Italy gets digital! The new frontiers of Crypto Art #MonthlyExhibit

"Eroding and Reforming" by Daniel Arsham

Florence’s Let’s get digital! exhibition brings the world of NFTs to Palazzo Strozzi 

Florence is mainly known all over the world for its Renaissance art and Palazzo Strozzi is surely one of the greatest architectural examples of that time. However, what people might actually don’t know, is that this building is also one of the most vivid examples of innovation in Italy’s world of art, as testified by the exhibition called: Let’s get digital! NFT’s and innovation in Digital Art

Launched on May 18, this exhibit is according to Palazzo Strozzi’s booklet:

A journey through digital installations and multimedia experiences encapsulating the new direction in Crypto Art

and includes works of artists such as Beeple, Refik Anadol, Daniel Arsham and Krista Kim.    

The main purpose is then “to forge a link between the physical and the digital”, trying to create an immersive and interactive experience and explain concepts such as NFTs, metaverse and blockchain without preconceptions. 

Machine Hallucinations – Renaissance Dreams by Refik Anadol

The prologue of the exhibit is Machine Hallucinations – Renaissance Dreams, an abstract work made by Turkish-American artist Refik Anadol. To create this piece, Anadol has used machine learning to let a computer analyse and memorize, through algorithms, 12.335 paintings made in the Renaissance era and combined them into an astonishing AI data sculpture.

Beeple, probably the most known digital artist in the world (his artwork Everydays – The First 5000 Days was sold at Christie’s for $ 69.3 millions) is the protagonist of the central room of the exhibition. Indeed, on the sidewalls there are some specific works of the Everydays series, such as Gigachad, portraying a very muscular version of Elon Musk and the Doge’s meme dog; and Into the ether, representing a big Ethereum gem (the symbol of the famous cryptocurrency) found by some astronauts. At the bottom of the room there is finally a big screen showing a video of thousands of works made by Beeple.  

Fascinating are the two spaces dedicated to artists Andrés Reisinger and Krista Kim. The first one shows a short film of 9.48 minutes called Arcadia, divided into five chapters and shown on three screens at the same time. The film reflects on the condition of men in the 21st century and pays homage to philosophers, poets and artists such as Soren Kierkegaard, Oscar Wilde and Albert Camus. The second one shows Krista Kim’s Mars house, the first “crypto house” designed to be implemented in both metaverse and the real world. Mars house was thought by the artist as a space for meditation and isolation from the real world during the 2020’s COVID-19 pandemic.  

Next Beeple, another “superstar” of the exhibition is without any doubt Daniel Arsham. In Eroding and Reforming Bust of Rome (One Year), the American artist creates a digital sculpture which forms and destroys itself in a perpetual way during the four seasons of the year. Through this piece, Arsham rethinks the concept of marble statues, which were actually made to fix something that could last forever.  

Part of the Afterlife project by Anyma

The tour ends with a site-specific installation created by Italian collective Anyma, which includes visual artist Alessio De Vecchi and music-composer and DJ Matteo Milleri. The group of works, shown by Anyma in Palazzo Strozzi, is part of the Afterlife project, which explores the connections between nature and technology and the union between synthetics and organic elements. 

As you probably noticed Let’s get digital! NFT’s and innovation in Digital Art is an exhibition that explores different shades of the world of NFTs: from digital art through design to the metaverse; from video art to installations. This is why it is worth a visit!

The exhibition is open to visitors in Palazzo Strozzi until July 31, 2022.  

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