toggle to "SITE" for Great Knot land art project


Rope 3-14; 1968
shaping an Internet ethos
the inseparability protocol

The emergence of the blockchain highlights the potential of a fully developed Internet. It's distributed ledger makes the web a medium for work, and presents the distributed consensus solution the registry needs integral to this systemic art have long awaited.

Since the emergence of the Internet, its Graphic User Interface has been built into this art's processes. Now, that, combined with blockchain's rapid development, opens up the possibility of the whole world participating in this unending discovery of new knots as an autonomously performed process with the potential to go on forever.

This web site states the purpose for setting that in motion.

This purpose is summed up in terms of the rarity of output's relationship to the concept of value. This creation of a strictly ordered sequence of growth for adding individual one-of-a-kind entries into a registry under the umbrella of a systemic art is a means; a criteria; for trusted value.

A system that represent knots in the hierarchal role of a specie, in this relationship, begins by directly referencing Bitcoin and its spawning of cryptocurrencies, as specie. “Cryptoknots” are a contrariety to this, contrasting a self referencing, fully internalized art to this value that has no strength of purpose.

So this is presented to participants as a disruptive enterprise that is starting up the autonomous process that will continue to build this concept of value into the future. Rewards given for this involvement now are investments that will be very valuable once this value system is functional.
a game of knots
This is designed to function in the same way “mining” does in the Bitcoin protocol.

In this case a specific request is made for the next knot in a registry everyone has in their computer. This is a puzzle solved by pieces going together in a closed, interlaced ribbon pattern. It is broadcast as a number code to everyone that has this graphic-based sequence.

Everyone has the complete sequence on their computer and everyone has the ability to submit a solution to the request. The top ten time-stamped correct responses are accepted by consensus of the first one hundred to judge them as correct solutions. The identity of the earliest time-stamp response is entered in that solution's block of the blockchain as the owner of that knot. The remaining nine have the numbered modules identified with that knot divided among them in this knot's block.

These ten collaborate and submit the next knot to be requested and when that is recognized as correct by one hundred responses this is released for solutions.

This entire process is autonomous, automated within the distributed ledger in protocols that govern the registry. A program initiated when the genesis block initiated the blockchain is its source.

This process begins with an Initial Coin Offering (ICO) where the “coin” is a numbered module created by the program as each addition to the knot sequence is placed in the registry. In the process of adding knots, exchanges of these numbers as specie are also approved by the participants approving the addition to the blockchain registry.

The system is designed to be in perpetual motion. In an opposite fashion to Bitcoin that uses up a limited number of hashcodes to guaranteed that rarity stabilizes value, cryptoknots apply a concept that gives an artwork a “denomination” that identifies a serialized specie as its fiat value. The art brings certainty to trust in the value of specie in a transaction.
reality check
There are two pressing concerns cryptoknots address. The one that looks to a broad involvement in blockchain applications plans for a future where the example of cryptoknot generation builds the creative side of knowledge into an acceptable way for our species to apply its competitive juices. It looks forward to a future where everyone in this growing world of Internet connections competes for either having their own knot or for being spiritually attached to everyone that shares that goal with them.

But our ever increasing acceptance and trust in the virtual is what this concept is most intent on having an impact on. The context of this conceptual art is analogous to the existence of value in a world of finite things. Cryptoknots validate a knowledge that infinitely different cryptanalytic ideas have power as analogs to all art that is rare, and legitimize a context for value in anything worthy of examining and emulating through that context, exposing everything else in the process as just a decorative allusion to uniqueness.

To reach this awareness each cryptoknot has a series of identifiers for its particular knot. These are recorded in commonly recognized number schemes in the registry and that defines the system's limitations.

Each knot is defined by a knot-lock number, its grid key's infra number range, and the number of greater Gordian blocks needed for the infra number range to key the knot-lock number.

The knot-lock number is a topological identifier. It is a count of the shapes keyed into the grid that trace the path that makes the closed circuit of the knot.

An infra number range is the progressive numbers that designate the grid tile elements (infras) upon which a knot is structured. This is the identity used for “token” distribution.

The greater Gordian blocks are the simplest grouping of shape units that key repeatedly when building out the knot grid. This is the element of the system that signals its transition point into incomprehensibility. It is at the Gordian block extreme where it is no longer possible to trust a consensus of autonomous human decisions to verify a new knot to be graphically added to the registry. Gordian blocks can go on interlocking with themselves, growing the grid, forever, and knot creation can be extended on them into the imagination of machines, so the concept need not end... but all useful creation of knots in a community of human consensus does end at this point, requiring a consensus for a forth protocol of machine conventions. When this point is reached, the infra number range for it will be the cryptographic key to what all these knots assembled together mean, to inform this decision.
the value of art
Currency, and even cryptocurrency with its unique traceable character as accessioned by value, are still allusions to the concept of specie. The closest digital parallel to this allusive context are the images on this Internet site. Like all the sides and surfaces of The Eternal Object geometry in this .gif animation,

Eternal Object; design, 1972 (animation, 2012)
that are really just digital code; an illusion. No illusion's existence can be legitimated. Only with awareness of the context of their creation can the images of this page be trusted to exist.

This is the context of the cryptoknot. Plans for knots represent what can be made to exist. The context is the concept that the variety of unique objects created in the form of a particular knot is as unimaginably vast as the number of unique knots that there are in all existence.



Rope 22, 1968
ErinAnna's Knot, 2015

This art naturally extends to the possibility that every knot plan is a knot form. What is produced will always be both a new object and an awareness of the creative experience of conceptualizing it.

This experience can be realized in just knotting a rope or length of ball chain, or in constructing a monumental earthwork. The Great Knot Project demonstrates an example of what extremes the art can be taken to.

The Great Knot is a 3/4 acre-large 3 crossing knot

Eternal Object; design, 1972 (artist with maquettes, 2016/17)


6(red); 10(blue): 1998
Or it can be just the knot's idea explored in unimaginable dimensions only visitable in a virtual construction and worked out in maquettes to resolve the ways this can become a monumental geometric sculpture.

Traditional art objects can be created that use a knot design as a theme for a painting or print.


Enantiomorphic Pair, Serigraph 1982

For now, let's just focus on the interpretive side of an illusionary symbolism that is currency. This can have the aesthetic of the coin or the certificate and still carry an individual message as art. It is this that is "minted" for the imagination, and demonstrated in the symbolic references to cryptoknots spread out over these pages.

digital token developments, 2018


The Great Knot, April 27, 2011


Michael Sullivan Smith, 2015
Click on animation to open parent web site greatknot.com in new browser window