The After-'Glow' Interview with Jason Ting
The prolific artist-turned-Cryptopunk talks about his new project, Glow (Art Blocks) and other, related things.
Jason Ting, aka jzlabs aka Punk 2392, makes art using computer code. This type of art creation is commonly known as generative art. Generative art has been around for decades, but has come to light very recently with the advent of NFT-art platform Art Blocks, a thriving marketplace little more than one year old. Jason launched his first project on Art Blocks last March.
Jason, you’re quite prolific, with four projects to date on Art Blocks. How long between each? For readers, Justin's earlier AB projects - oldest first - are Light Beams, Bubble Blobby, and Transitions with Matt Bilfield.
Light Beams [minted on] 3/22/21, and Bubble Blobby 5/7/21, so 47 days in-between. Transitions on 7/31/21, so nearly 3 months between it and Blobby. All in all, nearly 9 months between Light Beams and Glow.
[Thanks for the math, Jason] Wow. That's four projects in under a year. How have you grown, internally and externally, since your debut project? In other words, is your mental process different / more sophisticated now? And has your physical routine of doing art changed in any way?
My process has generally been the same – my daily sketches are a way of exploring new ideas and iterating on them. Once in a while, I will take a sketch and spend more time exploring the parameter space, which sometimes reveals cool and surprising variations. I think I've grown in my artistic intuition, e.g. when a sketch is worth fleshing out more, or when a project can be considered finished.
What got you interested in Art Blocks? Are you from the 'Instagram exodus' Jeff Davis briefly described to me at Bright Moments Gallery recently?
I'm not familiar with the Instagram exodus; I actually post my daily sketches every day on Instagram. I first heard about Art Blocks from Dmitri [Cherniak]. After seeing the projects that he, Aaron [Penne], and Alexis [Andre] created on the platform, I was interested in trying it out myself. [Each of these artist's works can be discovered through a simple search, here].
Are you on any other market places on / off-Eth?
I'm on Foundation. There's one piece still available there!
Are you an 'Eth-maxi'? Or do you actively pursue other chains in search of thriving marketplaces, in order to expand your audience? For example, today I perused Mintbase (Near blockchain) and Singular (Kusama), and purchased a piece.
Not an Eth-maxi per se–it’s just the chain that I started with. I’m curious about exploring Tezos more; I’ve only minted one piece there and am interested in trying to do a project on fxhash, also on the Tezos blockchain.
Yeah, HEN (Tezos) is great in my opinion: mostly affordable for 'normal' wallets, and designed for instant rabbit-hole adventures. What's another fav market of yours?
Sorry, I'm not too familiar with many other marketplaces!
Your most recent Art Blocks project, Glow, is more angular than your others. Was that on purpose?
Yup! I love playing with geometric patterns and I wanted to create a generative system that had more form and structure.
What inspired Glow? The initial idea came out of my daily sketching practice this past August. I was exploring the perception of form when mixing hard-edged structures with a gradient glow effect. Glow builds upon the visual vocabulary and technique from Light Beams; the diffuse color blending gives the effect of emanating light. The geometric compositions are inspired by artists from the Bauhaus and Cubist movements, as well as contemporary painters like Jason Anderson.
Recently, at Bright Moments gallery in SOHO, NY, I saw larger-than-life-sized showings from the Reflections (Jeff Davis) exhibit, another very colorful project. Seeing colors that rich on custom made screens of that size makes me wonder just how impressive Glow would be under similar circumstances. Are size-adjustments a consideration for you, when creating? For example, if screens such as the ones at Bright Moments became customary, would you 'compose' with them in mind, not knowing when your work could end up mega-magnified?
Nice! I’d love to see how a room full of Glows look under those circumstances! I designed Glow to responsively adapt to any resolution (thanks @zjorge for the suggestion!) so they can be shown in any aspect ratio.
Visiting your Foundation page I see that color exploration is a huge part of your style currently. What other aspects, relating to color, do you plan to explore in future works?
I’d love to explore new techniques of color blending and mixing that give a more organic and natural look [such as the piece below, best seen ‘live’ on Instagram, where it lives and moves].
One thing I particularly like about Glows is the long loop it seems to have, with its unhurried pace (speed). These two aspects make it very difficult to identify the loop's restart, which I love. Each Glow (mine is #49) has its own, very unique story. They are very appealing, almost therapeutic. Did you have visual therapy in mind, to provide relief from the stress of the ongoing pandemic, for example - when you made Glow?
Actually, Glow doesn't loop – it keeps going on randomly forever! [mind blown at this point. Remaining questions asked by my overworked, underpaid intern-assistant who insists on anonymity] I didn't explicitly intend Glow to be used for visual therapy, but it definitely lends itself to that. The ever-changing forms in each piece indeed tell their own unique story. I've loved hearing from folks what they see and feel.
So, with randomly generated pieces such as Glow, can the 'start' be randomized as well?
The start time is fixed (determined by the hash).
I'm learning a lot during this interview! Looking at the bigger picture, where do you see your art in 5 yrs, and what are some things you might imagine the NFT marketplace offering in 3-5 yrs that currently doesn't exist?
I hope to keep making artwork in a variety of mediums that bring delight, wonder, and healing. I imagine an NFT marketplace might make trading (swapping) NFTs easier, like how friends might swap trading cards.
Jason, do you have anything you'd like to add before we close?
No. Thanks for the questions!
As always, no Elated Pixelations post closes out without art. This time, we'll showcase a piece from Jason's Gallery collection: Skulptuur by Piter Pasma.
See it in high resolution here.
See the whole collection.