Art and Technology expert Nina Roehrs on the Blockchain for the Art World

April 26, 2023

We sat down with Art and Technology Expert and Advisor, Nina Roehrs, for her take on blockchain, Web3, and much more...

Are art collectors in Switzerland more comfortable with technology, in comparison to other regions you’ve experienced?

That is difficult to tell. However, Switzerland seems to be on the right track in terms of digitization compared with other European countries, such as Germany. This is especially true for developments in connection with blockchain technology.

What trends are you noticing about how collectors interact with artists and artworks today?

From the perspective of someone who has been intensively involved with the Web3 community over the past few years, I see collectors and artists forming direct connections without middlemen. For collectors who are willing to enter this new world on their own, this opens up entirely new possibilities for participation. At the same time, artists gain greater independence, access to the market, and control over their careers. All of this, of course, comes with additional responsibilities.

What needs to happen for the art world to become more oriented towards championing the artist, and placing them at the centre?

I don't feel that the art world doesn't stand up for artists. After all, without artists, they wouldn't exist. However, concentration of power and increasing capitalization stand in the way of promoting a diverse and vibrant arts landscape. Blockchain technology offers numerous elements that could disrupt today’s structures – decentralization, increased transparency, royalty schemes, etc. However, it will come down to implementation.

Do you believe that technology can play a large part in facilitating that shift?

And this transformation has already begun. And is reflected not least in new business ventures like Arcual, which seek to meet the unique needs – such as digital records of authenticity, royalties – of the art ecosystem by leveraging blockchain technology.

What do you feel are some of the benefits of Arcual’s technology?

Arcual is a blockchain ecosystem developed by the arts community for the arts community. And as such, it has the understanding and the expertise to make this new technology and its potential accessible without the need for individual players to build up a great deal of expertise themselves.

What is your favourite art fair to explore?

Although new discoveries are rather rare there, I enjoy the concentration of high-quality works at Art Basel and the atmosphere and hustle and bustle around the fair.

Any artists you are particularly admiring the work of, currently?

Impossible to name a single artist. Generally, I am very enthusiastic about the crypto art scene and its many facets - which are not only about art, but also about new communities and definitions of art and culture.

Dr. Nina Roehrs is an expert on art in the digital age who supports players in the cultural sector in their digital transformation. After studying business economics in St. Gallen and St. Andrews, she worked for UBS for 14 years before founding Roehrs & Boetsch in 2016. For five years as a gallery and today as a hybrid consultancy, Roehrs & Boetsch is dedicated to examining the influence of digitalization on art and society. This includes developing new forms of exhibition where conventional methods fail, often involving new technologies such as AR, VR, apps, websites, and blockchain technology.

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