Modern Finance
April 27, 2021

Art Blocks - Generative NFT Art with Erick Snowfro

Art Blocks mastermind Erick (aka Snowfro) joins Kevin to discuss the ins and outs of generative art, the innovations that make it so exciting and accessible, and why NFTs that can be recreated from their fingerprints on the blockchain are poised to be the most resilient art in human history.


Art Blocks mastermind Erick(aka Snowfro) joins Kevin to discuss the ins and outs of generative art, the innovations that make it so exciting and accessible, and why NFTs that can be recreated from their fingerprints on the blockchain are poised to be the most resilient art in human history.

Erick (aka Snowfro @artonblockchain) is a Houston-based artist who works in various media, including projection-mapped installations, LED light art, cut vinyl, and 3-D blocks. He is also the founder of Art Blocks, the world's first platform dedicated to decentralized generative art.

SELECTED LINKS FROM THE EPISODE

SHOW NOTES

  • Modern Finance has a newsletter! Please sign up here, if you're so inclined. [00:21]
  • How did Erick first get into crypto and NFTs? [02:58]
  • Erick's $100 in Ethereum as a birthday present to a friend's newborn will be either the most generous gift or the least by the time it unlocks on their 18th birthday. [04:47]
  • How CryptoPunks and Cryptovoxels validated and inspired Erick's own ideas about the potential of NFTs. [06:09]
  • Why does Erick believe such a large segment of the crypto community is spiteful and resentful about smart contracts and Ethereum? [07:35]
  • What will it take for NFTs to proliferate in the mainstream? [08:51]
  • Erick regales us with tales of his early CryptoPunks collection and what drew him to them as an art form as well as an investment. [10:00]
  • What compelled Erick to let some of his rare, treasured zombie CryptoPunks go. [14:38]
  • How did Erick manage to secure even rarer ape CryptoPunks? [15:57]
  • How Erick talked himself into collecting one of every CryptoPunks attribute even after admitting at the time that the cost would be "ridiculous," and how long it took. [17:47]
  • Aside from scarcity, what makes some CryptoPunks attributes more valuable than others? [19:44]
  • How an aspiring CryptoPunks collector might consider approaching this hobby, and what the logistics of being a collaborative owner might look like. [22:20]
  • Does Erick think the CryptoPunks market has peaked? He admits he's been wrong before... [24:47]
  • Erick explains why NFTs are more accessible to collectors from all walks of life in ways that art from traditional galleries has never been. [27:31]
  • Will CryptoPunks be seen as the Fabergé eggs of the 21st century? [28:40]
  • How did Erick get involved with generative art, and what fed his obsession around this space? [29:45]
  • How is generative art used in live performances, and how does it differ from just pressing "play" on a preformatted visual projection? [30:33]
  • On generative art as an appreciated form getting a boost from the NFT format. [33:02]
  • How Art Blocks works, and what inspired its creation. [33:51]
  • When did Art Blocks launch, and how has it changed over time? [37:22]
  • What were the first Art Blocks projects, and what were they trying to accomplish? [38:57]
  • What does the selection process look like for projects that become curated on Art Blocks? [40:35]
  • Does Erick foresee a future where Art Blocks can accommodate curated and open projects, alike? [44:15]
  • The joy of giving generative art -- it's as much of a surprise to the giver as it is to the recipient. [48:47]
  • Current projects we find particularly noteworthy. [49:22]
  • What it really means for a project to be "on-chain," and why this gives it a resilience lost in other formats. [51:11]
  • Without downplaying any of the artists who create amazing work on Art Blocks, here are a few who stand out for Erick. [56:30]
  • In what way are the pieces in Alexis André's 720 Minutes project functional NFTs? [56:59]
  • How Erick went from begging artists to work with Art Blocks to having his favorite artists approach him for the opportunity. [58:43]
  • Another one of my favorites. [59:45]
  • Why you should consider minting one of these pieces if you have a few hundred dollars to spare. [1:00:00]
  • Where Erick can be reached, and parting thoughts. [1:00:25]
  • Want to see the art I'm into? Check out my profile at OpenSea here. [1:01:46]

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