Web3 art is pushing its own boundaries to the outer limit as imaginative creators are dreaming up endless possibilities. In this special Edge of NFT Asia Roadshow Tour Edition sponsored by our friends at Casper Association, the Edge of NFT team delves into the confluence of art, humanity, and Web3 with some of the most prominent voices in the space. Mikolaj Sekutowicz and Nabyl Charania tell us how Impact One honors its commitment to restoring a balance between nature and urban life to create nature-positive economies. Eric Choi at DIIANT updates us on the much-awaited launch party of Superchief's new marketplace. Dave Krugman of ALLSHIPS shares how his innovative platform is enabling artists to thrive. And get to see an amazing creation by an artist at the amazing opening party at The Gateway. Tune in for all of these and more!
Listen to the podcast here
Delving Into The Confluence Of Art, Humanity, And Web3: A Voyage With Superchief, Impact One, NFT Now & Gateway
This special Edge of NFT Asia Roadshow Tour Edition is sponsored by our friends at Casper Association. They oversee the evolution of the Casper Network, a blockchain supporting innovative tech giants, as well as decentralized applications and platforms featuring both upgradable smart contracts and predictable gas feeds. They also have a great new show called Casper Blockchain Podcast. You can check out on Spotify or by visiting Casper.Network and click on News.
I am here with two interesting gentlemen talking about the mental health and art intersection space. I had a chance to meet Mikolaj. He was one of the first people I met when I got here to Korea Blockchain Week Impact at The Shilla. I got a chance to learn all the serendipity around what you guys are doing in the space. Thank you for joining us.
Thank you so much. It was amazing to meet you at the entrance of the crowded conference room.
Let me give folks a little bit about your background and we'll get into the conversation. Mikolaj is the Founder and CEO of Impact One. I’m inspired by his passion for architecture, sustainability, and city planning. He established Therme Art, a dynamic platform that stimulates dialogue and fosters innovation within these realms. He's also formed leading the One Health Research Center to research and develop evidence-based standards and impact evaluation for nature-positive city infrastructure.
Nabyl is the Founder of Meta4 Capital. He's a serial entrepreneur with multiple exits that seated several successful companies as well as private investment funding with outstanding returns. That's always good when you're investing in companies. Everyone wants outstanding returns. He's a limited partner in a lot of funds, including A16z, Borderless Capital, and Double Down Fund. He's also founded and launched multiple VC funds, including Fuel Venture Capital, as well as Meta4 Capital. He is a strategic advisor to several high-growth startups, including Cogni, a leading FinTech banking and lifestyle company.
He is a prominent NFT collector with sizable holdings across multiple collections. You've invested in AI. We have a new show, Edge of AI. We might have to talk about that. Yuga Labs and QuickNode to name a few of the many things that keep you busy. I’m fortunate to have a chance to get to know you, guys. One of our main focuses will be Impact One, which is an impact investment initiative dedicated to restoring a balance between nature and urban life to create nature-positive economies.
Impact One is establishing a new asset class of infrastructure that places interconnected human and environmental wellbeing at its core under the name of wellbeing infrastructure. It is a profound goal and mission. I would love to understand a little bit more of the history and how you got to this point where we're looking at this beautiful art exhibition in Seoul, Korea with a view outside the window of this presidential suite on the 22nd floor.
Thank you so much. There's a lot to unpack because it's not obvious but we started the company that is at the core of our business activity. It is quite a big developer of wellbeing centers. It’s Tam Group. They became one of the most successful re-developers of urban life. If you can go back to Pompeii, you see that our cities were always made out of stone but it should have been made out of nature. Our original environment is not stone. Our original environment is nature.
What is nature? Eighty-five percent of all bios on the planet are plants. We need plants to thrive. Plants are something that has been in our direct environment for 10,000 years and we removed all of this. We think that we can be in an environment. Even this presidential suite is not our natural environment. We need the invisible part of nature, the part that comes with biodiversity, microbiome, and clean air.
All are produced by a specific environment that can be scientific. This is the evidence-based part analyzed. It is what our One Health Research Center is doing. We are working with different institutions like Johns Hopkins, Hemlock Society, and MIT on establishing the right parameters for human bodies to thrive in the right environment.
One thing that we discovered early is that one of the biggest disruptors of our biological life is what we call culture because all our activity is in the end cultural activity. All our programs, what we eat, how we live in communities, and how we build and create our environment are programmed by culture.
There is a big software that is a part of our everyday reality that is unfortunately based on a fundamental flow on the idea that we humans are the center of the universe. We can remove everything else, do everything artificially, and still survive. That is not possible. The only reason why we are surviving on this planet is that there's still nature. If we were to remove our nature, we would be with Elon Musk on the way to Mars with the big problem that we need to terraform.
When we talk about creating the right environment, is this using all the senses in terms of the right atmosphere, smells, lighting, and exposure to technology and the rays that emit from technology? Is technology allowed to be part of the equation? Is this about getting away from being so attached to our phones and other electronic devices?
It's at the core of the problem. We believe that technology reaches the grade of complexity that allows this technology to reconnect us to nature because nature is technology. If you look at a tree, a tree is 10,000 times more complex than any human technology.
There is math built into biology and computer programming.
We know that a tree is a phantom biological machine because photosynthesis is what created our atmosphere in the first place. If you go back 500 million years, we have only 5% oxygen and atmosphere. The 21% we are having was all created by the most complex technology we have on earth. These are plants but we are not choosing this technology and our economic system.
You go back to Adam Smith, The Wealth of Nations. The moment where we value nature is when we transform it with human labor. This is where we attach to the natural resources value. The paradox is that a tree is valued more in the form of a table than in the form of a tree. If we were able to reverse engineer trees, that would be the highest grade of technology we would have. The good news is that technology is enabling us to understand nature and connect to nature on a much more profound level.
Nabyl, this is a noble cause. I’m excited to think about the potential here as a consumer and beneficiary of this research. What's the ROI from your perspective? Did you see this as short, mid-term, or long-term? How does it compare to your normal investment thesis?
The way we look at it is we're living in the most exciting time in human history. For 50 million years, the human brain hasn't gone an upgrade but we've been able to build all these exponential technologies that are finally all building on top of each other in what we call S-curves. It’s everything from computing power to video power to robotics to AI.
We're finally at this point, combining with the blockchain, that we're able to build pieces of art like we're seeing that would not have been possible even several years ago. From an investment perspective, our thesis was simple. Can we invest in things that are going to be culturally redefined? That's what becomes extremely valuable in the future.
My background is not in art. My background is more tech, which was what it was before. I got into crypto and collecting sneakers. When this whole NFT boom began, the way I looked at it was this was finally a way for people like me who were never into the art world, never had access to it before, or were not part of your culture. It was finally becoming a part of the culture of people all around the world because of the democratization of technology.
From a fun perspective, our thesis was to invest in these culturally redefining pieces and curate the best things that are happening with this technology in the digital asset space that is going to become extremely valuable in the future. Refik is an artist and mathematician. At the end of the day, my background is math. Refik has been discussing what is going to be the Monet of this era.
I heard Daniel, the CEO of Yuga Labs, talk. His mission with Yuga is culture on the blockchain. It’s a similar theme and noble objective. There's an exhibition here we'll get into but this isn't your first collaboration with Refik. Can you talk a little bit about how you all intersected and what led to the exhibition that we get to see here in Seoul? We'll go into the basis of that particular exhibition.
I met Refik for the first time on a panel that was created by Hans and me at the Venice Architecture Biennale. This is the big Biennale. It's a one-year architecture. The other years of art. We started our art program, Tama Art, in 2017 and became a major player in supporting Biennale institutions like the Serpentine in the UK. We are trying to see how we can support the art and culture production that is trying to heal this fundamental flow we talked about.
It’s a culture that is not destructive but is constructive towards nature that tries to establish a homo status with nature. It is a balanced system. We created this under the wellbeing culture, how culture can provide wellbeing instead of providing a hostile environment. Hans invited Refik, whom I met on the panel that I moderated. He started to speak. I was like, “I don't understand any word.” I had no idea what he was talking about because this was 2019. He came from this blockchain and NFT world. I had no idea.
He was thinking about NFTs and blockchain in his way back in 2019.
It’s about AI and NFTs. For me, this was new. He was sitting among these people that I was talking to every day through the established artists and architects. He was an outlier interesting on this panel. We also had the famous indigenous rights activist Nina Gualinga and the famous botanist Stefano Mancuso, who proved that plants are intelligent systems. They are not AI but NI, Nature Intelligence. Between these three and also some others was such an interesting conversation.
Somehow, we sensed that we belonged together. We started to work with Refik. That became a success story for all involved parties. It led us to visit the indigenous tribe of Yawanawá in 2022 in the state of Accra. You need to rent a plane. You go 3 hours on the plane, 4 hours on the car, and 10 hours on the river. You're in the heart of the biggest treasure we have on the planet. It's the treasure of our biodiversity. This is where all the information is stored for 500 million years that is relevant for our survival on the planet and direct environment.
We have a showcase in Seoul called Sense of Healing. It embodies a coalescence of art and technology. It's the ability to gain insight, collective renewal, and connection. It's a beautiful exhibit. You told me about it and we'll share it with our readers and do some filming out there to show everyone. What was the inspiration behind this exhibit as it connect to the world of Web3?
With the connection to Web3, I will let Nabyl speak but the sense of healing was an artwork that was meant to open the human brain and let the human brain interact with itself. One of our biggest problems is that the mental health debate is a little bit upright because we don't know. It's not scientific. We don't see into the brain. It's like the medicine in the 12th century before it was allowed by the religion and churches to open the body and the doctors were guessing.
The brain is still a black box.
It's a black box that we are starting to measure. What we have created is an initiative called Mind with MindMaze. It is a leading neuroscience company. They provided us with brain data of tens of thousands of patients. Refik used AI with this brain data to visualize it. This is a strong moment because suddenly, you're standing in front of a data sculpture that is relevant. Its purpose is to show you how the healing process of our brain is created.
You can talk a little bit about the Web3 component.
From my perspective, Refik has always been into data, AI, and math. The ability for him to take this data set and use his algorithms to interpret it into art that's on the blockchain is unique. The ability to have this asset decentralized and accessible to the rest of the world is, to us, extremely powerful. The blockchain enables this work to become what it is. If you think back to the old days, it was commissioned by a specific few people. It was stored in their houses. Nobody else could see it. We're here where everybody can look at what is this culturally redefining piece because of the blockchain.
Is this one-on-one? Where do the plans go from here with Sense of Healing?
Sense of Healing is one-on-one. In a traditional way, it's like a painting or a sculpture. There's an artist's proof also that it is important in the traditional art world to have this accessibility. Nowadays, it's what Nabyl said. We also created an addition. This work is based on five chapters. The mind goes from depression to happiness. For every chapter, we have an addition of twenty.
The interesting thing is that everybody can see it, access it, be in a dialogue with the work, and understand its purpose. At the same time, there is clear ownership. Ownership and presentation of the work can be divided. The presentation can be much more accessible than in the traditional art world. This is the one thing. The other thing is that the next step of Sense of Healing will be an interaction. The work will interact with the viewer.
This is our plan. We realize that we already have a few installations that allow this. You have the technology to reach the brainwaves and certain bio parameters. I cannot say too much about it but our idea that we talked about with Refik is to create a space where you would get instant neurofeedback. You go into the space. Imagine you're meditating. While you're meditating, the space takes your brainwaves and it's changing. You can have support for your meditation. The sound and visuals can support you. You can see what is happening inside. That's a little bit of where we want to go.
I've been familiar with biofeedback for a long time. This is the evolution of that in an interesting way. I'm excited to see the exhibition. Where can folks learn more about Impact One and Sense of Healing?
We have a website Impact.One. This is an umbrella company. We have all the different companies which we are engaged under. You can be linked to the different initiatives.
I feel like we glanced at the surface of how much you guys are doing to impact the world. I would love to talk more about the Edge of AI at some point in the near future and cover that side of things. Thank you both for your time. I’m excited to see the exhibition. I wish you the best for what you're doing to make the world a better, happier place.
Thank you very much.
I’m here in Seoul, Korea, in a very special place. This is called the Sky Kingdom. My guest here is going to tell me a little bit more about this venue. It's been an action-packed week, as it is with the world of Web3. The fun things happen at night. We have the launch party of Superchief's new marketplace, which is long-awaited. Eric Choi at DIIANT is going to tell me a little bit more about it. He is the Founder and CEO. Eric, it’s great to be up here at the top of Seoul with you.
I'll answer the first question first, which is where we are. We're at a hotel called Soul Dragon City. It's been a landmark next to Yongsan, Itaewon area where the US military base used to be before it was moved. It's an interesting spot. I am tied to this venue because it was the first after-party I ever ran in crypto back in 2015 and this is where I did the first event.
Let's talk about what you guys have been busy building together with Superchief.
I'll give you a rundown of myself and DIIANT. I've been in the crypto space for years. 2023 is the end of my third cycle. I run a Web3 venture studio based in Seoul called DIIANT, which I started in 2020. We're a ten-person team that's based locally. That's an international team in terms of cultural and diversity boundaries. We like to build cool shit.
When we spoke to Ed during the NFT Korea Festival back in March 2023, he had generally talked about a marketplace. I had a catch-up call with him. We hit it off and had a lot of philosophy and he does in common. I asked him about his marketplace and how it was going. Some of the people before were not as satisfactory, whether it was in philosophy or vision alignment. I saw an interesting opportunity. As invested in the art space, I can be but less in the NFT space. My team has been working more on DeFi protocol infrastructure.
In the middle of that, we were working on a new ERC standard template. While working on that, I explained that to Ed and the ethos beyond DAOs and where we feel that community and culture can be seeded to grow. Once the set alignment met, it started making sense. We were like, “We want to partner up on something long-term together but let's go on a first date before we put a ring on it.” We jumped in and started the marketplace. Three and a half months later, here we are.
Tell us a little bit more about the marketplace. There are a lot of NFT marketplaces out there. From our time at Ava, I know how meticulous they are with what they're trying to do with supporting creators and artists. Knowing Ed for several years, I know how meticulous he is about the artist's journey to where they start. I imagine there are some nuances here that are important to what you guys have built and where it's going.
I'll explain a little bit of my history in the arts. Ed, even though he grew up with his grandmother running a gallery, as he was growing up, he's been in the art space forever. He was a journalist spy for several years. We know his art history. The way that I lean toward the art is I was a professional dancer for fifteen years of my life. I did popping, locking, contemporary jazz, and so forth. That was going to be my profession before I jumped into crypto. I went to the Korean military. A kid dropped a missile on my foot. I couldn't walk for six months.
Were you guys on the same team?
No, it wasn't a fired missile. It's a 44.7-kilo giant thing that you shoot out of the tank. It dropped on my foot. I couldn't walk. I pivoted. The reason that I'm explaining this is because I have a place in my heart that's steeped down for artist recognition. All artists struggle. When it comes to dancers, until you get a million views or billion views on YouTube, you can't even monetize because you are dancing to someone else's song.
As we expanded into that, I started looking into the art scene. We met Ed. We got into a conversation about how meticulous he was. We decided on a position. The position is that we were for the artist, by the artist. That was our number one philosophy in that case. As we were trying to build culture, a set of tools in a marketplace, or a home ecosystem of sorts for these artists to call home, we tried to look at the philosophy of what it is that we want to build.
Initially, we are starting with a marketplace. This is a V1 version of the actual drop of a marketplace. The marketplace will probably be buggy, like any piece of software that comes out for the first few weeks. We'll be doing feature drops on a biweekly to monthly basis. The differentiator for the marketplace, as it sits upon launch, is very different from anything else that's already out in the market. Everyone says that but it's simple. We did phygital differently. We don't have the physical goods that we're offering. The reason that I'm calling it phygital is that we took the digital and made it physical.
Superchief started their business as an NFT gallery. Before that, a digital art gallery. As Superchief has its New York, Miami, and LA galleries, it also has formed a network of sister gallery relationships all over the world. NFT Factory in Paris, EM Gallery, Knox Gallery in Tokyo, other galleries throughout Lisbon, an uncommon gallery in South Korea, and many others.
Through this network of galleries, what happens is when an artist decides to exhibit work on Superchief, that same exhibition can be shown and viewed across this network of sister galleries. As an artist, it's not always and never has been about the money. Most of the people make money so they can do art, not the other way around.
They show art off so that people can enjoy it.
For artists, to get a global reach is a big deal and something to get excited about. We're going to piss a lot of people off in the process. This is very disruptive. For every person that I've met from the traditional art space, this shocks them because of the monopoly that existed in any of these existing siloed organizations, especially the art world. Our world has been around as long as our financial policies have. It's no longer. The term market making came from art. There are a bunch of nuances and pieces that we feel are under-regulated. We see that there are lots of talents that don't get the same opportunity.
With Superchief's curation methods and how meticulous Ed is, we wanted to allow an opening for primary markets of artists to be able to work using different tools and dictate how their future works and how things are curated themselves. Our first target audience, as we launch in the marketplace, is the artists. Everything's changing. If you ask me, I would say that singularity is coming soon as we see this giant convergence of all these different technologies, whether it's AI, quantum computing, blockchain, and robotics.
We started a new show, Edge of AI. We evolved our event, Outer Edge, to represent this evolving convergence. I don't know when. I don't know if it's parallel paths but there are already a lot of intersections happening. Those intersections are going to condense more to the point that everything's going to feel interconnected.
We're getting to the next phase, where you'll see these technologies work with each other. We will get to see different applications of it. What'll happen, in my mind, and this is my humble opinion, is that it's like Claire Silver always talks about. “Being an artist is no longer about talent, brushstrokes, or how well educated you are. It's about taste and how well you can communicate and depict that taste.” In the world of AI, it's about how well you can articulate, communicate decisions, and delegate tasks more than it is about how smart you are and how fast you can do something. No matter how good we get, maybe not now, but we're never going to be fashion computers and robotics.
From the perspective of some artists, I've heard them say, “AI's creativity has already surpassed human creativity.” I met an artist who said, “AI creates better versions of his work than he can.” He's fine with it and embraced it. He was enjoying the possibility of having this extension of himself. Back to the topic at hand, we're launching. Folks will be able to go to Superchief.io and experience this market by the time they read this segment. What does the roadmap look like? What are some of the initial drops going to be? What are you excited about going forward?
As we create this type of organizational structure for the original Superchief artists that come in on board, I mentioned that our first priority was the artist but our second priority was the collectors. It's the community of everyone in between, not just the collectors. When you talk about the NFT space, people forget the rest of the art industry. There are the buyers, investors, and people who are the creators, people who were selling, and the platform distributors in between.
That's not how the art industry works. They make the paint. There's an entire industry that evolves around this. There are people who would do the curation, directors and everything in between the lobbying of what artists end up becoming famous at the end of the day. What we'd like to do is take that power back from traditional powers and give it directly back to the people who are actively using their voice within the community and participating.
The type of tooling that we're trying to create is that in this world, there are many chances that you can have positive incentives for negative behaviors. You can do something wrong to another human being, get something positive, whether that's economic or something else, and vice versa. There are good things happen to bad people all the time.
What we want to create within our organizational structure is positive reinforcers for only positive actions and negative consequences for negative actors. It doesn't need to be purely financial as it is for most states in crypto. Our focus is to allow and incubate the entire artist community, not just the artists themselves. That would be the secondary priority.
How we intend to do that is we will be releasing a DAO structure basis in the second drop. These are not the features. I can't talk about the features yet because we'll be doing blog posts and putting them out there. What will happen is we want to create seated DAO tooling. Not that it creates a giant DAO because the organizational structure is the moment that you go over a group of 30 people. It starts going down. I don't believe the decision by the committee has ever worked well.
What are you going to do?
We plan on dropping a DAO structure that is an SDK and API-first approach. We want to give artists different pieces of tooling. You could call them sometimes even extensions for their NFTs. It’s different standards and come up with these different toolings that are on a no-code basis where you could issue tokens, add features, and have community forums and messaging boards, all from the same platform. We're going to see this as SDKs and APIs because what we want is sub-DAOs and these DAOs that already exist. These may net ecosystems that already have collector's DAOs that don't have tooling to be able to take our SDKs and APIs and use them directly on their site.
I'm excited. I’m a big fan of Superchief and everything they're doing. I can see the alignment. I understand how you guys got together. I’m excited about what you're doing. Talked about how people can learn about Superchief, you and what you're building, and your company.
You guys can check us out at DIIANT.com and my pen name, which I usually don't talk about. DIIANT stands for Digital Giant shortened. I also operate under the pen name Not Satoshi. You can find any of the little works that I put online.
It’s a pleasure.
I have the amazing Dave Krugman with me. I'm going to give you a little bio on him. I'm sure he is going to have so much more to tell us. He's a New York-based photographer, crypto artist, and writer. He is the Founder of ALLSHIPS, a creative community based on the idea that the tide rises and raises all ships. He stands by that. I listened to his panel and it was sensational. I had a lot of great gyms in there on the pack and some of them. Dave, how are you doing?
I'm doing great. Thanks so much for having me. I'm excited to talk to you.
One of the things that got brought up on the panel discussion that you were having was the importance of being able to block out the haters in some capacity. There's a lot of positivity and negativity out there but you, as an artist, putting your art out there, you're putting yourself out there for all kinds of feedback. How do you go up and approach putting your work out there and being with your community without taking all the negatives?
You attract the energy that you put out. I try to put out good, positive energy. It's very infrequent that I get any negativity. When I do, I don't give it any oxygen. Putting yourself out there as an artist is about vulnerability. Once you scale up to a certain degree, a certain percentage of people are going to be frustrated, have something to say, or try to make you notice them by being cruel or mean. I don't give it any air and it takes care of itself. That's a good way to deal with it.
It's bringing that positive energy. You bring that positive energy with what you're doing with ALLSHIPS. For those who don't know, can you explain what ALLSHIPS is?
Artists have had a tough time with algorithmic-based social media platforms where you always have to be on and adjust to these changes in the algorithm. I wanted to create a place where people could slow down and spend more time with each other as opposed to constantly consuming and putting out content.
I created ALLSHIPS as a way to celebrate the ways that technology can unlock so much potential for artists to thrive and prove that a creative life is possible. That's our goal. If people want to get involved, you can find us at ALLSHIPS.co. We write articles. We have a dining club. We do concerts. We want to bring people together in real life so that we can put our phones down for a minute and connect on a deeper level.
Being a part of this IRL, around some other artists, and having this type of experience, you were here earlier in March 2023. What is so special about Seoul?
Seoul is amazing. In the US, we've been through a few cycles of NFTs and crypto already. I'm sure that's true here but it feels like the energy here is almost a little earlier. People are still passionate in a way that we need to bring back to the US with us. I'm encouraged to see how much fresh energy is coming into this space. It's going to be exciting. The reason why Seoul is because everyone is here. I want to be where the people are.
It's important when you're trying to build communities and attract people to the ecosystems that you're building to have those real-life experiences. There's only so much you could do online. The analogy I like to use is that IRL events are like rebar and concrete. It reinforces the structures that you're building. Every time I can, to the best of my abilities, I will show up in person, make eye contact with people, and have real conversations face-to-face because that moves the needle much more than dropping comments online.
It's been an amazing experience, even for myself and the team, being out here and feeling that energy. One of the things that people get from your art is energy. From their photography and all the different ways that you're able to capture cool moments, what is the inspiration around some of the ways that you go and do some of your different photographs?
I'm trying to capture the beauty of the overlaps of the world. There are so many circumstances colliding at all times. We live in this beautiful natural sculpture. I want to be inside of that sculpture, freezing moments in space-time and bringing them out to a community to observe and appreciate. Life is short. It's worth looking at and reveling in the beauty of the lived experience. It's an amazing thing that we're here at all. My art is a tribute to the fact that we even exist.
I was reading how when you were first getting into this, you were doing stuff in the dark shed and being able to do this. You have years of experience of doing it. That also helps with capturing the energy that you put into your photography. As you look into the future, you can't tease up too much of what is potentially coming up next but where are some places that you like to go for inspiration? When you're about to go to a certain location, do you go on a vision of, like, “I want to capture this?” Do you let it speak to you?
I let the world unfold around me. I try to be in it, present, and look at how things interact with each other. Photography is the study of space-time. It's like light hitting a certain object at a certain time of day or the transparency of a window with someone's shadow hitting it. There are many ways to observe and capture the world. The more you look, the more you see. It's this beautiful game.
Photography makes life an incredible journey of discovery. I'm even looking over here. I see the way the light's coming through the window. People are silhouetted behind it. Even without my camera on me, I'm constantly observing, learning, and iterating even in my mind. I don't pre-plan a lot. When I do bigger projects like drive or drip drop, I pick a set of constraints and build within them. Those constraints lead me to an inevitable result. When I'm making art, I'm out there in this dynamic way, letting the world wash over me.
You're able to see things in a different light and most people don't even see that light. Most people wouldn't even think about it, especially about the light and how it's hidden in different ways. With that and some of the things you brought up about drip drop and being able to have that come out, what were some of the lessons that you learned from your initial drops that you did that you're able to take with you as you do future events?
What's important is to understand that NFTs are digital objects. Anything you can do in the real world, you can do in digital social spaces. As we move increasingly into digital social spaces, those objects become more important. Thinking about ways to treat these ephemeral digital objects as real things is interesting to me. With my project drive, I held back a big percentage of the supply so that I could gamify the experience and challenge people to tap into their creativity to win NFTs off of me. That is an interesting way to think about this stuff. I try to inject that sense of curiosity and gamification into everything I do.
The gamification piece is essential. People like the back-and-forth interaction of it. It's like leveling up to get to the next phase of something even greater. Your community has been very receptive to you doing that. Now that you've been here in Seoul, what do you think are some of the big takeaways of coming and experiencing both the gateway, being around other artists, and seeing the energy here? It is September of 2023. A lot of people are saying that NFTs are dead. What's your take on where things are at and where things are going?
Every single art movement in human history started somewhere. It all starts at zero and then it starts to add layers. Each is like a brushstroke on this beautiful canvas. In the end, you have a masterpiece. This honestly reminds me of a million different examples but one interesting example is early hip-hop. These were people who were taking two turntables, mixing beats at the park, and freestyling over them. It was a few people. There's no guarantee that was going to be a thing but the more people got attracted to it, the more gravity it has. Now, it's one of the biggest industries in the world.
Every single art movement in human history started somewhere. It all starts at zero and then it starts to add layers. Each is like a brushstroke on this beautiful canvas. In the end, you have a masterpiece. Click To Tweet
We're in that moment in the park with two turntables. For the people who are in that moment with us, we all know how profoundly transformational this technology is. It's inevitable. There's no degree of NFTs or death that is going to affect my conviction in the future of digital assets. I live it every day and see the impact it's making.
It's changed my life entirely. It's freed me from commercial interests in a way that I never thought would be possible as an artist. I went from doing paid posts on Instagram several years ago to selling work three times with Christie's. That pipeline is transformational. This space is inevitably going to become such a force in this world. We're at the embryonic stages of a massive cultural movement.
The people who are here, who are building for that future and see where the vision's going, are going to be the winners. For everyone who wants to follow your journey, look at your art, and potentially be able to get something, what are the ways that they can learn more about you and follow you?
ALLSHIPS.co is where I like to write about other artists and celebrate the culture that we're all building together. You can find me at DaveKrugman.com. My Linktree is Linktree.com/DaveKrugman. It has all my projects and social. I'm Dave.Krugman on Instagram and Dave_Krugman on Twitter or X. I love connecting with people. I would love to hear from you and continue these conversations online.
Thank you for your time. This has been an awesome interview. I hope you enjoy the rest of your time here.
Thanks for having me.
We are here at the amazing opening party at The Gateway. This has been so amazing. I'm here with this artist. I don't know if you see this background but this is incredible. This is your creation. Tell us about yourself and what you've created.
We have an interactive generative art piece. Not only is the base pass generative, that's the base pass right there but I've run it through this program touch designer and I've overlaid all these different effects on it with this MPC mini pad. It's a lot of fun. We can add different videos on top of it and noise patterns. The whole thing is NFT Now and this pass is the signal and the noise. That's what we want to represent as a company. That's what we're doing in Web3. This is why we created The Gateway to bring new people in and be that defining voice that brings the artists together. We do it for the community to uplift artists.
Everybody that's been walking through comes in here and sits for a second because this is mesmerizing. When I first sat down and saw you starting to mess with all the different ways that this can interact, it captivated people. I see why they got you here doing this.
I wanted to have something truly interactive and generative. A lot of the generative projects in the pace are static. I respect it but once I was able to learn this punch designer program, it was unlocked. I liked the concept of adding different layers to the Now Pass. Those are going to come to fruition over time.
It comes together. As you started to mess with this, you have all the different neuro things going on. I sat here for ten minutes. I could watch this all day.
I'm inspired by so many of the artists here in the original Now Pass, like the base pass. Krista Kim's piece over there, the Gradients, JN Silva is the one who inspired me to add audio to it. We're competing with the DJ. I turn the audio off but this whole thing is audio-reactive. We made a set for it. It bounces with the music but the base Now Pass has this ambient generative audio. When you're playing with this on the website, you can move the pass around with your mouse and there are different quests. It's a lot of fun.
For everyone who wants to learn more about all the basic art and everything that you're doing, how can they do that?
Go to NFTNow.com and come to The Gateway in Korea. If you're not in Korea, stay tuned for what we're going to do in Miami.
We read it here first.
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