WAC Resources

Friends of HEK, by HEK Basel (Switzerland, 2023)

Blockchain Use Cases for Museums
The House of Electronic Arts (HEK) in Basel, Switzerland, serves as a hub for innovative discourse and exploration of new media and technologies in art. Founded in 2011, HEK has established itself as a center for creative engagement with the aesthetic, socio-political, and economic implications of media technologies. Embracing the emergence of blockchain-based art and Web3 technologies, HEK has embarked on a journey to integrate these advancements into its exhibitions, educational programs, and community engagement initiatives.

Artistic Concept and Execution

HEK's recent focus on blockchain-based art and Web3 technologies underscores its commitment to understanding and embracing the evolving landscape of media art. Through exhibitions exploring blockchain as a medium and the concept of the metaverse, HEK provides a platform for artists and audiences to engage with cutting-edge digital practices. Additionally, HEK's participation in the WAC Lab cohort facilitated the establishment of an NFT shop on its website, offering insights into the integration of Web3 tools for cultural institutions.

The introduction of "KryptoBrunches" further extends HEK's educational outreach, providing accessible forums for audiences to explore topics surrounding Web3 and the metaverse. By sharing knowledge and facilitating hands-on workshops, HEK empowers its community to navigate the evolving digital landscape and stay abreast of technological advancements shaping the art market.
User Flow and Engagement

Central to HEK's exploration of Web3 technologies is the implementation of the "Friends of HEK" DAO, or Decentralized Autonomous Organization. Through Discord and Web3 plugins like Snapshot, members participate in curatorial decisions, artist features, and collaborative events. Membership, available for 100 Swiss francs or 0.05 ETH, grants exclusive benefits such as free entry to exhibitions, online events, and voting rights within the DAO.

To ensure accessibility, HEK offers multiple pathways for membership, including credit card payments and custodial wallets managed by HEK. Members engage in DAO activities through Discord or Google Form submissions, facilitating inclusive participation regardless of Web3 literacy. HEK's commitment to community-driven decision-making fosters a vibrant ecosystem of artists, curators, and enthusiasts, both within and beyond the Web3 space.

Measurement and Success Metrics

HEK's DAO launch aimed to attract 100 members by year-end, with a focus on active community engagement rather than strict KPIs. Discord serves as a nexus for community interaction, catering to varying levels of participation and fostering ongoing dialogue. Success metrics prioritize active communication and responsiveness to community needs, guiding iterative improvements and adaptations.
Lessons Learned and Recommendations

Reflecting on the DAO's inaugural season, HEK emphasizes the importance of realistic timelines and robust onboarding processes. Detailed documentation, online sessions, and personalized support facilitate member engagement and retention. Institutions embarking on similar projects are advised to embrace experimentation, prioritize community feedback, and maintain clear communication to establish a strong foundation for collaborative endeavors.

As HEK continues to navigate the intersection of art and technology, its DAO experiment stands as a testament to the transformative potential of Web3 in cultural institutions. By fostering community-driven initiatives and embracing emerging technologies, HEK paves the way for a more inclusive and dynamic future in digital art and online exhibitions engagement.