Skip to content



Lexus Art Series

Lexus Art Series Kicks Off in Miami with Daniel Arsham on VR and a Look at Online Auctions

Eliza Jordan

29 November 2016

This morning within the Faena Hotel Miami Beach’s recently-opened screening room, Whitewall welcomed artist Daniel Arsham and Cool Hunting Senior Editor David Graver to lead the first edition of the “Lexus Art Series: Art and Innovation Talks.” The discussion series took place today and will again on Thursday morning, focusing on a variety of topics that are changing today’s art world with the key players that are shaping its evolution.



This first discussion, “Virtual Reality: How Will It Influence Art & Design?” revolved around the content, narratives, and technology that makes up virtual and augmented reality, and offered insight into our technologically-manipulated surroundings through Arsham’s creative lens.

“Thank you all for coming this morning for our first ever Lexus and Whitewall ‘Art and Innovation Talks.’ We are very excited to announce this, and it will also be published on Facebook live, so you will also be able to view those talks online,” said Whitewall CEO, Michael Klug. “Last time I came to your studio, Daniel, you said you have a project under the radar about virtual reality. So right away, I thought about doing a talk about VR.”

Klug quickly turned the microphone over to Arsham who explained that last year he was awarded a grant by Jaunt VR, a virtual reality company that has their own hardware and software, in partnership with the Sundance Institute. He is currently working on a project that will debut in 2017, and in its beginning stages, he mentioned his initial interests, while contemplating how narrative can function in VR.

“My interest has been in where this technology can go. I think the most interesting things thus far are largely documentary-based,” said Arsham. “It’s such a new technology—there’s not really a lot of rules within it…Film has been around for more than 100 years and there’s a lot of conventions that exist within it that we accept as viewers…. In VR, none of those things quite work, so in ways, it’s like going back to the beginning of film and thinking about how early filmmakers thought about constructing narrative,” he continued.

Due to its recent rise in the collaborative art and production worlds with programs like Oculus and Google Cardboard, virtual reality has many important facets to explore—one of them being the actual acting within the story offered by the headset, and another being the artistic merit of the video. This has, in many ways, defied traditional conventions of visual storytelling

“I think a lot about not only how to work function on a conceptual level when people are viewing it, but how to approach it,” said Arsham. “What is the story when they enter a space? And in that way, architecture becomes important, and the all-around experience, which would seem to be a natural translation for a virtual reality experience.”

And sometimes, replicating, creating, or altering reality is a near augmented reality in itself. “The most powerful VR experience that I’ve seen was literally a camera moving slow through a village in Syria,” said Arsham. “There’s no narrative around it, but there’s people and children and dogs running around, and the decaying ruins.”



The second talk of the day featured Artnet CMO Kenneth Schlenker, Auctionata Paddle 8’s Christof Schminke, and Amelia Manderscheid of Christie’s. Moderated by art world explorer Max Dolgicer, “Online Auctions: The Take Off” discussed the market’s evolution, and how online bidding, and the rise of technology and social media, changes its growth and direction.

“At Christie’s, as a more traditional auction house, we see technology and the internet as a way to reach new people and to reach our clients wherever they may be in the world, and make things more accessible and easier for them,” said Manderscheid. “We have a really successful model we’ve now done, which is doing a printing catalogue still, doing a public viewing, and doing an online bidding…we’re really not trying to reinvent the wheel, but use technology to reach more people.”

Dolgicer then posed the question, with star lots being purchased online, key sales representatives must be sure to properly authenticate the artwork, price it right, and most importantly, provide the right works to the buyer. But how confident would you feel bidding on a multi-million-dollar piece of art without being present in a live auction, and seeing it firsthand before purchasing it? Do more traditional or modern auction houses reserve lots for online purchases?

“If you think about it, ten years ago, it would have been crazy to let a stranger stay in your house and ask him to pay for the lights. Now there’s AirBnB,” said Schlenker. “Art has been late to the game in this because it’s very hard to build confidence for the art you’re buying…I think today, increasingly, customers want to rely on actual facts and data to build confidence; the actual condition report. You want to have a guarantee that you can return it if the work is not what you were expecting it to be, and you want to have data on the pricing to make sure you’re paying the right price.”

“What we invented there at Auctionata was basically producing a kind of TV show where we used video technology to present the merchandise of the auction to the world,” said Schminke. “Our viewers or bidders are not sitting in the room, but around the world, and we have a TV studio where we have an auctioneer and where we also have the objects. I think by this, we’ve already developed the market, because people say, ‘I have trust because there’s the person and there’s the art piece.’ We sold an Asian clock last year for more than $3 million where a guy was texting in Shanghai and bidding.”


Be sure not to miss Thursday’s talks:


Lexus Art Series: Art & Innovation Talks by Whitewall Part 3
Artist Hank Willis Thomas and Author Magnus Resch, moderated by Art Market Monitor’s Marion Maneker
“The Evolution of Artist Management”
Faena Hotel Screening Room
3201 Collins Avenue
For more information:
Streaming on Facebook Live by Whitewall Magazine

Lexus Art Series: Art & Innovation Talks by Whitewall Part 4
Faena Art’s Ximeno Caminos in Discussion with Arison Arts’ Sarah Arison
“Faena Forum & Faena Art: From the Idea to the Launch”
Faena Hotel Screening Room
3201 Collins Avenue
For more information:
Streaming on Facebook Live by Whitewall Magazine





The View at The Palm Opens in Dubai with Human-Centric Purpose

Whitewall spoke with John Bricker of Gensler about The View at The Palm in Dubai.

Louis Fratino Finds Power in Images of What We Love

Louis Fratino spoke with Whitewall about keeping the studio a space free from fear of failure.

The BMW Neue Klasse Looks to an All-Electric Future

The BMW Neue Klasse is a statement piece for a new era: design language that references classic BMW for its soon-to-be all-electric lineup.


Kelly Wearstler




Go inside the worlds of Art, Fashion, Design and Lifestyle.


In Miami for Art Week and not sure where to start? Visit some of these best Miami exhibitions at spaces across the city.


Go inside the worlds
of Art, Fashion, Design,
and Lifestyle.