In the midst of the 2021 cryptocurrency surge, Miami emerged as the epicenter of activity. The city hosted Bitcoin 2021, one the largest crypto conference globally. Startups such as Blockchain.com, Solana, and Ripple set up shop in Wynwood. Mayor Francis Suarez even declared his salary would be converted to Bitcoin. Additionally, the Miami Art Week of that year and the following was characterized by a continuous stream of NFT activations. Despite the possible decrease in abundant funding, Miami’s 2023 emerging digital art scene seems to remain unscathed and has noticeably matured.
Leading the charge in the realm of new media arts is the Pérez Art Museum Miami, which has deepened its commitment to digital art in response to Miami’s growing interest in this field. In 2018, the museum received a generous donation from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which was used to establish a new digital department. This department received additional funding during the 2021 surge and was officially inaugurated at the end of the same year. In December, the museum introduced PAMMTV, a dedicated streaming platform for showcasing the museum’s new media and time-based creations. In a related development, the Knight Foundation kicked off Art Week on Monday by organizing Catalyst, an exclusive forum for arts and technology.
The recent Miami Art Week was teeming with discussions and seminars on the subject of digital art. Bitcoin Ordinals organized a full day of conversations at the Sagamore Hotel. Meanwhile, Refraction, a Web3 entity, collaborated with Miami Community Radio, a fresh radio initiative and a decentralized autonomous organization, to arrange a sequence of panel discussions. The concurrent art fairs also joined the movement towards digital art, with Untitled Art Fair presenting a ‘Curating in the Digital Age’ theme, and SCOPE facilitating a discussion on the role of women in Web3.
The Solana community was set to make its first appearance at Art Basel Miami Beach. The exhibition, dubbed Artists in Residence, presents a novel blend of traditional art and technology. The exhibition features experiences created by teams and artists within the Solana ecosystem, demonstrating to attendees how Solana can be used as a platform to push creative boundaries. This event will give traditional artists and forward-thinking creatives a chance to discover how blockchain technology, and specifically Solana’s unique features, can open up new opportunities for ownership, income, audience interaction, and more.
The nonprofit Faena Art, associated with the luxurious Faena Hotel Miami Beach, showcased works from digital artists Beeple and Sebastian Errazuriz in its lobby. Additionally, a large installation by Errazuriz was displayed on the beach.