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Section 508

April 17th, 2020

DMI Digital Leader Award — Alban Fischer, Art Basel

Empowering the World’s Leading Art Fair to Go Digital


What is Art Basel and tell us about your role within the organization.

Art Basel is the leading global platform connecting collectors with galleries and their artists. Art Basel’s fairs in Basel, Hong Kong, and Miami Beach are a driving force in supporting galleries from across the globe. I am Art Basel’s Director Digital.

Tell us about Art Basel’s Online Viewing Rooms.

In March, Art Basel offered its first Online Viewing Rooms. For its first iteration, more than 230 galleries displayed over 2,000 works of art with an estimated value of about $270 million, including 70 items over $1 million.

We noticed the large amount of press the Online Viewing Rooms garnered. What drove the media coverage?

Indeed, the initiative was widely discussed in the media and generated a lot of attention.  There was particular interest, as it was a very timely topic. Lockdown as a result of the pandemic was underway and everyone was keen to turn to online to stay connected with the arts community. It was the first time Art Basel had implemented Online Viewing Rooms, so there was also a lot of interest to see how we approached the topic. It was also the first time for many galleries and collectors to explore the concept of Online Viewing Rooms.

What made the Online Viewing Rooms innovative?

I think we’re at an inflection point and people are open to trying out new channels. At the same time, we strongly believe that digital platforms cannot replace the experience of seeing art in person or visiting the fair itself. However, digital provides us with an exciting additional platform for our galleries.

Tell us about Art Basel’s partnership with DMI.

We’ve worked with DMI for five years now on both our website and app. I asked the team at DMI if we could implement Online Viewing Rooms and I was happy to hear the DMI team had the expertise to get the platform up-and-running successfully. I greatly appreciated their “can-do” attitude and technical expertise.

What plans do you have going forward for Art Basel’s digital platform?

We’re continuing to invest in and enhance our new digital platform, the Online Viewing Rooms, as a way to support galleries during these challenging times.

Tags: art Digital digital leader galleries

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