Interview with Collector: Colborn @ M○C△

SuperRare Collector Series

This week we feature an interview with one of our top collectors Colborn who has collected 352 artworks on SuperRare as of June, 2020.

On Glass Crane

Naturally it’s difficult to pick a favorite, but immediate to recognize the extraordinary talent and deep symbolism that Glass Crane imbues in each of his work.  My journey into his world began with ATLAS, so perhaps it is best to start our discussion there.  I always appreciate and am attracted to pieces that push the perceived and assumed aesthetics of an artist’s previous body of work.  Perhaps that is me recognizing their growth, their risk-taking, and wanting to support and be included in that journey with them. 

ATLAS, Glass Crane
“Tell me Atlas, which is heavier; the world or its people’s hearts?”

I think this piece is more open, natural (palm trees!) and human-centric, emphasized by its use of bright, iridescent coloring and abandonment of the pervasive, binding tentacles.  The Sock and Buskin masks ground it in emotion and are a far departure from previous cybernetic themes.  I feel the camera path taking us through a life’s journey of comedic and tragic experiences, these imposing figures pushing down on us, the observer.  At the end, initially unseen and rising from the ground, is a haunting and seemingly impenetrable mask of tragedy.  Yet the viewer breaks through this with ease.  And here you’re almost presented with two options; initially gesturing for you to consider becoming the small, broken individual figure in an empty artificial landscape reminiscent of Bal Harbor or Rodeo Drive shopping malls.  Ultimately, the choice is made to rise above and carry the sum weight of these experiences, stoic, unscathed, and larger than life.  Synthesizing your comedic/tragic journey, you become Atlas holding the heavens, punished yet perseverant.

There’s nothing I can say about glass crane that isn’t already showcased in his artwork.  The guy is seriously next-level talented, that shines through in abundance and you’d be crazy not to believe in him.  

On Crypto Art Collecting

First and Foremost I collect what I like.  I seek images that trigger my subconscious and express what I cannot put into words.  The body of the collection becomes a symbolic manifestation of the many disparate and diverse elements of my personality. On DEFENSE NODE, Glass Crane put the HP Lovecraft quote “The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.”  I think my collecting ultimately is a futile effort to do such but I do find it meditative and healing to try and weave these unique pieces created by others into a larger expressive whole that embodies “myself”. 

“The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents.” Created with Zbrush, Cinema4D/Octane

When I put on my M○C△ goggles, I look for pieces that might carry historical importance; those that capture the essence or significance of a particular moment in time or wave within cryptoart, artists across genres that were particularly early adopters (everyone here is!), those that implement novel techniques, or those that are just particularly exceptional at their specific craft.  I like artists who continue to evolve their style and aren’t bound to the success of previous pieces.  I have an affinity for, and identify strongly with, people who are not full-time artists, but have channeled creativity as an outlet to express information gained in other endeavours.  I like finding artists and pieces that nobody else has touched and saying ‘hey I see this, I think this is important’ (thank you to @thedruid for being the absolute king of this, having probably spent more on gas than he has on art, and having a collection worthy of serious envy).  I appreciate high contrasting elements, conflicting themes, the intersection of analog and digital, and those pieces that spark a conversation, question reality, or provide glimpses into the future. 

Flocking Birds of Prey in the Twittergon, ambiguous
Flocking birds twittering with one of their masters

I have a real soft spot for what @ambiguous is doing; the art is really funny and makes me laugh every single time I see it, I appreciate that and think it’s incredibly unique. 

On Virtual Reality

I wrote a manifesto on why everyone, especially artists, need to come into virtual reality as soon as possible.  It is a true void of infinite possibilities, of which you are (or should be) one.  If you do not have the ability to at this time and would like to, please consider this and open invite to contact us and together we’ll figure out a way to get you involved. 

We are world-building in a place where there are no rules, no physics, no history, no prejudice or judgment, we can disregard in full the structured, regimented practices of the old world and start fresh.  Blockchain gave us the tools to have open economies and we can bring those into an open, persistent world and begin to value in full those with childlike imagination and creativity.  It is truly the manifest destiny of the digital citizen.  You can be anyone, shapeshift at will, and experiment with the very nature of your own personhood.  The first time you step into a virtual experience of your own creation, it’s incredibly freeing, an unspeakable feeling of power at your own ability to manifest a vision.  The timeline in closing the loop from ideation to creation to experience is incredibly fast and addictive.  For VR artists to be able to take their own creation off of 2D screens and be surrounded in the experience of their own art must be a real thrill.

On M○C△

Ultimately our goal with M○C△ is to ask the question “what would a world look like if it was created with artists at the center?”.  I have a suspicion that not only would it just be incredibly beautiful and visually stunning, but it would foster a culture that is more loving, accepting, and tolerant.  Your worth will be defined in your ability to imagine, collaborate, and implement.  I think that together we can create experiences so powerful that they will be healing on many levels.  I believe it will provide a welcome respite from the deep fractures of our current physical paradigm.  And in virtual reality we can experiment endlessly and take the multitude of lessons learned about ourselves, societal structure, and creative economies back into the “real” world.  A lot of my thinking in this area was informed by Hakim Bey’s “T.A.Z.: The Temporary Autonomous Zone” and if you haven’t already, I would strongly encourage all to give it a read.

On the Crypto Art World

It’s been a fun, wonderful, and mysterious adventure.  I would like to thank Steve Wand for some wonderful conversations that pulled me deeper into NFTs.  Josie for first showing me the power of cryptoart and how the physical can merge with the digital and augmented reality experiences.  Also sincere gratitude to my partners in the M○C△ project Pablo and Desi for their relentless pursuit of a greater expression and higher truths, and for continuing to push me way out of my comfort zone into VR, 3D printing, and all these beautiful emerging technologies which are empowering individuals to create more freely.

It’s just a truly humbling and inspiring community.  It feels like home to be with so many people who want to experiment, push boundaries, and evolve together.  Everyone is just bursting at the seams with so much positive energy.  Something truly special is happening here, something worth preserving and not preverting with preconceived notions of what it should be.  It’s hard to put into words, but i think we all are experiencing a similar feeling in many ways and I hope we can collectively keep leaning into that, trusting and stewarding with integrity the idea of a more democratic participation in art. 

Echoing Timothy May’s The Crypto Anarchist Manifesto, and the idea that “reputations will be of central importance”, we must continue to be conscious of the minutiae of our behaviors, the calling out of bad actors, and the rooting out of those who seek individual profit over long-term collective vision.  The stakes are high and the opportunity I’ve tried to express above is incredibly real.  SuperRare is super cool, I genuinely appreciate everyone there, and thank you for this opportunity to share with everyone some of my thoughts.  

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SuperRare is a marketplace to collect and trade unique, single-edition digital artworks.


  1. Excellent interview. Thanks, Colborn, for sharing some of your excitement and thought processes as they relate to understanding the cryptoart genre and where it is heading. Your comments resonate with some of my own, and these will be guiding my future work.

    And thanks, SuperRare team, for providing your artists this valuable insight.

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