Generative

Metta

“Metta” is an exploration of the interconnected world, visually represented through procedural patterns and Voronoi tessellations.

Metta #0 (live render, double-click to pause/unpause)

Inspiration and Creation

 

“Metta” is an exploration of the interconnected world, visually represented through procedural patterns and Voronoi tessellations created through a process similar in principle to signed distance functions. The patterns created in this project reflect life’s intricate web, showing how individual entities, distinct yet interconnected, form a cohesive whole. The artwork’s animation, driven by interaction between the entities, brings these connections to life, illustrating the dynamic nature of relationships.

In addition to the aesthetic display, the project is a metaphorical expression of the Metta philosophy. It invites viewers to contemplate the unseen connections in our lives and recognize the profound interconnectedness of all beings. “Metta” seeks to awaken a sense of unity and empathy in its mindful viewers, gently guiding them to appreciate the intricate web of relationships that form the fabric of our collective experience.

Traits and Meaning

 

I was inspired to create Metta through meditation on individual and group connectedness, and the traits of the project became the core ideas from this meditation. In all Metta outputs, every entity is connected to at least one other, and just as in life, entities are drawn together. Sometimes, entities merge, and this can be seen as the birth of a new single entity born from the junction, or as the death of one individual and the continuance of the other. These events coincide with the emergence of a new entity elsewhere in the landscape, signifying a newcomer to the community.

Exploring different social structures, every entity exerts an impact on its environment or community, and this is visualized by its surrounding cell – all the areas that are closer to it than any other entity. This is a Voronoi tessellation, and the “Cell Dynamic” traits of “Discreet,” “Adjacent,” or “Interwoven” illustrate the interconnectedness or overlap of one entity’s impact to another’s.

These cells are artistically rendered in various styles and in different palettes. “Tri-X,” the first black and white film I used in high school in the early 90s, is used for the grayscale “Color mode.” The “Synchronized’ color mode comprises all monochrome palettes, each of which shows unity with strong cohesion. “Agree to Disagree” color mode is a duochrome palette that illustrates a divided community that coexists together, and “Gradient” alludes to a great diversity within it. 

In the “Tri-X” and “Synchronized” color modes, progressively larger rings are shown around an entity. These rings indicate the increased reach or impact that an entity has. They are a feature of the growth of the entity’s cell, but due to visual complexity, they are not shown in “Agree to Disagree” or “Gradient” color modes.

The “Cell Design” attributes determine the artistic rendering of these cells – except for the “Invisible” type which does not draw the cells. “Popcorn,” “Startrail,” “Shards,” and “Lines & Walls” all take a different approach to visualizing the cells, each offering different softnesses and patterns that can occur when combined with the three types of cell dynamic conditions.

“Mode” combines a few distinct ideas, selectively joined or kept separate to match my artistic vision of this project. “Enduring” / “Ephemeral” each occur twice in the set, once individually and once combined with “Frenzy.” With “Enduring,” the history of all entities and their impact areas are remembered – until a new entity takes over the space. The illustrated existences in “Ephemeral” on the other hand are erased after a short time. This dichotomy can allude to societies that have a stronger sense of communal history or those that without. Regarding “Frenzy,” in all Metta outputs, there are some entities that are quick to grow closer to others, but in frenzy, there are many more! The last option for mode is “Veiled,” and this hides the entities and their connecting lines from the world. These can be seen as communities where the individual identity doesn’t matter. They still draw closer to another and impact their environment, but in these groups, it’s not about the individuals.

Finally, “View” correlates to a meditative practice of expanding compassion, where one starts small with oneself or one’s family, and builds up to feeling compassion for more and more people. The traits “Macro,” “Medium,” “Full,” and “Wide” are named like lenses (throwback to my experience as a photographer and filmmaker) and these correspond, in order, to a growing view of the illustrated world.

It was a challenge to balance these different ideas as traits to ensure that any combination of them made sense to me both artistically and metaphorically. I’m very pleased with the results this algorithm achieves, and I look forward to discussing the trait selections that individual collectors make when creating a piece.

The Generative Program

 

This project utilizes vanilla JavaScript to create the artwork. The source code for Metta is stored entirely on the contract on the Base L2 network of Ethereum. Each NFT image/animation can be rendered directly in the browser, utilizing only standardized JavaScript. The token artworks are fully deterministic.

Traits are actually ‘intrinsic’ to the artwork token, and can be reclaimed from it in the form of erc-1155s. These traits, in conjunction with a unique hash made in part by the creator’s wallet, determine the characteristics and behavior of each artwork.

The fact that traits are selectable, reclaimable, and remintable make Metta a truly malleable generative art project. This owner-controlled power to change a piece is core to the meta of of the project: an entity interacts with and impacts the development of the illustrated community. Ownership of a token means more in Metta, and it means more within the platform where Metta is launched: intrinsic.art.

For more information about malleable generative art and why it matters, read this short essay I wrote, The Rise of Malleable Generative Art.

 

The Color Palettes

 

As discussed previously, this project uses Color Modes that create outputs that are grayscale, monochrome, duochrome, and gradients. Except for the grayscale tokens, hues are randomly selected by the token’s hash. At any time, an owner can reclaim the token’s intrinsic traits and reroll a new hash to change the token’s color.

Additionally, all tokens with color experience a hue shift over time. This dynamic quality is meant to illustrate the changing community or landscape of a token, and it can be disabled with a URL parameter…

Tri-X

Grayscale

Synchronized

Monochrome

Agree to Disagree

Duochrome

Gradient

Full Spectrum

Interactivity

 

By design, “Metta” will quickly unfold from emptiness, decelerate, and arrive at a pause, presenting the definitive image that symbolizes the token. This paused state can be toggled by double-clicking on the canvas or by pressing the spacebar.

Hotkeys for Interaction:

    • Spacebar toggles the pause
    • ‘S’ captures a snapshot of the current cycle
    • ‘<‘ and ‘>’ adjust the website background’s brightness

URL Parameter Customization:

 

    • ‘portrait=true’ switches to a vertical aspect ratio (9×16)
    • ‘continuous=true’ disables the initial pause feature
    • ‘huelock=true’ disables the automatic hue shift
    • ‘interval=<0-1000>’ sets the interval in milliseconds between draw cycles (defaults to 25)
    • ‘freeze=<1-?>’ sets the cycle at which “Metta” will initially pause (defaults to 95)

Outputs

 

There will never be more than 256 distinct outputs from Metta, but because each token is malleable, the collection may continually change over time. If some traits are not reminted, then the actual size of the collection will drop. When a token is reminted, it receives a new tokenId. Mimicking this, the artwork is animated, and if allowed to run it will continue to create new patterns and designs. Because each token automatically pauses itself when running live, each token is a blend of still and motion, just as the collection will be a blend of static and change as some collectors reclaim traits and remint them while others don’t.

The choice to include both still and motion into the project harkens back to my photography and filmmaking background, where as an experimental animator I blended still and motion technologies to create new media. I hope that audiences enjoy the subtle motion as much as they enjoy the paused stills. Live outputs of Metta will thrive on digital displays and HD screens, and prints will best be executed on glossy papers or metal.

Custom URL Builder

The form below can create customized URLs for generating various outputs of Metta tokens.

Parameterized URL Generator

      

Metta NFTs (Testnet)

These were created by the Metta algorithm on testnet. As soon as a purchase confirms, the token is made, and from it, a deterministic output can be reproduced from on-chain data. Because Metta is a malleable generative art project, each token can be reminted over and over, so an output can be truly personal to its owner.

You can see the currently minted tokens in the gallery views at intrinsic.art and opensea.io.

Metta Prints

Prints of Metta tokens will be available for purchase in standard size of 16 inches x 9 inches (custom sizing is also available).

(photo of print coming soon)

The following details apply to standard prints made by Matto in his studio. Custom sized prints may be produced by a photo lab, and cost is dependent on size and material type.

 

    • $200 USDC / DAI / Eth (plus shipping).
    • Archival prints on Canon Pro Lustre Fine Art Paper.
    • Sizes: 9 x 16 inch print on 13 x 19 inch paper.
    • Hand signed
    • A token can only be printed once, for the current owner only. Check the print history to see if a token’s print has been claimed.