and sparkles ✧ :D

Online, these media objects survive on likes, comments, and shares. What do I believe? becomes What do I want to appear to believe? Fake it till you make it! Maybe your dream life lives here: In a digital, fantasy world where the algorithm plays god and loving yourself feels like looking into the light of your screen.

ଘ(੭ˊᵕˋ)੭* ੈ✩‧₊♡ ✧・゚: *✧・゚:*゚✧・゚: *✧・゚:*゚✧・゚: ✧・゚: *✧・゚:*゚✧・゚: *✧・゚:*゚✧・゚” —Maya Man

Made with: p5.js

Live view: FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT #645

Interactive 2-D

These dynamic pieces contain specific interactive elements which are outlined in the project description and experienced though your browser.

Colorspace   by Tabor Robak
Tabor Robak, Colorspace #595, 2022.

Colorspace is a tribute to creating on the computer. An animated painting with programmed brushes, erasers, and accents. Based on the gestures of classic screensavers and operating system UI elements. (From the artist’s project description)

Made with: p5.js

Live view: Colorspace #595

CENTURY  by Casey REAS
Casey REAS, CENTURY #261, 2021.

CENTURY is my homage to paintings and drawings from the twentieth century and the countless hours I’ve spent looking at them. The references span the origins of concrete and non-objective art to color-field painting and minimalism. The strongest direct reference is a series of pictures created by Ellsworth Kelly in the 1950s where he cut his paintings into pieces and reassembled them in different orders. CENTURY creates a distinct picture for each unique transaction hash, and you can “cut” and “reassemble” it in different ways by pressing ‘1’ on your keyboard. Press ‘2’ to put the slices in the original order. These are landscapes; they look best large and in motion running as live code.” —Casey REAS

Made with: p5.js

Live view: CENTURY #261

Two Mathematicians  by  MA
MA, Two Mathematicians #241, 2022.

This project explores the highly mathematical world of Islamic geometric patterns.

Islamic design is one of the world's great artistic traditions, but not much is known about the methods used by artisans in centuries past to construct them. One of the first attempts to formalize the geometry behind Islamic patterns was E.H. Hankin's seminal 1908 paper “Polygons in Contact,” which remains a key technique today. Our project combines the approach described by Hankin with transformations of designs found at real-world historical sites.

Two Mathematicians avoids traditional ornamentation and coloring. It seeks to find beauty in the geometry of the patterns themselves, embellishing only with subtle combinations of basic line and dot shapes. Its two archetypes contrast the precision and order found in Islamic patterns with the informality of a rough draft. In that, it reflects the personalities of its creators, alternating between the obsessive need for order and exactness, and the embrace of just winging it. 

Controls: Zoom in or out with scroll wheel, or arrow up/down. Press /i/ to see the underlying structure. (From the artist’s project description)

Made with: p5.js

Live view: Two Mathematicians #241

Interactive 3-D

The following interactive 3-D projects all have a world-building aspect to them, an exciting characteristic that presents great opportunities for further exploration and development.

Ignition   by ge1doot
ge1doot, Ignition #254, 2021.

“Launched into crypto-space for the first time, I present my genesis project, a limited series of interactive 3D structures, rotating endlessly from their self gravitational force. Each token minted is the result of a complex set of rules, an algorithm that processes the transaction hash and generates a unique piece of crypto-art. Purely written in JavaScript, using no external libraries or dependencies of any sort, these voyagers will forever be the testimony of hardcoded workmanship, a heritage of the old times. Deep space, do you copy?” —ge1doot

Made with: JavaScript

Live view: Ignition #254

Democracity   by Generative Artworks
Generative Artworks, Democracity #324 , 2021.

“Democracity is inspired by the diorama of the same name at the 1939 New York World’s Fair which depicted a utopian city of the future. This piece satirizes the concept showing that the optimism of the 1930’s did not account for the problems of the future brought about by climate change such as flooding. This piece is fully interactive with the best way to experience it being to explore and try to understand the stories that the different city layouts are trying to tell you.” —Generative Artworks

Made with: THREE.js

Live view: Democracity #324

Functional

Some generative pieces have real-world functionality. Alexis André’s 720 Minutes, a clock set to your local time, is exemplary in this regard. Not only does it tell your system’s time, but each piece has a unique “special” minute—one of the titular 720 minutes in a 12 hour cycle—in which extra features reveal themselves. The linked work below is set for 9:31. If you check the live view at 9:31AM and 9:31PM, you will experience the full range of the piece.

720 Minutes   by  Alexis André
Alexis André, 720 Minutes #219, 2021.

A real-time live interactive piece that also acts as a clock. 720 unique ways to show the current time, one per minute over twelve hours. Each clock will activate on its given minute, giving you a special moment every twelve hours to consider what one minute means to you. (From the artist’s project description)

Made with: Pure JavaScript

Live view: 720 Minutes #219

Audio/Visual

Generative music has a long and robust history that runs parallel to developments in generative art. In several projects on the Art Blocks platform, collaborative teams have come together to bring these two traditions together in new on-chain, audio/visual interdisciplinary works.

AlgoRhythms   by  Han × Nicolas Daniel
Han x Nicolas Daniel, AlgoRhythms #864, 2021.

AlgoRhythms is a collection of generative audio-visual data sculptures. Each unique hash drives the combination of colors, patterns and musical scales into a music box. (From the artists’ project description)

Made with: Tone.js

Live view: AlgoRhythms #864

Polychrome Music  by  Rafaël Rozendaal and Danny Wolfers (Legowelt)
Rafaël Rozendaal and Danny Wolfers (Legowelt), Polychrome Music #227, 2022.

“👉 For Polychrome Music I designed a generative music system that plays an infinite composition on 3 different audio channels, each with their own synthesizer. These randomly generate simple musical timbres inspired by early computer sound chips. 🌴 The music itself is generated by randomly selecting 3 patterns out of a pool of 180. These patterns, which are little 8-bar music pieces, were written in the same C# Dorian scale so they always fit together. This is a pleasant sounding minor and colorful scale that I believe fits the general vibe of Rafaël’s work. 🌲 Composition wise, channel 1 plays the bassline and channels 2 and 3 the melody, countermelody, arpeggios and harmonies. 🌳 The system changes the patterns each time they are played, reversing, speeding up or slowing down the pattern or changing the synthesizer channel they are played on. In essence the system infinitely randomly remixes the source melodies to create ever new surprising pieces that harmonize with the colorful compositions. 👈” —Legowelt

Made with: Tone.js

Live view: Polychrome Music #227

Gaming

Gaming is an area of development and growth in this space in general, and on-chain generative games present specific opportunities to leverage interactive features and community building.

celestial cyclones   by hideo
hideo, celestial cyclones #535, 2021.

An interactive experience inspired by the classic breakout game. Destroy all the orbiting barriers and reach the core, while creating your own unique melody.

Controls: Click to start. Left and right arrow keys or Mouse/trackpad to control the baton. P to pause. Look out for power-ups! (From the artist’s project description)

Made with: THREE.js

Live view: celestial cyclones #535

Virtual Reality (VR)

These projects take advantage of the immersive possibilities of a VR interface.

Beatboxes   by Zeblocks
Zeblocks, Beatboxes #538, 2021.

Beatboxes are fully immersive, virtual reality, audiovisual generative art on the Ethereum blockchain. Beatboxes consist of 841 generated unique rooms where you can fully immerse yourself with any virtual reality device. You can also enjoy them from your PC in a more conventional way …The goal with this collection was to create an environment where you can escape your reality for a moment and enjoy your unique piece of art while stimulating the most senses possible. You can open your eyes inside your unique art piece and explore by looking around and listening as you enjoy something you own … Have fun!” —Zeblocks

Made with: A-Frame

Live view: Beatboxes #538

Beauty of Skateboarding  by JEANVASCRIPT
JEANVASCRIPT, Skateboarding #321, 2022.

“Skateboarding is a discipline like no other, some people call it a sport but I like to think of it as a way of expression. Very much like generative art, it is very technical yet creative and requires a lot of practice and dedication to master. In this project I want to show the beauty lying behind some of the most popular tricks by using the skateboard’s movement as input to generate 3D moving real-time sculptures // Every iterations are WebXR enabled and can be viewed in immersive VR and AR…” —JEANVASCRIPT

Made with: THREE.js

Live view: Skateboarding #321

What’s Next?

Artists are constantly writing creative code that pushes the limits of what’s possible for generative art, and future Art Blocks projects promise to expand the types of experiences available on-chain. Stay tuned!

Adapted from a text first published as Druid, “Types of On-Chain Projects So Far…What’s Next?” in The Link: Art Blocks, on October 3, 2021, which can be accessed here.

As the project list on Art Blocks grows, so too do the possibilities for on-chain generative art. Artists releasing on the platform have continually pushed this art form forward, creating works with many different types of outputs. Here are some examples of the myriad typologies released to date. (Note: to experience each project’s features as the artist intended, please use the links provided below to see the token in “live view.”)

Static

Like a traditional painting or drawing, static images are fully realized as such.

Running Moon by Licia He
Licia He, Running Moon #165, 2022 .

Running Moon depicts the nuanced interaction between clouds and moonlight. It is a search for boundaries between structure and fluidity, precision and errors. It is a quest for harmony. The rendering of Running Moon is inspired by stained glass and watercolor. It captures the sharpness of the glass and the softness of light using abstract forms. As organic shapes gradually expand to fill the space, brush-pen-like stripes solder these pieces together to form intricate compositions.” —Licia He

Made with: Pure JavaScript

Live view: Running Moon #165

Anticyclone  by William Mapan
William Mapan, Anticyclone #470, 2022.

“Anticyclones are a weather phenomena. They pierce through darkness to instill peace and calm. Their planetary scale reminds us of how little we are and how powerful they can be.

High pressure, rotation, air flow… The Anticyclone series is an artistic exploration and interpretation of those concepts.

The rendering borrows its aesthetics from traditional and organic media like paper and crayons, to lend an analog/archival look.

‘Can a computer draw like a human?’ The question is asked and challenged once more through Anticyclone.” —William Mapan

Made with: THREE.js

Live view: Anticyclone #470

Fidenza   by Tyler Hobbs
Tyler Hobbs, Fidenza #0, 2021.

Fidenza is by far my most versatile algorithm to date. Although the program stays focused on structured curves and blocks, the varieties of scale, organization, texture, and color usage it can employ create a wide array of generative possibilities.” —Tyler Hobbs

Made with: p5.js

Live view: Fidenza #0

Animated

While the resting state of animated projects often yields a static image that is compelling on its own terms, motion is at the heart of the following projects.

Cosmic Reef   by Leo Villareal
Leo Villareal, Cosmic Reef #0, 2022.

“A particular order can be found in deepest space, in our oceans and forests, and in all living things, including ourselves — a unified code producing endless variation. Gravity and cosmic winds shape star-forming nebulas into coral-like forms. Flowers self-organize in radial symmetry with signals hidden from the human eye. Stars are birthed, explode, collapse, and are reborn. Invertebrates move on the tides of oceans, signaling with ever-changing bioluminescence.

Light bends time as events unfold in our own lives.” —Leo Villareal

Cosmic Reef reflects on the ordered randomness in nature, capable of producing beauty and symmetry. The individual works begin with a simple geometry that becomes more complex through composed dynamic layers, each born of a combination of human control and computational chance. (From the artist’s project description)

Made with: THREE.js

Live view: Cosmic Reef #0

Glitch Crystal Monsters   by Alida Sun
Alida Sun, Glitch Crystal Monsters #53, 2021.

“A synthesis of over 777 days of generative artmaking, motion as survival, and coding as transformative ritual. Sky gardens of trustless techno-leviathans crystallize, entangle, and play between dimensions online and AFK, generating new forms altogether. I channel these speculative phenomena to highlight the fluid, transformative possibilities of structures perceived as rigid and immutable. Their intricate geometries move freely beyond limited social media compression that severely reduces the experience of digital art. These formations also embody choreographic elements from collaborative live coding dance performance.” —Alida Sun

Made with: p5.js

Live view: Glitch Crystal Monsters #53

Being Yourself While Fitting In   by  LIA
LIA, Being Yourself While Fitting In #20, 2022.

“This piece began as a formal study in composition using simple layered shapes, but when I started experimenting with animation it took on a life of its own. The final work visualizes in form, color, and motion the tension between social conformity and self-expression. At times all of us are required to keep ourselves under control, so that we can live and work together without having to negotiate a thousand tiny idiosyncrasies. Other times we are free to act as wild as we like, but even within this freedom we often find ourselves expressing different kinds of alignment and harmonization. Negotiating our lives involves finding a balance between these forces: conformity and harmony on one hand, and expression and freedom on the other. As long as we share space with others, we must always think about how our actions fit in with those of the people around us.” —LIA

LIA has been making generative software art since 1995, and her work has been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide. This piece extends her signature process of overlapping simple shapes in complex ways, applying a new quality of motion to paint and re-paint the composition, forming hypnotic, shifting patterns of movement and stillness.

Instructions: Animation runs automatically—click/tap to pause and unpause

WARNING: This artwork may potentially trigger seizures for people with photosensitive epilepsy. Viewer discretion is advised.

Made with: p5.js

Live view: Being Yourself While Fitting In #20

FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT  by  Maya Man
Maya Man, FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT #645, 2022.

FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT borrows from the bubbly language and pastel aesthetics of text driven instagram graphics to scrutinize the promotion of wellness, self-care, and confidence on social media.

The piece concentrates on the rhetoric employed in these posts. Persuasive, upbeat, and relentlessly inspirational, there’s a sense of authority embedded in each one. By remixing words and phrases sourced from these types of existing instagram posts, the program generates combinations that mimic their cheerful tone, but range from feeling vaguely familiar to totally absurd.

Text is wrapped in the sugar cookie aesthetic world of “girl power positive vibes boss babe” kind of media, imitating the graphics designed to catch your eye as you’re scrolling through your feed. Visual variables include the output’s background style, color palette, and layout, as well as other decorative elements such as stars ✹, hearts ♡, flowers ✿, and sparkles ✧ :D

Online, these media objects survive on likes, comments, and shares. What do I believe? becomes What do I want to appear to believe? Fake it till you make it! Maybe your dream life lives here: In a digital, fantasy world where the algorithm plays god and loving yourself feels like looking into the light of your screen.

ଘ(੭ˊᵕˋ)੭* ੈ✩‧₊♡ ✧・゚: *✧・゚:*゚✧・゚: *✧・゚:*゚✧・゚: ✧・゚: *✧・゚:*゚✧・゚: *✧・゚:*゚✧・゚” —Maya Man

Made with: p5.js

Live view: FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT #645

Interactive 2-D

These dynamic pieces contain specific interactive elements which are outlined in the project description and experienced though your browser.

Colorspace   by Tabor Robak
Tabor Robak, Colorspace #595, 2022.

Colorspace is a tribute to creating on the computer. An animated painting with programmed brushes, erasers, and accents. Based on the gestures of classic screensavers and operating system UI elements. (From the artist’s project description)

Made with: p5.js

Live view: Colorspace #595

CENTURY  by Casey REAS
Casey REAS, CENTURY #261, 2021.

CENTURY is my homage to paintings and drawings from the twentieth century and the countless hours I’ve spent looking at them. The references span the origins of concrete and non-objective art to color-field painting and minimalism. The strongest direct reference is a series of pictures created by Ellsworth Kelly in the 1950s where he cut his paintings into pieces and reassembled them in different orders. CENTURY creates a distinct picture for each unique transaction hash, and you can “cut” and “reassemble” it in different ways by pressing ‘1’ on your keyboard. Press ‘2’ to put the slices in the original order. These are landscapes; they look best large and in motion running as live code.” —Casey REAS

Made with: p5.js

Live view: CENTURY #261

Two Mathematicians  by  MA
MA, Two Mathematicians #241, 2022.

This project explores the highly mathematical world of Islamic geometric patterns.

Islamic design is one of the world's great artistic traditions, but not much is known about the methods used by artisans in centuries past to construct them. One of the first attempts to formalize the geometry behind Islamic patterns was E.H. Hankin's seminal 1908 paper “Polygons in Contact,” which remains a key technique today. Our project combines the approach described by Hankin with transformations of designs found at real-world historical sites.

Two Mathematicians avoids traditional ornamentation and coloring. It seeks to find beauty in the geometry of the patterns themselves, embellishing only with subtle combinations of basic line and dot shapes. Its two archetypes contrast the precision and order found in Islamic patterns with the informality of a rough draft. In that, it reflects the personalities of its creators, alternating between the obsessive need for order and exactness, and the embrace of just winging it. 

Controls: Zoom in or out with scroll wheel, or arrow up/down. Press /i/ to see the underlying structure. (From the artist’s project description)

Made with: p5.js

Live view: Two Mathematicians #241

Interactive 3-D

The following interactive 3-D projects all have a world-building aspect to them, an exciting characteristic that presents great opportunities for further exploration and development.

Ignition   by ge1doot
ge1doot, Ignition #254, 2021.

“Launched into crypto-space for the first time, I present my genesis project, a limited series of interactive 3D structures, rotating endlessly from their self gravitational force. Each token minted is the result of a complex set of rules, an algorithm that processes the transaction hash and generates a unique piece of crypto-art. Purely written in JavaScript, using no external libraries or dependencies of any sort, these voyagers will forever be the testimony of hardcoded workmanship, a heritage of the old times. Deep space, do you copy?” —ge1doot

Made with: JavaScript

Live view: Ignition #254

Democracity   by Generative Artworks
Generative Artworks, Democracity #324 , 2021.

“Democracity is inspired by the diorama of the same name at the 1939 New York World’s Fair which depicted a utopian city of the future. This piece satirizes the concept showing that the optimism of the 1930’s did not account for the problems of the future brought about by climate change such as flooding. This piece is fully interactive with the best way to experience it being to explore and try to understand the stories that the different city layouts are trying to tell you.” —Generative Artworks

Made with: THREE.js

Live view: Democracity #324

Functional

Some generative pieces have real-world functionality. Alexis André’s 720 Minutes, a clock set to your local time, is exemplary in this regard. Not only does it tell your system’s time, but each piece has a unique “special” minute—one of the titular 720 minutes in a 12 hour cycle—in which extra features reveal themselves. The linked work below is set for 9:31. If you check the live view at 9:31AM and 9:31PM, you will experience the full range of the piece.

720 Minutes   by  Alexis André
Alexis André, 720 Minutes #219, 2021.

A real-time live interactive piece that also acts as a clock. 720 unique ways to show the current time, one per minute over twelve hours. Each clock will activate on its given minute, giving you a special moment every twelve hours to consider what one minute means to you. (From the artist’s project description)

Made with: Pure JavaScript

Live view: 720 Minutes #219

Audio/Visual

Generative music has a long and robust history that runs parallel to developments in generative art. In several projects on the Art Blocks platform, collaborative teams have come together to bring these two traditions together in new on-chain, audio/visual interdisciplinary works.

AlgoRhythms   by  Han × Nicolas Daniel
Han x Nicolas Daniel, AlgoRhythms #864, 2021.

AlgoRhythms is a collection of generative audio-visual data sculptures. Each unique hash drives the combination of colors, patterns and musical scales into a music box. (From the artists’ project description)

Made with: Tone.js

Live view: AlgoRhythms #864

Polychrome Music  by  Rafaël Rozendaal and Danny Wolfers (Legowelt)
Rafaël Rozendaal and Danny Wolfers (Legowelt), Polychrome Music #227, 2022.

“👉 For Polychrome Music I designed a generative music system that plays an infinite composition on 3 different audio channels, each with their own synthesizer. These randomly generate simple musical timbres inspired by early computer sound chips. 🌴 The music itself is generated by randomly selecting 3 patterns out of a pool of 180. These patterns, which are little 8-bar music pieces, were written in the same C# Dorian scale so they always fit together. This is a pleasant sounding minor and colorful scale that I believe fits the general vibe of Rafaël’s work. 🌲 Composition wise, channel 1 plays the bassline and channels 2 and 3 the melody, countermelody, arpeggios and harmonies. 🌳 The system changes the patterns each time they are played, reversing, speeding up or slowing down the pattern or changing the synthesizer channel they are played on. In essence the system infinitely randomly remixes the source melodies to create ever new surprising pieces that harmonize with the colorful compositions. 👈” —Legowelt

Made with: Tone.js

Live view: Polychrome Music #227

Gaming

Gaming is an area of development and growth in this space in general, and on-chain generative games present specific opportunities to leverage interactive features and community building.

celestial cyclones   by hideo
hideo, celestial cyclones #535, 2021.

An interactive experience inspired by the classic breakout game. Destroy all the orbiting barriers and reach the core, while creating your own unique melody.

Controls: Click to start. Left and right arrow keys or Mouse/trackpad to control the baton. P to pause. Look out for power-ups! (From the artist’s project description)

Made with: THREE.js

Live view: celestial cyclones #535

Virtual Reality (VR)

These projects take advantage of the immersive possibilities of a VR interface.

Beatboxes   by Zeblocks
Zeblocks, Beatboxes #538, 2021.

Beatboxes are fully immersive, virtual reality, audiovisual generative art on the Ethereum blockchain. Beatboxes consist of 841 generated unique rooms where you can fully immerse yourself with any virtual reality device. You can also enjoy them from your PC in a more conventional way …The goal with this collection was to create an environment where you can escape your reality for a moment and enjoy your unique piece of art while stimulating the most senses possible. You can open your eyes inside your unique art piece and explore by looking around and listening as you enjoy something you own … Have fun!” —Zeblocks

Made with: A-Frame

Live view: Beatboxes #538

Beauty of Skateboarding  by JEANVASCRIPT
JEANVASCRIPT, Skateboarding #321, 2022.

“Skateboarding is a discipline like no other, some people call it a sport but I like to think of it as a way of expression. Very much like generative art, it is very technical yet creative and requires a lot of practice and dedication to master. In this project I want to show the beauty lying behind some of the most popular tricks by using the skateboard’s movement as input to generate 3D moving real-time sculptures // Every iterations are WebXR enabled and can be viewed in immersive VR and AR…” —JEANVASCRIPT

Made with: THREE.js

Live view: Skateboarding #321

What’s Next?

Artists are constantly writing creative code that pushes the limits of what’s possible for generative art, and future Art Blocks projects promise to expand the types of experiences available on-chain. Stay tuned!

Adapted from a text first published as Druid, “Types of On-Chain Projects So Far…What’s Next?” in The Link: Art Blocks, on October 3, 2021, which can be accessed here.

As the project list on Art Blocks grows, so too do the possibilities for on-chain generative art. Artists releasing on the platform have continually pushed this art form forward, creating works with many different types of outputs. Here are some examples of the myriad typologies released to date. (Note: to experience each project’s features as the artist intended, please use the links provided below to see the token in “live view.”)

Static

Like a traditional painting or drawing, static images are fully realized as such.

Running Moon by Licia He
Licia He, Running Moon #165, 2022 .

Running Moon depicts the nuanced interaction between clouds and moonlight. It is a search for boundaries between structure and fluidity, precision and errors. It is a quest for harmony. The rendering of Running Moon is inspired by stained glass and watercolor. It captures the sharpness of the glass and the softness of light using abstract forms. As organic shapes gradually expand to fill the space, brush-pen-like stripes solder these pieces together to form intricate compositions.” —Licia He

Made with: Pure JavaScript

Live view: Running Moon #165

Anticyclone  by William Mapan
William Mapan, Anticyclone #470, 2022.

“Anticyclones are a weather phenomena. They pierce through darkness to instill peace and calm. Their planetary scale reminds us of how little we are and how powerful they can be.

High pressure, rotation, air flow… The Anticyclone series is an artistic exploration and interpretation of those concepts.

The rendering borrows its aesthetics from traditional and organic media like paper and crayons, to lend an analog/archival look.

‘Can a computer draw like a human?’ The question is asked and challenged once more through Anticyclone.” —William Mapan

Made with: THREE.js

Live view: Anticyclone #470

Fidenza   by Tyler Hobbs
Tyler Hobbs, Fidenza #0, 2021.

Fidenza is by far my most versatile algorithm to date. Although the program stays focused on structured curves and blocks, the varieties of scale, organization, texture, and color usage it can employ create a wide array of generative possibilities.” —Tyler Hobbs

Made with: p5.js

Live view: Fidenza #0

Animated

While the resting state of animated projects often yields a static image that is compelling on its own terms, motion is at the heart of the following projects.

Cosmic Reef   by Leo Villareal
Leo Villareal, Cosmic Reef #0, 2022.

“A particular order can be found in deepest space, in our oceans and forests, and in all living things, including ourselves — a unified code producing endless variation. Gravity and cosmic winds shape star-forming nebulas into coral-like forms. Flowers self-organize in radial symmetry with signals hidden from the human eye. Stars are birthed, explode, collapse, and are reborn. Invertebrates move on the tides of oceans, signaling with ever-changing bioluminescence.

Light bends time as events unfold in our own lives.” —Leo Villareal

Cosmic Reef reflects on the ordered randomness in nature, capable of producing beauty and symmetry. The individual works begin with a simple geometry that becomes more complex through composed dynamic layers, each born of a combination of human control and computational chance. (From the artist’s project description)

Made with: THREE.js

Live view: Cosmic Reef #0

Glitch Crystal Monsters   by Alida Sun
Alida Sun, Glitch Crystal Monsters #53, 2021.

“A synthesis of over 777 days of generative artmaking, motion as survival, and coding as transformative ritual. Sky gardens of trustless techno-leviathans crystallize, entangle, and play between dimensions online and AFK, generating new forms altogether. I channel these speculative phenomena to highlight the fluid, transformative possibilities of structures perceived as rigid and immutable. Their intricate geometries move freely beyond limited social media compression that severely reduces the experience of digital art. These formations also embody choreographic elements from collaborative live coding dance performance.” —Alida Sun

Made with: p5.js

Live view: Glitch Crystal Monsters #53

Being Yourself While Fitting In   by  LIA
LIA, Being Yourself While Fitting In #20, 2022.

“This piece began as a formal study in composition using simple layered shapes, but when I started experimenting with animation it took on a life of its own. The final work visualizes in form, color, and motion the tension between social conformity and self-expression. At times all of us are required to keep ourselves under control, so that we can live and work together without having to negotiate a thousand tiny idiosyncrasies. Other times we are free to act as wild as we like, but even within this freedom we often find ourselves expressing different kinds of alignment and harmonization. Negotiating our lives involves finding a balance between these forces: conformity and harmony on one hand, and expression and freedom on the other. As long as we share space with others, we must always think about how our actions fit in with those of the people around us.” —LIA

LIA has been making generative software art since 1995, and her work has been exhibited in museums and galleries worldwide. This piece extends her signature process of overlapping simple shapes in complex ways, applying a new quality of motion to paint and re-paint the composition, forming hypnotic, shifting patterns of movement and stillness.

Instructions: Animation runs automatically—click/tap to pause and unpause

WARNING: This artwork may potentially trigger seizures for people with photosensitive epilepsy. Viewer discretion is advised.

Made with: p5.js

Live view: Being Yourself While Fitting In #20

FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT  by  Maya Man
Maya Man, FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT #645, 2022.

FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT borrows from the bubbly language and pastel aesthetics of text driven instagram graphics to scrutinize the promotion of wellness, self-care, and confidence on social media.

The piece concentrates on the rhetoric employed in these posts. Persuasive, upbeat, and relentlessly inspirational, there’s a sense of authority embedded in each one. By remixing words and phrases sourced from these types of existing instagram posts, the program generates combinations that mimic their cheerful tone, but range from feeling vaguely familiar to totally absurd.

Text is wrapped in the sugar cookie aesthetic world of “girl power positive vibes boss babe” kind of media, imitating the graphics designed to catch your eye as you’re scrolling through your feed. Visual variables include the output’s background style, color palette, and layout, as well as other decorative elements such as stars ✹, hearts ♡, flowers ✿, and sparkles ✧ :D

Online, these media objects survive on likes, comments, and shares. What do I believe? becomes What do I want to appear to believe? Fake it till you make it! Maybe your dream life lives here: In a digital, fantasy world where the algorithm plays god and loving yourself feels like looking into the light of your screen.

ଘ(੭ˊᵕˋ)੭* ੈ✩‧₊♡ ✧・゚: *✧・゚:*゚✧・゚: *✧・゚:*゚✧・゚: ✧・゚: *✧・゚:*゚✧・゚: *✧・゚:*゚✧・゚” —Maya Man

Made with: p5.js

Live view: FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT #645

Interactive 2-D

These dynamic pieces contain specific interactive elements which are outlined in the project description and experienced though your browser.

Colorspace   by Tabor Robak
Tabor Robak, Colorspace #595, 2022.

Colorspace is a tribute to creating on the computer. An animated painting with programmed brushes, erasers, and accents. Based on the gestures of classic screensavers and operating system UI elements. (From the artist’s project description)

Made with: p5.js

Live view: Colorspace #595

CENTURY  by Casey REAS
Casey REAS, CENTURY #261, 2021.

CENTURY is my homage to paintings and drawings from the twentieth century and the countless hours I’ve spent looking at them. The references span the origins of concrete and non-objective art to color-field painting and minimalism. The strongest direct reference is a series of pictures created by Ellsworth Kelly in the 1950s where he cut his paintings into pieces and reassembled them in different orders. CENTURY creates a distinct picture for each unique transaction hash, and you can “cut” and “reassemble” it in different ways by pressing ‘1’ on your keyboard. Press ‘2’ to put the slices in the original order. These are landscapes; they look best large and in motion running as live code.” —Casey REAS

Made with: p5.js

Live view: CENTURY #261

Two Mathematicians  by  MA
MA, Two Mathematicians #241, 2022.

This project explores the highly mathematical world of Islamic geometric patterns.

Islamic design is one of the world's great artistic traditions, but not much is known about the methods used by artisans in centuries past to construct them. One of the first attempts to formalize the geometry behind Islamic patterns was E.H. Hankin's seminal 1908 paper “Polygons in Contact,” which remains a key technique today. Our project combines the approach described by Hankin with transformations of designs found at real-world historical sites.

Two Mathematicians avoids traditional ornamentation and coloring. It seeks to find beauty in the geometry of the patterns themselves, embellishing only with subtle combinations of basic line and dot shapes. Its two archetypes contrast the precision and order found in Islamic patterns with the informality of a rough draft. In that, it reflects the personalities of its creators, alternating between the obsessive need for order and exactness, and the embrace of just winging it. 

Controls: Zoom in or out with scroll wheel, or arrow up/down. Press /i/ to see the underlying structure. (From the artist’s project description)

Made with: p5.js

Live view: Two Mathematicians #241

Interactive 3-D

The following interactive 3-D projects all have a world-building aspect to them, an exciting characteristic that presents great opportunities for further exploration and development.

Ignition   by ge1doot
ge1doot, Ignition #254, 2021.

“Launched into crypto-space for the first time, I present my genesis project, a limited series of interactive 3D structures, rotating endlessly from their self gravitational force. Each token minted is the result of a complex set of rules, an algorithm that processes the transaction hash and generates a unique piece of crypto-art. Purely written in JavaScript, using no external libraries or dependencies of any sort, these voyagers will forever be the testimony of hardcoded workmanship, a heritage of the old times. Deep space, do you copy?” —ge1doot

Made with: JavaScript

Live view: Ignition #254

Democracity   by Generative Artworks
Generative Artworks, Democracity #324 , 2021.

“Democracity is inspired by the diorama of the same name at the 1939 New York World’s Fair which depicted a utopian city of the future. This piece satirizes the concept showing that the optimism of the 1930’s did not account for the problems of the future brought about by climate change such as flooding. This piece is fully interactive with the best way to experience it being to explore and try to understand the stories that the different city layouts are trying to tell you.” —Generative Artworks

Made with: THREE.js

Live view: Democracity #324

Functional

Some generative pieces have real-world functionality. Alexis André’s 720 Minutes, a clock set to your local time, is exemplary in this regard. Not only does it tell your system’s time, but each piece has a unique “special” minute—one of the titular 720 minutes in a 12 hour cycle—in which extra features reveal themselves. The linked work below is set for 9:31. If you check the live view at 9:31AM and 9:31PM, you will experience the full range of the piece.

720 Minutes   by  Alexis André
Alexis André, 720 Minutes #219, 2021.

A real-time live interactive piece that also acts as a clock. 720 unique ways to show the current time, one per minute over twelve hours. Each clock will activate on its given minute, giving you a special moment every twelve hours to consider what one minute means to you. (From the artist’s project description)

Made with: Pure JavaScript

Live view: 720 Minutes #219

Audio/Visual

Generative music has a long and robust history that runs parallel to developments in generative art. In several projects on the Art Blocks platform, collaborative teams have come together to bring these two traditions together in new on-chain, audio/visual interdisciplinary works.

AlgoRhythms   by  Han × Nicolas Daniel
Han x Nicolas Daniel, AlgoRhythms #864, 2021.

AlgoRhythms is a collection of generative audio-visual data sculptures. Each unique hash drives the combination of colors, patterns and musical scales into a music box. (From the artists’ project description)

Made with: Tone.js

Live view: AlgoRhythms #864

Polychrome Music  by  Rafaël Rozendaal and Danny Wolfers (Legowelt)
Rafaël Rozendaal and Danny Wolfers (Legowelt), Polychrome Music #227, 2022.

“👉 For Polychrome Music I designed a generative music system that plays an infinite composition on 3 different audio channels, each with their own synthesizer. These randomly generate simple musical timbres inspired by early computer sound chips. 🌴 The music itself is generated by randomly selecting 3 patterns out of a pool of 180. These patterns, which are little 8-bar music pieces, were written in the same C# Dorian scale so they always fit together. This is a pleasant sounding minor and colorful scale that I believe fits the general vibe of Rafaël’s work. 🌲 Composition wise, channel 1 plays the bassline and channels 2 and 3 the melody, countermelody, arpeggios and harmonies. 🌳 The system changes the patterns each time they are played, reversing, speeding up or slowing down the pattern or changing the synthesizer channel they are played on. In essence the system infinitely randomly remixes the source melodies to create ever new surprising pieces that harmonize with the colorful compositions. 👈” —Legowelt

Made with: Tone.js

Live view: Polychrome Music #227

Gaming

Gaming is an area of development and growth in this space in general, and on-chain generative games present specific opportunities to leverage interactive features and community building.

celestial cyclones   by hideo
hideo, celestial cyclones #535, 2021.

An interactive experience inspired by the classic breakout game. Destroy all the orbiting barriers and reach the core, while creating your own unique melody.

Controls: Click to start. Left and right arrow keys or Mouse/trackpad to control the baton. P to pause. Look out for power-ups! (From the artist’s project description)

Made with: THREE.js

Live view: celestial cyclones #535

Virtual Reality (VR)

These projects take advantage of the immersive possibilities of a VR interface.

Beatboxes   by Zeblocks
Zeblocks, Beatboxes #538, 2021.

Beatboxes are fully immersive, virtual reality, audiovisual generative art on the Ethereum blockchain. Beatboxes consist of 841 generated unique rooms where you can fully immerse yourself with any virtual reality device. You can also enjoy them from your PC in a more conventional way …The goal with this collection was to create an environment where you can escape your reality for a moment and enjoy your unique piece of art while stimulating the most senses possible. You can open your eyes inside your unique art piece and explore by looking around and listening as you enjoy something you own … Have fun!” —Zeblocks

Made with: A-Frame

Live view: Beatboxes #538

Beauty of Skateboarding  by JEANVASCRIPT
JEANVASCRIPT, Skateboarding #321, 2022.

“Skateboarding is a discipline like no other, some people call it a sport but I like to think of it as a way of expression. Very much like generative art, it is very technical yet creative and requires a lot of practice and dedication to master. In this project I want to show the beauty lying behind some of the most popular tricks by using the skateboard’s movement as input to generate 3D moving real-time sculptures // Every iterations are WebXR enabled and can be viewed in immersive VR and AR…” —JEANVASCRIPT

Made with: THREE.js

Live view: Skateboarding #321

What’s Next?

Artists are constantly writing creative code that pushes the limits of what’s possible for generative art, and future Art Blocks projects promise to expand the types of experiences available on-chain. Stay tuned!

Adapted from a text first published as Druid, “Types of On-Chain Projects So Far…What’s Next?” in The Link: Art Blocks, on October 3, 2021, which can be accessed here.

Latest from Spectrum