One Ring

An homage to QQL's nuclear element, the ring

It's just One Ring. There isn't much to it, or is there? How much variety can we find with a simple rotating ring that's formed by even bands of circles? To what extent can varying tone and hue dialogue between each other to create harmonious and unique compositions? With curators given creative leeway to generate their own ring, what emergence will such a simple algorithm provide?

In One Ring, it's up to you to decide what shape the collection takes. Through an exercise of color balance, you are prompted to explore gradients through single or multiple outputs. You may look for rings that take a harmonious path through hue or tone. You may look for seeds where ring and background contrast nicely. Or maybe, you will discover something else altogether. The ring is yours.

Magenta, Bright, Monochrome

An homage to QQL

After curating Tyler Hobbs & Indigo's QQL artwork extensively through Year 1 (6 minted QQLs, hundreds of hours spent in the algorithm & millions of outputs generated), for Year 2 of QQL I've been exploring a different QQL concept each month. During November, I focused on "studying" single rings. And that's where a generative artwork, One Ring, was born. It's my rendition to the QQL algorithm and its nuclear element, the simple yet complex ring.

By focusing on just one of the multiple compositional elements present within a QQL, and by generating a sufficiently interesting and complex system, I want to highlight the reason why myself and others have spent countless hours rendering and curating new iterations of the algorithm. To highlight why just a small portion of this complex algorithm is already vast enough on its own, and the full emergence of QQL is forever unattainable.

A QQL "One Ring" seed

In One Ring, I decided to show the spectator a close up of a makeshift ring. You will never see "unfinished" rings like these in QQL unless you crop your render. Color range in QQL is extensive, much more than in most generative artworks. While you will find even more colors in One Ring, you won't be able to match these colors to those of QQL.

QQL #277 and a focus on its largest ring

Although conceptually born from QQL, One Ring is its own (much simpler) algorithm. Code is all original, written in JavaScript and p5.js and with a different element construction. While One Ring is made of a series of almost-concentrical circles, when we expand on an original QQL we can see that there, rings are actually made of polygons of size-depending sides.

Close up on smaller ring within QQL #277

That said, in One Ring, although subtracted enough from QQL that it has its own singular life, the characteristic components found in singular QQL rings can still be found, namely ring formations in simple, stacked and zebra; as well as ring subdivision in bands or changing ring thickness.

Make-your-own ring(s)

Upon reaching the One Ring collection page, you will be presented with 3 different traits to filter from. 480 different trait combinations that hide "infinite" more subtle possibilities.

You are given the choice to select from 1 of 12 evenly-spaced hues and 8 tones that will define a color for the foreground ring. Then, you can also pick color harmony for background and accent rings, if any, and how those may combine with the main ring.

Blue, Dark, Analog

Now it's the time to press Randomize Seed to start generating seeds with the selected traits until you find a seed you enjoy. While you may keep your mint forever, because burning is just one click away, you can always speed-run curation, go a bit trigger-happy with what you mint, enjoy it for some time, to then burn and mint a new one.

Alternatively, you could do it the other way, by first curating a “shape” you like to then randomly iterate through traits until you find the right match. By doing it like this, you have the chance to experience one seed through all its variations, as well as understanding the relationship between traits under equal conditions.

One seed, different traits

Gustibus coloribus

A range of colors

De gustibus et coloribus no est disputandum

Gradients and color theory are significant aspects of my work as an artist. It's through an obsession with color progression that I perceive an aesthetic sense of balance, and it's because of this that I see One Ring as yet another opportunity to explore and experience color harmony as well as the occasional imbalance.

I invite co-creators to delve into the depths of the algorithm where they'll find pleasing ring combinations, rings that clash with their background, subtle collapsing shapes, almost imperceptible rings and what not.

Turquoise to red

Implicit traits

Beyond the traits that a collector decides to mint, One Ring shows a series of intangibles or, in other words, hidden traits that help complete the emergence present in the collection.

All rings render by default at a slow, permanent rotation from the center of the screen. But speed is variable which makes it up to the minter to experience their rings at the desired speed. By pressing a number on the keyboard, rotation speed will change, from 0 where we can see a static ring, to 7 where rotation becomes a glitchy mirage.

Viole(n)t Times

Other (non-interactive) traits will make curation/co-creation a discovery journey. When looping through fixed color traits, curators will encounter rings of varying intensity/opacity, to the point that some stacked rings will mix between each other or may appear ethereal.

Ring bands will usually show up in slightly changing colors which gives depth and dimensions to the rings but occasionally they will be wider in color dispersion, gaining a much wilder appearance. This progression may also show up as a gradient from band to band where the chosen color progresses little by little from the center to the edges. This effect is especially interesting in "Zebra" formation as the gradient may show up double-fold.

Infrequently, black & white rings may appear. Are those rare? That's up to collectors to decide. As the collection will be forever alive, what seems rare today may very well be common tomorrow.

atone, bud red actually

You'll find rings with up to 12 bands, unusual ring styles and unseemly color combinations. Rings will present themselves as a close up and (almost) never in full. As canvas is adaptable to any resolution and aspect ratio, it's for you to decide how a One Ring is presented.

You may notice that background rings in "stacked" formation rotate counter-clockwise in what generates a sort of hypnotic dance. A movement that accentuates the sometimes exaggerated displacement of these accent rings.

Intrinsic trait-selection and mint-burning introduces a completely new paradigm mechanism for generative art. Collectors have the duty/opportunity to generate seeds endlessly in order to fully understand the algorithm and its potential. At the same time, minting is impermanent, so minting has less pressure. What you mint today, you may burn tomorrow when you decide to inscribe a new ring altogether. The collection will be forever alive and even if traits "sell out" there will always be the chance for new rings to emerge.

You may press s to save a PNG of any One Ring iteration.

One Ring releases on May 19th.

Collect this post to permanently own it.
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#generative art#art#co-creation