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Chain Unchained© Goethe-Institut / Max Mueller Bhavan / Nikhil Kaul

Chain Unchained

Chain Unchained is a regional initiative that brings together practitioners and experts from India and Germany from the arts and creative and technological industries. The project intends to take a closer look at the issues surrounding web3 and NFTs in order to better understand the opportunities, possibilities and risks involved.

Participating Artists and Creatives

Blessin Varkey © Blessin Varkey Blessin Varkey
Blessin Varkey is a technologist who works in the emerging technologies space – AI & Blockchain. Since 2015, Blessin has been exploring applied improvisational theatre in mental health and leadership and also teaches improvisation through The Impro Company. He is a NASSCOM-recognized Social Innovator and has been working in the technology space since 2013.

Karthik Dondeti © Karthik Dondeti Karthik Dondeti
Karthik Dondeti is an Architect, Generative Artist based in Bangalore, India. He holds an MDesS in Design and Technology from Graduate School of Design, Harvard University and a B.Arch from SPA, Delhi. He is the founder of Voxelscapes, an Architecture and Computational Design studio and a co-founder of Codebalé - Generative Art studio based in Bangalore.

Karan Kalra  © Karan Kalra  Karan Kalra  
Karan Kalra, a Multidisciplinary Visual Engineer from New Delhi, India, combines a wide range of creative crafts, from digital animation and illustration to traditional painting and sculpture, to create captivating worlds and narratives.

Neekita Singh © Neekita Singh Neekita Singh
Neekita Singh, a painter based in Delhi and Ahmedabad, specializes in figurative art with occasional digital painting. She began creating NFTs in July 2021 and has exhibited her paintings in New York, Miami, London, and India, with works featured on Times Square billboards, and in private collections across the US, UK, Canada, Singapore, and India.

Claudia Rafael
Claudia Rafael, an Art Director and Digital Artist from Germany, specializes in developing unique conceptual and visual solutions for music, fashion, art, and culture, with a focus on technology and mixed realities. She advocates for the emancipatory use of digital tools like AR to challenge social norms on beauty and offers alternative possibilities of imagination. In 2020, she co-founded NEWFORMAT, a Creative Studio and CGI experts, blending technology, innovation, and vision.

Udit Krajoria © Udit Krajoria Udit Krajoria
Udit Krajoria is a digital artist and illustrator based out of Delhi. Growing up surrounded by the rich cultural heritage of India, he developed a deep appreciation of art from an early age. He often uses his art as a means of exploring and expressing his own feelings, as well as to connect with others who may be going through similar experiences.

About the Project

Artists and cultural practitioners have always adopted new technologies to further their own practices and add new dimensions to the general socio-political cultural discourse. One of the newest technologies which have made their mark on the cultural sector are - Blockchain and NFTs. Like their predecessors, these technologies need to assess differences in the cultural field in terms of their significance and adaptability. On the one hand, renowned galleries are opening branches on platforms such as Decentraland and exhibiting crypto artists. NFTs are present in major exhibitions, renowned museums are starting to build their NFT collections. Practitioners in the fashion and gaming industry are inventing new distribution models for their artworks based on smart contracts. Artist collectives are defining models of revenue sharing via blockchain and developing new forms of creative collaboration.

On the other hand, spectacular records for NFTs at auctions at Sothebys and turnover records on NFT platforms such as OpenSea and NiftyGateway were raising the question if crypto art is, in the best case, a speculative hype that will soon dissipate; or worse, an expression of extreme capitalism that took over the art world. Promising future or temporary hype, this question seems undecided at the moment. However, what is clear is that NFTs have found their space in culture and it is important to understand the nuances of the technology to in order to maximise its potential.

In workshops, expert talks, network meetings and co-creation formats organised in different cities in India - we invite practitioners from several fields to critically examine the phenomenon of crypto and NFTs and their relevance for culture and creative industries. What challenges and opportunities does this format offer? In what way are web3 applications changing aesthetical practices, ways of collaborating and distribution models? Who has the resources and knowledge to access these formats, and who is yet excluded?

Chain Unchained addresses the myths around web3 and NFTs for a clearer view on the risks and opportunities that come with it.



Be Fantastic © Be Fantastic

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