The Machine

Stacking the Essence of Form
— by Ismahelio
The Machine
A house is a machine for living in.
Baths, sun, hot-water, cold-water, warmth at will, conservation of food, hygiene, beauty in the sense of good proportion.

The Machine is the culmination of Ismahelio's artistry and craft to date; a striving for a new, naked architecture of forms assembled in the light.

The Machine is a unique, tailored algorithm in javascript, which combines blocks and cubes, proportioning new geometric compositions in long-form.

The Machine will produce 419 generative outputs, into which you may scale your own imagination; seeing sculptures, machinery, tinted rooms, or buildings.

The Machine inscribes blueprints to house your concentration:
three dimensional sculptures projected out of flat walls,
ordinals with fulcrums of sharp red, yellow, blue...
Bitcoin as Bauhaus;
brutal, brave.

The Aesthetics of the Absolute

The rhythm of relations of colour and size make the absolute appear in the relativity of time and space.
Piet Mondrian

Working as both an influential architect in projects across the globe, and as an accomplished generative artist who has released acclaimed collections on Tezos and Ethereum, Ismahelio now turns his focus towards the generation of a pure, 'naked' architecture for Bitcoin.The Machine offers elegant solutions to those minds inquiring how generative art might best respond to the nascent Ordinals art space. How might the satoshis of our mother chain be embedded with geometric visions of its own blocks? Which glyphs might best inscribe these blocks; projected into three dimensions, filling space, pooling bright colour?

Two Sculptures. Georges Vantongerloo, 1919

Georges Vantongerloo was an early inspiration in this endeavour, particularly those works such as Composition émanante de l'Ovoïde (Composition from the Ovoid) in 1917. This artwork is a sculptural composition of painted mahogany cuboids of different sizes and primary colours stacked together in order, as he put it, to 'render visible the beauty of space'. Underpinning this notion of beauty is the need for harmony, for as he asserted in his 1919 description of his artwork, the Interrelation of Volumes, 'If in sculpture, the interrelation of volumes achieves unity, it is because everything is balanced.'

The Machine recognises this need for balance towards the beauty of its compositions, with each randomly generated ordinal featuring at least one coloured side which has been placed with intentionality. From two dimensional sculptures, out of mostly grey backgrounds, black and white lines are inscribed. Then, wherever the new three dimensional sculpture's centre of mass lies- its cantilever, or sites of most tension- the algorithm generates a coloured side to embody this state of balance. Thus we are able to witness how the output would behave as architecture, as the colour appears from the code to convey the spirit of its spatial and material interactions.

Colour- A Universal Language

Composition décentralisée, 1924, Theo Van Doesburg. Guggenheim, New York.

The Machine seeks to pay homage to the orderly and objective, mathematical progression of Bitcoin's issuance. This aim to transcend the monetary policies and whims of nation states, political entities and financial institutions by dint of its deflationary characteristics of a fixed supply and decreasing issuance, is acknowledged by The Machine's edition size of 419 outputs, alluding to April 19th 2024: the date of the most recent 'halving' event. The de Stijl school of the early 20th century Netherlands, a similarly utopian project (albeit of artists and architects) has proved to be a huge influence on Ismahelio. This collective strove to create a new visual language that reflected modernity and abstraction, away from cultural prejudices and representational imagery. For this reason, they selected bold primary colours (red, yellow, blue) and 'non-colours' (black, white and grey) which might be perceived as universal and objective, rather than nuanced and ambiguous.

In selecting these same colour palettes, Ismahelio is judicious and sparing in his deployment of colour within The Machine. After running many tests, he found that adding too much colour softened the abstract impact of the shapes, blurring their line- forms. His concern was not to lose the collection's central abstract concept: the purity of his algorithm's potential to generate different shapes through the composition of blocks in space. Consequently, the artist has taken the bold decision to employ a minimalist approach to both the variety and placement of colour. Those colours chosen respect the traditions of not only de Stijl, but Bauhaus, and all those predecessors who have sought to present architecture in its most nakedly geometric essence, in the lineage of Le Corbusier. The significance of the yellow's shift to an orange/gold will not be lost on Bitcoin's devotees. There will be at least one golden segment within each output.

Fibonacci Scarcity

Finally, with a gesture towards Bitcoin's decreasing issuance, Ismahelio has designed his background palettes to be issued with decreasing frequency using a fibonacci sequence, meaning that the primary colour backgrounds are the most scarce.

164 pieces
102 pieces

A Wandering Line

Ismahelio's journey towards NFTs and Ordinals began with the generation of his own personal library of three dimensional objects, perspectives, intersections, and block projections over the course of his professional activities. The early stages of designing a building necessitates the generation of thousands of different options: blocks in different positions, the analysis of the shifting effects of lighting, wind… He has always been fascinated by the interactions of different shapes, summoned in varying degrees of control and randomness.

In 2021, when Ismahelio discovered he was able to control this library using Javascript, and functions like vectors on p5 to be more efficient, his forays into digital generative art began on the Tezos chain. He considers himself 'art platform agnostic', having been interested in Bitcoin, Ethereum and Defi before ever making art on the blockchains. As was the case for many generative artists, he was attracted to the vibrant early community on Tezos, utilising its super-cheap fees in contrast to Ethereum at that time, which had helped to fuel an exponential growth of experimentation and artistic cross-pollination. He was early to the space, releasing the 27th collection on fx(hash), Helio World. Later, Wandering Line introduced the concept of an agent moving freely around a three dimensional space, a feature that he has incorporated within The Machine to suggest pathways through each machine space via a dotted line.

BAI, another successful collection, resembled urban plans of sprawling chaos, whilst simultaneously signifying nothing. As early precursors to The Machine, they were declarations of the respect that Ismahelio has for his audience, proposing geometric forms that invite study and navigation towards their understanding, but with the abstract space for each collector's own interpretation.

Like many successful names on Tezos, Ismahelio gravitated towards the prestigious platforms of Ethereum, launching the acclaimed Invisibles at Art Blocks.

This was an operation in combining blocks into the scale of cities, inspired by the 'algorithmic' novel, Invisible Cities by Italo Calvino. He is particularly concerned with securing the longevity of his work, favouring those platforms and blockchains which have a strong chance of remaining relevant for many years to come: an interest which has inspired him to launch gm.scribe's sophomore collection- and first generative collection- on Bitcoin.

Invisibles #172 by Ismahelio

Rendering Animation

  1. The render process is very fast, revealing the composition within a few seconds.

  2. Black solids start to form, with lines inscribed on top revealing the shapes. As the piece starts to reveal you can guess as to its final form.

  3. The little dots click and drop, following the path of the random agents. Sometimes they are difficult to spot, yet they exist in each piece. You can zoom in, check the points and watch them appear.

  4. 3D sculptures are projected into isometric view, created from different operations of depth and space combined with a 2D flat wall.


The Machine features a minimalistic trait set:

Palette: White, Beige, Black, Bitcoin, Green, Red, Blue

Tension: Y, YR, YRB, YRBG

Color Reverse: True, False

'Tension' marks the moments of tension in the 3D sculpture. Every output will include the yellow 'Bitcoin' colour somewhere in the sculpture. Some will also feature additional colour/s: the more colours which feature, the rarer the trait.

Collector Information

Plans are underway to produce physical copies and hopefully plotter versions. Exhibitions and auction house events in Beijing and Tokyo are also in the works in collaboration with @NPoleArt. Ismahelio is keen to engage with the many connoisseurs of geometrical art in this space, who will help bring The Machine into life.

© 2024