Still don’t know what an NFT is? These Miami Art Week events will be your crash course – Miami Herald

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Otro Mundo NFT by Dagoberto Rodriguez at Miami gallery Piero Atchugarry
Otro Mundo NFT by Dagoberto Rodriguez at Miami gallery Piero Atchugarry

Prediction for Art Week 2021: clear skies with a virtual storm of NFTs.

In normal language, that means artists from Miami — including Carlos Betancourt and Krave, aka Daniel Fila — and far beyond will be “dropping” (releasing) their latest digital artworks at events citywide.

Yes, digital. NFT stands for “non-fungible token,” meaning it is verified as a unique or limited-edition artwork with blockchain authentication.

Though previously collected mostly by cryptocurrency insiders, NFTs have gone mainstream. Like other types of art, some are now highly prized. (We do mean highly: Earlier this year, an NFT by Beeple brought $69 million at a Christie’s auction.)

Like other art forms, NFTs can be unique or can be minted in limited editions. As with photography and lithographs, the smaller the number of “editions” available, the higher the price. While most people think of NFTs as animations, static works are also offered.

Whether NFTs have lasting value or become 2021’s pop-culture phenom (remember the $120,000 banana?) is an open question. You can decide for yourself by checking out the many NFT exhibitions and seminars piling up on the Art Week calendar.

Dagoberto Rodriguez: Otro Mundo

This Spanish contemporary artist’s watercolor works will be brought to life in digital representations featuring a music element by Majorcan composer Joan Valent.

Nov. 28-Dec. 18, closed Sunday-Monday; Piero Atchugarry Gallery, 5520 NE Fourth Ave., Miami; 305-639-8247 or www.pieroatchugarry.com

NFT BZL Conference

Movers and shakers in this brave new world will be up close and personal at Israeli businessman Moishe Mana’s summit of all things surreal. All together in one spot for the daylong NFT BZL (Basel) symposium: creators, artists, innovators, investors and collectors for panels, “fireside” chats, digital galleries, auctions and more.

8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Nov. 30 at FTX Arena, 601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami. Tickets start at $199. www.nftbzl.com

Crossroads Exhibit

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​Local artist Carlos Betancourt’s “What Lies Beneath” consists of two iceberg sculptures floating on the pool at the Faena Hotel. Handout

Local artist Carlos Betancourt’s “What Lies Beneath” consists of two iceberg sculptures floating on the pool at the Faena Hotel. This unusual scene is part of the “Crossroads” exhibit, reflecting on social issues such as climate change. The corresponding NFT will be released Nov. 30 on Aorist’s NFT marketplace to benefit The Reefline underwater sculpture park.

Nov. 30-Dec. 5 at Faena Hotel, 3201 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; https://aorist.art.

Curator Culture

Want to up your NFT knowledge before the games begin? Mike Winkelmann, better known as Beeple, will talk shop. The South Carolina graphic designer (who recently appeared on “The Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon) is joined by painter Peter Saul, one of the fathers of American Pop, and renowned collector Adam Lindemann to discuss “provocation and creativity in the shape-shifting world of contemporary art.”

11 a.m. to noon. Dec. 1 at The Bass, 2100 Collins Ave., Miami Beach; 305-673-7530 or www.TheBass.org; RSVP mandatory.

Cube Art Fair

To see NFTs in the flesh all you need to do is look up. In “an unprecedented scale,” artwork will be featured on 50 billboards throughout Miami, including in the Design District, Wynwood and downtown. The standout: a mural projection on the 400 foot tall Intercontinental Hotel Miami. Each work carries a QR code that leads viewers to a platform to purchase.

Dec. 1-5. For locations: www.cubeartfair.com

Off Limits Pop-up

Cereal fans, clear your calendar. Off Limits, known for putting cartoon mascots in their boxes of gluten-free, plant-based breakfast munchies, is giving away a “toy NFT” with every purchase of a $4.50 bowl of their stuff.

11 a.m.-8 p.m. Dec. 1-5 at Congruent Space, 151 NE 41st St., Ste. 127, Miami. www.congruentspace.com

Wynwood Studios Pop-up

Care to hear some tunes while you peruse your new e-collection? Wynwood Studios will present a four-day pop-up experience combining music, art and crypto technology. Performers include globally acclaimed DJ Diplo, as well as Guy Gerber and Kaz James.

Dec. 1-4 at Toe Jam, 150 NW 21st St., Miami. Tickets: $100 for individual events starting at 10 p.m. $350 for four-day pass. https://popupwynwoodstudio.

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Aku is a digital explorer and crypto-native IP created by artist and former MLB player Micah Johnson. Launched in February 2021, Aku has since become the first NFT to be optioned for film and television projects, as well as the first NFT to travel to space. Handout

Aku World: Miami

Miami, say hello to Aku, a Black astronaut created by former MLB player Micah Johnson. The character actually traveled to space (well, to a server on the International Space Station) in July. A highlight is a life-size installation of his helmet. Make sure to Insta this moment: Aku’s been optioned for TV and film projects and he’s kind of a celeb, even though he doesn’t technically exist. Got it?

Noon-7 p.m. daily, Dec 2-4 at Wynwood Arts 29. 95 NW 29th St., Miami.Tickets from $30: http://aku.world

Humans + Machines: NFTs and the Ever-Evolving World of Art

Check out dazzling creations by such artists as New Jersey software engineer Helena Sarin; Germany’s Mario Klingemann, an AI pioneer; and Canadian code specialist Matt DesLauriers. There’s a DIY element here: You can create and mint your very own “experiential keepsake” on site to be minted on Tezos’ smart money blockchain, a kind of super secure e-database.

Dec. 2–4 at Art Basel, Miami Beach Convention Center, 1901 Convention Center Dr., Miami Beach; 786-276-2600 or www.tezos.com

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Jane Wooldridge, an award-winning journalist and Miami Herald veteran, works with coverage of real estate, economy, urban development, tourism, cruises, visual arts and Art Basel. She is a past president of the Society of American Travel Writers. Find her on Instagram and Twitter @JaneWooldridge.

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