I was not too fond of DK, aka @_DKDNZ _(pronounced decadence), when I first met him. However, the reason for his poor first impression says a lot more about me than DKDNZ, so I won’t detail what transpired. I do not wish to poison your perception of either of us. Just know that DKDNZ had inadvertently offended me, and I had publicly told him so. He did try immediately to smooth over the misunderstanding. Still, I made it impossible for him to dig himself out, and I think we both left the interaction feeling defensive and combative. While our first interaction was unfavourable, I didn’t write him off straight away. Instead, as I often do when I don’t understand, I had many questions. I wanted to know what kind of person DKDNZ is? Had I judged him correctly? So, I decided not to wonder and instead asked DKDNZ himself. I am glad I did.
This is the DM that broke the ice.
JL: I think our mutual love of cheese means we could be friends.
DK: Ooooooow, does the U.K. want to officially declare its love for France?
JL: I’m American, and I speak for no country.
DK: Well, I would like it if we were friends.
Maybe you can tell from my cheesy opening, I still had my guard up, but it didn’t take long for me to change my perception of DKDNZ, and I softened to him, especially once I heard his Foundation origin story.
JL: How did you get into crypto?
DK: I started investing in crypto coins some years ago, and I’ve been following everything crypto-related since then. However, I heard about NFTs only in March of this year and then discovered Foundation pretty quickly. I’ve always loved telling stories since I was around 12 years old; I was making little shows for my sister with talking puppets where I made different voices for each plushy. I think I have never stopped wanting to tell stories since then.
JL: Who gave you your FND invite?
I believe we were talking in the Foundation lobby before that. She was posting pictures of stones that she had painted every day, and I was photoshopping them with Rick Vito’s face. Then when she got invitations, she invited me.
I found his story to be rather wholesome and kind of adorable. It was something that could only happen in the NFT community. I also quickly realised I had misjudged DKDNZ. We continued to chat about creativity, and family and what life was like pre-nft.
DK: I worked in counter-terrorism before all this.
JL: Sounds kinda cool but also kinda big brother.
DK: It’s a dark world, and it happens that I have way too much humour for that line of work.
JL: It is a dark world.
DK: I wish I lived on a planet where the biggest budget of countries is saving nature, animals, developing space research and green tech. Not the military.
JL: Do you use the skills you learned doing counter-terrorism in art-making?
DK: No, not at all. It’s everything opposite of art.
Maybe working in counter-terrorism doesn’t inform DKDNZ’s work, but I can see parallels between his previous role and his art-making. There are familiar themes of destruction disguised as protection and the recurrence of judgement and punishment. This became especially evident when he talks about the assassins.
JL: How many assassins are there going to be?
DK: Many. They are each dealing with different sins. Khamsin is about greed, and she saw the pyramids get pillaged. Seraphina is about the corrupted and deals mainly with organ traffickers, which is why she is empty, and her appearance is cut to shreds. It’s a whole universe I have in my mind.
JL: Are there male assasins?
DK: There are only female goddesses. They all have one common father. (The one Tessa is looking at but the viewer can’t see)
DK: Their father wanted only female figures to take lives because only women can give life. I also like the idea of a world where Roman, Greek, Egyptian and other goddesses still roam our modern world. They are all part of an imaginary world where there is more evil than good. And as for some species of pests, evil needs to be controlled, regulated.
JL: Why did you dream up this world?
DK: I want to tell stories that convey emotions to people. Make their minds drift into another world. Make them fall in love with characters, hate others. Want to know more about the lore and backstories. My heroes are people like J.R.R Tolkien and George R.R. Martin.
JL: Where is the realm you created?
DK: It is our world in a parallel universe. A world where all the mythological stories are real. But, with time, the male gods quarrelled, killed each other in a war so terrible that it was decided only the goddesses would remain on earth. It is also a wink to what is said about women, that they are more reasonable than men, work more seriously and make more rational decisions.
JL: Who says this?
DK: I believe it is something that many people think. This is why more women are needed in politics and as CEOs. They often make better leaders by taking decisions without the testosterone that can cloud a judgement.
JL: Have you always thought of women as superior leaders?
DK: I grew up around strong female figures, so that might have participated in that, yes.
JL: Do you have specific women in mind that you model your figures after?
DK: So far, they are not based on anyone known, but I would like to try something new soon.
JL: Are they happy women?
DK: This is a big question because they are not really human. This is called anthropomorphism when a god is given a human appearance, for example. This is a typically human thing, and it applies to aliens as well. We consider that gods, or aliens, are us, but better. So if we can feel emotions, then they must be too. When it comes to knowing if they are happy or unhappy, I guess, if you had superpowers, wouldn’t you use them to be at your best all the time?
I pondered his question. I liked his storytelling and his passion. I knew then DKDNZ and I could indeed be friends, and I have continued to get to know DKDNZ since our greeting roughly 1 NFT-year ago (~6 human weeks), and in preparation for this blog entry, DKDNZ was patient enough to entertain just a couple more questions.
JL: What is your process like?
DK: When I create, sometimes things click together in a very smooth way, like my “KHAMSIN.002” piece. It was all done in a matter of days. And even though I added in things that I hadn’t planned initially (like a whole metal soundtrack that I composed), it all went perfectly well. And then, for this last piece, I had a general idea that contained a synchronised group choreography, but the rest was a little blurry in the beginning, and I struggled much more to bring my vision to reality. Most of the time, I’m wearing my headset when I’m working, and nothing is playing, just silence because I feel the need to isolate myself completely if I want to move forward in the creation process. It often feels like playing an MMORPG, you know it’s something that’s going to take you a while, and you cannot just be disturbed every few minutes and wander and come back at it and leave it again. No, it’s a long, time-consuming process that requires total focus. Now that I’m in the audio and post-processing phase, I feel like I can manage distraction much easier because the most significant part of the creating process is all done. Sometimes creating feels like a journey. I have clear objectives, and the trip doesn’t take long because everything goes as planned. Other times things are a little more complicated, but eventually, I always manage to make it work.
JL: Do you consider yourself intelligent?
DK: I believe I have a high opinion on the things that I know I’m very good at, but I also have a terrible opinion on the things I suck at, and I have no problem saying, “oh, I absolutely suck at this, or I don’t know anything about that”.
JL: What things do you know you are very good at?
DK: Damn, you must have been trained by secret services to ask such surgical questions. I’m very good at cooking thanks to my parents. I could write a book called cooking with wind, when the cupboards are almost empty I can still make something worthy of a restaurant. But I’m also terrible at saving money, doing accounting for my bills…I’m not going to do the whole list.
JL: What are you most proud of?
DK: I am very proud that Tessa is a central feature of the FIRST! exhibition.
JL: What is your favourite food?