With Miami Art Week nearly reaching critical mass, so too is The Gateway: A Web3 Metropolis. Over the past few days, downtown Miami and beyond have been instantly converted into hubs for all things Web3. In partnership with MoonPay and Mana Comnmon, nft now has taken over two entire city blocks located in the heart of downtown Miami to bring The Gateway into reality. Up for bat on the third day of exclusive panels are chats with Shira Lazar on the future of community building, the continued evolution of Web3 media by former TIME president Keith Grossman, and a broad look at the state of music NFTs featuring nft now Co-Founder Sam Hysell in conversation with Latashá, Shannon Herber, Spottie Wifi, and Cooper Turley.
So what went on during this day-long block of The Gateway 2022? Headlining The Gateway’s second day of its Miami Art Week adjacent programming at the Dupont building were panels featuring Instagram, MoonPay, RTFKT, Christie’s, and more, speaking on the future of their respective brands within Web3.
For RTFKT, its forward-looking application of blockchain technology looked to integrate the calling card of one of its most notable working relationships: high-quality footwear. Thanks to its ongoing collaborations with sportswear apparel giant Nike, RTFKT finds itself uniquely equipped to deliver NFT-enabled articles of clothing. As revealed at yesterday’s Gateway panel, RTFKT and Nike are working towards realizing that possibility through the upcoming launch of Cryptokicks, a planned line of smart footwear. Further details regarding the launch are scheduled for announcement on December 5.
As for what went on throughout the rest of Miami Art Week, if this installation was anything to go by, then controlled chaos was more or less the norm as artists aplenty worked to push the envelope of creative expression further and further with their unconventional artworks and installations. One highlight unveiled earlier in the week that exemplifies this is Living Room by Random International which logs the movement data of guests exploring the installation, visualizes it, and offers guests the chance to mint it as an NFT.
Ethereum Co-Founder Joseph Lubin on the FTX debacle and the future of NFTs
Speaking with nft now Co-Founder & CEO Matt Medved during a fireside chat at nft now x Mana Common’s The Gateway, Lubin reflected on his on-chain career, and provided insight into the state of the crypto and NFT spaces while looking toward the future of the blockchain. “A lot of people have been harmed for millennia by bad centralized systems. You can hide information, you can cheat in so many different ways,” said Lubin on the topic of the recent FTX debacle that sent ripples throughout Web3. “I’m grateful that it is going to enable us to drive a narrative that really lays out, in stark terms, the value of decentralization.”
Aku Dreams Creator & Artifex Founder & CEO talk storytelling in Web3
Creator of Aku Dreams Michah Johnson was joined by Roger Dickerman, Founder of Artifex for a fireside chat focused on storytelling and innovation in Web3 during The Gateway. The room was packed, and the walls were vibrant, adorned with digital art by Victor Mosquera and Alotta Money.
Johnson started by noting he doesn’t bracket himself within one creative category or industry. “I don’t describe myself as an artist or a CEO. I’m […] just a creative person, and I use a lot of mediums to communicate a message,” he said. Along these lines, he noted that he was initially attracted to blockchain technology because of its ability to blend creative mediums — the way it allows artists to branch out from traditional art, and experiment in new ways.
“I fell in love with blockchain technology and how it can innovate across creative mediums. A photograph now has an entirely different meaning than just a photo on a wall. It’s programmable,” Johnson said. But he also noted that the collectibility and scarcity associated with blockchain tech have had their downsides. Namely, they’ve caused some to focus more on financial concerns than creative matters.
“The copy/pasting stuff, we saw a lot of that in 2021,” remarked Johnson. “If you did it, you could make money, so innovation became stagnant. For the NFT industry to grow, we need to get back to innovation.” Indeed, copy/paste scams were widespread in 2021, placing platforms like Solana under scrutiny.
But Johnson then pointed to solutions that collectors can adopt in order to ensure their collections are built on creativity and innovation, not inauthenticity. “As a collector, I want to understand that an artist is serious. So I follow them on social media to see what they’ve done. You want to see them grow and expand and evolve as a creator,” he said.
FaZe Clan and UCOLLEX partner to exhibit digital art at The Gateway
Animoca Brands’ UCOLLEX is bringing a competitive art competition to nft now and Mana Common’s The Gateway in Miami on December 3. Called LIMITS, the UCOLLEX Art Battle will pit high-talent artists in a battle of creative skills through three art battles going live at the FaZe Clan event stage. This will happen on the last day of The Gateway, and broadcast live on FaZe Clan’s Twitch and YouTube accounts.
Four digital artists from Belgium and Japan will perform — Hirofumi Mochizuki, Jaba, Yuhkilily, and Kathmi.
Crucially, the UCOLLEX V.A.S. Cartridge will also launch on December 3, with bonus items dropping for holders later on. You don’t need a crypto wallet to participate, and anyone at The Gateway can nab the new V.A.S. Cartridge by scanning QR codes at FaZe Clan’s gamer-themed booth. If you’re not there, you can still find it on social media. More info can be found here.“We’re extremely hyped to partner up with Faze Clan who have established themselves as a platform for esports and entertainment!” said Davide Santillo, UCOLLEX COO, in a press release. “LIMITS powered by UCOLLEX fits this mold and showcases the impressive feat that artists can achieve when pushed to their limits in front of a live audience.”
First-ever art-focused blockchain launches at Miami Art Week
Miami Art Week saw the launch of Arcual, which describes itself as the first-ever blockchain designed with the art world in mind. In celebration of the launch, several art galleries have elected to digitally host certain pieces in its inventory on the new blockchain.
One of those is the Zurich-based art gallery Mai 36 Galerie, which will host an authentic digital copy of Raúl Cordero’s “We Want Magic” on Arcual. The Fitzpatrick and High Art galleries of Paris will also participate in Arcual’s launch festivities. Speaking on the sheer potential of Arcual, Cordero stated in a press release: “Blockchain is a great tool for the art market — it points to the future and looks at new ways of collaboration,” said Cordero. “But it also meets the industry on its own terms. Today many artists lack transparency regarding what is happening with their work, and blockchain is an important step towards more active ownership and involvement.”
FewoWorld Arrives in Art Basel
Critically acclaimed NFT artist FEWOCiOUS is bringing his interactive Web3 paint party FewoWorld to Miami Art Week later today, running from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET. Although it’s open to all ages and is intended to be as inclusive as possible, the event will remain token-gated like past FewoWorld parties of this nature. Exclusive to current holders of any of FEWOCiOUS’ pieces, including Paint and Canvas NFTs minted during past paint parties.
What sets this latest paint party apart from previous events is its billing as the Fewo Fashion Factory. While in past paint parties, guests were merely handed paint and brushes to do whatever they pleased with, the Fewo Fashion Party suggests that instead of utilizing regular canvases for paint, guests will be able to freely decorate and elevate specific pieces of clothing.
A rare screening of a ‘film under construction in Web3’
The importance of royalties was a prominent thread during The Gateway panel “The State of Film NFTs,” with Artist J.N. Silva, Filmmaker Nelson G. Navarrete, and Filmmaker Julie Pacino in conversation.
J.N. Silva recounted a correspondence he had with a psychedelic artist of the 1960s, who told him how he envied creatives today who can now monetize small works instead of working in invisible obscurity.
The value of filmic works bought early in an artist’s career will also benefit collectors, noted Pacino, who was among the first to produce film NFTs. If “[I sell you] some work and then I go hustle my ass off and elevate my value, then you’re [also] going to benefit from it.”
Co-Directors Navarrete and Alex Ulises are also hosting a screening of their documentary “Idiosincracia Latina” along with “NEA,” the teaser for Buscando América — “a fiction film under construction in Web3”, which Silva executive produced. Throughout the panel, the aim of expanding infrastructure for artists and filmmakers working with NFTs.