Who are you?
I’m TeNinEight (10-9-8), my real name is Michael, I’m 31 years old and based in Zurich, Switzerland.
When did you start making generative art?
I worked in the games-industry for some time (around 6 years) so creating art with code was something I’ve always been familiar with. Creating Generative Art for the sake of art started around 2018. I stumbled upon Tyler Hobbs work which I found fascinating. I started to fiddle with processing, then switched to p5js and now I’m playing around with all kinds of frameworks and environments.
How did you first hear about Tezos?
It was Q4 2020 when I decided, that it’s time to give this bitcoin stuff a try. I quickly realized, that the transaction fees / gas fees were way to high for my standards so I was looking for alternatives. This is where Tezos was shining! Low gas fees, an ever adapting blockchain, on-chain governance – it just seemed like what I was looking for.
What would you say is your creative process?
My creative process is always changing and usually depends on what I want to achieve. There are projects with deeper meanings, that weren’t straight forward during the concept-phase. Those pieces usually change a lot during the process and if you’d compare the initial manual sketch on paper/ipad with the final result, you would probably not realize that it’s the same project.
You have two of the earliest mints on FxHash (Monochrome kaliedo & neon kaliedo). How did these pieces come to be?
I was already experimenting with randomly arranged shapes, and then mirroring the output multiple times. I quickly realized that the variety in output is massive. Even though I had to use some workarounds on HEN so that every collector got an individual seed, I was fascinated by how the different pieces differed from each other. After the launch of FxHash I decided to bring the concept to the next level, using 3D-Primitives and a slightly tilted camera.
Going for a monochrome version just felt like it would suit better to new platform. The demand for a neon-kaleido was so high tough, that I eventually released a neon version as well.
WinterLand was also a very early FxHash piece that has seen lots of love on the secondary market. What inspired you to create this mint?
Very simple: The western holiday season. I live in Switzerland and we get heavy snowfalls at least once a year in December or January, even in the lower areas. A few years ago you could find me up in the mountains almost every weekend during winter-season but the pandemic changed that – which then inspired me to create ‘Winterland’. You gotta’ bring the mountains home if you can’t go there!
Your work Primarily works with landscapes and neon colorways. Why is this?
The simple answer is: I like neon-colors and I like landscapes.
The more elaborate answer is: I used to work as a photographer and landscape-photography has always been my anchor. It’s where I could shoot without pressure. Just me and the landscape, no project, no client, no duties.
Landscapes have always fascinated me as the variety is endless, and wherever you go, you’ll see new landscapes. Landscapes are the generative output of natural algorithms – nature.
The contrary neon-aesthetics were originally heavily inspired by the works of Sutu (an artist who has released an own pfp project and combines cyber-space and reality through the power of AR) and I think it picks up the general Web3 and cyber-space vibe the best.
Why do you make art?
Good question and I am constantly asking this myself. One reason is, that I simply love to create things. May it be generative-code-art, a piece on canvas, something out of wood or even lego. The process while creating is what really hits me – it’s the essence of art for me.
Obviously, I don’t wake up every morning, having a vision of my next artwork and then I start creating it. I usually start creating, without the intention of creating art – it’s really just about the creation. Now without a vision, it’s hard to realize when something is finished and this is probably the reason why I have so many unfinished things. They’re just waiting for a vision to appear so I can turn them into artworks.
To come back to the initial question: Nowaday art has reached the “mainstream”, and while a few years back I was thinking: “Life as an artist is tough, living at the limit, barely having enough money to pay the rent and constantly struggling to sell your work” this has changed a lot. Especially with the rise of NFT and the respective marketplaces which allow for lesser known artists to reach out to the whole world, the gate-kept art-market has transformed into something where everyone can participate in all kinds of ways (creating, collecting, developing tools, managing communities etc.). This has given me hope, that it may indeed be possible to “live another life” then what has been expected from us the last few hundred years.
Final conclusion: I create art to break free, to be independent and to shape the future (at least my own).
What adds value to your art?
If you mean monetary-value, then I have no idea. I started selling my art for very low prices, and I guess it’s driven by supply/demand as with most things in crypto. If we’re talking about intellectual value then the only thing I can say is that I’m different than traditional artists with a fine-art degree, or artists who were being mentored by someone.
I grew up with games – digital interactivity so to say – studied game-design and worked in this industry for many years. My artworks are always somehow a little ‘playful’ and who knows, maybe full games somewhen.
Out of all your works on FxHash and HEN do any stand out as your favorite?
On HEN it’s definitely ‘Watchtower’ (by the way heavily inspired by the successful indie-game Firewatch) a piece dedicated to my desire of living in the woods, watching sunrises or birds all day.
On FxHash I would say it’s ‘Lakeside’ and ‘Downtown’ which both were so much fun to create and I learned a lot of handy techniques while creating those. But also Kaleidobars which I someday I want to use as projected background-drop at a party or so (they’re audio-reactive).
What do you have planned for 2022?
The plan for 2022 is to come up with a plan, as ridiculous that sounds.
Some personal circumstances were reason enough to have me overthink my life and it’s the perfect time for some bold decisions.
There will be more art involved, that I can say for sure!
Is there anyone you want to shoutout?
Yes of course! In general the whole HEN and FxHash community! The kindness in this space is outer-worldly! But of course I also have to thank @Dirty_Six for being a buddy in the earlier days, to @bmann and @kompakd for always supporting my experiments and keeping me motivated and to @marchingsquare for letting us use his hicdex API.
Of course thanks to @ciphrd and the other FxHash developers, rafa and the hen-community-devs and everyone else who’s responsible for all this madness ;D
One last huge shoutout to my girlfriend who doesn’t think I’m crazy but supports me whenever I need advice! <3
Thank you for this opportunity John! Good luck and much love to everyone, stay healthy!