837/NEXT Recap: Samsung Celebrates NFT Art & the Powerful Creators Behind Them
Samsung recently celebrated innovations in digital art during the fourth annual NFT.NYC. The company hosted 837/NEXT, an event series at Samsung 837, its flagship experience center in New York City’s Meatpacking District, as well as in the metaverse at Samsung 837X and the Samsung US Discord server. The series, which ran from June 19-23, brought together artists, creators, emerging technology innovators and the NFT community with powerful installations, thought-provoking sessions and lively celebrations each day.
The week included an all-new collaborative art quest in Samsung 837X that curated a non-fungible token (NFT) mosaic masterpiece. Korean contemporary artist, So Youn Lee, partnered with the company to bring this idea to life as Samsung fans contributed in-person and online from the metaverse and Samsung US Discord server through their custom Noun avatars. Some of the lucky participants received exciting prizes such as Nouns glasses, 837/NEXT artist’s jumpsuit wearables and one winner was awarded the ultra-rare Golden glasses.
On Sunday, June 19 (Juneteenth), Samsung worked with two talented photographers – Diana Sinclair and Isaac “Drift” Wright – to host The Digital Diaspora Pt. 2, an art exhibition, panel discussion and fundraising auction centered around the works of notable Black NFT artists including Diana Sinclair, Isaac Wright aka DrifterShoots, Misan Harriman, Ix Shells, Cory Van Lew, Elise Swopes, Andre Oshea, Ed Balloon, and Latashá. The panel was a candid conversation on the challenges and opportunities for Black artists in the world of NFTs, and featured Faith Love (Metamask), Diana Sinclair, Emonee LaRussa, Andre Oshea, Elise Swopes and Cory Van Lew. The Digital Diaspora Pt. 2 also offered viewers mesmerizing performance by Iniko + Reuel Williams, Ed Balloon, Haleek Maul and Asoh Black
More than 1,700 people converged upon Samsung 837 to experience the creative talents of artists of color, uplift their voices and foster greater equity in the NFT space.
On Monday, June 20, Samsung 837 was transformed into an NFT gallery with a digital art takeover by ArtRepublic, a curation agency for contemporary digital art. They unveiled never-before-seen art, which was followed by a panel with some of the talented creators behind the art, including film director and visual artist Michael Osei-Wusu (aka Indigo Suave); audio visual artist and composer Ben Heim; Greg Bresnitz, Chief Growth Officer at The New Computer Corporation; and Micah Adams, Marketing Specialist with Algorand Foundation; moderated by CEO and Curator of ArtRepublic Global, Jessica Santiago. Following the 837 event, ArtRepublic converted the iconic TAO Downtown into a bespoke digital gallery utilizing Samsung Frame for more than 250 guests including leading blue chip NFT collectors, web3 founders and musical guests Miguel and Dave East.
Axie Infinity, the NFT based online gaming universe, wrapped up the day with an interactive takeover inviting guests to take part in a live play of new games, a DJ performance and a panel discussion on the “Past, Present and Future of Gaming” with Jeff Zirlin, Infinity/Sky Mavis; Arianna Simpson, A16z; OhhShiny, DIGITAL; Samsung Next’s David Lee; and Andrew Campbell, Zyori/Eports.
On Tuesday, June 21, Art Blocks held a Community Event at Samsung 837 for community members and artists creating content on their platform. The event featured a curated selection of generative art NFTs from the Art Blocks platform displayed on Samsung’s The Frame and QLED TVs, as well as its massive three-story LED 1.26mm IF Series screen. As part of the event, Samsung hosted an insightful panel, titled “NFTs, Screens & The Art Experience: The Evolution and Future of Digital Art & Display.”
Lesley Silverman, Head of Web3 at United Talent Agency, moderated the panel with Avner Ronen, Vice President of Product Development at Samsung Electronics; Erick Calderon, Founder and CEO of Art Blocks; and Sofia Garcia, Founder of ARTXCODE, where they discussed emerging trends in the digital art space and the new avenues for displaying NFTs.
Samsung also worked with SuperRare, a marketplace for digital art and culture, and a Samsung Next portfolio company, to provide screens for their “pop-up” NFT gallery in the heart of SoHo. The exhibition, which was packed with art collectors and fans, featured the travel photography of Jacob Riglin and Eric Rubens.
On Wednesday, June 22, Samsung Electronics America CMO Michelle Crossan-Matos took the stage to highlight the company’s strategy and journey architecting the brand’s move into Decentraland, Roblox and Discord over the last six months. Her keynote was followed by a conversation with Sukhmani Mohta, Head of Display Marketing, Samsung Electronics America; Vince Giella, Manager of Brand Experience, Samsung Electronics America; Keith Soljacich, Head of Innovation, Publicis Media; and Brian Brown, Vice President, Senior Group Creative Director, Razorfish; and Tammy Pepito, Vice President, Social & Content Marketing, Razorfish on the back story, the passion and the innovation behind Samsung’s foray into Web3 and the metaverse.
Then, experts and leaders from Samsung; keyless crypto wallet startup, ZenGo; METAPLEX, a protocol built to create and mint NFTs; and Authentify Art, a trusted value engine for art and collectible assets, shared news about their latest technologies. Those who joined came for tips and also participated in engaging hands-on workshops and interactive booths.
Lastly, Art Blocks and Samsung ended the day with an after party that brought together 400 artists, collectors, influencers and art lovers who enjoyed stunning generative artwork paired with a DJ set by Toro y Moi.
On Thursday, June 23, art collective Women Rise, founded by visual artist Maliha Abidi, celebrated the incredible women creating on the blockchain. The 837 space was taken over with their art and NFTs. Following that, the space shifted to a panel focused on self-expression in the metaverse focused Anand Agarawala, Co-Founder and CEO at Spatial; Jinha Lee, Co-Founder and Chief Product Officer at Spatial; Gianna Valenti, Director of Marketing Partnerships at Spatial; Timmu Tõke, Co-Founder and CEO at Ready Player Me; Kaspar Tiri, Co-Founder at Ready Player Me; and Adriana Hoppenbrouwer, Co-Founder and COO of The Fabricant. Following the panel, visitors in Samsung’s metaverse were invited to explore a dynamic new space created by Spatial.
Underscoring the importance of female representation, the “Women of Web3” panel was moderated by The Fabricant’s Adriana Hoppenbrouwer and featured Maggie Love, Co-Founder and Director at W3BCLOUD; contemporary artist Krista Kim; Christine Theriot, Director of Strategic Partnerships at BFF; Shannon Snow, COO at World of Women; and Bettina von Schlippe, Publisher of Vogue Singapore.
Lastly, the NFT Magazine podcast broadcasted live all day from Samsung 837 on Thursday, interviewing celebrities, musicians and NFT innovators and leaders.
Stay tuned for more innovative Web 3 experiences from Samsung!