Dec 7, 2022

Art Blocks is one of the most popular platforms bucking the downward market trend of NFTs with blockchain-based algorithmic art.

Video transcript

Blockchain based algorithmic art is bucking the Bear Market trend of NFTS and one of the most popular platforms supporting this work is five year old art blocks. Eric Calderon A K A Snow is an artist and CEO of art blocks which is breaking over $1 billion in total generative art sales on the primary and secondary markets. He is one of point sc's most influential 2022. He joins us now, Eric, great to have you on the show. So we are seeing N FTS down about 90% year to date. How are art sales doing generative art sales doing in the Bear market? Uh Man, that's a tough question. Uh First of all, thank you very much for having me here. Uh It's a great honor to um to receive this award. Um The, the, the world of Generative art is just a, it's a nascent new thing. Uh uh When combined with Blockchain technology, obviously, the art form has been around for, for a few decades. But um uh it seems that Blockchain technology has created a beautiful product market fit for this type of artwork. And um even though we went through some kind of crazy times last year. Oh man, look at that chart. Um The, the reality is that uh you know, I think, I think that this type of technology, this type of idea of individual outputs and individual results uh for each individual consumer uh is something that will apply to greater society so well beyond just what we're experiencing today. And so I think we're still kind of scratching the surface of, of what generative technology can do. And obviously generative art uh is, is my passion. It's a passion that I share with a couple of 100 artists on the platform and a few 1000 collectors out there in the ecosystem. Uh And it has really demonstrated that 101 of X the, the idea that um you know, one algorithm can generate hundreds or thousands of unique and verifiable outputs is something that could, could have implications well, outside of just the Blockchain space. Well, one generative art trend I'm seeing blowing up right now is this Lenza AI app and people, you know, you put your profile picture in or your a photo of you and it generates all these avatars Lawrence. You've been using the app a lot. And so, oh look at this, some of these beauties, very galactic. But I have Sean Lennon here. Yeah, I I it's uh yeah, I, I just put in one, a few images and then this the output was like 50 60. Although I see you only, you've only narrowed it down to like three of them. Uh Yeah, there was a great Roman Roman solder one but Eric, I'm curious what your thoughts about the competition out there? A I generating art and, you know, a lot, some artists say, you know, this is unfair. It's not, it's not real art, you know, you haven't put the time, the effort to really create it. Uh I mean, I, I love a, I conceptually, I love uh uh everything about it. I, I think I'm, I'm someone that embraces all technologies. Uh And I think it's a really interesting technology. There are some issues, right? Like what is the appropriation of where, where's the image coming from? And is there appropriation there? Um I'll be honest, I've been living under a rock and not necessarily able to fully dive into like what the the beautiful opportunities are with the A I world. In fact, everything I know about A R today uh has come from Twitter and following all the people that I follow in the generative art world and Twitter uh regarding competition, I think that if this type of uh product market fit this kind of distribution mechanism for uh individual, unique individualized outputs for people is actually gonna be something that's gonna transcend crypto. Then I think um you know, the more competition, the better, like we need more people out there um demonstrating the technology innovating the technology and figuring out exactly how this is actually gonna apply to the world outside of um of just like, you know, uh ethereum transactions and meta mask. Um There, it, it seems that generative art has found, you know, a meaningful audience uh outside of just the crypto art world, there's people that really seem to appreciate generative art. Um And now starting even with the, with the traditional art world. Uh and, and, and again, this is pixels on the screen. This is the easiest use case of generative technology. This is the lowest friction use case of this technology. Uh We, we firmly believe that this technology will find its way into other things. So bring on the competition. Let's have more people out there. Let's have more people talking about generative art, let's have more people talking about generative manufacturing design, all of these things. Um uh so that, so that, so that we can actually see something more global than, than just this little bubble that we sometimes find ourselves in, in the crypto space. I have to say it it's too bad. You're not following the A I uh uh aspects of this because I was wondering in all of it. Uh Your, your, your thoughts about, you know, here we have this art form that uh is taking off on social media and, and one of the things that has happened on social media is of course, body image issues. Um And here you have those those fantastic photos of me in outer space and whatever and, and there are others that Christine has seen but uh we're, we're sparing the people of, of, of viewers. Yeah, it's a lot, a lot of upper body work there that would have been involved. But the thing is that, um I, I'm wondering like, what do, what do you think this negative social aspects of all of this could be? Um, you know, we already have people who are, you know, trying to compare themselves to the Kim Kardashians of the world. What happens when they see an idealized version of themselves through this, through art and all of a sudden, you know, do, do we actually, is it gonna cause more social harm than good? I mean, is social media causing more social harm than good? It, it's, that's a really rough question to answer, right? Uh Yeah, I mean, like, for example, social media, uh uh what would our blocks be today if it wasn't for Discord, for example, you know, like, uh the, it it and, and honestly, the discord has caused me some pretty serious mental health issues, but at the same time, Discord created a, a, an audience and an amphitheater for displaying the artwork that was generated in our blocks where everybody can get together and, and uh enjoy it at the same time uh early on in the platform and, and still today. And so, yeah, I it's, I think there's like a double-edged sword with everything that we do. Um I, I think that we should be very careful with a I in the same way that we should be very careful with crypto. Um And, and just all the things that we do, I think there's no, there's no just like sweet thing in the world that's just purely sweet. And um, I think it's really about people being good shepherds of the technology and people really kind of doing their research and studying both the people selling and the per people buying. Uh um we, we really need, we are in a time in society where we really need strong, just honest, ethical leaders to be shepherds of this technology of all of these technologies because it's so easy to get. I mean, you know, just look at the last couple of months, right? Like it's so easy for everything to just explode. And, you know, I've been saying this a little bit more lately, but it seems like today in crypto, like for the most part, you just have to go to walk in a straight line just to be successful. Like it's really depressing that just by being honest and ethical, you can actually have like a, a long term trajectory in this space. We need more of that. We need more people that are willing to set aside. Uh you know, a lot of the inherent human nature of greed and whatever to just realize that we're sitting on a bunch of technology A I crypto the generative stuff that actually can have a hugely positive impact in society in the future. But it can also be completely corrupted by uh using it inappropriately. And uh there's an example with what's happening with FDX, right? Like FX doesn't have a lot to do with crypto specifically, but we're all suffering as a result of those things. The technology is neutral, the actors are good or bad. Who gets the royalty in these, of art sales? You know, what's the distribution, the, how is that breaking down between the user or the A I platform? Who should get the royalty? But I don't know about A, I, I don't know anything about what's going on with A I but with uh with generative art, with art blocks um for every transaction that's paid on a platform that is honoring royalties. Uh The artist gets 5% of the royalty and our bucks gets 2.5% of the royalty. So it's a, it's 7.5% what we call kind of creator uh royalties uh for our, for our platform to then be split into the artist and, and, and art blocks. Uh On top of that, a marketplace might take another, for example, 2.5%. Um you know, there that's rapidly changing. There's a lot of conversations happening with royalties. Um You know, a, a lot of what's happening with the royalties feels to me incredibly shortsighted. But ob obviously, I, you know, I, I'm, I'm an empathetic person and I can understand why people do the things that they do. Uh But uh you know, we are in a world that is led by um black and white code and decentralization and I feel like a lot of the things that are happening today are, are uh kind of a, a reactive measure uh to um you know, for short term.

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