ArtChain Global is a revolution in tracking, protection and accountability for artwork. Based on open, extendable blockchain technology, the ArtChain Global platform synchronizes digital and offline assets for anyone involved in trading, collecting or producing works of art.

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BLOCKCHAIN TRANSFORMS THE ART WORLD

BLOCKCHAIN TRANSFORMS THE ART WORLD

Blockchain will transform our worldview in the arts in a way not unlike photography transformed it in the 19th century. It’s a paradigmatic change.
– artist JOHN YOUNG

Blockchain technology being developed by Swinburne University researchers in Melbourne could revolutionise the global art trade by moving to eradicate forgery.
In an Australian first, the digital platform will be used to authenticate and trade art. It is being developed in partnership with ArtChain Global.
The underlying technology of blockchain enables the registration, trade and tracking of art assets across their entire lifecycle. This includes an artwork’s provenance – the history of ownership of a work – and verification of authenticity.
“Blockchain is at the heart of the fourth industrial revolution,” says Professor Aleksandar Subic, Deputy Vice Chancellor (Research and Development) at Swinburne University.
“It is basically the enabler for an entire new digital economy of the future,” Professor Subic says. “The fourth industrial revolution is about a seamless integration of the cyber and physical world.
“We are taking blockchain into the physical world of art.”

(Blockchain technology aims to prevent forgery on artwork like this: Judith Van Heeren ‘Daisy world 2014’ Oil on Belgian linen 80 x 135cm; Image courtesy the artist and Murray White Room, Melbourne.)
The project was launched at the National Gallery of Victoria in April 2018 with a robust discussion about its impact on the industry. Taking part were Murray White, of renowned gallery Murray White Room, blockchain expert Greg Adamson, and acclaimed artists Sally Ross and John Young.
“Blockchain will transform our worldview in the arts in a way not unlike photography transformed it in the 19th century,” says Young, a Hong Kong-born Australian artist.
“It will redefine originality, reproduction and value once more and challenge the 20th-century frivolity in the mediatisation of images. Blockchain will also undoubtedly alter the commerce of the arts industry.”
Melbourne-based Australian artist Sally Ross is also impressed with the technology’s capacity “to solve a lot of the basic problems about the way that we classify and catalogue something. Having that basic information in place that has integrity to begin with is great.”
Having already transformed the likes of finance, agriculture and government, blockchain technology digitally stores information such as provenance the history of ownership of works and verification of authenticity on the blockchain.

(Sally Ross ‘Skye 2017’ – Oil on wood – 100 x 80 cm. Image courtesy the artist and Murray White Room, Melbourne.)

(Polly Borland ‘Her Majesty, The Queen, Elizabeth II (gold) 2001’ Type C photograph Image courtesy the artist and Murray White Room, Melbourne.)

 

This  will  improve  reliability  in  the  process  of  trading  art  and  increase  security  at  all  levels  of  the transaction.

The  application  of  blockchain  technology  in  this  instance  offers  stakeholders  in  the  art  world  more certainty in determining thefts, forgeries and cloned works.

It also provides assurance of provenance of art through a secure and immediate transaction, keeping record of the current title owner and any past title owner.

Importantly, the information will be open to both sides involved in the transaction to help achieve a fair valuation.

The prevalence of art fraud and lack of provenance has long been an issue in the art world, allowing for fake or stolen works to unknowingly be traded on the open market.

ArtChain Global Chief Operating Officer Cameron Macqueen says the platform can remove that doubt and restore confidence in both buyers and sellers.

Art fraud and being able to prove authenticity has been a problem in the art world since the beginning of time,” he says.

ArtChain Global will also act as a discovery tool for users to buy and sell authentic art, opening up a global market for Australian artists who have registered their work by connecting them with buyers, auction houses, galleries, curators, and talent managers worldwide.

Following  its  Australian  launch, ArtChain Global  heads to China in a strategic  move  to  ensure  it  will  become  the  preferred  digital  hub  for  authentic  art  from  across  the world.

(Judith Van Heeren ‘Sea garden with pink sponge 2017’ Oil on Belgian linen 50 x 60 cm Image courtesy the artist and Murray White Room, Melbourne.)

 

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