Building an Online Gallery for NFT Art with Maria Paula from JPGSep 15, 2021
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Host: Hey everybody, welcome back to The Unstoppable Podcast. I'm your host, Diana Chen and I'm here today with our guest, Maria Paula. She is the co-founder of JPG which is an on-chain gallery that is created and curated by users. It stands for Juried Protocol Galleries, I believe if I'm not mistaken. Welcome Maria, thank you so much for being here today.
Maria Paula: Hi, thank you so much for having me.
Host: Of course. So before we dive into JPG, which by the way, is it pronounced J-P-G or JPEG?
Maria Paula: It's JPEG.
Host: You got my back. So before we dive into JPEG, I probably should have clarified that before we started recording. I am curious to know a little bit more about your background. So I know that you are like one of the OG's in the NFT space. You got in before most like 99.9% of people even knew what an NFT is. Or maybe before NFTs were even in existence when they were still called crypto art or whatever they were called before NFT became a term.
Tell me about your crypto journey, like how did you get into crypto in the first place? How did you get in NFTs and like, how did you start learning about all of this?
Maria Paula: So I, I think I got into crypto around 2016, but I officially started working in crypto in 2017 as employee Number 3, at Web3 Foundation, Polkadot. And after some months there, I actually discovered the Ethereum Community and completely fell in love with it. You know, at the time that we were building Polkadot, the, the Community was very small so I didn't know that there was such power be behind Crypto Community. And then I discovered Ethereum and I was completely my mind blown there.
So after that, I was like, you know, I really need a job on Ethereum. I had a job, but I needed one on Ethereum and I applied to one of my favorite projects at the time that was Golem, I'm really interested on Decentralized infrastructure and got the job. And, you know, at Golem, I was immediately thrown into community work. And one of the very first assignments was going to Tokyo, for the first grant giving ceremony at back then when we could have live events. For the very first grant giving ceremony of Ethereum Community Fund, another organization that’s no, no longer there but, you know, it was big at the time.
You know, in a really, like super serendipitous sort of moment, in the early morning at the Hyatt, in Tokyo, the same one that they filmed Lost in Translation. So it's—it was like a really weird sort of encounter. I met Matt Condon that was in a hallway by himself. And I started talking to him and he told me what he was working on. That was, you know, very early work on NFTs. He was getting a grant. He was one of the first grantees.
And as soon as he explained me what an NFT was, I was really taken because I have a really big interest in art. I've always had it. I actually moved all the way from Argentina to Berlin to participate more actively in the current cultural scene. So I was really enthralled by these and by the fact that, you know, there's a lot of opaque instances in the provenance of artworks and the certification. So that's the first thing that interested me.
Of course, I thought, you know, the collectible aspect was also super fun. And Matt, since he is, you know, the grandfather of NFTs had already explained me that NFT could interoperate and do all of those things like very future vision for 2018. And I was like, mmh, maybe, you know, this is worth exploring. I continue working with ECF. And one day, we were, you know, at this lag and I was like you know what, guys? I actually want to do the NFT Summit. And everyone was like, this is wild idea, but let's do it.
And in, in February, you know, oh, in October 2018, in San Francisco, we did the first NFT Summit. We had Matt. We had the other Matt, Matt Stephenson from PaperclipDAO explaining how NFTs like intertwine with open source research. We had Tara Tan from IDEO. We had, you know, Elena Nadolinski that's now doing an amazing project, so many OG’s. And also we have Jonathan Mann (Song a Day Man) singing the first NFT song which was really fun. Yeah, you can maybe put it in show notes or something because I'm not going to sing it to you because my singing voice is horrible.
And then actually, from there, one of my really good friends is an Art Curator. And she also heard from NFTs from me and she didn't think I was insane. She actually thought I was—it was worth exploring. She brought in a really good idea, you know, starting writing some kind of Paper about sort of the intersection between Block chain and Art, and the practical use cases. And we started, you know, sort of the research journey, while doing—already curating exhibitions within our own festival, IRL festivals in Berlin that included NFTs.
In 2019, I published with Stina and Fanny Lakoubay was also still on an NFT’s, the very first academicish like paper and it has become sort of a reference point and we're really proud of that. It was very early, you know, we started conversations in January 2019 and published in April. And then this year I was actually I, I just, you know, finished publishing the 2021 Paper with, with my co-founders at the Art Department—at the Art Department of Decentralization. And I felt like I needed to do something with all this knowledge and all this research and turn it into a business.
I started tinkering with a lot of ideas about, you know, Curation DAOs, and Critique DAOs and, you know, any other thing and, you know, things involving the business model. But I couldn't quite put my finger on anything. And yeah, at that time, I was also texting Trent, my co-founder at JPEG. And I was sending him just like, cool, like, Artworks all the time, you know.
And he was like, you know, what I'm, I'm thinking about putting together this gallery and I'm like, I'm down for it. You know, I'm sort of at the same stage and then yeah. He introduced me to some, the other co-founder and yes, we started jamming and, you know, everything happened.
Host: That's, that's is quite the story. And I, I think like the word serendipitous is like the word that so many people can use about like, how they got into crypto. I think like, when I look at my journey too like, there's so many serendipitous moments where like all the right things just happened at the right time in the right place. And that's really like the only secret to like how it happened. You know, there was no trick or strategy behind it or anything was just serendipitous.
And then yeah, like some of the OG’s that you called out Matt Condon, of course, like he, we had him on the podcast, he was Episode 70, if people want to go back and listen to that. And then we had Matt Stephenson on as well, Episode 62. And then just had Jonathan Mann on recently, Episode 88. I, I sort of regret not having him sing a song on the podcast, I think that was a huge, missed opportunity. But you can go check out all of his songs and you can buy them as NFTs now as well, which is pretty exciting.
Okay. So going back to going back to your journey, so you meet Matt in the hallway of a hotel and he explains NFTs to you for the first time. And it sort of just clicks? Like how, how would you explain NFTs to people today that still don't understand what it is?
Maria Paula: I like to explain them from the art perspective because that's the perspective that I'm the strongest at. But, you know, I'm also really getting into the whole, you know, explaining how the, you know, how the usual collector goes about collecting one thing or the other. Doesn't matter if it's Saltshakers or, you know, like Pokémon cards or NFTs. You know, there is something about collecting that it's very into human nature.
And then, you know, I also try to think about how to explain it in the light of Punks selling for ridiculous amounts of money. And I realized that actually, you know, at the very core NFTs and any other means of exchange, you know, means of exchange have always been historically part of the human nature. Whether they, you know, whether, I don't know how long ago. It was about trading spices or, you know, trading, you know, gold or anything, you know, anything that can be traded. It's about exchanging, it's about building a relationships through the exchange as well. And NFTs are you know might be the next big thing to actually exchange with them with build relationships with. So you know that's the way that I like to explain you know the whole like craze about you know why are the prices so high.
It's because people assign value to things that, you know, people assign a value to things. They tend to do that all the time, you know. So maybe NFTs are the next medium of exchange. Maybe they're not, I don't know, you know, I don't like—I don't have all the answers, but I, I think they have a really good chance of being that, you know. Beyond the artistry, beyond the collective aspect and beyond the, you know, the technical capabilities or finality.
The fact that people are transacting JPGs and building communities around the JPG, you know, can be the next bank—banks well you know literal banks at the—at the very first start. So yeah, I'm trying to explain to them that way and people seem to like that analogy.
Host: Yeah, that's a good point 'cause a lot of people, you know, give NFTs grief because they say NFTs don't have an inherent value. It's all just whatever value people want to assign to it, but that's a sort of truth to like most things in life, right? It's like we assign—like things only have value because we assign value to them like people only think that banks, you know, hold the power because we have assigned them this power.
Maria Paula: Yeah. And in the Middle Ages they were actually literal wooden banks or you know I don't like cumin, but actually, cumin was part of the spice exchange. So it's okay that I don't like it, but you can't deny that at some point, cumin was part of finances as well.
Host: Yeah. Yeah. Exactly very true. So you—okay. So you—okay. So you have this idea for like an online NFT art gallery. Basically, you meet up with Trent and Sam you guys jam on it—tell—like tell me the story from there, like where did it go from there?
Maria Paula: It, it was wonderful, you know. Have always said that if I made it in crypto, the only thing that I wanted to do was to become an art collector. And then open my house, for everyone to see like once a day because there's like things like that in Berlin and I, I just like that. And I was, you know, I just doing my journey whiles working in infrastructure and you know just this NFT thing was on the side. I hadn't really bought anything.
And then, Trent comes up after we share like 100 links, and he tells me, you know, why don't we do an online gallery? And I was like, okay, maybe my gallery was actually like not on a building, you know. I don't know and it was so exciting. And we joined the discord, we started talking. The first call with the guys was absolutely fantastic, you know, everything was flowing, you know, I was like hey guys you know, I just visited a museum yesterday and I think we should do a gift shop.
And they were like this super fun, you know. And we started jamming about curators and these and that. And everything else was, you know, sort of also happened quite in a serendipitous way, you know.
I started writing some copies for what we had at the start, you know, the gallery. And I wasn't comfortable with, you know, calling everything gallery, gallery, gallery because I didn't want to use so many terms from the art world because, you know, in the end NFTs are much more than art, you know. They can also be gaming assets or whatever.
So I decided to use the word registry. Just like it was on my head and then, you know, like a day later, Trent comes at, at us and he has had an epiphany, I remembered a token Curated Registries. And probably I was thinking of the same, but, you know, I was just rare fixing copy. So, you know, and then from there we, we started evolving this idea because actually, it makes sense, you know.
Token Curated Registries for those that don't know were, you know, were born in 2018. Everyone thought that they were the next hot thing, you know. It was about curating the ERC-20s. It never took off, but actually, there's a million reasons why it makes sense in the context of curating ERC-721s and 1155. And actually it can become labor to do this. It can—it can be part of, you know, incentive structures, where you would curate certain tokens or, you know, you would have a token for curating the whole list of NFTs. But it can also become labor, People can become real curators.
You know, maybe like maybe in the future it will be full-fledged jobs. I've—also—I don't know, you know, I'm just at the start of all of these. But it was, you know, everything clicked really. And very, very soon and in an incredible way Sam started learning a lot about protocols and how a protocol is constructed. So we were able to bring a lot of the values from, you know, the Web3 movement that I have been involved for such a long time into the protocol.
So, you know, you know, we started shedding the opinion of the—of the—of the protocol, we started shedding the permission layers. So you know right now the protocol is completely opened and—so right now it's closed because we are casting. But it's going to be completely open and permission-less and people would be able to curate any ERCs, any NFT that they want.
So, you know, we sort of started merging into like these Web3 natives, you know, new media protocol that is now. But it took sort—it took sort, sort of like a thinking process and a transformation process throughout the whole thing. You know, we came from—Trent was still really on into the file. Sam was totally into art. I had, you know, an infrastructure background but I'm—I also have an art background and you know, more like block chain art as well.
And we all merged you know into having all these values and, you know pillars from Web3 and combining them with what actually we wanted to build.
Host: Yeah for sure. So explain how people can use JPG. So like the three main categories of people that can use, I guess are like the collectors, the curators, and the creators. And so for each of those groups, like if I am an art collector for instance, can I just go on JPG and open like my own gallery with the NFT art pieces that I hold?
Maria Paula: So you can do that. Basically those three users profiles that you—that you've mentioned, yes they are existing on JPG. But they are not necessarily like definite because nothing should be definite and we shouldn't dictate the profile of each—of users, you know, we are very open. So basically, you know, how can you use JPG? And it's in any way that you think that creating a sub-registry for your—for a borrowed collection and newly minted collection, your own collection, that's, you know, that's the use that you would give to the project.
And because you can't create many sub-registries, so, you know, maybe you are a collector, that has a very large collection of let's say art blocks. But you are also very much into a parallel NFTs.
So, you know, you want, you know, you want to have like some sort of like cute art blogs, exhibition, but then, you know, you want to give prominence to your parallel NFTs because that's where your collection is. That's, you know, where your interest is. So, you know, maybe you, you know, you would want to curate things that don't necessarily belong to you as well. And, you know, who knows that if the same collector-curator in the future, you know, teams up with a couple of cool people around and they organize a drop. And they can do that too, you know.
The cool thing about JPG is that it's actually—it's a core registry, it's user-generated. So that means that you are—you import token data, you don't import any NFT to the registry. And then that registry starts building as a chronological list of NFTs that are within the JPG protocol for curation. And it's a new primitive for the space.
Then from there the curators that can be either collectors or it doesn't matter, they can, you know, grab any NFT they want and curate them into sub-registries. And those sub registries are on record of exhibition. Of course, you know, at last layer comes, of course, the, the, you know the interface part where you can either choose one or four interfaces. We have developed some in house with amazing designers or you can, you know, bring your own interface you know, maybe like maybe we onboard a really big art gallery. And they have, you know, they want everything on the on the—on the website but they want a launching record of their exhibition.
So that's where the strongest point of JPEG comes in. Or you know, maybe someone has a podcast like you and they want to offer a in the website of the podcast, a bunch of things, you know, episodes, lives of their favorite NFTs. So you will be able to create your own register in your own sub registry with your least favorite NFTs and just show it on your website. So it's, it's really versatile.
Host: That, okay. I was going to ask like, what are the like, I guess, primary ways that you see people using it? So like you could literally just display it on your website. I guess you could have like—I, I was just thinking as you were talking like you could have, you know, an in-person party somewhere and have like a big screen and display your gallery on the screen. And so people have sort of this like art gallery experience while they're just you know, partying at your house or something.
Maria Paula: Exactly.
Host: That sort of goes back to your original idea of like wanting to open a house --
Maria Paula: Yeah.
Host: —to --
Maria Paula: Yeah.
Host: —show people your arts.
Maria Paula: And at the same time and, you know, after the lights are out and the monitors are out, then you would have that record, you know. So there's, there's actually one, one of the people that we're discussing with they want to curate an exhibition in their own really beautiful venue. And at the same time they want --- they want their launching record to start, you know, there'll be more into, you know, the, the Web3 elements of the whole NFT ecosystem.
So—and then, you know, we, we also have spoken to a lot of NFT curators or, you know, people that assemble different exhibitions or art advisors. That you know, sometimes when they are assembling an exhibition, they actually probably need to either purchase the NFT or they need to, you know, create physical—like, you know, physical to make sure that you know, those, those NFT's are not sold before the exhibition with JPEG and having the registry of what happened and the work that they have done.
You know, like, like this crypto Bank A, B and C, have been curated on JPEG at this time, this is a transaction that proves it, you know. And then if they sell, they have the receipts to sell to people and those receipts can't be forged or anything. And they also—it's also important because we're building NFTs that are meant to last, right? You know, right now, we are also solving the, you know, the storage of the digital media via R Wave and other permanent storage solutions.
We have Theorem and other block chains to certify provenance, to certify the existence of that NFT and the ownership, but we don't have anything that shows the path of that NFT through, you know, different times in history. One of the really easy examples that comes to mind was that in 2016, Christie's did—or 18 I don't know, Christie's did these NFT Panel are now organized. And artist Robbie Barrett released some NFTs especially for the guests and he gave with super rare.
And he gave cards like physical cards, you know, like these to, to people to redeem those NFTs. Turns out, you know, people didn't won and some of them didn't redeem or lost the card. The lost Robbie's and Robbie Barrett AI new collection that was released on Christie's, is—on the Christie's event, is now worth a crazy amount of money, you know. I think the last one sold for more than half a mill.
So imagine if at the time, there would have been a, a record that was able to, you know, help people track down—help track down assistance, compare them to, you know, the, the record, anything—any, like you, you know it. You could have done a lot. So, we're building for, for long term, we're building for art history, we're building for collectible history as well. And we're building to track that to be able to help people track down all the historical milestones that are actually happening in the span of just months.
Host: Yeah, for sure. I, I just see so many—like thoughts running through my head like I see so many use case for this future. And I think the cool thing is like because you only need the transaction to curate your sub registry, You could you know, get together with a group of friends and curate something together based on the NFTs that you own. And so it would—it's not just you know, like me showing off my NFT's like maybe I don't have that many great ones, but I can get together with my friends who also have like, a few like really cool NFTs. And we can, you know, combine our collections together into this exhibition that is like way cooler than any of us could curate on our own.
Maria Paula: Right and then, you know, if you guys are, you know, still thirsty for more NFTs or if you want more, you know, prominent things or you feel that, you know, a particular NFT would fit so well, but it's, you know, none of your friends hold that. But maybe Barry and Fanth holds it or, you know, now A16 said, join fingerprints now. Maybe A16 said or fingerprints actually own one. Then borrow it, you know, import token data into JPEG and that's it. You don't need to ask them for permission, it's so cool.
Host: Yeah. Yeah.
Maria Paula: Maybe you need to be asking for permission, but just like in a social layer, right?
Host: Yeah, yeah, yeah, like, hey, heads up do you mind if I use this?
Maria Paula: Yeah, yeah, yeah.
Host: Is it okay with you, yeah.
Maria Paula: Fine thing to do, but you don't, you know, the future is permission less and it's open and that's the infrastructure that we're building. So, you know, the curation of the assets within that infrastructure should be the same and I don't see any reason why, why it shouldn't.
Host: How far do you see this going, like do you see the loove ever you know, displaying a JPEG collection?
Maria Paula: I don't see the loove displaying JPEG collection. I see—so, you know, I'm not sure what will happen. I, I want to be building for posterity, as I said. I see a lot of, you know, new and upcoming experimental art collectives wanting you know, that are going to need JPEG because they can't afford, you know, to ship pieces. They can't afford to buy NFTs and they can't afford maybe to, you know, have monitors to show the, the NFTs, but they want to do something. One good example was, you know, there were a lot of groups in, in the 60s, 70s and 80s about, you know, artists that became activists.
So, you know, it would be wonderful to have some kind of, you know, an NFT activism and have those records stored on chain and they, they would represent, you know, historical moments in time. That, that will be fantastic. You know, that's, that's actually my endgame more than—more than loove, more than anything else. And to allow new forms of experimentations, it's, yeah. It's basically that, you know, I, I'd rather support the, you know, the, the upcoming movements and we don't know what—how big and upcoming movement is going to—is going to be. So yeah, I'd rather support that.
Host: Wow, I don't even think about that as a potential use case, but yeah, I, I love that and I, I, I would love to see it go that direction as well. That also is a lot more exciting to me then you know, seeing the loove display it although that would be exciting as well.
Maria Paula: I mean, great for business. For my soul, I don't know, you know, I prefer to support small actors.
Host: That's true. Yeah, that's true. So I want to go back to something you said earlier about like NFT curation and, you know, like, we, we don't know where this is going to go, maybe could be like a full time job in the future, being an NFT art curator. This is something I've thought about more so in the context of music 'cause I don't know that much about art, to be honest.
But having grown up like, playing music and stuff, I always think, you know, like what—like it, it just seems so unfair that, you know, in order to make it big as a musician, you've got to like, have the connections with record labels. You have to have money, you have to have all these things. And I'm like, there's so many up and coming artists like on YouTube, that just don't have the resources to make it big, but they have the talent they have the skills. They just don't have the resources.
And so how cool would it be like in this Web3 world if we, just ordinary people like me and you can have a say in curating the next generation of, you know, big artists that we're going to see at concerts and we're going to hear on the radio and all of these things. So yeah, I'd love to hear your thoughts on that like if you agree with that you know from like an art perspective or a review of, you know, you think about it in like different ways.
Maria Paula: I, I do. So, you know, the way that patronage works and, you know, this has been over the 100 and 100 of years, is, you know, you find an up and coming artist, it can be Beethoven. Maybe, you know, like say that you met Beethoven when he was 15 years old and you—hey this guy has talent, but, you know, he doesn't have money. So big deal, I'm going to start the patronage. And then by, you know, combining those artists with the right circle of people or getting them visible, that's how you create, you know, you start building a career for them as well, you know, alongside their incredible talent of course.
That is obviously patronage and not curation, but I see curation as, as, you know, a complementary way of doing patronage. Whereas in patronage you actually probably need to have money, contacts or whatever. In the kind of curation that we propose at JPG, you don't need to have any of those things, maybe a little bit of money just for the - - but that's about it.
You know, maybe, you know, start off as an anon and curate an amazing exhibition through JPG. And it has up and coming artists and, you know, will you just started your own anon account and have very little - - for whatever it could - -. But you really want to do something with culture and it doesn't have to be art NFT's, you can combine different things. You can combine music, you can combine gaming assets, whatever you want.
And, you know, by simply, you know, engaging on curation and sharing and maybe tagging people on twitter, you know, something as simple as that, people see your exhibition and not only do you get elevated. By having curated these with very little to almost no money just for fees, depending on the day can be very expensive or not. Or and, you know, get others to discover NFTs. And then, you know, people tend to follow the tastemakers, so once the taste making journey of a curator starts, they should be able to elevate as well, the, the artist that they work with.
So, you know, combining different artists whether up and coming or established makes sense from that perspective because, you know, the ones with the platform will, you know, be combined with ones with little platform and that's where, you know, they, they—the smaller ones get visibility as well.
Host: Yeah, that's, that's, that's a really good point too. Something else I wanted to ask you about is because you've been in the NFT space for so long, like since the very beginning, one thing that I've started doing recently is going back and doing some NFT archeology. And digging up some of the OG projects that are still successful.
And just thinking about like why, why did these projects, you know, make it through the test of time and they're still big today. And why other projects, you know, like there's so many new NFT projects every day now and obviously like most of them—a lot of them, don't make it big like CryptoPunks or something.
So from your view like what, what is it about the projects that you've seen make it, you know, big over the course of four years that we've been, you know, seeing NFT's in this space? Like what is it about those projects? What are they—those projects have in common that like the other projects don't have, the ones that don't make it?
Maria Paula: I don't think that there is—if there is one 2017-2018 NFTT project that has made it. m I would be very curious to find out which one it is because then I would be just like buying the whole thing and speculating with it.
Host: I mean weren't, weren’t the - - from 2017 or like, Rare Pepes or Digital Zones, which is like my recent obsession?
Maria Paula: Oh yeah, but, you know, I think that the ones that are—the ones that are, you know, we can say like all of those—like all of the early projects probably made it by now. Because you know there's just so much archeology and there's—I was—I was actually discussing this, sorry Trent, but I was actually discussing this in, in my newsletter. NFT's are amazing because unlike for example - - people are not chasing the next new—the next form or the next new financial primitive, people love legacy and people respect history.
So that's why, you know, all of the—that's why I say that probably all of the projects from the early days have made it in a way or another. From those, of course, you know, you have more basic ones, you have like Ether Rocks they're just rocks. I, I still love it because of the absurdity of it all, but yeah, no artistic value, rocks, literal rocks.
And then you have others that are, you know, so conceptionally rich and like Flower Tokens that, you know, were, you know, growing in an office in Berlin. And, you know, the materials - - as well that, you know, like the concept is absolutely beautiful. And, you know, it homages a very, you know, fundamental artists in the—in the field of conceptual art, like it's - -.
So yeah, in the end, you know, the cool thing about NFT's is that people value history and legacy and archeology so, you know, that's why, why all of the NFT's from that time may make it. And also, you know, you—if you were there when ETH was very low all people were doing ICOs, then you, you know, the focus was elsewhere. Was building other stuff, was building ERC-20s and you would assume that anything that you'd build then was, you know, first of its kind which is sort of a value in, in NFT's.
Host: Yeah, I, I would say so. What are some of your favorite projects in the space today? I'm just curious.
Maria Paula: I have—well, I have so many. So I love—I love BitchCoin, like yeah, by Sarah Meyohas. It's originally I think from 2015 and it was backed by—it is a coin backed petals, rose petals. Then I love the Mutant Garden Seeders from Harm van den Dorpel as well. Those are absolutely stunning. I of course I really like anything that comes out of Ria Meyers who is an amazing conceptual artist and I'm very much into conceptual art as well so I, I really like those two.
So I, I, I have to say, I know it's sort of my own, but, but - - before is such a beautiful project. Our own, you know, rotating NFT's. And yeah, there's a few one, one that really gets a big shoutout from me because it's so much fun, is Kudzu, the foliar virus that, you know, never leaves your wallet. So you can transact it forever and just like spread it and it has no value and it still really, you know, it has no like monetary value. It's—it has a lot of value otherwise.
So yeah, those are some of my favorites and of course there's this brilliant artist that I've had the pleasure of working with, Sarah Friend and she has two really good NFT projects. One is OFF, OFF is also a multiplayer game, you buy NFT's. OFF on matic is OFF.supply in case you're curious and want to check it out. So you buy different titles of devices and then all of the whole—the whole—all holders need to hold a certain, certain number for the devices to reveal themselves.
And then there's a second project by her that is currently on display at an art show in Hamburg, and it's called Lifeforms Supply and its like Tamagotchi pets, but as NFTs also matic and you need to take care of them every day. And actually you should gift them, you shouldn't transact, so yeah, I'd like them to know.
Host: What's, what's that one called, the Tamagotchi one?
Maria Paula: Lifeforms.supply.
Host: Oh, okay. I'm going to check that out. Yeah, so when you—when you like decide, you know, which NFT's to buy and stuff, like when you see these new projects come out. Is your thought process—like what is your thought process? Is it just like do I like what this art looks like, do I like the story behind it, do I think this is going to be valuable like from a monetary perspective in the future, like what's your thought process?
Maria Paula: I usually try to dig into the concept and the story behind it more than the, you know, pictorial aspect and that's how I decide. Of course I have bought things because, you know, I wanted to flip them because I, you know we are—we have all been there. And other things I just like minted them because they were super fun. I just minted the, the first by Deafbeef and I knew like everything was going to charity. And it was just so hilarious to dig, you know, to call the numbers—the token numbers on the—on the contract and just get these very random poems or quotes and just like see if I could meet one. so I had a lot of fun with those one.
So it depends really, you know, I'm, I'm not the one that's going to go into art blocks for a job and just spend a lot of money in gas on a project that I may not get. But if the project is especially beautiful like the Lewitt Generator Generator by Mitchell Chan, I will probably try to make it.
Host: Yeah, that makes total sense. And then last question for you, where do you see NFTs being in the long run, say ten years down the line. How do you see us interacting with NFT's in our day-to-day lives?
Maria Paula: You know, I—like I have trouble seeing myself in November, everything is moving so fast and happening at the speed --
Maria Paula: —of light, that it's impossible. I, I do think that they will overtake and they will actually overtake our digital lives and they will completely change the way that we transact. Maybe not in ten years for it, you know, the, the ways that we actually transact and exchange value, but probably in 30 years it will become sort of a new means of transaction.
In the end, you know, I look at things from a sociological perspective as well and I think this will also change the way that we see the actors within the culture industry or sphere. In which, you know, we were used to seeing culture as this cube thing that was absolutely necessary for our life, but not something that you would actively invest like the general audience.
Maybe in mainstream culture yes by all means, but not in everything. You wouldn't take an active roll in raising awareness about a creator or you know, you wouldn't think about the ways that you could invest with your friends around, you know, purchasing an NFT for the future. Right now, NFT's are becoming financial instruments and cultural—they are cultural artifacts, so I think they will also reshuffle then the way we see culture and that we pay attention to culture.
Host: Yeah, 100%, I cannot wait to see that. And yeah, I totally agree with you I think I just tweeted something like one week and—one week feels like three months in NFT twitter or something like that, which is true. I mean, I can't believe like every—coming out of last week especially, I had to take the weekend off 'cause I was just like—I feel like I just got years shaved off my life trying to keep up with this stuff in one week.
Maria Paula: I am so tired, I wake up thinking of NFTs even before the boom, you know, they were starting to penetrate my dreams and it was awful, you know.
Host: Awful, awful or lovely, I mean a phobia?
Maria Paula: Awful, awful, you know, awful. I, I prefer to dream about more interesting stuff.
Host: All right, awesome, thank you Maria so much for being here, I end every podcast segment episode with a segment called Explain Your Tweet. This is where I dig through your twitter and I pull out some interesting or cryptic tweets and I give you a chance to explain them.
Maria Paula: Sure.
Host: And I have to say your twitter is—your twitter is, is very entertaining. I would say like within the crypto twitter community especially here, here I'll just dive into this one because I think this one sums up your thoughts pretty well. So this is from August 9th, you had sort of, you know, a train of tweets on the same topic. You said first of all, wrote a haiku today, "shitposting is art unlike your terrible takes which are just shit posts."
And then you also tweeted on that same day, "it's crazy to me that crypto twitter has yet to understand the dynamics of supply and demand also apply to thought leadership, too many tryhards. However, there's a market opportunity in shitposting, please leverage it and leave us alone with your terrible takes." So I am probably guilty of this, I will just lead by that, but also would love to hear your thoughts about you know, just like what you were thinking, like what was frustrating you that day when you were tweeting this.
Maria Paula: It's a mixture of toxic, toxic positivity happening in the space and opium dealership. You know I work with crypto communities for a very long time and when the crypto winter comes, we need to deal with a lot—a lot of personal leashes from people that lost money and everything. So I would be—I, you know, want people to be really more mindful about what they're tweeting. Of course I'm seeing a culturally transformation, I already told you this, you know of course I believe that vangs [phoneic] should go fuck themselves. And that, you know, of course I hate KYC and everything else.
You know, I am a person that loves their privacy and everything. But you need to be careful about setting promises that you are not sure are going to happen, you know. This sort of like empty affirmations feel a lot like, like just trying to convince themselves. And, you know, they're in the most part they're from people who have huge bags. So, you know, people need to be mindful or that not all of us have, have made it or are going to make it really, you know, for every time.
So there's winners and losers everywhere, everything is a casino. So just restrain yourself if you think that you are throwing out a lot of promises and you have a large following. If you have like a few followers, that's completely fine, you know, talk all the shit that you want. But, you know, some good, you know, people need critics and people need to be a little more cynical, because there's too many hopes and dreams. And there's too many, like, both emotional and financial investment going on, so we need to proceed with a lot of caution especially now that actually crypto has effectively gone mainstream.
Host: Yeah, that's something that I, I was just seeing somebody discuss this on a twitter thread today about like how do you share about NFT projects you're excited about without misleading your audience? You know, because obviously you can't share every single thing that you know in your brain as you are making the decision to like ape into an NFT project.
You can't share all of that with somebody but if you don't share all of that information, then a lot of people reading your tweet just think, oh, I need to go ape into this because, you know, Maria said she likes it or whatever.
Maria Paula: Yeah.
Host: Yeah. How do you find that balance?
Maria Paula: I try not to share anything, but also people don't follow me for my financial leads, people follow me because I like to shitpost. So I'm not really worried about that. But, you know, I am really mindful that—and also people—like people that, you know, purchase some things that I share actually like cool stuff, you know, they're not doing it for investment.
So yeah I try to, you know, I try to not share everything, I keep it with my—with my team or with my friends. I have telegram private groups, like, you know not, not paid telegram groups right? I'm not rich. I, I share it with friends, I share them with my sister that also works in NFTs, I maybe don't share them at all. Why do you need to overshare everything as well, right?
Maria Paula: So yeah, everything, you know, on the right measure.
Host: Yeah, yeah, that's, that's totally true. All right well thanks so much Maria, I really appreciate you taking the time. Before you go just tell people where, yeah, tell people where they can find you if they want to connect with you personally after listening to this and then also where people can go to check out JPG.
Maria Paula: Sure, so JPG is JPG.space, the website. The—for, for the twitter just like, like, you know, search JPG because it has a lot of underscores so you will get into trouble otherwise. And for me on twitter, I am MPtherealmvp, yeah, I think that's, that's it.
Host: Love it. Thank you again so much Maria, thank you everybody for tuning in --
Maria Paula: And this I like it, was super fun.
Host: —and—super fun, yeah, I appreciate you taking the time too when you're traveling, I know you're like in a hotel with your cute little pup who I was --
Maria Paula: Yeah.
Host: —hoping would make an appearance but didn't. But we'll get to see him some other time, but yeah, safe travels, thank you so much for taking the time --
Maria Paula: Thank you.
Host: —and we'll be back again soon with another episode of 'The Unstoppable Podcast'.
Maria Paula: Bye. Bye.