Event Recap: Art Innovators Alliance, "The Road Yet Travelled"

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In 2018, the Art Innovators Alliance (AIA) was formed as a way to bring positive change to the art world through collaboration, transparency and education. The AIA’s founding members worked together to plan an inaugural event that took place on March 19, 2019 at Postmasters Gallery in New York City. The event, titled The Road Yet Travelled, sought to advance the AIA’s mission by exploring what art businesses can learn from other industries about technology adoption and transformation.

The event was comprised of two sessions:

Innovation in Food & Fashion

  • Moderated by Elisa Mala of The New York Times

  • Panelists included Tony Aiazzi, CEO and Co-founder of Chouxbox, Alex Mitow, Director of Superfine! Art Fair, former restaurateur and Nathan Richardson, Co-founder of Trade-it, former CEO of Gilt City

Innovation in the Arts

  • Moderated by Elisa Mala of The New York Times

  • Panelists included Daniel Doubrovkine, CTO of Artsy, Patton Hindle, Senior Director of Arts at Kickstarter, Julian Radcliffe, Chairman of the Art Loss Register, and Annika Erikson, CEO of Articheck and AIA member

The discussions explored ways technology had changed those industries, for better or worse, and then drew parallels with the art industry before exploring the challenges and opportunities ahead.

Topics covered included

• the impact of mobile on the fashion industry: 'game-changer'
• the unexpected importance of the 'tactile' nature of images being presented (ie people want to know exactly what they are going to get)
• the importance of empowering non business types (eg chefs)
• The Seamless/Uber eats experience in the food world - how B2C (client driven demand) drove the change in B2B sales (restaurants had to be part of it)
• It's never been easier to harness tech to new business models (API's can solve anything!)
• The challenges of getting people to change when they've been doing something the same way for years (change habits, not just try something once)
• 'Data is the key' - create personalised, unique experiences utilising data (in everything from email to product)
• Lessons learned included 'concentrating on what people want rather than what we thought they needed; be rational and data driven; don't let your ego get in the way
• Be where the people are: thoughts on Instagram, Google etc
• The merits of using existing tech rather than building custom solutions that don't integrate or use industry standards
• Competitors or collaborators? What's best for the art industry?
• Transparency (or the lack thereof) in the art world and who does that actually benefit?
• Some best practice examples of art businesses using tech
• What are the challenges of bringing art into the tech world?
• Is tech v art so different? Although the art world is resistant to tech, both are creative endeavours

Listen to the full podcast here.

To learn more about the Art Innovators Alliance, visit their website. Founding members of the AIA include: ARTA, Articheck, Artlogic, Art Frankly, Art Money, Tagsmart, Vastari, and Verisart.