We interviewed ICircle, a complex NFT project comprised of four collections. They believe that they will be remembered as the first unique generative math art launch on the Internet Computer. Many people see art and math as diametrically opposed fields with no common ground; however, ICircle shows that all aspects of human endeavor can be complementary.
1. How would you describe your artistic style?
ICircle Art combines mathematics, creative coding, and aesthetic soul, which results in beautiful art. All the arts are formed from mathematical functions and applied geometry.
“Circle” (as part of the name) is used not only because it is related to mathematics and geometry but also because circles play an essential role in this artwork. In fact, the circle is the DNA of ICircle artwork. If you zoom in very closely into our art, you'll see that each art is made of thousands and even millions of circles.
2. What drew you to NFT creation rather than traditional canvas-based art?
The main reason is that we come from computer science, math, and engineering backgrounds, so we are more familiar with digital products, including art generated from codes and algorithms. Mandala's first generative art journey started from GAN-based Art (GAN: generative adversarial network). It happened because he concentrated on machine learning during college, especially in the computer vision area. He found it cool to make artwork from code; it’s like putting the soul of art into a computer. Here’s the example of GAN Abstract Art :
Consequently, as NFT became more popular, we discovered that the generative art ecosystem was evolving rapidly, and we fell in love suddenly after that.
3. Are there any artists who have inspired you? What do you like about their work?
A lot, really a lot. There are too many of them. Every time we see a generative artwork, we often get some inspiration because usually (if possible), we will try to simulate the art generation into our mind and then extract the concept and pattern. This inductive process is one thing that makes us more sensitive to new ideas.
On the other hand, We’re big fans of Tyler Hobbs, creator of Fidenza (Art Block Curated Artist). Tyler Hobbs’s blog is insanely great; there are many lessons that can be taken from it. We recently watched Andry Levy's video podcast with Tyler Hobbs, and his generative art journey has inspired us. Fidenza is his most versatile generative algorithm to date using a flow field algorithm. Fidenza looks something like this:
4. What made you create NFTs?
It is because of the tech behind Non Fungible Tokens itself. NFTs finally give digital artists complete control over their art and more strongly protect against others appropriating it without permission. We don’t need a giant watermark in the center of our arts to tell everyone that it is ours. With NFTs, we can now thoroughly verify the art's ownership. NFTs are game-changing for sure.
Again, we are now evolving to be more digital day by day. This is the reason, and we encourage any other artist out there to start creating NFTs.
5. Can you tell us about your project?
Our Project, ICircle Art, is not just an NFTs, but it can be a part of your daily life. The best part about ICircles Artwork is that it instills a good vibe into its aesthetic. ICircle has the power to uplift the vibe of a place and make it look simply beautiful.
ICircle has four beautiful collections:
The first collection of 2222 ICircle Pythagoras NFTs is expected to launch on 22nd December 2021 in Entrepot App. With the current NFTs conditions on the Internet Computer, ICircle will create thoughtful conversations in the IC NFT Artspaces. In our Discord, people already give their opinions of each ICircle Arts, and everyone has their own profound interpretations.
Additionally, ICircle Art can also encourage us to be more creative, sparking new ideas and helping us process both real and metaverse parts of our lives. You can see how active and creative our communities are in our #math-talk channel in Discord. We love being a part of the discussion.
6. How many NFTs will be minted? Can you talk us through the process of how you create the art?
There will be four collections with only 8888 ICircle NFTs in total. And there will be no more ICircle minted. All of them will be generated by computer using hundreds of mathematical functions. Regarding the process of creating artwork, it’s actually a pretty long process. But if we focus on the technique and simplify everything, there are three major areas:
- Defines and delimit the domain
First, we need to define and delimit the domain of functions (domain is the set of inputs accepted by the function). Why is it important? There are two main reasons: (1) limited simulation, (2) constraint from functions. Limited here doesn’t mean a bad thing. Imagine if we visualize the function with a vast domain, our canvas will contain too many points, and we can lose the beauty. Also, some functions may be sensitive to domain selection, so we need to think of that constraint as well to be able to generate beautiful art.
- Function, function, function!
This is our ultimate secret sauce; your chosen mathematical function will determine the artwork. Since it’s the most important thing, most of our experiment is about finding the right functions and combinations. As mentioned before, function and its domain are highly dependent; that’s another challenge that must be solved to produce amazing art.
- Polarize the Art
Lastly, to give a sense of circle, we can polarize the arts to the middle of the canvas; it can be done by transforming (x, y) to (radius, φ), the basic function to do this is:
r = x2+y2; φ = atan2(y,x)
We use another variation to polarize the art, but it still uses a similar concept. Here's an animation of how ICircle Art was created from a circle to thousands and even millions.
The final method for ICircle is more complex than that. We use functions for more advanced needs, such as coloring techniques, improved domain selection, animation creation & variation, etc. Not only that, we need to push our methods to generate art that is unique to each other, and that is challenging.
7. Will Your NFT be able to breed, stake, or ever be in a game?
Unfortunately, no. There are projects like Poked Studio and Cronics that are good at creating a game, metaverse, and fun projects on Internet Computer. Meanwhile, our task is different and has its own uniqueness. ICircle is more into masterpiece art which can bring art collectors into the Internet Computer ecosystem.
Nevertheless, we are open to any possibilities where our Arts can be showcased in a gallery and blend circular traits into metaverse characters. The sky's the limit!
8. What benefits do you think the Internet Computer has over other L1 blockchains when it comes to creating NFTs?
Compared to other L1 blockchains, the Internet Computer is most suitable for NFTs and the metaverse world. The Internet Computer has obvious benefits regarding transaction speed and cost. For example, minting NFTs on the Ethereum chain with very high quality and great art can cost us more than $50-200 per NFT.
This is too high, especially for a new artist who wants to create NFTs. ICircle NFTs mint fee will be below Ethereum gas fees. DFINITY has opened so many opportunities for artists, developers, game designers, creator, etc., to build the future of the internet with a meager cost and fast executions. And we love that.
Also, with the Internet Computer- Ethereum integration, artists that create on the Internet Computer can market their artwork in Ethereum soon. We believe that metaverse is an infinity game which is only possible with the Internet computer. And as far as we know, the Internet Computer has zero downsides for us.
9. What other Art have you seen that excites you in the Internet Computer NFT ecosystem?
Poked Studio and Motoko by Jon Ball set a very high standard for Internet Computer NFTs. We are delighted we have Jon in the ecosystem.
Jon from Poked Studio also helped us in launching our new projects. He helped us answer our curiosity regarding artworks and NFTs. The ICircles team is collecting many Poked Bots and believes in its future.
10. What excites you most about your launch?
This is going to be our first NFT project. We are so excited yet nervous at the same time. What excites us the most is that we will finally bring beautiful generative arts into the Internet Computer ecosystem. This is not a PFPs project but instead is pure generated math art.
As technology advances and continues to outpace human evolution, we believe that generative art seems perfect to express the synergy between man and computer.
We also know that generative art is growing rapidly and currently dominating Ethereum NFT Artspace. We hope to replicate the rapid growth in the Ethereum to Internet Computer Ecosystem in the NFT Artspace.
11. What advice would you give to anyone trying to enter into the world of NFTs?
- Join and interact with NFT communities on Twitter and Discord.
- Buy your First NFT, get your hands on one of your favorite NFTs on the marketplace.
- If you are an Artist, try to reach out to any NFTs project or Entrepot on how you could create your first NFT.
- Try to sell your NFT in the marketplace.
- Eventually, you will get addicted and start collecting many NFTs in your wallet.
- Please, do your research before trading NFTs.
12. Do you have further plans to work with ICP Squad in the future after this initial sale?
We have plans (still in our core team discussion) with many IC NFT projects, including ICP Squad and especially future generative artists. But this is TBD. Stay tuned to our discord announcements on this one.
13. Can you envisage a future where the most valuable NFT space is on the Internet Computer?
Yes, 100%. We believe that fundamentally, metaverse and NFT space will only get mainstream adoptions with Internet Computer. Hence, the most valuable NFT space in the future will be on the Internet Computer. And ICircle will create history and become the first Generative Arts Project minted in Internet Computer. This will attract collectors.
14. Why do you think NFTs have become so valuable in such a short space of time?
Back to its definitions, Non-Fungible Tokens verify the authenticity of a non-fungible asset. So, NFT makes these assets unique and one of a kind. Digital content is now irreplaceable, hence valuable.
The value of NFTs will depend on utility, ownership history, community perception, and potential value. For example, The First 5000 days Artwork by Beeple sold for $69.3m. There’s a good reason for it. It is because Beeple’s artwork is highly respected within the community and has historical value. His digital art journey started in 2007, where he pledged to create one piece of art every day. Suppose you believe the Internet computer will be one of the most prominent blockchains. In that case, ICircle will be remembered as the first unique generative math art launch in Internet Computer in history.
15. Tell us about your team?
Our core team consists of 4 passionate and driven individuals.
- Mandala, the Artist, is the genius behind our beautiful Circle Arts. His name means circle. He is a computer scientist who's been passionate about Math and Coding since 2014. Fun fact: Mandala (Sanskrit: मण्डल, romanized: maṇḍala, lit. 'circle,' [ˈmɐɳɖɐlɐ]) is a geometric configuration of symbols meaning a circle ○.
- Aries, the Community Wizard, a maths graduate who’s passionate about Arts and NFTs, is the man behind our beautiful, fast-growing art community. Aries has been moderating a few other IC projects before ICircle, such as Poked Studio, IC Gallery, and ICPunks. He also has been into NFTs since CryptoKitties launch and Part of Dfinity Alliance, where he can connect with all IC founders and devs for a further push.
- Jedi, the Developer, is behind our website and our DAOs planning. Initially, he was a machine learning engineer who mainly worked on computer vision stuff, but he got curious about web3 and its ecosystem and decided to try it.
- Shallom, the Storyteller, is the jack of all trades who helps everyone on the team with everything needed by Mandala, Aries, and Jedi. Shallom is also a jazz musician and has worked on some Musical Effects for our future arts showcase (TBD).
After the initial sale, we are planning to grow our core team, spread the generative arts virus into IC, and bring many potential generative artists into the Internet Computer.
Lastly, our early supporters on Twitter and Discord are also part of our team, and we are highly dependent on the community contributions; we’re nothing without them. Thank you, Circles!
16. What advantages do you believe you have over other competitors?
ICircle is the first fully math generative Art (full algorithm, no manual touch) on the Internet Computer. We have a high-quality art file, so it's very suitable for printing. Also, holders will be part of generative art history on the Internet Computer and fully govern the future of this project.
17. Tell us about your partners?
We are now partnered with Toniq Labs (Entrepot) to launch our NFT projects. We are also collaborating with ICP Squad, Poked Studio, IC3D, ICPuppies, ICSnakes, ICPets, ICelebrity, ICKitties, Meme Cake, and ICWallet to push Internet Computer NFTs projects together. And more collaborations and partnerships to come.
We are also working with Elika Boen and David Josade as our models and ambassadors for our Arts. More collabs and ambassadors to come. We are excited about what we can build together around ICircle Arts :)
18. Tell us about the challenge you face while building your project?
- Our Dev is coming from Ethereum Blockchain, so he needs to learn from scratch about Motoko and Rust.
- The Artist needs lots of time to refine and experiment with many mathematical functions and combine them all. He truly needs space, time, and imaginations to pull off a beautiful Circles Art (this is why he rarely shows in Discord).
- The community is one of the most complex parts to build for this NFT project. Because this is not a PFPs. and keeping community engagement in our socials is one part of the challenging things we faced (Aries still formulating many ideas each day).
- The story, our Arts is not a merely beautiful masterpiece. We will create stories among each type of art which needs a very high imagination and good writing skills—also, thanks to the community who’s joined to interpret our Arts since day one.
Of all the challenges, we genuinely enjoy every process and experiment along the way. We are far more than excited to bring our first Masterpiece into the Internet Computer finally. We know that this all will be worth it.
19. What are your short and long-term achievements and targets?
We are aiming to build our community with a very high constructive, supportive, and positive attitude towards Internet Computer and NFTs especially.
For art, we are targeting to generate more functions with full-time research behind it and focusing more on improvement and refinement. We are also listening to our community inside our Discord.
We are targeting a smooth launch to start focusing on our subsequent collections and deliver value to holders for launch.
We are dreaming of our Arts to be showcased in Christie’s and or Sotheby’s Gallery in the long term.
Also, we want to bring more generative artists to create and build in the Internet Computer artspace.
20. Give us some details about your roadmap?
- Twitter, Discord, and Website launch.
- 1st Collections Phytagoras Art Finalization.
- NFT sale on Entrepot.
- Rarity Details.
- 2nd Collections Launch.
- ICircle DAO initiatives (Also waiting for SNS and DeFi).
- Further Research and Development.
- Further marketing campaigns.
- Circles Discord Economy (Beta).
More exciting things to be announced, we still have not disclosed a few other initiatives because we won’t promise uncertain things on our projects. But we will openly listen to our collectors as to where this project will be.
Thank you for taking the time to answer our questions. 😊