Issue #44
Week 28 2021

Art Blocks on 🔥

It has been such a pleasure to watch the Art Blocks platform growing and absolutely dominating the space.

We were fortunate enough to be there at the beginning and covered Art Blocks at launch, but oh boy, who would have predicted what a wild ride this would be!

Artblocks Platform has been steadily rising on all metrics for some time now, but the volume and sales this past week have been really impressive. So let’s have a holistic look together.

What is Artblocks?

‘’Art Blocks is a first of its kind platform focused on genuinely programmable on demand generative content that is stored immutably on the Ethereum Blockchain. You pick a style that you like, pay for the work, and a randomly generated version of the content is created by an algorithm and sent to your Ethereum account. The resulting piece might be a static image, 3D model, or an interactive experience. Each output is different and there are endless possibilities for the types of content that can be created on the platform. ‘’
- artblocks.io

Simply, Art Blocks is a Giant Vending machine for Generative art, where you insert coin, choose the art you want and the algorithm generates your artwork according to the artist's code.

What is the difference between Curated – Playground – Factory?

Curated Projects

Art Blocks has a curation board in place, which selects the projects that will be released under their ‘’Curated’’ section as they are considered to be the "official" Artblocks releases that represent the vision in quality and design the platform strives for

Artist Playground

After artists have had a curated drop, they can then release on Artist Playground. Although the Playground Drops aren’t "curated" they do abide by some rules, such as one active project at a time per artist, must have a curated drop, and must not change tokenomics once it’s launched.

Factory

Is the more open side of Art Blocks. It serves as a place for artists who don’t want to wait for a curated drop to release their generative art projects. Requirements aren’t as strict as ‘’Curated’’ but the Factory releases are geared towards showcasing innovation, beauty and creativity

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All Time

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The numbers and people’s reception has been astonishing and it will only grow from here.

Chromie squiggle floor is 3 ETH while Fidenza floor is 18 ETH. All ‘’Curated’’ and ‘’Artist Playground’’ projects are sold out, Factory projects are mostly sold out too, with a few remaining available for primary minting.

An excellent resource to keep up with the news and lore of the AB community is ofcourse the AB newsletter by Druid  and also, of course, the AB discord server.

The next curated drop is on July 23, by Alida Sun.

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Gazettes

a generative art project 

A Week in NFTs

In this week’s example of why NFTs aren’t dead, we’re going to go through some of the most significant sales of the week.

- 1 -

XCOPY 

In the first spot, two of XCOPY 1of1s bought for 115ETH and 125ETH on SuperRare. The piece “Crunch” was purchased for 115 ETH by Keyboard Monkey. The art piece “You’re wasting your life. Literally,” was bought for 125 ETH by Bharat Krymo. One interesting note is that these pieces were created two years ago and have since grown exponentially in value.

-2-

Bored Apes

On Friday, July 16, Bored Ape #3749 was bought for 105 ETH by TDHD, who is said to be a first-time Ape buyer. The ape that was bought has solid gold fur and laser beam eyes. This sale is the 2nd highest ever made for an ape. It shows that the Bored Ape community is still growing. 

-3-

Ghxst

Artist GxngYxng just auctioned off a Tidxl Wxve Card for 53 ETH. The thread below gives a really great in-depth coverage of the story of this auction. In other GxngYxng news, Cool Cats announced a collaboration with his Ghxst project and will undoubtedly lead to an explosion in sales. 

-4-

Artblocks

Artblocks are still selling for incredible prices. Recently the Fidenza by Tyler Hobbs has been exploding in the resell market. Of Top Selling Art Blocks Curated NFTs of the last 30 days, 4 of the top five have been Fidenza. Fidenza #77 was bought for 50 ETH, Fidenza #475 was bought for 50 ETH, Fidenza #662 was bought for 43 ETH and, Fidenza #636 was bought for 49 ETH.

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-5-

ENS Domain

Here’s an interesting NFT sale, one of ENS Domains sold for 30 ETH. The domain that was sold, “punk.eth,” was bought on Friday, July 16.

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-6-

Twin Flames

The Twin Flames resale market has been on fire recently. Twin Flame #99 was bought for 29.9 ETH this week. The Twin Flame project is one of the biggest photography NFT projects in the crypto space. The creator, Justin Aversano, started taking pictures of twins back in 2017 to honor his own twin that passed away in the same year. It’s nice to see a project like this with so much meaning to the creator take off in the way it has. 

-6-

PleasrDAO

PleasrDAO has taken out a collateralized loan for $3.5 million with CREAM Finances, making it the first DAO-to-DAO loan in Defi. According to the announcement, “CREAM Finance has provided a $3.5 million credit line from the Iron Bank to PleasrDAO.” PleasrDAO has transferred 4 of its NFTs to a 2 of 3 multi-sig wallet. The NFTs include Snowden, Diamond at Dusk, x*y=k, and Apes Together Strong. The signers of the multi-sig wallet are the PleasrDAO multi-sig, CREAM Finance multi-sig, and Yearn Deployer.

TRADES

Let’s quickly go through a couple of trades that happened this week. 

-1-

Anonymoux traded Punk #4271 for a rainbow Pulsquares and a Framergences. 

-2-

Twin Flame creator, Justin Aversano, traded Twin Flame #75 for Punk #1234.

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Damien Hirst

'The Currency'

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I have been trying for a few hours to get myself to write an article about ‘’The Currency’’ by Damian Hirst, but my procrastination levels have hit red.

What is it that’s holding me back? Why can’t I just power through and write about it?


Well, how can I write about something I don't like while remaining true to my opinion and publishing an article that doesn't revolve around negativity? I tried to kick off with a presentation of the project, but it has been covered so many times , it wouldn’t make for an interesting read. Maybe a story on the background of the artist and his history? Nah who gives a fuck. Maybe I could do it to fill some lines.

Ughhhh so boring….. I couldn't get myself to do it, but then a cool idea struck me.
What if I read someone else’s article that is really positive and hits ‘’all the right spots’’ and I paraphrase it to feel like I wrote it? This way they can't catch me…

Okay lads, we have a plan now…

2 minutes later I was bored again , just paraphrased one sentence and realised this is going to take an equal amount of effort as writing it myself. FUCK

A new bright idea creeped into my brain.

-Open google
-Search: paraphrase text AI

I know, right? I was so proud of myself… After fucking around with text bots for an unhealthy amount of time, i was bored. The paraphrasing wasn’t coming out to my liking, it’s too obvious! If someone tries to catch me in the future when I am a media baron there will be a scandal. So I have to act now if I want to avoid a future scandal.

Oh shit! Okay back to writing the article, time is passing and I'm not getting an inch closer. Okay, that plan didn’t work. Maybe try a completely different approach.

Let’s focus on the technical part, was the next thought that came to mind. I can masquerade my bias through technical data and try to offer the most mathematically correct opinion which in the end will be bad no matter what because my bias wouldn’t let me do otherwise. Ugghhhhhh god damn it!

Time is still passing, stress levels are rising as publishing hours get closer.

A loud DM just passed through, some internet anon fren is saying Damian Hirst Drop is oversubscribed. OH shit! If it pumps then i have to write about it.

Okay starting over:

The HENI homepage is featuring “The Currency’’ drop, it has all the info you need, should you decide to be interested https://www.heni.com/  

Here is my opinion about it:

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NFT Photography Blows Up

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Justin Aversano’s Twin Flames on Opensea [LINK https://opensea.io/collection/twinflames ]

As the medium of NFT based digital artistic experiences continue their seemingly unstoppable upward trajectory, it is easy to get caught up in just the latest passing avatar fad or one-hit-wonder, and to lose focus of the true humanistic and life-changing value that blockchain really has to offer.

One rapidly up-and-coming application of the technology is the field of NFT photography. 

Previously acknowledged, but some might argue neglected for far too long, it seems that the summer of 2021 might herald the beginning of mass interest and adoption of NFT photographic works from both leading lensmen and lens-ladies, as well as exciting new establishing talent, as the cryptographic darkroom doors finally fling open to embrace this emerging industry.

One such trailblazer, who is already way ahead of the curve is Cryptopunk enthusiast, and snap-happy NYC-boy turned LA’er, Justin Aversano. 

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For the uninitiated, Justin, a former graduate of the School of Visual Arts in New York , first rose to prominence within the world of traditional photography following the release of his Twin Flames works that he initiated in May 2017, and carried out over the course of just over a year. 

Twin Flames is a deeply personal work, and a spiritual journey of sorts, that came about as a somewhat unexpected yet ultimately cathartic response to the loss of his fraternal twin.

“For 'Twin Flames' I photographed 100 sets of twins in honor of my fraternal twin, aiming to create a body of work focused on the existence of multiple births and the phenomena of twindom through an immersive portrait survey. Twins and multiple siblings provide a lens on the magic and causality of biology.”

- Justin Aversano

no9

Twin Flames #9 - Zoni & Lowen Smith

Out of the Darkroom and Into the Light (of NFTs)

Fast forward a couple of years to early 2021, and the young Mr. Aversano, 28, found himself becoming part of the interesting and rapidly emerging world of NFTs. Having established himself as an active and much admired member of the punks community, he was mentored and encouraged by certain members to release the digital ‘twin’ counterparts to his physical portraits as NFTs


“In the world of photography, you get to share a captured moment with other people.”

– James Wilson

From the outset, there was great support for the Twin Flames project, and between February and June 2021, there were encouraging sales volumes, although to many it seemed like a sleeping giant that was yet to fully wake up.

And so Justin and his believers patiently waited, whilst the community at large drank their fill of freshly uncovered Ethereum ‘relics’, vacuous voxel-promises, over-hyped MS-Paint scribbles, and endless animal-based pfps. (okay, so I’m guilty too!)

Then the giant’s alarm clock went off... 


In the last week alone things have begun to accelerate very rapidly for Justin, and by proxy, the photographic space in general. At the time of writing, over $1,000,000 in secondary sales has been achieved for Justin’s Twin Flames collection. Furthermore, as anyone who has followed his active discord will be aware, he himself has sought to put some of those gains back into the community, either by investing in and promoting other photographers or by the continued development of his SavesArtSpace initiative that seeks to "address intersectional themes and foster a progressive message of social change"

The Wider Lens

Other up and coming photographers and artists who have recently become part of the ‘Aversano’ movement include:

  • Diana Sinclair - Co-founder of Herstorydao; an “on offline art collective dedicated to preserving and incubating the stories of marginalized crypto creators”
  • Kris Graves - Famous for his hard-hitting photograph from the January 2021 Year in Pictures issue of National Geographic Magazine. 
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George Floyd Projection by Kris Graves.


There is a warm feeling that comes from being a part of this growing community, and you can almost taste the excitement in the air as bigger and bigger sales begin to take place, not just for Justin, but for many other great creatives.

A Family Portrait

Soon to be ‘literal’ Aversano family member, Nicole Buffet, is proving to be an artistic force in her own right. And as well as being one half of Twin Flames #80, she is the first of the ‘Buffetts’ to venture truly into NFTs. Justin Even traded some of his work up to a Cryptopunk for her. Now that’s a real-life NFT love story right there. 

Future Developments

Only time will tell, but it would seem the tide is about to turn. Back to the real artists… with this latest incarnation heralding the much welcomed inclusion of top class photographers.

The recent momentum of Justin’s Twin Flames project has captured the hearts and minds of aspiring photographers everywhere. Finally, a chance to gain the recognition, and the self-determined royalties that so many have craved for so long.

Traditional galleries and exhibits should be quaking in their heavy cement-laden boots right now. Whilst all around the world, people are gaining access to a new, more inclusive medium; Web and Metaverse-based galleries/communities that will never look down their noses at you for crossing the threshold whilst wearing a hoodie, a DMT fur coat, or for bringing your Mooncat along for the excursion. In fact, they will embrace you.

“There is one thing the photo must contain – the humanity of the moment.”

– Robert Frank


What our diverse NFT community is making abundantly clear, is that when we all pull together amazing things can happen, and old-world preconceptions can be erased and rewritten for a bright new future.

Opportunity prevails everywhere right now, and NFT photography would appear to be the latest beautiful shiny facet in this crazy crazy world of ‘no right click’.

Full disclosure: I am a Twin Flames holder because I believe in the significance and impact that this collection will have for the future for all aspiring photographers. (And of course, because I hope to one day sell it for 1111 Eth and go live on a Yacht)

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Richard Heart’s Biggest “SCAM” Yet

Hex was created...

19 months and around 3000x ago, and was almost instantly labeled a “scam”. HEX became the blockchain’s first Certificate of Deposit (CD), allowing individuals to lock up funds for any set period of time up to 15 years and earn rewards from inflation, similar to liquidity mining. $HEX was initially airdropped to BTC holders and individuals were able to mint coins by swapping their ETH. Since then, thousands of investors have had their debt “scammed” away from them, leaving hundreds of new millionaires and memes like this.

After noticing a 3x increase in gas costs for SLOAD and CALL functions would come from the ETH Berlin hard fork and many months of insane gas fees back in March, Richard decided to begin working on a solution.

Pulse Chain

Pulse Chain claims to be a fast, low transaction fee, deflationary, PoS fork of Ethereum that will bring Ethereum’s system state (That means you get a copy of ALL your ERC-20 tokens) to the new blockchain. The PRC-20 tokens (Pulse’s ERC-20s, ex. pUSDC) experiment will dawn a chaotic price discovery phase that may reinforce true DeFi projects while eliminating admin key, counterparty risk projects. These PRC tokens will all be valueless at the time of launch and not redeemable to ERC tokens through the Pulse bridge, so 1 USDC ≠ 1 pUSDC. $PLS, Pulse Chains native token, can be staked and delegated to validators to earn rewards from transaction fees. There are rumors of liquidity farming options and other “really cool stuff” that may potentially bring wider adoption to this new fork. You can learn more and sacrifice on their website: https://pulsechain.com/, social media links can also be found on their site.

On Wed July 14, Pulse Chain’s sacrifice phase launched. Investors can choose to make a political statement where “You are sacrificing to prove how strong you believe that blockchains are speech and speech is a protected human right.” Each $1 worth of crypto you sacrifice will be equivalent to 10,000 sacrifice points for the first 5 days and degrade 5% a day for the next 14 days. These “Sacrifice Points” may or may not lead to $PLS credit when the mainet goes live. Additionally, there is a volume amplifier tied to a linear bonding curve where the largest sacrificer will be awarded a 2.5x bonus and the smallest sacrificer being awarded 1x with everyone else evenly spaced in between. Below is a list of blockchains that are supported for the sacrifice. Simply connect your metamask wallet that you wish to receive sacrifice credit for and send to the address provided.

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If you don't want to sacrifice to the “sacrifice addresses”, you have the option to donate to a 501(c)3 charity organization, the SENS Research Foundation (SRF), and receive 75% of the dollar amount you donated as credit towards the sacrifice. The SRF works to develop, promote, and ensure widespread access to therapies that cure and prevent the diseases and disabilities of aging by comprehensively repairing the damage that builds up in our bodies over time. You can find out more about them at their website: https://www.sens.org/ along with instructions on the sacrifice on their homepage.

So who is this “scamming” now...

The Pulse Chain will be secured using a PoS consensus algorithm thereby eliminating wasteful negative externalities so miners won't be forced to dump the price to pay for all the energy like PoW networks do. By limiting the number of validators and switching to an environmentally-friendly network, energy producers and mining rig suppliers could be getting “scammed” out of the massive revenues they've been making.

Charity

In the first 48 hours of the sacrifice phase, SRF raised over $20 million of charitable contributions that will lead to funding vital research focused on extending and improving the lives of everyone. Through funding this research, these donations will “scam” the Earth of disease and cell decay that every human experiences. A notable supporter of the SRF and donations from the Pulse Chain sacrifice who has contributed millions in the past is Vitalik. 

Regardless if these donations don’t stem from a truly selfless, altruistic act, real lives will be affected and it's clear none of this would have happened without Richard Heart and Pulse Chain. In a time where funding for research has continuously declined over the years, it's amazing to see the crypto community help make the world a better place together. 

-Harambe-

ARTIST PROFILES

whitelights

White Lights

Sad but it's okay.

Brooklyn-based producer, digital-artist, and technologist White Lights is a rising creative who champions mental wellness through his dark audiovisual art.

At a time in modern history where pain and heartbreak are all too familiar, Johnny Shankman opens up a dialogue surrounding the unwelcome symptoms that often accompany the human experience. Shankman, best known as White Lights, is no stranger to feeling lost in a fast-paced world. Drawing sonic and visual influence from artists like Kid Cudi, Joji, and STRANGELOOP, White Lights embellishes his minimalist sound with poetry, lyrical prose, and otherwordly code-generated visuals. Following the successful release of his debut album “NUMBSKULL" in 2020, which garnered praise from tastemakers like EARMILK, NAKID Magazine, and more, White Lights continued mapping out a goth-nostalgic art career by foraging headfirst into generative cryptoart and smART contract development with "WORN_3.0" and the "𝖆 𝖌𝖎𝖋𝖙 𝖋𝖔𝖗 𝒚𝖔𝖚" series.

Musically minimalistic, and visually complex, the White Lights project is more than just sound or CGI. It is an open-hearted manifesto detailing the trials and tribulations of the human experience.

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www.whitelights.co

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