Web3 and the role of AI and digital art become hot topics of discussion at this Chennai event

In a first, Chennai discusses the correlation between art and technology through panel discussions, digital art exhibits and music performances

July 12, 2023 04:59 pm | Updated 04:59 pm IST

 A Web3 artwork by Armit Paul

 A Web3 artwork by Armit Paul | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

The convergence of art and technology has been a hot topic for connoiseurs and collectors alike since the beginning of this year as social media continues to flood with AI (Artificial Intelligence) art and photography. While the possibilities are endless, there is a fair amount of apprehension in the artworld about the relevance of NFTs, and the role that AI plays. A recent event in the city titled Nammaweb3, held at Off The Record, attempted to answer some of these questions through panel discussions and digital art exhibits featuring an array of NFT artists, photographers and collectors.

Organised by Namma Tribe in collaboration with Colours of India, the event marked a pivotal moment in Chennai’s cultural landscape by starting a conversation about Web3 (decentralized version of the web) . “Web3 provides freedom and acceptance to artists who seek to spread their message,” said Dr Wafu, an anonymous NFT artist whose Web3 art lends refreshing perspectives to Indian mythology. Take for instance, Shakuntala wearing sneakers in a modern rendition of a saree.

Meanwhile Deepakshi Aggarwal, another NFT artist based in Chandigarh, highlighted the potential of Web3 in supporting meaningful causes. Through her art, she hopes to raise funds for NGOs working for the welfare of exotic animals. Her artwork Strange Addiction infuses the subconcious with high tech society and Desa the Obake, inspired by the Yakuza culture in Japan.

 A Web3 artwork by Vimal Chandran

 A Web3 artwork by Vimal Chandran | Photo Credit: SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

When asked whether more women are now entering the world of Web3, Deepakshi says, “There is a massive demographic of women in Web3 who appreciate the art and bring in the most sales.”

An established caricature artist whose work caught mass attention in 2016 on websites such as 9Gag and featured in New York’s Time Square, Prasad Bhatt, entered the Web3 community in 2021 and started to mint his NFTs. When asked about the possibility of AI replacing an artist, Prasad explains, “Even though AI enables a layperson to make art, the thought process and creativity are solely linked to the individual creating the masterpiece.” He encourages people to enter the Web3 community where users learn all about AI and Midjourney (a generative Artificial Intelligence program) before the public does.

Arijit Das, a passionate collector of minted NFTs, enriched the conversation with his firsthand experience as a collector. He enables the artists to claim ownership of their narratives and receive rightful royalties. His most treasured artwork is Vimal Chandran’s Sci-Fi Folk which potrays vivid folklore from Kerala drawn in a child’s perspective.

“AI can help a person to stretch the canvas of a photograph if it misses a specific angle or spot, which can help save money for someone who does not have to reshoot it,” said globally-recognised freelance photographer Dheeraj Kandewal.

The event’s turnout is a testament to Chennai’s growing presence in the technology landscape, firmly establishing the city as a hub for innovation and creative expression in the digital age.

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