The Curated Series, Completed

Series 1–8 have been essential to the Art Blocks Curated experience. On our second birthday, we are celebrating this incredible milestone and the generative art pioneers that made it happen.

From 2021–2022, each Curated project was released as a part of a numbered set, a member of a closed family of projects. Each series number also told a story of art, in its evolution and boundary-pushing. Many felt, as we do, that every Curated artist represented in a set, was at a moment of intense and beautiful creativity.

All 8 series represent critical counterpoints and a roadmap to an exciting and frenzied artistic movement transforming the contemporary art landscape.

To capture this moment, we asked long-time passionate collectors and participants in the Art Blocks community to weigh in on their Curated 1–8 sets, their journey, and their future plans for collecting.

Derek Edward Schloss

CryptoPunk 3404

Art Blocks Curated Series 1–8 will forever memorialize the history of the earliest experiments of generative art and Web 3. Artists contained in these series are the creative pioneers who helped build the infrastructure around the blockchain-based generative art movement. Within this contained genesis collection, we will always be able to view the work, artists, and original algorithms that made the emergent generative art scene explode in popularity and significance.

-Derek Edward Schloss, Collab + Currency

Von Mises

CryptoPunk 1111

How did you enter the space?

I started getting really into blockchain around 2011, and was keeping an eye on the space when NFTs came along. That’s when I came across CryptoPunks and became very friendly with Erick in the CryptoPunks Discord. I knew more about this stuff then most people, but Erick was beyond what I was capable of seeing. He was really the smartest person I had ever met.

Why do you collect, what is compelling to you about Art Blocks?

When Art Blocks launched I minted 80 Squiggles on the first day, and 350 total, really because I wanted to show my support of Erick. And it’s really happenstance that they’ve been some of the best investments I’ve ever made. I think back about having that friendly relationship with Erick and it seems insane to me now. The fact that I have pages of Discord messages talking about various things, and Squiggles, and his ideas for Art Blocks, at the dawn of this all happening seems wild.

What’s it been like to be a collector of Curated projects?

I feel like this early access is really why I collect now. I had so much time getting to understand why Fidenza, Archetypes, Ringers, Gazers are innovative, beautiful, striking and the diversity in their outputs are compelling. For me generative art has captured my attention (and I pretty much only collect this kind of art) because you couldn’t have long form generative art in the absence of blockchain. Generative art is the natural art of NFTs and blockchain. Although I aspire to one day own a Rothko, I love my Fidenza’s just as much.

What is really special is that 50–100 years from now, someone will be able to understand that I was involved in my collection. People talk about this a lot, but I really believe that we are only safeguarding these collections as long as we are alive. A lot of these AB pieces, they feel like artifacts with a record of our ownership.

Matto

BLONK 111 | Matto

What’s it been like to be a collector of Curated projects?

I love finding artists who are making art that really connects with me, and I’ve really enjoyed collecting from the variety of artists on Art Blocks. Talking specifically about curated projects, sometimes it’s been challenging to collect them, either because they’re highly desired and pricey, or because I don’t ‘get’ them. One thing I learned while getting an MFA was that even if I don’t get an artist or their work, it doesn’t diminish their impact. So, in the times that I don’t love a curated project, I take a leap of faith on it and try to collect anyway. I always set budgets for my collecting, and so far I’m happy to say that I’ve been able to maintain my full curated collection. It’s been dicey sometimes with drops that sell out above my budget, but patience has prevailed and I’ve been able to scoop on secondary.

How did you enter the space?

I’ve been around crypto since the very beginning. I’m pretty skeptical of ‘investment opportunities,’ so I never went all-in, and it took me a long time to actually invest. I found Art Blocks a week or two after they launched while I was working on an NFT project idea of my own. My idea was very hard to implement back then, Art Blocks had a solution to one of the pieces of the puzzle, and I ended up working on some different projects to release on Art Blocks. Ensō, launched in March of 2020, was one of the first non-curated projects (fun fact; I opted to not submit Ensō for curation consideration, because I didn’t want to delay its release).

Why do you collect, what is compelling to you about Art Blocks?

The link of generative art and the blockchain is the key for me. I’ve always been an artist that relied on tech (cameras, computers, etc), and by the time Art Blocks came out, I was looking for a way to bridge my art and the blockchain. The crucial element to me isn’t data permanence, nor is it about ultimate decentralization. Those things are important, but what is key to me is using the technology itself in creating the art, and Art Blocks connected the dots. That’s how I like to define cryptoart, something so interwoven with blockchain technology that it cannot be separated — something more than just art being transacted for crypto and registered on a blockchain. Early on, I collected some other on-chain art from other platforms/artists, but Art Blocks came out on top, most likely due to the community.

As we turn two, how do you feel about this milestone in your personal collecting history?

I have never thought about my collecting history, and having collected 2 years of Art Blocks curated projects doesn’t really feel like a milestone. An achievement maybe, but I don’t think about my collecting this way, I suppose. The only feelings I have regarding Art Blocks turning two are that I’m so glad I’m almost done with the project that first put Art Blocks on my radar! I am an artist before all else, after all.

Is the community a part of why you collect?

The community is a large reason why I’m an artist on Art Blocks, and it’s also a large reason that I hang out in Block Talk frequently. The community to me isn’t about buying or collecting the art, but rather, it’s about appreciating the art with others. So I definitely appreciate the community, but at the end of the day I try to collect work that speaks to me, and that work isn’t always released on the Art Blocks platform. I think that the community is richer because of our individual interests and what we bring to it besides Art Blocks projects.

CryptoPunk 6529

Fidenza #313 | Tyler Hobbs

The 6529 Museum’s view is that the Art Blocks Curated Series 1 to Series 8 represents a unique moment in generative art history, when many of the leading generative artists in the world, along with many emerging generative artists, explored the long-form on-chain generative art form for the first time, and in a common context. The concentration of such a large percentage of on-chain generative talent in one context was very special and likely will not be repeated as generative art and generative digital objects start to spread across the whole NFT and digital space.

-6529

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