Digital Art Mile ‘Bridges Worlds’ Between Traditional and Electronic Art

Earlier this month, Decrypt’s sister Web3 media outlet Rug Radio headed to Basel to take part in the Digital Art Mile, a new digital art fair format that showcased contemporary and historical digital art from around the world.

“We wanted to bridge these two worlds—the traditional art world and the digital art world,”  Georg Bak, Artistic Director of the Digital Art Mile, told Decrypt.

The inaugural Digital Art Mile succeeded in that aim, Bak said, drawing “a mix of the Web3 crowd and curious art people from who were around Basel.”

Exhibiting at the free event were galleries and NFT platforms including Objkt, fx(hash), Fellowship and MakersPlace.

Aleksandra Artamonovskaja, Head of Arts at Trilitech, the entrepreneurship team supporting the Tezos blockchain, mentioned tesserart’s interactive installation by artist HOXID as one of the highlights of the event. The artwork enabled participants to live mint an NFT in a dynamic frame. “Every time you minted a piece, a new work would be swapped on the screen,” Artamonovskaja said, adding that around 800 artworks from 60 artists were claimed through the installation.

Also notable was the physicality of the generative art on display, Artamonovskaja said, who also shared a keynote on this topic during the generative art conference organized by LeRandom. “For example, fx(hash) had woven tapestries by Andreas Rau—it was very creative— and they had transparent glass frames to show art by Aleksandra Jovanić from both sides.”

The fx(hash) installation at Digital Art Mile. Image: ArtMeta

Bak highlighted MUTATIO, an interactive installation by cybernetic choreography pioneer Analivia Cordeiro showcased by Objkt and the Tezos Foundation. The work sees observers become participants, as their movements are captured and translated into colorful, abstract patterns. “It really looks something like a Constructivist output, something like a Mondrian,” Bak said. “It’s a very beautiful work.”

Digital Art Mile also included a programme of talks, with the organizers pointing to discussions on generative art and museums as particular highlights. “We spoke about the challenges museums face in exhibiting digital art,” Artamonovskaja said, adding that artist Sasha Stiles talked “from an artistic standpoint of how she approaches production, given her vast experience of working across a variety of exhibition spaces.”

“We realized that there’s never been a conference on Web3 and museums, so this was really something very special,” Bak said, adding that he was also particularly proud to have presented a rare interview with Analivia Cordiero.

Sothebys Bernar Venet installation
Sothebys Bernar Venet installation. Image: ArtMeta

Alongside the installations and talks, the event also saw the European premiere of CryptoPunks documentary “What the Punk,” which explores the NFT collection’s evolution from “a certain ethos,” Artamonovskaja explained, to the “monetary impact it had on them over the years” as speculation took hold.

With the first Digital Art Mile a resounding success thanks to the “great support” of the digital art community, Bak and Artamonovskaja are turning their attention to the future of the event. “I think this can grow in quality, but also in quantity,” Bak said, adding that the next event will feature “even more spaces and showcase more galleries.”

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