A conversation between CADAF and The Canvas
Briefly tell us how you entered the art world.
A friend introduced me to the art world through a startup involved with art market research. The startup produced indexes and reports for people interested in investing in art. During my five-year tenure there, I organized conferences around the world. I then entered Christie's Education program focused on contemporary art. As I neared graduation I was approached to join another startup, Collectrium which managed Christine’s collector database. After a year, I began consulting and started an online art market education program, but it was difficult to gain traction with an online program without an offline presence. So I started study groups which grew into bigger conferences. Coincidentally the art world was also getting excited about blockchain and artificial intelligence at that time so we expanded focus to education of the power of technology. So we started hosting panels with blockchain and other tech startups. I hosted a large conference on art and blockchain at NYU followed by a conference in Basel. We soon noticed artists and galleries with a digital background started coming to the events; which was how CADAF came to being.
I studied art direction and art history at Pratt Institute. While studying at Pratt I interned for museums, with most of my time at The Met for the Asia Society, I always was fascinated by art history. Following Pratt I entered the agency world where I was an art director, but felt like something was missing. I then enrolled at Christie's Education MA. Following the program, I was contacted by Christie’s to work at Collectrium, the startup they had acquired that used tech to manage collections, and in fact I took Elena's desk after she left the startup. After a while working on their marketing, a friend put me in touch with Elena to work with her on design and marketing. The intersection of our paths was the formation of CADAF.
So tell us a bit about CADAF.
CADAF is about bringing awareness, accessibility and education to the digital art world. Additionally, we like helping the public understand digital art is not as different as most other mediums of art.
How is CADAF currently, or strategizing how to form a bridge between digital artists and collectors?
First, it's making events that people want to attend; bringing attention to digital art and how it works--conceptually and technically, because one of the biggest roadblocks for mainstream adoption of digital art is a lack of understanding by people. They don't know how to purchase it, don't know how to exhibit the art, and don't know how to install pieces in their home. Our mission is to change this.
Another challenge is the life of the artwork. Technology is replaced every two years, so how does a collector see digital art as an asset if the medium doesn't have much life?
The authenticity of digital ownership has come a long way. Blockchain technology enables artwork to be recorded so you are the owner of the piece.
Can you elaborate on how blockchain works?
You can think about it as a secure database where information is being recorded. The uniqueness about blockchain technology is it's an information timestamp, so you know exactly when something happened to the piece. Additionally, it's very hard to tamper with the information. So if something is altered to the code within the piece, it’s recorded and may eliminate the authenticity.
Additionally, it’s proven to be a great way for artists to implement a smart contract into the code. So for example, an artist’s name is attached to the code, so whenever the piece sells, the artist makes a commission. In the current model, a young artist may sell a piece for $100, with the piece later auctioning for $100million. The artist wouldn’t make any off of the piece, so blockchain is capable of allowing artists to financially benefit off of future sales.
So, what's next for CADAF?
We are working on our digital platform where we will host our own marketplace that will be available year round. The website will host art fairs with the most optimal way to view, sell and experience digital art.
Last question, if you collaborate with one brand, who would it be?
I would love to collaborate with BMW or Porsche, because they work with a bit of VR and AR. BMW has an amazing art program with their cars, where they experiment with the latest technologies and mediums.