FROM TIMES SQUARE TO SHIBUYA CROSSING: GLOBAL GALLERY | KÖNIG X PORSCHE

From Times Square to Shibuya Crossing – Porsche and KÖNIG turn some of the world’s most iconic billboards into a Global Gallery. As a brand driven by dreams, Porsche partners with KÖNIG and enables up and coming digital artists by offering them a global stage, turning digital advertising spaces across the globe into a gallery – and the artists’ dreams into reality.

Text: Anika Meier

The hype surrounding NFTs and NFT marketplaces has caused digital art to be seen precisely there: at NFT marketplaces. Before that hype, digital art was reserved for experts and tech nerds ahead of their time, but since Beeple reached a new auction record at Christie’s in the spring of 2021, digital art has caught up with classic art forms such as painting and sculpture, which used to dominate the art market. One file – a collage consisting of 5000 single pieces from the oeuvre of artist Mike Winkelmann aka Beeple – was sold for more than 69 million dollars. That got everybody’s attention. All of a sudden, news outlets from The New York Times to the Stuttgarter Nachrichten tried to explain NFTs and the technical revolution sending the art market into a flurry. 69 million dollars for a JPG? 590,000 dollars for a cat meme? 700,000 dollars for the self portrait of a robot?

Someone with a background in classical music who’s never heard cloud rap will inevitably be irritated. Someone who doesn’t know what to make of Bad Painting might think they could do the same in no time. And now, there’s digital art, with a context and history similar to Bad Painting or cloud rap, but a scope basically as wide as the medium of painting. Flying cats, painting robots, monumental collages, GIFs, videos, JPGs: A whole new world is opening up, and after the NFT hype, this new world is turning much faster than the one we used to know. NFTs are being sold at Art Basel; Sotheby’s has opened Decentraland in the Metaverse; and Time magazine has a 6000 member-strong community on Discord. Discord? Metaverse? Decentraland? For crypto natives, events and developments can’t come fast enough, while non-crypto natives must learn the NFT space like a new language. My favorite comment on Discord, a social network reminiscent of a 90s message board: “Boomer money.” I had to stop and think for a moment. Then I asked: “You mean US dollars?” “Yes.”

So, what do you do about it? You impart art its history. You give people access to art and NFTs. You build bridges between the traditional world of art and the crypto community. When you do this as a joint effort, the moon won’t seem as far out of reach – because that’s exactly where those in the NFT space are heading, metaphorically speaking.

11 Artists, 5 Cities, 1 Global Gallery

Porsche and KÖNIG have joined forces to give young artists a stage and make digital art accessible. According to the German Museums Association, five percent of people visit museums, but there are no reliable visitor numbers for NFT marketplaces yet. However, we all walk through cities and subway stations full of screens seen by millions each day. Over eight weeks, PORSCHE X KÖNIG will turn some of the biggest screens into GLOBAL GALLERY digital exhibition spaces: New York’s Times Square, Madrid’s Callao Square, Tokyo’s Shibuya Crossing, Seoul’s K-Pop Square, and the “Berlin Times Square,” the Sony Center at Potsdamer Platz. A commuter getting off of a Berlin subway will walk directly into the GLOBAL GALLERY, e.g. at Friedrichstraße, Alexanderplatz, Zoologischer Garten, Ku’damm, or Potsdamer Platz.

For weeks, videos by the eleven artists have been edited for the screens in the five different cities, animations have been created, video portraits shot, interviews conducted, and photos taken. On October 9th, at midnight German time, the GLOBAL GALLERY went live for an hour on what is probably the world’s most famous screen: Times Square. While Johann König joined via an Instagram livestream, artists Jon Burgerman, John Yuyi and Nicole Ruggiero were on site, excited, nervous and in disbelief about their art being exhibited at one of the world’s most iconic places. Even livestream users could feel the pumped atmosphere.

Ferry Porsche once said: “Those lucky enough to build a business out of a dream owe it to the world to be the caretakers of dreams.” Ever since then, Porsche has been working relentlessly to realize dreams. This can be achieved and therefore also visualized in many different ways: a cow standing in the ocean, apparently enjoying the view (Jonas Lund); a beetle surrounded by screens dancing like nobody’s watching (kennedy+swan); a little figure navigating around over-dimensional splashes of color in a dream-like scene (Manuel Rossner).

The GLOBAL GALLERY makes digital art visible where you would least expect it, but where it fits in best: the public space. The sale of these works of art is equally accessible: QR codes on the screens direct users to misa.art, an online marketplace powered by KÖNIG, where the NFTs will be available as open editions for 100 and 250 euros until December 7, 2021. The GLOBAL GALLERY makes digital art accessible to all, offline and online.

Artists: Andy Picci | Auriea Harvey | Banz & Bowinkel | Ben Elliot | John Yuyi | Jon Burgerman | Jonas Lund | Junuwana | kennedy+swan | Manuel Rossner | Nicole Ruggiero 

Go to www.misa.art/gg to find the content hub and the NFTs.

 John Yuyi, Times Square, New York

Auriea Harvey, Times Square, New YorkManuel Rossner, Callao Square, Madrid 

Banz & Bowinkel, K-Pop Square, Seoul

Andy Picci, Sony Center / Potsdamer Platz, Berlin

Nicole Ruggiero, Alexanderplatz, Berlin

Jonas Lund, K-Pop Square, Seoul

John Yuyi, Shibuya Crossing, Tokyo

 

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