The first blockchain platform created by -and for- collectors, art professionals and experts in new technologies. Named MATERIA, it debuts with the work of Greek artist Miltos Manetas. The project, dubbed ‘This Cannot Be Erased’, is composed of 111 unique pieces of digital portraits with NFT technology of Julian Assange and curated by the co-founder of the Palais de Tokyo Museum in Paris Jérôme Sans.
In parallel, Manetas is also presenting his portraits of Assange – and will donate one each day – at the Padiglione Internet at the Venice Biennale. The pavilion is a project created by the artist in 2009, which considers the Internet as another country.
MATERIA is a platform, based in Spain and the United Kingdom, that allows artists, galleries and institutions to discover, develop, exhibit, sell and collect digital art.
About the promoters of MATERIA
MATERIA was born in 2022, with promoters spread across the globe. Technology entrepreneurs Alexander Chevtaev and Patricia Ezpeleta, together with businessman, collector and philanthropist Bill Saad, are its founders. Madrid gallerist Sabrina Amrani, originally from Paris, is responsible for business development and institutional partnerships, a position she will combine with the manage- ment of her eponymous gallery; the former director and founder of the Palais de Tokyo, Jérôme Sans, is in charge of artistic strategy. Bobo Delice, a marketing professional responsible for making the Monster Energy drink one of the most attractive drinks on social media, has joined the team, having worked for Coca-Cola, the Socchi Olympic Games and the Lotus Formula 1 team. Finally, Noan Can- tabrana, one of the pioneers of the NFT space, will be responsible for community strategy.
About the artist
Born in Athens in 1964, Milton Manetas Lives and works between Bogota, Colombia and Roma, Italy. He is an internationally celebrated Greek painter, artist and theorist whose work is known for be- ing pioneering in the exploration of digital culture. His approach, often collaborative, reflects the fluidi- ty of virtual and physical spaces and the construction of the Internet as a real place. In the same logic as the proliferation of the web, he simulates all manner of digital tools —laptops, cables, etc. – which has become his iconographic system. If the Internet has disrupted our perception of reality, suspen- ded between digital consumerism and the overconsumption, Manetas also reconnects the Internet to the ideal of a communitarian society in his analogical representations of the metaverse.
Since 1998, he has been questioning the behavioral and social shifts associated with the rise of the Internet, with his first online works on Active Worlds, later transplanted on Second Life. A pioneer
in this field, he initiated NEEN ART (2000), self-proclaimed “the first art movement of the 21st cen- tury” and the first Internet Pavilion at the Venice Biennale (2009) which challenge with a spirit of total openness our real presence in a computational and globalized world. Today, Manetas continues the Pavilion until these days, representing every two years, “The Internets” as our new common country where everything is to be reinvented.
About the music producer
Born in Glasgow in 1963, Howie B lives and work in the south of France. The producer’s producer, Howie B is one of pioneers of the underground UK electronic, breakbeat and trip hop scenes that have since bled through to influence mainstream sound. Working with fusion of soul, hip-hop, house, jazz, and funk, Howie was part of the wave of 90’s indie record labels. He launched his own label, Pussyfoot Records in 1994. Since then Howie has worked with artists such as U2, Bjork, Tricky or Brian Eno, and composed soundtracks for a number of Chinese feature films, alongside the end title music for Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf Of Wall Street. His music has appeared in adverts for industry giants Maserati, Lloyds and Range Rover amongst others.
Passionate about inspiring the next wave of musicians outside of the western music scene, Howie created a charity called Intermission. Now in 2022 Howie is focussing on diversifying his output even further. He will be launching his new record label, Dog Tooth Records, later this year. The first relea- se will be from French solo artist Tristan Bres, and will be followed by Howie’s 14th album release in November this year, a follow up from 2014s Down With The Dawn.
About the curator
Curator, artistic director and director of institutions, Jérôme Sans is known for his pioneering and transversal approach to cultural institutions and exhibitions.
Jérôme Sans is recognised worldwide as one of the few people to have conceived, shaped and directed cultural institutions and centres. This creator of places has instilled new models for unders- tanding and engaging differently and democratically with art and culture. Jérôme Sans is one of the most creative and unconventional actors in the contemporary art world. These models are imitated all over the world, such as the Palais de Tokyo, which he co-founded in Paris and co-directed for
the first six years together with Nicolas Bourriaud, before becoming the director of the Ullens Center for Contemporary Art (UCCA) in Beijing from 2008 to 2012. In addition to his publications, he was creative director and editor-in-chief of the French cultural magazine L’Officiel Art and has curated numerous international exhibitions, including the Taipei Biennial (2000), the Lyon Biennial (2005), … and the monographs Li Qing at the Prada Rong Zhai Foundation in Shanghai (2019) … Most recently Erwin Wurm at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Belgrade (2022) …. He is also accompanying the development of Lago Algo, a new cultural hub in Mexico City where he will present a group show in September 2022.