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And then we were not cancelled

Most of you are new to this list. So, hi! Let me welcome you and give you a quick outlook of what you can expect in my future newsletters. Each month, I provide insights to either digitalization in general or more specifically digitalization in the art world. My agency, treat, deals with issues around these topics and I blog and send out our experiences, insights, views, and opinions. Sometimes I add a hint of entrepreneur experiences to spice it up a little. 
In the coming months, I’ll probably blog a lot about not cancelled, since we have big plans ;-)

And this month is, for obvious reasons, all about not cancelled: what started out as a quick reaction to a devastating crisis to help our immediate friends, started a life of its own.

Initially, the platform was created within just a couple of days, in order to provide an online space for galleries to jointly exhibit since their physical spaces had to shut down.
We intended to invite 10 galleries from Vienna to be able to handle the data, and ended up with 15 very quickly (it became a tiny bit stressful).
So without further ado, here are a couple of insights into our thinking process:

Why cities?
Limiting an online exhibition to a geographical location might seem a bit controversial, but it yields potential: positions within the same city can reflect on their locality, and it allows for new discourses.
One of the primary purposes of online activities is to embed context. And next to “real” curating – which simply is not possible on such short notice – the geographical limitation seemed a great idea.

Talking about contextualization
The idea to synergize efforts to form a joint program is key to the concept of not cancelled. It is vital to add a frame to the entire event in order to intrigue and drive traffic. We see this confirmed in our iterations: the stronger the content in the program, the more returning visitors. This is why context and curation play a significant role.

Medium specificity
So why did we choose the look of the grid? Well, it is the representation that gives a medium-specific (internet) advantage to such an undertaking: you never have the chance to see the different positions in dialogue with each other so easily, since the works are usually separated through physical space. Using the Instagram style layout sets us apart: it proves we have a deeper understanding than just thinking in “booths”. ;-)

Finally: why do I reveal all of this?
Sharing is caring. ;) I hope our insights can help anyone in the current situation, or in the long run, to build better and more sustainable digital experiences. Also, our source of ideas is endless – if you need digital advice, we are always here with more.

Not cancelled is currently running in series (and we are happy to discuss if you would like to launch in your city or area if it hasn’t been covered yet) – next up is Warsaw and then Paris. The not cancelled Salon is open right now, it’s a non-for-profit initiative highlighting 17 independent artists and their work where all profit goes back to the artists, and all sales are handled directly by them. 
We are also working on an “event” version to allow galleries to create meaningful digital events in the coming months where they won’t have the ability to host a lot of people in a physical space. 

Stay safe & stay tuned,

Istvan