August 09 2021

DEAFBEEF and the Craft of Generative Art

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DEAFBEEF and the Craft of Generative Art

DEAFBEEF and the Craft of Generative Art

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About the episode

Generative audiovisual artist DEAFBEEF joins Kevin to discuss how a childhood love of computer programming and the need to stay busy during the pandemic gave rise to his unique creative vision. DEAFBEEF addresses how the community has allowed him to evolve, why he created a series of NFTs that degrades with each wallet address change, and the plans to bring his work to the analog world.

About our guest


DEAFBEEF is a generative audiovisual artist who pushes the limits of what can be created on the blockchain with nothing but a 10-year-old computer, a C compiler, and the human imagination.

Topics covered

Show notes

The purpose of featuring NFT artists on this show.[00:18]

Who is DEAFBEEF?[01:19]

Where did the name DEAFBEEF originate?[02:10]

When and how did DEAFBEEF get into programming?[03:58]

How electrical engineering, music, and modular synthesizers mingled in DEAFBEEF’s sphere of interests.[07:05]

How the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic led to DEAFBEEF’s creation as an artist.[10:15]

Why DEAFBEEF decided to reinvent the wheel instead of using current technology to create his art, and how he began tinkering. [11:25]

How did DEAFBEEF tie what began as an artistic hobby to NFTs and blockchain?[14:02]

From what community did DEAFBEEF start attracting an audience, and how has it grown since then?[17:10]

Finding the fine line between self-promoting and shilling.[18:10]

DEAFBEEF’s first series: Series 0 – Synth Poems.[18:58]

Thoughts on blockchain helping to ensure the permanence of projects even if the services from which they launched cease to exist.[21:06]

What was the price per piece when Series 0 – Synth Poems launched, and how much are they going for now?[23:44]

How did DEAFBEEF decide on his project’s visual aesthetic?[25:13]

How much time went into DEAFBEEF’s first project?[26:38]

DEAFBEEF’s favorite piece from Series 0 – Synth Poems.[27:44]

Parameters, frequency, scale, and other settings that influence how pleasing — or at least interesting — the output of a piece of generative music is to human ears at the time of minting.[28:22]

What DEAFBEEF considers more important than scarcity to the value of a piece.[31:39]

DEAFBEEF’s second series: Series 1 – Angular. How long after Series 0 was this created, and why were there only eight pieces (compared to the previous series’ 128)?[32:34]

What happens over time as pieces from Series 3 – Entropy change hands?[34:31]

How often have these Series 3 pieces changed hands, and are the effects permanent?[36:12]

Thoughts on artist intention, social consensus, and what it means to “own” an NFT.[38:26]

Series 4 – Glitchbox. How a record of chosen parameters is recorded on the blockchain, and how many different outputs are theoretically possible.[40:02]

DEAFBEEF is constantly surprised by the tweaks to his work that other people come up with.[42:53]

Who else in the NFT space captures DEAFBEEF’s attention at the moment?[43:32]

What does DEAFBEEF have in the works right now?[45:34]

Parting thoughts.[47:00]

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