By John F. Simon Jr.
Distributed in partnership with Art Blocks Engine
Artwrld is pleased to present our first on-chain generative project – John F. Simon Jr.'s ComplexCity, a collection of generative artworks updated from his seminal software media artwork, and ode to New York City, ComplexCity (2000).
Now available, the collection consists of 256 unique artworks constructed from six possible templates that vary in composition, interactivity, and rarity.
Priced at .2 ETH. Available for random mint.
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Curated by Nato Thompson and Cody Edison.
Software Art and the Poetic Use of Code
First exhibited as a physical artwork as both hardware and software in 2000 (and acquired by LACMA in 2001), ComplexCity has been described by John F. Simon Jr. as one of his more autobiographical and representational early artworks. Now, over two decades since its creation, Simon is launching an updated generative on-chain collection of the software in the more digital-friendly environment of the blockchain.
ComplexCity’s code explores contemporary urbanism through animated visual outputs containing abstracted elevators, clogged intersections, a city skyline in constant flux and other interactive and dynamic forms that have been collaged together in varying compositions to create 256 unique artworks. Similar to his earlier physical pieces, these tokens are not videos but software that is constantly changing –– real-time animations that create endless combinations in continuous motion.
Concerned with the “realism of abstraction”, ComplexCity’s aesthetics investigate Mondrian’s iconic pure abstraction in Broadway Boogie Woogie (1942-1943), and the abstract realism of Stuart Davis. These lush and frenetic digital representations of the city, skylines, skyscrapers, and traffic flows are imbued with the optimism and possibilities of a new millennium.
This collection follows the release of John F. Simon Jr.’s critically acclaimed and first NFT collection, Every Icon (2021), which was included in the historic acquisition project by the Pompidou Center in early 2023.
The Keys to the City
Meet the Artist
John F. Simon Jr. is a multimedia artist and Software Art pioneer whose work and installations are found in the permanent collections of The Whitney Museum of American Art, The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and The Museum of Modern Art in New York, and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art among others. In 2011, he collaborated with Icelandic singer Björk to write an app for her album, Biophilia. An NFT from his critically acclaimed collection, Every Icon (2021), was one of the first NFTs acquired by the Pompidou Center earlier this year.
Art that is created, in part or in whole, through the use of an autonomous system or computer code, and that often relies on elements of randomness or chance.
Yes, the collection is comprised of 512 unique generative artworks.
We are here to help! Email us at email@example.com.
Absolutely! We'll be doing a series of Twitter Spaces with John F. Simon Jr. and curators Nato Thompson and Cody Edison leading up to the release. Tune in to learn more about the project!
Tuesday, October 17 at 12 PM ET / 9 AM PT
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“ John F. Simon Jr. talks about code as a form of creative writing. Code has also been referred to as the medium, the 'paint and canvas' of digital artists but it transcends this metaphor in that it even allows artists to write their own tools...— Christiane Paul, Curator of Digital Art at the Whitney Museum of American Art