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DUBAI: Even before the pandemic shut theatres, the usage of technology transformed the way art is viewed, spreading to new audiences and expanding business opportunities.

In Dubai, the Theatre of Digital Art (ToDA) and Generative Gallery is organising a multi-dimensional art display, featuring what it calls “an immersive and non-fungible token (NFT) experience with seven international modern artists”. The event is being held from November 23 to February 28, 2022 at the Madinat Jumeirah, Dubai.

Visitors will be introduced to a wide selection of modernised NFT art with unique physical and digital works, which guests can buy in crypto or on a card with little more than the swipe of a smartphone.

The event looks to promote Dubai’s wider plans to boost tourism and recreational activities as it drives the country out of the pandemic-ridden time period. It also brings together the traditional forms of art-market interaction, considering the non-material essence of digital art and new mechanics offered by the crypto economy.

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“There are not so many places that can portray digital art,” Daria Prodaevich, Art Director at ToDA, told Business Recorder at the event. “In the future, ToDA will portray more digital art. This is an international exhibition featuring 7 artists.

“We have a special NFT collection that is going to be sold in crypto and in physical monitor.”

Non- fungible token (NFT) has become a buzzword in the digital art sphere, with new forms of supply and demand emerging in the UAE next to online platforms as a product of novel technologies. These types of NFT artworks provide modern ways for people to view, buy and sell digital artwork and can be worth millions of dollars.

Anna Smirnova, Creative Producer and Art Curator Generative Gallery, said artists created their pieces especially for these frames.

“We have a limited collection of the frames just behind me from several artists that created the art pieces especially for this exhibition and when you buy the artwork, the NFT goes with it,” Smirnova told Business Recorder .

“It's the same process as the physical implements of the art, the artists takes the commission or the savings from these digital frames”

Speaking about the digital aspect, Smirnova said the project blends the aspect of digital and physical.

“For many digital artists, it’s a real problem. They want to perform not only digitally, through screens and mobile phones, but also offline.

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“This is the main goal of this generative gallery project — to bring their digital art out of the screens of personal devices into offline spaces because we really think it deserves it.”

The exhibition includes 3 unique art zones. The main zone will showcase 40 minutes of immersive digital art content, while the second will feature interviews with artists as well as information on NFT. The final room will showcase artworks from additional artists.

What are NFTs?

NFTs, a type of digital asset, have exploded in popularity this year, with NFT artworks selling for millions of dollars.

The trend is perplexing those who might wonder why so much money is being spent on items that only exist in digital form and can be viewed by anyone for free.

But supporters view NFTs as the next phase in art collection.

Simply put, an NFT is a digital asset that exists on a blockchain, a record of transactions kept on networked computers. The blockchain serves as a public ledger, allowing anyone to verify the NFT's authenticity and who owns it.

So unlike most digital items which can be endlessly reproduced, each NFT has a unique digital signature, meaning it is one of a kind.

NFTs are usually bought with cryptocurrencies or in dollars and the blockchain keeps a record of transactions. While anyone can view the NFT, only the buyer has the status of being the official owner - a kind of digital bragging rights.

Buying an NFT of an image or video does not normally mean the buyer gets the copyright of the underlying item.

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