Let's Take a Step Back
My view on where we are and where we are going with the gen art movement...
Gm and gn amigos / amigas!
This newsletter issue is special as it marks a new era for those who love writing and appreciate gen art. Fx(Hash) just launched its new Fx(Text) feature, which lets you publish and collect articles in the form of NFTs.
Today I would like to take a step back to appreciate how far we’ve come regarding gen art. Let’s forget about new mints, floors, and the next hot collection for some minutes.
FxHash is ~10 months old, and on-chain generative art is less than two years old. Although it has been a short stint, the repercussions of this new digital art renaissance are spectacular. I want to revisit what we’ve accomplished (by we, I mean all the artists, collectors, developers, and all the fans) and why I am incredibly excited about the future of generative coded art.
Let’s start with some numbers. On FxHash alone, there are over 18k collections created by thousands of artists. Even more impressive is there are over 1M gen art tokens, and that's around 10k minted tokens per month!
Besides the explosive volume, the quality of the art is second to none. Nowadays, anyone can appreciate generative art, even if they aren’t too involved in tech or coding. That wasn’t the case a few years ago when “computer art” appealed to only a small group of computer aficionados.
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Community is an overused term, and you probably are tired of it already. Nevertheless, it is one of the reasons why generative art and FxHash (in particular) had such explosive growth. People are incredibly welcoming. Everyone wants to chat about the tiniest fragments of this trend. From traits to collection size, from the title to the color selection, from the floor price to total volume, the conversations are just filled with substance. Something that is overlooked in this narrative is the number of careers and jobs this community has created. From independent artists adding an extra source of income to established artists living the life they always dreamed of. Not only artists are finding new careers, but also developers who can build tools to support the different needs of all the players in the ecosystem. Last but not least, creating a lot of joy for collectors and “art dealers” (I guess flippers fit here too).
Many question NFTs’ capacity to scale and reach ordinary people. How can we bridge the gap between “the real world” and the “metaverse”? Let me tell you, generative art is doing that, probably better than any other crypto niche. Just in the last year, we have seen events in the trendiest cities in the world - Miami, New York, London, Paris, Hong Kong, etc. - powered by state-of-the-art dynamics. True fans are traveling the world to meet their online heroes, contrary to the doomed version of the metaverse the media portrays these days.
The media leads me to touch on the challenges we have been facing. Despite most media outlets focussing on sensationalism and covering outrageous sales, scams, and primarily giving a voice to those who don’t understand -or don’t want to understand- this new movement, gen art has been able to come on top and survive with a few scratches. These first years have been crucial to constructing solid pillars that will hold this art movement for many years.
It sounds exciting; the revolution started organically and has a strong base, but let me tell you why I think it will get even better.
I’d claim that gen art (in different forms and flavors) will be in the art spotlight during the next century. The reason is the technologies will continue to mature and - more importantly - appeal to younger generations. The tools and weapons to create this art form are tight to those required in the high-end job market. This fact is sometimes underrated, but it is a fantastic side effect benefiting all those artists putting countless hours into improving their craft. Mastering code and adjacent technologies improve vital skills, which will become more valuable as the years pass.
This is thrilling for artists but also for collectors. We will see a new wave of technologists discovering gen art and being able to fit right in, as they understand the complexity and can appreciate the effort and mastery level required to produce such masterpieces. Additionally, those in the tech field are usually in a stable financial situation, which will help to drive the industry and continue to inject wealth to support emerging and established artists.
As time passes, we’d normalize the top museums in the world showcasing some of our favorite gen art collections, or maybe new decentralized hybrid museums will surge into the scene. Leading artists will be in the global news, and a few might become public figures - think Andy Warhol, Frida Kahlo, or Jackson Pollock. Art funds and collectives will solidify their significance by establishing powerful brands, and a fresh wave of art critics, writers, historians, and curators will emerge. I also believe we aren’t far from hearing about the first managers entering the scene to drive artists’ careers in different directions. Some of these visions are already underway, but it will take more time to see them flourish (time passes extremely fast here, don’t be surprised if it is closer than we think).
I hope you had a chance to take a step back to realize all the exciting things that happened in a short period of time, that this is just the beginning, and more importantly, form your own visions while we enjoy the ride.
Until next time,
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