LoVid 'đź’–sleeves' (2024)

Presented in collaboration with Tonic ; Auction at 1pm ET on Feb 9, 2024

đź’–sleeves is a multifaceted generative video project. Part one is code based, abstract video art that then becomes the basis for community portraits once minted. In this layered generative process, the artists take advantage of the distributive nature of art on the blockchain to elevate the community to co-creators who can generate their own portraits within the environments LoVid has defined.

The work is both a culmination and a departure point for the celebrated artistic duo, LoVid, weaving together disparate shapes and symbols that evoke projects from their decades long career as video and performance artists. These icons are organized on grids that weave above and below each other, moving across the screen to form an abstract video fabric.

The live generator will play forever without looping, suggesting an infinite abstract plane only visible in the square window of the art object, to be passively observed. The work exploits two unique qualities of the blockchain—the ability to store code on-chain allowing for the transmission of this never ending generative video, and the unique aspect of verifiable ownership.

The second part of this work is only unlocked by this ownership. Each video skin becomes an immersive environment in the portrait studio, but only the owner can access the specific skin. Opening the portrait studio shifts agency away from the artists, as the collector becomes the co-creator. 

Through the portrait studio, the portrait sitter is pulled into the video environment created by the original code based generative video. Faces slip inside it, get pulled in, and become defined by color woven amongst the shapes along the three dimensional planes of the face. While the studio distorts color and projects shapes onto the face, the participant has their own agency in the portrait’s color, exposure, zoom, and more predetermined elements.

This opens up a second phase of generative production. The artists leave the community with instructions and parameters to produce the final stage of the work – video portraits created in collaboration with the generative mechanic the artists predetermined.

The portrait subject transforms from a passive participant into something much more integral. They are physically present, engaged, and able to directly influence the final product. This means radical sharing of agency, as collaborative portraits created away from the artists can be automatically entered into the cannon.

- Susannah Maybank