A Token Gesture is an exhibition and research project to introduce, explore and critique new public interactions and ownership of digital art via ‘non-fungible tokens’ – more commonly known as NFTs.
In this project, members of the public in Edinburgh will be able to:
- Generate unique pieces of digital art through a street-level, walk-up interaction
- Register their artwork for display in the exhibition via the InSpace City Screen
- Mint, claim and own a non-transferable NFT, representing their piece of art, that will allow them to control how their piece is displayed
We have worked with two Scottish based generative artists Sasha Belitskaja and Cameron “Gingey” to create a system where anyone can generate a unique piece of digital art simply by presenting a colour to a fixed camera.
Participants are then carefully guided through setting up a crypto-wallet to claim and mint an NFT representing their piece. This NFT – a unique, digital token – cannot be transferred, or exchanged. However, it serves to register the artwork, evidence an individual’s contribution, and will allow them to control when the artwork is displayed on the City Screen projectors.
Both artists will be shown on the Inspace City Screens from 7 March to 3 April from 4pm-4am daily, a number of events to support the exhibition will also be taking place so keep an eye out for event details on https://nft.inspace.ed.ac.uk
A Token Gesture is an academic research project, led by researchers at the Institute for Design Informatics, part of the UKRI funded DECaDE: Centre for a Decentralised Digital Economy. DECaDE is a collaboration between the Universities of Surrey, Edinburgh and the Digital Catapult.
Preview of artwork can be viewed at https://nft.inspace.ed.ac.uk/exhibit/ Below is a short clip
Sasha Belitskaja is an Estonian architectural designer, NFT artist and UX developer whose work centers on novel interactive design models and the interplay of new emergent aesthetics. Her projects focus on utilizing computer graphics and game engine technology to explore new forms of connectivity between audience, creator and community.
Her experimental work and proposals have been published internationally. Sasha has taught workshops on building dynamic spatial conditions through custom built game design environments and experimental 3D modelling softwares. She received her Bachelor of Architecture from the University of Dundee, graduating with distinction, before continuing her masters’ studies at Die Angewandte in Studio Greg Lynn. Throughout her professional career, Sasha has worked for award winning internationally-known design offices in Stuttgart, Vienna, London and Los Angeles. Sasha is a co-founder of mixed reality architecture studio iheartblob and has recently authored iheartblob – Augmented Architectural Objects : A New Visual Language.
Pick n Mix presents you with a collection of 10 digitally sculpted elements that come together in a uniquely coloured composition with each minted NFT. Pick n Mix explores the potential of generative art and the ability of customization of the artwork by the spectator. Each artwork is composed out of the same family of components but with each mint it outputs a unique allocation of parts and it’s materiality.
Cameron “Gingey” is a digital artist based in Edinburgh, Scotland. Gingey is a self-taught artist with a love of creating a variety of different styles which create a unique and satisfying loop. He experiments with different styles such as abstract or simplistic flowing motions, while tying in a form of generative art. From these different ideas and pieces of digital art, he also tries to implement interactive features to allow viewers of the art to be more involved, or even change how the art looks.
Gingey only recently got involved in NFTs around March 2021, which accelerated his creativeness and got him more involved in other artist communities. He has only been selling his art as NFTs on the Tezos blockchain as it is more accessible to everyone from all backgrounds, and is vastly more eco-friendly compared to other blockchains used for NFTs.
For this exhibition Gingey has made String, the piece is created by taking a hex colour value and transforming this into an ASII array, This array is then separated into individual values to affect the shape and animation of a spline. The flowing spline will gradually transform over time by certain values being affected by the month, day and hour of the viewer.
A Token Gesture is an academic research project, led by researchers at the Institute for Design Informatics, part of the UKRI DeCaDE centre. The project is wholly non-commercial – it won’t cost any money to take part, and neither participants, nor anyone in the research team, or at the University of Edinburgh, will benefit financially from this project.
As a critical research project, our aims are to:
- Offer hands-on opportunities for the public to learn about, experience and reflect critically on generative art and NFTs.
- To study users’ experiences, practices and understanding of creating and managing NFTs
- To explore how NFTs can (or cannot) offer audiences new ways to connect with and ‘own’ digital art and content.
For more information on the research and for FAQs visit https://nft.inspace.ed.ac.uk
7 March 5-6pm – Online Opening (Online) hear from the researchers and artists. Free tickets
9 March 4-5:30pm– NFTs and Museums: Current Debates and Uses – Dr. Fonteini Valeonti (Online) Free tickets.
Creative Informatics – Artist Studio – More details soon!
17 March 10am-12pm – Funging the nonfungible? Laying down the law on NFTs -Legal Panel, led by Prof. Burkhard Schafer (Online) Free Tickets.
30 March – Ask Us NFT-thing (Online)– In the final week of the exhibition, we will host an ‘Ask Us Anything’ – for tokenholders and anyone else interested in the research. This will be a critical space to reflect on the experience of the exhibition, learn more about NFTs, and unpack the good, the bad and the ugly of NFTs. Free tickets.