BREAKIN’ DOWN THE DAWES
Brendan Dawes’ $WHALE Vault Exhibition Runs Through February
Brendan Dawes pushes the definition of art both IRL and crypto with an impressive arsenal of digital and physical media that cross those often diverging streams.
He translates data of any sort (sound, statistics, AI) into striking geometric creations of generative art.
As per his site, Dawes “uses generative processes involving data, machine learning and algorithms to create interactive installations, electronic objects, online experiences, data visualizations, motion graphics and imagery for screen and print.”
Dawes is on a continuous journey to explore the interaction between objects, people, technology and art. His engaging works hypnotize and fascinate viewers in both real-time and the metaverse.
🎨 Art Cred
Dawes hails from the UK. His humble demeanor belies his gargantuan list of artistic achievements.
A complete roster of his exhibitions, publications, and media coverage is available here.
His intrinsic ability to look at things outside of himself with open eyes and heart could well be what enables him to integrate technologies like AI, machine learning and coding with fine art for pieces that evoke strong human thought and emotion.
He’s won prizes like the Lumen Prize and Aesthetica Art prize for art that’s been shown all over the world. Some IRL exhibitions he’s participated in include the Big Bang Data touring exhibition and three temporary exhibits/one permanent installation at the MoMa — as well as the Sundance Film Festival. His work has been auctioned by Sotheby’s and China’s largest auction house, Beijing Poly. Dawes has also worked with some of the world’s largest organizations in creating projects that epitomize the human aesthetic experience while living in a digital world.
Dawes is the author of four books in interaction design and his work has even been 3D printed on the International Space Station. He also serves on the advisory board of the Manchester School of Art.
🌱 Humble Beginnings
Brendan Dawes is self-taught. He left school at age 16 and never went to art college. He got a record contract in Liverpool during the rave scene 🎧 , but didn’t make any money despite touring internationally. He ended up working in a factory for eight years, drilling holes in fiberglass.
“Then, this thing called the web came along,” he remembers.
In 1995 he lessened his time working at the factory to join a little web agency and everything went uphill from there. Publications, conferences, starting a design agency with thirty people on staff and working for clients — Dawes was pretty busy until he decided to go back on his own in 2012. And in June of 2020, he made his entrance into the crypto world.
“It’s been a bit crazy, to be honest.” — Brendan Dawes regarding his entry into the cryptoart space, WHALE Fireside Chat 2020
“KnownOrigin are based in Manchester where I worked for 12 years. David would send me these messages about this crypto thing. I was like ‘I’m not too sure. I don’t really understand it.’”
But after seeing other people selling crypto art, Dawes started to find the concept more interesting. Dawes had recently submitted a piece to the Lumen Prize contest and decided to use it as his genesis piece on KnownOrigin, the first piece he ever minted on any platform.
Dawes’ crypto art genesis, Black Mamba’s Revenge (Part 1), was purchased by WhaleShark on July 29, 2020.
Since then, WhaleShark has had the distinct pleasure of becoming Brendan Dawes’ largest collector.
🐳 WHALE X BRENDAN DAWES
WHALE has been a steadfast supporter of Brendan Dawes’ relentless creation, experimentation, and advocacy of the crypto art scene since that first fateful purchase.
WhaleShark explains why he is so enamored with Dawes’ art.
“Brendan Dawes heralds in a new era of digital art through his masterpieces that balance the beauty of human creativity and algorithmic ingenuity. In a generative art scene that can be flooded with automated aesthetics, Brendan brings an unparalleled level of purpose, intellect and relevancy to his creations through the use of statistical data that create form, movement and color.” — WhaleShark
The WHALE Vault is chock full of Brendan Dawes’ work. Dawes once marked this historical relationship by creating a piece specifically for WhaleShark in his series The Collectors.
It bears mentioning that Whale Shark is extremely selective when it comes to the NFTs he collects for the Vault. The Vault is comprised of about 400,000 NFTs within around 30 projects including art, photography, metaverse real estate, and collectibles.
In a recent interview with the South China Post, WhaleShark explains his investment outlook. “When you look at the NFT market today, a lot of participants come from crypto trading, and they bring a similar mentality,” he said, “That’s an investment style I’ve never been comfortable with.”
That’s why when the weighty decision was made to put Typographic Data City: Hong Kong in Motion up for auction by Sotheby’s this past October, it was a remarkable departure from standard operating procedure.
This, and two other pieces from Hackatao and Pak, marked the first time that pieces collected by WhaleShark were ever released to the market.
Brendan Dawes’ Typographic Data City: Hong Kong in Motion was minted on January 13, 2021 and WhaleShark snapped it up.
Brendan describes the piece as “a very fitting metaphor for the ongoing journey with my largest collector, WhaleShark.”
“The piece is created from population density data in Hong Kong and the sound of the Hong Kong subway system. The doors closing, the announcement of “Mind the Gap” in both English and Mandarin, and then the sound of the train leaving the station are a great representation of how this is only the beginning of this adventure.” — Brendan Dawes
The piece was sold to a buyer with an anonymous wallet.
🧩 The Composable
Recently and notably, the WHALE vault, Dawes and KnownOrigin collaborated on the release of the first KnownOrigin composable NFT. It was given the likely moniker “The Composable” due to its aesthetics and historical provenance. There are 100 $WHALE tokens sponsored by $WHALE embedded within the piece.
“I want to reach out to this technology, I want to incorporate this technology into my art and have the two mixed together.” — Bell Labs sound byte used for “The Composable” by Brendan Dawes
With key highlights mentioned here and so many more to be shared, the WHALE community is proud to present Brendan Dawes as Artist of the Month for February 2022.
The exhibition on our Arium space, curated by Breezy, is a testament to our historical relationship with Mr. Dawes, to Dawes’ primal importance in the NFT world, and most importantly, to evocative and mind-blowing art.
We hope you join us in this celebration of Brendan Dawes.
BRENDAN DAWES RESOURCES
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