A fully nude male and female stored fully on-chain.

Cryptography, blockchain, and NFTs are not merely just 'digital' art; they represent a paradigm shift in the way we share, transact, and store artistic creations in our modern world. By harnessing the power of decentralization, these technologies enable permissionless, censorship-resistant, immutable, and decentralized expression. However, as we navigate this landscape, it is crucial to recognize that not all NFTs or blockchains embody these qualities.

d/fuckyea on Namecoin

Since 'fuck yea, defiance', the first known tradeable non-fungible file/image asset was minted fully on-chain on Namecoin in 2012, early crypto natives began figuring out workarounds to store their images entirely 'on-chain'. No, this isn't the co-opted 'onchain' that we continuously see touted by large centralized for-profit entities and trendy VC's. Instead, the original meaning of 'on-chain' was literal in the sense that the artwork was stored entirely "on the chain" with no external storage dependencies. This means the code needed to render the artwork lives FULLY on its parent blockchain ledger and not on any external servers like Arweave, IPFS, and yes in some cases Amazon AWS 🤮. In all cases, the artwork is only as decentralized, immutable, and censorship resistant as the hosting service and blockchain that it's stored on. Over the past year, we have started to lose the original meaning, but I digress...(I'm looking at u BASE)

Storing artwork fully on-chain comes with some significant hurdles. Its technical, its expensive, and file size is limited. But with great power comes great cost. This places some real constraints on the artist. Not only do they need to figure out how to hack a financial blockchain into a storage layer (RIP core devs) they also need to be very cognizant of how large their artwork file size is. This has spawned a new class of artist-hackers or 'compressionists' as some identify.

Compressionists do what you think a compressionist would do...COMPRESS....

These 'compressionists' have found creative ways to reduce their image file sizes dramatically while retaining the overall aesthetics by utilizing old-school compression methods via 'dithering' and other storage saving methods. It's massively effective while also pulling on nostalgic chords echoing back to early internet and fond retro pixel art...fuck yea.

From the Fractured Memories Collection by @0xdiid

While these anarcho-hacker-compressionist-artists have found creative ways to create and store the most decentralized, permissionless, immutable, and censorship resistant images to exist in our modern world, they have really only focused on aesthetically pleasing artworks and barely scratched the surface of potentially controversial artwork that would call for such an 'protected' immutable and permanent state.

Through my web3 travels, I came in contact with @archivist - a self-labeled archiver and collector of historic digital assets. He showed me a collection that he had quietly released in 2023 entitled Timeless Diffusions. His artwork, the first NSFW photography minted and stored fully on-chain gave me a lightbulb moment. Nude "art" is a common form of legal expression that often faces significant controversy, censorship, and suppression. Popular online social platforms either downright ban the content or heavily suppress its distribution. By utilizing fully on-chain storage and the properties that come with it, I would be able to cryptographically protest these suppressive practices. As long as these images persist on the blockchain, they are a testament to true freedom of speech and expression in our digital world.

"CENSORED" playfully explores this idea by storing two nude photographs fully on-chain, one male and one female, right into the unchangeable core of the Ethereum blockchain. This artwork attempts to comment on censorship and highlight merely one example of the indelible nature of this amazing medium.

I invite others to explore this idea with me. What should we store and distribute on this amazing 'always on global computer'? My mind wanders towards a future where this revolutionary storage medium can be used as a stronghold for free speech, a forum for opposition, a living record of history, a channel for whistleblowing, an unwavering chronicler of war crimes and human rights abuses, an educational resource - preserving and disseminating knowledge across generations, a means of cultural preservation - documenting and safeguarding intangible cultural heritage, an environmental watchdog - recording and tracking data and abuses to hold violators accountable, a pillar for human and animal rights advocacy - creating an unalterable record of abuses and testimonies.....an 'open source' of culture and history.

"CENSORED" is currently not for sale.

With that said, I have minted three "UNCENSORED" editions that are available for collecting at 0.01 ETH with 100 editions each here: UNCENSORED - Collection | OpenSea


P.S. look into the SVG code of "CENSORED" 😉


I would also like to give a shoutout to an artist who I greatly admire and is also a large inspiration to this project, @chainleftist. He's exploring another end of this idea with his upcoming release of 'Blood Journey'. Considering that his project is still relatively under-wraps Ill refrain from speculating further and eagerly wait for its release.

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