The Empty Gallery
Please read this guide on a laptop, since it'll be much easier to understand. The mobile layout is not as user friendly.
Have a look at the two images below:
Which image do you think is more expensive? Left or Right?
For those of you who know what these images are, you would have guessed "left image" or "The Zombie" is more expensive.
But, why is this? Is it because the left image is more aesthetically pleasing than the right image? Personally the image on the right with his cheeky smile and gold earring is amazing.
However, putting aside the uniqueness of each CryptoPunk, blockchain technology and the genius behind the artwork, the reason the left image is more expensive then the right is down to one simple reason: "A Zombie (left image) only appears 0.88% of the time, where as that cheeky smile and gold earring (right image) appear 2% and 25% of the time respectively"
One image is more common (rarity) than the other. Thats it.
For those of you who are not aware, these artworks are called "CryptoPunks". There are 10,000 of them and they are randomly generated.
The left image currently goes for a minimum asking price of 3.4 million USD (900 ETH) and the right image 0.29 million USD (77 ETH).
Let's try another example.
Have a look at the two watches below and guess which one is more expensive? Left or Right?
If you were able to notice that these watches are both Rolex's then congratulations, you have done better than most people. For the rest of you, including myself, you probably have absolutely no idea which watch is more expensive. While a quick google search may lead you to figure out that the left watch is more expensive because it was "given to Paul Newman by his wife, Joanne Woodward, while he was playing in the movie Winning", your overall understanding of Rolex watches is still terrible.
So what is the difference between a CryptoPunk and a Rolex watch for the average person? Without going into the obvious technical differences between NFT's and watches, the main difference is:
"CryptoPunks tell you their value, while Rolex watches don't"
Or you could say:
"You don't need to be passionate about CryptoPunks to know the underlying value of the asset, while for Rolex watches you probably do".
While having a passion for CryptoPunks does help, anyone who has basic blockchain knowledge and can read numbers can buy and sell a CryptoPunk professionally without a single amount of passion for the artwork or the creators because the rarity of each artwork is shown. While this idea of "transparency of value", "rarity", "passion for creativity", 'uniqueness" and "randomness" worked wonders for CryptoPunks and the whole community moving forward, some projects took these aspects too literally, to the point where the only valuable part of an NFT is its rarity, rather then the artwork itself.
"The Empty Gallery" is an attempt to solve some of these issues.
The main problems attempting to be fixed by The Empty Gallery are as follows:
1) No collector should feel sad that their artwork has no value when seeing a low rarity count next to the piece they have collected.
2) Remove a collector's ability to find rare traits without having a passion for the artwork they are about to purchase.
3) Remove visually obvious rare traits that anyone can search for to collect, while still maintaining rarity between individual artworks.
With that in mind, have a look at the two artworks below and guess which one is more expensive? Left or Right?
The first thing you'll notice is the rarity for each property of the artwork is locked at 3.7%. No matter what artwork you get, the rarity of getting any one "property" will always be 3.7%.
Due to this, collectors won't immediately feel sad that their collected artwork does not show a low rarity count (point 1) and collectors who only want to collect artwork based on rarity will be out of luck since it'll hover around 3.7% for each "property" (point 2)
The second thing you will notice is each artwork "looks" the same. This is by design.
Due to this, collectors who are only looking for visually rare traits are unable to identify one artwork from another (point 3).
However, the artworks above are not visually the same and each artwork's rarity is not the same either.
With a bit of effort one can see the true form of their collected "Gallery". Without giving too much away, this does not employ some advanced smart contact, or special coding mechanism. It's just a visual trick that requires some effort to extract. The two images below are the exact same images as the two above.
You'll notice that some symbols are now visible! While each symbol has the exact same probability of appearing (3.7%) the rarity of all three symbols together is what differentiates each Gallery.
For anyone considering to purchase an edition of The Empty Gallery, the details below will help you out:
1) The Empty Gallery has a total of 512 editions.
2) Each edition contains 3 symbols.
3) Each edition will cost 0.05 ETH + gas fees.
You can click here which will take you to Async Art Blueprints / The Empty Gallery to mint (purchase) an edition!
If you are interested in exactly "how" The Empty Gallery works, I have written a guide on this (spoilers). You can scroll back to the top of the page and click "How It Works", or you can click here if you're too lazy to scroll.
Some guidelines may be available in the future explaining the probability of certain symbol groups appearing, however at this stage it will be up to the collectors with passion to figure this out.
I really hope you enjoy The Empty Gallery as much as I did creating it!