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April 13, 2021 8:30 pm
Season 3

From Christie’s to SNL: The ABCs of NFTs

with Innovation Co-Lab
Creative Side of Tech, Gaming & Engineering Fashion & Fine Arts Entertainment Business & Law

This episode features a conversation with NY-based Duke alumnae Nicole Sales ‘12 of Christie’s and multidisciplinary artist Carrie Able ’04 about their careers, current market trends and creative process at the convergence of art and tech, including the explosion of NFTs (Non-Fungible Tokens).

Nicole Sales helped facilitate Christie’s groundbreaking NFT sale of Beeple’s work, “Everydays: The First 5000 Days”, for $69 million, the third highest total for a living artist ever. Created over 5,000 days, Beeple’s monumental collage was the first purely digital artwork (NFT) ever offered at a major auction house.

“Pioneering new techniques, Carrie Able is at the forefront of VR and AR art expanding the uses of this new technology to include all facets of her work in VR sculpture, oil painting, music, and coding, bringing these elements to the fore of the art world,” said Forbes Magazine.

In this episode, we learn more about the meteoric rise of NFTs, a unique file that lives in the blockchain, and the sudden popularity of digital sales across creative industries, from arts to sports (an NFT of a video of Lebron James dunking sold for more than $200K) and the music industry (Kings of Leon is the first band to release their album exclusively in the form of NFTs). We also answer audience questions and discuss the opportunities and challenges related to the commercialization of using blockchain technology in the arts and creative industries.

Animation by Sunny Li ‘23.


Nicole Sales ‘12

Business Director, Digital Art Sales and NFTs, Christie’s Auction House

Nicole Sales has worked at Christie’s auction house for nearly nine years, primarily in the Post-War & Contemporary Art department. She is currently the Business Manager for the high-growth Private Sales division, which totaled $1.5 billion in sales in 2020 (a near 60% increase from 2019), as well as for the innovative Online Sales group. Recently, she managed the online sale of Beeple’s Everydays: The First 5000 Days, an NFT digital artwork, that sold for $69.3 million in March 2021. Nicole has also held management positions in Client Strategy and Business Intelligence at Christie’s. She holds a BA in Art History and Economics from Duke University and an MBA from Columbia Business School.

Carrie Able ‘04

Artist & Musician

Pioneering multidisciplinary artist Carrie Able melds painting, VR , AR, music, and poetry. Consistently releasing new art and music experiences Able’s recent single Fluid hit 100k streams in its first days of release on Spotify. Currently, the artist is working on her solo exhibition for the Venice Biennial exhibition “Personal Structures” previously done by Marina Abramovic and Yoko Ono opening in April 2022. More imminently, Able will be having an NFT drop of her art and music and VR in April 2021. Through Able’s Instagram, @carrieableart, you can experience her AR effects including her “poetry magic 8 ball” and also step inside one of her music videos “Erase”.

To be the first to know about Carrie Able NFT drops, join her Community number.

Moderated by Michael Faber ‘05

Senior Manager, Academic Technologies, Duke OIT; Graphic Artist

Listen to This Episode

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About DEMAN Live

We know that finding a job/internship in all industries during these unprecedented times is confusing and stressful. We are here to help with DEMAN Live—a new Zoom series featuring conversations with alumni working in creative industries to help students and alumni navigate careers and opportunities during this time.