Gallery: Gardens + NFTs

Building on the Gardens Overview post that @burrrata started, I wanted to share some specific ideas for DAO designs within the gardens pattern/family where slight modifications/variations/frontend changes would allow for an interesting application of the pattern. This post assumes some basic familiarity with the Gardens design pattern which is designed around open/permission-less communities, so if your unfamiliar check that post out first!

:art: Decentralized Curation and Digital Art

A traditional art gallery thrives by curating, promoting, and selling artwork. With the emergence of provably rare digital artwork in the form of NFTs, we can decentralized and digitize this business model in an interesting and fun way.

The basic idea is to have a site which displays and offers digital artwork for sale. It could look something like Jake Brukhman’s If the gallery/DAO builds a brand as a curator, the art that gets added to the gallery will become worth more than it otherwise would and when it is resold the gallery/DAO will make a profit.

To do the curation in a decentralized fashion we can use the Gardens model with some slight adjustments, conviction voting will be modified so that each proposal is a proposed exchange between the DAO and the submitter of a piece of NFT artwork that will be added to the gallery. The submitter can set their price for the exchange, and upon execution the exchange will be made atomically. The “minimum” threshold ensures that there is a maximum rate at which new artwork can be added to the gallery, and forces members of the organization to be selective and scrutinize proposals. This will keep the quality of art high, and prevent the org from rapidly diluting the brand. Just like normal conviction proposals, if the requested amount is higher the proposal will require more conviction, so even a member of the organization with a lot of influence cannot raid the organizations treasury by submitting their own artwork.

Since NFT artwork is non fungible, and non-divisible there is no way for members to “rage quit” or otherwise have a direct claim against the full value of the assets held by the organization… in order to ensure that participants in the organizations have a real claim on the value they are helping to create we need to ensure that NFTs are regularly sold at a fair price, and that the returns of those sales create value for the participants.

A fun and relatively simple way to approach this is to treat every piece of artwork as always for sale in the gallery at the same price–with the price decreasing over time and increasing with each sale. (There are likely other, potentially better, pricing strategies but rather than get into that let’s focus on this one for now). This pricing model is nice because it doesn’t require the curators to come to consensus on when, where, or how much to sell individual pieces of art for it creates a policy that regulates sales continuously and automatically.

It also creates an interesting engagement opportunity since its very likely that this algorithm with mis-price individual pieces of art, so people will be drawn to the gallery in order to find “good deals” directly… this is really cool because it replicates the experience of people going to a gallery, rather than going to a massive art auction or retailer…

Whenever an NFT is sold, the revenue will be used to buy the organizations tokens via the marketplace and then burning them. With a “buy fee” applied to the curve, the organization can set a percentage of revenue which goes into the organizations “purchase pool” and how much is effectively distributed to curators (token holders) by way of the marketplace’s bonding curve mechanism.