In 2020 we worked with TEFAF to create a week-long online-only fair as the physical fairs in New York and Maastricht were cancelled due to Covid. TEFAF Online emphasized realtime communication between visitors and gallerists – and also a sense of presence and being in a crowd among the visitors themselves. Indicators showed works that were recently viewed by other visitors, and a “Surprise Me” feature was one aspect of the interface that encouraged serendipitous discovery.
This project, essential to TEFAF’s continued survival, takes an approach that is different from competing online art fairs – and that learns both from the essential aspects of TEFAF’s physical fairs, and from our past work throughout the cultural sector before the pandemic as well as during it. At the same time, the online art fair forced TEFAF to eliminate barriers to access and participation, opening the fair to new constituent groups worldwide. With that in mind, most artworks featured rich, in-depth materials telling their stories.