METAVERSE IMAGINARIES - Tokenomics: A New Economy of Art

    METAVERSE IMAGINARIES - Tokenomics: A New Economy of Art


    26 January 2022, 6:00 PM - 7:30 PM

    Online event
    Book tickets

    This conversation, chaired by artist Simon Denny, will explore what the emerging political, creative and economic imaginaries of the metaverse – both utopian and dystopian - tell us about the future of making, owning and selling art.

    We will delve into the concept of the metaverse - the internet’s possible successor, a virtual world (or worlds) layered onto the physical through use of immersive technologies, populated by avatars and synthetic life forms and underpinned by blockchain technology. In doing so, we will examine how the technologies of the metaverse are enabling creatives to reimagine the dynamics of art making.

    Leading creators including artists and worldbuilders Keiken, New Art City and Arif Khan, will each take us on a journey through their imaginaries for the metaverse. The session will ask questions about what creative expression, economic agency, ownership, authorship and collaboration look like in the age of iNFTs, collectively owned avatars, virtual collectibles and mixed reality worlds.

    The answers to these questions may ultimately be defined by who builds and owns the metaverse (or metaverses) and the degree to which freedom and privacy are safeguarded within it.

    Will the expressive potential and tech infrastructure of the metaverse enable creators to thrive - both creatively and economically? How will value be attributed to art “on-chain” and “off-chain” and can the totalising tendencies inherent in the technology be avoided?

    Curated by Lucy Rose Sollitt


    Arif Khan - Co-founder and CEO of Alethea AI, innovators of the first intelligent iNFT, “Alice” made in collaboration with artist Robert Alice and sold at Sotheby’s in Spring 2021

    Keiken - Collaborative practice founded by Tanya Cruz, Hana Omori and Isabel Ramos whose work merging the physical and digital is ultimately part of building a free and open metaverse.

    New Art City – a virtual exhibition platform for new media art with a focus on copresence and experiencing digital art together in ways which prioritise accessibility and diversity of expression. Founded by Don Hanson and brought alive by the creative team, including Sammie Veeler.

    Simon Denny - Pioneering artist whose works such as “Blockchain Visionaries” (2016) unpack the social and political implications of the technology industry and the rise of social media, startup culture, blockchains and cryptocurrencies.


    Blockchain is changing how art is made, sold and financed, where it circulates and who its custodians are. But can it really increase the creative and economic agency of artists?

    The explosion in popularity of NFTs over the past year marks a moment of radical transformation within the art market.

    For better or worse, blockchain technology is ushering in new imaginaries and is rapidly evolving alternative sales, funding and ownership mechanisms which could rewrite the rules of the traditional art world.

    What are the implications of blockchain tokenomics for how art is created, sold and financed, where art circulates and who its custodians are? Will the next generation of NFT’s and DAO’s increase creative and economic agency? And if so, how can this be shared more equitably between individual creators, their collaborators and supporters?

    Curated by Lucy Rose Sollitt, Tokenomics: A New Economy of Art, brings together pioneering artists and technologists, to discuss the concerns and to highlight and support thoughtful approaches which use the full potential of the technology to imagine fairer ecosystems of art making.

    The series will address the defining questions of this new era with the aim of helping artists and those working across the art market to navigate the opportunities and complexities that lie ahead.


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