FEATURED ARTWORKS OF THE WEEK
Re-Thinking Curation for a Decentralized World
In a recent Twitter thread directed at the NFT community, artist @Coldie expressed his frustration about the lack of curation and proper categorization in the NFT Space. This sentiment was echoed in comments by artists and collectors alike giving their opinions on the ‘wild-west’ atmosphere of NFTs. The overwhelming majority agreed that curation is a valuable resource for artists, however there were still those that viewed curation as a form of gatekeeping that could prevent newcomers from entering the emerging market.
The basic argument in the former camp is that artists need a better way to get their artwork in front of the right eyes during a time of growing market saturation. This is where a curator can come in to be a mediator and advocate.
A curator’s responsibility is to handpick voices and creative visions that speak to the time and cultural movements happening locally and globally. In doing so, curation can help spark conversations and encourage progressive discourse within the Crypto Art space and beyond. When done correctly, these curators are not deciding what is and isn’t art, but rather serve as a guide to help lead conversations and help collectors discover artwork that means something to them. They can do this through not only curating collections but also by writing about artists, movements, and trends in the space.
It’s important to recognize that historically, curation in the Art World has morphed into an exclusionary practice often more focused on money and cultural politics than art. Curators in this new decentralized ecosystem now have the cultural responsibility to learn from those mistakes by focusing on the inclusion of new and driving forces in the space without the relentless focus on quick and easy monetary gain.
Without curators, projects with the highest price points and most notable collectors, such as Bored Ape Yacht Club, will continue to be what the Crypto Art space is known for to the outside world. In many ways, curators are writing and preserving Crypto Art’s rich history and culture, a culture that began growing years before the term “NFT” was even coined. This knowledge share will ultimately help Crypto Art become more accessible to those in and out of the space, breaking down barriers for future creators and collectors.
At Mint Gold Dust, we have embraced curation while still being committed to our decentralized ethos and use of smart contracts. We are a 24/7, always on, non-custodial marketplace built with the artist in mind. Curation, in addition to helping us explore new genres and topics in the space, allows for our team to have one on one relationships with each of our artists, supporting them from A-Z– something that would be impossible without our team of curators. It also allows us to showcase each artist on our platform in a unique and personal way via social media, 79Au, and in-person showcases.
Recently, we have also started to collaborate with guest curators who bring new artists to the platform for specific collections. Most recently, we worked with curator JenJoy Roybal to curate Machine Dialogues, an exploration of AI informed artworks on the Blockchain. This collection helped showcase the human side of AI artworks, a genre that has received a lot of scrutiny over the past couple of months. New artists that joined us for the collection included Chazz Gold, QueenEarth, ONe Rad Latina, Tom Laroc, and more.
As Mint Gold Dust continues to grow, we remain committed to being a space for artists to create and mint; for collectors to discover new artists and their work; and for the wider web3 community to engage with each other, and to discuss and explore topics they are passionate about.