From Taproot Wizards to Generative AI: Q&A with FAR

From Taproot Wizards to Generative AI: Q&A with FAR

From Taproot Wizards to Generative AI: Q&A with FAR

Dec 21, 2023

General Wallet Use

6 min

Creators in the Bitcoin community have driven much of the impact Ordinals have had on the ecosystem. Just weeks after the Ordinal protocol’s launch, one collection pushed the boundaries of Ordinals – and the Bitcoin blockchain – and challenged the community to revisit the principles and priorities that define the Bitcoin community: Taproot Wizards.

Taproot Wizards, co-founded by Udi Wertheimer, Eric Wall, and FAR, has come a long way since the 4MB inscription that rekindled everything from the block size debate to the proliferation of art on the Bitcoin blockchain. In November, the project raised $7.5 million from an investment round to continue bringing the “magic” back to Ordinals and the Bitcoin network as the number of Taproot Wizard inscriptions exceeded 2,100. 

FAR has been a key focal point for the evolution of the Taproot Wizard’s project, establishing the project’s vision as both a creator and co-founder. Our Leather team spoke to FAR about his history as an artist and creator, and found out more about what inspires his work – both with the Taproot Wizards and beyond. 

Leather: How did you get started as a creator? 

FAR: I grew up surrounded by artists and engineers, which shaped my interest in art and design. I trained as a civil engineer and architect, and it was during that time that I developed an interest in the aesthetics of technical representations. My civil engineering education was classical, theoretical, and involved a lot of hand technical drafting. For architecture, I attended a cutting-edge university that used software in architecture. There, I began to delve deeper into computer graphics and visual creation.

I realized that I lacked a formal art education, so I pursued a Masters in Arts and a PhD in Visual Studies at Harvard, which greatly influenced my development as an artist. I studied with artists like Stephen Prina, Renee Green, Krzysztof Wodiczko, and historians like Benjamin Buchloh.

It was around this time that I became deeply involved in Web3. I was fascinated by network effects, community-owned protocols, and the subculture surrounding them. Before NFTs became a vehicle for blockchain adoption, I had a close group of friends who were artists with whom I debated about Web3, art, and our potential contributions. This led us to create DAK, a DAO for artists.

Leather: How did you get involved with Web3 on Bitcoin and Taproot Wizards?

FAR: I’ve been involved in Web3 in some form for quite some time, and I’ve become more active in my recent years from being a passive investor or community member to actually “building” or creating value. In 2022, Dennis Porteaux – who is a good friend of mine from the Harvard years – asked if I was interested in being part of a Bitcoin-centric art project with Udi and Eric. I was open to  hearing from them, which led to discussions about bringing value to Bitcoin utilizing a PFP and exploring the cultural dynamics we observed on Ethereum.

I believe that Casey Rodarmor was already working on Ordinals around this time, though we were unaware of this. We still developed an “alpha” version of Taproot Wizards during that period.

Leather: Tell us about your projects and what inspires you.

FAR: I have several projects that use technology as a medium or cultural driver. "Infinites AI + IRL" explored the use of AI-generated images mixed with generative art to create real-time animations. "SOLIDS" challenged the “land” model for the metaverse and presented generative architecture in the form of NFTs, which I still believe will be a source of inspiration as the Metaverse evolves. Taproot Wizards, as you know, focuses on Bitcoin and the culture of Bitcoin.

All my projects undergo a conceptual phase, followed by extensive experimentation and execution that usually takes several months to years to complete. In fact, on a personal level and at Taproot Wizards, we're already deep into what we plan to do for the next two years on Bitcoin. Every project I’ve been involved with has pushed boundaries, including our 4MB inscription for Taproot Wizard #1, my work with 3D environments and generative art, and more of the very interesting things we're building at Taproot Wizards.

Leather: What do you think are the most important qualities a good Bitcoin wallet should have, especially as more developments like Ordinals come into play?

FAR: This is an important question. While I appreciate the experiences offered by EVM chains like Ethereum, I also find the simplicity of Ordinals quite fascinating and accessible for creators. Finding a balance between ease of use and security is where I believe wallets should be heading. I think most of us involved in crypto are quite used to the complicated systems that are already in place and our risk profiles are already very high. We often forget about what would be the best experience for users who aren't very familiar with crypto.

When we open our fridge to grab a beer, we do not think about how the fridge works. I think this is what we need to achieve in crypto, and wallets are possibly one of the most important elements to focus on.

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