M Ξ T A P L Ξ X [a crypto art experiment]
M Ξ T A P L Ξ X is an experimental and constantly evolving/on development network of virtual environments and computer art projects distributed with the various utilisations of Ethereum blockchain and machine learning. Its interface is a Unity WebGL powered virtual shopping mall which serves as the main hub that leads and opens up to various constructs, games, artworks and experiences.
This article should serve as an introduction to the project M Ξ T A P L Ξ X and is meant to be a relatively self indulgent piece of text to bring together a set of thoughts and ideas together. This being the first part, it will be covering the the ‘the brief idea and birth of the project’ and the ‘current state’.
The brief idea
- An amalgam of; experimental form of video games, machine learning, computer/internet art and Ethereum development.
- As it relies on combining multiple technologies that are really fun to tinker with, it artistically is a conceptual framework and hood for a wide array of studies and research; therefore from a certain perspective, a purely self educational tool.
Main page for M Ξ T A P L Ξ X;
To be updated.
[this page is heavily under development]
Direct links to constructs and stores;
To be updated.
[compared to the link above, this link might be better off start cause you can see a more comprehensive showcase of the current state. You also read about the divisions in more detail by clicking the ‘read more about this..’ hyperlinks.]
A simple how-to-get-started guide about the project;
To be updated.
At the time of writing this post, the state M Ξ T A P L Ξ X is basically at being a virtual Mall hosted on a webpage, a virtual music performance which uses tokens as keys/tickets that unlock the webpage [A.I.F.X] and lastly a serie of tokenised, purchasable machine learning generated paintings [anotherRealiti]. Below you can read how these layers merge and about them individually in more detail.
The M Ξ T A P L Ξ X Mall
Currently, M Ξ T A P L Ξ X uses the M Ξ T A P L Ξ X Mall as the headquarters and as a portal dedicated to other constructs. It basically is a WebGL build made in Unity, literally in the form of an abandoned mall standing on a plane surrounded by a preset skybox. Inside there are stores that sell Keys/tokens by opening up new tabs in your browser to the dedicated store pages.
At the moment, we are working on integrating smart contracts to the Mall itself on a lower level and in more diverse ways. For example dividing the Mall to various stores, so they can be rented by other artists or game developers, there are few projects which resemble this idea such as Decentraland.
Construct A.I.F.X is a small project dedicated to a re-create a music performance in a virtual domain and tokenise the access such as actual tickets you would buy to a concert. This time though, these tokens do grant a forever ownership of a construct where the performance takes place over and over again upon the request of key holder. This might be thought of as something relevant to internet art which are being sold in the form of URLs but this time the keys to grant a sort of stakeholdership as there are a limited number of keys in the world [this time 253].
The music itself was a deep learning experiment attempting to create Aphex Twin like melodies and a methodology to perform with these models. So, the creation of the track itself started as an attempt to create a model with a very low number of Aphex Twin melodies[~100 MIDI files]
The track A.I.F.X is a part of the HYPER_HOLOGRAM, duo’s first major body of work in the form of a Live A/V, performed twice in 2018; Sonar Festival, TR and TodaysArt, NL. In this construct you can listen to a virtual performance of the track with the same title and interact with the environment.
First generation of A.I.F.X Keys has ~250 tokens. This means there are only ~250 Keys in the world that enable the access to the game/webpage.
Generation 1 Keys smart contract ID is 0xb19a7BF69492fA2642f4774C8FA501AaF5C427d2
+ One strange duality between our live performances and this construct is that, we first tried to recreate the live performance virtually and then tried to bring the virtuality to the live performance. Here is a photo from a live show;
How to play the game / enter the simulation?
Visit this link; To be updated.
When you visit the dedicated webpage you’ll be directed to a webpage and you should see a Metamask notification requesting to connect to your account [https://medium.com/metamask/introducing-privacy-mode-42549d4870fa]. After you click ‘Connect’, the script behind will check the amount of tokens in your digital wallet and grant access to the construct if the amount of tokens is simply more than 0.
If you actually do have the required token [we’ll come back to this in a few paragraphs], a different version of the webpage where the text on the left changes to the ‘Access granted’ will be rendered. Also, the Unity build will start to load in the middle, once it finishes loading, you can go fullscreen as well by clicking the icon on the lower right side.
How does it work?
As briefly described above, this process simply triggers the Unity WebGL build to render when the conditions are met; when you enter the webpage the script behind it [built with web3.js and eth.js libraries] check the users wallet to see if you do have a A.I.F.X token which inherits from a given hash of the smart contract, if you do have it, the script triggers a different variable which initialises the Unity WebGL build. We’ve put console log’s if you want to see what happens behind the screen. Just inspect the page [right click/inspect on Chrome] and check the console for details, you should see the ID of the smart contract, your wallet ID, amount tokens you have and the status of access on the console.
If you want to check out the actual thing; here you can purchase Keys, visually each are represented as unique gifs [hypercubes] but function wise identical;
To be updated.
The current version of the store uses the embedded OpenSea distribution.
Updating it to use the OpenSea SDK is on the top of our to-do list.
To be updated.
During 2018, when working on a project called c l a i r e [a highly self-indulgent project titled after the Grimes track Realiti initially but turned to something else almost entirely], we experimented with the idea of a software given the input of some video would run an object detection algorithm, scrape as much as possible image from google with those keywords + related images, add to its dataset and train a GAN [generative adversarial network]. The main idea was to do this over and over again until the generated images would become totally unrecognisable but for this example we used the lyrics of the track along with the first iteration of the Google image scrape. Therefore, a bit unconventionally, the dataset was an amalgam of various classes of photos, such as mountains, cityscapes along with the frames from the video of Realiti itself. We found the output of these quite holographic in terms of style and almost expressive compared to few other projects we saw that rely on GANs.
Here are some examples of the output;
The generated image files by the model are currently purchasable as ERC-721 tokens [each token stores the RGB matrix of the specific image file] from our web-store or the virtual exhibition on the third floor of the M Ξ T A P L Ξ X Mall. The exhibition contains a selection from these paintings and there are a few improvements we have to make such as scraping the metadata of the image file from the API and displaying the price, owner’s hash below the painting. Also, a direct integration of the transaction within the WebGL build would be possible if the webpage is rendered on a surface within the build.
You can purchase the paintings here;
To be updated.
The current state of the store utilises the OpenSea distribution but it is in the top of our to-do-list to re-create the store from scratch.
You can visit the exhibition at the third floor of the Mall;
To be updated.
Some future plans summarised
This topic is one of the major subjects of the part 2 of this article but briefly;
Technically, the way it currently utilises smart contracts and how all of this works is seemingly very naive. On it’s current version, there basically are two methods that use the tokens; on one example, they allow the webpage to be granted access or not to the current user by checking the amount of tokens [more than 1 means access] from a given smart contract hash after connecting to the Metamask account. On the second example, it uses the ERC-721s to sell digital image files just as any other crypto art collectible. We hope to integrate smart contracts to the project on a lower level and in more diverse ways.
Part 2 will be a more critical write up about various topics of discussion such as anonymity, the use of cryptocurrencies, various work-in-progress material, the promises and the boredoms.
ENGLAND’S COUNCIL OF LEGISLATION AND GOVERNING BODY OF HYPER REAL SIMULATIONS AND CONSTRUCTS
ecolagbohrsac2021 is an organization dedicated to the study and governance of the cumulus of transient folklore that underlie the fabric of research in meta-worldbuilding and tracing the origins of various virtualities embedded into the contemporary society through the digital. In doing so, the council utilizes Darknet curation markets of music production — in the style of occulted grime, medieval speedcore and horse-riding ambient — and cryptoeconomics, apparatuses that process signs, recompilation and pseudepigraphy, philosophy of the mind, research in artificial intelligence, hyperreality, quantum physics, textual divinations and sonic experimentation. It’s been founded by a pariah from a secret guild [after an ancient deal has been broken] in a sacred place capable of representing.
clearnet email for general & booking inquiries → firstname.lastname@example.org