Art It Up: Russia's Tretyakov Gallery Develops Blockchain Project

Art It Up: Russia’s Tretyakov Gallery Develops Blockchain Project

The Tretyakov Gallery is launching Russia’s first major blockchain project in the arts domain. If fruitful, the meld could inspire other galleries to follow suit.

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Why Not Art?

Dubbed “My Tretyakov,” the project allows private individuals or companies to make a donation, which in turn contributes to the digitization of the gallery’s entire art collection.

My Tretyakov randomly selects a unit from the gallery’s collection to be digitized via a donation from a specific donor. Then, information linking the donor and the item is put on a blockchain platform developed by the Austrian firm Riddle&Code.

Tretyakov Gallery: toward leveraging blockchain to digitize art in Russia.

The donations system and the exact date the project goes live are still to be determined.

Donors will have the option of being mentioned every time an item they helped to digitize is displayed in a digital form, or they can remain anonymous. There will also be an opportunity to make donations for others, making them patrons.

Patrons will be able to create profiles on the blockchain platform and store and share information on items digitized with their donations.

The project is being carried out in collaboration with RDI Digital, a Russian-Austrian business innovation collective focused on the application of digital technologies in the field of arts.

“My Tretyakov’s goal is to give every individual in any part of the world the opportunity to come in touch with Russian art, which is collected, explored, and preserved at the Tretyakov Gallery,” Alexey Steblev RDI Digital Partner, was quoted as saying by Russian news agency TASS.

An Old Practice Done New

The initiative draws on the long tradition of patronage at the gallery, named after its founder, 19th century merchant and art patron Pavel Tretyakov.

“The launch of the project will take Pavel Tretyakov’s heritage to a new level as every user will become the patron of one masterpiece, creating, similarly to the gallery’s founder, opportunities for displaying art, but in a new, digital space,” RDI’s Steblev said.

The gallery sees the project as part of its wider effort to step up engagement with audiences. In addition, the Tretyakov Gallery hopes to attract more visitors from outside Russia.

“The blockchain platform will allow us to learn and analyze the interests of My Tretyakov participants through their profiles,” the gallery said.

“All digital exhibits will be linked to each other, forming a gigantic network. In the longer run, it will become a basis for creating new services with the use of artificial intelligence, based on users’ behavior.”

Alongside St Petersburg’s Hermitage and the Russian Museum, the Moscow-based Tretyakov Gallery is one of Russia’s best known art museums.

What’s your take? What other ways can you envision art and blockchain being used together? Let us know in the comments section below. 


Images via Pixabay

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