Welcome back to my latest series, where I highlight my favourite artists in the NFT space via interviews filmed during industry events. Today I’m joined with the incredible Krista Kim; a contemporary artist, founder of the Techism Movement, and a dear friend. Techism is a movement promoting the confluence of art and technology and technological innovation as a medium to further the development of digital humanism. Krista has been developing her practice for quite some time, but over the past year has risen to be known as one of the most significant living blue-chip NFT artists, with monumental sales on SuperRare, Christie’s, and Sotheby’s.
She is an extremely vocal champion of decentralization, sovereignty, and the healing power of the metaverse. She’s one of my favourite people in the NFT space, and I’m proud to announce she’s also the most recent member of the WTF DAO! We are so excited to have her join the incredible force behind our truly decentralized publication and appreciate her constant efforts to move us towards a more decentralized society. So without further ado, I’ll leave you to watch or read my interview with the incredible Krista Kim:
David Cash: Hello, everybody. Welcome back to NFTS.WTF. My name is David Cash, and we are here in sunny Miami, Florida, at the Sagamore Hotel for Art Basel. I am joined by one of my dearest friends and metaverse pioneer, artist extraordinaire, Krista Kim. How are you doing today?
Krista Kim: Thank you so much. I’m so happy to be here with you, darling.
DC: Such a pleasure. And of course, doing this in front of Continuum, the next leg of the tour, we’ve seen it in Toronto, we’ve seen it in China, and now we’re here at Art Basel. Experiencing it here in the flesh!
KK: I’m so happy to be here at the Sagamore hotel. They’ve been so hospitable, and I love how they really embrace the art and are so supportive of having artists do installations here.
DC: It’s so amazing to travel and come and see your art at this scale all over the world.
KK: Really, it’s such a pleasure, and it’s wonderful that I’m bringing this message of decentralization and healing and wellness to the gradient and bringing it to Miami during this really incredible historic Art Basel.
DC: Absolutely. NFTs are taking over this year, as we have witnessed firsthand. One of the most powerful things about this piece, in particular, is the public art element. Seeing people interact with it IRL. Obviously, we saw that in Toronto in a very specific context, but how has it been bringing it into an open atmosphere and seeing people interact with it in party settings during the day, at lunches. How has it been for you to see it at this time in Miami?
KK: This is the thing. Overall, I just want to get the message out there that we should live with optimism and hope for the future. And have that decentralized movement moving forward because it’s all about NFTs right now. NFTs have taken over Art Basel in a significant way. I’m also involved in the NFTnow curated show for Christie’s with some incredible artists, like really, really top-notch, and it’s been such an incredible sort of, how can you say this? All of us know that we’re part of a more significant movement and the fact that we’re here during a very historic time post COVID,- the first Miami Basel that opened in two years.
DC: That’d be written about in history, right.
KK: The artists shown during this period of art Basel are written in history. It’s a real honour to be here.
DC: You’ve been very busy this week. You had this Continuum installation, you just mentioned the Christie’s x NFTnow auction. Then, there was the SuperRare monolith, and we had, of course, our little takeover of the Miami convention centre. Do you want to tell the people what we did in our intervention at Art Basel 2021?
KK: Absolutely. So basically, it’s a collaboration between SuperRare and SuperWorld. SuperWorld App is the internet of augmented reality. So what we’ve done is we have chosen 15 SuperRare artists who have created AR art sculptures that were placed in augmented reality on the SuperWorld app to view inside the Miami convention centre. Very interventional, and it’s very cheeky. It’s very NFT. I think that it’s a wonderful intervention that shows that we’re here and we’re not going away. The level of the art and the curation is so beautiful. It’s such an honour to collaborate with The Fabricant on my piece. We created a beautiful piece where they created the fashion, and my art was used as part of the fabric design and everything. So it’s historic. That’s another really special piece. And we have incredible artists like Marjan Moghaddam, Kenny Schachter, and Federico Clapis. Everyone in that show is a legend.
DC: Absolutely. I feel like that experience was very much a metaphor for what’s going on here.
NFTs are taking over Art Basel. Even our announcement article about this was titled NFT Basel; There was even an event called NFT.BZL. And on top of all of your art installations, you got to speak on so many different panels. Do you have any highlights from the week? Any conversations that you had that stuck out to you?
KK: I think that there’s a lot of solidarity in the community. I love seeing everyone moving from virtual space on Twitter to real-life space. I believe that there’s so much camaraderie, friendship connecting as human beings in person. It’s a very spiritual space. Everyone is so friendly and open, and when you meet them in person, it’s really special. We’re part of a larger community, and you feel it when you meet each other face to face, and you’re in a place like NFT Basel, and you’re seeing all the faces of people you’ve seen on Twitter and online, and then you connect. Twitter Spaces or Clubhouse, etc., can never replace the human connection in real life. Think about it. There’s no ice breaker; we just know each other. I think it’s really special that we have this amazing pioneering group of people, incredible, talented people, here in Miami, and it’s only going to get bigger and bigger every year.
DC: This is just the beginning. I mean, seeing companies like Tezos, sponsoring Art Basel and seeing other huge organizations taking over the city and being so relevant in this time where the whole traditional entertainment industry comes together. And the fact that NFTs are being written about more than traditional art from many major publications. How has it been for you to see this art form now taken so seriously as it’s grown over the past year?
KK: I like to look at it more like the introduction of NFTs and the culture of NFTs, meaning decentralization and empowerment of creators, empowerment of the sovereign hand. I think this whole cultural movement is growing. And the awareness of it. And art is always the first introduction. It’s accessible and expresses the zeitgeist, the feelings, and the expression of what’s happening today. So it’s quite exciting. I encourage everyone to check out the NFTnow x Christie’s auction sale show. They’ve got SuperRare artists, 33NFT. They’ve got so many incredible collectors showing masterpieces in the NFT world. It’s such a stark contrast to the traditional art exhibition of Miami Basel in the convention centre. I feel like when you’re in the NFT show, it’s so now, and everything is going digital and now/soon into the metaverse. So you have to check it out.
DC: It feels more relevant.
KK: Yeah, exactly. It’s the future too. You feel like, wow, this is the art of the future and the message of the future of the culture of the future.
DC: It’s amazing seeing so many of us early in metaverse, builders and participants, being able to come here in person. I said the same thing in New York, but it feels like this is the metaverse. So we are, you know, bringing the metaverse to these physical locations. It’s incredible. You touched on this briefly, but I want to bring it up again. The openness of the space, and I attribute that to the source nature of information of art, of communities, and the fact that we can learn from each other, grow together and discover these emerging, bleeding-edge technologies as a group.
How important has collaboration and this kind of open-source aspect of this space been for you and your practice?
KK: My goodness. It’s everything. I think you can’t do it alone, especially if you’re creating beautiful art these days as a team effort. You have relationships with the collectors. You have relationships with the artists. You have relationships with the promoters, you know, the people who are, like yourself, advocates for the space and helping promote the art, helping promote the culture. So we need each other. The interdependence and the collaboration are beautiful to see. Web3, I mean, this is, this is what it’s all about. Miami is a hub for cryptocurrencies. You’ve got, even in the Sagamore hotel, you have a conference on cryptocurrencies. It’s the future. The crypto revolution is here, and as artists, we are the ones who are pivotal in creating a culture for web3. So it’s special. I mean, I get goosebumps sometimes. And I think about how important this time is right now in Miami and what we see and what we’re witnessing. The conversations and relationships we’re making right now are very important. These are people you’re going to collaborate with to create a pioneering force of the future.
DC: Absolutely. And it’s such a lovely thing. We are right now, where our collectors, our collaborators, and the people we work with are the community we are working for and with. We’ve reached a point where all of these roles almost blend. We’ve built a real community here. Each of our communities is interoperable, as is the space. So I think it’s really exciting and you are one of the pioneers pushing the space forward. So I appreciate you. I know a lot of the people watching appreciate you, and yeah, I don’t want to take up too much more of your time, but just to summarize and let people know, what do you have going on? What’s for sale right now? What should people Google to see what Krista Kim is up to right now?
KK: Well, I have two major things going on, right. The first is that I’ve listed a piece for auction at Christie’s that has already reached our reserve price. And, my Continuum installation is here until Sunday. The plan is basically to create and produce a world tour of Continuum. So it’s a wonderful experience here to show it at the Sagamore. We had Mayor Gelber of South Beach here and the owner of the hotel, Ronit Neuman. They hosted a beautiful brunch here for the community’s annual event. It was so lovely to be here and be the marquee artwork of the event and showcase it. It’s better to spread the word and get more eyes on the art. I loved giving a speech and talking about decentralization and the vision for a decentralized future. And how Continuum is bringing meditativeness and wellness worldwide and how we went from Toronto to China, to Miami and beyond. So this is a greater mission, and I’m getting a lot of support for it too. It’s wonderful.
DC: Absolutely. I’ll use your words to wrap us up, but the gradient is the symbol of decentralization, and that’s why I got my nails done the same as Continuum.
KK: He’s got Krista Kim nails. It’s beautiful.
DC: Well, it’s such an honour. I’m so happy. We’re here in front of your piece. It’s so beautiful to see it again. It’s been a pleasure. Thanks for making the time.
KK: Oh no, of course. Anything for you, David.
DC: As always, this was NFTs.WTF. This was Krista Kim and David Cash. Thank you so much—bye from Miami.
Video: Urban Sky Studios