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The Work of Art in the Age of Blockchain

Thursday, November 29, 2018

In today's art world there are numerous challenges for artists, collectors, curators and dealers resulting from a lack of transparency. These include provenance issues, forgeries, and price scams. The members of this panel will discuss the role that blockchain can play not only in fixing these problems, but also in revolutionizing the art world.

New York skyline as seen from the window of HPI office
The ways to marry blockchain technology and art will be discussed in German House on November 29, 2018

Blockchain, with its ability to properly vet, permanently memorialize, and expertly protect transaction data, adds a new level of confidence to the art market. Blockchain allows us to link specific data to a specific work of art and timestamp that data. The panel members will not only discuss the positive aspects of blockchain technology with respect to art, they will also address some of the obstacles and challenges that exist.

Blockchain is a hot topic in the US and around the world and has been dubbed the most influential technology of our time. Not since Walter Benjamin's famous essay about the work of art in the age of its mechanical reproducibility has there been such a pressing need to reconsider the way we think about the art object and the role of the artist. This panel will focus on an aspect of blockchain technology that has not been at the forefront of either the blockchain or art discourse.