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The NFT Generative Art Movement-Is it still relevant



January 30, 2024

The NFT Generative Art Movement has become a revolutionary force in the contemporary art world, redefining the boundaries of creativity through the lens of technology and decentralization. As the iconic quote by Sol Lewitt suggests, “The idea becomes a machine that makes the art,” the movement traces its roots back to the 1960s when artists began experimenting with computer-generated graphical and sound works, exploring the uncharted territories of artistic expression. In the early stages, limited resources constrained the possibilities, but with the establishment of computer science departments and the emergence of computer art, a new era unfolded .


Today, the movement is propelled by the convergence of Blockchain, NFT (Non-Fungible Token), and crypto art, garnering attention not only for its artistic innovations but also for its impact on the financial landscape, fueled by the soaring values of cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin. This blog aims to delve into the relevance of the NFT Generative Art Movement, unraveling the technical intricacies of Blockchain, NFT, and crypto art for readers unfamiliar with these concepts. By exploring the decentralized nature of Blockchain and the transformative power of NFT marketplaces, where digital artworks are minted into unique assets, we navigate through the digital renaissance that is reshaping the landscape of creative industries.


What is Generative Art?

Generative art, a term still resonating within the artistic community, has undergone significant evolution and recognition since 1998, as evidenced by the series of conferences held in Milan under that title (Generativeart.com). Brian Eno’s influential role in promoting and employing generative art methods, both in music and visual arts, has contributed to its prominence (Eno 1996). In essence, generative art refers to works produced through the activation of a set of rules, where the artist cedes some decision-making to a computer system, though retaining control over the established rules. The pivotal element of generative art lies in the utilization of rules or constraints, distinguishing it from step-by-step algorithmic approaches. Unlike explicit step-by-step code, where the programmer explicitly directs the computer’s actions, generative art embraces a rule-driven system that grants the computer a degree of autonomy, leaving the artist somewhat uncertain about the precise outcomes. This autonomy becomes particularly significant as it aligns with the concept of art-making, reflecting the artist’s comfort in rule-driven generative systems over step-by-step programming. 


The term’s assimilation into the realm of computer art, coupled with the recent integration of methods from Artificial Life (A-Life), adds biological overtones to generative art, emphasizing emergence, self-organization, and evolution as core themes in this evolving artistic paradigm. Despite this biological influence, the formal-mathematical sense remains integral to the label’s meaning. In exploring the question of “What is art?” and drawing parallels with generative art, the quest for definitions and theories becomes a journey through various philosophical aesthetics, encompassing representations, expressions, forms, experiences, open concepts, institutions, and historical definitions. The complexity deepens when considering not just what qualifies as art, but also what constitutes good art. Similar debates and standards apply within the realm of generative art, with varying expectations for what qualifies and what stands as exemplary within this ever-evolving genre. The exploration of generative art, therefore, demands not only a definition but also a coherent theory that engages with the diverse theoretical frameworks inherent in the broader discourse of art.


How did Generative NFTs Gain Popularity in the Art World?

Generative NFT art has surged in popularity within the art world, marked by distinct characteristics that set it apart from traditional art forms. Unlike traditional art that can be replicated through prints, generative art NFTs are truly one-of-a-kind, owing to the use of smart contracts and algorithms in their creation. This uniqueness not only enhances the potential for the artwork’s value to appreciate over time but also allows artists to connect with a global audience of collectors. The interactive nature of some generative art NFTs, responsive to user input or environmental factors, adds a layer of depth and personalization, creating a unique experience for each collector. Beyond individual collectors, marketers and entrepreneurs recognize the potential of generative art NFTs to promote brands and products in a distinctive and engaging manner, fostering a sense of exclusivity and urgency. Notable examples like Larva Labs’ Autoglyphs, Tyler Hobbs’ Fidenza, and Dmitri Cherniak’s Ringers showcase the diversity and creativity within the generative NFT art space.


The success of generative art, however, is often linked to the artist’s popularity and the historical significance of the artwork. The increasing traction of generative NFT art can be attributed to its unique one-of-a-kind creations, providing a platform for self-expression, supporting artists through direct sales, fostering a growing community, and the captivating storytelling associated with each piece, revealing the intricate creative process behind the artwork. This phenomenon has captivated collectors and enthusiasts, turning generative NFT art into a dynamic and flourishing aspect of the contemporary art scene.


How to create a Generative NFT

Embarking on the journey of creating generative art involves a thoughtful and strategic process. The first crucial step is to choose your medium, determining whether you want to craft a 2D or 3D design, a captivating sound composition, or an interactive experience that engages the audience. To streamline the process and enhance visibility, consider establishing an NFT partnership, providing a seamless pathway to present your generative art to a broader audience. Next, define your parameters by establishing the rules or algorithms that will govern the creation of your artwork, including variables such as color, shape, or texture. With these parameters in place, proceed to code your artwork, utilizing programming languages like JavaScript or Python to bring your creative vision to life through lines of code. As your generative art takes shape, the subsequent step involves deploying a smart contract to the blockchain, ensuring the minting of your NFT with authenticity and ownership credentials. The final phase involves the exciting launch of your NFT on prominent marketplaces such as OpenSea or Rarible, where collectors can not only acquire but also trade your unique and algorithmically crafted artwork. This comprehensive process empowers artists to navigate the realm of generative art and the thriving NFT market successfully.


How do generative NFTs work

The answer is simple i.e. “Smart Contract”.

Smart contracts are coded entities that autonomously execute when specific external conditions are fulfilled, rendering them ideal for the creation of randomized, computer-generated art. The initiation of a smart contract involves sending cryptocurrency to it, essentially establishing a blockchain-based escrow position. This activation triggers the execution of programmed code, leading to the generation of unique art pieces, which are subsequently credited to the wallet of the individual who initiated the smart contract.

Which blockchain is more popular in developing generative NFTS:

Although there are several blockchains available in the market but Ethereum stands as the predominant blockchain for NFTs, being extensively utilized in the space. Its notable decentralization is pivotal, providing essential legal and financial services for transactions directly, bypassing the need for intermediaries. With its well-established infrastructure and a substantial user base, Ethereum proves to be an excellent choice for launching new projects in the NFT ecosystem. The other blockchain which are popular in creating generating NFT’s are as follows:

  • Solana
  • Cardano
  • Tezos
  • BNB Smart Chain (BSC)
  • Flow
  • Polygon


While the NFT market experienced a downturn in 2022 and 2023, it has provided generative artists with a storefront and audience, addressing decades of neglect in the art world. Generative NFTs have proven to be immensely beneficial for artists, and with the increasing adoption of generative AI, it is poised to become a transformative force in the days ahead. The NFT Generative Art Movement, characterized by its exploration of blockchain technology and the intersection of art and cryptocurrency, remains a vibrant and evolving force in the contemporary art scene. Crypto collectibles, such as art tokens and blockchain artworks, have become integral to this movement, offering unique, verifiable ownership through the implementation of smart contracts.


As the art world embraces the concept of NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens), the NFT art market has witnessed the rise of generative artworks, exemplified by platforms like Art Blocks Curated and Artsblock. These platforms showcase the diversity and creativity of generative artists, creating a space where buying digital art involves securing ownership of NFT images with transferable value. Despite occasional market fluctuations, the NFT Generative Art Movement proves resilient, fostering new opportunities for artists to sell their creations as NFTs, transforming traditional artworks into blockchain-based assets. The movement’s relevance is underscored by examples of successful Ether NFTs and the increasing popularity of NFT marketplaces, making it a dynamic frontier for artists seeking to overcome artistic and financial challenges through innovative expressions on the blockchain.

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