26th of June, 2023
1pm EST / 19pm CEST
200 pieces. Dutch Auction
Plots will be available on demand via Artfora, price tba.
Each piece can only be plotted once.
#1, #2, #3 and #199 can order a plot for free.
“Invisibles” is a collection of generative art that takes you on a journey through fantastical cities and unreal architecture. Infused with a sense of imagination and wonder, it aspires to be a visual joy and dream-like in its heart.
Inspired by the novel “The Invisible Cities”, this work incorporates several themes and concepts, from exploring new ideas, lands, and cultures to the interplay between reality and fiction. The pieces in “Invisibles” are rooted in the essence of Hong Kong, creating a beautiful and intricate mosaic of colors, shapes, and patterns.
“The Invisible Cities” is a novel by Italo Calvino that presents a series of imaginary dialogues between Marco Polo, the Venetian explorer, and Kublai Khan, the ruler of the Mongol Empire. Calvino describes 55 cities, each with a distinct character, history, and culture. However, as the dialogue progress, it becomes apparent that the cities Marco Polo describes are all imaginary versions of Venice, the city from which he originally hails. Each city reflects the human imagination and how we experience and remember the world around us.
THE CITIES AND THE COLORS
The book assigns a unique woman’s name to every city it describes. Thirteen names (plus one from a different source) have been carefully selected to create color palettes in this collection. Every city’s unique climate, landscape, culture, and architecture were considered to create a color combination that captures its essence. Evoking diverse places and climate zones.
THE NoN-MiNtEd GALLERY
THE CREATIVE PROCESS
Throughout the creation of this collection, my work has been constant, yet its development was far from linear. I started by adapting and rewriting some of the scripts I used in the earlier abstract pieces I minted on Tezos, intending to create a beautiful, architectural, and figurative work with a touch of abstraction. I unconsciously began to organize shapes in a non-specific way, without any apparent reason, attempting to create a generative drawing with architectural qualities. These compositions soon started to resemble cities and skylines, which led me to make a connection with ‘Invisible Cities,’ a book I had read even before I knew how to program or finish my degree.
At that moment, I decided to use it as a guide for this piece. Allowing my memories and the ideas from it to seep into my creative process. I reread it and realized that the book was written algorithmically, with a structured index similar to a repository. My background as a digital architect significantly influenced my interpretation of the book and drove the evolution of this work. For many years, I have been creating algorithms to automate and optimize the design of buildings, master plans, construction details, and engineering.
Before ‘Invisibles’, I had published other architectural-themed collections, such as NonSpaces, Proxima, and Bai. Each of them had a different focus, but what mattered most to me was that working on them motivated me and gave me ideas to create a piece with a solid and suggestive story, very much focused on pushing further its visual and architectural qualities. For instance, I have wanted to introduce light and atmosphere into my work for a long time since it is something that I am used to as an architect. Working on Proxima with Jacek (@jMarkusiewicz) gave me that last push and inspiration to introduce these elements into this piece.
Many elements in ‘Invisibles’ are influenced by my life. I have lived in Asia for many years, especially in Hong Kong, where I spent nine years, significantly impacted me. Being constantly surrounded by skyscrapers, the sea, and the reflection of buildings and lights on the water, has left a lasting impression on me. I have captured many of my experiences and memories in this collection. For instance, the vessel illustrated in this work references the traditional boats in Hong Kong and brings the idea of the traveler (Marco Polo) from the novel.
Regarding the book, it is highly interpretable and inspiring. I wanted ‘Invisibles’ to inherit these characteristics, above all, to be an evocative piece. One particular concept connects very well with the fact that this is a generative piece: although the book describes different cities, all its references talk about Venice. In the case of ‘Invisibles’, while the shapes, composition, colors, or names may differ, the system, at its core, always generates versions of the same city: Hong Kong. Just as Calvino describes Venice and the infinite forms that this city can take. The powerful idea of one element with multiple faces: cities change their essence completely when night comes.
Graphically I opted for a visual system inspired by architectural engravings of the 18th and 19th centuries, such as those of Piranesi or Jules de Bruycker. There are several reasons why: Firstly, I have found these illustrations extremely visually attractive since I was young. The way they graphically manage to tell stories, the atmosphere they generate, and their artistic qualities have always fascinated me.
Secondly, there is a beautiful relationship between engravings and code. Engraving works meticulously on a plate, making progressive incisions until the drawing is complete. That plate is then used as a generator to create any number of copies. The exact process occurs in generative art, though with code, which is worked on until it is ready, becoming the generator of drawings rather than a plate.
Thirdly, by adding to the piece the ability to be plottable, the connection of the plotter (code) with engraving materializes, bringing the generative drawing into the physical world and turning plotting into the equivalent of 21st-century engraving.
This piece is deeply personal and aims to be inspiring, a visual joy, and evocative of fantastic worlds. Thanks for taking the time to read about this project.