Hyper Aesthetics, "Autumn Pond"
Dia al-Azzawi, "Freddie 1.0 #5"
Le visionnaire sur la lune, "Made in Abyss"
Merge Update

The buzz in the Cryptospace has been all about the Ethereum Merge. As of today, September 15th, the Merge has transitioned the Ethereum protocol from Proof-of-Work to Proof-of-Stake in order to create sustainable scalability within the protocol as the web3 space continues to grow and thrive. 

So what does this mean for your NFT portfolio as an artist or collector on Mint Gold Dust

The good news is that your creations and collections on Mint Gold Dust will continue to remain on-chain with provenance intact. Mint Gold Dust is built solely on Ethereum and has fortified the platform in preparation for the transition. 

To ensure a smooth transition, Mint Gold Dust has temporarily paused all mint, bidding, and purchase activities through 9/16/22 at 12pm EST. 

Halting activities is a proactive measure to ensure that while we make any necessary changes to our site, lost or hanging transactions can be avoided. We appreciate your patience during this historic event.

Learn more about The Merge here.

Christopher Scott Carpenter and the Galápagos Islands

Christopher Scott Carpenter is a photographer and documentarian based in New York City by way of Salt Lake City, Utah. He holds a Master’s degree in Global Affairs from Tsinghua University in Beijing, China as a recipient of the Schwarzman Scholarship, a highly-selective full-ride scholarship that assembles a diverse global cohort to study cultural, political, and economical through-lines to better understand the world of tomorrow. Additionally, he has earned a Bachelor of Arts from University of Southern California for Film & Television Production.

Christopher Scott Carpenter

Today, he is producing and directing documentary films and has recently been working on the Galápagos Islands as a Wildlife Photographer. 

Next week on September 22nd, a week after the anniversary of Charles Darwin’s maiden voyage to the Galápagos, Carpenter will be releasing a collection of his photographs from the Islands as NFTs, exclusively on Mint Gold Dust. 

The collection shares a different side of the unique animals on the island while bringing awareness to their endangered species status. 40% of the proceeds from each sale will be going directly towards a local conservancy that empowers local environmental stewardship and educates the next generation of Island residents.

Each photo will be released as an edition run, encouraging animal and photography lovers alike to collect their favorites while directly supporting the animal behind the image.

We recently chatted with Carpenter to discuss his relationship with this animal subjects and the importance of collection. Check back on September 22nd for the full collection launch! 

"Sea Lion," Conservation Status: Endangered, Population Decreasing
When you see something in the wild, what draws you to pull out your camera and capture a moment? 

As with all my photography, I think my first priority is with the moment itself; in other words, deciding whether or not the events unfolding before my lens are compelling and interesting. I try to capture moments that re-contextualize the subject and offer a unique perspective from which to engage with it. Some of the images from this NFT project that come to mind are the sea lion posing regally – as if in a tuxedo – for a portrait with a small insect perched incongruously on his nose, or the Nazca Booby Bird gifting a small stone to his partner in an act of affection. Neither would readily be found in a typical Google Image search. Once the moment has grabbed my attention, all the other elements – composition, color, exposure, etc. – are utilized to best tell that story photographically.

Do you feel a connection or kinship with the animals you capture?

When I started observing the animals of the Galápagos, I was struck with how many “human” emotions were being exhibited – love, anger, playfulness, jealousy, annoyance, and so many more. A full tapestry of interaction was on display within each of these islands. As a result, I felt a huge amount of kinship with the animals because I had a front-row seat to watch just how similar we all are as creatures of the same global ecosystem.

"Sally Lightfoot Crabs," Conservation Status: Unknown
What inspires you about the Galápagos Islands in particular?

The Galápagos Islands are populated by a remarkable mixture of misfits and oddballs. Each animal in the archipelago has a unique set of evolutionary characteristics that allow it to survive on a rock outcropping in the middle of the Pacific Ocean. The marine iguanas, for example, are found nowhere else on Earth; they proliferated across the Galápagos because their distant ancestors, having been set adrift from somewhere along the western coast of South America, figured out the mechanics and advantages of swimming. As a result, the islands are charming in their weirdness and rarity.

Tell us a bit about the conservancy you’re raising money for? Where will the funds be directed?

While on assignment for Quasar Expeditions in the Galápagos I met and developed friendships with several of the accredited nature guides who act as stewards of the environment and educators of the guests. One guide in particular, Lola, told me about two organization she is part of, the International Galápagos Tour Operators Association and the Galápagos Guides Association, and their current efforts to raise funds to construct a library on the central and most populated island of the Galápagos, Santa Cruz. The library, if funded, will provide to the populations of the Galápagos equal access to science education . On an island archipelago where an understanding of the natural world is crucial to the maintenance and protection of the ecosystems, the library will expand economic opportunities for the peoples of the Galápagos, will enable and empower environmental stewardship, and will generate discourse around important issues like sustainable and destructive tourism and the climate crisis. 

"Darwin’s (Galapagos) Finch," Conservation Status: Endangered, Population Decreasing

Want to get started as an artist or collector on Mint Gold Dust? Check out our Metamask start up guide to get started. Ready to start minting? Apply to talk with our curatorial team today.

Last week on 79Au, we announced our new Discord channel, #CryptoCorner, created to educate and test your knowledge on all things web3. Join our Discord to show off your skills and stay in the loop on all things Mint Gold Dust today!