Lbank on Experimentation and Community




Lbank on Experimentation and Community

Rinat Abdrakhmanov is a digital artist exploring the transition between real life and digital life. He speaks to his three drops, Technogenesis, Crops Glued, and GRID, the meaning of emojis in attributes, and building alongside communities.

Could you tell us a little bit about yourself and your personal background as an artist?

My name is Rinat Abdrakhmanov, I'm from Astana, Kazakhstan. I finished my first diploma in college as a programmer then I moved to Northern Cyprus to study Visual Arts and Visual Communication Design. I spent six years there, developing my style and creating my world as a digital artist. 

Then, I moved to Kazakhstan, where I got the idea to move beyond the screen and begin creating physical paintings and sculptures. I would then move again, this time to Russia, where there is a larger art scene, to work with museums and galleries. I was splitting my focus between digital and physical art and eventually chose to focus more on the digital work. A year and a half later, the NFT boom came into my life!

Excerpts from Lbank’s Technogenesis drop
Excerpts from Lbank’s Technogenesis drop

How would you describe your aesthetic world? 

It's the moment of transition — between real life and digital life. In the beginning, I focused on the human body as a phenomenon. Exploring how new media and new technologies affect the minds of different people with different cultures. There is a real world where things happen to you and there is a parallel digital world. I also explore the effect of news media, television, movies, and what we see in magazines — as they all contribute to producing another world, somewhere between the imaginary and the real.

I also love watching lectures on quantum mechanics and nuclear fusion, which inspire me to incorporate nature, physics and biology into my works. It's like I’m creating neural networks in my head, that I subsequently convey in my world. 

Excerpts from Lbank’s Crops Glued drop
Excerpts from Lbank’s Crops Glued drop

How did the rise of Ethereum and NFTs change the way that you thought about your practice and monetizing your work?

When NFTs came into my life, I had a lot of work to share because I'd been a digital artist for years. I already had titles and descriptions for each artwork. All I had to do at that moment was upload it. Before, everything was just posted on the internet and Instagram, and I wasn't earning anything from that. But suddenly, I had an opportunity to make a living from my work. Soon, NFTs and the blockchain became my lifestyle. Income was coming and I saw that my effort was working. I was seeing results when I tweeted. I joined the movement. It's nice, a new market, a new world, new people, new galleries, new rules. I love being early, here with you all.

Excerpts from Lbank’s Grid drop
Excerpts from Lbank’s Grid drop

You've created several drops to date - Technogenesis, Crops Glued, and GRID - do they work together in any way? 

Yes — they all refer to parts of the human experience. 

Technogenesis is the portrayal of the essences of humanity and their creation of a parallel nature. How the collision of virtual space, the equality of any of its parts and subjects, the absence of division into the mass and the marginal, the external and the internal, generates a violation of the integrity of the images we are accustomed to. I wanted to show the divide between the world of physiology and the world of consciousness. It is a hybrid of machine and living organism, social reality and fantasy, the irrational and the material.

Crops Glued is about the contemplation of cosmic landscapes, the story of the heroes' world and their atmosphere, where the sense of cognition of unknown worlds is also sharpened. In Crops Glued, I frequently use one of the most common tropes in Western visual culture: male and female torsos and the architecture of ancient Greek high classics. But reality squirms as in agony, breaks, and swells. It is a kaleidoscopic picture of constant interactions, reflections; multiplicity reigns here, each of its fragments is mobile and open to interaction. This is a testimony to a new world, a de-territorialization of space, a study of man in light of the coming collision with the carriers of other biotechnological qualities and other behavioral models.  

The GRID drop is a showcase of artworks dedicated to the universally used grid system. Examining how the grid system is used in everyday life — from architecture to web design, the grid is an essential tool for creating structure and order. Through this collection, I’m exploring how the grid can be manipulated, distorted, and reimagined to create new and unseen worlds. Inviting viewers to discover the potential of the grid and its infinite possibilities with optical illusion. The GRID collection is a celebration of this system and a reminder of its importance and versatility.

Love your unique attributes - Do you have a favorite attribute from the collection?

In Crops Glued I used emoji in attributes... because it's fun and the images are also a new language. One image can have many meanings or lots of emotions and actions inside of itself. That's how it works in the media. We hear the message, we send it to this receiver, to you, and you pick out a version of it. So the emojis, they are capsules — a kind of sea of information.

When I open the page, and see the attributes, there's no words, there's no meaning. You don’t have to think “what does this mean”? It's an emoji. That's why I said the Crops Glued is more about fun. There is some light flying, some clouds, and some foggy moods.

A bit of feeling, a bit of guessing. That's the way, really, experimenting.

How did you decide on the number of works?

Just innate feelings, when you feel in touch with the market, with Twitter, on Foundation, what's the price of ETH, gas transactions prices, it makes decisions easier because you're more informed.  We have small chats, a small community, and we talk to each other about the numbers or the price.

I see how many people are ready to support me. There's a lot of micro-communities emerging where we talk about NFTs. There’s an AI group with about 80 people and another one with 50 people. There are groups of people and everybody's friendly. From those numbers, I feel out the size of the collection. A bit of feeling, a bit of guessing. That's the way, really, experimenting.

Crops Glued #8
Crops Glued #8

How did you think about pricing the work specifically?

Technogenesis sold out fast in the primary market because I wanted to reach different people, I wanted to sell out everything, that's why the price was a bit low. Then I can work with the larger community, talk to people, and take some actions around this collection.

There are about 100 collectors of that project now, so I feel like it's possible to move forward together in a powerful way. I want to produce physical objects and exhibit them in galleries, and link it back to the NFT collection. I'm going to create an ecosystem around my work that bridges the digital and the physical.

If you could give any piece of advice to other creatives who are thinking about releasing a body of work this way, what would you tell them?

Prepare everything before you start. For Technogenesis, I didn't prepare all my attributes in the beginning, which made things a bit difficult for me when it came time to create them. I suggest preparing beforehand, to have more time to spend the time on marketing while the Drop is active.

It's nice, a new market, a new world, new people, new galleries, new rules.

Do you have any tips on getting your work out?

Tweeting, talking to people in different chats, asking them to support you, getting the word out publicly, and letting people know what you're doing. Text and image combined is the best way to promote your collection. I think next time, I have to create some new ways of marketing. I love to experiment and see what's been going on.

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