Institut, the first art world-led platform for NFTs, launches in July 2021

The first art world-led platform for NFTs launches in July 2021, accompanied by a physical exhibition in London and a virtual exhibition on Arium, NFTism: No Fear in Trying, curated by Kenny Schachter

Larva Labs, CryptoPunk #8146, Courtesy Institut
Larva Labs, CryptoPunk #8146, Courtesy Institut

Institut – the first art world-led platform for NFTs – launches internationally this July. Committed to showcasing high quality, curated artworks, the platform is founded by Joe Kennedy and Jonny Burt of Unit London, in collaboration with an international consortium of artists and collectors and BTSE, one of the premier cryptocurrency trading platforms. Revolutionising a marketplace previously led by tech entrepreneurs, Institut boasts a dedicated global team of artworld professionals from galleries, auction houses and institutions, offering over a decade of expertise in the contemporary art market. The platform brings together galleries, curators, artists, institutions and auction houses to participate in specific drops, alongside an ambitious exhibition programme hosted on Arium, a new virtual exhibition metaverse. Institut is a hub for top artists, collectors and curators to explore new digital art forms in depth, offering a crucial bridge between the traditional art world and emerging digital communities.

Joe Kennedy and Jonny Burt, Unit London co-founders: Behind Institut is a genuine desire to reach broader audiences and to set the precedent for how we perceive art in the coming decades. We are at an inflection point in history where the physical and digital are integrating – and artists are only beginning to scratch the surface of this art form’s new potential. The NFT market has witnessed unprecedented expansion with NFT art growing more than 800% in the first four months of this year; NFTs are primed to become the leading emerging asset class for the new virtual economy. Institut is committed to using technology to expand art audiences and create the future of art, in all its forms; this future for artists, and the art market, has never been more exciting.

Launching the platform’s inaugural exhibition, NFTism: No Fear in Trying, art writer and NFT commentator Kenny Schachter curates a physical showcase at Unit London in Mayfair in July 2021, where collectors and visitors are able to view the NFTs on screens, alongside a groundbreaking virtual exhibition via new metaverse technology from Arium. Arium invites viewers to navigate a browser-based virtual space with 3D-video chat, allowing art lovers from across the world to visit the exhibition remotely. The physical exhibition brings together 100 artists from both the “traditional” and digital worlds, including Miao Ying, Olive Allen, and IX Shells; Shells recently became the highest selling female artist in NFTs with her work ‘Dreaming at Dusk’, which sold for 500ETH / $2m. It is held in conjunction with NFT sensation CryptoPunks, who feature in the project through outdoor billboard displays across the UK – a collaboration with SaveArtSpace.

Conscious of the impact of blockchain on the environment, the platform is developed using a centralised custody rather than a fully decentralised ecosystem, limiting the amount of on-chain interactions and thus significantly reducing energy consumption. The platform is run on the Ethereum blockchain and is supporting the transition to Ethereum 2.0, thought to be up to 99% more energy efficient than its current iteration.

Alongside NFTs, Institut will also offer physical artwork collectibles and editions. Furthermore, fully integrated with a major global crypto exchange, Institut acts as a gateway for traditional art world collectors to enter the NFT market; with no prior cryptocurrency experience necessary, browsers can acquire NFT artworks in USD denominations with just an email address and credit card. More experienced crypto users can choose to connect their Ethereum wallets.

Kenny Schachter, NFTism: No Fear in Trying exhibition curator said: It’s a human defense mechanism to reject the unfamiliar without giving it a chance; change is hard to stomach, something that unsettles the status quo. Human nature pushes back at first blush rather than learn about and accept something new for what it is—a potential advance and step forward. NFTs are just such a transformative phenomenon, a potential revolution in the history of art and its dissemination into the collective stream of consciousness, and commerce! This show will attempt to do what no one has done before. FOCUS ON THE ART, art from a wide, diverse universe of talent from all walks of life.

TitleNFTism: No Fear in Trying
Venue details: Unit London, 3 Hanover Square, London, W1S 1HD
10:00 – 18:00, Mon – Sat. By appointment only on Sunday.

Martin Cid Magazine
Martin Cid Magazine
Martin Cid Magazine (MCM) is a cultural magazine about entertainment, arts and shows.
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