NFT Radar Emerging Artist Presents – BITTTY @bitttynfts
1) How did you get started on your journey?
NFTs got my attention about 4 months ago, when I saw Kristy Glas’ Pixel Cats on Instagram. They’re so charming & clever that I instantly understood how art NFTs could take off because I felt like I just HAD to have one. I poked around on Rarible and got excited that this whole other art world was possible.
Initially, I just made NFT variants of my physical Bitcoin drawings, but soon I got the urge to experiment with the medium and really engage with the market. I saw it as a once-in-a-lifetime experience, to be a part of a totally new art form still in its infancy. I took on the name BITTTY and set up art trades via Twitter and did giveaways. It built up my following very quickly. I’d been a heavy Instagram user and started to get bored with it and I could see NFTs as the next logical step in social media, where creators learn to become artists and fans learn to collect art.
My early NFT art is heavily influenced by Instagram, esp accounts dedicated to Public Domain imagery and cute animal memes. I remixed and made collages with them using Photomosh and Photoshop. To contrast the cute NFTs I started photoshopping reptiles and things I thought looked monstrous. I began to identify as a Trash Artist and announced it with a series of garbage truck GIFS, which got the attention of Robness; a nice affirmation. Collin Dyer reached out to me and I soon made connections with other Trash Artists. It’s a very welcoming and supportive community with a focus on educating people about art. I then made a series of collaged trash cans, and some glitchy abstract GIFS, which I’m still really into.
Then I began making glitched stills ~ sort of these spaced out landscapes. The stills look great as prints so I include a print w/hand drawn details on metallic paper. My natural inclination is toward abstraction, which is where my fine art practice left off before I veered into making Bitcoin Art. I want to make more monsters, too. There’s an immediacy about monsters that I think people find compelling. Its good to get freaked out by something scary or repulsive and it can be silly too. Humour is important.
2) Where do you see yourself in the future, in relation to your project?
I’m enjoying pushing trashy apps to their limits to squeeze out abstractions, but I’ve learned more databending techniques I want to focus on, trashing files using the Wordpad process and editing pictures blindly, like sound files. You can do a lot with MS Paint ~ it’ll open any kinda file.
I’ve started doing some circuit bending, took apart an Atari FB and tweaked it a bit, ran in through a mixer to a Sony Trinitron – getting some beautiful glitches that way and taking pictures of the screen with my iphone. I’ve made a few videos/gifs from that process and just the other day I launched GlitchPunks, under the umbrella of Unofficial Punks, which is a community project that’s growing everyday – artists are creating their own lines of Cryptopunks, that are unique and affordable to those of us who can’t fork out 50G’s for an NFT. They’re selling just as fast as I can make them – each punk with an authentic, manually crafted glitch (no Photomosh – not that there’s anything wrong with that). I have a rotation of guest artists on board making them as well; @ih0LD and a mystery artist who we’ll call FG, who both have mad glitch skills.
As an artist, I need to create things that challenge people. There’s a lot of room in the space for that kind of growth, for artists to challenge their viewers and collectors. I’m not talking about making overtly political work, but carrying content through the formal aspects of the work, being somewhat subversive. I like work to be layered with hidden content that can be discovered.
3) Tell us about your favourite artists, and why.
NFT Artists: Burst, Max Osiris, Cryptopope/entter and Osinachi are favourites. They’re all
really inventive. Max is a big influence ~ his stuff can be so intricate and layered visually, and there’s a sense of the metaphysical present, even though the imagery can often appear to belong to the profane. Sarah Zucker is really important to me ~ she bridges NFT art to earlier electronic art. Also sgt_slaughtermelon. Glitch has a bigger history than being an app setting and while I think its great that some folks are diving in and making art without worrying about context, I think NFT art will grow up as artists like Altered_Data [Dom Barra] mint previous works, revealing the deeper history of Digital Art.
XCopy is fascinating, he has such a specific aesthetic that clearly carries content at a political level. Its very desirable work ~ succinct. Gary Carlidge has this quality, too. I really love the quiet elegance of donnoh’s generative drawings. 100 fuegos is another generative artist I recently discovered ~ abstractions inspired by Amazonian tribal patterns. Everything Artbocks.io, esp the Chromie Squiggle project. To me, the squiggles seem to tap into something quite primal, esp the rainbow ones. Berk AKA Princess Camel will be big, I think. He made Bastard GAN Punks he put every Cryptopunk into StyleGANS to make bastard children. They’re so brilliant and wrong. He also made a collection of Glitch art called Berk’s GL!C-P!XxX; they’re piss elegant and just sitting there on Opensea. And DEATHHIMSELF! Look him up! Now!!
Trash Art is a movement in Cryptoart that’s sorely misunderstood. People think its just trash can GIFS, but there’s a deep ideology and ethic at work. At its core,Trash Art is about democratizing art, making it something everybody can do. Being free. It hits deep in the heart of NFT Art ~ the GIF as art, making art from phone apps, flooding the market with expression. No particular aesthetic is favoured, all artists are welcome. So many artists to name but here’s a few key figures that influence me: Nino Arteiro, Jay Delay is incredible; ihodl, Cryptochild, Marcotic, Collin’s Pixelart, Second Realm and Robness. Trash Art is key in the formative story of NFTs.
Two exciting Trash Art projects outside of the ongoing Toters project are RATS: Rapid Art Token Swap by Jay Delay and The People’s Potato by Second Realm. Both employ their own social tokens ($RATS, $TATR) and rely on group participation. The People’s Potato has grown to be the largest NFT artwork created to date, as you have to send a potato to someone new to earn the $TATR token. RATS: Rapid Art Token Swap https://rats.art/ is a place to swap NFTs or trade them in for $RATS tokens. Its a great way to get away from the commodification of artworks for a minute and just trade art between artists.
Outside of NFT Art, I’m influenced by a whole life’s history of art involvement. I went to San Francisco Art Institute in the 90’s and got influenced by West Coast Conceptualism. But my very favourite artist is Cady Noland, (not west coast). She so precisely captures the brutal essence of.
what it is to be American with minimal gestures. I’m studying Glitch Theory and I’m obsessed w/Rosa Menkman. I must mention Bell Labs, not formally an art thing, but the spirit of innovation and experimentation that came out of there is so inspiring. I feel like my studio is a lab of sorts, where I tinker and experiment and eventually something comes out.
4) Talk us through your creative process.
Since working digitally is new to me, I feel free to just try things. If I’m remixing/collaging I first gather up the imagery I want to work with. Then I just dig in to finding the image. I use a variety of applications & processes, often moving back and forth between apps and devices to sculpt the image. More often now, I find myself doing research on the backend of making, to contextualize what I’ve done. Its important to be loose, but focused. If I get all stiff or something feels contrived I walk away from it and do something else. I have a studio at home and I like to be in it surrounded by my physical work. I listen to podcasts or electronic music if I want soun
5) Any other exciting developments?
I have a piece coming out for Jay Delay’s This is not Jay Delay curated mints on KnownOrigin. He’s been really supportive. I did a podcast interview last week D.Kleine for NFP and in the midst of a written piece for a major fine art blog that I probably shouldn’t mention but I’m super excited about it! I’m putting the finishing touches on a website dedicated exclusively to BITTTY, which I’m hoping will serve as a sort of on-ramp for artists to learn about getting into making NFTs. At some point I’d like to start an NFT gallery but that’s still just an idea.
6) Anything else (NFT and Art) related that you want to be featured?
My Bitcoin drawings! You can see them at www.bitfandango.org – I’ve sold a lot of what’s on the site now but there are still some really good ones available. The next body of work will be shown at Bitcoin2021 and I’ll jack up the prices, so get em before that happens. I also do commissions ~ if you want something that’s sold, I can make one on a different colour of paper.
Please do check out Bittys marketplace links below. I’m now a huge fan! Bought a few pieces as I was looking through her collections. Buy early before her pieces sell for mad ETH.
A collaboration between BITTTY and Benny Steele