Digital Art in the 21st Century: A Panel on Art, Law, and NFTs

January 28, 2022
Online Event

The McGill Art Law Association and the Cheng Huai Art and Culture Association present Digital Art in the 21st Century: A Panel on Art, Law, and NFTs. The term "NFT" has become a buzzword in the art world and was even named the 2021 "Word of the Year" by Collins Dictionary. While NFTs create new opportunities for artists and patrons, their burgeoning popularity spurs questions about their role in the art market’s circuits of exchange and implications within broader artistic and legal landscapes. On January 28th, we welcome three experts to discuss the intersection of digital art, intellectual and copyright law, and NFTs to unravel some of the myths surrounding this novel blockchain technology.

Dr. Tina Rivers Ryans is an art historian and curator specializing in media art. Her expertise spans video, digital, and internet art. Among her five degrees in art history include a BA from Harvard and a PhD from Columbia. Informed by her own experience of disability, her research generally seeks to highlight the relationship between technology and the body. Throughout her career she has worked with The Met, MoMA, and Artforum. She is currently the Assistant Curator at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York, where she put on the major fall 2021 survey ‘Difference Machines: Technology and Identity in Contemporary Art’ and the first solo museum show of Aria Dean.

Eliane Ellbogen is an intellectual property lawyer at Fasken and a legal expert in patent, trademark, copyright and trade secret matters. She has extensive experience litigating intellectual property cases and overseeing the IP dimensions of transactions involving information technology companies. She is especially interested in the legal issues at the forefront of technological development including artificial intelligence and biotechnology. Prior to practising law, she was the Artistic Director and co-founder of Eastern Bloc, a digital art exhibition centre based in Montreal. She holds an LL.B. with honours from UQAM and a BA in Art History, Criticism, and Conservation from McGill.

Alexy Préfontaine, alias aeforia, is a self-taught digital artist, graphic designer, and photographer from Montreal. His dream-like digital landscape and portraiture works showcase a captivating style which foreground colour, balance, and emotion, the three elements at the heart of his practice. His side project, aefaroe, is an experiment with colour and photography. He has collaborated with multidisciplinary artists around the world including Vakho Jappari and safehaven. Alexy Préfontaine holds a Bachelor's degree in Graphic Design from UQAM.