S+T+ARTS e-Sessions: Domenico Quaranta answers questions on Art, blockchain and NFTs

20 June, 2023 | 11:00-12:00 CET (registration needed)
Speaker: Domenico Quaranta

In this session, Domenico Quaranta answers STARTS Community questions on digital art market models, namely questions on blockchain and Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs).

The craze for Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) that erupted in early 2021 thrust the art world into the debate on the blockchain, the decentralised public ledger that holds these tokens, as well as cryptocurrencies, and promises to make “verifiable digital scarcity” a reality. Born out of the 2008 financial crisis and seen by many as the cornerstone of a new, more private, more secure Web3, the blockchain has changed the global economy and is now reshaping the digital environment in which art is increasingly being created, distributed and exchanged.

This session will tackle a series of as yet open questions, including: what does art have to do with the blockchain? Does it make sense to talk about “Crypto Art”, and if so what can be said to define it, apart from the way it is traded? Is speculation the be-all and end-all of this trend? How on earth can an infinitely reproducible digital file be deemed “unique”? Will the blockchain’s promise of disintermediation destroy the art world as we know it? And how is the art world reacting to the situation? Are NFTs an opportunity for artists or a scam perpetrated against them? Who are the collectors willing to pay millions for a certificate of authenticity, and why are they doing it? And why do the visual arts seem to have acquired such a central role in the crypto economy?

More about speaker Domenico Quaranta

Domenico Quaranta is an art critic, curator and educator. He is the author, among other things, of Beyond New Media Art (Link Editions, 2013) and Surfing with Satoshi. Art, blockchain and NFTs (Postmedia Books, 2022). Since 2005 he has curated exhibitions for national and international institutions, including: MNAC, Bucharest; iMAL, Bruxelles; LABoral, Gijon; HeK, Basel; 319 Scholes, New York; Kunsthaus Langenthal; +MSUM, Ljubljana; Palazzo delle Esposizioni, Roma; Centre d’Art Contemporain, Genève; MGLC, Ljubljana; GAMeC, Bergamo. Professor at the Accademia di Belle Arti di Brera, Milan, he’s a co-founder of the Link Art Center (2011 – 2019).

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