The late astronomer and science writer Carl Sagan observed, “You have to know the past to understand the present.” So, as Future Art celebrates its first anniversary, the timing couldn’t be more suitable to reflect on its past, and the milestones reached along the way. And as the story unfolds, one can also take a peek into the future.
Future Art is one of the movements that helped usher in 2021 as the Golden Year for NFTs. Launched as a series of immersive NFT crypto art events, the venture combines large-scale projections, live music, and theatrical performances alongside AR/VR lounges and cocktail bars. “It was meant as an event we’d all love to go to – great music, really great bar, and art,” says Sats Moon, Future Art’s Co-founder, commenting on the ideation phase of the project. To truly understand the ethos of Future Art, it is important to understand the story of its Co-Founders, Sats Moon and Dave Goode.
Sats and Dave have worked together for over twenty years. Sats worked as a manager for The Potbelleez, the internationally acclaimed Irish-Australian electro-house and dance music group co-founded by Dave. While the partners both explored blockchain and its applications in music, their individual journeys are what really give that unique character and energy to everything that Future Art does.
[Sats Moon and Dave Goode, Meow Wolf Las Vegas, December 2021]
Sats, who took on the curatorial role at Future Art, is all too familiar with ash- way before the renowned crypto artist Pak came about with the $ASH token as part of his art performance. Sats first discovered his passion for art while living in the hip neighbourhood of Soho, in London, in the early 2000s. He immersed himself in the street art community and became a frequent customer of Pictures On Walls (POW), an artist-run print-shop selling iconic names such as Banksy, Invader, or Shepard Fairey (OBEY). “It was all very affordable at the time; you could get prints for £80-200!” Sats recalls. “We became obsessed with Banksy’s drops and would wait until the middle of the night to catch one. The prints would quickly grow in value, fetching £800, £8000, £20000 and beyond per print”. Sats learned a valuable lesson during his time living in Soho: the value to be found in the early discovery of new artists and new forms. This passion for collecting continued as he moved to LA, adding works by Damien Hirst and other traditional artists to the list, growing the collection to about 350 pieces at the time. However, it wasn’t until 2019 that life naturally stirred Sats away from physical works of art.
At the time, Sats’ art collection was safely kept at a storage facility in Sydney, or so he thought. One day he receives a phone call that the storage was burned, tragically along with the works he painstakingly accumulated over the years. Devastated from the loss and questioning collecting ever again, Sats turned to crypto. “The discovery of crypto art was the coming together of so many things,” describes Sats, his first exposure to NFTs. The community reminded him of the early days of street art; not many collectors and an immense number of talented artists. Moreover, Sats didn’t have to worry about the artwork disappearing ever again due to the immutability of Blockchain – thanks to its digital nature, the traditionally associated issues of storage, insurance or transportation were non-existent. He quickly realized then and there – crypto art and NFTs were going to be his life.
[Brookvale Storage Fire – March 28th, 2019]
The embrace of art on the Blockchain and pursuit of Future Art by Sats and Dave has been particularly fueled by the advent of the pandemic. Covid has forced Sats to shut down his business in LA and move back to Sydney, while Dave was coming to a natural end of his career with The Potbelleez. It was time for a new beginning, and naturally, they both did what they were best at – connecting people via, transformative experiences that fostered connections and built community.
The inaugural launch of Future Art took place last year (2021) from the 15th – 17th of January in Sydney. The experiential event pioneered an impressive line-up, including artists whose work would reach everyone’s ears in the year to come. Featuring Fewocious, Robness, XCOPY, Max Osiris, and The Sarah Show – it was clear this wouldn’t be something to miss from the start. Involving a physical exhibition, keynote sessions, a series of parties and a Cryptovoxel exhibition; this event was an unprecedented incarnation of what a post-pandemic art event might look like.
[Future Art Original Show Poster, January 2021]
“Nifty Gateway got behind what we were doing,” says Sats, explaining the platform’s invaluable early support: “Without having that outlet, we wouldn’t be able to continue doing the show,” he adds. Thanks to the new partner, they released a drop to coincide with their first event, featuring Future Art’s artist line-up designed by BURST with music by Dave.
[Left to right: Dave Goode, Robness and Sats Moon, Los Angeles, Dec 2021]
Dave and Sats were known to throw intimate events that fostered genuine connections. An excellent example of this is a relationship they established with the Cowboy behind Rare Pepe News. “At our first event, this weird guy in a Cowboy hat just sits down in the middle of the dance floor with a computer and mouse checking out his pepes,” tells Sats, “next thing we know, he’s selling Rare Pepes until 4 am!”. Conventional wisdom might lead others to eject the interloper. Instead of kicking him out, Future Art did the opposite – he was invited back for the Easter event to host a live auction. “He was doing a live broadcast and auctioning Pepes on Telegram – it was both the most bizarre and most exciting thing we’ve seen”, adds Sats.
[XCOPY, No Future, part of Future Art curated drop]
With the Future Art Discord launching in late September, what had started as an event was morphing into a fully-fledged community. This was further solidified with the craze surrounding the launch of the Access All Art pass in October, which announced a series of worldwide events planned into 2022 and was sold out in 90 seconds, followed by an exclusive Golden Key Edition drop of even rarer passes. “If you told me last year that we would sell thousands of NFTs, I’d say you’re mad,” laughs Dave about the success of the past year.
In a sense, the lessons from collecting art posters in Soho had come full circle: Sats utilized his curatorial insights to create demand from something unique and build a community around shared curiosity and interests.
[Known Origin, MOCA and Young and Sick at Future Art event, Art Basel Miami Soho House, Nov 2021]
With the next events set for NYC, LA, London, and Ibiza, Future Art is on the path to becoming one of the NFT-world’s most coveted events. “We couldn’t be happier how this year has been for us. Despite Covid, we had two sold-out events and grew a large community of supporters”, says Dave, “the year exceeded all our expectations and helped us build our identity for the way forward.”