A NIGHT OUT WITH NETGEAR AND NFTS AT NON-FUNGIBLE CASTLE
From October 11–15, 2021, a free exhibition and international conference, called Non-Fungible Castle, was hosted at the Lobkowicz Palace in Prague Castle, Czech Republic. The week-long event was followed by a one-of-a-kind forum on Saturday, October 16, 2021, bringing together the traditional art world with the NFT sector to explore how they can engage one another to shape the future of art. The conference also provided a new use case for museums and cultural institutions to increase their accessibility, deepen relationships with a broader group of patrons and creators, and establish a creative platform to raise restoration funds. The event closed with an auction of NFTs created by the Lobkowicz Collections.
NETGEAR formed a unique partnership focused on highlighting the growing emergence of NFT-enabled art with Czech noble family, House of Lobkowicz, a cultural organization that manages the Lobkowicz Collections, one of Europe's oldest and finest private collections. Core to the partnership was the use of Meural Canvas II to display modern NFT artwork from prominent collectors during the conference.
“Many cultural institutions have been struggling to support themselves due to crippling Covid-19 losses. The sale of NFTs offer an essential source of funding that previously did not exist,” said event organizer William Rudolf Lobkowicz. “NFTs can be a new frontier, not only to enhance our experience with art, but also to fundamentally change forms of art patronage.”
The NFTs created by the Lobkowicz Collections were successfully auctioned on a digital art marketplace. Examples include Antaeus’s Contest, depicting the degrading sgraffito rendering from the 16th century façade of Nelahozeves Castle; Forgotten Menuet, an animated piece of music unheard for over 250 years; and Unseen Gaze, which uses X-ray and infrared imaging to reveal a hidden layer of history behind a painting. All sale proceeds went towards the conservation and restoration initiatives of the non-profit Lobkowicz Collections organization.
“NFTs have taken the world by storm, letting collectors and artists alike trade and showcase digital works – ranging from art, gaming items, videos, and even memes, said Phil Pyo VP of Meural Products for NETGEAR. “It is an honor to be included in such a prestigious and forward-looking event celebrating the emergence of innovative and exciting ways to bridge art’s history with its future.”
From its inception, the Meural platform has been building solutions for digital art, artists, photographers and collectors. During the conference NETGEAR was able to highlight the power of the Meural platform, to not only beautifully display inherently digital art, but also to bridge the worlds of art and crypto.
“NFTs open new doors to support art conservation, allowing a broader base of patrons to participate in cultural preservation," said Lobkowicz. “The digital art world is also a huge opportunity for artists to display their work and receive proper recognition. We’re pleased to have had the participation of NETGEAR and Meural Canvas to help display NFTs as the works of art they are.”
Meural has been part of the NETGEAR portfolio of Smart Home products since 2018 to help advance the company’s vision of a fully connected world. The premium digital Canvas has the ability to deliver a realistic art viewing experience that can be controlled via gesture, desktop, mobile app, or voice (i.e. Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant). The Meural Canvas empowers users to interact with their art daily via its library of over 30,000 licensed artworks and acts as the best media distribution platform for displaying visual arts.
NETGEAR’s work with House of Lobkowicz is the company’s latest foray into the world of NFTs, following its recent partnership with Async Art to add dynamic, programmable NFTs to the Meural library. The one-of-a-kind Async artworks were designed to sit at the intersection of art and blockchain technology to further advance the future of interactive modern art.
“NFTs are the latest innovation in a world where the Meural display and content platform is at the forefront, and this exciting collaboration with House of Lobokowicz is another step towards creating a new era of art appreciation," added Pyo. “This special event will allowed attendees to appreciate the art that came before them, while getting a glimpse of all that is to come through the advancement of blockchain technologies and NFT art.”