Art Jam 2 Contest Winner Creates an Algorithmic Street Collage

The Niftorian Art Jam contest announced its second winner yesterday, Tommy Mintz (@Tommymintz) from New York. Tommy’s winning submission is called ‘Accordionist on Pier’. It beat nearly thirty other entrants to the top prize and was announced live at the Niftorian Town Hall on Discord by co-founder Roger Kibbe. Niftorian is an NFT project community for artists and collectors to meet, learn from each other, and discuss how to navigate the NFT art market. It is the sister project to Niftorious.

The two worthy runners-up were Scott Oppenheim (@DG8TAL) and Zaz Bannerman (@Zazbannerman) with their entries ‘Weaver’ (a generative animation) and ‘BITE’ (a sculpture made from 69,898 paper triangles). The quality of all the entrants was extremely high and the judges had a hard time deciding on the winner.

Niftorian Art Jam

The Art Jam contest was conceived as a way to showcase artists and help introduce them to NFTs. The top prize was 0.11111 ETH and all the finalists will receive a Founders Collection Mint Pass NFT. The contest ran for four days and closed on 24 November with four finalists chosen by a jury of judges and votes from the community. The winner and runners-up were then chosen after another round of voting. There was also a giveaway for one of the voters which was chosen at random.

About Tommy

Tommy is a lifelong New York City resident and is currently an Assistant Professor of Photography at CUNY Kingsborough Community College. Tommy said, “The location of the image is the Perry Street Pier. It’s where I go to play the accordion and not bother my family. This year I took up repairing broken accordions that I would buy on eBay and I learned how to play them a little bit but, kind of painfully to listeners, so I play outside in the park and often will photograph myself and my surroundings. The image is actually one panel of four of the recent series I made of four views on the pier and the image is the west-facing view.”

Automated Digital Photo Collage

Tommy’s work draws upon the aesthetics and concepts of street photography, collage, mapping and digital culture. He says he’s interested in the evolving tension with the digital world – particularly digital photography and its effect on our understanding of ourselves. How do our individual memory and collective understanding change through spending increasing amounts of time interacting with digital images? By using algorithmic photography in both the landscape and street traditions, he hopes to raise questions of our understanding, perception, and memory of contemporary spaces.

Tommy writes, “The Automated Digital Photo Collage (ADPC) is a time-lapse collage generated algorithmically by a small program written in Python that detects the difference between sequential images. An ADPC incorporates dozens of images exposed over 20 to 30 minutes. Over the duration of the sequence, the movement of telephone wires and tree branches in gusts of wind create psychedelic visual echoes. Smaller, further away people can be seen through closer, larger people. Unlike a human picking areas of interest to include in a collage, the ADPC ignores subject and discerns meaning from unexpected forms. Shadows become solid forms. The shift in the angle of the sun becomes evident as textures of surfaces reemerge through people and vehicles.

“The decisions the algorithms come to are surprising. Strange things are included in the image that a human would not decide to include. Where the incongruities arise, there are interesting new forms created, natural to the digital image. Layering areas of its own choosing, the ADPC creates a decidedly nonhuman view, which intrigues with its logic and strange algorithmic humor. The ADPC echoes our human struggle to remember in this moment in the inception of digital augmentation. The familiar gaps parallel our own sense of fragmented perceptions.”

‘BITE’ by Zaz Bannerman
‘Weaver’ by Scott Oppenheim


Tommy Mintz

Scott Oppenheim

Zaz Bannerman

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