COZ and AxLabs recently partnered to bring non-fungible item (NFI) technology to the DENVER WALLS festival, showcasing the potential for blockchain technology to enhance public art experiences. The festival, which took place from September 22 to October 3 in Denver’s River North neighborhood, featured 17 murals painted by both local and international artists.
Each mural was accompanied by a bronze plaque embedded with the ITEM Systems NFI technology. Patrons were able to interact with the art in ways that went beyond just viewing the murals. There were two methods of interaction: scanning a QR code or “tapping” into the NFI transmitter embedded in the plaque.
Scanning the QR code allowed users to access information about the artist, connect with them on social media, and view a map of all the murals’ locations. While this method was quick and easy, tapping into the NFI transmitter provided an additional benefit. By physically touching their mobile device to the plaque, users could access the same information as QR scanning and prove that they had visited the mural. This feature could be particularly useful for future marketing initiatives, where businesses could offer exclusive discounts or offers to patrons who had physically visited all 17 murals.
The integration of NFI technology into the DENVER WALLS festival not only deepened engagement with the art but also supported local commerce. The physical activations of digital technology created a gamified mural exploration experience, combining aesthetic appreciation with digital rewards. This seamless integration of art, technology, and the viewer enhanced the overall connection between the community, technology, and art.
Ally Grimm, a Denver artist and organizer of DENVER WALLS, explained that the goal of the festival was to rejuvenate urban environments and elevate Denver’s reputation for artistic expression and community spirit. Working with the COZ team to incorporate NFI technology into each mural was a natural choice to enhance the viewers’ experience and support local businesses.
The collaboration between COZ and DENVER WALLS began when both parties connected at Consensus 2023 in April. After visiting the Neo booth and familiarizing themselves with the OneBand NFT technology, Grimm and Storm started brainstorming ways to implement similar technology for the mural festival. This initial collaboration paved the way for the integration of NFI technology into DENVER WALLS.
Looking to the future, COZ and DENVER WALLS have plans for the 2024 edition of the festival. They aim to install additional ITEM Systems NFI-embedded plaques for a new fleet of murals. This integration of technology and art serves as a prototype, showcasing the possibilities that arise from the convergence of blockchain technology and art. It goes beyond just demonstrating the tech, laying the groundwork for enhancing tangible real-world experiences for both communities and artists.
The COZ and DENVER WALLS collaboration at the festival highlights the potential for blockchain technology to amplify and enhance public art experiences. By incorporating NFI technology into the murals, the festival showcased a future where art, technology, and community intertwine to create a mutually beneficial and engaging experience for all.