One Year in the Gooolniverse
I didn't know what I was getting myself into
I didn't know what I was getting myself into

It's been one year since my first tweet which marked the beginning of this whole crazy journey (actually, I started working on the drawings for the Riot Goools in September but I was still just lurking in the space. And the Riot Goools mint began on October 6, 2021, the day after my first tweet.) I don't really know what to write for an occasion like this. I don't think I expected this thing to last so long. When I started, I didn't have any expectations at all. I was literally starting from zero and just wanted to experiment and learn and share art and ideas with people. It still feels like a strange year-long dream. Like one of those dreams where you're constantly meeting and connecting with random strangers and characters. One where the logic of the world is a little bit skewed but you don't question it. It's the kind of dream that keeps you tossing and turning all night and leaves you even more exhausted afterwards.

So, maybe I'll just reflect a bit on the past year and on the future and try not to repeat too much of the stuff I've already said here or the various tweet threads I've written. I'm not going to try to recap everything that happened over the year since it's so much but you can always search and scroll through my tweets & replies on twitter if you want to relive some of those moments in time.

Before anything else, I just want to say thank you to everyone who has ever been interested in what I do. I'm still stunned that the weird ideas I have translate to anything meaningful to people. Whenever I see a goool around twitter, it still makes me smile every time. It never gets old. This is the reason why I feel the work is so fulfilling, regardless of how burnt out I get or how depressed the space becomes. It's been interesting to see how people have made their goools their own and use them in different ways to represent their online identities. Some have developed their own personalities and have lead storied lives in the gooolniverse. Some are even hosting football podcasts. I can’t ever say thank you enough for all of the goool love.

The long and winding goool road
The long and winding goool road

Here's a quick overview of the goool project after a year:

On Fantom, there are the main goool pfp collections – Riot, Magical, Power, Creepy, Weird Goools and the Gooolmon. These are the inhabitants of the gooolniverse and they are how I interact with the goool gang to do activities and distribute the objects and records of goool life like the Goool Bands, B-sides, Gooolaroids, and Gooollabs.

On Tezos, there is Goools on XTZ which documents a more occult side of the goools, images of dreams and hallucinations. It's an avenue to explore not only slightly different goool content but also different distribution through a larger editioned model on a different chain (and different art scene.)

And more recently, on Ethereum, there is CypherGoool Chronicles (eGOOOL) which is a more contained story in a different style. Think of it like a sci-fi movie that goools would go to the theatre to see. Again, another kind of experiment – in non-linear storytelling, strict 1/1 goool pieces, and learning more about another chain. I'm also interested in exploring crosschain possibilities for distribution here given that wallet addresses are the same on EVM compatible chains.

As you can see, most of my collections have taken different approaches and follow different rationales. Even the pfp collections each came about because of different reasons (partnerships, events, etc.) I'm not someone who's content doing the same thing over and over again even if it's easier and more advantageous to follow a recipe. I get kind of bored when things fall into predictable patterns. I started the goool project to explore the technology and the possibilities it offers for creativity. Part of the appeal of being in this space is that it's open and experimental. Some things will succeed and some things will fail. That's how experiments go in order to find the way forward. That's why the space is high risk and volatile and things go up and down and up again in the blink of an eye. I love the sense of unlimited possibility in this chaos and I intend to keep learning and experimenting and pushing in different directions.

People are always talking about adoption in the crypto space. That everything hinges on adoption. It's true. But I think before adoption is even in the cards, there has to be a lot of work done on acceptance. It's been one year and I still see the same hate and vitriol directed towards NFT art from the general population and, more disappointingly, from artists outside the space. Nothing has changed much. After going through the many highs and lows of this year, I can see how some of that reaction is earned even though I feel more strongly about the technology than ever. I mean, there is a lot of questionable and bad stuff that happens here that probably makes it quite alienating for people who just want to enjoy some art.

Just some of the beautiful goool inspired art I've managed to buy this year by Cosmic Friend, Koofraa, Spearhead, Chronic Dispositions, Kay Wren, and Gimiks Born
Just some of the beautiful goool inspired art I've managed to buy this year by Cosmic Friend, Koofraa, Spearhead, Chronic Dispositions, Kay Wren, and Gimiks Born

I think acceptance comes from people gaining understanding. So my goal has always been to create art and make content that can bridge understanding for people. Art and content can be the gateway for acceptance and adoption. Things like the internet and media streaming were adopted because of content, not necessarily because of the technology but because of what the tech enabled. People saw other people enjoying something on the internet or watching a show on a streaming platform and understood the tech through that. That's why I like to do everything in the open on Twitter. Maybe a skeptic will see a funny looking goool drawing in a tweet and wonder what that is. If they look deeper, they might find the web of content that makes up the goool network. Deeper still, they might see people just talking about art and technology and other normal things (well, as "normal" as goool conversations can be, I guess) and not what they assumed to be a bunch of shadowy super-coders trying to unload meaningless strings of numbers on each other out the back of a digital unmarked van. Maybe, gradually, they can accept that we're just people like them who are interested in making cool art and technology. Maybe they can come to understand that some people really do buy NFTs for the art because it really has personal value and meaning to them. I don't think everyone needs to buy NFT art, just like not everyone needs to buy oil paintings. But I hope one day, and this is what I'm working for, everyone can be okay with it existing so that the promise and potential of the technology creating a more equitable world can truly be fulfilled.

"Web3" is the term that gets thrown around to describe this space as the next iteration after web2.0. And web2.0 was what evolved out of the web1.0 dotcom bubble burst. That event was brought on by a lot of the bad and unhealthy behavior in the tech space at the time (greed, impossible promises, excessive speculation, ignorance – sound familiar?) in conjunction with a bunch of outside factors (the “macro”) like Y2K, 9/11, Enron scandal, etc. The crash created the environment for the people who kept working through it to become the web giants of today (for better or for worse.) While many people wrote the internet off as a fad that had its 15 minutes of fame, the mainstream corporations and entities came in and scavenged the rubble, seized control and ownership of the web, and remade it in their own image, rigging it in their favor. The web became more homogenized as the new rulers of the web have just become more entrenched and unchallenged for over a decade now and a lot of the weird and fun parts of the old wild west web got lost. Web3 feels like a rejection of what we’ve ended up with. Like we can make the web our own again. But I think you could also look at web3 as blockchain1.0 and it's going through its own dotcom bubble burst. Now's the time to consider how we want blockchain2.0 to be different and better than before and take the steps to move in that direction while no one is paying attention. Hopefully it won't be a repeating of past mistakes. I feel my contributions to this movement are small. I just make art and have mediocre dev skills. But I’ll continue to do what I can in my own way just like everyone else who believes in this.

It's been a fun year. I've crossed paths with so many amazing people and have had a lot crazy adventures. I really believe the goool gang is comprised of great people who share a lot of the same vision and hopes I have for the future of art and technology. Let’s keep working towards that future. Thank you for making the project what it is and I'll keep trying to surprise you with what I make next.

elle 🖤🤘🏻

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