The curator auteur needs moar blockchain
William M. Peaster
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September 21st, 2021

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.

"Room 15 1" by Petra Cortright
"Room 15 1" by Petra Cortright

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.

No small tasks, right? Indeed, it is because of these lofty responsibilities that I argue the curator auteur needs more blockchain!

By “needs more blockchain,” I mean expanding the tools of their trade to things like Ethereum, the leading smart contract platform, and JPG, the first on-chain NFT curation protocol that we’ll be rolling out to the public in the not too distant future.

JPG: toward empowering curators with new possibilities!
JPG: toward empowering curators with new possibilities!

Why should curator auteurs embrace these new tools, then? A few reasons, I say:

  • These blockchain-based resources enhance curator auteurs’ autonomy, i.e. their ability to curate exhibitions outside/beyond the context and support of institutions.
  • These resources offer curator auteurs unprecedented permanence, as curations live on-chain forevermore and can be re-experienced and enjoyed indefinitely as such.
  • These resources are new tools of the day and accordingly give curator auteurs a means to more fully address the contemporary (and increasingly metaversal) socio-political zeitgeist.

To that last point, decentralized apps like JPG provide curator auteurs the ability to permisionlessly build storyscapes — landscapes of narratives — in new digital and metaversal ways, and with the unique neutrality, transparency, and security guarantees afforded by the Ethereum blockchain.

That’s powerful stuff. In other words, curator auteurs need more blockchain because blockchain can boost their creative sovereignty and expand their creative horizons to new, programmable possibilities.

Moreover, to the extent that curators go where culture goes, the recent NFT boom atop Ethereum has led to an explosive genesis of novel NFT-centric cultural materials, yet little “criticism, curation, and conservation” so far.

This has to change.

"snapped 03" by pepe_xyz
"snapped 03" by pepe_xyz

Yes, there’s so much further cultural value to discern, build up, and share here that it can be overwhelming when you start thinking about it. Accordingly, curator auteurs may need more blockchain, but blockchain also desperately needs more curator auteurs.

At the same time, that’s the beauty of our situation. We around Ethereum and NFTs need curator auteurs more than ever, and one great way we can attract them is by offering our tools of empowerment with no strings attached. Do your creative work how you want ... that’s the JPG way!


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Featured image is from "Landscape Study #3 (with Vehicles)" by defiantsquid via Async Art

Also see: “Room 15 1” by Petra Cortright and “snapped 03” by pepe_xyz

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