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The Future of Art and Culture in the Digital Age: Innovative NFT Projects at the 'Culture Now' Event at Belvedere 21

On March 19, 2024, an event took place at Belvedere 21 in Vienna, focusing on the intersections between art, technology, and culture. Titled "Culture Now: Exploring NFTs and Blockchain in Culture," it brought together a variety of art and technology enthusiasts to gain deep insights into the world of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs) and blockchain technology and to discuss their revolutionary impacts on society.

The event started at 6:30 pm with a reception, followed by a warm welcome from the CEO of Belvedere, Wolfgang Bergmann. Paul Pöltner, Board Member of the Digital Assets Association Austria (DAAA), moderated and introduced the topic. The DAAA, a nonprofit organization advocating for the promotion and sustainable development of the digital asset ecosystem in Austria, played a central role in organizing the evening.

A highlight of the event was the presentation of "Innovation Beacons," showcasing five pioneering projects demonstrating the diversity and potential of NFTs and blockchain technology. Special attention was given to the project by JAM MUSIC LAB University, presented by Stefan Craß and Richard Graf, which highlighted the transformative power of technology in the music industry. The university's initiative to develop a live-streaming platform called "Jam Music Stage" ( with enhanced NFT functionality showcased new ways for artists without technical backgrounds to create NFT collections, which users can purchase using traditional payment methods. Other representatives from JAM MUSIC LAB University included Rector Marcus Ratka and Professor of Piano and Career Orientation Martin Zaunschirm. Additionally, the two supporters and partners of this project, Wilbert Verheijen (Canon) and Alfred Taudes (WU, ABC), were personally present.

The agenda was complemented by other innovative projects such as "The Kiss NFT" by Belvedere, "Citadel" by OeNB, "Crypto Stamp" by Post AG, and projects by Habsburg-Fine Arts, bridging the gap between traditional art and new technologies. The evening concluded with a get-together over wine, providing participants with the opportunity to exchange ideas and gain practical experience with blockchain and NFTs. The event was accompanied by a swinging jazz trio from JAM MUSIC LAB Artists Agency.

Rap Challenge: During the get-together, JAM MUSIC LAB University presented an interactive demonstration at their booth, showing the process from creating to uploading an NFT onto the blockchain. Guided by Univ.-Prof. Mag. Richard Graf, visitors had the unique chance to sing their own rap, which was then live transformed into an NFT. This activity practically demonstrated how music can be digitally immortalized and tradable through blockchain technology, providing insights into new opportunities for artists in the digital age.

This event marked a significant push for the integration of art, culture, and technology by bringing together a wide range of perspectives and projects. The commitment of JAM MUSIC LAB University and other pioneers underscores the growing interest and increasing acceptance of NFTs and blockchain technology as a means to expand creative and economic opportunities for artists and cultural institutions worldwide.

Authored on April 2nd, 2024