The cryptomedia discussed so far is first produced by an artist, and then minted into an NFT. Thus, the media exists before the NFT is minted, and the NFT simply points to that media. Generative art is different in that the artist builds a computer script that generates art. The generative script itself exists as an NFT on the blockchain.
Like PFPs, generative art typically exists as a collection. The script outputs similarly-themed cryptomedia; however, no two pieces are the same in a collection. The script passes in random numbers that modify its output, and ensure unique cryptomedia. This means there is an element of surprise every time a piece is generated – the minter is not exactly sure what he will get.
Generative art has been called “art on-demand” because anyone can call the script to generate a new piece. In other words, an autonomous script can produce an infinite number of similarly-themed pieces. You may wonder why anyone would ever be willing to pay for something like this. Value capture is made possible by limiting the number of NFTs a script is able to mint.
Chromie Squiggles is a good example of a successful generative art collection. The collection consists of 9175 animated, unique squiggles that were all generated by the same on-chain script. Back when it was released in November 2020 it cost 0.035 ETH (~$18) for users to mint. Now, the script has reached its limit of mints (i.e. 9175), so the only way to obtain a squiggle is by purchasing it on the secondary market.
Now the floor price for a squiggle is around $8000; however, some squiggles are more rare than others. A rare hyper-pipe squiggle (Chromie Squiggle #3784) was purchased for $2.44M at its high. Other highly popular generative cryptomedia collections include Cherniak’s Ringers, Autoglyphs, ge1doot’s Ignition, Zeblock’s Unigrids, and Tyler Hobbs’ Fidenza. EulerBeats is an example of generative audio-visual art.
Art Blocks curates generative art collections, and hosts drops on the platform. Like other curated NFT marketplaces (e.g. Nifty Gateways) collections are announced ahead of time, and there is a countdown to when users can mint an NFT within a collection.
If you enjoy videos over reading when it comes to online learning then checkout the course on YouTube. This is part 4 of 8 in the NFT Design Course 2022. Also, make sure to checkout other Web3 Design Courses.