Bright Moments' Mark on Generative Art History: A 3-Year Global Journey

*This conversation is part of our new editorial series, Gallery Selects, where we showcase the diverse artists, collectors, and curators who are creating and sharing their NFTs on Gallery.

Over the past three years, Bright Moments has transcended geographical frontiers, uniting artists, collectors, and enthusiasts in a global celebration of creative and social innovation. From Venice, CA, to Venice, Italy, and through Paris, Tokyo, NYC, and other capitals, Seth Goldstein and the team at Bright Moments have written a new chapter in digital art history.

What truly sets Bright Moments apart is its meticulous curation. Each piece brought to the blockchain undergoes a rigorous selection process, ensuring that only the highest-quality generative artworks become part of the narrative. But Bright Moments isn’t confined to the digital space alone. It bridges the gap between the virtual and the physical through its signature IRL live minting experiences—which, as someone who has experienced it can attest, is quite cool and makes the difference. Over this course, Bright Moments has taken over ten major cities, featuring side events and parties, bringing together the most talented minds in the space to create and elevate art. It has also introduced residency programs, fostered unique collaborations, and culminated in a finale collection that showcases the very best of its creative endeavors.

And then there’s the Cryptocitizens crowd. They are represented by a collection of generative portraits specific to each city and minted on site during each event in a unique, almost ritual twist. They embody the DAO—a vibrant, fun, and diverse community that you first meet at your local pre-event meetup (Thanks Irina!) and then hang out with again at a Bright Moments event somewhere else on the globe. These gatherings pulse with creativity, camaraderie, and shared passion. Artists connect with collectors, ideas spark, and friendships bloom. As the sun sets and night falls, everyone socializes and has fun in the city where the event is held—creating an amazing vibe that stays alive on-chain. Forever. Bright Moments is all about art, but it’s also about these bonds formed in the creative process.

We just spoke with Seth, founder of Bright Moments, to reflect on this history right before the ‘Bright Moments 2021-2024 Complete Works’ auction with Christie's this week.

Hi Seth. What inspired the creation of Bright Moments, and how did the initial vision evolve throughout the series of events?

Bright Moments was inspired by the emergence of NFTs as a new file format that seemed to be an important creative unlock, set against the backdrop of the Pandemic which was isolating and depressing.

Reflecting on the very  first event, what were your expectations, and how did the reality of launching Bright Moments compare?

We just began live minting NFTs in person, starting with our CryptoVenetians in the Summer of 2021. We didn’t have many expectations, other than trying to cover the costs of operating the gallery through our commissions from sales.

How did the community’s reception and interaction shape the direction and execution of subsequent events?

With both the minting of our own Citizens, as well as early shows we did with artists Jeff Davis (Portal) and Aaron Penne / Boreta (Rituals), we felt tremendous demand for this kind of in-person art making experience. We came up with a novel financing model, i.e. the mint pass,  that allowed us to generate eth in advance on primary, which enabled us to pay the artist up front and produce the exhibit.

Can you share some of the unexpected hurdles you encountered during the events and how you addressed them?

We were constantly being faced by unexpected hurdles, it was baked into our roadmap.  I really think our organization as a DAO helped us navigate through all sorts of online and offline obstacles.

Whether that was having 309 of our Venetians stolen from us in a crypto heist, or navigating around Covid restrictions and outbreaks across our galleries,  or grinding through the boom and bust cycles of Crypto these past few years, the friction of confronting these challenges and then working as a team to adjust and prepare for the next IRL experience was formative for our culture, community and ultimately is what the Bright Moments brand stands for.

Generative art played a significant role in Bright Moments. How did this artistic approach influence the live minting experience?

We were fortunate to stumble onto the world of generative art, because our first show we exhibited was Jeff Davis Portals, which were 9 works of art that he generated on ArtBlocks and then auctioned on OpenSea.

Jeff advised us to mint our Citizens on ArtBlocks, and so we had a call that summer with Phil (Mohun, of Bright Moments), Jeff and Snowfro to talk through how we might mint these pixel portraits on-chain and yet require that the collector is there in person.

Bright Moments took place around the world. What were some of the unique cultural exchanges or insights gained from this global approach?

The transitions from one culture to another were incredible.  Going from NFT NY in the fall of 2021, after our Incomplete Control show with Tyler Hobbs, to Berlin a few months later was a real level up in terms of the scale of our production.

We went from a traditional white wall classic SoHo gallery to a 80k sf former power plant in east berlin.  Similarly, from London to Mexico City, or from Tokyo to Buenos Aires, these are extreme zigs and zags in terms of vibe, food, nightlife, but all equally vital in terms of their roles as cultural capitals around the world.

Throughout the 3 years of Bright Moments, what have you learned about yourself as a founder and as an individual?

I have learned that tokens can be powerful narrative objects that can coordinate, govern, and guide a community around the world to create and collect art.  But some stories are better, and bigger, and more durable and memorable than others.  They need to be simple, without being simplistic.  They need to have struggle and success woven together to the core.  They need to be filled with interesting personalities, and brilliant talent, that can communicate naturally across online and real life environments.  They need to have a clear beginning, middle and end.

It’s not a new lesson, but something that emerges again and again, which is how having clear, public constraints can drive a certain kind of creative abundance.  Twitter had 140 characters.  And so with us, we saw that there were 10,000 CryptoPunks, and it was taking us something like 15 minutes to mint each CryptoVenetian in Venice Beach in July 2021, and we were like, “hmm, I bet we could go around the world and mint 10,000 CryptoCitizens in 10 different cities in about three years.”  And so that’s what we did.  .

Could you highlight any collaborations with artists or creators that were particularly impactful for the event series?

The extreme travel experiences may have been the most impactful.  With Metropolis by Mpkoz, we went from NY to Berlin to London to Mexico City to Los Angeles over the course of 10 days in March in 2023.  It was our first collaboration with ArtBlocks and we really wanted to emphasize the URL to IRL live minting transitions that are the cornerstone of our brand.

And so we came up with this idea to mint 500 online and have them randomly distributed across 5 different city traits.  And then collectors could mint a free second NFT that formed a diptych with the first.  In the end, 440 of the 500 potential diptychs were formed.  Michael, Dole, Tyler and I did the full circuit of cities, hosting a different collector dinner in each one as we went.  The feeling of the community following us and greeting us in each city was special.

I treasure my gallery of two full sets of 5-city Metropolis diptychs.

The other experience that really pushed the limits of travel was Hashmarks with Deafbeef in Patagonia.  We timed it as an extension of our Bright Moments Buenos Aires experience, and so 75 artists and collectors took a three hour flight from BA to Calafate for two days to meet the artist by a giant rock in the middle of nowhere and collect a forged steel object.  The object had a secret key inscribed on it that enabled you to claim a token when you got back to civilization.  It sounds ridiculous even typing these words, but it was another extremely powerful artistic social experience that a small group of people got to enjoy in a magical, remote location that forever burned the memory onto the token.  The following video does a good job telling the story.

With the series concluded, what’s next for Bright Moments? Are there plans to expand, evolve, or create something new  in the  space?

Yes, we have exciting things coming up... starting with this auction with Christie's. Keep an eye on our socials for updates!

Thank you for your time Seth.


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