Seating Arrangements uses code to create algorithmically generated chairs. The NFT is an interactive digital schematic & rendering, and contains the blueprint used to produce a one-of-a-kind chair. Order a full-sized or tabletop-sized chair, along with the corresponding woodblock print and instruction booklet, at tonic.xyz.
The instruction booklet, which is itself an open edition print, has stylized infographic instruction on the front, and a hand-made woodblock print on the back. All chair purchases come with the booklet, or the open edition booklet may be purchased on its own.
Woodblock printing uses a single wooden carving (aka “the matrix”) to produce multiple prints that each have their own subtle variation in texture and registration—in this way, the matrix is the “true” source of new work.
In Luke’s algorithmic process, a single body of code produces many unique matrices which represent related but distinct perspectives on a single idea. A systems based approach to creation leaves space for things to emerge that the artist had not conceived. In its best form, it also enables the creation of artwork with complete unity of concept, system, and manifestation as they become one and the same.
In Seating Arrangements, Shannon highlights both the matrix and its product, the print. The algorithm generates a digital file that serves as the blueprint. These unique instructions are then executed by a CNC machine to carve out the distinct sections of the chair. The carved wooden slab is inked, simultaneously creating the print and painting the final chair. Finally these pieces are assembled to create a free standing chair entirely from the matrix—without any hardware. The print becomes a record of an intermediate event, and the matrix is shared as the final assembled sculptural piece of furniture.
In this series, the generative algorithm does more than ornament the final structure: it is central to the very essence of the chair. The artist defined 220 short, straight segments of wood that can be included or excluded by the algorithm and can intersect with up to 13 other segments. The repeating geometry of the design allows the viewer to see the positive form of the chair in the included segments and the negative form of the chair in the absence of those that are not.
The range of possibilities for this algorithm is 2^220, or 1,684,996,666,696,914,987,166,688,442,938,726,917,102,321,526,408,785,780,068,975,640,576 unique chairs. The incomprehensible multitude of potential chairs elevates one of Shannon’s core questions in the work: what is a chair? Many of the potential outcomes are not sittable, but does that exclude it from being a chair if it still registers as one visually?
If you were to overlap all of the chairs, there would be no single element that is shared by all. The viewer is denied an understanding of the platonic form of a chair, as there is no one common feature that can be distilled as the essence of chair within this series.
The removed segments insert a new dimension to the relationship between body, consciousness, and object. So much of what we come into contact with on a daily basis is designed to recede in our minds— consider “pain free” UI/UX or an office chair. We constantly interact with engineered systems that do not assert themselves. Their recession can mean forgetting that they exist at all, and forgetting that they are designed for their own purposes outside of our wants and needs.
The unique generative structures and simple materiality of Seating Arrangements mean these chairs do not disappear, but rather insert themselves into your consciousness. You must think of how to sit down, perhaps where to put your arm. This awareness of your body and your relationship to the piece reminds you that it has its own identity.
- GENERATOR INSTRUCTIONS: Link to generator. A link to the generator for each respective piece is located on each individual token page. Keystroke toggles while in live generator view:
- i: exploded view
- p: chair view
- b: background color
- f: structural fill
- s: save svg image
- NYC LAUNCH PARTY: Works available for preview in New York, NY on the evening of Thursday, November 16.
- AUCTION FORMAT: Dutch auction with rebate for all participants to the sell out price. Note that all rebates will be issued in ETH, regardless of original payment method, after the auction concludes.
- PRE-AUCTION PURCHASES of a limited number of available works will be available starting on Friday, November 10, 10AM PT. During the pre-sale only, you will be able to select which work you would like to buy. Email email@example.com for a catalogue of available works.
- PRE-REGISTRATION OF BIDS using a credit card can be submitted anytime before the auction begins. Bids will execute on a first-come-first-served basis. Use the pre-bid button on this page to submit your pre-registered bid, starting on Monday, November 13, 10AM PT until 24 hours before auction starts. Learn More.
- FULL SET HOLDER BENEFIT: Collectors that hold at at least one work from all released Tonic collections will receive free shipping up to $1,000 on all physical works, including those from Seating Arrangements.
- RESERVED WORKS: The first 10 pieces will be minted in advance and not available for sale during the auction: 5 for the artist and 5 for Tonic. 15 additional works will be minted to the Tonic treasury and be made available during future releases. 5 additional works from the series will be held back for commissioned works in collaboration with the artist. They will be minted to the Tonic treasury and will have placeholder images.
- COPYRIGHT LICENSE: At the artist's discretion, this specific collection is governed by the copyright license: Click here for collection-specific terms.