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Live interactive NFTs

Although generative art was created as NFTs until 2020, they were in the form of images or videos. It wasn't until 2020 that we had live interactive works. Async Art was one of the first platforms to enable dynamic NFTs which changed based on the "layer" that a collector set. The "programmable art" platform that they started enabled non-programmers to create dynamic artworks.

During the same time, I had the chance to be part of Async art, but my investigations were largely on bringing interactive pieces which were live (code-rendered) and could respond to user inputs. After knocking at the doors of some of the existing platforms to adopt such NFTs, I got headway with Async Art, who agreed to mint HTML-JSS-CSS based interactive live NFTs. This is a format which is quite popular now with platforms like Artblocks, but in 2020 there were hardly any such work. Hence the standards were not defined for the same. This is when I created a first of this kind work called "Regalia" (June, 2020). Regalia was an interactive artwork where the artist, collectors and the audience came together for a collaborative experience. It was essentially a mandala drawing experience, which centered around a series of AI art that I created. The collectors could collect layers which could change different "settings" of the experience like the palette, brush size etc., while the audience would be co-authoring the artwork with the artist by painting using the settings. My intent for creating this work (and other works like Pilgrimage) was to bring the whole ecosystem (artist-audience-collector) in the art-experience. Check this link to see some of the community examples: #AsyncRegalia

Due to the fact that there weren't any set standards, I ended up uploading the whole codebase into IPFS and adding it to the metadata of the token as well as giving a github pages link for the live experience. Regalia can be found in this link: Regalia in Async Art and experienced here Regalia LiveĀ 

I knew that the Github pages link would go down someday and was centralised, so I kept the IPFS link as a backup. Post creating Regalia, I took it to spread the word about live interactive NFTs with contemporary generative artists, among whom there were those who were curious enough to experiment with the medium. Post Regalia I went on to create "Schrodinger's box", which is currently in the genesis collection of Museum of Cryptoart, and which again, having no standards at that time, was minted in Makersplace. Eventually Opensea went into adopting the "animation-url" standard and that gave rise to the wave of interactive NFTs that we see today.

Currently we see a lot of such interactive artworks, many of them being programmed in the smart contract itself. As I see it, the future of interactive artworks are not limited to a small box within a platform in a 2D screen, but dynamic virtual objects which will occupy the space around us and beyond. I feel that the dynamic nature of the art will not be limited to just user input, but will have multiple sources of data - anything from the weather to the heart rate of the person near it. I feel two years later, we still have only scratched the surface of what NFTs could play in the so-called "metaverse".

What do you think could be the possibilities of interactive NFTs in the future?

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