This text was originally posted to #zancan in the fxhash discord four days after the project was released, and is shared here with permission from @zancan
Back to the beginning of June I've started working on collab with an artist that I admire a lot, which involved the drawing of a tree. I was working at exporting a 3D model out of my tree algorithm which had always been a weird mix of 3D equations and 2D projections. While doing this, the bug happened and it became an NFT eventually, "The Bugged Tree" 5/5 on Objkt. Quite an exclusive piece actually, so yes, my intent was to make a large edition version on a square format for Versum, as a little surprise gift while I was away. As I was adjusting the seed and generating outputs, I ended up with a handful of them looking equally and surprisingly interesting, from which I had to pick just one and couldn't decide. It was Sunday night, and I was only 3 days away from a 10 days break and my schedule was insanely tight already. As I went to sleep that night, you know that moment when your thoughts start to wander and being weird, it struck me that the "can't decide which seed" problem could be solved with a long-form project. In slumber I was fantasizing having my "drop the mic" moment by minting a project on fxhash and leaving. Since Garden, Monoliths the pressure for the next project has been huge on me. Moreover, the sales themselves, for all my edition works, drained a lot of energy and generated tensions. Doing the fxcollab helped move on, break the ice, and release something – and it was actually the main reason why I did it. I mean, if something goes wrong you can always blame it on the other guy 😉. With the bug, as I wrote in the text, I felt humble and free, just like if it was a collab with Chance, this artist who is both more incontrollable and creative than me. Anyway, all of this was impossible within my schedule and I fell asleep – collapsed would be more suited – just like every other night.
Your awesome ideas from last night usually look bad and laughable come morning. This one though, it stuck with me, and while I was working at trying to clear my pending prints orders and plotter gifts and packages and shippings, I kept fantasizing the whole thing: the fxhash project, the surprise drop, the access list, the edition number, the DA style. It was impossible and I hate that word. It was crazy but the evening before I had to leave, on Wednesday night, I opened VS Code and gave craziness a try. The core algorithm was untouched but I spent a lot of time adjusting palettes and stroke widths, plus the many points you have to think about, animation, features, fxcapture. I had checked the fx opening schedule and I had a window open until 6 am. At 4:30, my project was ok, but I had no text, and more worrying, no AL. I was exhausted, my vision was all blurry, I was supposed to wake at 7 for the kids, I was about to start a festival in absolute sleep deprivation which was a terrible idea. I didn't find the courage to be crazier than the whole thing was already. I gave up.
I hate giving up. Come morning I had an idea that gave me a boost, I dropped a DM to NFTBiker asking whether he would accept to mint the project for me on Thursday night during the new fx opening schedule. I would give him the .zip, the AL, and my wallet seed phrase – leaving the day for me to prepare those things. The Biker was honored by my trust but he had never minted on fxhash and wasn't feeling up to the task. Instead he proposed to bring a laptop to HellFest and do it from there on Friday! I was worried about the poor internet there, he wasn't. It was perfect. I sent him the .zip and started to work on the AL. I needed a nap badly (and tried it) but thank god I couldn't sleep. Making the AL was a project in itself, glad I can be swift when I'm stressed. I downloaded a CSV of my "Fans" from Biker tools. This is a list of all the collectors on HEN/TEIA/VERSUM/OBJKT sorted by editions owned. Then I tweaked fxfam to export a list of collectors for GM, kGM and Draw, then wrote a script to mix everything and get a score for the collectors. Each ‘edition’ had a weight of 1, and fxhash owning a weight of 3. I obtained 2200 unique wallets for 500 slots available. The 500th fell somewhere in the list of people scoring 3, which meant those with either a GM or a kGM or 3 NFTs on Versum for instance. There was no mechanism to decide between wallets with equal score of 3 so this explains why some made it and some other didn't, making it look like a raffle. I have to apologize to 8bidou owners because there wasn't time for me to develop the script to gather them. Anyway that type of scripted list had the advantage not to rely on my subjective appreciation of collectors or having to deal with DMs, and also it could help bridge the various platforms and bring new collectors to fxhash. Not being there at the time of minting was also a good move. The list was [obviously] unfair, but was what it was.
Back to the IRL story – I sent the AL to the Biker, poured random black clothes into a suitcase just in time for my brother to pick me up, and off the to festival (a 4 hour drive). Of course, I slept the whole time. On Thursday I was excited. Still had some text to write. For the story, I wrote ideas in my notebook while attending the gigs, or laid down on the grass in the middle of the crowd in front of the main stage, getting inspiration from the sound, the earth, the people. I finally typed the text on the iphone and sent it over to NFTBiker via SMS. I'll skip the part where we had to meet up in a crowd of 60k souls while both having no idea what the other looked like, with a 15 minutes delay between SMS because of the impossible connection. We met eventually, gave up with the internet and went back to the site's entrance closer to the telecommunication pole where we finally managed a correct rate, a glass of Muscadet, and this tiny table.
We managed to fetch my temple wallet with my pass phrase written on a sheet of paper that I ate immediately. Minting the project was straightforward (I had occasions to practice that part) but things got weird when we tackled the access list part. My list had 511 wallets for some reason. We had to cut it, then the format wasn't right for fxhash, but Biker fixed it. Then the UI wasn't allowing us to see the OK button ( Ciphrd, we need to talk 🤣), Biker managed to go past this by hacking the HTML, and then we found out that 500 wasn't working but 499 was. It took us some time and we were about to abandon at some point, but hurrah, we had made it. 🤘 Minting from HELLFEST 🤘. Drop the mic moment. We immediately removed the temple wallet and went back to the gigs. I checked quickly a few hours later on my phone (seemed we had dropped a bomb) though I couldn't interfere, because of the terrible connection. I only replied to one person, else it would have haunted me the whole time (it did anyway). Now that I have access to my laptop I have an explanation both for my biggest collector being excluded from the AL, and the 511 number: fatigue, hurry, and a brain trained to work with powers of 2 for much too long.