By Brileigh Hardcastle and Matthew Brooks
Quantum Art is one of the pioneers for curating high quality NFT photography collections in the web3 space. Dropping its first season of eleven artists in the early NFT photography boom of 2021, the Season 1 collection includes a range of renowned photographers working in different contexts of image-making. Curated by Quantum co-founder Kris Graves, the Season 1 pass includes the following artists and collections:
In June 2022, RAW DAO collected a full Season 1 pass via the Ad Hoc acquisition process from one of its own DAO members, homerfan33. Ad Hoc allows the DAO to collect artworks in a faster, more agile way as well as enabling acquisitions that exceed the monthly Community Curation budget. As one of only thirteen current holders, RAW is proud to collect the full Quantum Season 1 set which will only ever have twenty-three sets in circulation.
Leading marketing at Squiggle DAO and building his own collection of NFTs, I sat down with Homer to discuss his relationship to photography, the value of NFT collecting DAOs and what led him to originally acquiring his Quantum season 1 set.
Brileigh: When did you start collecting NFTs? Can you tell us the story of how you fell down this rabbit hole?
Homer: I started collecting generative art in the summer of 2021, just as Art Blocks was peaking. I had collected lots of things in the past—sneakers, sports cards, even pogs (lol)—and the idea of digital art just made sense to me. I bought a Squiggle and a Seaham and I was hooked.
Matthew: What led you to first acquire the Season 1 Quantum collection?
Homer: It was a happy accident! I had heard about photography NFTs before but never got into them. My Amy Elkins mint pass was my first photo NFT purchase. And that kind of became my gateway into the Quantum platform and community. The Quantum team curated incredible artists and collections, and the community they built around the art was incredible. Just a group of photography fans vibing with artists and discussing what the collections mean to them. Before I knew it, I had collected a Season 1 set!
Brileigh: Have you always had an interest in photography? What draws you to photography in the NFT space?
Homer: Quantum helped me understand why photography NFTs are extra powerful. When you see a photographer's collection, it's like you get to know them personally. A great photography collection will make you see the world in a different way. And the connections that are made as a result of that is really magical. I remember when Touching Strangers by Richard Renaldi was released, I minted 9 of them. We built a community-owned gallery that took the collection to the next level.
If we believe (and of course I do) that art has the power to bring people together, then NFTs are the digital souvenirs of the connections that we make. The real grails we collect are the friends that we make along the way.
Brileigh: Are you involved in other collector DAOs besides RAW?
Homer: Yes! I am the Marketing Lead for SquiggleDAO, which holds 269 Chromie Squiggles. I’m also a member of GrailersDAO, which also collects high-end generative art. Both DAOs show the power of collective ownership– how a group of people can be part of something bigger than themselves. Furthermore, collector DAOs can make art part of the public domain. Both SquiggleDAO and GrailersDAO display and loan out their art for the public to enjoy.
Matthew: You’ve recently sold the collection to RAW DAO, where you’re also a member. How does it feel for you to see these works in a DAO collection vs. your own collection?
Homer: I probably wouldn't have sold my set had it not been to RAW. "We own this" is such a powerful statement. Collective ownership is so meaningful... and honestly it's just more fun. It's been cool to see the conversation and appreciation around the set. I'm really happy that things worked out this way.
Brileigh: What do you think is the value of a decentralized curation and collection model? What possibilities does this open up and what challenges come along with it?
Homer: I'm a big fan of decentralized curation and collecting. You can really leave no stone unturned when it comes to finding lesser-known artists. And the process of identifying and selecting work is great in and of itself, it drives wonderful conversation and appreciation of different collections.
The downside is that the voting process, almost by definition, means that it's unlikely that the group will have alpha over the current market. So in terms of price appreciation, it's more a bet on the space and the collective's ability to promote their acquisitions.
Matthew: Are you the biggest Homer Simpson fan? Is your home filled with Simpson’s memorabilia?? I’m curious to know more about your pseudonym.
HF: lol, yes, it's a Homer Simpson reference. It was my first AOL screen name 25 years ago! I actually kept the screen name throughout college and into my professional career– somehow managed to keep getting jobs despite 'email@example.com' on my resume. Thankfully The Simpsons are a cultural icon and my screen name is still relevant.
Follow homerfan33 on Twitter: @homerfan33
Follow RAW DAO on Twitter: @theRAWdao
Join the RAW Discord: discord.gg/rawdao
RAW Website: rawdao.xyz
RAW Review Podcast: anchor.fm/rawreview