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Author Topic: Help co-create a new CRYPTOART project  (Read 137 times)
1Dq
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July 13, 2018, 04:43:58 PM
 #1

First off, I'm a crypto artist and you can check out my previous work in this thread: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=3467154.0
I decided it's time for me to go next level and I'm asking for your help!

What are we doing here?
I am starting work on a set of paintings, that will visualize how blockchain and bitcoin work under the hood. I want to make it both educational and artistically pleasing. To achieve this I believe I need to deconstruct the core system/s into separate parts and visualize those first, then try to combine them into larger, more complex compositions.
I've seen simulations, schemes and illustrations which are either technical and nerdy or oversimplified. To reinvent them, I see two starting points - the abstract and the illustrative.
The illustrative could use symbols and metaphores for how things »work«. I could make conveyor belts, an ecological system of some sort, a space station, a multitude of people doing tasks and lots of other things. But I want to find those that are as exact as possible because I don't want to make it ambigious. I want to discuss which metaphores serve best, why and how they could be combined.
The abstract line might be a bigger challenge, though I am looking forward to hacking it. I can see using brush strokes, color masses and shapes that represent pieces of code (or say a hash), which seems easier to show in the abstract world than illustration anyway. It might get harder to visualise the entire system, without it only being another schematic or a seemingly random all-over arrangement of brush strokes. I want these works to be of value to people that want to give these technologies a chance and are not particularily geeky.
I think at least these aspects of the btc/blockchain mechanism need visualizing:
Mining, Sha256 hashing, address formation and usage, nod network, blockchain from different perspectives, the genesys block and merkle tree. And probably lots more.

Why would you help me?
First off, I will be very grateful for your help as this will be quite an enterprise. Secondly, you can be part of creating imagery that might become key in blockchain/bitcoin identity (I will try to make it usable and memorable). And lastly any pieces that will have printable JPEGs as results will be given to helpers for free (they will otherwise be sold via the SHA256art gallery)

How do we start?
I've outlined what I'm starting with in the first paragraph so here's how we could do this together.
You present me ideas on how a specific idea might get executed. We bounce ideas off each other and I make a bunch of sketches. We evaluate them and work further with anyone joining in at any time and suggesting alterantive paths. When ideas get ripe I make one or more paintings/illustrations.
It is my wish for this project to have it done as a rounded set of works than individual pieces. So I might want to channel all ideas into that direction. I will also produce sketches on my own as we go along as visualisation usually unlocks more visualizations.
Final thing - I will open a new thread for this project because it will need its own space. Do you see another subforum more suitable for this purpose?

Co-creating the visual space of cryptocurrencies
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1Dq
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July 15, 2018, 03:51:29 PM
 #2

I suggest starting with a couple of specific ideas using details or entire abstract paintings. These can serve as catalysts for brainstorming new ideas.

As I see it from the perspective of blockchain, all incoming data is chaos that is being organized and structured into order by the protocol of hashing. This visualization with its ordering of lines seems to convey that aspect.



And something like this might be interpreted as a sha256 hash:


I can see mining as either finding/guessing that one right element:


The genesys block has that famous quote hidden inside it and the whole crypto feels similar to the cubist style to me (also cubism helped abstraction take off):


As for how blocks might look, I got these references:



And to somehow show how its all being connected and working maybe a complex composition with lots of space(to put other elements in):


I can easily see many other paintings be more suitable, but I/we have to start somewhere.
Many of above samples could also be put in other roles, depending on the interpretation.

Co-creating the visual space of cryptocurrencies
buwaytress
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July 17, 2018, 12:12:23 PM
 #3

Hi there. I remember your original thread and I'm really glad to see that you've taken up the challenge of finding new ways to interpret/represent/articulate Bitcoin-related imagery. I know you say crypto, but I think it's Bitcoin that really captures the spirit properly and is anyway a good public starting point.

For me, it then logically points to the earliest solutions I understand Bitcoin to be...  solving the very big problems of double-spend in payments, and a genuine solution to the Byzantine Generals' Problem.

Take on those two, and then you might gain a path towards the under-the-hood agendas.

Just my suggestion! I'll keep following!

1Dq
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July 19, 2018, 07:36:28 PM
 #4

I'll look into those two concepts. I admit I'm not too familiar with them yet so that's a solid reason to explore them anyway.

Co-creating the visual space of cryptocurrencies
1Dq
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July 27, 2018, 04:50:29 PM
 #5

buwaytress: I've looked into the double spending and the Byzantine generals problems and I see them as crucial parts of what bitcoin is. Which is probably why you suggested it, right?
To test myself on how much I understand these concepts, I soon started sketching.



Almost all sketches became schemes of »how it works«, visualizing the protocol of stacking transactions between private address owners in the network of nods/miners, where they are being encrypted into future blocks, guessing the hash of the nonce and racing whoose will become the fundemant for new sets of same protocols.
I used different colors and shapes to get it graphically explicit. I soon found out how very difficult it is to set up such a multy-dimensional system on two dimensions. Still, I managed to get down a basic system, that can get upgraded.

From here on I wanted to transform those sketches into more coherent and visually stimulating drawings. Visualizing the Byzantine generals problem, abstracted from the rest of the system was a start. Then I incorporated that sketch into a broader system of Bitcoin.



What I came up with started looking like a part of a living cell structure based on concentric circles. I liked the idea of blockchain looking like a living thing so I made a more comprehensive sketch:



So this is where I decided to share my first sketches with you. It might not be much, but it's a start. For my next step, I intend to use these sketches (with, hopefully, your commentaries) and remake them into a set visually pleasant abstractions. If this works I'll soon be able to make proper paintings out of them.

So at this moment I am asking for any comments, ideas and critiques of above articulations, both my text and sketches, so I can improve on both. Thanks in advance, this will help me out a lot!

Co-creating the visual space of cryptocurrencies
1Dq
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August 04, 2018, 01:58:59 PM
 #6

I continued exploring how to visualize the creation of a new block in the chain. It helps me structure my own thoughts if I am able to see as big a picture as I can. This direction is particularily hard for me but I'm getting there. If this works out I'll be able to go and break down parts of it and show what happens in forks etc.

After watching more videos and reading more articles on how bitcoins' blockchain works (and making plenty more sketches), I decided to make a refined one.

Since this should be a very obvious scheme it would defy purpose to write about it so I'll let you comment on it. Let me know if it's obvious in what it's visualizing and if you see any errors. This is supposed to be just a step between my understanding of bitcoin and making actual art depicting its functionality. That's why it's not very artsy and some details are a bit awkward.




Co-creating the visual space of cryptocurrencies
1Dq
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August 11, 2018, 04:05:32 PM
 #7

As there were no comments I'll go ahead and give a short walkthrough.

The scheme is interpreted in a linear order, starting from the green field of tiles on the bottom, which represents the node/miner network (which are combined into pools). It is connected to all other fields via the yellow-green line as it operates every step of the block generation protocol.

Going a step further to the left is the gathering of transactions that go from public addresses below to those above on the ceiling of the composition. The different colored columns represent quotas of said transactions.

Next (on the top right) is the Merkle tree, whoose root ends in the red zone. Red is the difficulty level, set by the system, hence coming from the block below.

Following this is the guessing part and the yellow stripe got the right hash, making at the same time the top part of the new block. This part helps the block attach itself to the next block like a lego brick.

Finally, the inner part of the composition is the opening to the blockchain as this scheme is a sample of how any one block is being generated.

There are a lot of things I imagine could be executed better, but it works for me as a basic tool to start forming advanced pieces.
Again, I am inviting anyone to comment. I get that this is very different from other content on this forum but I'm hoping to make something great out of it!

Co-creating the visual space of cryptocurrencies
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