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Nov 27, 2023
1 min read

Curated Series: NFT by Aleqth

Nov 27, 2023
1 min read



Curated Series:
'NFT' by Aleqth

Aleqth unveils his latest collection, named "NFT," as a manifestation of his quest to embrace the dynamic possibilities that different formats and technologies offer, seeking answers to "how do I/people in my immediate surroundings see NFTs?" Inspired by the vibrant culture of Web3, Aleqth intertwines elements from his daily life in New York City, infusing his creations with the essence of personal narratives, pop culture, and artificial intelligence.

This interview unravels the layers of Aleqth's creative process, from the initial experimentation with generative art to the collaborative efforts that shaped the collection's distinctive aesthetic. As he navigates the intersection of traditional and cutting-edge artistic realms, Aleqth aims to redefine the perception of NFTs, transcending what had been associated with the medium. With an unusual drop strategy that commits to unveiling 1,444 artworks over the next 25 months, Aleqth invites us to witness the evolution of his artistic trajectory and the unfolding dialogue between his generative creations and the broader art world.

- SuperRare Labs Senior Curator An (@anloremi

How it started & inspirations

Aleqth: NFT started with me working in Photoshop in a new aspect ratio 20:11, or 2880 x 1656 pixels. I wanted to change the format that I usually use, which is a vertical 4:5 , or 8 x 10 inches. I see how other artists like Grant Yun or TJO have varying formats for their work that translate really well into the digital displays and prints. I think I just got used to making work in the aspect ratio I usually do because it just felt so familiar to me. But then it felt like a limitation, and that the language of my work was getting a bit so similar. So, I decided to switch up the canvas. And new ideas started flowing.

Ever since I moved to New York City, I have been working pretty adamantly at painting, integrating different pop culture imagery and A.I generations into the work. I took alot of inspiration from Web3 culture and themes, but also from my personal life, living in New York and working day in and day out to reach my full potential as an artist. Which by the way, has more to do with just being a human being than being an artist.

Going to openings, brushing shoulders with some of my personal heroes like Jamian Juliano Villani, Julian Schnabel, and Rita Ackermann, I started to wonder how I fit into art history, the art world, and the contemporary art discussion. This Web3 community I am so involved in and dedicated to, felt somewhat separate from what I was trying so hard to be a part of and what I saw happening in the art world. When I would bring up something remotely related to NFTs and Web3 at a gallery, people would either become curious about how it all works or, if it is still a thing. Some would be immediate cynics, or just change subjects entirely. I felt shunned.

What started off as the desire to show my perspective on the contemporary nature of crypto-art, through my lens, led to me asking the question “what’s meaningful to me? what do I think of crypto art? how do I see NFTs? how do people in my immediate surroundings see NFTS?”

I started to gather and curate images from my everyday life, online and offline. And in the process of layering the assets on Photoshop, I asked myself “is there a way to do this in a more exciting way? using some form of available technology, that I may amplify the message?”

This question led me to generative art. As what some may consider a traditional artist, I actually think I’d like to reject that term from here on out. I love using new technologies and to interpolate my ideas through different mediums.

Creative Process

Aleqth: When I arrived at the conclusion that generative art would be the medium that would best convey my message, I knew no one better to ask than Dmitri Cherniak about how to get started. I told him what I wanted the code to do, and how I wanted the artwork to feel, mentioning to him a "sticker bomb" effect that we both are all too familiar with, living in New York City. He got me started with a sort of bare bones p5js script, and sent a video of the artwork of some of the assets that I hand detailed and illustrated, layering over each other endlessly. It wasn't exactly what I was going for, but I suspect he knew this.

I went on to do my own research, watching videos of what certain things meant, and asking ChatGPT what functions to integrate to achieve certain results and changes in the outputs.
It was at first very intimidating, and confusing, but I realized that once I have the desired functions, it just took a bit of experimentation with the values in the script.

I focused more on visualizing and mocking up the intended aesthetics for the project, and added more assets to the arsenal I had. Going around the streets and through the subway, taking pictures of traffic cones, signs on the street, and commercial ephemera, then going home and editing them on Photoshop, turning them into png assets.

In the midst of my experimentation, a mutual friend became my neighbor. His name is Jimmy Edgar, a musician and conceptual artist that has a few generative art projects of his own. On a sunny morning walking to a Buschwick bagel store, I showed him some of the hand made versions of what I was trying to achieve with generative art. I explained that I would be thrilled if there was a way to achieve this aesthetic with code, and that an exciting thing would be if it were just completely random. He looked at me and said, "I might have the code you need."

He came next door to my apartment, and I showed him the code that Dmitri had sent me and what it was doing. He was very intrigued by the script, and in fact kept some of the lines for himself. We integrated some of the functions of it into the script that Jimmy had, which was basically just randomly selecting and changing images on a canvas, similar to generative PFP projects. It kind of worked. It was kind of sparse with a few errors, but the foundation was there.

I thanked him and he told me good luck, but I still had trouble. It still wasn't exactly what I was going for, but I knew everything I needed to achieve what I wanted was right in front of me. It was up to me to actualize my vision for this project.

I sat at my computer for days and long nights, testing out the effects of different variables, and trying to smooth out the bugs that were still present. ChatGPT was instrumental in this, and after days and hours of back and forth with the A.I, the code was refined, and I in fact ended up with a few versions of it that did different things.

I kept changing the numbers, rearranging things, and was thrilled to see some of the things that could be achieved with generative art. I added a color change function, and one that changes the size and orientation of the assets, and started to make thousands of outputs per day. It was addicting, seeing all this artwork being made from the work I had done and intentions I had set.

Meanings and Intentions

Aleqth: I really wanted to capture the current zeitgeist of the Web3 space, and to start a dialogue with different realms of the art world and market. I also want to change the narrative of what the general public perceives NFTs to be. We are far beyond PFP projects and Monkeys, Aliens etc. being our defining imagery. I believe we need an update. To refresh our metadata so to speak. 

Some of the assets have a more personal meaning to me, such as the cope. doll, which is a doll made in collaboration with my partner for my lifestyle brand and art project "cope.", and the cope. fiends, which consists of 5 cartoon characters made in collaboration with my illustrations and Midjourney. 

Drop Mechanics 

Aleqth: It debuts with an initial release of 199 artworks, and I plan to gradually unveil more pieces over the course of the next 25 months. My goal is to reach a total of 1,444 artworks. I indexed my Manifold contract on SuperRare. 

'NFT', a generative collection by Aleqth, is now available on SuperRare. 

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