x0y0z0 Interview

“Behind the curtains #90” by x0y0z0

Who are you?

I studied Math. A big part of my career, I have worked as a software developer, sometimes I have worked as a data analyst.

Not only did I work in engineering, but I was also keen on art. I remember how relevant it was for me to see for the first time the work of prominent artists like Monet, Tsutomu Nihei, Giger, Katsuhiro Otomo, among many others.

When did you start making generative art?

I don’t remember the exact date. For some years, I have been publishing some repositories and results on Github (which are not public anymore) and Reddit.

When did you start making NFTs?

I published the first NFTs on Opensea in August 2021.

“Crossing the plain #4” by x0y0z0

How did you hear about FxHash?

Before starting in Fxhash, I had created some NFTs on Opensea and HEN. At the beginning of December 2021, I began to see tweets related to Fxhash.

Initially, I had some doubts about trying Fxhash because until that moment all my NFTs had been created with Python, and I manually uploaded every result one by one. To start with Fxhash, I needed to remember how to use Javascript, particularly, and learn how to use “p5.js”.

Although learning how to create code for Fxhash took me some days, publishing in Fxhash was excellent for me, and it completely changed my way of working. Previously, I had to spend a big part of my time uploading and minting the results. Now, with Fxhash, I use that time in the creative process.

What’s the story behind your Genesis mint “The sign of a generative civilization”?

During those weeks, I was watching a series called “Pretend It’s a City”, which, among other things, talks about culture and relationships between generations. Additionally, this series constantly shows a map of Manhattan.

One day, I was waiting for the green light in the crosswalk. I thought about that series, and I remembered Margaret Mead when someone asked her: ¿Which signal represents the appearance of civilization? She answered something like: A fractured and recovered femur because this recovery only could happen in a group of individuals where they take care of each other.

“The sign of a generative civilization #13” by x0y0z0

In the collection “The sign of a generative civilization”, in every item, the group of irregular polygons represents the map of a primitive village, where the culture is emerging, and different generations are interacting, or the transversal cut of a fractured and recovered femur. You can decide which signal represents the appearance of civilization.

What is your creative process?

Frequently, I have asked myself the same question, or I have asked other people.

I can’t describe the process step by step, but I can mention some things that are useful for me.

I always have a notebook with me to take notes and drafts. Using it, I can focus on one idea at a time. It is usual to have new ideas in any place or moment, even when I am working on something else, for that, I prefer to keep the ideas on paper, continue with the current activity, and return to the new ideas in another moment. When I am out of new ideas, which sometimes happens, I check the unused notes, and I can continue working.

Reading about the work and biographies of great artists helps me put things in perspective and continue to work. If they needed months or years to achieve some results, It doesn’t make sense to feel obfuscated for being blocked for a few days.

During moments of exhaustion or frustration, I try to remember Picasso’s quote: Inspiration exists, but it has to find you working.

“The passenger of the Dyson fleet #5” by x0y0z0

How do you choose the themes or colors for your works?

Choosing the colors is maybe one of the hardest things for me, and the way to choose them depends on every collection.

If the collection is based on something real, I try to search colors related to the represented object. I choose some palettes close to reality and maybe a couple more completely opposite, trying to get interesting results; maybe that way to create variation is influenced by some fauvist works.

At the same time, the colors’ selection must be related to the emotions that I try to transmit.

For example, with the collections:

“Under the sun”: I tried to produce the feeling of having the pressure of the Sun grabbing attention over other things.

“Night field”: you must feel alone, at night, in the middle of the field, or the crops, alone only with the wind, some crunches from the grass, the night light, you are not sure if you are seeing or imagining part of the things in front of you.

“Night field #32” by x0y0z0

During the last months, I have been particularly interested in color.

In my opinion, frequently generative art gives more importance to the shape and shape variation using fixed colors palettes. Because of that, I have created some collections (with the prefix “complementary”) where the color variation is as important as shape variation; in those collections the color palette is randomly generated (it is not completely random, it follows some rules).

How do you know when a work of generative art is ready to be released?

Sometimes, After I have published a collection,  a few days later, an improvement idea appears. I try to apply those ideas to the next collections. Or, when I am in the middle of the collection creation process, new ideas appear; in the future those ideas will become the seeds for the next collections.

Seeing it in that way, I think the collections never finish completely because some part of them is extended to the next collections.

“Dynamic generations #21” by x0y0z0

“Dynamic generations” is a work that utilizes cellular automata designs that gives a rough terrain look. How did this piece come to be?

Cellular automata is a set of automata with a change of state rule, this rule depends on the current state of the automata and its neighbors’ state.

The automata can start with different initial states but all of them share the change of state rule.

More details here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elementary_cellular_automaton

I have done experiments and played with cellular automata for almost twenty years. Occasionally, I mix or return to some ideas.

In March 2021, I read about how all the DNA of a virus can be stored in a few bytes. The DNA, a definition of behavior, a complex rule of state change, that complex rule can be stored in a few bytes, and it changes for mutations.

After reading this I thought: if the automata stored its state and this state is modified based on its neighbors’ state, What about if the automata also modifies its state change rule based on its neighbors’ state?

“Dynamic generations #55” by x0y0z0

I extended the definition of cellular automata a little.

Every automata can start with different initial states, and it can start with different rules of state change.

In every iteration, based on its state and its neighbors’ state, every automata updates its state and its rule of state change.

The updating of the rule can be understood as a mixing of individuals.

For the next few days, I tried many ways of updating (mixing) the rules. The collection “Dynamic generations” is one of those tries, the one with the more interesting results.

I love the colors and motion in “Star Map” what gave you the idea for this piece?

The idea comes from constellation maps, series, and sci-fi movies. In those movies, when they show a stellar map, they usually show a hologram with diagrams and colors similar to the shapes of the collection (at least in my memories, it is in that way).

“Star map #9” by x0y0z0

“Polluted water lilies” is gorgeous and the mints all look like paintings. How did you achieve the painting look with code?

Something important in that collection is the perspective effect. To achieve that, I utilized linear algebra. The strokes are projected over a plane with inclination. A distance is calculated between the projection and the observer. The distance is used to modify the objects’ size, shape, and colors.

I spent many weeks thinking about how I could do those calculations using Javascript without consuming too much CPU, and checking that the variations were correctly projected over planes with different inclinations, trying to get coherent results.

While working on this collection I have probably dedicated more time to doing calculations over paper before writing the first lines of code.

“Polluted water lilies #73” by x0y0z0

What adds value to your art?

The observer (collector) can travel and grow up along the collections.

The collections are independent of each other, but many of them have some degree of connection. 

Neither collection is completely isolated because all of them have some degree of influence on posterior collections: colors, shapes, strokes, ideas, emotions.

Neither collection is static, with the items, it is prolonged in the time inside of its successors.

What do you have planned for your future in the nft art space?

At least for some months, I plan to continue working with the idea of color variation importance in generative art.

And try to achieve more equilibrium between pure geometric shapes and chaotic strokes; many of my collections contain one of those but not both.

Is there anyone you’d like to shoutout?

Thanks a lot for this opportunity to talk about my work. I frequently take notes about new ideas or how I will implement those ideas, but rarely do I stop to think about the source of the ideas. Writing these paragraphs helped me remember and reflect on the origin of several collections.

Thanks in general to everyone who has supported my work from the beginning.

“Sea Dragon #7” by x0y0z0

Anything else?

I’ve recently heard that there are many fundamental rhythms for existence: the rhythm of the voice communicating ideas, the rhythm of a poem, the first rhythm (the pulse of the heart), that keeps us alive. At least for me, the rhythm of the iterative process of creation is something that gives me a reason to exist.

I would like to finish these paragraphs with Edgar Allan Poe and his four conditions for happiness.

Life in the open air.

Love of another human being.

Freedom from all ambition.


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