A hash is a hexadecimal number (typically of 64 figures) that digests a message of arbitrary length. For instance, using the cryptographic hash function SHA-256, the text Hello world hashes to:


Coilgram is an algorithm that reads a hash and uses it to forge artworks shaped as colored intertwined coils. The method is deterministic: the same hash as input gives the same coiled design as output. Moreover, different hashes generate different coils (in shape and color). Therefore, there is a one-to-one mapping between hash codes and coil designs.

Coilgram first converts the hexadecimal hash into a binary string and then uses this string of bits to determine the shape and color of the coils, hence to generate a unique artwork encoding the hash. Essentially, it uses the hash binary string as a generator of pseudo-random numbers to set the parameters of the artwork.

For the Coilgram representation, I took inspiration from the generative artworks of Matt Pearson, who taught me how to use programming as poetry.

Genesis blocks

Each block of transactions in a blockchain is identified by a hash value. The first block is called the genesis block (or split block in case of a blockchain that was born from a hard fork). We used Coilgram to depict the genesis block of the main cryptocurrencies. These artworks are tokenized on KnownOrigin and SuperRare.

Bitcoin genesis block, 2018, SuperRare.
Ethereum genesis block, 2018, SuperRare