April 12, 2023

Detachment was released as part of the Building Blocks exhibition held by Unit London in the spring of 2023.

Detachment is a piece that exudes nostalgia and materiality through its use of rich analogue texture and references back to the Bauhaus and Suprematism movements. However, Detachment tells a different story underneath its veil of aesthetics.

While appearing static, the piece is in a constant state of flux and might present itself to the viewer very differently upon returning to it. The piece asks questions about the identity of art: Is it the same piece of art every time you look or something new — and why?

Seemingly static but always evolving, Detachment pokes at the conception that there is a clear boundary between static and dynamic digital art.

Seemingly tactile but always trapped behind the glass of a monitor, it asks whether this is less tactile than a painting behind a frame.

Detachment is thus a piece that plays with our preconceptions. It detaches the aesthetic decor of the piece from the underlying essence and uses it to create an intentional disconnect between the perceived and the true.

Technical notes

While appearing to constantly evolve infinitely, computers do not like the concept of infinity. Because of this, Detachment goes through a very slow cycle of 1.157.442 days. Be sure to visit the piece every ~3.171 year to verify this. The piece uses the computer clock to time it’s appearance so the only way to go back is to change the time of the computer. You better just embrace the constant flux.

The code for the piece is written in fully self-contained JavaScript, using WebGL2. The script is stored in perpetuity on the Ethereum blockchain as part of the NFT.

Detachment is designed for 2:3 displays but will adapt to any aspect ratio it is placed in. You can request that it auto-rotates so that it will always be displayed in vertical no matter the aspect ratio (e.g. when displaying on a canvas that insists on being registered as horizontal even if you mount it in vertical). You do this by adding ?autorotate=1 to the URL pointing to the piece.

The algorithm uses supersampling to provide a smooth look at the expense of processing requirements. If you experience that it does not render smoothly or causes your system to lag during display, you can add ?fast=1 to the URL pointing to the piece to turn off supersampling.

Both of the above commands can be combined using & (i.e. ?autorotate=1&fast=1).

Blockchain information

Chain Ethereum
Contract Address 0x17A2B8964819DBFb8f127838375eaC8A874dA904
Platform Manifold
Token Standard ERC-721
Token ID 1