Chonophotograph by 0xDEAFBEEF

I’m overwhelmed with excitement to be an onchain ‘photographer’ of Chonophotograph #259 by 0xDEAFBEEF. Thank you to the 6529 Capitol for allowing me to participate in this work by observing Noumenon 10.

Chronophotograph” is the companion collection to Vol. 2, Series 1 - Noumenon. This work is made in support of The Los Angeles County Museum of Art’s Art and Technology Lab, in collaboration with CactoidLabs, presented in dialogue with the chronophotopgraphic work of Eadweard Muybridge in the LACMA archives.


Muybridge's famous images of horses were met with shock and disbelief, as they conflicted with well known artistic depictions of the time. A horse's gallop, an everyday occurrence, in plain view, had hitherto remained unknowable. Drawing inspiration from these photographs, Deafbeef created two series of artworks that interact via blockchain mechanism: NOUMENON and CHRONOPHOTOGRAPH.

NOUMENON is a generative audiovisual series, amorphous and abstract, with lilting rhythms and time distortion. Visual elements suggestive of paper cut out animation, old film, intended to represent, in the sense of Kant, the unknowable; a reality beyond the limits of our senses. There are 16 Noumenons, audiovisual works procedurally generated from 140kb of C code stored on-chain.

A participatory element allows others to take part in this work, acting as the “photographer”. A smart contract function CockShutter() allows Noumenon owners to “ready the camera”, delegating to another address permission to call ShutterRelease(). The token will has the photographer’s address recorded forever onchain.

Through an action mediated by a blockchain transaction, one records a chronophotographic measurement of a Noumemon, in much the same way that Muybridge used his inventions in an attempt to transcend the limits of human visual perception.

A procedurally generated random image is seeded by the blocknumber, depicting figurative/abstract motion in different phases. The image is created in the style of Muybridge's chronophotographs, representing the attempt to transcend sensory limitations through the use of technology.

The first chronophotographs are very low resolution and increase slowly with each epoch, mirroring the advancement in camera technology. Later ones will become so high in resolution as to be computationally impractical on today's hardware (but may be possible when their time comes).

The collection size is INFINITE... but our lifespans are finite. After each Noumenon observation, a time lock will double in duration: first seconds, minutes proceeding to years and millenia. After this observation, it will now be approximately 4.5 months until the next Epoch one can occur from Noumenon 10, then 9 months, 18 months, and so on.

Viewers are encouraged to reflect on the perception of time, consensus reality, photography and blockchain as markers of time, as sources of objective truth, limitations therein. Chronophotographs are each unique, randomly generated at time of “observation”.

This is the first piece created in Epoch 20, showing off its stunning resolution.

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