Webinar series explores innovation, digitization and the online art marketplace. Tech entrepreneurs and global art leaders gather to address today’s pressing issues.

UNFOLD Art XChange, the art business conference and summit platform, will launch the second edition of the Art + FinTech art and technology summit as a 14-session digital event across four weeks in June 2020. 

Art + FinTech 2.0 will bring together more than 40 global art market leaders and tech entrepreneurs in a series of keynote addresses, conversations and panel discussions about the online art trade, new-media art, virtual reality, blockchain technology and sustainability. 

Art + FinTech 2.0 aims to uncover, examine and debate the new age of digital disruption and innovation in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic. The summit will be attended by collectors, museum and art fair directors, curators, gallerists, artists, fintech leaders and blockchain technology experts.

Among the event highlights will be an exclusive session with one of the most influential figures in the blockchain industry, Joseph Lubin. He is a co-founder of the Ethereum platform, and the founder of ConsenSys, a decentralized blockchain production studio. He will discuss the potential uses of blockchain in the art market. Lubin will be joined by tech entrepreneurs from OpenSea, SuperRare, dada.art, Nifty Gateway, Cryptovoxels, Mintbase and NonFungible.com.

Millennial collectors, including Astrid Hill, Maria Baibakova and Eugenio Re Rebaudengo, will discuss innovative developments in the art world and new ways of working, while artist Paul McCarthy will talk about his multimedia artistic practice and experiments with virtual reality. They will be joined by leading museum directors and curators, including Sabine Himmelsbach, Alfred Weidinger and Christiane Paul, gallerists such as Johann König, and collectors including Adam Lindemann, Anita Zabludowicz, Masha and Jens Faurschou and Dominique and Sylvain Levy. 

Art + FinTech 2.0 runs from June 1st to 29th, with sessions every Monday and on selected Fridays. 

After registration, delegates will be able to participate in the live webinars and watch videos of the sessions on the Art + Fintech 2.0 Big Marker platform.


Online art trade

The online art market has been growing steadily — to almost $5bn in 2018, according to the 2019 Hiscox Online Art Trade Report. The trend has been accelerated by the global pandemic, with art fairs and galleries rapidly developing online viewing rooms. Art + Fintech 2.0 will examine the latest developments in the digitization and virtualization of the art market. Speakers will discuss the potential of augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR) and artificial intelligence (AI) for arts businesses. They will also consider how these technologies can ensure future success and contribute to creating a more sustainable art ecosystem.

New-media art

New-media art has been a rapidly developing field, embracing extended reality (XR), VR and AR as well as internet-based work and generative art. With many museums and galleries closed, the lockdown has encouraged greater audience exploration and sharing of screen-based works of art. Nevertheless, the perception remains that new-media art is difficult to display, collect and maintain. The webinar sessions will consider the best ways of exhibiting, collecting, conserving and building new-media art collections. The speakers will also discuss how to build audiences for innovative digital art forms.

Blockchain technology

Distributed ledger technology — or blockchain — has been widely discussed in the art market since 2018, particularly its potential to establish ownership, provenance and authenticity, smooth out transactions and create secure “smart contracts”. Art + Fintech 2.0 will discuss recent developments, including initiatives such as Art Identification Standard, which aims to make it easier to trace, identify and protect works of art. Joseph Lubin, one of the co-founders of Ethereum, will speak about the possibility of blockchain creating a new, more transparent art economy. 

Other speakers will discuss the evolution of blockchain collectibles, also known as non-fungible tokens, to create unique, irreproducible works of art, and the rise of crypto art and blockchain-powered virtual reality realms. Meanwhile, Christiane Paul from the Whitney Museum of American art will explain how the museum is experimenting with blockchain to encourage new models of art patronage. 


“UNFOLD Art XChange was conceived as an innovative art business conference and summit platform. It aims to become one of the largest multicultural art exchanges, bringing together diverse voices across local, regional and international art landscapes.

In light of the current global situation, with nearly a third of the globe in enforced isolation and the art world at a standstill, UNFOLD Art XChange has decided to examine the need to speed up the global transition towards a digital art economy.

At Art + FinTech 2.0, we will explore how the coronavirus pandemic is pushing the art world into an era of digitization and online. I hope this webinar series will offer a new and stimulating virtual experience, bringing together thought-provoking leaders in the art and tech worlds to share best practice, help us to innovate and come out stronger when the pandemic ends.”

– Rachel Rekkab, Founder of UNFOLD Art Xchange

“We are facing a great moment in the history of art and the art market. Nobody would have thought six months ago that digitization could be adopted so quickly across the whole art industry. Art + Fintech 2.0 is offering a unique platform to guide us through a broad variety of current technological developments which will significantly change the market and the way we experience art in the near future.”

– Georg Bak, Art Advisor & Curator, Crypto + Blockchain Art, Curatorial Advisor, Art + FinTech 2.0

For more information please visit: unfoldbrics.art/art-fintech-2-0/overview.

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Press contacts 

Contact: Rachel Rekkab

Email: rachel.rekkab@artemholdings.com

Phone number: +971 56 778 3545