Ix Shells

Generative art with social conviction.

Itzel Yard, aka Ix Shells, (she/her) was born in 1990 in Panama, where she continues to live and work.

Career

Yard is a self-taught coder who discovered computer science while playing video games as a child. She is now one of the highest-selling NFT artists in the world. Dreaming at Dusk (2021), a collaboration with The Tor Project, was purchased for 500 ETH in May 2021. That's over 2 million dollars.

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Yard champions social change. She is one of the co-founders of Creative Code Art, an artist-led-community that supports emerging generative artists. She also collaborates with Algorithmic Justice League, PleasrDAO, Girls Who Code and TOR.

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Collaborations with this artist

Practice overview

Itzel Yard, known as Ix Shells, creates generative art – an artform which uses algorithms to create itself. Yard writes code to determine characteristics like colour, shape or texture, then allows it to play out independently. The resulting images, videos and gifs are infinitely complex. From abstraction and fractal geometry to portraiture. A drummer herself, Yard invariably listens to music while working. Her favourites range from pianist Nils Frahm to producer Jon Hopkins. The rhythm and atmosphere is palpable. Repetitive lines resemble soundwaves and videos pulsate to hypnotic effect. Reflecting on her process, she posits – "I play drums with my mind."

Architecture is key to Yard’s practice. Formally, Brutalism and Minimalism provide inspiration. Depth and perspective are used to echo their monumental scale. Conceptually, Yard is fascinated by the social possibilities of public space. Casco Viejo (2021) is a saturated abstract composition with an orthogonal structure. The underlying logic of the pattern is based on the plazas and brick streets of the Old Quarter in Panama City. “There is so much space in my hometown and it is so beautiful, we need more art to activate it and engage with the people.” In the future Yard hopes to create offline, site-specific installations. Nonetheless, she's already established an important public dialogue with her online work. A pertinent counterpoint to the overwhelmingly male and white field of crypto.

"My hope is that this sets a precedent for women doing more work in the community. I try to make people see what I see in the work." Ix Shells

Journals about this artist