10-16 June 2024
Digital Art Mile
Rebgasse 31
4058 Basel, Switzerland

Obvious & Ivona Tau
Jared S Tarbell
Rhea Myers
Travess Smalley
Anna Ridler
Primavera De Filippi
Leander Herzog
Addie Wagenknecht
Lauren Lee McCarthy

NGUYEN WAHED is pleased to present a series of exhibitions in partnership with the engineering team of the Distributed Gallery collective, under the curation of Georg Bak and with the support of ChainLink. Each month starting from May 2024 - May 2025, select artists will be presenting new bodies of work through a bespoke protocol. These include Anna Ridler, Lauren Lee McCarthy, Rhea Myers, Jarred Tarbell, Travess Smalley, Obvious, Ubermorgen, Addie Wagenknecht, Ivona Tau, Leander Herzog, 0xFFF, Mathcastles and Primavera de Filippi.

[aside] is a protocol (system for organising the buying and selling of digital artworks) with a custom time-lock feature. This temporarily immobilises tokenised assets on the Ethereum blockchain, rendering them non-transferable for a predetermined duration or until a specified event, be it social, natural, economic, astrological. This restricts the ability to trade the NFTs, counterbalancing the narrative of artworks as assets, and forcing collectors to see beyond the commercial value of the NFTs.

By extracting an NFT from market mechanisms, the [aside] protocol restores a stillness outside the flow of exchange. The artworks gain a presence independent of the economic sphere: aside from markets, aside from speculation, aside from value. The use of the [aside] protocol in this project is an experimental practice aiming to usher in a new era in the realm of digital art. The digital world becomes inherently tied to the offline world, with unpredictable global phenomena dictating a collector’s ability to engage with their artwork as an asset.

[aside] links the liquidity of artworks to natural, economic, astral, or social events through the use of oracles. The oracles of ancient Greece were conduits, providing a means of communication between mere mortals and the gods. Oracle technologies in the digital sphere communicate between the decentralized Web3 ecosystem and the ‘outside’ world, connecting on-chain and off-chain infrastructure. Utilising a Chainlink oracle, we will connect the ability to trade artworks with a variety of phenomena, for example the state of a natural resource (forests, fisheries); the economic activity of a country (inflation, deflation); the evolution of financial assets (the stock market); meteorological conditions in a given location; astral events (solar eruptions, planetary transits) observable from Earth; the occurrence of natural disasters (earthquakes, storms).

Preview at Digital Art Mile
Ray marching the moon: Full & New
Jared S Tarbell

Ray marching is a mathematical technique to discover geometry in an otherwise unknowable environment. A ray begins its journey with a specific heading from a point of origin. At each step, it computes the distance to every known geometric element in the environment, then advances precisely as far as the minimum distance found. This continues until the minimum distance is so small, we consider it a collision, and stop. This work uses ray marching to explore an environment of darkened spheres.

Every component of the computation is rendered, the ray as a line, the minimum computed distance as circles, and the collision as a solid dot. The result is a spectacular partial illumination of light moving through space. Each edition is unique. At genesis, a random number of occluding spheres and rays are instantiated. Arrangement of the objects is ordered by chaos in some editions and with bilateral symmetry in others. Every ray is marched until collision.

The New Moon editions are rendered minimally, in black and white. While the occluding spheres are not explicitly rendered, their presence is implied through the process of ray marching the scene. The Full Moon editions are rendered maximally, every ray, minimum circle, and collision point rendered in full color. This work explores computational exploration in darkness and the alluring mystery of our moon.

Digital Art Mile in Art Newspaper

The [aside] project will be able to radicalise the 'if, then' possibilities of smart contracts by turning NFT economics into a unique sympoietic process, for example:

"The artwork cannot be sold unless 5% of the Amazon basin is reforested.”
“The artwork can only be sold if U.S. inflation falls below 1%.”
“The artwork can only be sold if a magnitude 8 earthquake strikes the silicon valley.”
“The artwork cannot be sold unless Mercury passes in front of the sun.”
“The artwork can only be sold during a super tide of the north sea.”

Until the specified event occurs, the NFT will be ‘locked’ and non-transferable, ensuring transaction security and integrity. The experience of possession is therefore significantly altered by way of being inextricably linked to off chain realities. The NFT will therefore remain with its owner until either the contract's specified duration concludes or a specified event occurs, as discussed in the following section.

Most of [aside] releases will rely on Chainlink Functions. One key aspect of this integration is the ability to trigger the unlocking of NFTs based on the occurence of external events, retrieved through various APIs and fed by Chainlink oracles, such as market price movements, weather conditions (openWheater API), earthquake events (USGS API), and many others.

To do so, [aside] contract inherit Chainlink's FunctionsClient contract, providing a standardized interface for filling requests to Chainlink oracles. This integration allows us to leverage Chainlink's Decentralized Oracle Network without having to manage the intricacies of oracle communication themselves. More information on the protocol is available here.

Office: 25 Horsell Rd, London N5 1XL
Gallery (coming 2024): 416 Washington St, New York, NY 10013