ART NFT LINZ Festival 2022

Francisco Carolinum Linz recently hosted the first ART NFT LINZ festival, dedicated to the probably most cutting-edge area of the art market: NFTs. But not only the future, also the past and predecessors of NFTs were topics at the festival.

Day 1@ ART NFT LINZ: From the Past to the Future of Net and Generative Art

One of the highlights on the first day of the ART NFT LINZ festival was the opening of Jonas Lund’s exhibition “Studio Visit. How to Make Art in the Age of Algorithms.” In 6 chapters or rooms, Lund’s first exhibition invites visitors to approach modern problems based on modern solutions. These include the values of the attention economy, the artist as currency, and also the power of networks and networked images.

The artist duo Operator presented Acts of Devaluation at the opening of their NFT exhibition Unsigned, a performance that addressed the connections between art and gender and posed the question: How far can we lower the value of a work through our myriad of signatures? The NFTs of the accompanying exhibition show 100 signatures of women and non-binary people. Helen Gorrill, the artist and author of “Women Can’t Paint,” studied the prices of over 5,000 works and realized that women and non-binary people earn one-tenth of what their male artist peers receive for their work.

… the addition of a woman’s signature can devalue artwork to the extent that female artists are more likely to leave their work unsigned.” Helen Gorrill

In response, the “Unsigned” NFT collection uses Web3 technology to enhance the value of these signatures not only ideationally, but also in real terms.

Day 2 @ ART NFT LINZ: Blockchain as a Medium

On Friday, CryptoWiener (represented by Bernhard Nessler) at OK Linz offered a guided tour of their exhibition “Pixels”. Well-known Viennese venues have made their way to Linz through the metaverse and found a temporary home in the OK until February 2023. But the rooms are not the only thing you can enter here …

Café Kleinwien in „Pixels“ by Cryptowiener, OK Offenes Kulturhaus Linz

The exhibition offers a visual and tangible entry into the metaverse, and the threshold between the digital and the real world blurs from room to room. Visitors find themselves in parallel on two dimensions – in the metaverse and in the real world – on a soccer field, in an old Viennese coffee house, or even at a sausage stand, and thus get to know this (for many still very new) digital world. Questions like “What are NFTs anyway?” and “What is blockchain?” are explained in Viennese German and English with ease. Activity passes on the soccer field invite people to enter the metaverse via a crypto wallet and perform simple tasks. The inhibition threshold for newcomers is thus taken away in a playful way.

Operator, the duo responsible for the “Acts of Devaluation” performance the night before, presented their ideas, projects, and views in a keynote on “Experimental Art and the Blockchain”. Before their collaboration, Ania Catherine was a dancer (body art), and Dejha Ti specialized in large-scale installations with physical computing. Together they aim to create immersive environments that include body art and the human body as part of art. Web3 and NFT play a prominent role in their current projects, such as “Unsigned.”

Artist Duo Operator on Stage

Operator at Francisco Carolinum Linz

Day 3 @ ART NFT LINZ: The Future of Art and Technology

At OK Linz, Christa Sommerer and Laurent Mignonneau devoted their retrospective The Artwork as a Living System to media artists and their interactive works from 1995 – 2021.

Afterward Manuel Rossner, one of the pioneers in the field of virtual reality, introduced the future with his view into the “Metaverse”. In his keynote, he showed known images from movies that show a kind of “metaverse”. Here, “The Matrix (1999)” clearly stands out as the showpiece. The artist found his beginnings in computer games and their modifications, which he programmed himself. Today he creates digital spaces and virtual worlds and shows what possibilities already exist to enrich reality through the metaverse. These extensions of installations in cultural institutions can also be purchased as NFTs in the form of images and videos.

A Tribute to Herbert W. Franke

One man helped shape not only the keynotes, but also the artist talks on Saturday: Herbert W. Franke, who died in July of this year, was not only an artist, but also a science fiction writer and scientist.

These NFT- und digital artists have shared their work and visions at the ART NFT LINZ:

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