Programming Your Own Data Hooks On Async: “VatiLeaks II” Case Study

Written by
Lisa Liang

Programming Your Own Data Hooks On Async: “VatiLeaks II” Case Study

Written by
Lisa Liang

Programming Your Own Data Hooks On Async: “VatiLeaks II” Case Study

Written by
Lisa Liang

When we mention the phrase “programmable art” to people for the first time, one of the most common questions from creatives is “do I have to know how to code?”

For the record, the answer is “no, you don’t need to know a line of code.” With our Async Canvas tool artists only need to upload their separate art files, input the titles and descriptions, and submit their Async artworks for approval and minting.

However, for those who can program or have friends with developer skills, the possibilities are practically endless as we introduce a way to program your own data hooks for an Async piece.

VJ Entter and Monica teamed up to create a custom Async artwork themselves, without any assistance from the Async production team. “VatiLeaks II '' has a Layer that is hooked up to Exxon Mobile (XOM) stock price. Bertone's Helicopter will move up or down on the Y axis each week along with the rise and drop of XOM. 

Here’s a Step-by-Step on how VatiLeaks II was compiled:

1) During the conceptualization phase, the artists determined the public data they wanted to plug into was a specific stock price as it speaks to the story they’re trying to tell: a non-profit, Italian state-funded institution run by the Vatican church started investing in private stocks such as EXXON Mobile.

2) Monica wrote a script that scrapes Yahoo finance for weekly variations of XOM stock price. That script is hosted and runs on their own server.

Notice how it’s linked to different lever values. Those values later translate to different states of a Layer that is controlled by the public data source.

3) They used our Async Artist Tool Script which is open source and set the parameters for how the artwork should change. For more on how autonomous artworks go here.

4) The Artists created a separate address to hold the Layer control token. This address will fund the autonomous artwork changes.

4) The Artists submitted their artwork files in Async Canvas, and emailed submissions to let them know there is an extra autonomous hook that changes the helicopter Layer.

5) Async team reviewed the submission and minted a test piece on staging to make sure the custom data hook worked.

6) The artwork was approved for minting and shows up in the gallery.

About the Artwork

“VatiLeaks II” is a virtual treasure hunt, a video game parody, and an awareness campaign all in one. 

The artists are inviting Layer owners to take control of one of the 10 playable characters within the artwork, and move their character around in search of the invisible Bounty Layer. Once all Layers are sold, the artist will unveil the hidden prize a week after final sales, and the player with closest coordinates to the prize will take home a 5 gram gold bar worth of Tether Gold.

For more info on the contest contact the artist here.

Entter is no stranger to using gamified Async artworks to call attention to social causes he personally cares deeply about. With a previous piece called “Rot in Hell”, he made the Tomato Layer movable across the entire billboard so that its owner can purposefully aim at the religious figure. It is based off an interactive game design he and his team made previously, watch their explanation video here.

He and his teammate Monica took it to a whole new level of gamification with the release of “VatiLeaks II”. The piece calls attention to the findings of a journalist
Emiliano Fittipaldi, who published a book titled Greed, which revealed a series of scandals and irregularities in the finances of the Vatican.

A lone journalist against many enemies.

One such case is of Infant Jesus, a Foundation and Pediatric Hospital run by the Vatican. Funds belonging to the foundation were diverted to refurbish the penthouse of the former Secretary of State Tarcisio Bertone. The foundation also rented a private helicopter for Bertone, which is represented in the notable Layer within the Async art.

While being funded by public money and exempt from taxation, the hospital maintains commercial activities that are not consistent with its pediatric mission, with enormous financial resources accumulated in accounts associated with Infant Jesus, which is coincidentally invested in shares of Exxon and securities of the Dow Chemical company.

This Async artwork pits the Emiliano player against 9 other players that represent figures of the church all wrapped within the nostalgia of a classic 64-bit side-scrolling shooter. A total of 10 unique owners can come play the virtual treasure hunt within this one-of-a-kind experience.

To learn more about how to create your own programmable artwork, on how to partake in “VatiLeaks II”, come join the conversation on our Twitter or Discord.