Wonder Fair 6.0 Digital Twin, a multidisciplinary art event, comes to NFT.NYC this Friday, April 14th at the iconic Ideal Glass Studios in the heart of New York’s West Village. Amid preparations, co-founder Lena Viddo and her creative collaborator Danniel Swatosh reminisced with Honeysuckle about the incredible success of their last event, Wonder Fair 5.0 and the true meaning of art. Bringing that event to fruition took a village, Viddo affirmed.
Wonder what all the buzz is about? Join Wonder Fair 6.0 Digital Twin on Friday, April 14th - click here for tickets!
What Is Wonder Fair 6.0 Digital Twin?
The upcoming Wonder Fair 6.0 Digital Twin explores duality in all forms, including the digital representation and virtual model simulation of real-world physical objects, including humankind itself. The roster of over 70+ artists includes emerging young painters and talent, NFT art stars, Burning Man creatives, to established veterans from the upper echelons of the traditional art world with NFT art stars Andre Oshea, Claire Silver, Briscoe Park, Cowboy Killer, DrifterShoots, and Synchrodogs. Internationally renowned oil painter Maria Kreyn, whose work Alone Together drives the plot of Shonda Rhimes' ABC thriller The Catch, will be among the spotlight exhibitors. Special guest curator, Ukrainian born Asya Nikolaeva, founder of City X NFT, will be debuting Ukrainian artists, merging art and advocacy by donating sales proceeds to supporting artists and their families.
Wonder Fair is also proud to present Senegalese-American creator Marieme, whose upbringing amid a war-torn culture has shaped her into a messenger of love through music, fashion, and cutting-edge tech. Her music has been featured on film and TV, including Michelle Obama and Oprah’s Netflix special. Marieme recently embraced the world of NFTs with her drop “Built for Greatness” and was just spotlighted as the latest cover artist of the Web3 publication NICOZINE.
Who's Spotlighted in Wonder Fair's Programming?
Lasting 3PM to midnight, Wonder Fair’s offerings will include the multimedia art showcases, discursive programming and music. Afternoon and evening seminars will feature renowned and upcoming artists, thought leaders, creatives, and musicians working in the Web3 space and the arts. Among the moderators, Ronit Pinto and Sam C. Long of Honeysuckle Magazine, Emilie Mcglone of United Nations Peace Boat, and Mary Pryor of Wasserman, will moderate panel discussions focusing on trending issues of the day. At night, the highlight is a celebratory opening reception that will include a fruit activation by Alejandro Glatt, a live music performance by Sky White Tiger, and DJ sets by Colombian artist Kenny Jones and Brazilian DJ and music producer Gaspar Muniz.
Other notable innovators at this iteration of Wonder Fair include Connie Bakshi, Ellie Pritts, Briscoe Park, DrifterShoots, Cowboy Killer, Erica Simone, Andressa Furletti, Future Eyes, Anastasios Poneros aka Pork, Hybycozo, Nate Mohler, Orbseer, Randy Polumbo, Lindsey Price, Kayla Silber, Darrel Thorne, Tora Lopez and Young and Sick.
Meet Wonder Fair's Organizers
Lena Viddo, a Colombian-Swedish multimedia artist, curator and event producer, has been inspiring artists across the globe for years. Her mission is “elevating artists, community building and at the same time incorporating global impact projects into living, breathing, immersive works of art.” She has accomplished this successfully through her own internationally acclaimed work, and the founding of NYC-based artist studio Inter-Space and underground experimental arts/events collective Love Medicine. And through Wonder Fair, which Viddo first conceived in 2018, she discovered a perfect partner in Danniel Swatosh for the event’s pivotal fifth anniversary.
Swatosh’s passion for merging creativity and good causes with innovative prescience matches Viddo’s own. Known as a culture curator and entrepreneur, Swatosh the co-founder and CMO of the cannabis education and advocacy platform Humble Bloom, and Executive Director of Breaking Bread NYC, a nonprofit that addresses food insecurity through the support of small farmers and community-driven initiatives on equity and sustainability. She is also co-creator of the ongoing art project Helandania with photography and video artist Helena De Bragança.
Looking Back: Wonder Fair 5.0 at Art Basel
Video and Swatosh spoke to Honeysuckle about their previous Wonder Fair and their goals for this next iteration. In a testament to the power of imagination, Wonder Fair 5.0 took flight at Art Basel Miami 2022, creating an event and exhibition where 100-plus artists and over 30,000 attendees converged to celebrate all forms of expression. Their team resurrected a grimy yet exquisitely beautiful abandoned factory building, bringing back to life the ruins, chains, and machine room, the heart and engine of the former 1940s mattress factory that is now Factory Town, Miami’s most incredible performance venue.
At Wonder Fair 5.0, Viddo, Swatosh, CTO James Halldon, and guest curators Nola Kat and Future Eyes manifested a three-day extravaganza of artistry that took Art Basel by storm. Honeysuckle was a proud event sponsor, alongside the venue Factory Town, web browser Brave, Bored Cat NFT, Antenna NFT, and Love Medicine. Special musical programming at Factory Town also featured Elrow, Ibiza’s best dance party, with artist /DJ Blondish headlining, and the creative odyssey Afterlife featuring Italian duo Tale Of Us and Music On from the electric sound stylings of Marco Carola.
Wonder Fair's Organizers Talk Digital Twin, Multimedia Art, and The Future
HONEYSUCKLE MAGAZINE: What are the most important aspects of Wonder Fair for you?
The most important aspects of Wonder Fair for me are inclusivity of community and the merging of diverse art forms and mediums. It is the place where analog meets digital in Art. We feature NFTs, traditional art including painting, photography, and sculpture with performance in a non-traditional space. Essential to Wonder Fair is intersectional diversity within our roster of artists. In any given exhibition, we include young emerging talent who might be showing for the first time alongside art world veterans.
At Wonder Fair 5.0 we faced many hurdles, including losing our venue just weeks before Art Basel creating a domino effect of chaos that resulted in the most creative outcome. As a last resort, we did a full construction buildout on several abandoned buildings at the Factory Town property. The space transformed into a perfect container for an industrial gallery with a post-apocalyptic vibe, cyberpunk meets futuristic tech.
DANNIEL SWATOSH: Wonder Fair is a celebration of awe and admiration of the beautiful, strange, unexpected, or inexplicable. It is a work of art, an immersing and transformative experience where the container is as essential as the artwork itself. The diverse representation of artists is a sublime blend of beings and things, an evolution of art, technology, and the natural world, and a merging of culture and commerce.
How does Wonder Fair work in the larger context of other art fairs such as Art Basel and NFT.NYC?
VIDDO: In the larger context of Art Basel and NFT.NYC, Wonder Fair continues to be a fresh experience among hundreds of events. Wonder Fair invites artists, creators, collectors, and multi-sector leaders to a dynamic, immersive art happening to merge art, activism, and immersive experience with the latest cutting-edge technology. Wonder Fair challenges the traditional white-box gallery model, filling industrial and unconventional environments with exhibitions, performances, educational panel discussions, and activations that blur the line between artist and attendee to present a fresh and rebellious experience. Wonder Fair 6.0 will be held at state of the art Ideal Glass Studios in the West Village. The venue consists of a two story Victorian mansion with an outdoor garden and deck which sits atop the Atrium, a 5000 square-feet industrial gallery and a separate funky green screen VR lounge.
SWATOSH: Unlike traditional art fairs that primarily focus on the display of art pieces, Wonder Fair provides visitors with a multi-sensory experience that fully engages them in the art. We also have specific themes that guide the selection of art pieces. This allows visitors to explore different topics or ideas through art and creates a more cohesive experience.
For Wonder Fair 6.0 Digital Twin, visitors are invited to reflect on the potential of digital twinning to transform the way we interact with physical objects and spaces. They are also encouraged to consider the ethical and philosophical implications of this technology, including questions around ownership, privacy, and the nature of reality itself. We also collaborate with artists, designers, and other creatives. This creates a sense of community and shared vision that can be lacking in traditional art fairs, which tend to be more individualistic in nature.
Which artists stand out and provoke a unique response in you?
VIDDO: Claire Silver continues to be the Beacon of light that shines brightest for me. This week’s Digital Twin will be Claire’s fourth appearance at Wonder Fair. We are proud to be including her piece Digital Twin, which inspired the title of this iteration of Wonder Fair. We are also pleased to announce that we will be exhibiting Love in the Fourth Turning, one of her latest works. Her work is moving and beautiful, but beyond that what is so extraordinary about Claire is her dedication to emerging artists both in elevating and highlighting them by providing them with educational resources on the creation of art in collaboration with artificial intelligence, guidance with the navigation of Web3 and instruction on marketing and getting the work to a professional level.
SWATOSH: Art and technology have often been seen as being in opposition to nature. However, a growing number of artists and designers are exploring ways in which art and technology can be seen as an extension of nature, rather than in opposition to it. One way in which art and technology can be seen as an extension of nature is through biomimicry, which is the practice of using natural forms, processes, and systems as inspiration for the design. Synchrodogs, one of my favorite artist duos, and their work are excellent examples of how art and technology can be seen as an extension of nature through their ability to evoke the same sense of awe and wonder that we feel when we experience the natural world.
What do you see as larger goals for future Wonder Fair events?
VIDDO: I envision Wonder Fair expanding to include daytime and nighttime programming in its next incarnation. While up until this point it has been an independent artist fair driven by creatives, incorporating artist collectives and galleries is also part of the future of Wonder Fair.
SWATOSH: I see Wonder Fair as a platform where art, commerce, and altered states of consciousness intersect in an exciting and innovative way that invites visitors to explore the boundaries between art, commerce, and the human mind. Through the sale of artworks, visitors can take a piece of this transformative experience home with them and integrate it into their daily lives. However, Wonder Fair is not just about the sales of art. It is also about exploring the boundaries between art and altered states of consciousness, and the transformative power that this intersection can offer. By creating a space where art, commerce, and altered states of consciousness intersect, we invite visitors to explore their own perceptions and experiences in a way that is both thought-provoking and empowering.
Wonder Fair 6.0 Digital Twin takes place Friday, April 14th as part of NFT.NYC 2023. Programming is 3PM-12AM at Ideal Glass Studios, 9 West 8th Street in Manhattan's West Village. Click here for tickets.
For more information about Wonder Fair follow @wonderfair_art on Instagram and Twitter.
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Featured image: Wonder Fair 5.0 at Art Basel 2022, Miami, Florida (C) Sam C. Long / Honeysuckle Media, Inc. @tissuekulture