Generativemasks Reveal The Power Of NFTs
The project that might lead to disruption of industries and onboarding of millions to Web3.
While people from all over the world are jumping head first into the deep end of the Web3 pool, Scandinavia and Japan are notably slow to adopt blockchain technology. Exactly why this is the case is something for future studies to show us. But it looks like these two regions, that both have been unbelievably huge success stories in the post war era, might be at risk of falling a bit behind.
If allowed to speculate, one reason could be as simple as they don’t see a need for blockchain. The currencies in these countries are historically stable. General peer-to-peer trust is higher than anywhere else in the world, and business wise both regions are calmly leaning on their impressive historical accomplishments in the global apparel, car, packaging, furniture, computer, telecom, web1 and web2 industries. Japan and Scandinavia have been role models in the modern era when it comes to business, success, and standard of living.
The global migration onto different blockchains seem to happen on a need state basis; In the third world Bitcoin is growing rapidly mainly because people can trust it to be less volatile and more trustworthy than their national currency. In Italy a number of supply chains have moved on chain with the goal to severely hamper the efforts of organized crime to skim off the top. In the United States blockchain, Web3 and the Metaverse represent an area of opportunity for new growth for entrepreneurs, investors and corporations. Stable currency, trust, and growth seem to have been paving the way for the blockchain revolution.
Given the deep interest and love for design and art in these two regions one would think that the NFT boom would have woken the Japanese and Scandinavian populations up from their technology hiatus. But as of today they remain sound asleep. As late as November 28th 2021, a
study showed that 90% of Japanese adults didn’t even know what an NFT was.
This is a problem. It might not be a good idea for historically technology and business leading regions to ignore the fact that the rest of the world is adopting blockchain technology, and has been for quite a while. Bitcoin was invented over a decade ago. Ethereum and smart contracts have been around for years. Billions and billions of dollars are being invested in the space at an accelerating pace. It’s still early but we are at a critical point in time. A time where it might be very unwise to fall too far behind.
Another aspect is that Japan and Scandinavia are filled with highly creative and hard working individuals. The imagination of their creatives and designers, and the diligence of their professionals, are needed in the Web3 space. Vitalik Buterin himself has on several occasions alluded to the fact that what Ethereum and other chains are in most need of is entrepreneurs. Japan and Scandinavia are full of the kind, but they are all fairly oblivious to the fact that a revolution is well underway.
This is where Generativemasks might be onto something huge.
Takawo Shunsuke, a Japanese creative coder and the artist behind Generativemasks, has opened what might become a virtual Pandora's Box of design products. A new era that might have the power to become a wake up call for the people who love design products more than anyone.
Launched in the bronze age of Web3 (August 2021) Generativemasks was, and still is, a completely unique project in several ways. The biggest difference between this project and all the other projects that came before (and after) is that each NFT regenerates its colors every time you reload it. The 10,000 Non Fungible Tokens in the collection are simultaneously slightly fungible. Or at least slightly flexible. A pretty radical shift from the other collectibles and art projects that are frequenting the space.
Each mask has a shape and a pattern that stays the same, but the colors within the pattern change every time you look at it. The Generativemasks are just that - always generative.
The Generativemasks are truly Avant Garde. Aside from the fact that they constantly shift, the project in itself is also a self proclaimed experiment with little to no mystery surrounding it. Takawosan himself has been very transparent with his reasoning from the get go, making sure that everyone is as informed as he is.
Here is the tweet thread that kicked of the project:
He also has a different ambition with the project than what’s common. All proceeds that the project generates is donated to a group of digital art collectives, to promote more generative code and more digital art.
Interestingly this has also shaped the relationship between the community and the project. The founder himself, and other members of the community have created several tools that lets you play with your mask and generate more output, with the regenerative pattern aspect front and center. An experiment with new experiments built on top of it. Avant, Avant Garde.
Avant Garde projects are always experiments. Experiments that, if interesting enough, have a tendency to lead to commercialization, disruption of industries, and inventions of new categories. Modern Jazz opened the door for Hip-Hop to emerge, for example. No Miles Davis, maybe no Run DMC?
Looking at Generativemasks through the Avant Garde lens to try to gander what the future Run DMC might look like, reveals an interesting possibility that might be just what the Web3 doctor ordered for the design loving people of North East Asia and Northern Europe.
Patterns created by elite designers are in-demand currency in the world of premium home goods. Pillows, wallpaper, furniture cushions, ceramics, wrapping paper, table cloths and other designer home products are a huge part of personal branding. Your home tells the story of who you are.
Imagine a not too distant future where pattern designers won’t just design a pattern and produce a million identical pillows for people to purchase. But instead design 10,000 slightly different patterns within the same style, and release it as NFTs for purchase. Then imagine that the pattern can shift colors (or more properties) within each NFT on demand, and that if you own that specific NFT you can apply it to a series of designer products available online. Then imagine that the holder of the pattern is the only one who has rights to produce the underlying products in that pattern. Or alternatively that the owner of popular patterns can receive a revenue share from sales to other people. It would be Nike-ID meets designer home goods, but with IP ownership held by the customer. Hobby interior designers who see their home as an evolving aesthetic individualistic story should be foaming at the possibility.
Generativemasks have already shown us a glimpse of the power and flexibility of “Slightly Fungible Tokens”. On Openprocessing.com you can play around with, or create your own applications for the masks (among many other things). It’s all code-driven at the moment, and you’ll have to be a fairly savvy coder to be able to create new applications or forks. But as everyone in the space always makes sure to remind each other - we are still early. User-friendliness is next to godliness, and it’s coming.
While playing around with different tools connected to the Generativemasks to create derivatives of the NFT we’re hodling in our DAO collection, I can’t help but think: “What if IKEA did something similar but with a simplistic UI that lets the user re-generate their own (and owned) pattern and apply them to basically anything in the entire suite of products? And then play around with their own pattern until they are happy to click the Buy-Now-button….?”.
Will we see a future where IKEA drops a new set of 10,000 NFTs that generate unique regenerative patterns every season? Their purpose has always been to “Democratize Design”. What could be more democratic than letting your customers regenerate patterns for their furniture and other home products until they are happy enough with the result to actually buy the product? What could be more fun and personal for someone taking interior decoration seriously than being able to access an aesthetically safe playground where they can co-create products with some of the best designers in the world?
Takawo Shunsuke has reinvented the future with this brilliant project, and we’re pretty confident that the Generativemasks will become a staple in Web3 history sooner rather than later. The project is alive, the Discord is friendly and professional, and it is a first of its kind. The question is not if, but how, and when (WEN!?) the commercial players of interior design products will wake up and realize that the future is here to transform their industry.
Another question is if this can become the blockchain and Web3 awakening that Japan and Scandinavia, and in turn the whole blockchain community, so desperately needs?