JPG's role in the NFT curation landscape
William M. Peaster
0x08cE
January 28th, 2022

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.

The indie curator

The landing page of the TCBA Collection.
The landing page of the TCBA Collection.
  • TRANSFER Gallery — an experimental gallery co-directed by Kelani Nichole and Wade Wallerstein that opened Pieces of Me, an NFT exhibition, in April 2021.
  • 0xchain.art — a compendium of on-chain cryptoart projects curated by emre.

The influencer curator

  • VincentVanDough — prolific collector and supporter of cryptoart.
  • Coin Alchemist — creator of The Alchemist Gallery, a generative art exhibition hosted on JPG. Upon the gallery’s launch, the curator told us: “I really enjoy sculptures, but generative art really speaks to me in a different way. Something about the creation of patterns, colors, shapes, distortions, etc. algorithmically from the chain is magical.”
The Alchemist Gallery, one of JPG's early highlights!
The Alchemist Gallery, one of JPG's early highlights!

The platform curator

  • SuperRare — Facilitates primary and secondary market sales for its curated artists.
  • Foundation — an invite-only cryptoart platform.
  • Folia — an NFT publisher, curated and presented by Bin Studio.

The DAO curator

  • Museum of Crypto Art — a cryptoart museum whose permanent collection is curated by MOCA token holders.
  • Fingerprints DAO — a group focused on “curating, collecting, and promoting smart contracts as art,” of which JPG co-founder Sam Spike is lead curator.
  • SuperRare Spaces — SuperRare’s community decides on new Spaces, which are independent curatorial groups approved for the SuperRare platform by RARE holders.

Infra for indie curators

  • Zora — Zora is a hyperstructure, an open and fully on-chain protocol whose infrastructure allows anyone to create, market, and share NFTs.
  • JPG — the first dedicated and open NFT curation infrastructure, which gives voice to anyone who wants to express their sentiments around the significance of NFTs and collections.

So when we think about where JPG fits into the wider NFT curation scene, it’s general cultural infra that anyone can build on top of and use to organize and explore NFTs. It allows anyone to join the curator auteur space. It fosters informational curation that provides cultural education. And, very importantly, it serves as an open hub of provenance to record the cultural labor of curation and connect it to reputation and NFT significance.

Discovering NFTs, learning their contexts, viewing them, studying them, storytelling with them, spatially arranging them to create a new experience, curating deliberately in ways the works communicate with each other and tell new stories … these are the sorts of experiences that JPG’s infra will support and enrich all across the NFT ecosystem going forward. Accordingly, JPG is poised to serve as a foundation for many later innovations and apps around NFTs.

In the meantime, JPG remains a work in progress. But more advances are coming. More features, more exhibitions, more decentralization. And when the protocol is opened up for everyone, the NFT ecosystem will be much better off for it. Because our space has done much on the financial side of things, yet we also still need much more cultural value here, and JPG brings the culture.

For now, sit tight and check out JPG’s first exhibitions if you haven’t already, plus make sure to swing by the JPG Discord and join the JPG beta’s allowlist. We’d love to have you, it’s a great time to get involved!

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