The road to Pineapple Punks has been a tricky, yet rewarding one. Along the way, we utilized DAO voting for the first collaboration proposal, implemented the IC’s first solution for NFT sale bot attacks, and gave flower holders control over the launch parameters and meaningful incentives for using it. This proof of concept has been yet another step in bringing the dream of a community-curated art DAO to fruition — but enough DAO details. ALL the up-to-date brass tacks stuff on launch details, airdrops, whitelists, etc., can be found in this FAQ discord announcement. Today we’re here for the Punks.
As we approach the end-of-month Pineapple Punk launch, it’s finally time to share the details of what they actually are, which starts with The Journey to Pineapple Punks. It begins back in 2012, but for those who don’t have the time for a decade-old story, here’s the reader’s digest version.
Most Ludo works are a reflection on life in an era when the lines between the biological and technological are increasingly blurred. What may seem like a hyper-modern art category actually has its roots in much older styles, and the punks are an extension of one of Ludo’s favorites: Vanitas Art.
French for vanity, vanitas is the dominant genre of 16th and 17th-century Northwestern Europe. It uses material possessions of the rich (fruit, clothes, jewelry) all centering around the human skull. These works are a reminder of the futility of acquiring material things during this precious and ever-fleeting game of life.
The Pineapple Punk made its debut as another hyper-modern twist to Andy Warhol’s Campbells Soup Cans painting: A renowned work on industrialization, running along the same lines — showing the monotony and nihilism mass-consumerism was now bringing to everyone. A message that in the vanitas period, was relevant only to the wealthy few.
Ludo’s exhibition was a modern twist on them both: Vanitas-style fruit skulls painted in canned varieties, of which the Pineapple Punk was the centerpiece.
Ludo’s merge of the styles adapts a message fitting to the theme of his life’s work. Ludo never used human traits in any of his art, even though we humans are often at the center of the stories they tell. Ludo had been searching for a character he could use to represent humans that would stay true to his biotechnological chimera style, and he had found it with the Pineapple Punk. Over the last decade, it was used as a theme of his art that humans held a special place in, and it remains the only use of human traits in any Ludo work.
The message is uniquely Ludo. While his biotechnological chimeras usually stick to what happens to a variety of life forms as we pursue a merge of the two, the Punks are particularly about humans, depicting what’s in store for us if continuing to choose overconsumption as a defining characteristic. To some, this will be a gloomy message. To others, a wake up call. To most, the punks will be nothing more than visually stunning skull art. To the team, it’s a call to arms — the pirate symbol adapted for cryptoians. To Ludo, the Punks aren’t much of a statement at all, just a way of seeing the beauty in where we are.
Now, after ten years of iterated versions in drawings, paintings, sculptures, and street art, it’s the perfect time for a dedicated collection by Ludo. This time, it won’t require squeezing all the symbolism into a single canvas or hand-painting dozens of iterations of the same canvas as it did in Vanitas and Warhol’s styles. Thanks to the generative nature of this collection, this time all the Punk traits and variations Ludo can dream of are made an integrated part of the same art collection. In many ways, this digital collection breaks a glass ceiling on the historic art styles it pays homage to.
The Pineapple Punk Collection traits are true to their representation of excess. The varieties are too many to list, so we made The Pineapple Punk Tree of Life to at least put a dent in a map of the possibilities. Follow the link to the interactive version of this map to trace your Punk’s origin, or to search for your optimal combination.
Please note that this diagram does cover all the possible trait types, but it is far from comprehensive in listing trait designs. For example, the last tree branch for body traits lists t-shirts, hoodies, etc., but within those are several different types of t-shirts and hoodies that are too numerous to include. The extensive varieties are a surprise left for launch day.
While you’ll have to go through the tree to get a real feel for the nuances of the punk universe, there are a few themes of Ludo’s selection that we’ll share here.
The tree’s inner ring (green region) shows the nine trait categories that exist for each punk. The ring just outside that (blue region) contains the rarity-bearing characteristics. These are the only traits that matter for NRI which will be calculated via the statistical rarity method, or simply multiplying the rarity of each trait into a product that’s stacked against the others.
Punks rarity is much different than that of the flowers, as there’s no clear hierarchy of traits like gold, silver, bronze, etc. The Punks are about materialistic preferences, and perhaps their meaninglessness, so the kind of shirt or necklace a Punk has is not its big differentiator. They’re all mass producible just like soup cans.
What will separate the distinguished Punks are those that are action packed with every trait, and also those that are superbly clean and minimalistic, as they’re both at the extremes of what’s represented by the Punks. For example, the rarest body trait is havin none at all. Another trait is the number of head accessories ranging from zero to three, just like flower pairings. The rarest punk will have all three head accessories. The next rarest will have none at all.
The third and outer ring (yellow region) maps the possible accessories of a select group of traits. The probabilities of these occurring are listed, but they will not be part of the calculation for rarity, as these are just purely artistic variations that Ludo worked in. Their value will be purely in the eye of the beholder.
There is one distinguished trait not included in the tree that is reserved for 16 extraordinary Punks. These are specially designed by Ludo with traits not seen elsewhere in the collection. 12 of the 16 have a gold theme, and the last 4 have a diamond theme. These punks, and all others for that matter, had their traits determined at random and they will be shuffled with the same Internet Computer randomness at launch. This means everyone from airdrop recipients to general sale participants have the same chances of getting any particular punk.
In general, the Pineapple Punks are a collection of maximum diversity. What separates them will be subjective. Collectors should seek those with objects that speak to them, and their holdings may serve as cautious reminders of futile grasping in life.