A Field Guide to Cloud Dissection, Vol. 1

As many of you know, this year I decided to leave my job in academia and have been focusing on making art full-times since July. Although it was a very difficult decision to leave the field to which I have devoted the past 17 years of my life, I could not be happier to have made this change and focus on living the life I really want to live. I am just at the very beginning of this new chapter and I wanted to share with all of the people who have helped me get to this point. Thank you for your all of your love and support!

I have been making artwork under the alias noumenal since the end of 2021 and selling art on the blockchain. My alias is a reference to the work of my favorite philosopher, Immanuel Kant (I’ll never stop being a philosopher!). You can see what I’ve been working on by checking out my portfolio, and if you’re interested in keeping up with my practice you can follow me on Twitter and/or Instagram. In June I started using an HP 7475a pen-plotter, created in 1983 (you can learn about it at the HP Computer Museum if you’re interested), to create physical paintings/drawings based on digital artwork that I create on my computer. I used this device to create the work that you’ve received. Below you can see a video of the plotter at work! The video is sped up 100 times; the original plot time to create one page (three works) was two hours. I use Posca Paint pens and Sakura Pigma Micron pens and switch between different colors to create different layers. This work is created with three Posca pens and two Microns.

The title of the work comes from my recent focus on (and obsession with) clouds. I have been taking photographs of clouds and using them as the source material for my artworks. I’ve always had a pretty strong case of nephophilia and I have been leaning in with my recent series The Problem of the Many and now this new series, A Field Guide to Cloud Dissection. The artwork I’ve gifted you is the first in this new series, which is why it is called Vol. 1.

I have been making both physical works based on digital processes and digital works that exist only as NFTs. For the physical works, I make an associated NFT and I have done this for the work you’ve received. You can see the NFT by visiting objkt.com: A Field Guide to Cloud Dissection, Vol.1. If you are completely unfamiliar with NFTs and art-on-the-blockchain, then this is a great opportunity to get your very first NFT! It is a *very simple* process to get set up to receive the NFT; it only requires signing in with you Google or social media account. You do not have to give any personal or financial information at all. To receive the associated NFT, go through this short Google Form. The form will walk you through getting set up to receive the NFT.

Many people unfamiliar with NFTs have heard that everything that happens on the blockchain requires immense energy usage and is terrible for the environment. Although this is the case for proof-of-work blockchains like Bitcoin, I have only ever used proof-of-stake blockchains, which are extremely energy efficient. You can read more about the difference in this short article and learn more about the sustainability focus of the Tezos blockchain here – the main point to note here is that “the total annual carbon footprint of the Tezos blockchain is equivalent to the average energy footprint of 17 global citizens.” I hope that you will be willing to take a few minutes to set up a wallet and receive your first NFT. There is so much incredible art being created and sold every single day! If you’re interested, check out my Tezos NFT art collection!

More than anything, I want you to know how grateful I am for your love and support! It has meant the world in helping me make a massive life decision that I am so very happy with. I hope to connect with you throughout the upcoming year.