Introducing Our First NFT Collection: FiatWorks

Announcements Jan 05, 2022

CoinList started with a small, dedicated base of true crypto believers that supported projects like Filecoin, Stacks, Solana, Algorand, and more.

This community of early adopters has incubated and grown these projects to where they are today. They are the entrepreneurs, investors, traders, stakers, validators, miners, developers, and evangelists who are advancing blockchain technology through their activity on CoinList.

To honor our most loyal community members this holiday season, we’ve commissioned the artist and creative technologist Case Simmons who has created a limited edition collection of 3,000 programmatically generated NFTs titled FiatWorks. We are working with our friends at Project Galaxy to deliver the exclusive collection to our most loyal customers of 2021.

This is Case’s fourth NFT series, and we couldn’t be more excited to work with him. His work is held in public collections including the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Jumex Collection, Mexico City; the Me Collectors Room, Berlin and most recently the Los Angeles County Museum of Art. Learn more about Case in the Q&A below 👇

The Concept

Inspired by Seattle’s iconic Gas Works Park (shown below), abstract expressionism, and early computer generated art, FiatWorks plays with notions of homage, ruins, currencies, time, and the natural decay and evolution of money — all while nodding to the post-fiat future. ​​​​

Each work is composed of around 1,000 layers that Simmons has collected, cut, and arranged in a series of image sets that are then processed through his custom algorithm. The algorithm creates decentralized, painterly compositions of dense imagery, at once fun and visually explosive.

Eligibility

The FiatWorks NFT collection will initially be released to two groups of users:

  1. Karma Gurus: Karma Gurus is a group of 3,000 CoinList users that have accumulated the highest CoinList Karma score from this year's eligible categories. CoinList Karma is a points system that recognizes and rewards users for contributing to token networks on CoinList through activities like staking, lending, trading, and participating in experimental offerings like the Ethereum Gas Limit Genesis on CoinList. Please note that Karma points accumulated from participation in CoinList hackathons, validator offerings, and token sales prior to 2021 were not included in the calculation.
  2. CoinList Friends: 222 FiatWorks NFTs will be allocated for friends, partners, and CoinList supporters without whom none of what we, and the token networks on CoinList, accomplished in 2021 would be possible.

Eligible users can claim their NFTs as a symbol of their place in the history of crypto, and share this artwork with those who might join our mission to advance blockchain technology.

Stay tuned as we continue to build value for the Karma community.

A Q&A with Case Simmons: The Artist Behind FiatWorks

1. You’ve been creating digital art for quite a while. Can you tell us a little about your background?

I studied painting in school but space and materials were expensive. I bought a laptop and got a cracked version of photoshop 5.0. It was liberating because I could make large scale work and print it if I lined up a buyer to pay production costs. I then worked with a close friend of mine for years and we did the whole gallery / museum / fairs / fine art world thing for 10 years. We brought our work all over the world and helped push digital art into the more traditional collections and shows. With all that said, creating with digital tools has always been a part of my history. I learned C++, Visual Basic, Pascal and early HTML around 13 and had made too many websites to count. Yet in those storied years of the early aughts, things converged technically, culturally, and practically to send me off on a career of digital art making.

2. When did you get started with NFTs? What made you pursue it, and how does it relate to your prior work?

As a young artist in the traditional fine art world, things are inevitably up and down - you’d make what felt like a considerable amount of money during one show, then wouldn’t make any for another year. There would be positive and negative reviews, lulls and peaks of interest. The community always felt small, and held on tight to the power dynamics at play. I think in 2015 a collector of mine was starting a company called Verisart that created certificates of authenticity for artworks on the blockchain and asked if I would contribute a piece. It wasn’t until 2021, however, that I started doing full NFT projects. I realized pretty early that there is such an opportunity to make interesting series in this space. Programmatic pieces, large scale series, on-chain generative projects. Things are still so early…

3. Can you tell us about the FiatWorks concept? How did you come up with it?

My last 2 projects, Image Pollocks and Clouds on Chains, have both pushed me into combining my love for digital collaging with writing coding. I have been making custom algorithms to programmatically generate ‘digital paintings’ out of images.

When CoinList first approached me about doing a project, I was deep in a productive creative space exploring this practice of marrying chance operations and controlled conditions. I then visited the iconic park in Seattle, GasWorks, and was taken by this notion of dead technology - at once let to be overtaken and admired as a historical truth. It seemed apt to try a series of artworks that pull from images sets of traditional fiat and nature, and let the algorithm generate from them.

4. From an artistic and technical standpoint, what went into making these? Is your technical approach the same for all NFT projects?  

My practice evolves from one project to the next, but always with a through line. With FiatWorks, I brought much of what I learned and developed with the last two series to the table, but pushed it considerably. It’s not everyday that I get to make a series that has over 3 thousand artworks.

Regarding what went into FiatWorks technically: my algorithm is written in Javascript with a few bash scripts in play too. It has weighted randomness built in, while being carefully controlled to generate pieces that are simultaneously unique and unified as a whole. Each piece has around 1100 layers pulled from various image sets.

5. Everyone from Gary Vaynerchuk to rapper Meek Mill is out there talking about NFTs and crypto-art. Why are NFTs Important? Why are they getting so much attention now?

I think there is an opportunity to think of NFTs as creating a new kind of digital scarcity that relies on clout as opposed to control. I think it was Brian L. Fyre who said that… I’m interested in the medium, distribution, community, and new forms of advanced image making that the space affords. I said earlier that the traditional fine art world always felt small to me, for better or worse, and right now, the Web3 space feels energized, enthusiastic, and optimistic. Web3 can usher in many new forms of ownership, creation, and community that those of us that are here, now, can help shape. With that said, sure, companies and influencers are flocking to and flirting with the space, but most in a siloed, traditional mindset that will be gone as quick as it came.

6. We’re hearing more stories now about people paying outrageous prices for non-fungible tokens. Are we in a bubble? What do you think this NFT movement says about the state of contemporary art today?

Bubbles come and go. I won’t try and predict if we are in one. I will say that many artists, galleries, and museums are entering the space. Pace Gallery, one of the world’s largest galleries, just launched its own sales portal. What I’m left with, and hold, is that the definition of art should be able to expand, become more variegated, and more importantly the community should be able to as well. I think we transfix on the big sales, yet should pay as much attention to the ability to make large series at low prices with royalties.

7. Apart from art, what are some other NFT use cases you are excited about?

Multi-chain, interoperable use-cases are interesting to me. Certain DAO mechanics of utility based tokens granting membership and voting power are also of interest. Maybe an artist-run DAO that offers premium health insurance?

8. Where can people find you online to learn more?

Definitely check out my last project cloudsonchains.xyz - and certainly visit my site casesimmons.net. You can check out my own collection at gallery.so/casesimmons. Apart from that, I’m on twitter @CgsYop.


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