mint gold dust

Weekly Recap

79AU | 10.26-11.1

FEATURED ARTWORKS OF THE WEEK

Urban Landscape 01
VEL, "Urban Landscape 01"
Don't Break A Nail
Arabella, "Don't Break A Nail"
Cowbell 10
Get Rekt, "Cowbell 10"

Interview with Mint Gold Dust Founder & CEO Kelly LeValley Hunt

CEO & Founder Kelly LeValley Hunt at NFT.NYC 2022

This week we’re celebrating our one-year anniversary! Today, we’re pleased to share an interview with our Founder and CEO Kelly LeValley Hunt for a look back at the year we’ve had, our future, and her advice to female founders in the NFT space.

What inspired you to start Mint Gold Dust?

I needed to work with artists on a daily basis who inspire me. In Mint Gold Dust I found a way to work with creatives and technology for the good of my soul. I had previously invested in an ecosystem that supports NFT platforms, investing in companies such as Illust Space, Smart Seal, Refashioned OS, and Gilded Finance, and the only missing piece was the NFT Platform itself as the foundation. I just knew that with a platform that used ERC-1155 contracts, I could help promote and work with these companies that supported artists and collectors. So I decided to build.

I had also invested in SuperRare and loved what they were doing, and I could see that the market was evolving really quickly, and artists and collectors were going to need more than a platform to present NFTs; in other words they would need a supporting ecosystem.

An example of this was our project with Refashioned OS. They came to us when they were launching their software platform to work with clothing manufacturers for clothing on demand to minimize waste in the fashion industry. We were able to connect them with graffiti artist Curvazoid to create the design; work with Smart Seal to NFC tag each garment; work with Smart Seal to NFC tag each garment; work with Illust Space to create a 3-D rendering of artist, creator and businesswomen Paulina Vega (who also happens to be Miss Universe 2014) wearing the clothes; and then the NFT asset was geo-dropped in AR in New York during fashion week. A perfect marriage of the ecosystem hard at work.

What has been your favorite project or event from the past year?

The Genesis 8 project that we launched last November has to be one of my favorites. With Eleonora Brizi curating, and Memeconscious writing code, the excitement of a new platform marked the beginning of this journey – the true genesis!

Giant Swan’s Metamorphosis is amazing, and the story about Hackatao’s unique piece Primordial is beautiful, and they are just two of the Genesis 8 which are extraordinary.

Paulina Vega geo-dropped in AR during NYFW
Giant Swan, "Metamorphosis"

What is it like being a female founder in the NFT space? 

I hate this question but I get asked it a lot. I don’t know how to answer that because I’ve never been anything else.

That being said, my best piece of advice for women in technology is to do what you want to do and don’t think about who’s watching or judging. At the end of the day, it doesn’t fucking matter. The only thing that matters is that you are doing what you’ve set out to do, and that you’ve built a good community around you that supports you and you can support back. Just do it, and don’t think about the consequences. Just fucking do it. I hate when I curse (but I do curse a lot!) so this shows how strongly I feel about it.

CEO & Founder Kelly LeValley Hunt with Metakovan at NFT.NYC 2021

What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned from being 1 year in operation?

It’s not just about the technology, it’s not just about the artists, and it’s not just about the collectors. It’s about the community as a whole and the engagement and coordination of that community.

Auctioneer Theo Goodman at NFT.NYC 2021

What made you choose to not seek out funding in the first year of operation?

Getting funding can be daunting, and I just wanted to focus on building and making sure I got it right. I didn’t want to take funding to build a product with someone else over my shoulder. I’ve also been too busy talking to artists and creators to do a funding round, so time constraints played a big factor.

What can we look forward to in the next year from Mint Gold Dust? 

Valuable engagement with artists, listening more with our community. I feel compelled to support creatives in the way they feel they need to be supported. Better conversations with people and I will encourage my team to do the same. We are going to focus on more partnerships and more innovation with new technology in the NFT sector; including building out a more robust live auction service and platform.

Have you read our latest editorial piece on the importance of curation in a decentralized world? If not, check out the article here.

Stay up to date on all things Mint Gold Dust and 79Au by subscribing to our newsletter here.

Ready 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.

VanDi, Keynote
Weekly Recap

79AU | 10.8-14

FEATURED ARTWORKS OF THE WEEK

Brooke Ganster, Love and Levity
Brooke Ganster, "Love and Levity"
Queenearth, Dreamer Handbook 00
Queenearth, "Dreamer Handbook 00"
VanDi, Keynote
VanDi, "Key Note"

Community Op-Ed

ONe Rad Latina is a self-taught, Neurodiverse, multi-disciplinary visual artist born and raised in New York City’s Inwood and the Dominican Republic. 

Her passion lies in public art, and she can often be found creating murals and art installations out of found or repurposed materials, bringing beauty back to the communities of New York.

Image Courtesy of ONe Rad Latina
ONe Rad Latina, "My beauty is skin deep"

ONe Rad Latina works with different mediums and prides herself on her prolific line of artistic works and not being tied down to one specific visual artist’s craft.

For her digital works, she combines traditional techniques with new technologies to bring better representation to Women and People of color in web3.

Today, we’re hearing from ONe Rad Latina on the effect of AI engine bias and her work to improve AI engine diversity and cultural inclusion.

ONe Rad Latina, Let Go
ONe Rad Latina, "Let Go"

The Cultural Algorithm by ONe Rad Latina

We live in a world that is run by AI (Artificial Intelligence). From the song that plays next on your playlist to the ad you’ll see when streaming your favorite show, AI has its virtual hand in all of it.

Much like the algorithm in your favorite music app, AI engines using text-to-image algorithms are learning from your preferences.

Because these text-to-image algorithms learn based on human behavior, many have shown a tendency toward the sexualization of women and/or the exclusion of people of color in image renders.

I was very aware of this when I began exploring the concept of adapting AI as a tool into my artistic practice, and first did a bit of research into the different AI models and where their codes leaned toward certain biases. 

This was especially important for me as an Indigenous Latina Woman working to reflect my cultural identity and who I am in my work.

ONe Rad Latina, The Pondering Princess
ONe Rad Latina, "The Pondering Princess"

When I later began to create artwork using the AI models, I saw that bias for myself. 

I saw that If I did not state the racial and ethnic descriptions, the AI would return images of mostly white subjects regardless of cultural cues. If no gender was implied then the subjects would tend to be mostly male. 

It was disappointing but not surprising.

After working to find descriptions of subjects that would leave no room for doubt as to what I needed, the AI slowly started to produce accurate imagery with less prompting for race or gender based only on the cultural cues it would overlook before. It did this by learning from my many attempts of triumph and failure within the render and edit process.

The AI was able to differentiate between actual culture and costume in future works, removing a built-in bias; I was amazed.

The development of these AI algorithm tools is in the very early stages; trial and error are part of the process. 

ONe Rad Latina, The Neon Wild
ONe Rad Latina, "The Neon Wild"

Creatives like me, from communities whose cultures are often as exploited as their people, finally have an opportunity to drive the way these machines learn our cultures. We can guide them into a place where they can effectively work with artists in a truly meaningful and equitable way.

To me, as a creative person, it’s important to maintain a working relationship with these tools, so that it may correctly reflect my culture and not what others who are not a part of it have perceived it to be.

Want to see more of the artists featured in Machine Dialogues? Check out our latest collection, and view more of ONe Rad Latina’s work here.

Last week, we spoke with JenJoy Roybal on her curation process for Machine Dialogues, our latest exhibition. Check out her interview in last week’s blog post here.

Ready 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.

Podcasts

MINT GOLD DUST PODCAST EAST COAST EDITION: ELEONORA BRIZI @ NFT PARIS

Eleonora Brizi was in Paris last weekend to attend the single day event NFT Paris.  She shares with us her takeaways and her positive outlook on the coming year in the world of NFTs.

Mint Gold Dust presented work with Eleonora on screens at the event. Check out a few  photos  here.

In the podcast Eleonora speaks about John Karp a link to his work can be found here.