As the world leading experts in IT Services for the international fine art industry, it was only natural that Synergy would be present at the Art Business Conference held in London on Friday, the 25th March.
It was, as usual, a great opportunity to catch-up in person with our clients and partners, and to make new and interesting acquaintances.
One of the things that struck me as particularly wonderful was the buzz of excitement that underlined most conversations during the breaks between the different events. One could tell there were new, relevant and – dare I say – even cutting edge topics being discussed by a variety of carefully selected leading experts from the art world, together with business leaders and technology experts.
I have personally found the last panel of the day – NFTs at the intersection of the art world – extremely interesting. I could tell that most participants were completely absorbed by what was happening on stage.
As the next big thing to take the art world by storm, NFTs have now – among other things – offered digital artists a platform to present their art, the opportunity to actually call it “art”, and to have it valued as such. Artist Brendan Dawes shared insights into his personal journey as a digital artist and how the arrival of the NFT in the world of art has impacted his career and his success.
It was clear that more traditional galleries need to step up their game, and to expand their offering to their artists as well as their customers – needless to say the speakers were besieged after the panel by curious crowds.
Another topic that was just as relevant was discussed during the opening panel, aptly titled “Sustainability and the art world”, during which a group of specialists discussed how sustainability can be improved across the sector – with a focus on shipping, business travel and packaging.
One of the largest producers of emissions for the sector was identified as shipping by air., which sadly is not thought to be close to being replaced any time soon. Alternatives like sea freight were discussed, though many have argued that insurance firms make this option more difficult and more expensive. Speaking on behalf of AXA, Chris Bentley explained that companies should work with insurers and with the marine industry to change how things are managed and to reduce risks and costs.
Other ways to reduce emissions were also briefly discussed, with recommendations being that the art world should also focus on packaging and the use of technology.
The general consensus at the end of the day was that this was a “very different” conference from the ones that most participants usually attend, and that the topics were really tied to parts of their business that they are working on developing currently. Most of the people I spoke with were already asking about the dates for the New York conference, which has had to be rescheduled for later on this year.
Kudos to the organisers, headed by the wonderful Louise Hamlin – we are all looking forward to the next event!