AMM: I want to thank you both for this interview. Paul, you are the Founder of Artemesium and Richard you are the Chief Technology Officer of Artemesium. You both run the technology team and have built something special.
PH: Thank you. Our platform will offer unprecedented transparency in buying and selling art and for the first time ever in the art world buyers we be able to own a segment of a valuable artwork. Now, anyone can be an owner of fine art. I am truly honored to be part of this immensely talented technical team, with Richard, Rodrigo Villani, Jean-Malo Ribault and John Krempa, that will revolutionize the art world.
Early on, I reached out to my good friend and mentor, Peter Saile, with whom I co-founded the joint venture Artemesium Trust Masters together with Marlene Saile, who recently presented my late father’s (Omiros) Byzantine art to His Holiness Pope Francis. Peter then brought in some of the most prominent minds in the business and art worlds as Artemesium advisory members. Together, we have a wonderful team in place to reform the art world.
AMM: What are your thoughts on the art market as it currently stands?
PH: The art market’s history of manipulation and secrecy has made it terribly difficult for both sellers and buyers. Furthermore, it has restricted the size of the market—this is something our technology will change.
For the owner or seller, the art market is limited to a few channels, such as galleries, auction houses, and dealers. The very small group of buyers that can afford fine art usually have to pay exorbitant commission fees and work with middlemen art dealers, who may even withhold or manipulate information for the sake of a deal. Despite this, the art market averages over 60 billion dollars a year.
AMM: How do you intend to change this?
PH: For the first time in the history of fine art sales, both sellers and buyers can now make informed decisions based on fully transparent information. Art owners will learn how easy it is to sell artworks to millions of new buyers who have $100 to invest in a segment of an artwork. By creating this new channel of multiple buyers, we will dramatically increase the likelihood of a sale of an artwork.
AMM: How exactly does Artemesium increase the likelihood of sales?
PH: By expanding the market to millions of buyers who can buy segments of artworks, so we can sell and sell fast. This is something that art dealers with, say, 50 repeat customers can never do, and auction houses, with their long prep phase, will find hard to compete with.
The art market as we know it focuses on art buyers to feed the system. Through our unique and unparalleled system bringing forth major technology, we will create a new community of art owners.
AMM: Creating a new community is wonderful, but how does that facilitate the selling of art other than people looking at the art through your platform?
PH: Everyday people have always dreamed of becoming fine art owners. Artemesium makes this possible. Anyone with $100 will be treated like a big buyer with complete, transparent information to make informed decisions.
We are changing the traditional one-to-one relationship of seller and buyer. Having two parties is a magnet for middlemen to profit from keeping the two parties apart. We are creating a new one-to-many relationship between art owners and buyers. Creating such a relationship eliminates the middlemen.
AMM: That sounds like a form of social media.
PH: Social media will keep the buyers informed with an honest transparency that will democratize the field. Millions of new buyers will become proud art owners.
It is social media in its truest form. The artwork information (artist, provenance, ownership history, etc.) is a fingerprint of the artwork, and if you include in that fingerprint the proofs of ownership, then you create a digital access to the artwork.
RVR: And media is information. Information is what drives the modern economy. The business model of Artemesium is all about access to this information.
AMM: What exactly do you mean by access?
PH: Embedded in each owner’s smart contract is all the information pertaining to a work of art. Every owner has complete access. This is an end to manipulation.
An owner would then have the option to sell various portions of access to the artwork. Artemesium calls these portions “Art Crypto Access” (ACA). Having such a system of ACA linked to the artwork allows for the one-to-many relationship, creating a community around a single piece of art.
AMM: So you are basically selling fractions of the art works?
PH: Yes, that’s exactly what we will do, not physically, but through our ACA’s.
Previously, an overwhelming majority of art in private hands remained hidden. We call these artworks ‘hidden treasures’ and their number is staggering.
RvR: We are creating a platform where owners of these hidden treasures can find a refuge to monetize and bring their artworks to life. We make this process very easy.
AMM: Traditionally, co-ownership has been problematic. What if co-owners don’t agree to sell the access and a willing buyer of the whole artwork comes along?
PH: We found the solution in our smart contracts without hurting the ACA owners or a buyer who wants to buy the entire artwork. This is now possible due to the advent of the blockchain.
AMM: So blockchain is the solution to this problem?
PH: Yes. All other ideas just don’t work, since they are dependent on individual interests to get advantages for the buyer or seller.
Blockchain technology allows for a secure, decentralized and unmanned transaction process. Transparent contracts offer immutable proof of ownership. Art owners will have a say based on a blockchain concept called Proof of Stake (PoS). PoS means that the more you own, the more incentive you have to avoid doing anything that would devalue the stake. This creates a level of accountability, transparency and, most of all, a democratization previously unseen in the art market.
AMM: But even if you resolve the problem of co-ownership, why would anyone own a fraction of an artwork?
PH: Hundreds of millions of people who have $ 100 dream of being fine art owners. Now just as the wealthy, they can proudly view and show their artwork to their friends through our Art Museum. Their ACAs entitle them to a share of the income from the sale of an artwork and they can make a profit.
Artemesium makes art accessible to a new range of people; a community of art owners. Imagine owning a part of a Rembrandt.
RvR: We surveyed people not previously involved in buying art, and almost all have shown an incredible interest to participate in this ACA process. This fosters an amazing participative and discovery activity for art.
PH: We open up the art world to so many possibilities. One can imagine ACAs as meaningful, significant gifts. This completely changes the art world.
AMM: It seems you are setting the art market on a course with no turning back.
PH: Our goal is to let everybody be a part of it, including galleries, art owners, sellers, buyers, dealers, consultants, artists and all other types of art patrons.
The art market needs reform. A transparent blockchain platform providing trust in authenticity, provenance and all pertinent information about the specific artworks. We will replace the middleman and offer individually-developed smart contracts. The result will be the decentralization and democratization of the art world. The current legacy channels are often a laundering system for counterfeits.
AMM: Yes, counterfeits finding their way into a so-called legitimacy though the market is a huge problem. Do you have solutions for this?
PH: Yes, we have developed a technology, the EUREKA recognition system, that will avoid counterfeits. Additionally, everybody can see the pros and cons connected to an artwork, we can’t cover them up. For the first time in the history of art sales, everyone can make very educated purchase decisions.
Furthermore, owners of ACAs across the Artemesium platform do not want corrupted information finding its way onto the platform, as they have a stake in the system. Artemesium introduces a voting system leading to self-governance.
RvR: The artwork and its access documentations are examined and rated through a consensus vote on an ‘authenticity scale.’
AMM: But is this enough to prevent forgeries from entering the system?
PH: Forgeries for sure, and authenticity differences, which are normal in the world of the arts, will all be disclosed, as will any differences in provenance information, so that the buyer knows what they’re getting involved in.
The authenticity scale ranging from 0 to 10 offers the grade for the potential authenticity and dependability of the documents and expert judgement of an artwork. The result of the rating is both easily accessible and immutably blockchained, offering the buyers a true sense of what they are purchasing.
We are confident that dubious art will not go on the Artemesium Platform because they will not stand up to this level of scrutiny through aggregated citizen research.
RVR: Also keep in mind that though buyers are informed, because of the fractionization process, they can mitigate and spread the risks across a series of artwork ACAs.
PH: And something special can happen here. If an artwork’s documentation is rated low, the buyer may be willing to take a risk because the system itself offers the artwork a possible “path to authenticity” if further documentation or information were to change the voting scale results.
AMM: So how would you define the Artemesium Platform?
PH: A transparent open forum where art sellers and buyers meet without being able to hide facts, creating satisfied sellers and buyers.
The Platform is a system of authenticity scaling of the artwork and its documentation; a marketplace to sell ACAs to create new art owners. It is also a media platform with a communication system that can be directed between co–owners of artworks or of different works by the same artists. We are establishing conversations and community around the artworks.
AMM: You have done a great deal in changing the art market and introducing various levels of technology to help art owners. Please tell me about your visualization technology.
PH: We want the new segment owners of artworks to feel as the single owner feels if he’s standing in front of their artwork. That’s why we will exhibit all artworks, which are for sale or have been sold, in our 3D Art Museum. Compared with a single owner of a valuable artwork, which is often locked in a storage facility and can only be physically seen when the owner arranges a viewing room, the ACA owner of an artwork will be able to enjoy their artwork through our 3D Art Museum all the time.
AMM: Tell me about your 3D Art Museum.
PH: It is a two-million-square-foot, fully interactive Art Museum. It is a Classical building in honor of my artist father, Omiros, and is the crown jewel of the Artemesium tech team. I have to thank the tireless work of Rodrigo Villani, who single-handedly brought the Museum to an unparalleled level of realism that defies the human eye.
RvR: But our biggest promotional tool is the conjunction of Artemesium with gaming platforms reaching tens of millions of people. We have contracted with Steam, which will host the museum, making it free and open to all. We’re also partnering with major gaming distributors and the free-standing gaming cross platforms (Xbox and PlayStation).
AMM: So you will reach millions of new potential art owners. I can imagine many applications for such a Museum.
PH: Yes, millions will have access to our 3D Art Museum through Steam, Xbox and PlayStation, but our Museum can also hold an unlimited number of exhibitions. So we will open it to schools and students to hold their own exhibitions, as well.
RvR: We want to bring art to the people, to the children. Access is the key. Our mission is to democratize art.
AMM: You mentioned you have developed other technologies. What are they?
PH: Artemesium will become a complete art information system covering the entire art world. Our tech team is working on other recognition visualization technology using artificial intelligence to detect forgeries.
RvR: We have also developed an augmented reality feature that will allow an ACA owner to project their artwork on the wall using a cell phone or tablet, showing proof of ownership.
Paul-Alain Hriso, MD is board certified in Psychiatry and Neurology. He founded NorthStar Health System, a clinic for mental health, wellbeing and recovery. He was co-founder of Skyfall Corporation, a medical device hardware and software development company. He is the creator of Apex, an electronic medical records and medical database system. He is also an expert in programming language for interactive database design, in connection with blockchain technology and the distributed ledger. He has created Artemesium, AGORA, and he is the concept developer for the Artemesium platform and website and the head of the Technology Team of international experts.
Richard van Riet began programming at the precocious age of 13, writing one of the first audio and video codecs with high compression, high audio and high video AMMuality algorithms to stream on 56k, the basis of the MP3. MP3 would not have been used all over the world without his development skills. He is an expert in gaming development and is the co-founder of Skyfall Corporation with the ongoing development of innovative medical devices. He is the co-developer of the Artemesium platform and lead developer of the “Mirror Anti-Hacking Redundancy System” (M.A.R.S), first used in the Artemesium network, establishing totally hack-proof network security.
To learn more please visit: www.artemesium.com