BURNER is a dynamic cryptoart series based on live Ethereum gas price data from Crypto arsonist crashblossom
A total of 256 interconnected artworks dependent on the state of the blockchain. As Ethereum network usage increases, due to price volatility, NFT sales or other factors, a more forceful artwork develops.
Gas price data is made from the competing desires, intentions and beliefs of millions of entities. Transactions on Ethereum create overwhelming amounts of information in block time, cyclically revealing unforeseen states. BURNER pictures this continuous decentralised process. The artwork is never finished, there’s always a new variant.
It’s common to fetishise technology and we can easily become hooked on the network systems we use. The Ethereum blockchain is influential on our lives and this artwork tries to reveal some of its underlying behaviour through abstraction.
The image files in BURNER begin as pictures of true physical gas. They’re extruded into a third dimension, rotated and processed until they’re unrecognisable. These new forms interact differently with one another in each digital artwork.
Every BURNER has a unique base image, unique seed and 60 million potential states. Rarer ‘dark’ and ‘bright’ types can have over 1 billion states. Apart from the base, all layers are shared between all collectors, then mixed uniquely in each piece. The layers are stored as separate files across IPFS. Slower pieces have higher rarity.
BURNER isn’t controlled by the artist, but by the Ethereum Virtual Machine and its users.
We managed to talk to crashblossom remotely to find out more about their art practice & BURNER
Can you tell us about your art practice
My practice explores our jagged human relationship to the technologies we interact with and which influence our lives. I think the fetishisation of technology is a massive trend in our culture. Using the failures of technology as part of my art is a way to break down these systems. The glitches that occur in the art production process are magnified and repeated. I take these glitched forms and connect them up to live data feeds, so they act as living artworks, disrupted reflections of the systems they’re dependent on. My artworks use layers, which creates the illusion of depth. Layers are used in user interfaces to display complex data structures and to organise our virtual environment. I use layers in an abstract way, allowing them to overlap, merge and compete with each other for the viewer’s attention. In my dynamic works the layers also move, creating changing combinations of abstract, glitched images.
Can you tell us about BURNER
BURNER is an ever-changing series of 256 artworks connected to the Ethereum blockchain. They change every block in reaction to the latest gas price data from the network. The artworks follow the ebb and flow of network activity, which is influenced by price volatility, NFT sales and so on. As blockchain activity increases, BURNER becomes more intense and complex. New layers of the artwork are revealed, obscuring the previous layers and building more involved abstract forms.
As another block passes on Ethereum, the artworks change again, leaving that moment behind and moving on to a new unforeseen configuration. The artwork will exist as long as the blockchain, it will keep changing as long as the data from Ethereum changes. It’s out of my control.
You can read more about BURNER here (and buy it as an NFT): crashblossom.co/burner/
Mark Westall is the Founder and Editor of FAD magazine Founder and co-publisher of Art of Conversation and founder of the platform @worldoffad
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