Ed Balloon’s Project to Carry Black Hair Tradition to the Blockchain


Don’t put Ed Balloon in a field.

The multidisciplinary artist hasn’t ever lent himself neatly to labels, exploring his quirky ingenious imaginative and prescient throughout the lenses of tune, movie, and stop-motion animation with tasks like Run Ed. Now it’s time so as to add generative artwork to the checklist.

His new undertaking, Good looks Provide Is Out of Du-Rags, launched this week at the newly-launched Prohibition platform, explores the complicated cultural legacy of Black hairstyles via algorithmic code. Billed as “the primary on-chain generative artwork undertaking that includes braids and locs,” the gathering represents a deeply private and cathartic second of expression in response to Balloon’s personal reports.

“The du-rag is some way of hiding, however you don’t have it, so it’s important to let the sector see and settle for you for who you might be,” he explains. “That’s the observation that I’m making.”

In a conversational nft now podcast interview, Ed Balloon dives into his imaginative and prescient for the undertaking, the state of tune NFTs, and the significance of uplifting artists of colour.

Matt Medved: You’re a multidisciplinary writer who thinks relating to transferring pictures, artwork, and tune. How did NFTs trade the ingenious canvas for you?

Ed Balloon: It gave me so a lot more flexibility. I believe outdoor of Web3 as artists you’re like: ok, do a video, do a track, then duvet artwork— it’s very linear. Once I got here into Web3, it used to be like, no. It allowed me to look it as a spot the place I will create, be truthful, and disrupt. I by no means actually checked out making stuff like that after it got here to tune till I got here to this area. Having conversations and simply seeing folks create helped me visually to look “possibly I’d wanna faucet into that.”

I all the time sought after to ensure that within the Web3 area, other people knew that I used to be a musician and performer. Folks didn’t actually know. They knew concerning the puppet, they usually knew concerning the visible quit movement factor, however they didn’t know that I additionally used to be a musician, even if I’d say, “Howdy, I’m a musician, however I additionally do that, proper?” So I felt like I needed to do one thing.

As a musician your self, what’s your take at the state of Web3 tune? What do you assume it’ll take to convey this ecosystem to the following degree?

It’s bizarre as a result of I believe love it’s proper there and it’s all the time pushed aside. IRL concert events, ticketing — simple. However there’s this factor about ensuring that individuals perceive what’s taking place within the tradition. For me, I got here into tune with the theory of a number folks disrupting what we knew, what we noticed, what we concept we knew, the patterns, and stuff like that.

Entering Web3, I’m seeing the difficulties of simply other people now not actually working out tune as an entity and having to show that. It’s one thing the place I’m like, “How do I in finding tactics to have conversations and simply be such as you like tune? Dope. You prefer visible artwork? Cool. Perhaps we want to mix it too every so often.”

Perhaps that’s a solution to have those that are right here perceive getting a collectible, but additionally see it as one thing like nice artwork as neatly. Track hasn’t even been checked out, to me, to my wisdom, as one thing that’s nice artwork. So I believe like even being in Web3 lets in us the versatility in an effort to now not most effective be this something.

Let us know the imaginative and prescient at the back of your latest undertaking on Prohibition.

It’s going to be one of the most first tasks this is if truth be told going to show field braids and locs at the chain.

I had carried out a drop on SuperRare referred to as, Entice Balls on a Loc Tree. It used to be a tune piece and I used to be the usage of my locs, and I manipulated it in some way the place it used to be like a tree department and I had those balls on it, and it used to be actually cool. I liked it. I had a couple of other people asking me questions relating to that. It used to be in some way the place there used to be a disconnect there. That roughly induced me. However I didn’t actually wish to discuss it.

I’m afraid to discuss it as a result of I’m now not positive the way it’s gonna be checked out. As a Black artist, it’s all the time an overly tough nice line between what you’ll be able to discuss and what you’ll be able to’t. I used to be afraid, and I wasn’t too positive why. However I did know from those conversations, I discovered myself roughly induced.

“As a Black artist, it’s all the time an overly tough nice line between what you’ll be able to discuss and what you’ll be able to’t.”

Ed balloon

It brings me again to a large number of occasions rising up other people mentioned “Howdy, you wish to have to shave your hair, or you’ll be able to’t have your locs, otherwise you’re now not going to get that activity, otherwise you’re now not going in an effort to do that, you’re now not going in an effort to do this.” What I discovered so strange used to be that listening to these items introduced me again to that position from those conversations on this ecosystem. We now have PFPs of animals dressed in durags and I’m like, “Oh did we now not know that durags are if truth be told right here for hair coverage?” There’s a disconnect there.

So this undertaking, I used to be like, “How do I discuss this now?’ I mentioned, “We’re going to code field braids and locs and we’re gonna put those unhealthy boys at the blockchain.” My purpose is to ensure that we’re showcasing the sweetness relating to our hair, the artwork that is going via it, the method, and the time. Infrequently once we get our hair carried out, it hurts. Folks don’t remember the fact that. I wanna exhibit the colours, but additionally how you are feeling dope and recent when it’s carried out. It’s those gorgeous issues that I used to be looking to convey to lifestyles via this undertaking. That is artwork to us as neatly. We adore the designs that we make with them. We adore how they sway within the wind. That is us and settle for us for us.

What’s the undertaking of The Ed Balloon Generational Wealth Fund?

I actually need in an effort to be ready the place I will purchase artwork from artists of colour, in particular Black artists on this area, as a result of sadly, it’s nonetheless very tough for artists of colour to promote their artwork. So I [decided] I want to give you the option the place I will have this fund that is going to enhance that.

I felt like this used to be some way additionally to be an instance for different tasks that wish to incorporate this as a result of I wasn’t seeing that. It’s one thing that I nonetheless champion and take a look at to do up to I will with it. I additionally nonetheless attempt to give visibility to the artists that we do accumulate up to I will with my platform.

“Numerous platforms don’t know the way to transport on this area lately.”

Ed Balloon

What’s your highly spiced take at the NFT area?

Perhaps it’s now not that highly spiced, however I nonetheless assume a large number of platforms don’t know the way to transport on this area lately. They’re doing issues that experience already been carried out, assuming that it’s going to assist them. However, that most effective traps them, since the area is all the time converting. In case you’re now not in a position to have your individual imaginative and prescient, then you definately’re now not gonna be capable to transfer with this area. My purpose is to assist however I believe like a large number of occasions they’re now not looking to cross to artists, which is bizarre as a result of we’re the voices of reasoning and we’ve a large number of the imaginative and prescient.

This interview transcript has been edited for concision and readability.

For the overall and uncut interview, concentrate to our podcast episode with Ed Balloon.



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