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· 15 min read
mini labo

nonon is a celebration of radiance. nonon is a rejection of ugliness, lies, and evil.

nonon is the latest on-chain project by creative blockchain studio mini labo.

nonon is a 5,000 piece collection of vibrant hand-painted characters by the artist known as three; an experiment in living blockchain art featuring a 100% on-chain dynamic soulbound token that acts as both your pass to a one of a kind on chain collectathon and a key to unlocking new friendships.

Nonon hero image

nonon features a first of its kind reward system that lays the foundation for a new age of truth and beauty.

Poetics aside — and there is indeed a deliberately saccharine layer of romance baked into every bit of nonon — what does this all mean? Let's peel back the celluloid chrysalis and talk about what nonon means; in real terms in the context of the current state of web3 and NFTs, as well as exploring the blueprint nonon servers for the future of these spaces.

Nonon: A New Community Model

Many of the most popular NFT collections have served as a demonstration of affiliation with community — that is, holding a token from a collection signals alignment with a group and its culture. Inspecting a wallet and sighting a remilio for example might show a certain level of ideological compatibility with the holder.

There exists however a problem: as NFTs become increasingly financialized, holders are more likely to divest their status symbols on secondary markets or deposit them into liquidity protocols, meaning it is often the case that people may be highly engaged with a collection without this being immediately obvious when inspecting their tokens.

A key feature of the nonon project is the introduction of a brand new mechanism to quickly identify on-chain interactions with a collection, enabling the free exchange of nonons without losing status in the community - and even rewarding that exchange.

Real time points for on-chain activity

The nonon friend card is a fully on-chain token that is granted for free to any address that receives a nonon for the first time — whether that be through minting, purchasing a nonon on the secondary market, or receiving it as a gift from a friend. This friend card token is soulbound and limited to one per address.

For each unique nonon that an address receives, one point will be added to the friend card. For each unique nonon that an address sends to another address, an additional point will be granted.

Nonon points infographic

As an address accumulates more points on their card, they will unlock new tiers — their friend card grows by transforming their on-chain image and increasing their standing in the community.

The card also acts as a record of nonons you have interacted with in the past, so even after you have parted ways with a beloved nonon, a part of them will stay with you forever.

Totally dynamic, totally decentralised, totally permanent

A core pillar of the nonon blueprint is digital permanence. The team behind nonon is all-in on blockchain technology and the promise of permissionless software, taking an alignment first approach to system design that often results in novel outcomes.

Respect for digital permanence is baked into the DNA of nonon. At the core of this philosophy is the friend card - the token image for a nonon friend card is truly digitally permanent, existing entirely as on-chain bytecode that is programatically combined into a digestible format during a chain call.

Nonon friend card specimen

This allows for dynamic rendering of an image based on the points achieved by address. The token image above represents a newly minted friend card at its starting level, whilst the specimen below represents a friend card that has undergrown significant point accumulation and has grown as a result.

Mature nonon friend card specimen

As the image and token metadata are constructed on-chain, the single token evolves based on address activity. This process is fully automated with no controlling party. The fully on-chain nature of the image means that it has an even higher level of permanence and reliability when compared to off chain storage solutions such as IPFS or arweave, requiring only that the ethereum network is active.

A platform for expression

Being a totally dynamic NFT gives this token some special qualities — one of which is the ability to display user generated text.

nonon holders can send a transaction to set their 'nonon.txt' message, a string that appears at the bottom of their soulbound token. This message can be set to anything!

Nonon.txt message specimen

At users can see a leaderboard of top points holders - and leaders can display their message for all visitors to see.

the nonon team are excited for users finding their own value within the ecosystem and already we are delighted to see podcast advertisements, social media plugs, kind-hearted messages, brief philosophical quips, and informative snippets being shared with the world.

nonon's trading system is an alpha for Scatter's upcoming trading system. Soon all Scatter NFTs will be able to be traded on-chain. Security features will be included such as showing collection age and volume so you know you're trading for what you think you are. These trading features will be first party on Splinters too if Splinter owners choose to enable trading.

A foundation for the future

Ultimately, the nonon friend point system is the foundation on which we can continue to offer rewards and fun experiences for people that engage with the nonon collection now and in the future. We hope to share some exciting news for short term incentives very soon, and we expect that opportunities to reward active nonon friends will continue to present themselves for a long time to come.

Taking the Art Seriously

In the simplest possible terms, the creative ethos for nonon revolves around creating something beautiful. There are however an impossible number of moving parts attached to creating visual art in the radically ever-evolving state of digital art that adds significant nuance and complexity to an otherwise simple artistic mission statement.

NFTs and web3 have immense potential for the liberation of creatives who for much of recent history have been given only two realistic options: walk the path of art academia — a zombified vestige of the devestation wrought by the postmodernists which exclusively values bureaucratic onanism and explicitly rejects objectivity in beauty —, or join the ranks of many of the most talented living artists in the entertainment industry career track producing concept art and visual development (at best, or merely technical art drudgery at worst) for games, cinema, etc. Though not an exhaustive overview of the options available to modern creatives, the average creative lay-person would be shocked to know just how fairly this summary covers the most realistic options currently available for artists.

A large part of the NFT & web3 romance for Scatter Chief Design Officer and nonon artist three is the now thoroughly validated mechanism blockchain technology provides for artists to independently bootstrap their own creative endeavours — something not within practical reach for almost any single creative to achieve independently otherwise. Scatter has contributed greatly to proving this is possible, giving rise to a significant number of the strongest creative brands outside of VC-funded spaces. Even this however is not without its tribulations and in the current state of NFTs the responsibility falls on future-art pioneers to keep this dream alive.

Despite the well-intentioned promises of creative freedom and autonomy, the NFT climate beyond the garden of Scatter finds itself recognisable above all else by a signature odour of creatively bankrupt ape caricatures and ensuant endless array of Adjective Animals and other hideously banal concoctions cooked up not by impassioned creatives looking to set meaningful precedents in the emergent digital frontier, but by hustlers churning out increasingly more grotesque abominations. The creative vision of nonon is one which categorically denounces simulacrum, creations that aim only to be deliberately misleading and hollow tracings of real works (fake grass, margine, plastic houseplants, etc.), and proposes that the disposable faux-creativity we're witnessing infest digital art in the advent of web3 is exactly this: mere simulacrum. En-masse audacious larping as artists rather than confronting the divine responsibility of creating something truly beautiful.

Key creatives in the Scatter-sphere have cut through this stench by rejecting this playbook and adopting a more revolutionary attitude towards digital art. The Remilia Corporation playbook notably takes what makes web3 art special and leans into it by putting digital identity at the forefront. nonon seeks to take this further by injecting neo-classical creative rigour into the mission statement, pairing it holistically with a web3 ecosystem that fully embraces the most romantic elements of blockchain technology, and exploring what impact high-effort artistic process has on an otherwise almost entirely financially-driven state of NFTs.

Nonon-kei & Phantasmic Epoché

The nonon-kei manifestum is the codex that guides the nonon creative direction. An intentionally verbose and flagrantly poetic text, the purpose of the nonon-kei manifestum is to explore the creative motivations behind the art layer of nonon to inspire creative exploration and imagination in a way that terse unambiguity cannot. Akin to the magic of impressionist artworks, the vision of nonon-kei is proposed as an open-ended dialogue between observed and the observer wherein their unfiltered experience of the ideas presented can be adopted honestly and imaginitively.

The long-term problem at the heart of contemporary art is presented via the model of Phantasmic Epoché, drawing on ancient Greek philosophy to conceptualise the process through which art and its value have been undermined through cultural hypnosis.

Phantasmic Epoche infographic

Essentially, nonon-kei proposes that the appreciation of art should be limited exclusively to the work itself. Culturally this is a radical idea as the lasting impact of postmodernist art discourse has restricted the value of art to the realm of what we describe as Doxa: A common belief relying on social consensus to determine legitimacy. That is, we find ourselves all too willing to accept something as art based not on it's own merits and appeal, but more for how well it fits the socially accepted mould of what we are told is art. The WAGMI tribe accepts apes as valuable because the tactically coordinated celebrity early-adopters told them so. The heartbreaking consequence of this is that any average individual will generally accept plainly hideous works as art because they are told that anything can be art, and that beauty cannot be quantified.

Web3 pioneers (concentrated heavily in the Scatter and Remilia adjacent circles) have demonstrated an ability to cut through this by appealing directly to personal sensibilities and resonating with the digital identities of their audiences. Most powerfully, this has occurred in a bottom-up manner starting with the digital natives themselves and emerging as organic champions as a result; this is as opposed to the top-down approach of leveraging insitutional authorities or celebrity influencers to project value from above. The nonon blueprint exists in large part to urge future-art pioneers to take this seriously and push further and more valiantly in order to correct such cultural damage.

Creative process & Neoradiance

Whilst it's not entirely the intention to claim that nonon is indeed artistically meritorious or a pinnacle of objective beauty, great and painstaking deliberate effort has been made to create works that speak for themselves and radiate appeal in their own right. The profound love and celebration that nonon has received since launching tells us that that we are moving in the right direction, and we hope to set a lasting standard for creative integrity in these spaces moving forward.

Part of this pursuit of beauty was balance against a secondary creative concern of creating something nobody has ever seen before motivated by the creative plateau emerging from perpetual derivative collections.

Nonon specimen 202

To this end, the Neoradiance component of the nonon-kei manifestum was pivotal. Inspired by Gestalt theory and Aquinas' theories on objective beauty, neoradiance in plain terms is an appeal to natural order and self-evident aesthetic qualities as imperative to creating genuine art.

Neoradiance is a call to arms against the insidious banality of ugliness, a crusade advocating the recognition and celebration of the pursuit of objective beauty in our digital age. By emphasizing the 'neo-', we bring the radiant wisdom of the past into our present digital domain — a realm where natural order has been dismissed for far too long. As gatekeepers of beauty, we promise to further illuminate our creations, reviving and innovating upon the timeless principles of 'Integritas', 'Consonantia', and 'Claritas' that underpin radiant beauty. Neoradiance is a beacon, a window through which the radiant dawn of the Aesthetic Renaissance shines with the New Creative Energy, projecting the silhouette of our shared divine humanity onto the canvas of the digital realm.

A number of strict processes were adopted during the creation of the nonon token art to satisfy this lofty goal, including not just the hand-painting of every trait, but the additional manual hand-painting of all other compatible traits for each layer as 'sub-traits'. This allowed departure from the nature of generative collections appearing as mere flat 'collages' of layers and created an opportunity for each trait to cast shadows on other layers and even bounce light onto each other to create a more holistic image that does not appear immediately generative.

Creative direction

nonon creative direction is necessarily deeply personal on order to fulfill the objective of creating something nobody has ever seen before. The tenets of Hypercitationalism have been extended in the form of Hypercitational Anachrodigitalism, exploring not just the typical 'dynamic ranges' of visual art such as light/dark value hierarchies or contrasting big/small shape design, but conceptual dynamism in the juxtoposition of sweet and sinister iconography.

In essence, the hypercitational core gathers and diversifies the palette, while the anachro-digital envelope carefully crafts the output. Just as we maximise the dynamic range between dark and light to create a more self-evidently lifelike image, we can tip our hat to sweet and innocent themes that are made all the more powerfully saccharine when juxtaposed appropriately against the sinister and the gritty - A Sanrio syringe, a gothic lolita MOAB, a CIA fumo. The dance between the two enriches each stroke, each pixel, each note, resulting in an art that is both a heightened tribute to the past and a pioneering adventure into the future. Science and poetry, sound and silence, all come together in a vibrant echo of aesthetic wisdom, calibrated by the anachro-digital touchstone - sparking a revelation of beauty that never was, and yet, always has been.

The entire collection is a relatively even balance of entirely original designs and pieces referencing an anachronistic range of sources (from early-web digital spaces and MMOs to neo-retro fashion icons such as FRUiTS). Each trait can be measured on a dynamic range matrix of sweet to salt, and from heaven to hell.

Nonon trait lore 01

In total, the process of creating all the art for nonon took over a year and astute nonon superfans may have recognised a significant departure from the original creative vision. nonon first started as a pfp collection aimed at providing profile picture based identity with a cuter, softer aesthetic quality than the average pfp project.

Early nonon pfp Early nonon concept

This didn't suit the scale of the ambition our blueprint aimed for however and evolved (with great deliberation) into the full-body doll-like design we ultimately arrived at. Whilst this flat and cutesy pfp approach still exists in the DNA of nonon as we now know them, there was simply a greater desire to build on these initial appealing qualities to create something truly unique.

Holistic integration with the aforementioned nonon web3 ecosystem made something that exudes 'digital collectible' a high priority, which lead to the doll-like form factor. Additionally whilst this full-body approach could have certainly been more gestural or utilised more dynamism in the form of, for instance, a 3/4 pose, nonon artist three felt this was too contrived and aimed to appeal to a certain magical quality of art that invited inferrence of identity rather than explicitly illustrating the characteristics and personalities of nonon — they are no longer pfps, but rather avatar-like digital heirogylphs filled with symmetry and static qualities offset by the often anachronistic perspective of various trait combinations that invites the audience to determine for themselves who and what these figures represent.


nonon is a brand new IP with a wholly new design language and technical blueprint. This is a new ecosystem born from bottom up creative concepts and built with love and care - the launch of the nonon project is the start of an exciting journey that we can't wait to embark on with our friends present and future.

Above all, the goal of the nonon project is to introduce a new and fun experience for our friends - please enjoy your time with nonon!