The Contemporary and Digital Art Fair (CADAF) has dubbed October ‘Digital Art Month’ — and the art world seems to have followed suit.
In the age of COVID-19, it makes sense for Digital Art to have its profile boosted, but just how many things have happened so far this month is astounding even for the most optimistic among us. From multiple digital art fair releases, to the first ever non-fungible token (NFT) sold at a major international auction house (for $131k!), to announcements of institutional investments into the digital art space, the first week of October has been off to a super start. As AndArt believes in the importance of always being integrally part of the conversation surrounding new technologies and art-world developments, here’s a roundup of what we’ve been impressed with so far this month:
For the entirety of the month, CADAF has marked 77 spots throughout New York City where anyone can scan a QR code and discover augmented reality (AR) works of art in direct relation with their environment. The works will all be for sale online through the Blockparty marketplace, so one can almost call this a ‘public digital art fair’.
If New York is too far for you to reach in person (of if you prefer to browse your digital art in the comfort of your COVID-19 pajama uniform) Daata Editions has launched the first iteration of its digital-only art fair. With galleries like Hauser & Wirth, Almine Rech and Galeria Luisa Strina on board to showcase their artists, the fair hopes big-name collectors will continue to be converted to the medium.
The highest price that we will see this month for a Digital Art work has probably already been achieved on Wednesday afternoon at Christie’s when the auction house sold a work by artist Robert Alice. The work, which consists of two parts, a physical one and an NFT, marked the first time a major auction house has sold a truly digital work. With lots of buzz in the Chinese press, the work made an impressive $131,250 on the back of a $12–18,000 estimate. This is the second time in the past couple of years that Christie’s has taken a gamble on a ‘high-tech’ artwork that has handsomely paid off; in December 2018, on the back of the the auction house’s first Art+Tech Summit, a work created using artificial intelligence algorithms made almost 45 times its high-estimate.
[AndArt Agency founder Elliot Safra interviewed artist Robert Alice prior to the sale to discuss the work, the artist’s creative process and inspirations, and the NFT market in general. An excerpt of the interview will be published here next week.]
Moving into the purely digital realm, digital art marketplace SuperRare announced earlier this month that it achieved more than $2m in revenues for artists using the platform. Those numbers are even more interesting when put in context: it took more than two years for SuperRare artists to earn $1m; less than 6 months later they blew past the $2m mark.
And with numbers like those, institutional investors listen. Anthony Pompliano (aka Pomp), who co-founded Morgan Creek Digital, a crypto-focused off-shoot fund of Morgan Creek Capital, announced that his next big bet is none other than….Digital Art. We are not convinced that he’s got the ‘art’ side of it right just yet, but an influx of capital into the market definitely won’t do anyone any harm. As the saying goes, a rising tide lifts all boats.