Art Blocks simply explained.

Taking a look at the Art Blocks platform, explained as simply as possible.

Secondary market sales of the art blocks collection has passed 13,000 ETH over the last 90 days and is increasing each day. So what is art blocks and what implores such a high volume for the collection.

What is art blocks?

Art blocks is a platform focused on the curation of programmable generative art works which are stored on the Ethereum blockchain as an NFT and sold. The works are usually programmed using p5.js, a JavaScript library which allows creative coding, the script is stored on chain. When a new artwork is minted a unique ‘seed’ is pseudo-randomly generated with the script thus generating a unique artwork on mint. The seed sets the initial variables associated with the script.

To clarify the “on chain” statement, only the logic used to generate the art is stored on chain, as most of the projects use massive libraries which are too large to store on chain, the script will call to these external libraries. The benefit of having such an approach is so that if the Art Blocks API ever goes down the art can still be recovered by running the script thus making Art blocks NFTs effectively timeless.

There are 3 types of art blocks projects:

Curated: These are the ‘best’ works of art blocks’ artists and are carefully chosen by the team, they represent the cream of the crop thoroughly vetted by the team. Project are released quarterly in series with series 4 beginning on the 23rd July.

Playground: This collection is for artists who have already had a curated drop to present their skills further, this collection is not vetted as thoroughly as the curated collection but that is not to say that the quality is lacking. This section allows artists to experiment and let out their creativity hence the name ‘Playground’.

Factory: Due to the overwhelming amount of applications curated projects have a waiting time of 2 years before release, due to this the team at art blocks have created the factory section, which allows newer creators to take part in drops, the artworks released are still chosen by the team and released on a schedule but usually only checked that they are functional and not a blatant copy of another artwork. They are not as heavily promoted by art blocks so it is up to the artists to promote their own works.

How do I get an Art Blocks artwork?

There are 2 ways to get an art work:

Initial mint: Mint directly from art blocks’ website, for the curated project this means getting into a gas war (pay a high gas fee or fail your transaction). As all previous curated and playground collections are sold out, the next best way to get them is:

Buy from secondary market: Purchase a piece from OpenSea, there are 3 collections to search for:

Always ensure that the collection you’re purchasing from has the verified check mark to avoid being scammed.

To find the exact project that you’re searching for use OpenSea’s sidebar to filter results.


The current Art Blocks landscape

One current notable art blocks project which has gained a lot of traction over the past weeks would be ‘Fidenza’ by Tyler Hobbs, which has had multiple sales of over 20ETH as well as a recent sale of 100ETH for the ‘rarest’ Fidenza piece available.

Recently the “sail-o-bots” factory project was found to have similarities with the code of another project “Strange Robots” by Che-Yu Wu. The artist of sail-o-bots had said he had modified the code in a way he believed was derivative, the artist had contacted Che-Yu Wu in order to rectify this issue. In finality a conclusion was reached in which Che-Yu Wu received 22.75ETH which included the 10% revenue Art Blocks had made from the sale, he will also be receiving 50% of all secondary market royalties generated by the project. It is notable here that the team at art blocks were very communicative throughout this issue and were shown to be supportive of the artists, the IP holder and collectors.

Art blocks put out a statement saying they will be adding further measures in place to ensure that a similar issue does not occur, these are:

1. Creative History: We'll be requesting a demonstration of creative history on the upcoming artist application. The expectation is that creators who would like to be on Art Blocks can share their creative work with us in some capacity.

2. Preliminary Screening: We'll conduct a preliminary screen of project scripts for quality and originality before they reach our testnet.

3. Artist Agreement: Artists will also be expected to complete a creator terms and conditions agreement and verify that their project is original.

Series 4 of the curated collection starts today with “glitch crystal monsters” by Alida Sun. The collection features 1000 pieces starting at 0.1ETH on mint and releases at 11am CDT.

In the near future the art block’s website will be redesigned, with it new terms and conditions, privacy policy, and creator agreements. Beta testers are expected to be given access by next week. To follow the art blocks platform and its developments the best place to look is it’s discord.