E.A.T. / Engadin Art Talks is collaborating with Tokengate to present the first annual NFT and metaverse conference in Switzerland. Taking place on Sunday, June 12, 2022, at the Auditorium of the Kunsthaus Zürich, NFT ART DAY ZRH presents an insightful afternoon of talks that spotlight crypto art within the wider realm of the history of digital art. Leading figures from the field of digital arts and the art market will explore different topics related to NFTs, including an introduction to the phenomena of NFTs and their relationship to the art world, the collecting behavior and various artistic practices, and the impact the specificity of the realm has on the perception of NFTs. The conference will start at about 3 p.m. with a keynote speech, followed by four panels, and an apéro riche at the end.
NFT ART DAY ZRH envisions a series of conferences and other gatherings that focus on the relationship between art and NFTs, through the innovation of blockchain technology, historical digital art since 1950s, its market performance, and other components of this complex ecosystem. ‘Our goal is to establish an annual event in Zurich and also expand to other cities during the major art venues,‘ Katharina De Vaivre, Co-Founder of NFT ART DAY ZRH and Managing Director of E.A.T. / Engadin Art Talks, and Georg Bak, Co-Founder of NFT ART DAY ZRH and Head of Art Department of Tokengate, tell designboom. Participants that will share their expertise and experiences in the inaugural edition of the conference include Kevin Abosch, Refik Anadol, Justin Aversano, Georg Bak, Erick Calderon, Primavera De Filippi, Alex Estorick, Patrick Foret, Sarah Friend, Jonathan Ledgard, Anika Meier, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Penny Rafferty, Margit Rosen, Laurent Sauveur, Kenny Schachter, Paul Seidler, and Alfred Weidinger.
As media partner of NFT ART DAY ZRH, designboom brings you selected interviews and news from the conference’s inaugural edition — stay tuned for our upcoming coverage, and read on for our interview with Katharina De Vaivre and Georg Bak.
designboom (DB): How did the idea of a conference dedicated to digital art come about?
Katharina De Vaivre & Georg Bak (KdV & GB): We wanted to create the first annual Swiss conference for NFTs and digital art. As opposed to other NFT conferences we are aiming to bring the traditional artworld together with the NFT world and are therefore launching the day before the world’s largest art fair Art Basel is opening.
DB: What is the aim and main focus of NFT ART DAY ZRH?
KdV & GB: We are having a special focus on the artists and the major artistic directions of our time. It is a content driven conference and we don’t want to overwhelm the audience with 100+ speakers but rather keep it small and very focused.
DB: What are some of the different perspectives through which the conference will be exploring the relationship between art and NFTs?
KdV & GB: We have invited some artists who count among the pioneers of NFT art such as Kevin Abosch, Primavera de Filipi and Sarah Friend. They all work in a very conceptual way and look at blockchain technology as a medium for art. Our last panel is dedicated to impact NFTs where we will discuss the great potential of art in combination with blockchain technology to create a positive impact on our environment and society. So to speak the vision of Joseph Beuys’ “social plastic” (“Soziale Plastik”) is being reborn by some artists who explore technology as a cybernetic accelerator.
Katharina De Vaivre (left) & Georg Bak (right)
DB: How will the speakers’ diverse backgrounds help compose an overall understanding of this complex ecosystem?
KdV & GB: We have deliberately chosen speakers with different backgrounds. Some are very tech-savvy while others come from a completely different background such as charity or the traditional artworld. We try to create a fruitful dialogue and hope to come up with surprising discussion.
DB: How do you think today’s technologies, such NFTs, and Virtual and Augmented Reality, can expand the way we experience art?
KdV & GB: Our perception is daily affected by electronic devices such as screens, laptops, mobile phones and LED screens. Through the invention of NFTs we can define ownership of digital art through a non-fungible token. It is much easier to collect and display digital art nowadays. Web3 will be the three-dimensional Internet, where we are interconnected and our avatars are our alter-egos. We can express ourselves in different ways and also build environments that only existed in our imagination. New technology allows us to expand the experience of art and we are entering a new playground for creativity.
DB: What do you hope visitors will take away from the conference, and what are some plans and ideas for the future?
KdV & GB: We are aiming to bring NFTs and digital art closer to the art audience and especially show the multiple facets of this exciting medium. Most people have only heard about the Bored Apes and the Cryptopunks and may not know that NFTs are far more than just profile pics and games. We are trying to establish ourselves as the NFT conference which initiates a critical dialogue about NFT as a medium for art.
DB: Will NFT ART DAY ZRH be held annually, or is it a one-off event?
KdV & GB: Our goal is to establish an annual event in Zurich and also expand to other cities during the major art venues.
conference name: NFT ART DAY ZRH
location: Auditorium Kunsthaus Zürich
date: 12 June 2022, from 14:30 CET
participants: Kevin Abosch, Refik Anadol, Georg Bak, Erick Calderon, Primavera De Filippi, Alex Estorick, Patrick Foret, Sarah Friend, Jonathan Ledgard, Anika Meier, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Penny Rafferty, Margit Rosen, Laurent Sauveur, Kenny Schachter, Paul Seidler, Alfred Weidinger
Tickets for NFT ART DAY ZRH are available here.
NFT ART DAY ZRH is a collaboration between E.A.T. / Engadin Art Talks and Tokengate. It aims to spotlight crypto art within the wider realm of the history of digital art, whilst building bridges with the art world. NFT ART DAY ZRH envisions a series of conferences and other gatherings that focuses on the relationship between art and NFTs, through the innovation of blockchain technology, historical digital art since 1950s, its market performance, and other components of this complex ecosystem.
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