He holds numerous patents on ride and entertainment technology. He co-owns a company which manufactures large sculptures, using digital techniques, for some of the world’s most recognized artists, including the fabrication of Jeff Koons’ Balloon Rabbit. His interest in fractals and emergence originated in 2000 after reading several books on chaos and complexity science.
Ken was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease in 2008 at the age of 46. One of the benefits of this disease is that changes in brain chemistry enhance creativity and awaken artistic abilities. Accordingly, Ken showed his first piece, Chaotic Fractal Generator, at San Francisco’s Exploratorium in 2013. He also composed and recorded an unreleased album of psychedelic surf music that year.
In 2017 he built Reflecting Pool which has shown at a number of carefully selected venues and in a dedicated gallery at the Exploratorium followed in 2019 by a two month residency at Gallery 30 South, which incorporated the music of the band Mazzy Star along with an interactive component in a mindful environment.
Ken views reality from a systems perspective and is skeptical of faith. The concept of emergence reinforces his worldview that intricate systems that appear to be designed need no creator. Reflecting Pool is an instrument of immergence.
The device consists of a downward facing camera looking at an upward facing video screen. The image from the video camera is replicated into several windows and arranged as a mosaic on the screen. The camera then takes a picture of this mosaic leading to a mosaic of mosaics. The cycle repeats, thirty times per second –with surprising results: fluid organic patterns with amazingly complex structure. Soothing tones are generated that represent the blend of colors on the screen. Visitors interact with the work by moving their hands gracefully, much like a Tai Chi practitioner, causing the hypnotic visuals to respond in a way that represent the movements and foster a meditative state.
Similarly, Ken’s NFTs are hypnotic works that aid both meditation and mindfulness and combine almost every aspect of his chosen art practices. He composes the music in partnership with the emergent patterns of his device, and the psychedelic and often Escher-esque combinations that his machine produces can be either further manipulated or left to be as they emerged.
“Understanding emergent phenomena is of vital importance. From the structure of snowflakes to galaxies, complex patterns and behaviors arising from simple rules is universal. Tipping points, such as catastrophic climate change and populist political revolutions, are also examples of emergent behavior. Consciousness and artificial intelligence are, perhaps, the most profound examples.” The NFT’s in Ken’s collection can be appreciated from a purely aesthetic standpoint, without any concern for the underlying mathematics. Their hypnotic effect needs no explanation.
The NFT Art Agency is the exclusive representative of Ken Salter’s NFT production.
The following NFTs will soon be going to market.
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The first Ken Salter NFTs are minted and will go to auction at 5PM EST on Wednesday, September 8th on the NFT Art Agency‘s FOUNDATION PAGE.