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Art Tokenisation Was a Hot Topic at Art Basel Miami

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Kim Randall-Stevens

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28 January 2019

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There are few events that command the attention and set the tone of the fine art world like Art Basel. Now, blockchain technology has begun to turn heads among the the event’s attendees, many of whom are counted among the leaders of the space.

This is evidenced by the prominence given to blockchain technology at the latest instalment of the gathering. This past December, at Art Basel Miami (and at the other events that comprise Miami Art Week), blockchain seemed to be on everyone’s lips.

Thousands of people descended on the tropical Florida metropolis for a week of events highlighting the potential for decentralisation and tokenisation in the fine art world. A number of conferences and panels took place in and around Miami Art Week that focussed on the technology’s potential to disrupt fine art markets.

The noted collector and entrepreneur Adam Lindemann, for one, organised a conference called “The Art of Blockchains.” The event focussed on tokenisation as a practice that can make art accessible to a wider range of people - something we at Maecenas fully understand. The event attracted A-listers from the worlds of both blockchain and art, including curator Hans-Ulrich Obrist, gallery owner Marc Glimcher, Artsy co-founder Wendi Deng Murdoch, and Brock Pierce.

Another event drawing attention was “Art Decentralized,” hosted by Light Node Media Founder Alexis Johnson. The conference took place at the trendy Pearl Lounge on Nikki Beach.

These events have not escaped the notice of the mainstream media. Vulture, Forbes, and Bloomberg all featured stories about the convergence of the art and blockchain communities. Clearly, the world is taking note of the potential of decentralised technology to prod innovation in fine art, which is widely understood as having been resistant to change until now. The buzz surrounding blockchain at an event as established as Art Basel only underscores the growing momentum for innovation.

The art world - and some might say the crypto world as well - is driven largely by the direction set by key influencers in the community. It is therefore important, and encouraging, to see positive momentum building and the leaders of the two communities beginning to come together at a high-profile event like Art Basel. This was an important moment where the innovative disruptors bringing tokenisation to the space had the opportunity to encounter and interact with the biggest names in traditional art trading. 

But excitement can only go so far. That is why it remains so important for teams to keep building and demonstrating the technical power and user benefits of art tokenisation, as we are doing every day at Maecenas. Although we did not have a representative present, we were a topic of conversation at Art Week and beyond. We will continue pushing the envelope, making the promise held by the marriage of blockchain and art a reality.

 

Article image: Camille Pissarro "The Boulevard Montmartre on a Winter Morning" (1897) via the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Topics: Alternative Investment, Art Investment

Kim Randall-Stevens

Written by Kim Randall-Stevens

Kim Randall-Stevens was born in Hong Kong and grew up residing across the globe in South East Asia, Europe and the United States . She graduated with a masters degree from Inchbald School of Design and went on to manage David Gill Galleries, a leading contemporary art gallery in London before moving back to Asia in 2007 to continue her work in the arts. With her consulting & art advisory partnership, Kim brings a wealth of experience of 18 years in the world of contemporary and fine art. Based in Singapore, Kim works with collectors, advising and acquiring art for private collections and funds. Kim also consults closely with art galleries, artists and art fairs, advising on strategy and development, most recently, working with the Singapore Contemporary Art Show and the Asia Contemporary Art show in Hong Kong managing their exhibitor relations for the entire south east Asia region.

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