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Debrecen hosts the first generative NFT hackathon and conference in Europe

The NFT DEB Generative Dimensions is the first generative hackathon and conference in Europe, exploring the latest developments in blockchain technology and artificial neural networks and their creative applications in arts. How can the migratory birds of the Hortobágy be freed from man-made damage? This year’s participants in the idea contest are looking for the answer.

Debrecen revitalizes the pandemic-stricken cultural scene with forward-looking initiatives—the city government, the University of Debrecen and MODEM are jointly organizing Europe’s first hackathon to create generative art, focusing on the pressing issue of climate change. The ornithologists of the Hortobágy National Reserve are constantly monitoring the behavior and migration of migratory birds, which show that their numbers have been drastically reduced, their nesting habits, routes and length of stay have been altered over the last 40 years as a result of extensive industrialization, pollution and illegal hunting. Participants will explore creative and sustainable solutions to this problem using blockchain technologies and artificial neural networks during the hackathon.

Researchers, engineers, and artists were invited to participate in the hackathon, who worked in teams and participated in weekly meetings led by experts in the field and presented their subject-specific and generative artworks, created with the help of algorithms at the end of the hackathon. The artwork will be copyrighted using blockchain technology, then exhibited and finally auctioned.

The hackathon attracted forty-four participants from countries worldwide, including the United States, Germany and India. The teams were led by Daïm Aggott-Hönsch, Olive Allen, BarabasiLab, Nikita Freeboid, Judit Navratil, Gergő Sós and Péter Weiler. A two-day conference will accompany the hackathon on 25 and 26 November, which can be followed online and on-site in the MODEM building. Experts from computer science, network science, business administration, European copyright, art and creative industries will give presentations, thus supporting the development of a more widely understood and meaningful social dialogue on the revolutionary technologies that are invisibly taking over our daily lives.

The resulting generative artworks will be showcased in Debrecen’s main square during the Advent period, alongside an exhibition organized in the university library, while an NFT collection of the works will arrive in spring.

How can we reconcile economy and ecology? What role can generative art and blockchain technology play in this? These are some of the questions that invited speakers will address at the two-day conference. The registration for the online panels of the conference is free of charge.

Keynote Speakers: Dr Tamás Vicsek, Prof. Liz Haas, Vladan Joler, Tamás Banovich, Kenny Schachter, Warren Neidich, Eduardo Salazar, Adriano Picinati de Torcello, Alana Kushnir, Refik Anadol, Teresa Retzer, Anika Meier

Moderator: Viola Lukács

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