So how do you describe yourself and your co-founder Andrey Alekhin in terms of your responsibilities?
Misha Libman: We work in a place that tries to bridge art and business processes, which is not a very natural pair. Snark.art is a business project. We want this project to be sustainable and we do take a commission from the sale of our artworks, which finances our future development and projects. From that side, we certainly are not doing this purely for our artistic interest. But on the other hand, it's important to be inspired by what you are doing. We both love the experimentation and development of creative ideas.
So perhaps, we are somewhere on the border between these two sides. Sometimes we are more of one and less of the other – and vice versa. I currently work more with the artists. And Andrey is right now concentrating on our business relationships. But we support each other, and sometimes I'm on the business side and he's meeting with artists. In a startup situation, you have to do everything because it's still a small venture. At this stage, we have to wear many hats.
Is that the reason you call your tech laboratory, digital gallery, and business 'Snark', the cryptic creature from the poem "The Hunting of the Snark" by Lewis Carroll?
Misha Libman: 'Snark' came around in the very beginning. We were trying to come up with a good brand, because it's important to have a name that you can stand behind. We had plenty of ideas. When the name 'Snark' initially came around, I don't remember anybody hating it. Then we slowly began to fall in love with the idea of the chase for this creature, Snark, that no one has seen. It describes our adventure as I feel in some ways we are chasing something new that hasn't been done before.
Are you going to produce digital tools which artists could download as a program and use on their computers?
Misha Libman: We will provide in open source format the tools that we create working on our projects, so that other artists can use them and take advantage of our technologies. Can we make these tools user-friendly enough so that you could download and use them? We have to see whether we can do it down the road.
What do you think, can artists advance technology?
Misha Libman: If we take blockchain as an example, this technology is currently being explored in a variety of areas from finance to political voting system, journalism and art. By nature, artists tend to experiment and explore new ideas. By being their guide into this technology, we may help not only produce great art but also find new use cases for blockchain. We are excited about seeing how artists can push blockchain technology. An artist is thinking much more creatively and may find quite interesting uses for blockchain. This could ultimately translate into something bigger that goes beyond their art projects. That's what we hope to discover. ALMAMAT. IT Faces