Step 1 — Appropriate A Seminal Software

Michael Sullivan Smith
6 min readJul 23, 2020


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Of three works in a suite; all with the same aim of demonstrating that the eternal is conceivable in successive autonomous creation; one’s use for the Cryptokitty application presents the best prospects of attaining proof that crypto space is a medium all three can work in.

The NFT marketplace is strong and growing, thanks to the innovative ERC-721 standard, and offers the potential to now play a part once this new use has shown that functions in the rest of this conceptual art suite can learn from it.

Cryptokitty is the seminal software that premiered the first-ever application for the Non-Fungible Token and the ERC-721 standard for Ethereum smart contracts, all at the same time; in December of 2017. This was immediately recognized as a functionality that an exercise in generative sequencing, set in motion decades before, could use to finalize its experiment in creating traceable graphic identities.

That experiment was conceived of while testing an innovative printing technology for its day; rather “steampunk” compared to what has followed; for imprinting the 25th anniversary of Woodstock logo in a beta application, documented by

The Woodstock logo is recognized all over the world as a meme of a cultural legacy. It’s fitting; where that relates to its value as memorabilia; to have it in a use of this seminal software of Cryptokitty.

Both were groundbreaking applications of their technology. The 1994 experiment resulted in imprints of the Woodstock logo sold in numbers ranging upwards of 55,000, to have this broad distribution in the future, as technology became available, to use to prove that generative imaging makes individuals identifiable.

Now, after all these years, the crypto genre of the NFT has arrived as a means of finding the owners of these prints; and, Artificial Intelligence’s object recognition technology is here to prove that they are each unique.

Gathering these 55,000 identities together by channeling a message to the unaccounted-for and unknown owners of pre-sold, pre-distributed objects, using the notoriety of Cryptokitty, is an efficient way to share how this code for building with generative production processes has made a practical application for NFT markets, from back in 1994, useful today to represent a continuing interest in Cryptokitty software being appropriated for what its was intended for.

Ever since Cryptokitty introduced the unique idea of a token identifying a one-of-one digital file, own-able by its association with Blockchain, its code for creating digital property, based on autonomous participants building digital files, had legs. But in the genre of digital graphics in which its kitty became the darling of a nascent market, the NFT has since inundated crypto space with smart contracts for images that have little affinity with the complex use of code Cryptokitty’s unique interactive game brought to the NFT through a system developed to create generative images.

With the iconic mix of art and memorabilia the Woodstock logo imprints put on materials chosen for physical permanence turned into digital collectibles using Cryptokitty code, its generative identity paradigm gets a use that puts it in an entirely new level of play.

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I n the strict sense of a use, Cryptokitty code has a kitty’s graphic properties in software that makes these the features that perform functions around the theme of a new graphic record as a new NFT. This is a generative process, like in the mechanism applied to producing the Woodstock logos, and this generative theme is what they share.

The code’s construct of “genes” as a regulator is clearly applicable to what has created the differences between Woodstock logo images. Cryptokitty’s functions of “sireId” and “matronId” that use data from a “sekret” algorithm for a breeding history, is the most shared element in this. The value of scarcity in whatever look is generated by the Cryptokitty software comes from that algorithm; and a similar genealogy is recognized in the generation of Woodstock imprints from a mechanic applying natural forces to lend its own element of scarcity to each individual object.

In the case of these imprints, this scarcity is applied to an ID tag genus as an object. The Woodstock’94 logo is on a wearable device that is assuming the same role the kitty genus does in the code. In total, 55,000 of these metal substrates, each one holding an individualized logo imprint, are carrying the message that an ID tag identifies the wearer, while also exhibiting the function of the wearer identifying with the tag’s Woodstock logo imprint. That relationship — of imprint to the function of an actual object; and also identity — separates the tag holder owner from the token holder’s use of the scarcity of its digital image for a collectible.

The token is a representation of one of 150 individualizations of the Woodstock logo pictured in a visual index of the records that track the order of their production. The illustration here is of 113 of these that are currently identified in

The visual index is the ID tag genus’ version of what the kitty genus has for the code’s “sekret” breeding functions. In the ID tag, this supplies the genealogy to track the imprints back through a succession of generations, assumed, from the records, to be recognizable by comparing digital image instances taken from the actual objects for making them into the digital collectible NFT.

That production record is structured into the code specifically for the Woodstock logo look to have the function of the “sireId” where the Cryptokitty code allows a zero (0) integer in the content of the genesis block of the blockchain. The ID tags thus have their individual “sekret” in the code as what that zero integer identifies with in the 150 different color patterns, that display its existence, listed sequentially as digital images, all indexed to corresponding hash addresses, in the genesis block.

That is considered sufficient to give each subsequent contract using the blockchain a “matronId” match from this index that its ID tag can use to show its image was generated from the zero (0) mating that fulfills the “siringWithId” function. The “isGestating” and “isWaiting” functions will then assign this contract a place in the sequential order related to that index number. The program logic is expected to have references to “genes” in the “Birth” of the “kittyId” assigned in the code that accept the superficial match to one of the addresses of the index in the genesis block. That will be the reference to the “sekret” formula when giving a “tokenId” its prospects of filling a placeholder spot among the anticipated 55,000 the programming regulates.

The context for the smart contract is the benefits of tokenizing a possession that attract all the generative images together for a final count. An individual’s association with a particular ID tag that a token is made from finds this software a way to join the count of the sequential generations of ID tags’ images that theirs is part of. The code is not keeping track of the births, as in Cryptokitty, but, rather, recognizing the visual features for comparing them in a succession order, and the object of the code here is to have this order.

Using objects to identify themselves as proof that sequential generation can put them back into an order of production; as an endgame state; projects a narrative of validating accuracy and truth. What makes this an enduring narrative is the value the one-of-one status NFTs bring as attractions that draw an owner toward the desire to see this endgame accomplished. The course this takes for building a game, like Cryptokitty is known for, that identifies with this order, is covered in the next post.



Michael Sullivan Smith

writes imaginings, history, has a few patents; invented mechanisms and their products; still thinks like a calligrapher while building stone land art knots