Arts DAO Fest 2024: Summary and Recap

Memes, Phygitals, the Bitcoin Halving, and more.

1*olRSb4qmqz-BENq9rVj78A.png Rahim Mahtab holding a ‘Choose Rich’ sign

Despite unfavorable weather conditions, with Dubai experiencing the biggest storms ever recorded, Arts DAO Fest persevered and delivered a professional event. Here is my quick review and recap of this year’s edition.

Many events this week have been thrown into complete disarray, so the fact that Arts DAO was still able to proceed with panels, booths, and performances was a significant achievement and a pleasant surprise. The entire team can now definitely consider themselves battle-tested.


1*97QFUQO0cTm6RVE9u2hwWQ.jpeg ArtDao floor

So what is Arts DAO Fest? In short it’s a Dubai-based crypto and web3 oriented affair. There were NFT galleries, there were business booths, there were exhibitions, all the other usual suspects. Obviously the agenda was quite broad so I’ll only focus on my personal takeaways and the things that stood out to me.

Sneaker Phygitals

At the fest I found three projects focused on the concept of collecting footwear that can be kept as either an NFT or redeemed for a physical equivalent (10KA, Sneakerheads and Brain Boots). Interestingly, the 10KA and Sneakerhead crews seemed unaware of each other’s existence until the event, which speaks volumes. The fact that three independent teams, unaware of each other’s work, arrived at the same solution suggests that they might be onto something.


Ordinals, Runes and the bitcoin halving

I don’t use the word ‘alpha’ often, but one panel that truly stood out was ‘Let’s Talk Ordinals’ (featuring Bechequ, Barthazian, and Jan Smejkal as guests). Unlike some other panels at the fest, which were filled with platitudes or grift, this one delivered the goods. The discussion covered the future of ordinals, the impact of the halving on the community, and even the newly launched Rune metaprotocol, which had just debuted two days prior. I found myself engaged, nodding in agreement with the panelists and after returning home, I continued studying the subject, exploring the world of rare sats and rune etching. Eventually I even purchased some runes myself. That’s the very definition of alpha if you ask me.


Aimi Sekiguchi’s Performace

The primary reason I attended Arts DAO fest was to see Aimi Sekiguchi perform live. Aimi is a renowned Japanese VR artists, who combines speed-paiting with music and movement, all synchronized together. Her art shows are top-tier and serve as a great showcase of how VR can merge both the result and the process into one form.


Besides Aimi’s performance, I was also looking forward to seeing VR integrated into Arts DAO’s gaming zone. However, despite promotional materials suggesting otherwise, the gaming zone this year consisted of just a single PS5 with two controllers, which was a disappointment.

Obviously ArtDao Fest has art in its name, therefore art should tie everything together. As a universal language, art has the power to stimulate the mind and resonate with people from all backgrounds, including those outside of the crypto community. To that end, I believe there should have been a greater emphasis on galleries, performances, and challenges to foster a more inclusive and artistically rich experience.


Next up is GameExpo Dubai 2024, taking place from May 3rd to 5th. A write-up from that event will be coming soon.

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Tech Writer, VR Enthusiast, Backpacker, Activist

Tech, Trends and Travel
Tech, Trends and Travel

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