About: awalkaday.art Photography Collection


AUTHOR'S NOTE:
I work on the artistic project publicly in my spare time, but for free and at the speed of a tortoise.
The creative process was intuitive and non-linear from the start, but timestamped.
This detailed project description has been a work in progress since May 2021.
To view the history of changes online, visit GitHub.com (Last modification: April 12, 2024).

Introduction to the Photo Series

Welcome to awalkaday.art, a collection of 263 photographs created by Chris-Armel (daqhris) and published on the Ethereum blockchain since February 2023. This digital body of work captures the enchanting beauty seen in diverse landscapes of various Belgian regions through a captivating series of monochrome photographs. Each photograph is assigned a unique identification token on the blockchain, guaranteeing its authenticity, verifiability, and accessibility to collectors with a digital wallet.

Beyond Pixels: A Stroll into Nature's Canvas

Embark on a visual journey with awalkaday.art, where the mission transcends pixels to ignite a passion for the great outdoors. More than just a visual spectacle, this collection is a call to embrace the rejuvenating power of nature, urging everyone to get outside, enjoy the fresh air, be captivated by the surroundings and cultivate well-being through the simplicity of regular walks, whether short or long.

In an age of rapid urbanisation, many people feel disconnected from their local environment and lack the inspiration to explore unfamiliar landscapes. The art of walking, one of the least tiring yet most rewarding physical activities, remains overlooked by most.

Through the lens of Chris-Armel, awalkaday.art is more than just a digital gallery. It is a testament to his passion for photography and a vessel for sharing his creative skills across borders and oceans. The web gallery and smart contract are seamlessly aligned to ensure effortless navigation for all who wish to discover and engage with this travelogue.

Chronicles of Creation: Navigating the Milestones

Let's dive into the key moments that have shaped his artistic journey — an odyssey navigated in solitude on the creative path leading to awalkaday.art. Each milestone not only marks a significant achievement, but also adds another chapter to an evolving story. Join us as we explore the turning points, triumphs and transformative experiences that have shaped the nature of this photography series.

Creative, Innovative, and Ongoing Walkways

The photo collection has evolved since its inception. Over the years, the artist has:

Internet Footprints

The artistic journey began in July 2017, when the first photograph was posted on Instagram. Years later, in May 2021, the Internet domain awalkaday.art was officially registered. In November 2021, a Twitter account was created to share news with a worldwide audience in real-time.

A meaningful milestone was reached when selected photographs graced the virtual walls of the MONOLITH Gallery at Sellen Hall in July 2022. Since September 2023, the smart contract and the contract deployer are labeled by Etherscan. A congratulatory message citing the virtual exhibition hall was posted by .ART domains on two social media platforms in February 2024.

Blockchain Records

The blockchain publication of the collection was achieved with the creation of an eponymous smart contract in August 2022. This was followed by the registration of awalkaday.art as an Ethereum domain in September 2022. About half a year later, the first batch of WALK tokens were minted on Ethereum by daqhris.eth in February 2023, marking a significant moment in the on-chain history of awalkaday.art.

In the virtual realm of digital art platforms, the artist has created a profile on behalf of his work and listed artworks on Coinbase NFT, Foundation, Rightclick, The Hug and Zora in the second half of 2023. As an independent creative coder, he will participate in ETHGlobal Brussels, a software tournament focused on Ethereum, in July 2024.

Mobile Studio and Tools

On-the-go Photography

The collection focuses on locations in Belgium and covers a variety of subjects, including streets, landscapes, architecture, and wildlife. The photographs were taken while walking in the streets and alleyways of Flanders, Wallonia, and Brussels, Belgium, over a period of four years (2017-2018 and 2021-2022).

Traveling on foot became essential after the outbreak of a global pandemic in 2020. The artist resumed his recreational activity and turned it into a therapeutic mobile project. The minimalist technical setup reduces the fear of material loss and the pain of being deprived of physical possessions due to frequent moves in his adopted country.

Camera and Editing

The photographs were captured and edited using software applications, such as Snapseed, White Border, and Scrambled Exif, installed on a Nokia smartphone. The low-cost phone was equipped with two rear cameras, including a 13-megapixel primary sensor and a 2-megapixel depth sensor, which can produce decent detail in well-lit conditions. Overall, the camera had basic features to balance highlights and shadows in photographs and assist with scene recognition and optimization, but these were limited by the mediocre sensors.

In early 2021, a smartphone was purchased to meet the need for a dedicated mobile camera that regularly receives Android security updates from Google. Between 2017 and 2018, a Xiaomi smartphone purchased in Beijing around 2015 was used as a tool for recording and editing still images.

Gaming Laptop

A laptop computer branded as Hasee God of War, acquired on the Asian continent, was very useful for coding sessions and web development phases. This device was one of the few items he was able to keep after being arbitrarily detained by Chinese authorities in June 2016.

Unfortunately, it mysteriously crashed during a malware analysis in the winter of 2022. The nearly decade-old gaming laptop, still alive and undiagnosed in his care, has regained basic functionality under Linux software.

Artistic Workflow on Digital Networks

X (Twitter)

X facilitates real-time communication and micro-blogging, allowing users to share short-form media works and engage in public conversations. Real-time news and updates about the collection are shared on X, where the artist posting via @awalkadayart connects with a diverse audience and builds relationships with fellow artists and collectors.

Instagram

Instagram emphasizes visual storytelling through photos and videos, enabling users to showcase their creativity and connect through imagery. The monochrome photographs were originally posted on Instagram by @walk.day (managed by @iamdaqhris), on an almost daily basis, continuously for years, with the geolocation and timestamp of the shot attached.

Web Gallery

The photos were then uploaded to a purpose-built web gallery, awalkaday.art, which hosts a catalog of 263 photographs from the collection in a custom-designed, interactive and immersive venue. It prioritises a smooth and random display of photographs, allowing for easy navigation and discovery of photographs. A 3D exhibition space has also been set up to welcome all virtual visitors at oncyber.io/awalkaday.art.

Ethereum

Finally, daqhris.eth (0xb5ee030c71e76C3E03B2A8d425dBb9B395037C82) minted the visual artworks as non-fungible ERC-721 tokens on the Ethereum blockchain.
Ethereum is a decentralised blockchain platform that allows developers to create and deploy self-executing code in the form of smart contracts and applications. The artworks have been self-published and wrapped in the awalkaday.art smart contract on the public blockchain, where they can be verified, collected and exchanged. The smart contract address is 0xE31801C2E58b151C3deD2cB29dA56147b7f27eB1.

Artist's Proofs: Public Git Commits

GitHub

GitHub is renowned for its collaborative environment for software development, offering version control and project management tools for programmers. The underlying source code for awalkaday.art Photo Collection is hosted on GitHub, where all changes can be tracked and audited. The public code repositories, available in Git format, contain all commits and code changes from day one of the project at github.com/awalkaday.

Open Source Software

To gain exposure to software-driven innovation, Chris-Armel (daqhris) has been an active contributor to the Free and Open Source Software Developer Conference in Brussels every year since 2020. It enables him to remain connected with the European software developer community, despite being a college dropout and lacking the right to attend university or work professionally in the field.

As a volunteer, one of his memorable acts was standing on stage to introduce a talk about 'Open Source Software at NASA' in front of a packed amphitheater in February 2023. In the coming days, he plans to use key features of the technical documentation tool GitBook to write an online book about various aspects of his Git-enabled artistic practice.

Artist Profile

Chris-Armel is the photographer and software developer of the awalkaday.art Photography Collection. The visual artist was born in Burundi and currently lives in Belgium.

Chris began learning photography as a self-taught enthusiast during the early days of Instagram, around 2013. At that time, he was studying computer science and engineering while also working part-time in the film industry in Beijing, China. His style combines traditional photography techniques with digital editing tools. The photographs are monochrome and capture the timeless charm of the Belgian landscape. Using his photographic skills, he documented his journey of living in a country of refuge after being persecuted by the authorities of his homeland while abroad and their Chinese counterparts.

During the summer of 2017, Chris resided in a Red Cross camp for asylum seekers in Namur, Belgium. To combat prolonged boredom and physical inactivity, he combined his skills in black-and-white photography, visual design, and software coding to create a project. After a year of regular social media posts, the project was put on hold due to the loss of electronic equipment following a theft. In 2021, three years later, it was relaunched as a part-time artistic project, even though his legal status as an immigrant was uncertain and his lifestyle precarious. To find out more, read his biography online at daqhris.com/about.

Contact

Thank you for your time and interest in this series of photographs. If you have any questions or comments about the collection, please don't hesitate to reach out.

Anyone interested can get in touch with @awalkadayart on X or send an email to [email protected].