Artist Spotlight: Nick Kuder's Rings Genesis + 23 Drops for Oct. 24, 2021

Today, I’m thrilled to introduce you to Nick Kuder. In August, Nick released Rings Genesis Series 1, a 25 piece collection. Today, Nick is adding 40 more pieces to the collection.


Today, I’m thrilled to introduce you to (though many of you probably know of) Nick Kuder. In August, Nick released the first series of his collection Rings Genesis, 25 pieces that immediately sold out and now have a 30Ξ floor. Today, Nick is releasing Series 2, adding 40 works to the collection. They go up for auction today at 5 PM EST, with a 2.1519Ξ reserve price.

Look familiar? You might have seen this design system used in other projects, and just to get this out of the way, a brief history (keeping it very brief):

History of the design system

Nick was originally inspired by a design system from Karl Gerstner's 1964 book, "Designing Programmes” that was “constructed of a grid of circles connected along tangent lines.” The system was also seen in Armin Hofmann's 1965 'Graphic Design Manual, Principles and Practice’. Read Nick’s history here.

If you’re not familiar with those books, you also might have seen this system used by Dmitri Cherniak in Ringers. Dmitri actually commented on Nick’s 2019 Instagram post (below left), asking:

@nickkuder would you mind if I took a go at coming up with an algorithm to do some of the looping ideas? Not sure if I can wrap my head around it at this point, but would credit you if I do do it.

Then, soon after, posted the first Ringer example (above right) crediting Nick:

I recently came across some of @nickkuder’s work and was absolutely amazed with his use of what seemed like a peg board grid with a closed loop wrapped around a sampling of the pegs.

So, like a lot of great art, it’s an evolution of ideas built around other ideas by other great artists. Each takes their own approach and the result: more fantastic art in the world.

History lesson over. Back to Nick and the work.

Nick & Rings Genesis

Like I mentioned, this is Series 2. Series 1 was released earlier this year in August, though the work began in 2019.

Nick, an Associate Professor of Design at a university in Michigan, draws a lot of his inspiration from his surroundings.

The piece titled Deglupta was partially inspired by some large rocks I pass every day on my way to work. Different student groups, fraternities, and sororities spray paint them several times a week. Over time they've built up thick crusts of paint that crack and fall off. Some chunks have beautiful bands of color, which gave me the initial idea for that piece.

He started the work long before he thought about releasing NFTs, and approaches each piece differently.

When I begin a new piece, I tend to pick up with some loose thread from a previous piece; an unfinished idea, or something that I'm interested in taking in a different direction. It creates interesting relationships between pieces in the series. 

The best way I've found to describe my process is to call it "rigorous play." Play isn't outcome-oriented. It isn't judgmental. I try to suspend judgment of the work as much as possible while I'm making it. If you are constantly thinking to yourself, "Is this going to work out?" then you are going to leave a lot of interesting directions left unexplored. My favorite pieces are ones that I had no idea where there were going. That's what contributes to the range of formal ideas you see across the series — I went down a lot of rabbit holes.

While Nick is relatively new to NFTs, he’s optimistic about where it will lead:

Well, I'm certain it will change my life in some pretty dramatic ways. This all happened so fast. I've only been at this a couple of months and I haven't had time to process it fully. I've met a lot of kind and interesting people, which has been amazing. And it has been fantastic to be able to reach more people with my work. 

I don't see this as just a new distribution channel. NFTs are a different medium and should be treated as such. They can do things that paintings or sculptures can't do. It would be shortsighted to treat them as just a different way to get work in front of eyeballs. Digital art has always struggled to fit into the traditional art gallery world. The NFT community takes digital art seriously, which is refreshing.

So this is Series 2. I was curious about how many series Nick is planning on releasing:

The maximum number of pieces across all of the Series is capped at 200 pieces. I haven't gotten as far as deciding how many pieces will be in each individual series. I could see doing a few smaller series that explore specific themes, techniques, or ideas. My only 'roadmap' is to listen to the work and go where it wants to go. 

So if you can’t get one tomorrow, there are still 135 left to release in the future. We also will be seeing work outside of the Rings series from Nick.

After Series 2 drops, I plan on pausing to reflect on what the logical next steps might be. At some point, I'd be interested in doing some 1/1 pieces outside of the Rings Genesis collection and I'd like to explore a few new techniques that I've been working out in my head but have been too busy to try.

If you’d like to try to grab a Series 2 piece, they go up for auction today at 5 PM EST, with a 2.1519Ξ reserve price.

~ @mulligan

23 Drops for Oct. 24, 2021

Our email system wont let this email get any longer, so to see today’s drops, please visit the Alphadrop website. Here are some of them:

Go to Alphadrop