NFTs

Art Blocks 2.0 🎨

Introducing the next-gen Art Blocks!
William M. Peaster William M. Peaster Oct 4, 20224 min read
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Dear Bankless Nation,

Art Blocks launched in November 2020.

Since then, the generative art platform has gone on to become one of the most culturally important projects on Ethereum.

Its unprecedented technology has helped many generative artists release 1 of 1 of X series in novel fashion to new audiences. In turn, Art Blocks has been a huge driver of the explosion of interest we’ve seen around generative art and NFTs in general over the past two years.

Take note, then, because Art Blocks is leveling up in a big way with the release of its next-gen version later this month. Today let’s walk through what you can expect from the upcoming changes!

-WMP


Art Blocks levels up!

Chromie Squiggles exhibited at the Decentral Art Pavilion in Venice earlier this year - via Jeff Davis

The latest

On October 4th, 2022, the Art Blocks team announced plans to rollout new collection types, a new smart contract, and a new website.

In the Medium announcement post, the team offered this summary of the changes, the first of which will begin later this month:

For the past year we’ve been working on what we are loosely calling Art Blocks 2.0, a reorientation of our product, our brand, and our visual identity. We recently disclosed the first change in service of the new Art Blocks, the sunsetting of series designations for Curated projects. We are proud to announce several more changes that will come out in the coming months, including a new smart contract, refreshed website, and new product collections called Presents and Explorations. We believe these new product collections and updates will set the stage for the future of Art Blocks.”

New collections

In the initial Art Blocks system, there were three tiers of releases: Curated releases, Playground releases, and Factory releases.

Meant to be a “home for some of the best generative art in the world,” Curated projects were/are hand-picked by the experts on the Art Blocks Curation Board. Playground projects let artists who’d previously released through the Curated series publish new custom series on their own terms. Lastly, the Factory mechanism opened up the platform so generative artists could create NFT releases without first submitting to the Curation Board.

Starting next month, the plan for Art Blocks 2.0 is to merge the Playground and Factory systems into an application-based Art Blocks Presents collection, and previous Playground and Factory releases will receive a Heritage designation as a nod to their historical status. Moreover, amazing Presents applications may be bumped up to Curated releases.

“At the beginning of November, projects that pass through our current application review process will be released as Presents unless the curatorial board recognizes them as pushing the boundaries of the Medium, in which case they will be released in the Curated collection,” the team has noted.

Besides Art Blocks Presents and Art Blocks Curated collections (which will no longer be published in numbered series), Art Blocks 2.0 will also present Explorations collections, for experiments, and Collaborations collections, for partnerships.

The original Art Blocks Curated drops, Series 1-8

New smart contract

Art Blocks 2.0 is going to be a lot more efficient for artists and collectors alike. That’s because the new smart contract saves artists ~65% on uploading costs and collectors ~65% on NFT minting costs. The contract will also “maintain project ID continuity, and will continue to work in the same ways that you have come to expect the Art Blocks minting experience to work.”


New website

In the months ahead, the Art Blocks team also plans to release a new website that will be focused on “more stable auctions, a truly scalable platform, and a more consistent, inclusive user experience.” Additionally replete with a variety of generative art resources like educational materials, this new website will be poised to support the growth of the Art Blocks community for many years going forward.


What to look out for

Art Blocks Playground and Factory projects minted through October 2022 will receive the “Heritage” designation ahead of the shift to Art Blocks Presents collections. If you want to check out the final releases that are coming out before this shift, head to artblocks.io and review the projects listed below the site’s Upcoming Project Releases section.

Furthermore, if you’d like to dig into all the data, analytics, and rarities around Art Blocks do date, some resources you should add to your generative art toolbox include:

  • Archipelago — a bespoke NFT marketplace for generative art projects
  • Artacle — a resource hub for Art Blocks analytics and sales data
  • Art Blocks single project analytics — a Dune Analytics dashboard created by RantumBits that makes it easy to explore data around individual Art Blocks projects
  • Rarity.Guide — another great resource hub for Art Blocks analytics and sales data

Why it matters

The impact of the initial rendition of Art Blocks can’t be understated when it comes to the contemporary surge of activity and interest around generative art we’ve seen over the past couple of years in the NFT ecosystem. Art Blocks 2.0 is shaping up to be the infrastructure that will support the blossoming of this rising generative art scene for years to come!


Action steps

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