Your Guide to Photography in the Metaverse
Editor’s Note: Subscriptions, Sponsorships, and more.
As we continue our venutre toward sustainability for this newsletter, we want to thank all those who signed up for our paid subscription offerings last week to support what we do AND to receive exclusive content from us moving forward.
Our first member exclusive will be previewing photo community events at NFT NYC, so keep your eyes peeled in the next couple of weeks.
We’ll soon be rolling out an opportunity for platforms and collectors to become official PhotoVerso sponsors, with a range of benefits that we can offer in return. We’re still hashing out the details, but if you’re interested in starting a discussion please reach out to Isabel or Gregory.
Advertise with us
Finally, we’re also toying with the idea of offering ad placements to platforms and artists to help promote new drops. Likewise, reach out if there is interest on your part.
Big Hugs Podcast
Photographer of the Week
Koben - Carbon Cities
Carbon Cities is a photographic series by Koben which draws parallels between urban environments and notions of climate issues and utopian/dystopian relationships. The small collection of ten images has flown under the radar since it’s March release, however its the type of work that immediately distinguishes itself with a unique and dark tonal palette that characterizes city environments with sinister undertones and elegant composition.
Nathan Bauman - Hidden in Plain Sight
Nathan Bauman’s Hidden in Plain Sight first dropped 8 months ago and has recently surged with 16 sales within the last month. The series performs as a typology of old, vintage cars that evoke nostalgic Americana, and acts as a testament to how bygone eras still reverberate in the current day. Throughout the work Bauman illustrates how such relics appear, literally, to be hidden in plain sight, and there is a poetic resonance between the oftentimes rusted and worn-down conditions of the cars and the largely desert landscapes where Bauman discovered his subjects.
There are two new open calls for photographers circulating around Twitter this week. The first is from NFTPhotographers, who are inviting the community to submit black-and-white images for an exhibition in P46 Gallery’s metaverse space.
The second is from Art3, which is holding a call for work to be included in their 2nd annual Edition365 program. The 1st edition of the program was initiated during the pandemic in 2020 by British Journal of Photography, and aimed to create a worldwide documentation and visual time capsule of the pandemic-stricken year.
Assembly shared the news this week that it is opening its first brick-and-mortar gallery space in Houston, TX. They also announced they will celebrate their July opening with an exhibition of work by Cristina Valesquez, whose collection, El Nuevo Mundo, was released by the platform last winter.
Big Hugs Podcast
This week prominent photo collectors Jeff Excell and bthemouth published the first episode of a new photo-centered podcast titled Utility, in which they talk about the community, share photographers and images that excite them, and candidly discuss their own experiences as collectors in the NFT space. The podcast is an offshoot of Excell’s Big Hugs project, an upcoming PFP collection launching this summer.
Fellowship has been quietly building in recent months, and is preparing for a major announcement that is set to shake up the NFT photo world in a big way. Unfortunately that’s all we can share at the moment, but we expect the news to drop fairly soon.
This week Obscura released its 7th Magnum Curated drop which features a collection titled It’s Expensive to be Poor by Philadelphia photographer Hannah Price. The work centers on a woman named Lisa who the photographer met on Instagram, and throughout March Price photographed her life and followed in Lisa’s journey to lift herself out of poverty and care for her children. In doing so, the series considers underlying issues of economic and class systems in America, and Price utilizes a beautiful and earnest visual vocabulary to provide viewers an empathic view into a life filled with struggle, hope, and determination.
RawDAO made a big splash this week in announcing that it has acquired the complete first set of Quantum’s 1st curated photography season. The whopping 40 ETH purchase price brings 11 artists and 12 total pieces to Raw’s collection. The DAO broke down the acquired pieces in a recent Twitter thread.
RAW DAO @theRAWdao1/ @amyelkinsphoto "Anxious Pleasures - 2021_0113" https://t.co/LiLj3DxCzZ
Quantum rings in Pride Month with the release of Street Queens, a collection of portraits by Stephanie Mei-Ling that highlight participants in pride parades around the country. Mei-Ling describes her work as an “homage to those whose very existence is an act of resistance..,” and the collection’s sharp and colorful portraits blend soft-hearted confrontation with celebratory and steadfast emotional assertions.
This week also saw the release of Doppelgangers, a re-mix collection of Justin Aversano’s Twin Flames in collaboration with glitch artist Kim Asendorf. The release was made exclusive to owners of Quantum Keys.
Photographer of the Week: Rachel Wood
Photographer Rachel Wood has become well known in the space for her stunning landscape work that tours viewers through enchanting, fairy-tale like vistas. In addition to her creative work, Wood also serves as a curator for NFTPhotographers and is currently building a platform called Artverse Project to help connect artists and collectors together. We chatted with Wood recently to learn a bit more about her practice.
PhotoVerso: Can you tell us about your background as a photographer?
Rachel Wood: Ever since I quit my office job and bought a camera in 2019, I have been on a world tour of exploration and discovery as a professional photographer. Although I have been around the world many times, I have captured my best and most meaningful work in uncommon places: a Paleontology dig in Argentina, a solo expedition in Mongolia, and a journey to Antarctica.
I am passionate about using my photos to advocate and raise funds for conservation and charity organizations. I also pride myself on being a patron to women in photography and BIPOC artists. In the NFT space I came in as a collector before I minted my own work. Since I started in December 2021, I have grown as a collector and photographer.
Although you will typically find me taking photos in odd positions, I will oftentimes be spotted at the nearest food truck, trying to taste everything on the menu.
PhotoVerso: What inspires you as a photographer and what do you hope audiences take away from your work?
Rachel Wood: I was a traveler first. Long before I knew what P, A, and M meant on cameras, I wanted to see and experience the world. I was galvanized by the pages of National Geographic magazines, BBC Earth documentaries, and world culture books my parents had in the house.
Photography allowed me to connect with others in a new way and participate in environments which I used to be uncomfortable in. Photography has challenged me to see beauty in the details, to pay attention to my surroundings more, and has given me an outlet for my creative energies. It also pushes me physically to keep going out and exploring. Travel is my passion, photography is my purpose.
Because of photography, I am always dreaming of how I can make a difference and help others. My curiosity drives my intentions to . Many wouldn’t like such an unstable lifestyle, but for me - change is my happy place.
Right now, I hope people see someone with the potential to do something fearless with her work. I hope that it moves people emotionally so that they are galvanized to explore new and offbeat places. In the future, I want to become better at storytelling. A picture is worth a thousand words, and I hope my words bring inspiration, motivation, and hope to others.
PhotoVerso: What's the scoop with your latest NFT drop?
Rachel Wood: The past 5 months in the NFT space has opened my mind to collaboration with other artists and innovation in my own work. I just collaborated with three insanely talented musicians nft artists and those are now available on my Foundation.
My other latest NFT drop is Lens Ladies and will feature 9 photographers and will be minted on our own smart contracts.
I also recently launched the Artverse Project. It’s my purpose in this space where we work to connect and help cut through the algorithm noise of Social Media to connect collectors and artists. I could talk all about it, but if anyone wants to learn more, you can visit the website artverseproject.com which covers the basic idea of what Artverse is growing to be. I am also open to answer questions in my DMs about Artverse.
Collector’s Corner: On Building
The recent drop of bethemouth and Jeff Excell’s Utility podcast has us thinking about building from the collector’s standpoint. What can collectors do, beyond simply buying work, to help create a flourishing community infrastructure in the space?
It could be said that all us in the NFT photography community are working to build the infrastructure of community, platforms, and culture that all new comers will enter into. It’s as if we’ve all sailed on the same ship and entered untamed lands, and its up to us to build the villages, and then the cities, that will come to define what this space becomes; and there’s no shortage of territory left to build upon. Those who are most engaged, be it artists, collectors, or general enthusiats, are those who have a say in how this city is built. This is why we love projects like Utility that actively aim to shape conversations surrounding photography, collecting, and community.
Many of the most successful collectors in this space have taken active roles in helping to define the community and support platforms. Some examples of this are holding Spaces talks to discuss their collecting practices, tweeting about issues related to collecting (rather than simply pumping their bags all the time), and even making investments into the growth of curated platforms.
So as a collector, what more can you do to help define the culture, community, and values of the NFT photo space? Here are a few ideas to get the motor running:
Start a Podcast
Host a regular Spaces talk
Curate a themed virtual photography exhibition
Create a virtual show of your own holdings
Detail the reasons you collect the type of work that you do
Help connect like-minded friends together to build community
Share stories of both your successes and failures in the space for others to learn from
Talk about the joys and pitfalls of being active in the space
Offer advice to new artists
Re-connect with older artists
Share deep cuts from your collection
And as always, the most important thing…be kind!