This series is dedicated to the memory of my mother, Jennifer Miller
This project explores the aesthetics of memory. Memories reflect our physical reality and actual experiences — they are made of time and space — yet we rewrite and edit them, forget things purposefully, or remember things that never happened. Elusive and fluid memories shift and change as time passes on. Our photographs fix moments in time, slowly replacing our memories in the process of forgetting. A memory that starts out clearly defined, quickly becomes blurred and obscured, a palimpsest erased and scribbled over, colored over time by the layering of experiences and the action of memory itself. I was driven to create works that embodied these qualities. The result, Silk Road, attempts to convey the complexity and richness embedded in something irresolvable and ultimately unknowable.
I began with the inspiration of the texture and patterns of moth wings. I created a series of texture palettes using new AI image-making tools, which started to feel like real photographs and images of memories. I combined these inspirations with a system for creating paintings which I began working on last year. My aim was to find a balance between abstraction and representation, to create generative works that felt subtle and contemplative. Memories have a compositional logic that I worked to depict using different types of symmetry, depth and photographic source material. These images are not real memories — they are emulations of the action of remembering and an abstract portrait of my own memories.
What is this?
Silk Road is a limited edition series of WebGL artworks created by Ezra Miller. Each artwork is a unique, generative NFT, it's attributes determined based on randomly seeded values generated by the token hash of the NFT. Every NFT is hosted permanently on the web and Arweave.
Each NFT minted with the Silk Road contract is completely unique, and is randomly generated at the time of minting, using a deterministic algorithm seeded with the hash of the token. Therefore, these pieces can only exist the moment they're minted. Some tokens contain combinations of textures and forms that occur less frequently than others.
How is the data stored?
The data is stored both on HTTP and Arweave, a blockchain for permanently archiving data. Each Silk Road piece directly links to its location on Arweave's blockchain via the "View on Arweave" link next to the viewer.
What is the best way to view the work?
The best way to view each piece is by viewing on a desktop computer. Each piece runs complex WebGL shaders that require more computing power than a normal website, so it's recommended to use a modern computer with a decent graphics card.
This piece leverages experimental features of WebGL 2. As of 2022, WebGL 2 mobile support is still limited, and doesn't include support for floating point render targets, so for now these pieces only work on desktop. Hopefully in the future this will change.
About Ezra Miller
Ezra Miller is a multi-disciplinary digital artist, designer, and developer working to push the field of generative art forward. His work can be found at ezramiller.biz
The Silk Road smart contract and website were developed in collaboration with software engineer Steve Klebanoff