JPG is kicking off a new series of posts where we interview some of our community’s leading curators in order to learn more about their work and how they approach curation.
First up is William M. Peaster, who writes the Metaversal NFT newsletter and serves as JPG’s first community manager. So far he’s curated or contributed to over a dozen exhibitions on JPG, including The Found Robbies, Non-Fungible Poems, and Green Day.
We’re very excited about curators creating and giving us feedback about their user experience as they build their exhibitions, so excited that we can’t help but improve, update and fix things as frequently as possible, sometimes without telling you all.
This more dynamic development process allows us to facilitate the work of curators as fast as possible, and keeps us agile and focused on the features curators most want to see
The result has been a stream of fantastic exhibitions each week with over 100 active curators featuring thousands of NFTs typically only seen in a marketplace grid.
These are the updates we’ve pushed in the past few weeks, and that JPG curators are able to leverage for their creations:
JPG is for creators, curators, collectors and viewers alike. And the cool thing about our spiel is that you can play with these roles, combine them, create and enjoy culture in very easy ways.
This guide is meant to help creators set up expressive storefronts that will also help you monetize your creations. All in a few clicks, and no coding experience or previous knowledge on how to set up a shop.
Whether you are a collector looking to sell some pieces you own, an artist wanting to create a shop that captures your viewpoint and allows the spectator to view your NFTs from a different perspective: your own, or maybe you are a curator that works with artists to create an exhibition and sell their works (like panke.gallery and Office Impart have done with their NfTnEtArT show), read through this guide, you’ll surely find it useful!
An artwork’s provenance is its history of ownership.
Good provenance helps us track that pieces are authentic, rightfully owned, and imbued with unique auras in the case of works that have passed through special hands or made special journeys.
NFTs make determining good provenance easier than ever because NFT activities are recorded transparently onchain, available for anyone to audit at any time. NFTs also make spotting “bad” provenance, like wash trading, straightforward too. Just ask Melania Trump!
Provenance isn’t just about who held what and when, though. Provenance is also fundamentally about stories, because behind any good provenance is a great story.
We’re excited to introduce a new curatorial layout and several improvements to our exhibition editor, allowing curators to create exhibitions with more freedom and control. This feature release also comes with general UX improvements for both curators and viewers, including improved navigation and exhibition discovery. Additionally, we are slowly rolling out marketplace functionality, starting with a Zora integration as part of panke.gallery and Office Impart’s NfTNeTArT exhibition, hosted on JPG, where artworks are listed for sale.
Here’s a full list of the improvements now live on JPG:
Read through the different sections of this post to learn more about the new exhibition layout and editor, marketplace, and general UX improvements now live on JPG.
JPG is the digital home of the exhibition NfTNeTArT - whose IRL version, curated by panke.gallery and Office Impart, will open next Saturday in Berlin. Learn about how they’re building bridges between the crypto community, net art and traditional art worlds - and what we’re doing at JPG to help them make this happen.
I don’t consider myself to be a net art expert, or much less, but since moving to Berlin in 2013, I’ve been avidly following what was happening in that space. NFTs have presented an opportunity for artists from the net art and post internet realms to be able to broaden their audience, and monetize their creations, plus find a new medium to experiment with, and with them, decades of community building, know-how on digital art curation and diffusion and others are coming into the NFT space to nurture each other.
Curating digital art IRL is no easy feat, and of course, a large portion of the people trying to mount NFT exhibitions outside the metaverse have absolutely no idea what they’re doing (I forgive but not forget, Christie’s Art Blocks exhibition), so learning from the digital art curators is quite essential.
I remember the first time a digital art IRL exhibition made an impact on me - it was Ashley Madison Angels At Work In Berlin, by !Mediengruppe Bitnik, in 2017. Ashley Madison was a dating app for having extramarital affairs that got hacked and all credit cards and other details leaked. !Mediengruppe Bitnik used the leak data to feed the fembots on display in the exhibition that would use pick up lines used within the platform. A pink neon light installation would bathe the fembots in a seductive light. It was really fascinating to me.
To curate is to identify and organize connections among cultural objects. At its best, the act of curation is second-order creation informed by meaningful study. It presents and compares artworks and places them into new and enriching contexts to draw out big ideas; it’s how we make sense of, and educate others about, the world’s great things.
In the NFT ecosystem, the curatorial landscape is young but making strides. Activity here is driven by individuals or groups around a growing number of curator-centric or curator-adjacent projects. Let’s highlight some early examples around the landscape here to see how exactly JPG fits into the bigger picture.
JPG’s curatorial interface launched back in August, and since then, we’ve been heads down working towards key improvements to deliver a much better experience.
Before we tell you all about the new features, the JPG team would like to thank the curators that took part in our alpha and provided essential feedback that we’ve been folding into product development - none of this, or the open beta that’s coming right after this new release would have been possible without these curators. **
Another thing to note - and we promise, we’ll stop with the preamble - is that JPG closed beta (the very imaginative name of this version) is a transitional release: we’re gearing up towards an open platform with a very exciting onboarding hack coming in early 2022. The reasoning behind going more closed a tad earlier is simply because we’re very pleased with the iterative feedback/development process and we would like to do that one more time before the big reveal.
“[I]t’s possible we’ll slowly see a move ... toward new, digitally minded ways of organizing information and creating narrative.” — Walker Caplan, Lit Hub
The NFT ecosystem’s literary scene — think tokenized fiction, poetry, etc. — is still quite young. Young enough, in fact, that it’s wide open and underexplored compared to other related fields of interest, like the visual cryptoarts.
That said, the scene isn’t empty. We’ve seen a growing number of writers experimenting with NFTs over the past couple of years, and it seems all but clear that more authors will come to experiment as NFTs continue to enter the mainstream consciousness.
The grand question, then, is how will NFT literature progress going forward from here? What will that look like?
“I have always been an appreciator of fine art and aesthetics. My family and I visit the art museums in our city frequently. I really enjoy sculptures, but generative art really speaks to me in a different way. Something about the creation of patterns, colors, shapes, distortions, sounds, etc. algorithmically from the chain is magical.” - Coin Alchemist, the curator, collector, and owner of The Alchemist Gallery on JPG
Crypto builder. Humble farmer. Meme theorist. Serial intern. That’s Coin Alchemist, an enigma wrapped in a pseudonym lately adventuring metaversally around the frontiers of DeFi and NFTs.
What brought this collector of names to start collecting and curating generative art NFTs? For Coin Alchemist, falling in love with games and computers at a young age started them on a path that eventually led to building custom computers and then discovering Bitcoin and cryptoeconomic theory. After going full-time crypto in 2016, the former psychologist-in-training hasn’t looked back since.
“Most people view ‘floor’ NFTs as the undifferentiated, least desirable items in an NFT collection. Despite this conception, this gallery highlights the various connections and narratives of ‘floor’ Cryptopunks through deliberate curation, ultimately revealing a vast spectrum of traits across gender, color, and attributes.”- 0x650d, curator, collector, and owner of the Punk Pieces JPG gallery
This curated collection demonstrates how there can be a deliberate strategy around floor-sweeping, as 0x650d explained in the Twitter thread announcing their purchase. ‘Sweeping the floor’ is usually a primarily financial action, but 0x650d’s unique approach has developed into something different and new: a cultural performance with standalone value. The cultural significance of the collection lies not only in the Punks, which have already achieved legendary status in the space, but in going beyond the initial purchase and its canonization through the use of different on-chain tools: fractionalization for financial purposes and community building, and JPG for a curatorial provenance and viewing experience.
“In early August I purchased 104 Cryptopunks, despite primarily viewing myself as an investor rather than a collector. While the pixelated PFP style may not be as showroom-worthy as other NFT art, Cryptopunks represent a generational shift in art-medium, moving from physical to digital, and were a true innovation both pre-dating and inspiring the ERC-721 token standard. This gallery, created in collaboration with the wonderful team at JPG, aims to display (sometimes humorously) the nuanced attributes and artistic elements of my Cryptopunk collection. The collection was acquired by sweeping the punk ‘floor’, a term that often refers to the undifferentiated hodge-podge of the least desirable items in an NFT collection.” - 0x650d
Curation manifests in many ways, from the simple to the sublime. The latter is the realm of curator auteurs.
Dedicated to “learning to look,” curator auteurs employ autonomous, independent control in their creative work: the creation of compelling connections among cultural objects and sharing related insights in masterful, discerning fashion.
As such, curator auteurs have a handful of important responsibilities. These include critically confronting their day’s socio-political zeitgeist, creatively making sense of the world, highlighting a range of outstanding artists, and hailing new artistic terrains.
The metaverse isn’t a replacement to traditional galleries but rather extends and complements the possibilities of traditional galleries. We’re using the new tools of our times (e.g. VR, NFTs) to advance and explore creativity and our existences in new ways, just as all generations of artists and innovators have done before us.
Yet every era has its own unique cultural zeitgeist: as humans our fundamental approach to creating may be timeless, but what we talk about in our creations always changes with the times. Ultimately, all we have is the creations and stories we give ourselves, so those who come after us will have only what we leave them with — it’s incumbent on us as contemporary pioneers, then, to shape and bring meaning to our current zeitgeist.
Image via Max Osiris
Since the beginning of 2021, the artist known as 0xDEAFBEEF has captivated the NFT community with a series of pioneering audiovisual works made using the simplest of tools: a text editor, a C compiler, and the Ethereum blockchain. Joining a lineage of on-chain generative art that stretches from Art Blocks back to Autoglyphs, 0xDEAFBEEF has consistently explored the programmable potential of his medium. In his series Entropy, released this April, the media accompanying each token degrades with every transfer. While with his two most recent series, Glitchbox and Advection, he has allowed users to 'curate' the works by altering their parameters on-chain. Combining a background in software engineering and computer graphics research with a self-taught career as a blacksmith, 0xDEAFBEEF has been likened to a “digital craftsman” who has forged a panoply of new creative possibilities for NFTs.
JPG co-founder Sam Spike spoke to 0xDEAFBEEF about his generative art practice, the unique power of audiovisual media, and the influence that new technologies have on the development of culture.
JPG is now accepting submissions for its first exhibition, Deep Time. We invite anyone who owns an artwork that matches the Deep Time theme below to fill out this form. The deadline for submissions is July 1 and the exhibition will take place in mid-July.
To be eligible for inclusion, you must own the NFT you are submitting, and add it to the JPG Registry when the protocol launches on mainnet.
This is a curated exhibition, so please be aware that not every submitted artwork will be included. You will be contacted by the JPG team if your submission is chosen.
We are happy to introduce Juried Protocol Galleries (JPG), a registry-based curation protocol that brings together collectors, curators, and artists. The JPG registry is a new primitive for the NFT ecosystem, allowing owners to make their NFTs available for sale and display in partnership with curators. Designed as an open protocol, JPG provides the foundation for a community-generated network of galleries and a new, decentralized marketplace for both primary and secondary sales.
The core of the JPG protocol consists of a main registry, populated by NFT owners, and sub-registries, created by curators, that serve as exhibitions. Anyone can add their NFTs to the JPG registry by submitting proof of ownership and accompanying token data. The NFT never leaves the owner's wallet. Curators can then select works from the main registry to include in their exhibitions via sub-registries.