Generative

Time between the lines is thread through the mind

Time Between the Lines is Thread Through the Mind is a meditative plotter-performance artwork, where each experience is uniquely recorded using specific pens on dark or light paper.

Time Between the Lines is Thread Through the Mind #0

(live render for plotting – “skeuomorphic” disabled)

Inspiration and Creation

 

“Time Between the Lines is Thread Through the Mind,” (AKA “Thread”) is the fourth project in the Zenerative series, a collection of Zen-inspired generative art projects. ‘Thread’ explores the value of time and the interplay between efficiency, order, and aesthetics.

At the heart of the project lies a meditative exploration of time and the choices that punctuate our existence. Modern society constantly challenges us with choices where efficiency, order, and aesthetics clash, forcing us to prioritize one over the others. ‘Thread’ visualizes this, presenting it not just as a conceptual idea but as a lived, visual experience. Through its unique canonical outputs, the project invites viewers to witness how different optimization settings (drawing order) alter the artwork’s appearance, echoing the outcomes from varied choices in life.

This plotter-performance art transcends the conventional, offering a multi-layered experience. While the digital renderings provide immediate visual gratification, the physical plotting process adds a layer of temporal depth. Watching the plotter at work is to witness the gradual unfolding of art in real-time, a process that echoes the slow, deliberate nature of mindful choices. It’s an invitation to pause, reflect, and appreciate the beauty and complexity inherent in every moment, and to be aware of the choices that brought it about.

‘Thread’ encourages viewer interaction through the use of URL parameters, each leading to a distinct visual narrative. This interactivity is not just a feature but a metaphor for the impact of our choices on our perception and experience of life.

Continuing the journey started by earlier projects in the Zenerative series, ‘Thread’ breaks new ground, using time and choice as tools in a performance piece. It invites you to wonder – what are the tradeoffs of your own daily choices between aesthetics, order, and efficiency? Which might you prioritize more, tomorrow?

“Time Between the Lines is Thread Through the Mind,” is not just a visual artwork, but a conversation about time, choice, and the beauty of the present moment, inviting you to join in a contemplative and transformative exploration.

The Generative Program

 

This project utilizes vanilla JavaScript to create the artwork. Each generated image uses values from a unique transaction hash provided by the platform (plottables.io powered by artblocks.io) to determine the characteristics of each token with the goal of creating a simple yet serendipitous artwork.

The source code is on-chain, on mainnet Ethereum. It’s nearly 500 lines long and 16.8 Kilobytes of data, which took .?? Eth in gas to deploy (don’t worry, I offset the environmental impact). Each NFT image can be rendered directly in the browser, utilizing only standardized JavaScript. The token artworks are fully deterministic and resolution-agnostic.

Outputs

 

The default live-code outputs are skeuomorphic, each drawn with 500,000 to 1,000,000 circles, while the default live-plot modes use a few thousand simplified lines. Using URL parameters, these live modes can be displayed digitally or plotted. Each token has one default output and includes a total of eight canonical versions:

    • two pen and paper sets (pen suggestions are embedded in the SVG code)
    • four optimization settings to change the line drawing order

Interactivity

 

    • ‘S’ saves an SVG (Scalable Vector Graphics) file
    • ‘H’ hides the signature (patience required in skeuomorphic mode)two pen and paper sets (pen suggestions are embedded in the SVG code)

URL Parameter Options

 

    • alternate = true / false (switches paper and pens from default)
    • optimization = laps / standard / maximum / anti (changes line drawing order and visual output)
    • skeuomorphic = true / false (toggles skeuomorphic circles / simple lines)
    • signature = true / false (toggles the signature)

Custom URL Builder

The form below can create customized URLs for generating various outputs of “Thread” tokens.

Parameterized URL Generator

      

Plotter Notes

 

    • Please maintain the drawing order for canonical outputs – avoid reordering or optimizing the paths during plotting.
    • On light paper, the signature stamp’s legibility will vary with the ink colors used. Opaque inks of similar colors are acceptable alternatives.
    • Physical outputs may differ from digital versions due to pen and paper variability. Plotters have the discretion to use different pens, paper, or multiple passes.
    • For color hex values and corresponding pens, check the console when running the live code.

“Thread” NFTs #0 – #8 (testnet)

These were created by the “Thread” algorithm; notice how different each one is! As soon as a purchase confirms, the token is made, and from it, a deterministic output can be reproduced from on-chain data. Only then does the buyer see the beautiful artwork that the program generated.

You can see these (and all the others that have been created) in the gallery views at Plottables.io and at Sansa.xyz.

Plotted Outputs

“Thread” is a project released on Plottables.io, which makes plotting the artwork very easy!

After launch, I hope to see many owners’ plots, and I plan to share them here. Below are some test plots created by Neffnet.

Early “Thread” WIP plotted by Neffnet!

Zenerative Prints?

Traditional prints of “Thread” are not available from the artist. However, token owners will be able to order plots of their tokens – stay tuned for updates!