Musée d’Orsay Teams with DJ Agoria for First NFT Exhibition

Credit: Musée d’Orsay / Julien Benhamou

Musée d’Orsay, a Parisian museum that ranks in the top 10 globally, is preparing to debut its first NFT exhibition this February. The exhibition, titled “Le Code d’Orsay,” comes in partnership with Sébastian Devaud, an artist and music performer known as DJ Agoria, and will feature a unique interactive Tezos minting experience along with a generative art piece that draws inspiration from biology.

Devaud told Decrypt, as he was preparing the entire year for the exhibition, that he ruminated on the question, “How can we make the digital sensible?”

The exhibition will focus on two artworks that utilize different technologies. The first, called “Sigma Lumina,” is a steel sculpture that, when hit with the perfect angle of light from the ceiling, reveals a QR code. When museum goers scan the code, they will be transported to a website powered by the Tezos blockchain. The website features colorful works inspired by impressionist masters.

After “blowing” into their phones, the works are transformed into mintable pieces.

Devaud has based his second work on the concept of “biological generative art.” It will feature a yeast collection that, through its various patterns and movements, will represent five phases in the life of French painter Gustave Courbet. The yeast collection will stand side-by-side Courbet’s 1855 work “The Painter’s Studio” in the Orsay.

While the second work doesn’t have a blockchain component, generative art is known for its popularity in Web3, as seen in recent sales from major artists like Tyler Hobbs and Refik Anadol.

Musée d’Orsay is one of the top museums globally, but fell on hard times during the pandemic. Since then, it has fought to regain customers by leveraging nascent technologies like virtual reality, augmented reality, NFTs, and the blockchain. This exhibition comes after the Museum signed a year-long partnership with the Tezos Foundation to increase its Web3 presence.

The Orsay is known, in particular, for its large collection of impressionist masterpieces, housing works from van Gogh, Renoir, and others.

Museums Double Down on Web3

It may be easy to see museums as staid, old institutions that don’t change much, but a surprising number in the past couple of years have started to adopt newer technologies, particularly those belonging to the next iteration of the internet. From museums state-side to those around the world, these bastions of art have taken to NFTs, the blockchain, and more.

Some of the headlines of such stories we’ve covered include:

As the headlines show, museums have started to embrace this new tech, especially as a way to engage and retain new customers. Given that art is one of the industries NFT tech is disrupting, this could be a sign of something more, a trend that will play out in the future for years to come.