Could this be an NFT?
Laser 3.14’s name is inseparable from any conversation about Amsterdam and urban art. A unique blend of poet and street artist. One day a poem appeared on the street that said: “Could this be an NFT?”; we responded: ”Want to make one together?”
“Bloom where you are planted.” It always hit out of nowhere when I received this as a response. It was 2015 and I was really not coping well with what I saw was a completely bizarre acceptance of normal life in the only place I had called home and wondered if I was the only one seeing it. I heard it over and over in different forms-a warning to keep my head down and feel grateful for all I have. I have to admit it took me way too long to realize that dream lives come in all shapes and sizes. It was clear: where I was planted was not for me.
I adore that Laser has delightfully given it the middle finger(or at least a playful “nope”!) as I feel that those who can relate, well, those are our people.
Where we bloom is on our terms, in our determination, and not a moment before and definitely not in unfit soil. To bloom is perhaps a inevitable process, but the place, the moment and the environment for us, in this moment, with these kindreds? ”It’s now.”
The poems on the street were the first words I could read when I first arrived and spoke so exquisitely to what was on my mind and heart it felt like I had a close friend leaving small messages, a kindred spirit in a new town. It didn’t matter if the messages were angry, the artist was in love, going though a breakup, in awe at the state of the world, speaking to their mother, to this day it still feels a bit like the voice of Amsterdam to me. When he agreed to create a piece for our Genesis Membership it was the beginning of what I can only describe as magic. They say never meet your heroes, but yet again, “they” are wrong.
House of Peregrine began at the beginning of the pandemic as a virtual story club and yet before that the moment I stepped off the plane in 2016 to move sight unseen to a new country, as stories. The characters, circumstances I found myself in and a shared sense of belonging that was new to me I found in the experience of moving to a new country left me no choice but to began writing a screenplay called Expat Series(which with a little more magic we still will make one day via NFT’s at House of Peregrine). What I realized in hosting the story clubs is that there was an entire shared universe in these combined locations, culture shock kid settling and adult friend dating. There was an entire subculture and new levels of life to unlock and the other people doing this life, they were people who I often had more in common with than the people I grew up with. I realized a story this niche and yet profound and aspirational needed a different kind of home and creation process. As odd as it sounds to make a brand to support stoires and connection that is ultimately what we are up to. Living abroad(wherever abroad is for you) is a lifestage, an extra milestone in life . We are a home for that transformational time.
When I began the whisper of creating a NFT project to kick off House of Peregrine in early 2022 I reached out cold to Laser 3.14 after a poem that stopped me in my tracks appeared on my path “Could this be an NFT?” I had admired his work for all of the 6 years I had lived in Amsterdam, but this one spoke to a question I was also asking myself–just how far into the realms of art and shared reality could this new technology take us–was it ready for those of us who read these poems? A silent but bound collective.
In January 2022 I began having coffees with people I admire, people I would want to create with. I took the same skills I learned as a film director and applied the same mindset(I have this vision, now I need the exact talent to make it happen). Film making is a team sport behind a singular vision. No reason you can’t build a community and brand in the same way. After Laser signed on we set out to find another co-conspirator to take the collab to the next level. I found Geert making waffles at an NFT co-working event where he was presenting his design work(soooo web3). I convinced him to grab a coffee and we walked around the city dreaming about what we could build together with HOP with Laser 3.14 artwork at the start. As a fellow street artist and product designer(among other talents) I knew he could bring out the essence of the paint and combine it in a tangible way for web3.
We had 2 fundamental questions: how do you experience street art differently(if not why make it in web3 at all) and how do we introduce someone who is anonymous to the collective. The first one came about in the obscured concept that Geert came up with. Watching the art come to life before your eyes is something truly unique and having Laser present without revealing his identity was key to the vision. We were all blown away by early tests and at once began work on the poem.
We needed something to bind us as a collective, a mantra of sorts, one that we could actually get behind.
We needed something to bind us as a collective, a mantra of sorts, one that we could actually get behind. After many ideas and concepts an ode to the phrase that is usually evoked with an eye to keep people rooted in places they feel unwelcome seemed just right.
What an incredible journey it has been to create the artwork you now have in your wallets. Now is when we bloom indeed. Thanks for being part of our band of co-conspirators and early members. I cannot wait to show you what is next and bring the talents of the rest of the genesis membership into the magic. There is no better feeling than creating cool shit with your friends. You will be astounded at what we can create together, I am sure of it.