June 4, 2024

Ides of March with GM Studio

Shakespeare's infamous line from Julius Caesar, ‘Beware the Ides of March’, is a reminder of the fragility of power, a prophetic warning of the danger that lies in wait for those who become too comfortable in their position of authority. Marking the day of Caesar’s assassination and the beginning of the end of the Roman Empire, this date on the ancient Roman Calendar has become synonymous with political reckoning and transformation. A cautionary message that echoes through the ages; Shakespeare’s line reminds us that even the strongest of structures can be weakened through change, upheaval and uncertainty.

Ides of March is a debut collaboration between Andrew Strauss and p4stoboy that embraces this spirit of transformative disruption and celebrates their shared love of bold abstract art in the generative and web3 space.

Conceptually, the project builds upon Andrew’s 2021 series Utopias of the Damned, an homage to the artist’s current hometown of Canberra. Canberra is Australia’s national and political capital and the country of traditional custodians the Ngunnawal and Ngambri peoples. It is a city of contrasts, where brutalist architecture towers amidst native bush, manicured gardens and parklands. A city where politicians and bureaucrats talk policies and politics, insulated within stark, concrete structures from the broader political and economic uncertainty and struggle around them.

Characterised by a rough, raw and monolithic appearance, the structures represented in Ides of March again take their inspiration from Canberra’s governmental buildings. This core concept from Utopias is combined with a programmatic framework designed by p4stoboy which revolves around the interaction between structure, space and light, realised isometrically.

The series draws on the style and forms of Brutalism and non-objective art, fine art traditions that represent a radical departure from the past and the transcendence of established norms and values. Variable light sources create unique patterns of structure, illumination and shadow in every piece. A complex system developed by p4stoboy results in each structure influencing the shape and position of its neighbours. These design elements coalesce to evoke the intricate web of social, political, and cultural influences that shape our world, despite our leaders’ attempts to deny the interconnections and interdependencies that make us who we are.

Ultimately, the Ides of March series presents a thought-provoking exploration of the intricate power structures that govern our society, inviting us to question our assumptions and challenge our preconceptions. By emphasising the influence of uncertainty over the established power structures, the series reminds us that the only constant in life is change, and that it is up to us to adapt and evolve with the shifting tides of history.

June 2, 2024

The New Creator Economy (Featured Artist)

"The white paper by Satoshi Nakamoto introduced the blockchain technology platform and ideology, which paved the path for the beginnings of a decentralized foundation of what is referred to as the Web3 paradigm. This has influenced a large number of domains spanning from Information Technology, Finance, Social Media, to even areas of artistic activity such as the domain of designers and creators. “Non-fungible Tokens” or what is more commonly referred to as “NFTs” is a digital asset that has played a large role in this new context. Not only did the emergence of NFTs diversify the practice of digital art, but also created a sudden flux of market opportunities for investment. This has not only created a new path of survival and artistic growth for many artists, but this new technology has also pushed the boundaries of creative expression.

Behind the accelerating frenzy of investments, there is an important transformation bubbling below the surface. A shift in roles that was once fulfilled by centralized platforms are now being handed down to creators, users, and fans. One could express this model as a model that is deeply engaging for fans and creators alike, where the community of like minded people create their own new economic model. What are the possibilities of this new technology and model that has taken the world by storm? We would like to explore how this impacts or influences existing art, and evolves our relationships with it. Through an exploration of a diverse set of use-cases for NFTs, and through listening to many voices that speak from the forefront of this new domain, we will attempt to capture the potential answer to our many exploratory questions."

Studio Strauss @ 2024