Miami, once the electrifying epicenter of the crypto boom in 2021, has undergone a transformation in the aftermath of the NFT frenzy. As the fervor surrounding digital assets has settled, Miami’s digital art scene emerges not as a casualty but as a resilient force, matured and redefined. The metamorphosis is evident in institutions like the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) and the vibrant events during Miami Art Week, showcasing a nuanced approach to sustaining the city’s digital art culture.
PAMM Leading the Charge:
At the forefront of Miami’s evolving digital art landscape is the Pérez Art Museum Miami. With a keen interest in new media arts, PAMM received a significant donation from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation in 2018, leading to the establishment of a dedicated digital department. Amidst the crypto boom of 2021, additional funds fueled the department’s growth, culminating in the launch of PAMMTV, a streaming service featuring the museum’s new media and time-based works. This initiative aims to create sustainable infrastructure for digital art beyond financial speculation, reflecting a maturation in Miami’s approach to the genre.
Conferences and Critical Spaces:
Miami Art Week in the post-NFT era is marked by a deep interest in digital art conferences. Tezos, known for its environmentally friendly blockchain platform, hosted talks and performances at the Nautilus Hotel. Bitcoin Ordinals and Refraction partnered with Miami Community Radio to host panels, reflecting a commitment to fostering critical discussions on digital art. The shift towards the digital is evident in art fairs like Untitled Art Fair and SCOPE, emphasizing themes like ‘Curating in the Digital Age’ and hosting panels on women in Web3.
Artists Pivoting Post-NFT:
Artists and institutions previously involved in the NFT boom are pivoting towards more considered approaches. Faena Art at the ritzy Faena Hotel showcases digital artists Beeple and Sebastian Errazuriz, presenting hybrid works with physical components. Beeple’s sculpture S.122 marks a departure from purely digital creations, signaling a shift in the artist’s narrative. Errazuriz, critical of the NFT craze, focuses on works fostering human connections and explores the intersection of digital and physical art.
Miami’s Digital Community:
Kelani Nicole, owner of new media art gallery TRANSFER, moved to Miami in 2021 with optimism fueled by the NFT boom. While the seismic shifts in crypto markets affected collector interest, Nicole’s salon series for digital artists has thrived, nurturing a nascent community. The evolving digital art scene in Miami is becoming a crucial space for critical conversations and practices, offering a unique perspective on the city beyond its wealth-based culture.
If the NFT boom and subsequent bust left uncertainties, Miami’s digital art scene is now flourishing in a more thoughtful and sustainable manner. The city’s digital artists, institutions, and communities are navigating the post-NFT landscape with resilience, showcasing that Miami’s creative spirit extends beyond market trends and economic fluctuations. The afterglow of the crypto boom provides a fertile ground for a considered and vibrant digital art renaissance in Miami.