Our visual system constructs structural patterns where none exist. Understanding this feature of our vision, regularities in periodic functions were exploited to embed structure on a piece of canvas using vector fields.
When periodic functions are wrapped in sufficient density through vector fields, our visual system constructs an emergent attractor structure. There is often a void at the core of these emergent structures and they evoke feelings of stability or motion in the viewer, depending on the function parameters. When similar attractors are presented in different colors, this enhances or collapses said structure.
Generative art should be fully on-chain. Void Attractors (VAs) achieve this, but in a unique way. Each VA has a Reconstructor: a compressed embedding of all the necessary information to reconstruct that VA. Once you own a VA you have one chance to mint its Reconstructor in the contract and etch it on the Ethereum blockhain forever. This will always enable full reconstruction of your VA from the minted Reconstructor.
The inspiration for this project was to re-think how on-chain NFTs are created on Ethereum and to innovate the process of (visual) art generation. Luckily for me, great people like Deafbeef and the Art Blocks platform have conceptually done a lot of the innovation here before me.
The innovation within this project is the use of game theory to stimulate participation of the community, thereby decentralizing the process of an art project. What do I mean by that? VA embeds the community as part of the process itself. This project did not finish when all VAs were minted out, the project will finish once the code is finally minted into the contract (see Reconstruct Void Attractors).
As a consequence, VA are a participative project in three steps: the initial minting of VAs, the minting of reconstructors, and the minting of the code to reconstruct them.
I expect not everyone will mint their reconstructors by the time the code is minted, marking the finish of the project. Does that make VA as a whole an "on-chain" project or not? Questions like these have not been asked before and will hopefully stimulate discussion within the broader art community that cares about this topic.
On a deeper level, the approach taken by VA and the Unravelling set as a theme represents a possible evolution of decentralized generative art - everyone chipping in to (re)create something.
This imbues the community with a more intimate understanding of the concept of VA compared to other contemporary projects where each NFT is viewed as yet another piece to mint and print. It ensures that if the original artist dies, a particular essence of the project is not lost because it has become decentralized within the community.
However, the idea of decentralizing art in this way has a problem. People do not necessarily like to participate in a project as there is no incentive to do so.
This poses the question of how to solve this problem? To answer it, we turn to science. Scholars like von Neumann, Morgenstern, and Nash have come up with good ways of thinking about problems like this in the 1900s.
Using their insights it was possible to construct a completely novel incentive structure for a decentralized generative art project. Community members are explicitly incentivized to try and recreate their VA with code which is minted onto Ethereum forever. This marks the final component of decentralizing VAs whereby the intimate understanding of the construction algorithm itself becomes decentralized within the community.
We did a secret launch of VA to prevent a gas war and bot front-running.
A small number (25) of VAs has been reserved for promotional purposes.
Etching the Reconstructor of your VA on the blockchain is one piece of the equation. VA is unique in that the enclosed contract further contains a set of riddles carrying the necessary information for writing the code that will allow you to reconstruct any VA. To stimulate investigation, the first four submissions of a provable reconstruction of your own VA using the riddles and the Reconstructor will be awarded 4 - 3 - 2 - 1% cuts on all the sales generated up to the point of provable reconstruction. You are allowed to team up. The first team/person to provably reconstruct their VA will additionally have their code minted within the VA contract, forever etching their work on Ethereum and making VA a fully on-chain project.
For example, if 150Ξ of sales are generated, and the first four people submitted their reconstruction at the same time, they would receive 6Ξ, 4.5Ξ, 3Ξ, and 1.5Ξ respectively.
EDIT 08/08/2021: the 150Ξ sales example is counted as primary sales + royalty fees collected based on Opensea volume.
To enter the competition, please join the Discord and check the announcements for further information.
Verified contract: 0x65ba44B4bF75850748e4002347FB67944AD7840d (be careful and don't get scammed!)