September 20, 2023 338 PM
MARFA — Art Blocks, a generative art platform founded in 2020 with a physical gallery space in Marfa that displays non-fungible tokens (NFTs), will host its third annual open house weekend this Thursday, September 21, to Sunday, September 24. Glitch, a digital art gallery founded last year will also host several events in conjunction with Art Blocks.
Art Blocks says the multi-day affair, which it anticipates will attract around 500 attendees, “highlights [its] identity at the crossroads of contemporary art, tech, and finance.”
As opposed to previous years where events primarily took place at each respective gallery, this year’s programming will spread out around town to Saint George Hall, the Crowley Theater, and several local artists studios.
On Thursday from 5 to 7 p.m. Glitch will host a “Locals Only” exhibition preview, featuring select works by digital artist Grant Riven Yun that reflect “the great trek so many make to get to and from Marfa, encountering the vast and varied terrains, textures, and transportation quintessential to this country’s landscape.”
Glitch goings-on also include a live podcast recording, a panel on generative fashion and an exhibition of women artists working with computer code as their primary medium.
“We are happy to welcome back previous session presenters like GALLERY and MONAVERSE, two start-up teams working at the intersection of blockchain technology and digital media,” said Madison Page, Glitch gallery director.
Kate Hannah, Art Blocks chief of staff, said Glitch founders have long been supporters of Art Blocks and they enjoyed the events the gallery hosted last year so they decided to work together on this year’s public events schedule.
“As we started hearing feedback from our 2022 attendees who wanted us to take on a bit of a master of ceremonies role, we thought this would be the perfect partnership,” said Hannah. “Incorporating Glitch events allows us to not only amplify the work that they’re doing but also to work with [them] to create programming that’s meaningful to both our communities.”
Friday will feature “artist activations” by Art Blocks from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Saint George Hall including a collaborative digital painting installation, live generative embroidery, an installation that reinterprets the pen plotter as a musical instrument, a generative 3D kinetic sculpture collection in virtual reality, and more. East El Paso Street, where games and food will be available, will be closed down for the event.
Art Blocks’ latest exhibition, Collēctīvus, will officially open from 1 to 6 p.m. on Friday, and panel discussions about the work and other projects will take place from 3:15 to 4 p.m. Collēctīvus centers around themes of computation, conscious and collective memory.
Art Blocks artistic coordinator Mad Pinney said the show is noteworthy for its emphasis on shared experiences and collective resonance amid an isolated digital era. Collēctīvus involves a total of seven projects, all released over the past year on the Art Blocks platform.
“As generative art continues to emerge and evolve as an art form, it is crucial for us to remind ourselves of the power of collective vision,” said Pinney. “Art Blocks welcomes community members from all over the world this weekend.”
In addition to events at Art Blocks and Glitch, attendees and locals alike are invited to self-guided tours of local artists studios taking place from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, including Julie Speed, Robert and Valerie Arber, Martha Hughes, Laszlo Thorsen-Nagel and LéAna Clifton at Veldt Gallery as well as a dark skies event taking place Saturday night at the Lumber Yard.
“[Art Blocks] is bringing in a huge audience, and we wanted to make sure that those visitors are seeing the talent that exists here,” said Abby Boyd of Concierge Marfa, a new local consulting and PR company. “We have incredible artists, shops, restaurants and galleries, and we want to make sure this is a great weekend for all of our locals. We’ve included all business hours in 500 welcome packets, so hopefully this gives our local businesses a little boon after a pretty slow summer.”
For more information or to view the full events schedule, visit artblocks.io/info/spectrum/third-annual-open-house-weekend and glitchmarfa.com/events/