Crypto Self: digital ink on canvas

I was stuck. Stuck in the waiting room. Routine check-up, love; please come on time: ten to ten sharp, Thursday morning. They said. And so I did: that Thursday, earlier than expected, I obediently entered the healthcare centre. Just to be stuck in its waiting room.

Twenty-seven minutes had lapsed, still no sign of the doctor. No music, no internet connection, a pile of old, glossy magazines beside me and posters of assorted diseases wallpapering the room, as attractive as the few elderly people silently scattered around, sharing my same, dull destiny. No urgent issue brought me there, but while minutes piled up, along with the odds of going insane raised in me the suspicion I was perhaps to end up needing that check-up after all.

Time marched on. I had no books with me and had already failed to occupy my mind otherwise, so in order to escape the present I eventually threw myself into the contemplation of the past. Which means, I started scrolling my mobile’s picture gallery. I suddenly stopped: there I was, in one of those rare images were my face showed up, softly smiling behind my round glasses, crowned by my bald head. I touched my hair. After some twenty years of long braids and endless ponytails, I had recently shaved all my hair off. Although it was growing back, I was still fascinated by my head’s appearance. I felt like exploring that new trait of mine. Through drawing.

I had forgotten my books at home, but what I did have was my notebook. And my ink pen. Thankfully. So, glancing at my old picture every now and then, I left the waiting room behind and ventured into the whiter realms of my notebook’s page, leaving — or following? — myriad ink trails. I found waves, ladders, snails, other creatures and planets. Mountains and sails. My little Self, blossoming from the relationship between paper and pen. And that idle morning in the waiting room. Chiara Braidotti

Self, ink on paper, by Chiara Braidotti

I applied two generative layers to the work of Chiara. The first layer depicts an image through a string of characters. The characters form a text that speaks of the image itself: the following quotation of Chiara:

The idea underpinning my work is that our identity is not fixed, nor is it the result of arbitrary decisions; it is rather co-created and constantly informed by our actions and interactions with the objects and people we encounter while we progress in time. We are stories cast like dice into history, and I am interested in exploring how our sense of ‘self’ is shaped by our relationship with the time and place we happen to occupy and our experiences with the ‘other’.

The result can be read through two channels that convey interrelated semantics — the visual channel (the image) and the symbolic channel (the text that forms the image) — a blend of meanings that brings out a result bigger to the sum of the parts.

The second generative layer uses organic randomness — Perlin noise — to produce a visual effect in which the text that forms the image sways. This is more perceptible in the interactive version of the artwork. HEX0x6C

Crypto Self, digital ink on canvas, by HEX0x6C (tokenizied on SuperRare)

It rises with waves
Familiar face

Significant words surface
Details made vague
Endlessly dance

Subtly stronger
Spears of the sun
The words trace the self

Chiara Braidotti

data scientist generative artist blockchain enthusiast crypto art evangelist —

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