June 16 2021
Proof of Work Blue Duration sold four pieces out of eight, a good result. Considering minting the rest of the tokens to my own wallet, so that I have some stake in the value of the series over time.

I’ve struggled to properly articulate what it is the series is about; I feel like I’ve written multiple Twitter threads which each come to a different conclusion. I was recalling this morning a conversation with Jeremy Baily, who was my mentor a few years back. He pointed out that the feelings I have towards computers are feelings that many people probably have, and so the articulation of my feelings is valuable and useful to others.

Proof of Work is an expression of the futility of expression through computers, an exercise in trying to push artistic expression through the narrowest frame. It’s also an acknowledgement of the market-driven nature of the NFT space, offering a very tangible fixed measure of artistic output on which the market can speculate. It’s been really fun to see how the market responds to the series because it does respond to the obvious markers of effort; Blue Duration sold very rationally with 128, 64, 32, 16.

But Proof of Work is a very cerebral work; it doesn’t offer any sort of emotional catharsis for me or the viewer. I’ve been reading a lot of poetry, and what I look for in a poem is a complex expression which resonates, which raises some feeling in me. It’s funny for me to look at what I look for in an artwork, and then consider what I offer in my artworks—through this perspective, I see my work as very constrained and unexpressive.

The motto I’ve adopted in my practice is ‘the only way out is through’; that is, I honour the ideas that come to me and try to see them through. Through the production of a work a new path is revealed, a new idea comes forth. Proof of Work is showing me how devoid cerebral work can be of the kind of expression that I look for in art.

The task I’m now considering is to make work with a greater emotional depth, that reaches the viewer without requiring the comprehension of conceptual conceits. It feels a bit as if I’ve been working my way through a thick forest, to now come upon a mountain that must be scaled. Art is hard because at first you must know and accept yourself, and then try to distill some of that knowledge into a form that others can consume and resonate with. But I’m thankful for the opportunity to try.