• Events

New "Faire Monde" Festival on NFTs, Art & XR Launching in Arles

(c) Octobre Numérique

Inclusive, participative, and radically forward-looking, Octobre Numérique - Faire Monde consists of 5 exclusive metaverse and NFT art shows throughout the medieval town of Arles (a UNESCO world heritage city), and a 2 days professional conference on Art, Metaverse & clean NFTs.
Its technological backbone is real-time 3D technology, the engine powering most of our computing future: metaverses networks, social and game worlds, immersive experiences in VR, AR & MR.

We interviewed Fabien Siouffi, the festival's co-founder & director.

• Can you introduce yourself within the framework of the Faire Monde festival?
Why did you choose this name for the festival? Who is it for?
Why is it taking place in Arles, can you tell us more about the local context?

I am Fabien Siouffi, artistic director and co-founder of the association Faire Monde, which programs and organizes the event in partnership with the local authorities of the Arles region.

Founder of the Fabbula studio, we are also programmers (Les Ailleurs, Palais Augmenté, VR Arles...), and represent in France and abroad several digital and immersive artists - like Mélodie Mousset and the Marshmallow Laser Feast collective.

The festival’s name is a reference to the notion of  "worlding", initiated by American philosopher Donna Haraway. Worlding is an active and cooperative way to be in the world together, with different species, technologies, and forms of knowledge. 

Octobre Numérique - Faire Monde is an Inclusive, participative, and forward-thinking event, addressing (and gathering) the community of artists, collectors, technology experts, and business ecosystem creating the fast-expanding Metaverse, using tools inherited from video games.

Arles has a strong cultural base. Part of our team lives there, I have known it myself since I was a child... For several years, culture in Arles has been a tool for social transformation. The arrival of Luma Foundation, the continuity of the Rencontres d'Arles, and many other events have created an artistic community and a real desire to develop it. There is also a desire to create a digital campus, to integrate studios around real-time 3D technologies in particular.

There will be free exhibitions in five different locations of the city, evangelizing the local community to our topics, as well as workshops held in partnerships with local schools and tech companies, in order to cement the idea that Arles is a strong, forward-thinking space.

• What is the close link between NFT and art? Can you define NFTs for people who don’t know about them?

To put it simply, Non Fungible Tokens (NFT) are units of data attached to a digital artwork (image, video, animation, 3D asset… anything one would consider a digital artwork) that prove its authenticity and uniqueness, using blockchain technology. In short, it can certify that a digital asset is an original, giving it a certain value. From there the link between NFT and art is the ability to inscribe digital art within the global art market, and a new way for creators to live from their art. 

What we are interested in is “clean NFT”, a method of authenticating digital art whose carbon footprint is much lesser than classic NFT, or most cryptocurrencies. The artist community mobilized itself in 2021 to reject the energy waste of Ethereum and NFT as it was practiced until then and succeeded in forcing a rapid transition to Clean NFT. Proof that their influence is real!  

 NFT is a real decentralized, independent practice that can help creators. We need a cross-platform standardization, a movement towards WebXR - and NFT is a gas pedal for that, by proposing a business model for digital artists. It's still experimental, and without too many rules, which encourages the emergence of new artists and new collectors, etc. Before that, being a digital artist was really complicated financially. Renaissance NFT, co-organizer of our professional day on this topic, will push this theme further and hopefully, give ideas to the XR industry.

• What do your artists have to offer us in metaverses?

The metaverse, or the combination of virtual world and physical world, is the subject of considerable investment and technological development, accelerated by the pandemic effect. 

Video game studios (Epic Fortnite), live stream platforms (Twitch) but also creative industries as varied as cinema (virtual production), music (virtual concerts), architecture, and art are fast developing their activities in the metaverse.

It is a space that allows a lot of freedom, and a lot of possibilities that our artists are keen to show and also to share. Moreover, digital technology, especially at a time of health crises, does not make us forget the physical world, meeting, and touching each other.. 

During the opening days of Octobre Numérique - Faire Monde, there will be real moments of exchange with French and international artists such as Theo Triantafyllidis, Saradibiza or Keiken to understand how metaverses are made with these new tools that are video game engines.

• Among other things, the festival is going to be looking at durability, eco-responsibility, and inclusivity issues. Can you tell us more about the place of these issues in the virtual field?

Octobre Numérique is an opportunity for us to take a critical look at what the virtual is today, what it can do, and how it can allow us to conceptualize one or more futures. The virtual, the metaverse,  NFTs… These are increasingly present in our lives. We want them to be ecological, inclusive, we want them to explore collective practices, human/non-human relations, and speculative hybridizations. We want Octobre Numérique to be the space where possibilities and alternatives acquire new powers in the face of insistent probabilities. It is by fabulating these worlds that we can gradually bring them into being around us. 

• What types of workshops will you be offering? And for who?

Workshops are organized to reach out to 16-25 years old in the Pays d’Arles who are considering 3D and Metaverse as a passion career. Artists and experts will share practices and know-how to create virtual worlds, games, AR & VR experiences. These will be led by Theo Triantafyllidis, Keiken, Sara Dibiza, Guillaume Marmin, Charles Ayats & Boris Labbé.

For younger audiences, we have several workshops ranging from VR for kids to a game design workshop: VR Kids. VR workshops for 7-11 years olds, Arles Monde: the first creative metaverse designed by the inhabitants of a city. 11-13 years old. Montmajour & the Very Scary Forest. Game design workshop by Sara Dibiza. 

• How to follow the festival online, and how to enroll in the workshops? 

Follow the festival using these social media accounts where we’ll post real time updates every day :  
DigiFor the industry meetups, you can register here. And for the workshops, you can do so here. The workshops will only be accessible on-site at the festival.

• Thank you!