Katarina Feder is a Vice President and Director of Business Development for Artist's Rights Society (ARS) and founder of Arsnl Art, the digital platform for ARS.
Can you tell us about the project you're currently working on? What inspired you to make it, how are you making it, what do you hope it achieves?
Generations, is a collaboration between generative artist Anna Lucia and the Quilters of Gee’s Bend that just launched on the 17th of May! For Context: Arsnl art is the official digital platform of Artists Rights Society (ARS). ARS represents the intellectual property rights of over 120,000 artists worldwide- including the quilters of Gee’s Bend. At ARS, we were approached to license the works of the quilters for a digital show that was still in its infancy. From there, a conversation was born and it became clear that Arsnl was the correct home for the project. Generations embraces the polyrhythmic call-and-response style of the Gee’s Bend: the quilters shared their process with Anna Lucia, who in turn created an algorithm to generate digital quilts that share key elements with the source, yet are unique and surprising in their own way. After months of collaboration, the quilters handpicked digital quilts to offer to collectors for future generations. We love this project and love exposing the works and the legacy of these amazing women to a new audience.
Let's dive deeper into a single work, share a work with us and let us know why you love it
One of the quilters, Mary Margaret Pettway, took it upon herself to create a digital quilt after Anna Lucia’s “Generation Seed 2531.” The input for this digital work was actually a quilt by Mary Margaret’s mother, Lucy Pettway. It was extremely exciting and touching to see this natural collaborative evolution, and certainly fitting for a sale titled “Generations.
What do you wish more people understood about NFTs, crypto art, or Web3 that would also help your work be properly celebrated?
People often think that digital art is somehow easier than a more traditional medium. The idea that use of technological instruments makes a work a less “Artistic” is not something new, fine art photographers received similar criticism in the 70s and 80s. It takes an immense amount of work to conceive of an interesting digital project and to bring it successfully to market. The technology is a tool, one that requires skill and nuance just like painting and sculpture.
Tell us about what your creative practice looks like. When do you work, where do you feel inspired etc.
With “traditional artists”- and here I am speaking of artists who have not previously worked with blockchain- I often ask them what they would want their work to convey that it cannot in its fixed/ tangible form. How can this technology be used to reveal something new and interesting about their work? From there, an idea is often born.
How and when did you get into NFTs?
The Christie’s/ Beeple sale.At ARS, immediately after that sale, we began to receive a windfall of requests to license works from our member artists for NFTs. I quickly understood how disruptive this technology was and the benefit that it could provide to creators. Although I was excited by these prospects, and many of our members were as well, it became apparent that many of these hopeful clients lacked the care and sensitivity that our members require. From there, Arsnl was born.
How have your views on NFTs involved since?
The ability to collect resale royalties for artists was a huge impetus for our involvement in the space. ARS has long championed resale royalties and has actively lobbied for the laws passage in congress for over a decade. It is disappointing that resale royalties have not been upheld by many platforms. At the same time, blockchain based art brought this issue into the mainstream and for that I will always be grateful!
What are your views on "the traditional art world" and how do you relate to it, or not?
I come from a more “traditional” art world background. I have a master’s degree in Art History and have spent the last five years running business development at ARS. The “traditional art world” is an extremely stagnant industry- one that has seen little to no change in the last several hundred years. Artists, on the other hand, are constantly evolving- it's in their nature. The talent and the commercial market are misaligned in many ways. The adoption of this technology by creators has caused a long-overdue necessary tear in the fabric of the traditional art market. It will be exciting to see what happens from here…
What are you doing to endure crypto winter?
Trying to stay positive! Chin up, head down. The best works always get their due.
We are a new magazine, give us some advice on how to make sure your work is understood and celebrated.
Context is key. Galleries understand this, NFT platforms often do not. People relate to a story. Show people what this work means and how it fits into the artist's larger artistic practice. Process videos and thoughtful curatorial statements go a long way.
Discover the project MindDrawPlay by George Mobius.
"I wish more people understood Web3 = ownership and community."