If Miami Art Week 2021 was Web3’s coming out party, this year is when creators and attendees plunged deeper into the real-world applications of blockchain technology and the merging of the physical and digital worlds, a coalescence the industry is calling “phygital.”
Surface and Polygon joined forces to transform a bungalow at the W South Beach into an experiential platform for salon-style conversations surrounding Web3’s potential in sustainability, fashion, art, and community-driven fields. Designed by Miami–based artist MokiBaby, installations by panelists and other partners were showcased against her disco-fied lightwave aesthetic, including contributions from OffLimits, Spatial Labs, LNQ, Prism Collective, Recur, WORTHLESSSTUDIOS, and more.
In celebration of our partnership with Polygon, we also launched a collection of limited-edition digital Surface magazine covers. Members of the Surface community can mint one of three 3D Surface NFTs, featuring Daniel Humm, Solange Knowles, and Guerilla Girls.
Below, we take a look back at the week of activations.
Sustainability: Actually Doing Something Most creators in the Web3 space understand blockchain’s fraught relationship with sustainability, but it doesn’t have to be that way. A lively group of enterprising thinkers including Garret Nathan of the beach-cleaning Better Days Foundation, experiential artist Veronica Gessa a.k.a. MokiBaby, Aleksandra Guerra of carbon renewal marketplace Nori, and Manda Kalimian of the horse rewilding CANA Foundation joined Surface and Polygon to discuss how they’re leveraging Web3 technologies and real-world action to combat climate change and bring their message to entirely new audiences. “Art is the most amazing opportunity for people to understand things because it’s what makes you feel,” Kalimian said. “Through art, we can feel. And through sustainable NFTs, we can educate.”
The Wearable Internet For wearable tech, the future is now: we’re living it. In this salon session, Surface and Polygon hosted tech wunderkind and entrepreneurial genius Iddris Sandu to share how NFC technology and the blockchain are making authentication, iterative ownership, and supply-chain transparency more visible than ever before. The founder of the incubator Spatial Labs and chip-enabled fashion label LNQ gave the audience a preview of what’s in store for the nascent wearable tech industry.
“LNQ is the Shazam of physical products,” Sandu said. “In the same way Shazam allowed you to not know anything about a song and in five seconds or less know who made it, the producers who were involved, what samples it came from—you go from not knowing anything to knowing everything about a song and we want to do that for products.”
Building Inclusive, Forward-Thinking Communities Online, IRL, and
in the Places Between The third and final salon session featured a star lineup of six founders, entrepreneurs, and directors known for community building. WORTHLESSSTUDIOS founder and artistic director Neil Hamamoto, Fairchain founder and CEO Max Kendrick, curator and author Tam Gryn, Prism Collective co-founder GRL, Spatial.io head of partnerships marketing Gianna Valentina, and Group Black co-founder and chief strategy officer Bonin Bough all weighed in on the human element driving the success of community hubs ranging from the bricks-and-mortar to the blockchain. “People, that’s truly what you need,” Valentina said. “People, on the same page, united for a common purpose, working together, that is what we’re seeing in Web3 and that’s why this is a force that’s recognized globally and why we’re here today.”