Legal Lab Live: Indigenous Sovereignty in the Metaverse

Online Thu 20 Oct 12-1pm BST/10-11pm AEST/7-8am EDT Free Open Captions

How can the metaverse support Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property, sovereign rights and custodianship?

What are the challenges faced by Indigenous-led creative practices within persistent, concurrent, virtual contexts?

The metaverse – an always-online, persistent, spatial ‘second’ world and an emerging internet megastructure – is a landscape Serpentine Arts Technologies continues to interrogate through artistic commissions and culturally-led research and development. Under the leadership of Serpentine Legal Lab’s Principal Investigator, Alana Kushnir, legal issues in the metaverse concerning intellectual property, moral rights and Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP) are ongoing areas of discussion. Addressing these considerations is key to securing the future roles of both artists and cultural organisations in the metaverse.

Join Australian First Nations Cultural Broker and Author Vanessa Lee-Ah Mat and Serpentine Legal Lab Principal Investigator and Director of Guest Work Agency, Alana Kushnir for the second Legal Lab Live session as they explore Indigenous agency and data sovereignty in the metaverse, and the relevance of ICIP.

This event will be streamed live on Thursday 20 October from 12:00-13:00 BST/22:00-23:00 AEST/07:00-08:00 EDT in real time. Audience members will be able to ask questions throughout the conversation via our Twitch channel interface.

The information and material provided as part of this event is of a general nature only and should not be considered legal or financial advice. If you are an artist or cultural organisation entering into the Metaverse we recommend you obtain specific advice from a qualified professional who can take into account your circumstances and particular needs.

Please be advised: this session may contain the names, images and voices of people who are now deceased. The Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultural content shared as part of this session is protected by Indigenous Cultural and Intellectual Property (ICIP), which means that you should not reproduce or communicate this cultural content without permission from the knowledge holders of that culture.

Important Information

You will need to create a Twitch account to join the conversation in real-time and take part. This is free and instructions can be found here.

This event will have live open captions.

About the Speakers

Alana Kushnir is an art lawyer, advisor and curator based in Melbourne, Australia. In addition to being the Principal investigator of the Serpentine Legal Lab, she is the Founder and Director of Guest Work Agency, an art law and advisory practice that provides innovative legal solutions for the art industry. Guest Work Agency is also a curatorial practice, initiating and collaborating on projects, exhibitions and writing at the intersection of art, technology and the law. Alana is a Board Director of the Australian Centre for Contemporary Art (ACCA) and a regular guest speaker and contributing writer on all things art, tech and law.

Dr. Vanessa Lee-Ah Mat (PhD), from the Yupanguthi and Meriam Nations of Australia, is a  First Nations Australian Author, social epidemiologist, Cultural Broker and Coach, and Co-founder of the Cultural Embassy with two other First Nation Australian women (Lydia and Bibi).  The Cultural Embassy aims “to use the newest digital technology to rewrite history” as the world moves towards a digital economy. Vanessa is also the Chair of RUOK? Indigenous suicide prevention platform, co-founder of the Australian Indigenous data governance and sovereignty network, and she has over 25 years experience in brokering relationships in and across disciplines of cultural hierarchies to ensure transparent and respectful cultural governance is the basis of which organisations work with First Nations People and their culture. 

About Arts Technologies

Serpentine Arts Technologies collaborate with artists to generate new understandings and knowledge specific to advanced technologies that artists are interested in researching and interrogating. The team has two operational areas of focus: commissioning and research and development. These manifest in artist-led projects and the R&D Platform.

About Serpentine Legal Lab

As part of Serpentine Arts Technologies’ R&D Platform, the Legal Lab explores how the law can better support collaborations across art, science and technology. The Lab is a space for investigating legal issues and prototyping accessible legal solutions for the art field. Legal Lab Live is a series of conversations on law and the metaverse presented on Twitch throughout 2022.

About the Cultural Embassy

We are a First Peoples Australian female-led team, whose aim is to use the newest digital technology to rewrite the past as the world moves towards a digital economy.  The Cultural Embassy follows the Intellectual Copyright for Indigenous People for the global preservation, reciprocity and respect of First Nations Peoples culture, knowledge, and creativity in the blockchain including cryptocurrency, Metaverse, and Web 3 and all future Webs.



Discover over 50 years of the Serpentine

From the architectural Pavilion and digital commissions to the ideas Marathons and research-led initiatives, explore our past projects and exhibitions.

View archive