Talk: How the NFT Artworld Can Create New Agency


Join Beeple, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Christiana Ine-Kimba Boyle and Sydney Xiong in this online panel discussion

The rise of the NFT appears to mirror other slippages within the posthuman era; the boundaries between IRL and the virtual, between the human and technology, grow ever hazier. To what extent does the NFT artworld represent a paradigm shift for creative practices? Is this a threat or challenge to (or even continuation of existing dynamics of) agencies and institutions within the traditional artworld? And what motivations lie behind this newly formed constellation of power relations?

We assemble a collective of key voices in the field – Beeple, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Christiana Ine-Kimba Boyle and Sydney Xiong – to discuss how creators can feel empowered within this fast-developing ecosystem. This talk is the first in a series of discussions jointly developed and hosted between ArtReview and APENFT Foundation.

Venue: Zoom
Date: 09 August
Time: 5pm BST


Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director, Serpentine Gallery
Christiana Ine-Kimba Boyle, Global Online Sales Director, Pace Gallery
Beeple, Artist
Sydney Xiong, Director, APENFT and Secretary General, Art Dream Fund
JJ Charlesworth, Editor at ArtReview (moderator)

About the panellists:

Hans Ulrich Obrist is Artistic Director of the Serpentine in London and Senior Advisor at LUMA Arles. Prior to this, he was the Curator of the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris. Since his first show “World Soup” (The Kitchen Show) in 1991, he has curated more than 350 shows. Obrist’s publications include Ways of Curating (2015), Lives of the Artists, Lives of Architects (2015), The Athens Dialogues (2018), Maria Lassnig: Letters (2020), and 140 Ideas for Planet Earth (2021), and The Archipelago Conversations (2021; with Édouard Glissant).

Christiana Ine-Kimba Boyle is Global Online Sales Director at Pace Gallery, which she joined in 2021 with the task of expanding the gallery’s digital offerings and engaging new audiences. Boyle focus is to support artists in the development of NFTs and digitally native projects in connection with the gallery. Boyle previously worked at CANADA, where she launched the gallery’s first-ever online viewing room and virtual performance platform. She has also held several sales positions at commercial arts organisations, including Lehmann Maupin, Loretta Howard Gallery, Paddle8, and Gagosian, among others.

Beeple is Mike Winkelmann, a graphic designer from Charleston, USA who specialises in a variety of digital artwork including short films, Creative Commons VJ loops, ‘everydays’ (creating a picture everyday from start to finish and posting it online) and VR/AR work. In February 2021, Winkelmann started selling non-fungible tokens, one of which – Everydays: the First 5000 Days (2021) – was the first NFT to be sold by a legacy auction house (Christie’s). He has also worked on concert visuals for Justin Bieber, One Direction, Katy Perry, Nicki Minaj, Eminem, Zedd, deadmau5 and many more.

Sydney Xiong is a professional art consultant and writer, specialising in collection management and art evaluation of post-war and contemporary art. Since her appointment as director of APENFT, she initiated Art Dream Fund, curated major NFT show Digital Wanderlust in China, launched APENFT Marketplace backed by the TRON, led the team to make investments in more than 30 NFT and metaverse projects. She has been interviewed and featured in Artnet, the New York Times, Whitewall and has participated in many internationally renowned forums, such as the TIME Roundtable ‘Uncovering the Mystery of NFTs’, among others.

About APENFT Foundation:

Formally registered and established on 29 March 2021, APENFT is backed by the underlying technology of blockchains Ethereum and TRON with support from the world’s largest distributed storage system Bittorrent File System (BTFS) to deliver the mission of registering world-class artworks as NFTs on the blockchain. The collection of the APENFT Foundation includes artworks by Picasso, Andy Warhol, and crypto-artists Beeple, Pak, as well as other high-end NFT collectibles of various categories such as Punks avatars and EtherRock, with a total value of more than $46 million. APENFT Foundation has successfully sponsored the ‘Art + Technology’ Summit at Christie’s in New York. In the future, it will curate a series of online and offline exhibitions with world-renowned artists and facilitate high-end IP collaboration.

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