NFT ART DAY ZRH: Interview With Co-founder, Curator And Art Advisor Georg Bak

NFT ART DAY ZRH is the prime annual conference at the intersection of Web3 and contemporary digital art.


Gretchen Andrew


January 21, 2024

NFT ART DAY ZRH: Interview With Co-founder, Curator And Art Advisor Georg Bak

NFT ART DAY ZRH is the prime annual conference at the intersection of Web3 and contemporary digital art. Initiated in 2022 by Katharina de Vaivre, Managing Director of E.A.T. (Engadin Art Talks), and Georg Bak, digital art advisor and curator, its mission is to create new grounds on the multifaceted interconnections between Web3 and art, and to spark a dialogue about the role and impact of emerging technologies in the art sphere. The conference spotlights crypto art within the wider realm of the history of digital art whilst building bridges with the traditional art world; it focuses on art and NFTs, the innovation and potential of blockchain technology, historical digital art, digital art market performance, and other components of this complex ecosystem. Through a line up of thought leaders from both the art and tech worlds, the conference acts as a platform offering critical conversations, new views and understandings on the relationship between art and NFTs.

The second edition of the NFT ART DAY ZRH is taking place over two days, prior to Art Basel and as part of the Zurich Art Weekend.

On Saturday, June 10, the conference opens with educational sessions and workshops for professionals and newcomers alike, who will learn how to mint, buy and sell NFTs followed by the NFT ART DAY party at Trustsquare Paradeplatz.

The main conference will be held at Kunsthaus Zürich's new Chipperfield building, on Sunday, June 11, with an insightful program of talks and panel discussions that explore different topics related to the field of NFTs. Themes include the current state of the NFT art market, insights on seminal artistic practices, the impact of accelerated technologies in the art world, the examination of the active collecting behaviour and artist talks.

NFT ART DAY ZRH brings together international thought leaders and experts, artists, curators and collectors, who are working at the intersection of art and technology. This year’s speakers include James Bridle, Brian Droitcour, Luba Elliott, Alex Estorick, Sabine Himmelsbach, IX Shells, Dr. Omar Kholeif, Mario Klingemann, Sandra Nedvetskaia, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Operator, Kenny Schachter, Anne Spalter, thefunnyguys (Le Random Collection), and Valerie Whitacre.

Tickets for the second edition of NFT ART DAY ZRH are now available for purchase.

Gretchen Andrew, editorial director of NFT Magazine, sat down with Georg Bak to discuss this year’s conference and its relationship to the wider crypto and traditional art ecosystems.

Gretchen Andrew: Last year was a huge success, what are you doing differently and what are you keeping the same?

Georg Bak: We want to keep most things the same as last year as it was such a great success. We are focusing on the intersection of art + Web3 and try not to overwhelm our guests with too many talks. The conference will take place at the Kunsthaus Zürich again but this time at the new Chipperfield building where we also have the opportunity to display some NFTs. This year we are adding some educational sessions on the day before the main conference, where attendees can learn about the NFT basics such as setting up a wallet, buying and selling NFTs and the NFT market. On Saturday evening we are also organizing our own party with a little NFT show, some VR experiences and free mints.

GA: How does Crypto Winter impact the conference?

GB: First we were concerned that it would be hard to find sponsoring partners but we were surprised to find some great new partners such as one of the leading Swiss private banks Maerki Baumann, Tezos and their platforms Objkt, FX(hash) and ArtMeta as well as 360xArt, a company which is specialized in tokenizing art assets. Certainly we feel that there is currently less interest in NFTs and therefore we shifted our focus a bit more to Web3 and digital art in a wider sense.

GA: How many people are you expecting to attend?

GB: We are expecting 400 - 500 guests this year and about 50 - 80 % coming from abroad, visiting Art Basel.

GA: What is NFT Art Day's relation to the "traditional art world“

GB: We have a good mix of collectors, artists and professionals from both the traditional and the digital art world. It is important for us to make this bridge and bring more and more traditional art collectors into NFTs and Web3. As a conference with a strong focus on the discourse about digital art, we are not inviting the usual speakers you would expect at NFT conferences. This year we have also invited some critical voices such as Dr. Omar Kholeif (curator at Sharjah Foundation, Dubai) and James Bridle (artist, writer).

GA: What is the significance of the location, the museum, and in Zurich?

GB: The Kunsthaus Zürich is the main art museum of the city and is located in the heart of the Zurich Art Weekend. We chose to organize this conference in Zurich and not in Basel because we feel that most art fair visitors will be too busy in Basel. We also profit from the synergies between Art Basel and the Zurich Art Weekend. There are many good reasons to plan a trip to Switzerland in June and also visit our conference.

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