Still Moving

Still Moving, curated on Art Blocks

The mind moves at the speed of dreams.
Hold on! Hold on! Hold on!
I like to think of my brain as a hand,
palm of my soul, fragile nerve bundle.
I think about my brain as I hold my heart
in both hands — a private thing, a pulsing secret.
It fills my palms and bones with heat.
The world is full of heartbeat.
I am trying to hold it all together…
      —  Excerpt from STILL MOVING, by Technelegy

Still Moving is an interactive poem about humanity’s visceral engagement with the virtual – written and published via the blockchain as a token word performance, and embodied by each collector as a uniquely intimate, personalized interpretation. A collaboration between Nathaniel Stern and Sasha Stiles – rooted in Stiles’ AI-powered verse and Stern’s career in digital, interactive, and networked art – Still Moving is an ars poetica about what it means to be a human body facing a machine: a showdown, a form of worship, a distraction, a mirror gaze, an other, an alter, an alter.

From the Art Blocks curatorial board:

“Stiles and Stern have developed a vanguard project that may usher in a much needed new generation of Art Blocks Curated techniques without compromising platform protocols. The simplicity of the background is almost refreshing, as an unintended rebellion against so many projects before it emphasizing texture, mimicking tangible works on paper. Instead, the focus of Still Moving considers the collector as a dynamic performer, merging the movement of each individual body with the work through use of webcam. Ultimately, it is a privilege to be collecting Stiles’ poetry and Stern’s inventive take on the concept of “poetry in motion”– any other aspect is a bonus.”

“Still Moving connects with me via the webcam and brings me into the meaning of the poetry. Concrete poetry! The work is a collaboration with me as the viewer and participant, and I love that aspect about it. The project description does an excellent job of communicating the intent of the piece, thank you for that. I really appreciate the qualities of text + interaction and the technical feats needed to create something like this. Very excited to see a camera interactive work brought to Art Blocks.”

“Still Moving brings together literary and visual and kinetic art in new ways. Adding movement to poetry is magnetic. A wickedly smart and compelling premise, deftly bringing so many germane agents to the table: the role of the artist, of the algorithm, of the viewer, and of the body. And using language as the liminal thread throughout. Muted and tonal/monochromatic colorways are very successful in the works. The interaction ability between the self and the works positions this work as groundbreaking. Thank you for pushing the space of generative art forward into experimentation of text, conceptual, interactive, and performative. A much needed and appreciated work. ”

“This project brought John Cage’s Mesolist I Ching computer generated poetry to mind. I enjoy that the primary text dissolves into a kind of digital concrete poetry when the viewer interfaces with it. The responsiveness to something as subtle as eye blinking is to me probably the most powerful. It conjures this feeling of, say, staring into the refrigerator, your thoughts elsewhere, forgetting that you were hungry in the first place. Here, you are staring, blinking into the computer and it is blinking right back at you.”

“In Still Moving, the work of art literally looks at the viewer while the viewer looks at the work; together they are both artist and work, subject and object. Like Art Blocks itself, this work does more than put art on the blockchain; it uses the blockchain to make new forms of art specific to this moment in time.”

The artists ask, After we bend to our technologies, do we spring back into shape, or assume new forms? Where does input end, and output begin? As we continue to think, work, and play faster than ever while rooted in place, it is still possible to be moved – really moved?

STILL MOVING also embodies the future of web3 literature, in which the book – read-only – evolves into a read-write-interact experience, and authors begin to adopt such tools as webcams and NFTs in their writerly arsenal. In each unique edition of STILL MOVING, camera-based motion tracking (data confined to your local machine only) facilitates a play-full and meaning-full interface between the reader’s physical self and language on screen. Human forms and gestures shape machine expression, and vice versa, cybernetic serendipity inspires poetic association. Make a move, and be moved… Stand still, and instill meaning…

Palettes pair paper, charcoal, and pencil colorings – emblematic of the stationery/stationary – with neon and electric highlights that nod to computational restlessness. Preview images feature lines from the core poem, potent standalone phrases, or rare, gestural graphics and images, caught somewhere between language and illustration, expression and wordless apprehension.