Colborn Bell, Founder Of Museum Of Crypto Art, Discusses Vision & Impact On Crypto Artists And Web3
Our community was honored to have Co-Founder and Director of Museum of Crypto Art Colborn Bell on NEWFORUM. The Museum of Crypto Art is a Metaverse museum that lives in virtual reality and exhibits across digital worlds. It is a global foundation, governance vehicle, and innovation lab working to preserve and honor crypto art and its creators.
During the podcast, Colborn talked about the mission of MOC△ and its impact in space. He also discussed the concept of decentralized curation and collective philosophy, defined the difference between NFTs and Crypto Art, and what it means to display work in the Metaverse vs. IRL.
What led Colborn to transition to Web3 to become the Founder of MOC△?
Colborn had the opportunity to run the U.S family office for a foreign family that was more angel investing venture capital, generally around energy. During that time, he stumbled upon Ethereum, and the idea of global prediction markets took every last dollar he had, investing in Ethereum with the needed skill set to plunge into during the boom in 2017.
Colborn added that that was where he first came across projects like Mooncats, CryptoKitties, and Virtual Land with Decentraland was playing around with the additional app.
In January 2020, NFTs started to pop up back on his radar, especially with the Metaverse and Gaming.
“In February of 2020, I was introduced to SuperRare as a potential equity investment never did that deal but in the due diligence, began collecting on that site, and by April of 2020, after collecting a fair number of pieces and having conversations with the artists and understanding their philosophy and reason for being in the space, and why NFTs were so powerful for creatives, the museum was born…” — Colborn
Colborn also explained why MOC△ puts forward a broad representation of perspectives meant to upend our sense of who we are, posing two questions:
What is art? and who decides?
“ I think we’ve seen a traditional and contemporary art canon that is very much steeped in white eurocentric male, and these are the voices that continue to be propagated and upheld generally; because there is a market of incentive to do so, so the gatekeepers of that markets continue to prop up that narrative, and while Web3 has mirrored this in many ways it doesn’t have to be that way right, so Ethereum and Blockchains in general as open access and permissionless networks allow the onboarding of global creativity…” — Colborn
Colborn expressed that his goal as a collector has always been to look to the outskirts, marginalized voices, and places where new and novel creativity manifests.
He wants a broader representation of what art is and to celebrate the fringe of art making and the ability of collectors to become advocates on behalf of these artists, to let other people know and share their stories.
Hear more about the founding story of MOC△, the vision, mission, and impact on Crypto artists in this episode of NEWFORUM. He also discussed the differences between NFTs and Crypto art.
What does Colborn this about a fully decentralized curation? Is it possible, or is this something we are to look forward to in the future of the collaborative Creator Economy?
“I think we embrace the experiment as much as anybody. We are a foundation mandated to build public goods for the Metaverse. We have a free and easy-to-use what we call MOC△ multi-pass, which allows anybody to upload either work they’ve created or works collected into a community collection. This community collection, in my mind, serves as our collective subconscious of what people care about, what people are willing to share, what they want to put into the museum…” — Colborn
Colborn added that when few discovery tools outside of marketplaces are so attached to “dollar signs” and values, the community collection is a remarkable place he goes to discover new works and new artists.
He further expressed that this is because things tend to pop out and catch his eye, and it is his portal to see what people care about and are sharing.
What does collective philosophy mean? Does the DAO narrative fall under this philosophy?
“I would say we are again in such an early stage with experimenting on how to self-govern and organize. Generally, power within DAOs flows to a few kinds of key decision-makers, which everybody follows. There is certainly a scarcity of time in a market that operates at a feverish pace 24/7 365, so I think governance is a big question, but it’s not a question about how we build tools to empower people to share, showcase and lift one another…” — Colborn
According to Colborn, this is what they’re focused on at MOC△ through their multi-pass — how that curation tech feeds into their room floor ecosystem; and how you can take those 3D architectural objects that are fitted with your collection and deploy them across Metaverses.
He further explained that this was always at the core identity of the museum, putting on artists’ solo shows. This core identity has drawn people to them; there were very few outside voices advocating on behalf of the artists, what they were doing, and the types of works they were creating. It would take a couple of weeks to spin up a solo show, but artists can now do this in five to ten minutes.
“ For me, this architecture is also a unique piece of artwork. It speaks to a diversified landscape and a world that is not only filled with beautiful novel architecture but unique artwork where we are not the sole curators anymore; the museum exists in a multi-nodal structure that mirrors how Blockchain networks are formed then all of these individuals become kind of advocates ambassadors and curators of something that points to a larger and collective truth.” — Colborn
Colborn further defines the collective philosophy and how it applies to MOC△ in his full interview. He also touched on understanding IRL and the Metaverse;
- What are they, and how do they impact meetings?
- Colborn also explained what the future holds, how he imagines the spaces to mirror the real-life experience and how MOC△ transfers the IRL museum ambiance into the Metaverse museum without losing its essence.
- Speaking about the Metaverse vs. IRL, how do these two intersect for MOC△ and the future of MOC△? Colborn gave us a glimpse of what is to come for MOC△.
Colborn wrapped up the insightful and purpose-driven conversation by sharing what keeps him motivated as a Web3 Founder and what he looks forward to the most in the future of Web3 and Crypto.
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