$SELF - A Chain of Identities

The following is a participatory NFT experiment and art project. By joining, you will receive at least 1 unique NFT that will be created by me, Dame.eth, and then airdropped to you. Anyone can participate by chipping in a minimum of 0.01 ETH to cover gas costs. To get started, continue reading.

In many ways, personal identity and "the self" are like a blockchain — new events are happening regularly that change our identities and get added to the end of a chain.

Sometimes a major event occurs in our lives that requires us to do a "hard fork". When this happens, there can be a loss of relationships due to people not wanting or not being able to go down the new fork with us.

Other times, nodes will arbitrarily disconnect and stop updating their versions of our identities for no specific reason at all. People drift apart.

Meanwhile, many people have been faithfully following our chain for years, updating their nodes as new developments occur and our $SELF evolves. At times, these people even influenced the direction our chain went in.

What if thanking these people was easier? And what if our current and past selves allowed people to more easily participate in their development and unfolding?

This is difficult because the “blockchain” of the $SELF is not yet decentralized and open.

For instance, a few years ago when I was starting a new job, I decided to identify myself to my new colleagues as being non-binary. I had never done this before, but I finally reached a point where the discomfort of vulnerability became more tolerable than the discomfort of people treating me like a man.

None of my colleagues were aware of my past or that I had never publicly identified as non-binary before. They got to see the latest block within my chain, but were ignorant of all the other blocks that had come before it.

Twitter and the $SELF

On Twitter, new people are meeting us every single day. Each one is perceiving a slightly different version of our $SELF based on a plethora of variables, including whatever we happen to be shitposting about on any given day.

With every new “follower” our account receives, a new version of our $SELF emerges within that person's mind.

These external versions of the $SELF that live within the minds of other people are all non-fungible. Each version has nuances and differences, accuracies and inaccuracies. We may be able to influence them, but we can't control them.

A profile picture on Twitter plays a major role in someone’s initial impressions and can dictate what version of the $SELF they construct.

When you change your profile picture on Twitter, it can be a little disorienting for people around you at first because you're disrupting their mental model of your $SELF that is anchored to a flat image. In fact, it's not uncommon to lose a few followers after you update your profile picture. People suddenly see a new image on their timelines and don't remember connecting to such a person, so they unfollow them.

Over the coming weeks, I’m going to be changing my Twitter account’s profile picture on a regular basis as part of an experiment and art project called $SELF:

  • week 1 my image will be a blitmap
  • week 2 my image will be an anime character
  • week 3 my image will be a mooncat
  • week 4 my image will be a gradient
  • week 5 my image will be a selfie

The act of changing my picture regularly will cause the non-fungible versions of my $SELF within the minds of any new followers to be quite different than all the ones that have come before. It might even change the pre-existing ones.

This is a relational, psychological art project. The canvas is the mind and the paint is our relationship.

You can take part in this experiment and receive at least 1 unique NFT on the Ethereum mainnet. The NFTs will be like "proofs of participation" and forever connect us on the blockchain.

How $SELF Will Work

The $SELF works in mysterious ways, so the details of this experiment will also be a little vague. Here's all you need to know:

  1. You can participate by obtaining at least 10 $SELF tokens for 0.01 ETH using the block below.
  2. No single address may obtain more than 250 $SELF tokens (at least... not directly).
  3. The holders of these tokens will be airdropped at least 1 personal NFT that I create during the experiment. You won't need to claim your NFT. I will use the small amount of funds raised to send them to each participating wallet address.
  4. The "Funding Goal" listed below is not an actual goal. Mirror's token-generating contract requires a goal to be set, but for the purposes of this experiment it serves as a cap on the number of participants (and NFTs).
  5. On-chain relational data between me and the participants (or the lack thereof) will influence the final form of the NFT that each participant receives.

Get started by obtaining your $SELF:

What will the $SELF NFTs look like?

Each NFT will be a unique, abstract "representation" of a version of my $SELF that lives within my mind and the minds of the participants.

Furthermore, the number of $SELF tokens you decide to obtain will influence the final outcome of the NFT you receive. On-chain activity that occurs within the 5 weeks of the experiment may or may not also influence the outcome. Identity is fluid, and so is this project. Feel free to be creative. What will you do with your $SELF?

The exact appearance, shape, and style of the final NFTs is unknown. I'm a multi-disciplinary creator with a background in many mediums, so anything could happen. The NFTs will take shape over the course of the 5-week experiment, evolving mysteriously just as our identities do.

This is an art project and an experiment, not an investment.

And remember, be your $SELF. Whatever that may be.

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