Meeting 6 AI art collectors: real stories
A Weekly AI Collective meets the AI art collectors Kapstone, Miumiutini, Chikai, Georgina Hooper, Chris Ostoich, and Karo.
Barcelona, Spain — February 20, 2023 — In the seventeenth episode of the Twitter Spaces by A Weekly AI Collective, we are meeting Kapstone, Miumiutini, Chikai, Georgina Hooper, Chris Ostoich and Karo, NFT collectors who share their stories of collecting art made with a revolutionary medium of AI.
A Weekly AI Collective was founded in collaboration with Exquisite Workers to educate the community about AI Art, shine a light on AI artists from around the world, and create a historical record of the use of the new medium. A Weekly AI Collective chooses Twitter Spaces as it is an easy and comfortable way to have free live audio conversations and interviews on Twitter by using your phone which is recorded and can be listened to over time.
Find below the introduction to our weekly guests, questions we asked them, some memorable quotes, links to connect, and the gallery of AI artworks Kapstone, Miumiutini, Chikai, Georgina Hooper, Chris Ostoich, and Karo collected pioneering the AI art space.
WHAT IS AI ART?
Before we start the conversation with the AI art collectors, we find important to give the definition to the AI art in order to differentiate it from generative art.
AI art refers to artwork that is generated or significantly altered through the use of artificial intelligence algorithms, particularly machine learning. These algorithms allow the artwork to be created without explicit direction from the artist, but rather through the machine learning process of the algorithm. In some cases, the artist can train the AI to generate specific output that aligns with their artistic vision. This is often done by providing the AI with a large dataset of images or other inputs, and then using machine learning algorithms to generate new images based on patterns and characteristics found in the dataset. The artist may then refine and manipulate the output to create the final AI artwork and to achieve a desired aesthetic or style. This can involve processes such as repainting certain areas, or adjusting colors and composition, and making a collage work.
The artist’s hand and decision-making is an important part of the creative process, even though AI is involved in generating the initial output. In this process, the AI is essentially a tool that the artist uses to create their vision, similar to how a paintbrush or other traditional art tool might be used. The resulting artwork is still considered AI art, as it is the product of an AI-assisted creative process.
Generative art, on the other hand, is a form of art that is created using a set of rules or an algorithm to create artwork that is not predetermined by the artist. In generative art, the rules or algorithm set in place by the artist create unique and diverse artworks, but the artist still has control over the initial parameters or rules of the system. While both AI art and generative art use algorithms to create art, the key difference is that AI art utilizes machine learning to generate the artwork without explicit direction from the artist, while generative art is created using rules or algorithms set by the artist.
AI ART COLLECTORS: REAL STORIES
Kapstone is a corporate lawyer and avid NFT collector since November 2021. While initially drawn to Ethereum-based profile picture (PFP) projects, he was later introduced to Tezos blockchain by his friend, Flexasarus Rex, and has been captivated by its art offerings for the past months. His interest in AI art began with Eponym, an Ethereum-based project, but it was not until June of 2022 that he became truly enamored with the vast array of creative AI art works available on Objkt.com. Kapstone is particularly fond of discovering new artists and styles, and takes pleasure in sharing his discoveries with others through his frequent tweets. Among the artists he collects on Tezos are Moe P. Wellington, 0009, Petra, Leyla Ruh, RedruM, BLANK, etc.
Kapstone´s AI art collection can be explored on Objkt.com.
Link of the collector — https://twitter.com/kapstone.
Miumiutini is a passionate art and fashion enthusiast, and an avid NFT collector who co-hosts The Collector & Artist Connection Twitter Space through TheHugXyz. Her love for discovering and showcasing new artists in the space, as well as curating her own collections, is evident in her engagement with various online art communities. Miumiutini has been a long-time collector of fashion illustrator Blair Breitenstein’s art, and it was through Instagram that she first discovered their new works minted as NFTs. Intrigued by this new aspect of art collection, Miumiutini immediately knew that she wanted to be part of this future trajectory for the art world. Since then, she has become deeply involved in many art-based collection communities, fallen in love with all the art on Tezos, and has discovered numerous talented artists by following other artists including Francien Krieg, Javier Tomeo, Lily Illo, Anna Dart, RenAI etc.
Miumiutini´s AI collection can be discovered on Objkt.com.
Link of the AI art collector — https://twitter.com/miumiutini.
Chikai is a well-known name in the world of NFTs, an NFT collector, and the founder of Monolith Gallery. With an illustrious career spanning multiple fields, he currently serves as the Director of web3 at Niantic, Inc., the creators of Pokemon Go and Ingress, and was previously a co-creator of Google Earth. Chikai has a strong passion for promoting curation as a core part of the growing NFT ecosystem. He firmly believes in redefining the role of curation from gatekeeping to advocacy for artists, and it is this belief that led him to create Monolith Gallery. Through Monolith Gallery, Chikai aims to bring attention to the unseen and emerging artists in the space, and to highlight the importance of curation in the NFT world. The artists Chikai collects from are Jenni Pasanen, Anna Condo, Mia Forrest etc.
Chikai´s AI art collection can be explored on Foundation.
Link of the collector — https://twitter.com/lifeofc.
Georgina Hooper is an artist, author, and PhD candidate, whose work explores the intersection of traditional Chinese painting, neuroscience, and the synthesis of Eastern and Western, analogue and digital technologies. Georgina’s approach to curation is driven by her desire to showcase the best and most interesting works of art in the NFT space, and to shed light on new and emerging artists who might otherwise go unnoticed. She approaches curation as an art form in and of itself, carefully selecting works of art that complement and enhance each other, and creating a cohesive and engaging experience for the viewer. As part of her curation efforts, Georgina has been building a collection of AI art predominantly on Ethereum blockchain, which depicts flower motifs.
Georgina Hooper´s collection can be discovered on Foundation and on Objkt.com.
Link of the collector — https://twitter.com/georginahooper_
Chris Ostoich is a dynamic leader in the web3 space, and a passionate advocate for the power of blockchain and smart contract technology. As the Chief Operating Officer of Transient Labs, he is responsible for scaling and operational efforts at the company, which is dedicated to empowering creators, projects, and ecosystems and to redefining what ownership means. One of Chris Ostoich’s passions is art curation, and he has been involved in several notable curatorial projects. Most recently, he curated the PASSAGE event from HERE & NOW, which showcased the work of 12 talented artists working with generative art. Chris’s approach to curation is informed by his extensive entrepreneurial background, having led more than 10 companies across SaaS, global events, and celebrity ventures. As an avid art collector, Ostoich has the gallery of AI works by Ganbrood, Graphica, Maneki Neko, and also by Nate Talbot, the Absolute winner of the first Claire AI Contest.
Chris´s collection can be discovered on Foundation, Objkt.com here & here and on his online gallery.
Link of the collector — https://twitter.com/chrisostoich
Karo is an avid AI art collector on Tezos blockchain and culture enthusiast. She has a background in health science, commerce, nutrition, and herbal medicine. She initially entered the crypto space through regular investing, but her research led her to discover several NFT projects that caught her attention, including The Dematerialised, RTFKT, and The Fabricant, all of which are related to fashion. Fashion collecting came naturally to her, and she taught herself charting as a hobby, ultimately transitioning to active art collection on Objkt.com during the bear market. AI art has captured Karo’s imagination and transformed the way she dreams, leading to a passion of collecting these unique pieces. Karo has the largest collection of Anna Dart´s work, the winner of the first Claire AI Contest in 2022, as well as a vast collection of BLANK.
Karo´s AI Art collection can be discovered on Objkt.com
Link of the collector — https://twitter.com/karografie
The questions that we asked the guests are:
- Would you please tell us a bit about your background, your journey into the NFT space, and your general interest in collecting art on the blockchain?
- As a collector, what draws you to collect the medium of AI art specifically? When you first discovered AI art and which was the first piece of AI art you ever collected? Lessons learnt in the process of building your collection? Is there a specific focus for your collection, eg. historical AI, thematic subject matter, or a particular artistic style you’re drawn to?
- Have you experimented with these tools, and what have you learnt from that experience? What is your process/tools etc. Who do you turn to for feedback about your work, when there is potentially a trickier relationship with fellow artists when you come from a collecting background and enter the space afresh as an artist?
- Recent news from the Tez blockchain highlighted there was only 1 woman in the top 50 highest selling Tezos artists for 2022. How important is gender in your decision process (if at all) when collecting? How do you think we can encourage and build a more inclusive approach to collecting from women artists? And how can we foster more female collectors in the space?
- How do you view the role of curating in the NFT space? What is your involvement in any curatorial projects perhaps as it pertains specifically to the AI medium?
KAPSTONE: quotes & his AI Art Collection
“I grew up collecting all the sports cards I could find. As I got older, I moved on to collecting sneakers. I have always been fascinated by art. My wife and I would go to galleries, we went to Art Basel a few times, but we never really felt comfortable about the conversations with the gallery directors. When I found Tezos blockchain, my eyes were opened to the new world that I always wanted to be a part of, but could never be a part of. I do not think there will be ever a moment in my life when a totally new medium would be available for us to collect like now.”
“For me, the most interesting thing is to think how heavily processed you want your AI art to be. Are you trying to use AI to generate something that then you can process to make look like something you want? Or are you using AI to see how it conceptualizes certain concepts and ideas? Someone posted a poll: If you are an AI artist, are you a conjuror or an imaginator? Are you trying to get AI precisely to show you an image or are you partnering with AI to co-collaborate something?”
“You have the traditional art scene which does not respect female creators with the same level of financial support or other support as male creators. You are in a crypto scene that is very very heavily dominated by men. Having more female creators and collectors is very important.”
“I find a lot of work on shill threads on Twitter, I check them pretty regularly. I check what my friends are collecting, what my artists’s friends are collecting. DM groups are also good to keep up to date with new releases.”
MIUMIUTINI: quotes & her AI art collection
“As stated, followed my favorite artist into web3 and branched out from there. My boyfriend had recently started collecting NFTs — so that helped familiarize me with setting up a wallet, joining discords, security settings, etc. I think there is a such a fabulous future for digital art — especially with galleries taking notice and investing in digital art as well. I love the thought of owning a digital original, and perhaps the original physical as well — I’ve received prints of a few of my NFTs and it feels so special. Also the fact that there is a simple way to sell what you have collected if you wish — it seems much more complicated to sell a physical piece. I have always been a collector, which is perhaps a nice way of saying a shopping addict — as a child I collected troll dolls, X-men cards, metal lunch boxes from antique stores, stamps.”
“I didn’t really start collecting AI art until I began collecting on Tezos. My first pieces of AI I didn’t even realize were created with AI — they looked like oil paintings to me. I first truly took notice of AI when I became introduced to Danielle King’s art and her AI Mashups collection — imagined collaborations between great artists, authors, fashion designers. The majority of my Tezos collection is AI art now, and I love so many of both the editions and 1/1s that I have been lucky enough to collect. Cubist dream by Lilyillo, Exhibit B by Anna Dart from her Night at the Museum collection, The Hug by Neg AI, the entire Salvador x Yves collection by Danielle King — an imagined collaboration between Salvador Dalí and Yves Saint Laurent, and most recently Divine Style by Evo (MadeInCuracao). I am always on the lookout for more 1/1s from all of these artists. Recently have really been enjoying collecting AI fashion pieces — and AI fashion week put on by FAIC in collaboration with so many brilliant AI artists was so fun — 6 days with a new theme each day. I feel like AI fashion is already influencing the fashion shows — there is so much avant garde fashion on the runway and with AI the creativity knows no physical bounds.”
“I love the idea that with web3 anyone can find a creative outlet and become a creator and curator of their own work. I have yet to experiment with these tools, but would love to one day.”
“Collecting from and supporting female artists is important to me — I think I primarily collect from female artists, which is not necessarily on purpose, but also because I am more drawn to a feminine aesthetic. I think focusing on art as digital collectibles appeals to women, I know I personally only took the plunge into NFTs when there was something I truly loved — which is what brought me over. Being open to discussing with family and friends — highlighting how this is a whole new world for both artists and collectors, and supporting artists with royalties is such a cool concept — and one I’ve found those not into collecting NFTs yet find most appealing.”
“I would really love to curate — I’m really drawn to finding new artists, and pairing works together. I’m not sure how this will play out for me in the future, but it would be a dream to curate for a gallery or collectors group. Which is what I love about this space, all the future possibilities and unknowns. So far I have only curated my own gallery but would love to see where this takes me in the future.”
GEORGINA: quotes & her early AI art collection
“I made a commitment when I joined the space over a year ago, that as I sell my own art, I will invest in other artists here a portion of the finance I made from those sales. For me, the practice of patronage has numerous branches, not just collecting, but also writing and talking about the artists in the space, sharing their work and advocating for, and encouraging artists, and also curation — I am across all these things. It is very natural for me to participate in the wider growth of this sphere.”
“Over a thousand years ago there were traditional Chinese artist-critics who were participants as artists but also historians and collectors, and their collections were significant. They used to write calligraphy on each other´s works, and as collectors they would stamp their seals on those works. And that would bring a really important provenance to that work. I am not the only artist who collects, but there is this financial limitation that we have as artists to take into account.”
“It is with the collaboration of all media that we can really expand creativity. And when I see artists that are playfully working with AI with curiosity and not censoring its own expressive characteristics, that is when I get excited and I want to collect. As AI develops, as it is trained and changes, those anomalies will not be as present in its existence. It is about mapping history.”
“As women become more financially secure, as more collectors collect work from female artists, those women may inherently reinvest as I do. It is really important as a global thought to empowering women, and not just with voice but by giving them the financial independence, and security to vote with their money.”
“The artist Mia Forrest has been an advocate to get me in this space. She was the one who gave me an invite to the Foundation marketplace, she told me how to do everything (web 3 related) and her work is brilliant. She is across photography and exploring the history of photography but also expanding it through photographic processes which also includes AI.”
CHIKAI: quotes & his AI art collection.
“It was a complete accident that I started to collect art. I looked at this thing as “NFTs” I had no idea what it was. I dug into it, read about it, and then went deep down the rabbit hole. I never really bought crypto before, never bought art on my own. Because of the community and artists that I met, I went deep into it in a way, that I was not anticipating. It was 2021 when I started collecting. In terms of AI, I always loved it. When I first came in February and March, Jenni Pasanen´s work in which she combines GAN and digital painting, was what pulled me in. I love every minute of my journey so far.”
“In my SuperRare Space for the Monolith Gallery, more than a half are women artists. It naturally came out that way, as these are the people I wanted to buy from and people I connected with. People who are cultivated within my interaction on Twitter and elsewhere are very intentionally diverse. Internationally across the world, gender-wise, art-wise, and I truly love the diversity of it.”
“As a community, you have to make the choices of who you work with, not just because they have a lot of money, not just because they have a lot of fame, because they are good actors over in the long term. And that can only happen and those people will succeed based on what the community decides. It is hard to ignore money. I hope people will pick leaders and curators who they believe are good actors in the system. Now it is time to pick because it is a bear market.”
“The very best AI art for me is predominately women, who are actively doing the work, who are doing the most interesting stuff.”
“When it comes to 1/1 artists, I want to see the commitment and passion. Are the artists here to do just a little bit and it is a moment thing? Or are they here to do the art for the rest of their lives and because they are incapable of doing anything else wherever things go good or bad?”
“There is an incredible value in telling to the artist: I see you, I see that you exist, I see your art. The pure act of being seen and giving visibility and recognition is a human act. I do it by talking and engaging with artists, I do it with email newsletters, etc. I want to make this statement that you are not forgotten and you are a part of the community.”
Chris Ostoich: quotes & his AI art collection.
“My entry into this ecosystem started in 2017, buying crypto and losing all my money. I walked away and forgot about it. In 2021, this thing started to come up again and again in a venture studio I built with Odell Beckham Jr. Rather than take sponsorship deals and make a quick buck the only way we wanted to participate in this environment was if we developed and implemented a collection strategy. So we did that. We developed a collection thesis and NFT portfolio strategy and then started executing. We collected a CryptoPunk, started getting clients involved in the ecosystem in a meaningful way. Unfortunately that company didn’t last long and became part of a movie studio’s talent ventures arm.
So I was on to my next venture — #12. What I saw was an on-ramp problem and I felt for us to get a massive adoption in space was that we need better onboarding tools, and methodology. We need better processes, we need smarter people and more trustworthy resources. I met my now cofounders of Transient Labs where we pioneered some of the early dynamic and interactive art as NFTs. We were fortunate to work with incredible artists and brands like SuperRare, Time Magazine, Jeremy Cowart, ThankYouX, Luis Ponce, CharlesAI, C3, Jenni Pasanen and many more.
I continued to develop my own collection primarily on Tezos but also on ETH. Fortunately, I was VERY early to the fx(hash) platform, and collected with size in AI art and have since built a significant cross-chain collection. I recommend all the artists I work with to think about developing a cross-chain strategy. The value and quality of art should not be determined by the chain that it’s on. There are collector bases that are completely unique on every chain and artists that are leveraging this to their advantage are winning.”
“As a collector, I have missed crypto and NFTs early on, but I was not going to miss AI. It just felt like it is another transformational moment in our history. And in some of the stuff being created right now 10 years from now we will see these artifacts which indicate the moment in history. We are going to look back and start to spot what kind of tool the creator used to do this.”
“With AI, I love the context and the narrative. It is often not enough behind the scenes. And in many cases, it gets overlooked. Maybe the artist does not feel like sharing how we arrived there. I think it is an important contextual piece. I think at some point in the future we are going to start seeing places where this context is told. It is not going to be on Twitter. There might be marketplaces where you can bring this context to life in new ways. This is the part of art. And I want to see and explore with you as you create.”
KARO: quotes & her early AI Art Collection
“I started collecting AI by accident. I happened to have COVID, quite badly for a few weeks. During that time, Claire Silver was running her first AI contest in which Anna Dart became one of the top 3 winners. And I also collected Anna Dart´s fashion fabrics on The Fabricant, which was the World of Women collection of digital dresses released in the summer of 2022. I saw Anna minting on Objkt.com her first AI artwork and I started collecting. Totally random, but a few things falling into place. That is how I got hooked and could not stop.”
“My professional life is very people focused, a lot of empathy and human connection goes into helping people with their health issues. It also requires ongoing learning, research and analysis which I think helped me when I got into crypto trading. Both my parents are musicians and I feel my early creativity when I was young coming back via collecting art. I came across some amazing projects, especially fashion NFTs is what interests me and of course lately I can’t get enough of AI.”
“What I love about blockchain is that I can transfer directly my capital to you and support what you are doing. And I admire everyone for this artistic creativity.”
“I grew up in Germany by the beach. I love photography and capturing emotions through that. I have tried Midjourney and Dall-E 2, and for me, it is like exploring, and visualizing via AI concepts and things such as traveling or dreams. For me, it is more like a personal use case.”
“Anna Dart and I connected via DMs, and she said to give her a prompt. The NFT that she gifted to me drew me to tears. It was my prompt and I could see what I wanted to prompt in her style. And this is something I cannot achieve on my own. That is why I am very grateful for every creator.”
“I have enjoyed starting my collecting journey on Tezos on a comparatively low budget, the abundant art available via editions enabled me to explore and discover so many talented artists. Also, low transaction fees on Tezos make a difference when you’re in the process of learning the art to curate over time.”
“I do aspire to be a curator. Without having an artistic background, I look at other artists on what they are collecting and look at the galleries which focus on AI. I am working on my portfolio and I am happy to hold it for many years. My dream would be to be able to lease it for the gallery show.”
“I feel quite strongly for the financial empowerment for women. I naturally collect from a lot of female artists. I am also collecting for other women and building their portfolios. I hope in the future there will be a better interface to provide an easy experience for onboarding. The customers to buy your art are there.”
“The blockchain is democratizing access to the space. There is no middleman, you can build your supportive community. In this Twitter Space, I feel very welcome as a woman, and I have been trading crypto for a year before this, and I felt less connected.”
“There is a strong female and overall diverse artist presence in the AI space, also some notably vocal and inclusive collectors (who often create AI art themselves) who lift the space with their generosity and spreading awareness about the variety and beauty of AI art. I’ve particularly enjoyed initiatives such as the TezGirls, Exquisite Workers, AWAIC collective, and MAIF collective, many thanks and deep gratitude for pioneering the space.”
“As I am venturing into the ETH ecosystem as a next step, holy Grails to acquire will be works of Jenni Pasanen, Anna Condo, 0009, Roope Rainisto, more of Lily Illo, and Anna Dart, Stephan Vasement, many many more AI artists and one can dream, Claire Silver.”
Thanks so much to everyone who made the AWAIC Ep 17 possible. And thanks to you for reading. If you find this article useful, please consider sharing with your favorite AI friends and fellow AI communities. They will love it!
Listen to the Twitter Spaces via this link. The duration is 2:57 min. Language: English. The co-hosts are Ben Kanizay, Lily Illo, NZBR, Anna Dart, and Exquisite Workers.
Want to tune in to the upcoming A Weekly AI Collective Twitter Spaces?
It is easy! Next Monday we are having an exciting chat about AI art. Drop by, ask your questions, share your experience, and get inspired. This is the link to find us on Twitter Communities.
Do you have any questions?
If you have any questions or if you want to work with us, feel free to contact us. For business inquiries or very personal reasons, you can send us an email via hello[at]exquisiteworkers.com (Replace [at] with @, this tactic is to avoid spam). We are always available and happy to help artists and AI art collectors like you!
Would like to try the AI tools and do not know where to start?
No problem! We invite you to explore the AI tool Box by Time Traveller AI, AWAIC communite member. It is a great thread on Twitter which covers the major AI tools such as DALL-E 2, MidJourney, Stable Diffusion (with prompts and examples of outcomes). 🔥
You are also welcome to discover our previous articles. And don’t forget to give us your 👏 if you liked the article!
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