Few people know that digital art has been around since the 1960s. For a long time, however, people in the art world viewed it as “less” than traditional art, or simply as an advertising medium. Fortunately, digital museums such as the MoCDA play a crucial role in educating everyone about digital art and its role in an increasingly digitized world. NFTevening caught up with Filippo Lorenzin and Serena Tabacchi at the NFC in Lisbon to talk about the vital work of MoCDA.
What is MoCDA?
The main objective of the MoCDA, or Museum of Contemporary Digital Art, is to educate artists, collectors, institutions and art lovers about digital art. In addition to exhibiting digital art, the MoCDA team works hard to educate, collect, and document digital art to elevate its status.
What’s interesting about the MoCDA is that the team wants to provide a foundation for understanding digital art in its own context, rather than simply as a by-product of fine art. Therefore, this forward-looking approach cements the MoCDA as an indispensable and forward-looking institution for forward-looking artists and art lovers.
The idea for the MoCDA was born when its co-founder Dominic Perini attended a 2018 Christie’s meeting in London. There he met many individuals who are now popular in the NFT and crypto space. It was then that he realized a move was about to happen. At this point, Serena, who was working at the Tate in London at the time, became involved. Together they created the MoCDA Foundation. The rest, as they say, is history.
Introducing a larger goal
The MoCDA team is very interested in NFTs. However, the team opts for a broader approach that takes into account all forms of digital art. According to Filippo, this helps the museum to be more inclusive and comprehensive; especially since digital art has been around for over sixty years.
“It will be very limiting to say that we will only focus on NFTs; especially because, technically speaking, it would be very inconvenient in 10-20 years because technology changes; and what we now call NFTs will definitely change in 20, 25 or 50 years,” says Filippo.
Focusing on digital art in general, the MoCDA serves as a platform where people can learn about emerging digital artists and the technologies that make digital art more meaningful. “Technology comes with this kind of burden of being something complicated, not accessible, and very difficult to grasp,” Serena explains.
“We wanted to create a place where people could enjoy art and learn the mechanism to create what they could enjoy visually or through the different senses; rather than just you know, ignoring what was going on below the surface.
Additionally, digital art is inherently different from traditional art in the way it is presented. While many associate art with frames displayed in physical museums, digital art is much more than that. Digital works of art do not depend on a physical space. On the contrary, according to Serena, “what is digital should be digital. Hence the idea of creating a museum that could accommodate this kind of work.
Bring about a cultural change
Traditional museums and institutions are slowly but surely recognizing the value of digital art. International institutions such as the British Museum, the Tate Modern and the Belvedere Museum are getting into digital art.
“Recognition of something digital is important; especially since it was often seen as just a social media account,” says Serena. “And so it doesn’t have the value of a place you can visit in real life. Often, being present in a space makes it more legitimate. Today, fortunately, it is sort of turning around.
However, Filippo and Serena agree that this increase in recognition depends on the cultural climate of the country. “The particularity of traditional museums and their relationship to the history of digital art depends on the culture and the cultural context of the museum”, explains Filippo. He uses his native Italy as an example.
“In Italy, I mean, we really don’t have anything about digital art. Of course, there are projects. Most of them are independent or private groups. But for example, I worked at the Victoria and Albert Museum. And they have one of the most interesting collections of digital art and digital design in the world.
It all boils down to generational change and cultural change brought about by education. After all, as Filippo says, “if you don’t have that generation of creators who had the opportunity to get into digital art; you will continue to have curators and museums only interested in traditional types of installations.
MoCDA Education Initiatives Bring Change
Education is an integral part of MoCDA’s work. However, Filippo and Serena insist that it all depends on whether students or art lovers want to learn more about digital art.
“We try to make education available and accessible. And that’s the main goal. So if anyone wants to know more, they know where to find more information about what we do,” says Serena.
But it’s not just about the MoCDA — it’s about artists and the artistic value of a work, as opposed to its monetary value. “This is the story of their work; how it is created; and what technologies do this work.
MoCDA’s educational work is rooted in action. In fact, team members regularly visit universities to learn more about digital art and its role in Web3. The question is: do young people want to know more about this space?
“There is a lot of curiosity among young people,” confirms Serena. “Most of them already know what a digital asset is. So, most of them are aware that digital has value, which is different from previous generations. »
Filippo continues: “It’s about giving the opportunity to anyone who wants to learn about digital art. The worst thing is to force people to know something because then it starts to become propaganda.
Through its advocacy and educational work, the MoCDA bridges the gap between the often “elitist” world of fine art and the art that exists in the digital sphere. By inspiring young Millennials and Gen Zers, institutions like MoCDA are ensuring that digital art finally gets the recognition it deserves.