Blockchain, NFTs and Culture
Dr. Foteini Valeonti (UCL & USEUM.org)
Free participation via MS Teams (link)
Abstract: Looking to mitigate the losses from the years of the pandemic that brought a 77% drop in visitor figures for art museums globally, cultural heritage institutions have been exploring NFTs as a new medium for generating much needed revenue. In her talk Dr Valeonti, who is the lead author of the seminal paper on NFTs and museums “Crypto Collectibles, Museum Funding and OpenGLAM: Challenges, Opportunities and the Potential of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs)”, will introduce us to NFTs, covering copyright, environmental considerations and technical deficiencies. Dr Valeonti will also cover how museums are currently embracing NFTs, presenting use cases, as well as criticism and related debates. Dr Valeonti will conclude her presentation by attempting to answer the question: Are NFTs a fad, or the future?
About the speaker: Dr Foteini Valeonti is a computer scientist with a PhD in Digital Humanities, specialising in revenue generation for the cultural sector with a special interest in crypto collectibles (NFTs). She is an AHRC Innovation Leadership Fellow at UCL (Information Studies), working as PI on a UKRI-funded project that explores ways museums can utilise emerging technologies to generate revenue from their digitised collections. Foteini is also the founder of USEUM.ORG, a platform developed as part of her PhD studies at the UCL Bartlett Centre of Advanced Spatial Analysis. USEUM democratises access to art, providing amongst other features, 23,000 copyright-vetted images of artworks, including famous masterpieces, for download and unrestricted reuse. Foteini holds a BSc (Hons) in Computer Science (University of Piraeus) and an MFA in Interactive Digital Media from Ravensbourne (City University), which she attended on scholarship and earned with distinction (dissertation awarded with A+). Foteini has been invited to present her research and work to numerous conferences and events, whilst her PhD project USEUM has been featured on The Times and Wall Street International. In August 2021, USEUM’s NFT platform USEUM Collectibles was featured on Yahoo!Finance as one of five projects that change people’s view on the NFT industry.