Art is an activity that is closely related to leisure. And even at the closing stages of the year 2022, leisure is something that is still enjoyed outside of the house. Even though you can enjoy these types of activities through a screen, it is still considered healthy to have leisure time in real life and outside the house. Visual art is a leisurely activity, and art galleries play a key role in it. Given that art is one of the sectors that is pushing NFT adoption, then it might make sense to encourage some sort of synergy between the “real world” and the digital ecosystem. These types of synergies, when used to advertise a product, is called on-off marketing. Art galleries that have taken the step into NFTs can do this, as long as they are mindful of not being “hyper commercial”, as they look to get more NFT holders into the space in general.
Museums and historical landmarks already have a certain degree of technology embedded to the experience that its to the interactivity, on one hand, and automation, on the other. Think of the auto-guide devices that are handed out that tell the story of a monument like a cathedral, or that helps guide the visit throughout a museum. Or the QR codes that are visible on restaurant menus, advertisements, and information points. A synergy between cyberspace and the offline world is something that makes absolute sense because people have offline lives. That’s on a more general level. A concrete example related to NFTs is the idea of a NFT vending machine.
MyNFT is a multi-chain marketplace that has also gotten into the trend of going into the “real world” to get more people to become NFT holders, and not just appeal to those that are already in the space. The device made its debut recently, in the NFT.London conference, that gathered people interested in Web3 for workshops and discussions. Hugo McDonaugh, co-founder of myNFT, said that the Queen Elizabeth II Centre in Westminster will not be the final destination for the vending machine, with some bars being considered as a spot.
But this is not the only such effort. Neon is (or was) a startup company that decided to install vending machines in cities across the United States, while also creating a marketplace for NFTs based in the Solana blockchain. While the move created all sorts of headlines at the beginning of the year, in the end, being exclusively on the Solana blockchain proved to be too narrow a market, and it had not established itself as a household name in the NFT marketplace sector. Maybe the timing was wrong, or maybe it was the wrong actor in the space doing such a move.
Perhaps the lesson is that the vending machines should be installed in places where buying NFTs makes sense, because there is a common theme in the context that it is located. Or that these devices should not be central to a business’s survival, and be more like a complement to the whole value proposition. An art gallery could very well be the place that provides the adequate context, as it is a place where one can view and buy art. Indeed, if a marketplace wants to push for more NFT adoption, perhaps a partnership with an art gallery might be in order.
The role of art galleries
The SOPRG art gallery has in place a system in its website —as well as its Somnium Spaces metaverse parcel— where you can buy an NFT and also its physical painting equivalent. So, there’s already there’s an online to offline synergy. A way to educate “tech people” into appreciating traditional art while getting an NFT. Which proves that it makes sense to have these types of actions in place, and encouraging users to get the best of both worlds. But given how an art gallery and museums are great places for events to take place, it should be of no surprise that offline to online dynamics start to occur.
Because an art gallery, more so than a museum, is a place that offers a network of scholars and experts, collectors, and artists; perhaps they are uniquely positioned to become the ones that allow more people become NFT holders.
This allows for all sorts of art driven actions, like interactive installations, limited expositions, or special events —which can all be the perfect stage to educate the wider audiences on the benefits of NFTs—. NFT art, and the wider art gallery space, have a key role in making sure that more and more people are adopting NFTs. Which is a massive opportunity for everyone in the industry, as businesses could find a very enticing opportunity to grow beyond what they could have imagined if it were not for the Web3 disruption.
Perhaps in the near future, when you visit your local art gallery you will be enticed to have a more complete experience by entering a Web3 setting, or through buying NFT art. It’s a scenario that should be explored.