NFT Biennial (nftbiennial.art), the first initiative of its kind, seeks to bridge the gap between the conventional art world and the emerging NFT ecosystem, while simultaneously forging stronger connections between the metaverse and the physical world. The organizers aim to create interactive and immersive experiences that showcase the potential of NFTs as a legitimate art form, utilizing a decentralized and collaborative approach. Embracing the limitless possibilities provided by digital technologies, NFT Biennial has established venues in eight major cities worldwide, alongside virtual exhibitions in the metaverse. This unique combination of physical and virtual spaces allows audiences to engage with the artwork through phygital events, where screens, projections, and augmented reality technologies provide a captivating experience that transcends traditional boundaries.
When was the NFT Biennial launched, and what was the main factor that inspired you to initiate the 1st Biennial of NFTs?
NFT Biennial’s first edition exhibitions took place throughout the months of January and February 2023 around the world. The first edition came to an end with a special event we held with The Sandbox, which continued until March 17th. As for what inspired me, my involvement in the NFT world began with an invitation to create artwork for a digital art biennial in 2020. It was during this period that the idea of the NFT Biennial started to take shape in my mind. Subsequently, we formed a small team and started developing the conceptual structure.
What is the mission and vision of the NFT Biennial?
Our aim was to establish a collective framework that combines curatorial integrity with Web 3.0 values right from the start. The greatest achievement of NFT Biennial lies in its ability to foster organic and collective growth, embracing Web 3.0 values and uniting people of the era through art and technology. We are now evolving into an interconnected hub, bringing together art communities in the Web 3.0 and NFT ecosystem.
Why have you decided to focus on the “phygital” format?
I believe the most significant aspect here is the rapidly changing definition of reality. This structure, independent not only of physical borders but also digital constraints, has become deeply integrated into our lives. The concept of phygital is arguably one of the most important facets of contemporary times. While traditional Art Biennials tend to be tied to a specific city, the NFT Biennial transcends physical boundaries, spanning across 7 countries and 9 different locations worldwide. It has transformed into a complete phygital experience with metaverse exhibitions.
Which partners are you collaborating with?
RU: The first edition of NFT Biennial was held in collaboration with the world-renowned open-source blockchain platform Tezos. Our other collaborators include leading companies and communities in the Web 3.0 ecosystem such as The Sandbox, Unicorn DAO, fx(hash), and more. Additionally, throughout the NFT Biennial, we collaborated with numerous galleries and art institutions worldwide, including Zorlu PSM and X Media Art Museum in Istanbul, Vellum LA in Los Angeles, Despace and Synthesis Gallery in Berlin, Rincon Projects in Bogota, USN Gallery in Tokyo, BXL Art NFT Gallery in Brussels, and Artsect Gallery in London. Recently, we organized a neighbor exhibition in Lisbon, in collaboration with Museum Week, a UNESCO-supported organization.
What are the main criteria for choosing the physical venues? Which similarities do they have in common?
The curation process and the experiences to be created were crucial aspects. We established a structure where we matched curators with the chosen venues, resulting in diverse and distinct experiences. The curation ranged from media shows to immersive experiences, and from VR/AR experiences to performances. At this point, it is more accurate to emphasize the differences rather than the similarities.
Could you tell us a bit about the future plans? When are you planning to open the next edition?
We have a broad roadmap and are committed to the growth of the NFT Biennial within the NFT ecosystem. The biennial will continue to take place every two years, spanning across the globe. Moreover, we are progressing with a series of neighbor exhibitions that will occur throughout the year as part of a highly dynamic ecosystem. The first of these exhibitions was held in Lisbon during the NFC (Non Fungible Conference). We will continue to unite the ecosystem through new drops and events.
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