Seth Goldstein is an expert in the display of NFT artwork and is the founder of Bright Moments NFT Gallery and DAO. And with their latest show “100 Print” – a collection of generative art from renowned artist Ben Kovach – Goldstein and Bright Moments are continuing to push the envelope. We are creating new ways to enjoy this new art form and being the bridge between offline and online. We are a team of integrity, creativity, and generous people.
We are as concerned about creating Grail works that can go to museums of the future as we are with onboarding people from low-income communities into their first NFTs. To us, it’s just one connected platform.”
Live from the Bright Moments gallery in New York City, Goldstein sat down with us last week to talk about his Web3 origin story, founding Bright Moments, and how its latest show exemplifies Bright Moments’ commitment to innovation when it comes to bringing NFTs to real-life spaces.
Quotes are condensed and edited for clarity. Bright Moments.
Who is Bright Moments founding member Seth Goldstein?
Seth Goldstein holds the distinction of being a founder and angel investor in the previous iterations of the internet, as well as currently in Web3. Starting his first internet company in 1995, Goldstein has since worked as a venture capitalist and participated in some major companies as both a founder and investor.
He first got into cryptocurrency in the early 2010s. And while he jokes about not knowing what he was doing at the start, he was involved enough to see what was happening in the early days of Ethereum. He eventually jumped deeper into this space. He started something that would be a precursor to his interest in Web3 community building.
“In 2018 I started a blockchain Community Center in San Francisco called Node. The idea was to help the emerging community of blockchain entrepreneurs find interesting spaces. And a sort of tokenized community center around the world.”
How NBA Top Shot inspired Seth Goldstein to jump into NFTs
Like so many people at the end of 2020, Seth started to take note of NBA Top Shot. He began to collect Moments along with his sons and soon discovered the magic of Top Shot.
“I bought a [current NBA MVP Nikola Jokić] moment for $400. Jokic was then accepted into the All-Star Game. I sold it for $2,000 a couple of weeks later. And I was like, Okay, this is really interesting.”
Seth even acknowledges the connection between the NBA Top Shot NFTs, which are called “Moments”, to the name of the NFT Gallery he would ultimately form.
Soon after he got his feet wet with Top Shot, Seth started experimenting with NFTs himself, putting out some of his photography on Foundation. This only made it clearer to him just how much of a shift NFTs represented for artists.
” One morning, I woke to find that the NFT had been sold and that I had Ethereum in my bank account. And it was way easier and way better than sending prints of photographs via Shopify to somebody.”
What is the Bright Moments NFT Gallery?
After witnessing several different waves of excitement around NFTs – CryptoKitties, CryptoPunks, then art on SuperRare and Foundation at the start of 2021 – Goldstein knew that NFTs were more than just a passing fad.
“It just seemed to me that it was just going to continue to grow as a file format that for the first time had ownership attached to it.”
Pretty soon he knew he wanted to do something with this new medium that would cater to many of his passions. Bright Moments was born.
“I think the artist in me gave way to the entrepreneur in me and said, Okay, let’s make an art gallery in Venice Beach and put up some screens and start showing NFTs. And so we took a gallery space right on Woodward Ave, underneath the Venice sign.”
Bright Moments’ opening show came in May 2021 and featured the work of Art Blocks’ Chief Creative Officer Jeff Davis. Bright Moments will continue to work with these artists for future shows. The ten-piece collection was generative art.
Although there was a major aspect of Bright Moments shows that didn’t materialize until after the show with Davis.
The beginning of Bright Moment’s live minting experiences
To be sure, Bright Moments’ live minting experiences are its calling card these days. The practice began as a simple necessity. A simple live show is perfect for inviting guests to events. Seth explains that Bright Moments needed something to draw people in during the daytime.
“It was not enough to simply show a LeBron James Top Shot, to get people to the boardwalk. So instead, we’re like, why don’t we start giving NFTs away during the daytime from 3 pm to 5 pm?”
That idea led Bright Moments to create its own version of CryptoPunks that would eventually be labeled, Crypto Venetians (representing the community of the first physical Bright Moments gallery). The Crypto Venetians became a huge success. At first, we couldn’t give them out. But pretty soon, people would come off the Venice boardwalk or off of the beach and mint a Crypto Venetian, and some collector around the world would buy it for $400 or $500. It was then half an ETH. It was then 2 to 3 ETH by July last year.
So we were giving things away that were worth $10,000 to $15,000. It was like a car dealership giving away 10 or 20 cars a day. It was both amazing and strange. It was kind of like Willy Wonka where you see the best of people and you see the worst of people.”
Crypto Citizens: Bright Moments DAO PFP project with a twist
Building on the success of the Crypto Venetians, Bright moments has expanded this concept into its own generative PFP project. However, unlike most PFP projects, the Crypto Citizens come in batches of 1,000 rather than 10K all at once. People can only mint Crypto Citizens in person at Bright Moments galleries. These unique features are what Goldstein believes made Crypto Citizens stand out.
” I think this was our most significant innovation. There were many people who were creating NFTs, and many people were setting up screens in physical spaces to display NFTs. It was a great breakthrough that required you to physically be present to mint. And I think, particularly coming out of the pandemic, it gave people a lot of hope.”
Another key point is that Bright Moment’s Crypto Citizens are technically an Art Blocks project. They are a great choice for collectors who invest heavily in the ecosystem. After a short time, the Crypto Venetians were able to establish a strong secondary market.
“There’s a lot of collectors who want one Fidenza and one Ringer… one of everything. And they saw this project with these interesting crypto characters and they’re like, How do I mint one? If you are in Singapore and you get caught in COVID you cannot fly to Venice Beach. It’s necessary to sell it on the secondary marketplace. And it created a marketplace for what we were doing.”
Bright Moments’ pioneering mint experience with Ben Kovach, “100 Print”
Of course, Bright Moments’ exciting range of live minting experiences extends beyond the Crypto Citizens NFTs. NFTevening was actually contacted by Goldstein during its most recent trailblazing show.
Last week, Bright Moments hosted “100 Print” at their New York Gallery. The show featured 100 generative art NFTs from the celebrated Art Blocks artist Ben Kovach. The show was a special one not just because of Kovach’s amazing art pieces, but also for the role it played in distributing the 100 NFTs. To sum it all, Bight Moments had a Dutch auction sale before the event with a major twist. Bright Moments auctioned off draft picks instead of selling NFTs that could be generated from mint. People would then be able to choose a piece from Kovach’s collection based on the draft pick they purchased live at the gallery. There were 100 draft picks, with the first 50 NFTs being selected on Wednesday, May 18th, and the next 5o chosen on Thursday, May 19th.
Using “draft picks” to better distribute generative NFT artwork
Aside from the added excitement of live drafting artwork, Goldstein suggests that this was a much more effective way of distributing the art to people. When you create a generative work, there is no way to know what you will get. You either get attached to the one that you have, or you purchase something on the secondary market. It’s not the most efficient economically either.”
The pre-show Dutch auction started at 10 ETH and sold out at 1 ETH, bringing in 75 ETH in total. What’s more, because of the 10 days between the auction and the show, people traded draft picks in hopes of securing their favorite pieces. This led to a further 120 ETH in volume after the auction. Goldstein believes this allowed for a deeper community conversation about the entire collection.
“What’s fascinating is, during those 10 days, everybody got to look at all the different mints. And everybody got to think about what they would choose, and we all got much closer and engaged much more fully with the work than we would have otherwise.”
Goldstein stresses that screens aren’t the only way to display NFTs
One of the most interesting things about 100 Print that Goldstein highlights is that “it’s probably the most advanced show we’ve done and yet it has no screens.”
Although screens are the most common way NFTs are displayed in physical spaces, much of the point of this show – and the next Bright Moments show in London – was to showcase NFTs that are designed to be prints. These shows are meant to broaden people’s understanding of the many media that NFTs can use.
“This doesn’t mean that the NFT is diminished in any way. It is still yours. You can view it on your computer, or on your smartphone. It can be printed and displayed on your walls. It’s all part and parcel of the experience. A physical print is just as important an NFT as putting it on a Samsung display. It’s just, a different mode of expressing it.”
Seth Goldstein sees so much more to NFT art than just jpegs
All in all, Goldstein and Bright Moments are really pushing for a world where the true range of NFTs can shine. As one can see from 100 Print and all the artists and artworks that Bright Moments showcases, NFTs can utilize all the amazing advances and technologies that Web3 enables, while still being appreciated as traditional art would be.
” There’s a tendency to assume that NFTs look and behave like 3D graphics in Blade Runner. Or that NFTs are the metaverse. And the reality is, it’s much deeper and broader than that.”
Specifically, Goldstein is a champion for generative artwork, like the many pioneering collections coming out of Art Blocks. It combines elements of surprise, excitement, and fine art.
” I think the best thing about generative art, is that it’s a dance with randomness. The algorithm is controlled by you. You can also control the outputs. Every output is unique. Each output has its own unique non-fungible token. Some are more rare than others, so it’s almost like opening a pack card for adults. It is art and has utility. It doesn’t have to be either-or.”
Generative art charges on while the NFT market falters
That sentiment may offer some level of explanation as to the uptick in interest in generative art over the past few weeks. While most NFT projects have seen their prices plummet and sales drop, more people are turning to generative arts. This is exactly what gives Goldstein more hope for NFTs’ future.
” We’ve had a very difficult time the past two weeks. It has really shaken off a lot of negative intentions. It’s been very satisfying to see Art Blocks flourish. The art is winning even in the most difficult moments. And that makes me really confident about this as a medium.”
Want to hear more from our amazing conversation with Seth Goldstein? You can check out the full interview on the NFTevening podcast here!
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