Digital Art Trends: New Aesthetics and Innovation

The main trends and the best examples of generative, dynamic NFT and AI art.

Digital Art Trends: New Aesthetics and Innovation

Whether you’re an NFT fanatic or a staunch blockchain cynic, there’s no denying that digital art is experiencing an unprecedented rise. The world's major art institutions like Christie’s auction house and Pace, as well as the more traditional galleries and institutions such as the British Museum and the Uffizi are opening NFT departments, alongside top luxury and fashion brands creating NFT programs. Despite the Bear NFT market, artists and NFT platforms continue to innovate on blockchain and shape the art landscape.

In this article, we've broken down the main trends, collected the best examples of generative, dynamic NFT and AI art, and got some experts in the field to share their views on this new creative landscape.

How does Blockchain change the way we experience art
What are some blockchain projects to watch
Where to find the best blockchain art
Who else is jumping onto the blockchain
What is next

How does Blockchain change the way we experience art

Blockchain art pushes the boundaries of what we know as traditional contemporary art, sitting at the forefront of experimentation, new aesthetics and innovation. The main trends in it being Generative, AI and Dynamic NFT art, all three of which can be grouped as non-static NFTs. These are changing the way artists create projects in the present day and the role of collectors as co-creators influencing the final artwork’s outcome.

"Non-static NFTs, including generative, AI, and dynamic art, are revolutionising contemporary art by leveraging the transformative power of blockchain. With features such as interactivity, personalization, and dynamic identity, artists and collectors are exploring new frontiers. The dynamic and generative nature of blockchain technology is reshaping the art landscape, opening up endless possibilities for artistic expression and audience engagement, and paving the way for a new chapter in art history."
- Nadia Taiga, OG.Art and curatorial director

There are 4 key aspects of blockchain art production that make it particularly unique. It’s co-creative, interactive, collaborative and personalised, or it’s CIСP for short. All these aspects of non-static NFTs are transforming the art landscape, blurring the lines between the roles of artists and collectors, and offering dynamic art experiences that challenge the practices of traditional static art ownership and creation.

It’s Co-Creative. Gone are the days of the artist as sole creator of a masterpiece. Non-static NFTs have created a major shift in terms of the relationship between artist and collectors, enabling one to shape the artwork’s evolution through real-time updates and influence its  final form.

It’s Collaborative: One of the most notable aspects of non-static NFTs is their ability to foster collaboration among artists, collectors, and projects interconnected within the NFT ecosystem.

Dynamic NFTs, such as LIOM by Random International and Danil Krivoruchko, could obtain rare traits that were linked to other big-name NFT collections, such as CryptoPunks, MeeBits, Outland and ArtBlocks collections that an owner had in their wallet. This cross-supported engagement not only enhances the visual appearance of the artwork but also elevates the status of collectors by showcasing their preferences in collecting, thereby creating a unique value proposition.

It’s Interactive. Works based on real-time data and programmable features continue to develop well past their original purchase point, in some cases, even evolving indefinitely and allowing viewers to engage with the artwork, creating a dynamic and immersive experience.

It’s Personal. Perhaps the next natural step in terms of interactive contemporary artwork, non-static NFT art is shaped by the actions and decisions of its owners. Different dynamic mechanics and programmable features provide opportunities for personalization and unique custom experiences with the artwork.

“The fact that the dynamic NFT art can evolve through time, depending on what the owner will or won’t do, was something very interesting. These mechanics are especially valuable to us as something that’s possible only in a decentralised space.”
- Mat Collishaw, contemporary artist, co creator of the Heterosis NFT collection

All these aspects of non-static NFTs are transforming the art landscape, blurring the lines between the roles of artists and collectors, and offering dynamic, interactive, collaborative, and personalised art experiences that challenge the practices of traditional static art ownership and creation.

What are some blockchain projects to watch

Now everybody’s up to speed, it only makes sense that we examine some of the best examples of current digital art projects.

  1. Heterosis is one of the most complex blockchain projects to date, it’s a collection of breedable NFT flowers that embraces all three components of digital art – AI-generated names of individual tokens, generative 3d video flowers, and dynamic NFTs, responding to both in-collection hybridisation AND to the contents of collector’s wallets.
  2. In 3Face each NFT ‘portrays your inner drama, so you don’t have to’ - these digital daemons react to your wallet’s transactions, reading those as a reflection of your personality. In response, your 3Face changes its appearance to reflect its findings.
  3. Next up we have Chrysalism: a foray into ‘Radical Biomimicry,’ this generative art experience sees your NFT transform from larva to insect, and just like in the natural world, no two specimens share the same traits.
  4. The 7.1  series, created by digital artist collective Obvious, fed an AI algorithm numerous ancient texts in order for it to visually reproduce the 7 wonders of the ancient world as NFTs. Notably, Obvious’s separate project the Portrait of Edmond de Bellamy also made history when it was sold for $432,000t at Christie’s in 2018, making it the most expensive work of AI art in the world.
  5. Finally, OG.Crystals Dynamic NFT series was the one that sparked it all. 10,301 unique digital 3D Crystals that grew each time they were sold.

Where to find the best blockchain art

As is becoming increasingly clear, there’s a whole world of digital art out there, and with so many projects on a vast array of different platforms - how does one know where to start?

We’ve listed the top-8 platforms for blockchain art to save you some time and stress:

OG.Art (aptly named) is one of the OG players in this game. Their communal virtual sculpture The Mother Flock, part of the LIOM project, was sold at Christie’s in 2022. OG.Art is all about creativity, community and collaboration.

❷ For all things generative art, ArtBlocks is a must. A platform dedicated to uniting artists, collectors and blockchain in one place.

❸ If you’re looking for underrepresented AI artwork, BrainDrops platform is for you. Aiming to shine a spotlight on blockchain innovators and creatives who have gone under the radar.

❹ Similarly, Fxhash is all about generative art. Here, you can publish your own projects, collect artwork and create generative pieces on an open platform.

❺ Then there’s Artworld, the platform dedicated to projects that are truly thoughtful, that foster critical conversation and celebrate beauty on the blockchain.

Aorist platform seeks to create cutting edge crypto artwork, promoted in the most transparent way possible. Their partnership with ClimateTrade and Algorand is also one of their main initiatives to minimise their environmental impact.

Arsnl, the digital platform,  is rooted in legacy of the Artists Rights Society that represents over 120,000 global artists. In the past year, the platform has brought two huge names names - Frank Stella and Siebren Versteeg - to blockchain.

TRLab also blends traditional artist’s practice with blockchain technology. This platform is fully focused on overcoming the differences between these two camps.

“For me, the ideology of the OG.Art platform is based on three components. It's a place for projects that combine conceptually driven fine art with the highest-quality digital art, and they could not be possible without blockchain. This approach is what attracted people to OG:Crystal Reef, and I would love to think we kept this promise in LIOM and Heterosis.”
- Danil Krivoruchko, digital artist

Who else is jumping onto the blockchain

The blockchain and the transition from web2 to web3 has seen a huge spike in interest across multiple fields, particularly with businesses recognising its potential for community building. And some industries, it seems, are embracing blockchain faster than others.

Gaming being a major example. One of the only fields where crypto investments have actually risen during the Crypto Winter, Metaverse gaming has seen a huge boom - responsible for 49% of ALL blockchain transactions in 2022 (Cointelegraph Research).

The fashion industry has also stepped up to the metaverse mantle, with major fashion houses all venturing into the realm of the digital. Luxury brands aren’t exempt from NFT advancement either.

Ticketing and events businesses have also leant into blockchain tech as a way of fostering more personal relationships between artists and loyal fans, while also increasing security in terms of ticket fraud.

What is next

Digital art, since the 1960s, has transformed our perception and experience of art, pushing the boundaries of traditional mediums and democratising artistic expression.

With the emergence of blockchain technology, a new era of innovation has begun, revolutionising provenance, ownership, and authenticity in the art world. Non-static NFTs offer artists the ability to create interactive, generative, and personalised art, while facilitating collaborations with collectors, technologists, and other artists. Beyond the art world, these NFTs have endless potential implications in other industries, creating opportunities for cross-supported engagement and redefining the relationship between artists and collectors.

As we look to the future, non-static NFTs are poised to reshape the landscape of art and our day-to-day experiences, influencing our understanding of creativity, ownership, and the role of technology in our lives.