Decentralized Arts #5 | September 20
BanklessDAO weekly NFT and cryptoart newsletter.
Dear Bankless Nation,
The relationship between DAOs and NFTs are interconnected and always evolving. In this week’s newsletter we explore the relationship between Rarible, one of the most famous NFT marketplaces, and its DAO, as well as future developments.
We also interview Grehale, the artist of the week, and conclude with the second part of Anamorphosis, which continues to tell the story of the intertwining link between Art and Technology.
Welcome to Decentralized Arts.
This is the official NFT newsletter of the BanklessDAO. If you were a Premium Member of the Bankless Newsletter as of May 1st, 2021, you have been subscribed to this newsletter at launch. To unsubscribe, edit your settings here.
Artist of the Week
🧑🎨 Artist: Grehale.eth
🏦 Auction Type: Open Edition
💰 Price: 0.017 ETH
bDAO: How did you become a crypto artist?
Grehale: Having always been an avid doodler, and always wanting to spend all of my time making art, I made sure from a young age I was always going to be doing something with it. After studying design, in the early/mid 2000’s I was a print and digital designer for an upcoming advertising agency working for global clients. Whilst doing this I also became obsessed with tattoos and getting tattooed, so then I decided to pursue that, which fueled the doodling habit even more, this time on people’s skin. In 2017, I became utterly obsessed with Ethereum and started reading about it all of the time. I have never been great with code, so I was always kind of sad that my skillset as an artist didn’t let me contribute more towards the Ethereum community, so it’s great that now I have the opportunity to make NFT’s!
bDAO: What does cryptoart mean to you?.
Grehale: For me cryptoart would be art pertaining to either the grander themes of the crypto mission: the idea of spreading decentralisation across the globe and bringing all of the benefits to millions of disenfranchised people; or, in my case, the more mundane and everyday aspects of a life on the frontier of internet money. I like the early culture of crypto investing, the ramen days, the moonboi memes, and the general silliness that was heart warming during doubtful spells and exhilarating when things were going well.
bDAO: What evolution do you see in the world of cryptoart?
Grehale: I think we will continue to see more diverse aesthetics aside from just the obviously digital 3D rendered stuff that seems to be rife at the moment. If these will indeed be the trappings of our homes in the metaverse, I, for one, will be collecting pieces that look more like the stuff I would have on my wall in the physical world. Simple bold shapes with a hand made aesthetic.
bDAO: What do you think about the combination of cryptoart and DAOs?
Grehale: My experience so far in BanklessDAO has been great and everyone I’ve spoken to from other DAOs has been amazing and so focused on collaboration, which is something that’s very close to my heart. I even run my tattoo shop in the real world as a collective, so I can really relate to this mix!
bDAO: Tell us about the works we are dropping this week.
Grehale: As I said above, I’m not really your grand idealist thinker, I don’t think it’s my place to try and visualise the brainchilds of greater minds. I’m just a humble doodler, trying to pinpoint moments from everyday life that I can find myself in, and maybe you can find yourself in them too. A daydream of prices rocketing to space, or a day of browsing the web and getting to grips with new aspects of the world around Ethereum.
Curated NFT News
OpenSea admits that one of its employees was involved in NFT insider trading
OpenSea, the largest NFT marketplace, launched an internal investigation last week after Nate Chastain, Head of Product, used confidential information to purchase NFTs before they were featured on the front page of OpenSea, then selling them off for a heavy profit.
Nate used different accounts to buy the NFTs and then transferred the profits back to his main account and has allegedly made over 19 ETH.
The disclosure came after Twitter user @ZuwuTV exposed this practice. It started as an outrage in the community that led to OpenSea admitting the insider trading. Devin Finzer, OpenSea’s CEO, stated later that the company requested and accepted the resignation of an employee for the organisation. He didn’t specifically say that it was Nate, but then Nate updated his Twitter account and it now reads “Past: @Opensea”. So, it suggests he is no longer an employee with the marketplace.
OpenSea added that the incident was “incredibly disappointing” and it has now implemented policies banning its staff from buying or selling collectibles before they are featured or promoted on the platform and from using confidential information to buy or sell any NFTs “whether available on the OpenSea platform or not.”
David Cronenberg shot a one-minute film with his daughter Caitlin, tokenized in a NFT on SuperRare. In "The Death of David Cronenberg," the director is dressed in a robe, looking into the camera and a motionless figure in a bed, which turns out to be the artist's own corpse.
Q&A with RARIBLE DAO
The Rarible marketplace (Rarible.com) is a separate entity from the Rarible DAO, but they do have a working relationship. While hatched from the same origins, Rarible’s marketplace has completely migrated onto the newly announced Rarible Protocol as a free-standing app, governed by the Rarible DAO.
Because the marketplace is now running on the DAO-governed Rarible Protocol, it will be susceptible to decisions voted on by the DAO related to protocol parameters. For example, the protocol is currently zero-fee, a parameter set by the DAO, which could change in the future and impact the marketplace.
It is important to note that while the marketplace and protocol are two separate entities, they both firmly believe in a community-driven, decentralized network to govern the protocol’s parameters.
The Governance of Rarible DAO
The Rarible DAO is composed of valuable members within the NFT community—from developers to thought leaders—who hold ownership and decision-making rights over the Rarible Protocol.
DAO members earn governing rights through $RARI, the DAO’s governance token. 75,000 tokens are distributed every week, with 55% going to the apps built on the Rarible Protocol, and 45% directly to the DAO treasury to pay for operations and growth efforts.
The DAO members use $RARI tokens to vote on a wide variety of topics, including changes made to $RARI distribution, hiring talent, awarding grants to the projects building on top of the protocol, funding a working group, and much more.
Rarible DAO currently uses Snapshot + Multisig governance, and plan to go on-chain with some form of delegation in the near future.
RARIBLE DAO and the DAOsphere
Many of Rarible DAO’s contributing members are a part of other DAOs, and some of the projects building on this protocol are also transitioning to DAOs as well. At this time, Rarible DAO does not have any formal partnerships with other DAOs.
RARIBLE ON L2
Rarible DAO is working on integrating Flow blockchain–which is not an L2, obviously, but can be considered a scalable solution. They're also working on a Polygon integration, and considering other EVM compatible solutions like Moonbeam and ZkEVM. In general, it looks like zkRollups are a better fit for NFTs, since they have shorter withdrawal times compared to Optimistic Rollups.
The Rarible.com marketplace is constantly evolving. Rarible DAO has recently announced several product feature upgrades based on user feedback. They’re pleased to have improved our filtering capabilities so that users can filter NFTs by collection, sale type (fixed price, timed auction, open for offers), price range and traits. They also introduced a “My Bids” tab so that users can monitor the history of their bids in a single spot.
In the coming weeks and months Rarible.com will introduce:
Collection statistics and other discovery enhancements for collectors
Generative art tool
L2 solution integration
Flow blockchain integration
RARIBLE Platform Predicted Growth
Rarible is gearing up towards an increase in business activations in the NFT space, following the successful drops of such notable companies and individuals like Twitter, Floyd Mayweather, and Utah Jazz. They’re also anticipating increased activity on chains alternative to ETH, since high gas prices remain a barrier.
Apart from that, they’re looking forward to the further development of “actionable” NFTs that exist as a part of larger ecosystems and require user interaction with them–like Pak's Lost Poets, Mutant Apes, and Loot; where NFT is not just a media, but an interactable on-chain asset.
Kouros: What will be the influence of the introduction of the Rarible Protocol?
Rarible: The Rarible Protocol has been introduced to simplify the go-to-market process for NFT projects and ideas of any level of complexity by providing a toolkit for businesses and developers. The protocol offers a robust technology stack that does most of the back-end lifting of creating a marketplace, storefront, or any other application, allowing teams to save overhead in terms of dev resources and time. Furthermore, Rarible Protocol users can benefit from a wide, interconnected ecosystem of projects that includes the Rarible.com marketplace, among others.
Being open-source and community governed, the protocol is set to foster continuous NFT innovation and push the space forward. There are already 30+ teams building on top of the Rarible Protocol, and we expect to see more businesses and teams creating customized NFT experiences of an entirely new level in the coming months.
Kouros: Does Rarible intend to enter the metaverse wearables market that is currently happening on L2?
Rarible: We totally are! As soon as we start supporting an L2 solution, we would love to see these projects on Rarible. We've already developed a Royalty Registry contract that allows project owners to register royalties for their projects and monetize presence on Rarible. DM @rarible on Twitter to learn more.
Kouros: What is the Rarible mission?
Rarible: At its core, Rarible is on a mission to unlock open, universal creativity. We bring together creators, collectors and consumers at the intersection of culture and creative innovation focused on opening up the NFT market. Rarible is unifying the NFT ecosystem via its end to end offering, from our expansive NFT Marketplace to the decentralized Rarible Protocol, paving the way for the global digital ownership economy.
Anamorphosis - 1 Clockwork Bonsai
Featured by G.Contro
It is not possible for someone to prosecute innocent victims in the name of art, genius or non-genius!
Chief Inspector Wadeword is shocked. At his feet, in the glimmer of the fire, lie the motionless bodies of some men and women. The waxy white faces, the stiffness of vampires surprised in their daytime rest. But they are not dead, they float in the fog of a hypnotic trance.
This is how "The Productions of Time" ends, a fiction-thriller novel that the British writer John Brunner delivers to the press in 1967. The innocent victims in question, strange as it may seem, are professional actors involved in the development of an “avant-garde” theatrical piece under the guidance of the disturbing Manuel Delgado, an Argentine playwright who—as such—in the England of the 1960s was to appear cloaked in esotism. In that specific spacetime, the theatrical language of the Channel is deconstructing and rebuilding under the sign of experimentation and political irreverence, the socio-generational fracture and proto-punk aesthetics. A telluric movement that goes well beyond the monumental Look Back in Anger by John Osborne, or the epic of the pinteresque, and collects the fruits sown already in the previous decade by the Theater Workshop of Littlewood and McCall, by the English Stage Company of George Devine, by the works of engagé playwrights such as Arnold Wesker—creator of Center 42–or those of John Arden and Edward Bond in the forge of the Royal Court Theater. Sirens that a smart man like Brunner could not ignore ...
Brunner, right. Let's go back to Delgado and his scenic score. The first thing we notice is that the situation seems to follow a pattern, a recurring narrative mold. The Productions of Time cast was locked up in a claustrophobic Ten Little Indians situation—halfway between Buñuel's El ángel exerminador (1962) and Neil Simon's Murder By Death (1976)—inside the rooms of an ancient building that, it will be discovered, it is secretly infiltrated by technologies designed to manipulate and record the most intimate sensations and emotions of the performers, to stimulate the most disturbed and antisocial traits of their personalities. The cliché is found intact in a more recent hideous entertainment find such as Drew Goddard's The Cabin in The Woods (2011), but echoes in Peter Weir's iconic The Truman Show (1998) or in the super-cult TV show The Prisoner (1967) by and with Patrick McGoohan. Human beings, dropped into a set with a naturalistic but actually artificial appearance, become the heterodirect agents of a staging, a recyclable tableaux vivant in the form of a show then offered to the eyes of an external and invisible audience. A painting that would delight Skinner's neo-behaviorism.
So is this the fate of the relationship between art and technology?
Here is a ground to be probed cautiously and on tiptoe, because in truth none of the terms of the relationship is sufficiently clear in its boundaries and contents. What art is,and what technology, is in no way circumscribable in a priori assertions (if not through an exercise of intellectual arrogance) nor in the blaze of instant intuition. But even more problematic is the conceptual summary that unites the two extremes: the word relationship. We advance on tiptoe, we said, asking ourselves the necessary questions from time to time. The first one that presents itself under our noses has the profile of a provocation that we inflict on ourselves: why start a discourse on art by drawing on the forms and findings of mass culture—a science fiction novel and a handful of old cine products -TV—caught in its most trivial manifestations? Doesn't the particular human activity we are approaching have its own specific, its own pragmatic space and its own semantic-syntax in some way prefixed? Does it not refer to a community of speakers-referents-receivers prescribed by as many socially established codes?
It is an apparently ancillary question to which, for now, we are not given a way to fully answer, but which we will not drop anyway. Art and technology communicate also, and perhaps above all, through a network of linguistic choices, of occasional material correspondences, of arbitrary examples. To reconstruct this evanescent fabric we will take the path that best follows our object: we will try to tell without describing, showing without demonstrating.
In March 2021, the artists Oriana Persico and Salvatore Iaconesi exhibit their "Antithesis" in Turin: a singular dyad that connects, with cables and sensors, an agave to an artificial intelligence and the latter to the financial market, in a sort of digital-global cyber-vegetable synthesis. If the biometric oscillations of the plant indicate that an unfavorable climate change is taking place, the electronic mind consequently invests in “green-oriented” companies as if to bring the imbalance that has been created back into line. A synergistic relationship that does not establish any corresponding aesthetic fact, one would say. But which, on closer inspection, is not entirely foreign to the "scientia cognitionis sensitivae" theorized by Baumgarten in the eighteenth century. Does technology really weave a virtuous relationship with the living? Or has the plant become the actress of a "forward-looking drama" like Brunner's characters?
Bankless DAO NFT Updates
Last week’s weekly showcase numbers: The Prisoner's Dilemma NFT by Are you Rabbit? made a total of 2.835 ETH in sales.