A timeless bridge between 2 artists from the 16th Century and Jæn from the 21st. Frans Huys, a Belgian illustrator (1522-1562), made splendid illustrations of grotesque masks from Flemish sculptor Cornelis Floris de Vriendt (1514-1575), printed to provide stone carvers and others with interesting faces to adorn buildings. The tradition of mascarons date back to Ancient Greece, surviving until the Renaissance through the Roman Empire's vestige.
Through the printing press, and then digitisation, I could find and restore them carefully, to then add my surreal magic, encode the scans in the audio frequencies of the minimalistic melodies I composed, generate AI versions to be glimpsed during brief glitches.
The result was uploaded straight to contemporary cryptoart - here it stands, floating in the digital void, outside of time. This collaboration of 3 European Artists over 5 centuries is an invitation to ponder about time, culture and tools. Collectors become Patrons of the III Renaissances - the old one, the new one, and the future one in which an artist will bring the next iteration of this legacy rooted thousands of years in the past.
A metaphorical blockchain made of time and art
- the timechain -
These works are not finished,
they're never-ending time travellers.
A piece of art history is usually a piece of the past:
these are pieces of the past, present and future.
In May 2021, the release of Phase I was celebrated with 3 virtual solo shows with Tara Digital Collective: on Artsy, in Decentraland, in Voxels, thanks to the Museum 0f NFT Art. The design of the virtual exhibition space in Decentraland was the result of a reflection on the current skeuomorphism in virtual architecture.
Augmented Reality allows to come full circle: through scanning the original etchings with Artivive App, the cryptoart pieces are summoned.
Phase II saw the addition of AI appearing through glitches, digital hallucinations reminiscent of the ancient Greek masks used by comedians, lost to time as well.
Second addition was echoes of the past:
Aphex Twin-inspired audio encoding of the scans for each piece, combined with Philip Glass-inspired micromelodies composed for the Mellotron, a relevant oddity as it was the first instrument using tapes for each note, pushing further the idea of translating art data with ensuing entropy.
The exhibition of Phase II is happening on people's faces, as masks should do. Find AR filters on Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook Messenger by typing "timechain" or "cornaelhuys", and join the grotesque Renaissance carnival.
Spectrograms of the soundtracks
Grotesque being somehow the opposite of going back to platonic ideals during the Renaissance, this more feral, fun and punk energy makes also a lot of sense as being exhibited in the very vernacular contemporary medium that is GIFs through Giphy, compatible with social media and the latest smartphone keyboards. From the Flemish Renaissance grotesque to today's memes, the grotesque spirit changes shape yet surely prevails.
Final phase, coming later
- endgame: exhibiting Cornælhuys next to the originals in the Rijks Museum -
To create a long-lasting lineage of artists, working together over centuries, and embrace a meaningful part of the decentralisation ethos of the cryptoart movement, Cornælhuys pieces are released under a permissionless license CC-BY SA 4.0, which is like CC0 (public domain) with 3 conditions:
- you have to credit all the artists:
Cornelis Floris de Vriendt,
Frans Huys and Jæn
- you must do it in a way that doesn't suggest the licensor endorses you or your use
- resulting works must be released with a CC-BY SA license as well
Under these simple conditions, you are free to use the art even commercially, and modify it as you please, while protecting the Timechain and provenance.
Create your own fork/sidechain/branch and see
what grows from it.
The scans of Frans huys provided by
the rijks museum
are in the public domain
To you, artist of the future, you will know the time has come
for another block on this time chain, when something as groundbreaking as blockchains has emerged. If I am still alive, come forth and claim the mantle. If I am dead, take this torch, light it again with your own fire.
And pave the way for those who will come after you.
Cornelis Floris de Vriendt, Frans Huys and Jæn salute you.