Gm! Welcome back to our latest installment of Let’s Talk Curation, a series in which the JPG team interviews some of our community’s leading curators in order to learn more about their work and how they approach curation.
For our third interview, we chatted with Tokenfox, who recently dazzled the JPG community with many dozens of incredible clarifying comments during the start of the Onchain Canon curations. Tokenfox is an NFT curator, collector, and Solidity programmer who is currently developing the onchainchecker.xyz resource! ✨🦊✨
For as long as I can remember, I have been fascinated by organizational structures where there is no top-down management. Even when I was a kid, I found it really fascinating that people could call each other with modems using BBS systems to collaborate and share files. But it really started with peer-to-peer networks when I realized that you can sort of scale these models of organization beyond a handful of people. Scaling up is of course where it gets into the territory where you realize that you really need to start to think about decentralization. For me, blockchains were always a very natural extension to my interests.
In terms of NFTs, I first heard about them with CryptoKitties. At that time, I found it incredibly dumb that people would buy such insane amounts of money on assets that had no hard cap on supply, and didn’t even really fully exist on the blockchain. But it started my curiosity.
I eventually found my way into Rarible where I bought my first NFT, which was a Twerky Pepe.
Firstly, thank you for your kind words! I hope my commentary in Onchain Canon reflects that I am indeed very passionate about on-chain NFTs!
My first contact with on-chain NFTs came when I found out about an influencer called Pranksy who raved about this NFT called Avastars that stored even the art on the blockchain. I started investigating it more, and all of the sudden it all clicked to me. I was fully hooked and have been digging that rabbit hole ever since!
Originally, On-Chain Checker was born out of my own need to automate this task of verifying whether an NFT is on-chain or not. It may sound like a simple task on paper. But when you really start looking into different ways and variations of how on-chain as a medium can be used, you realize that you might not ever be able to reach 100% accuracy with an automated tool.
Out of all on-chain detection tools, I believe On-Chain Checker is already the most advanced tool out there in terms of accuracy and depth of analysis. In terms of accuracy, I would say it can perhaps detect 90% or more of on-chain NFTs correctly.
My short-term plan is to get into at least around 95% detection accuracy and after that release the tool to the public. Every month I am saying it will be released within weeks. But let's just say for now that it will be released when it’s done.
For long-term plans, I have a couple of very interesting ideas where I could start extending / deepening the tool. But at this point I am really just hyper focused on getting the core detection functionality to the level that I feel it can provide utility on this one important feature of on-chain NFT detection.
Oh my. Such a juicy question!
By far one of the most thought provoking questions is: are Autoglyphs really on-chain?
I invite everyone who thinks they have fully understanding of what consists of on-chain art and what does not to answer that question. And once you know the answer, let me know as well as I really don’t know what the answer is!
I have definitely been super active as a JPG Canon curator and, oh boy, I gotta tell you it has taken A LOT of time to go through all these materials!
Perhaps the biggest reason I have gotten so much pleasure out of this process is that the JPG Onchain Canon has exposed me to a lot of new collections that others have proposed and think are on-chain. And I have needed to challenge myself outside of my comfort zone of what I believe is on-chain on assessing them.
Circling back to answer your question:
To me personally, curation is important as it allows me to sort of explore and define what on-chain art is. By doing the curation, I force myself to personally interact with the on-chain NFTs, allowing me to ideally discover the artistic content in much richer ways. Especially with on-chain art it holds true that what you can see is just one part of the art. Or even so that what you see is not at all the art, just a representation or a facade of the art.
Let me give you an example. It was the JPG Onchain Canon curation that led me for the first time to fully reproduce Deafbeef (by 0xDEAFBEEF) audio and visuals from the on-chain data. The whole process of retrieving and decoding the C program that you then need to compile and execute to generate the sounds (and visuals), gives you a whole new level of appreciation to the art. Plus it makes you consider what the art is in the first place.
Curation in the NFT space in general is of course super important too. A single curator cannot do miracles alone. But we as curators and art appreciators together can jointly create this social fabric of art discourse that we can then use to navigate and assess this complex space.
Terraforms by Mathcastles is definitely a super interesting on-chain art project. I especially love the way how the individual tokens are not just isolated pieces, but instead, all tokens are spatially connected to form this sort of “invisible” 3D structure. The smart contracts on it are also deeply fascinating reads.
Shackled Genesis by Spectra.art collective is another fascinating project. The contract itself contains a full 3D renderer that can fully render the art entirely using EVM. The amount of gas it uses is insane and the token art is semi-regularly broken on marketplaces. But it's a true boundary pushing project on what is possible with on-chain NFTs.
These two come up from the top of my head and I sort of keep coming back to them a lot. But lots of others could be mentioned as well.
Perhaps for all of us cryptoart lovers out there, when you look into some new NFT collection next time ask yourself this question: do you think that this piece of art could have been done without a blockchain? If the answer is no, then perhaps consider if that particular piece of art is that special in the first place or if it just uses a blockchain as a medium for trading alone!
Thanks for reading! 👋 Swing by the JPG Discord to see what else Tokenfox and the rest of the JPG community have been up to lately 📸