Part 1: Twin Flames
Over the last month and a half I took a particular interest in NFT photography.
The overwhelming consensus was that Twin Flames by Justin Aversano was the first collection I should be looking at.
Up to this point, my general framework for NFTs was the below:
Photography in general sits right there in the very end of the left spectrum. But it was agreed that Twin Flames was recognized as something very legit.
Was it the subject? Was it the story? Was purely the art itself?
No. No. No.
A Crypto Native Photography
What is uniquely enabled by NFTs as a technological and economical coordination tool?
This is very clear for generative art. As I first laid out in “Fingerprints of the Blockchain”, the art being native to the medium is a great indicator that it is truly “legit”. Over the last few months, generative art went through an even more exuberant boom.
But photography simply being tokenized (and mostly poorly tokenized, with shared contracts) can feel miles apart and not really native to this medium. Why was Twin Flames different?
What made Justin “one of us”?
The answer is Community.
A relentless community building effort took place on Twin Flames Discord over the last few months. Justin’s community organizer skills were learned through SaveArtSpace. You may know SaveArtSpace for organizing the Punks billboards in Miami, NYC, London.
What became uniquely enabled by the NFT Stack — Ethereum + Twitter + Discord — was the building of a true community around a collection and an artist.
After some time, it’s pretty easy to spot true community. Just spend a few days on Discord and you’ll learn why. People share silly memes, deep insights, support each other, laugh and cry together. Any time of day or night you’ll see someone posting something. You can’t fake community.
In a way what Justin did with Twin Flames transcended photography. Twin Flames became social tokens, ownership in a community materialized. That was not possible before the NFT stack.
We see the same dynamics happening for some generative art collections like Snowfro’s Chromie Squiggles, Art Blocks project zero: they’ve transcended the art. People see them as social tokens. Art Blocks became more than a generative art platform, it’s mainly a community. Even a Squiggle DAO was built.
The Power of Community
The most evident displaying the power of community building happened when Sotheby’s opened up a space for the public to include an artwork in its “Natively Digital” auction. Justin managed to get Twin Flames #49, the only twinless twin, and the most important piece in the collection, to be part of it.
The piece was minted as an ERC-721 token (the only TF like this) and, after being purchased, it was fractionalized on Fractional.
Part 2 comes tomorrow.