Providing a tech-driven creative space, 37x is a new art concept contributing to redefining the burgeoning digital art scene in UAE.
Bridging the gap between digital and contemporary art, the gallery showcases animated and interactive works with innovative technology of sought after names in the field that are influencing a new era of artistic expression.
With a passion for the arts, Clemence Cazeau, Director of Arts and Events at 37x, shares her earliest foray into the field and the ways the gallery is aiming to bridge the gap between art and technology.
What do the first 30 minutes of your day look like, your morning routine?
I start my day by checking my emails and which meetings I have for the day. Then, I do an hour of sport or yoga to start the day with good energy and a strong mindset. Once I reach 37x, I check that the technology in the gallery is up and running. I then meet with my team and go over what needs to be done. We are lucky to have the skills and expertise of the 25 team members of Morningstar Ventures supporting us, however since a large part of the team is located in different countries and time zones, we have to make sure that communication is seamless. Throughout the day, my colleague Sebastien gives tours of the space to visitors, potential collaborators or artists. I also think that personal development is essential and by the end of the day it is important for me to wind down and focus on my personal hobbies.
Talk us through your career journey.
Coming from a family of art collectors and gallerists, I grew up with the beauty of the art world. After working in several art institutions and graduating from the US, I continued my journey in Dubai. In the past years, I had the chance to grow my network and gather years of experience while working for an auction house and the largest art gallery in the UAE.
During the pandemic I created my own, environmentally-friendly fashion brand called Talaiaa, with my sister Elodie, with the goal of creating unique pieces inspired by art, architecture and culture. In 2020, after meeting Danilo S. Carlucci, Founder of Morningstar Ventures, we embarked on the adventure of building 37xDubai – a new concept focusing on bridging art and technology. Today, I use my passion for the art and tech world, team leadership knowledge, and business acumen to manage a space that became more than just a gallery.
Was the goal always to start something different in the art and tech space?
Yes, without a doubt. Our aim was always focused on showcasing a carefully curated collection of art mixed with digital experiences. 37x Dubai is more than just a gallery, this is why we focus on our web3 membership model, and host events for a wide range of creative events. Especially with Morningstar Ventures’ background we wanted to create the first interactive and immersive art gallery. Furthermore, via educational programmes, activations, private events, and monthly gatherings, 37x Dubai aims to create a global community of digital art and tech enthusiasts. Featured artists will be able to leverage Morningstar Ventures’ and 37x’s network to expand their reach by engaging with other web3 enthusiasts.
When did you first conceptualise 37x, and what inspired you to enter the art and tech industry?
With a background in the traditional art world, I was very inspired by his idea of creating a new concept that would make an artistic place more interactive and exciting to the public.
With this business model, how was this vision received?
So far, it has been received positively. We had a successful grand opening with over 300 guests flying in from all over the world as well as experts from different industries. Since the opening in October, we have also been approached by many fashion and luxury brands to host private events in the space. We’ve already hosted a couple of private events, and I must say it’s great to see that industries within and outside of web3 can identify with the gallery’s mission and find something relevant to their brand. We also continue to receive membership applications, which indicates that people are interested in what we are doing and want to join our community.
The facilities are simple yet tech-forward. How challenging was it to define what was needed for a superlative fit-out and to execute it?
It was, without a doubt, a challenge. With a space like 37x, we rely heavily on technology. For example, when the WiFi is out, your whole gallery doesn’t work, when the power is out, the digital art pieces displayed on the monitors don’t turn. So, when building the space, we focused on quality products that would not only look good but work seamlessly.
How is 37x changing the game in terms of art and technology and what have you learned about this world?
As a new web3 concept that focuses on merging art and technology, we wanted to ensure that 37x is a place for like-minded people to come together. I think the fact that our members come from so many different industries, such as crypto, web3, art, finance, luxury, and fashion – we have already done a good job of bringing people from both art and technology together. In the future, we also want to focus more on education, specifically around web3 and art. Both industries, though inherently different, can seem a bit daunting to tackle. Often one doesn’t know or struggles to identify where to start when it comes to understanding either web3 or art, we hope to utilise our network to make it a more approachable space.
37x adds to Dubai’s growing blockchain and web3 community. Was this the vision from the outset?
Yes, it was 37x is backed by Morningstar Ventures, a proprietary investment fund focusing on web3 projects. Because of the expertise of our Founder Danilo, coupled with my expertise in art and the NFT space, we wanted to showcase what capabilities blockchain and web3 have in the wider art world. In the gallery, we have several NFTs that are naturally stored on the Ethereum blockchain and can be purchased with ETH. Furthermore, via various events and brand collaborations with companies from different sectors, we are offering a place where the web3 community can grow.
How long did it take to get the business from conception to delivery, and what were your biggest challenges and milestones along the way?
From start to finish, I would say almost two years. It’s never easy building a business, that is for sure, but building a physical space and having to think of everything from construction to lighting, to staff, and licenses takes time. So even though the concept was there for a while, the physical execution and opening of the doors to the public took its time and didn’t come without challenges. The main challenge was to develop the initial idea, from its business plan to the architectural drawings, and to communicate with teams speaking different languages.
“I’m glad to see that artists have the possibility to track their work and thus be paid the royalties they deserve.”
Do you believe AI will be the defining technology of our generation?
AI is a very powerful tool and I think that it has a lot of potential to create great things. For example, in the art world, generative art has become all the rage, especially with recent exhibitions in museums such as the MoMA in New York. But like with every new innovation, AI will need to be regulated in order for it to become a tool for the better. If I would have to voice one concern, it’s how we will regulate ownership of the original creator. AI agents have scanned millions and millions of images, texts, and data points, which we are currently free to use. Though this has its benefits, it takes the credit away from the original creators, I think coupled with the power of the blockchain, AI agents can be more regulated in terms of transparency and tracking of where original data is from so that they can be properly credited to the original creator – this will also be instrumental in the art world.
This is The Tech Issue – what technology has been a game- changer in your life and how so?
Of course, blockchain technology and everything in and around the crypto ecosystem has been a game-changer in my life. It led me to where I am today and was a driving force when creating 37x Dubai. Furthermore, given my background in art, I was also keen to understand how blockchain technology impacted the art world. With the blockchain, I’m glad to see that artists have the possibility to track their work and thus be paid the royalties they deserve. Furthermore, I enjoy and admire every form of art. I’m excited to see how art, technology, and web3 continue to find synergies in the future, as there have already been some great advancements.
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