Strange <Block> Buddha

Strange <Block> Buddha offers deterministic and unique variations of the Buddhabrot with each new Bitcoin block.

Strange <Block> Buddha (live render)

Project Description

Strange <Block> Buddha offers deterministic and unique variations of the Buddhabrot with each new Bitcoin block. Diverging from traditional Buddhabrot renderings of the Mandelbrot set, Strange <Block> Buddha utilizes a unique coloration method and a rotating color order that shifts with every Bitcoin difficulty period.

Echoing the early days of Bitcoin mining, this project performs the necessary computations with the CPU. As Bitcoin’s difficulty has increased over time, so too does the live output of Strange <Block> Buddha, expanding in scale and computational demands. At the upcoming halving, around block 840,000, the artwork’s scale will be 916 x 916 (839,056 pixels). At the last halving, it was 793 x 793 (628,849 pixels), and by the fifth halving, the dimensions will reach 1024 x 1024 (1,048,576 pixels). The project will produce a 9 Megapixel output (3000 x 3000 pixels) at block 9,000,000—over a century from now!

Significant moments in Bitcoin’s timeline are commemorated with special editions. The first block of a Bitcoin ‘blockday’ (144 blocks, starting from the genesis block) produces a Strange <Aurora> Buddha. The concluding block of a difficulty period creates a Strange <Dark> Buddha, while the midpoint block in a difficulty period creates a Strange <Midlight> Buddha. The rarest of all, the halving blocks, are commemorated with a Strange <Celebration> Buddha.

Using block height as the entropy source ensures that each rendering is one-of-a-kind—some appear brighter or darker, with distinctive emergent patterns. The generative script supports vast customization via URL parameters, including block height, iterations, brightness multiplier, SVG generation threshold, and a blockheight-endpoint override. Built-in file export and conversion features allow for easy image and SVG saving during live execution—simply press ‘S’ for an image or ‘V’ for a customizable SVG file, perfect for creative use and plotting. For an interactive experience and to monitor the project’s progress and status, open the console during live execution.

The Generative Program

This project utilizes 10kb of HTML, CSS, and JavaScript (no libraries) to create the artwork. It is dynamic, and deterministically changes every Bitcoin block. It is interactive and takes URL parameters to override the dynamic default settings, allowing vast customization of the resulting piece.

Customizable settings via URL parameters:

    • Blockheight
    • Blockheight endpoint
    • Iterations and Escape Velocity Threshold
    • Brightness Multiplier
    • SVG Brightness Threshold
    • SVG Layer Request

Artwork Interactivity

    • “S” saves an image.
    • “V” converts and downloads a SVG.


* requires ‘unstoppable-domains’ supported browser

Inscribed on Bitcoin

Strange <Block> Buddha is inscribed as digital artifact on Bitcoin using ordinal theory. 64 ‘Prints’ of the artwork (like editions) are available to inscribe on for 64,000 sats each. Each print has the same functionality as the original, live code, thanks to child/parent and recursion techniques available with ordinals.

The images to side are all default outputs from the program, corresponding to the blockheight at which it was inscribed (833230) and the subsequent 8 blocks that followed. Click to open one and then swipe or click to view the next or prior in the series – notice how different they are!

Environmental Responsibility

Bitcoin is a proof of work network, and it uses a lot of electricity. I created this calculator to determine the impact of my use of the network. The results: I could offset the carbon footprint of minting Strange <Block> Buddha for about $25.

I prefer Renewable Energy Credits (RECs) to carbon offsets, which are used to both ensure the electricity used comes from renewable resources and encourages efforts to create additional renewable resources. Strange <Block> Buddha only needed about 3 RECs, but I bumped it up to 5 in order for the project to go a bit ‘above and beyond,’ and hopefully to cover the collector inscriptions of the ‘Prints’ associated with the project.

Plotted Outputs

Built in functions convert the Strange <Block> Buddha data into SVG layers that can be plotted or used in vector graphic software. By modifying the SVG threshold with URL parameters and customizing which layers to download, one has a lot of data available.

The following is a standard plot of the ‘white’ or brightness layer of the default SVG generated from the project’s “reference” blockheight of 800,000. Every block creates a different Strange <Block> Buddha (including some super special ones!), and the brightness of any particular output can vary. Using URL parameters, SVG brightness thresholds can be modified, allowing customized plots at any blockheight.

Standard plot of Strange <Block> Buddha at blockheight 800,000 (default settings).

Plotter Notes: This is a pointilism plot, where the pen ‘taps’ the paper hundreds of times. Try not to add any downward pressure to the pen when fitting into the holder to avoid unnecessary wear and tear on your hardware. The plot above was executed with a white Gelly Roll.

Prints and Plots are available!

Standard Plot at Blockheight 833230 in White Gel (other colors available)

3-Color Plot at Blockheight 833230 in Metallic Gel (other colors available)

Signed and editioned prints and plots of Strange <Block> Buddha are available to anyone. Plots are made with archival gel ink(s) on acid-free cardstock, and prints are made with archival inks on acid-free Moab Juniper Baryta Rag 305 paper. Shipping is included for domestic (USA) addresses. International addresses will have an additional charge – contact Matto.

Pricing for both products is the same, and there are two options:

    • Standard Plot/Print: monochrome (white on black), $100.
    • Multicolor Plot/Print: 3 color plot or full color print, $200.

Any past blockheight can be ordered. For plots, some pen and paper options are available, please discuss with Matto. Both prints and plots will be editioned by output type (plot and print editions will start at 0 and will increment separately).

The order form linked below asks for both a payment txn and address to ship to – feel free to DM Matto this information instead if you’re concerned about privacy (I get it).

Remit Eth payments to 0x472a7E9Cd77aEA520690a9cE8fc72750e7a1f3d3
Remit BTC payments to bc1qktswt4qlkv3pg3qjjl0xhytwx90484zcyq96en