Hashing Out Art + Tech [Interview with Elena Zavelev]


Sketching Out the New Frontiers of Art

Our team at The Creative Crypto Magazine is thrilled to be a part of the upcoming NYC ArtTech + Blockchain Connect conference on October 24th as both media partners and participants. The New Art Academy is emerging as a leading institution for artful blockchain programming around the world. With an impressive roster of events, founder Elena Zavelev has cultivated a program to empower artists and practitioners across creative industries. The upcoming program is loaded with the leading companies and creators seeking to bridge the art world with emerging technology. This month, blockchain is taking center stage.

Today, we had the chance to speak with Elena about her trajectory into the new industry and how she plans to leverage this conference for a generation of crypto-powered professionals.


The Creative Crypto (CC): Hello Elena! Give us a snapshot of who you are.

I am the founder and CEO of New Art Academy, provider of intelligence on ArtTech, blockchain and AI for the global art market. Launched in 2017 New Art Academy fuses live conferences and lectures with online education and pop-up events. Prior to launching New Art Academy I worked with a number of art businesses including 1stDibs, Collectrium, Christie’s Auction House and Skate’s Art Market Research. I am a happy graduate of Christie’s Education with a MA in Modern and Contemporary Art and a native of Moscow, Russia.


CC: How did you come to start the New Art Academy? What types of activities have you focused on until now?

I’ve been successfully developing educational programming since 2009, organizing international art business conferences, online education, family workshops and tours at the major art fairs in New York and Miami. Through my work I realized that there was a lack of professional development and networking for the art market community, which inspired me to start New Art Academy. I noticed that “Art and Technology” was one of the most sought after yet the least covered topics within existing educational initiatives; and I decided to highlight it in New Art Academy programming.


CC: What’s in store for visitors of NYC ArtTech + Blockchain Connect?

NYC ArtTech + Blockchain Connect will cover the most exciting technological developments in the art market today including Art and Blockchain, AI and computer-generated art, VR, digital art and crypto-collectibles.

CC: Are there particular panels/presentations you’re excited about?

I am very excited to hear about latest trends in art and blockchain businesses including the latest collaboration between Christie’s Auction House and Artory on an industry first registration of major art collection sale with blockchain technology. I am also looking forward to participating in a live auction of Rare Pepes and experiencing groundbreaking VR technology right on site.


Participants in the ‘Digital Art and Crypto Collectibles’ Panel

CC: In a nutshell, tell us about the overall frontier of integrating art with blockchain. Why should artists and practitioners in the art world pay attention to this technology?

Forgeries and fakes are a big issue in the art market. Blockchain technology is helpful with recording the provenance making it a useful tool to securely keep the data that is crucial for collectors, artists and the market in general.

It is also the first time ever that limited editions of digital art are made possible thanks to the blockchain technology. And it is just the beginning of the applications of blockchain for artists. Eve Sussman, the famous video artist, is now using blockchain as a medium in her work, which is a creative way to leverage the technology. She will tell us more at the conference!

A tremendous thank you to Elena Zavelev for joining us on this interview. We encourage all of our readers to learn more about the event here, and be sure to pay particular attention to the panel we’ll be moderating with notable speakers including Kevin Abosch, Judy Mam of Dada, and more!

Event Name: NYC ArtTech + Blockchain Connect
Date and Time: October 24, 2018: 9am – 5pm
Location: NYU Kimmel Center
Cover ArtworkZsolt Vidak

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