Art enters the Metaverse

[09 Aug 2022]

Nothing will ever replace the unique experience of admiring an artwork in a museum, but that does not diminish the value of seeing art in books or on the internet. Sometimes museums have to close their doors for several days or even for several months and, in any case, there are millions of artworks that are just not suited to a museum environment. Metaverses offer numerous alternatives for experiencing art in a multitude of different ways.

artmarket-com-head-office--heart-of-the-abode-of-chaos-3d-immersion-360

360° 3D immersion in the heart of the Abode of Chaos, Artmarket.com’s head office

thierry Ehrmann, CEO, and Founder of Artmarket.com and its Artprice department: “Metaverses will give birth to the best… and the most nebulous. Numerous fragments of this new dimension already exist revealing an astonishing potential for possible applications: while some Metaverses function as extensions to our very real world, others invent new universes governed by their own rules. The choices made by Facebook (Meta) and Sandbox are currently dominating the news, but many other forms of Metaverse are being constructed in different contexts, notably in the art world and around Artprice”.

Diving into the digital age…

Over the past ten years, virtual tours have gradually imposed themselves as an option in the art world. Today many museums, fairs, and auction houses offer virtual strolls through their exhibition spaces on smartphones, tablets, and computers.

This alternative access to art allows amateurs and professionals alike to appreciate works with highly enriched content and it, therefore, represents a complementary way of discovering (or rediscovering) an exhibition that satisfies a growing need for flexibility. The extraordinary demand for NFTs has indeed demonstrated that flexibility is key to the modern consumption of art. The platforms that allow the exchange of these digital certificates are accessible day and night, from any point on the earth, provided there is an internet connection.

Whereas virtual exhibition tours were originally created as photo-montages, new technologies now use 3D design software as well as Artificial Intelligence. The solutions developed, among others, by the Universal Art Museum, Genesis Penthouse or Spatial make it possible to “hang” an entire collection of artworks in a digital space with almost infinite scenographic freedom.

https://www.the-uma.org/en/
https://www.nftoasis.co/genesis-penthouse
https://spatial.io/

Welcome to the « other side »…

If these ideas remain relatively obscure to the general public, many of the most important projects in the NFT sphere suggest the imminent arrival of their corresponding Metaverses. This is already the case for Yuga Labs with the launch of its “Otherdeed for Otherside”.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcOyqZtZs8g

At the pinnacle of BAYC (Bored Ape Yacht Club) fame and backed by its prestigious community, YUGA LABS (XX-XXI) organized the first sale of land in its Metaverse called The Otherside. The immense enthusiasm for the BAYC project and a very attractive mint price ($305 APE ~ $6,000) pushed the Ethereum Blockchain beyond its limits of use: the ‘gas’ fees soared and a fair number of participants were unable to acquire a plot of land despite having paid substantial fees. The designers fortunately committed to compensating users who lost their way in the sale.

The floor price for a piece of land currently stands at 2.55 ETH (~$2,500) while the last Ape sold at public auction fetched $3.4 million.

https://opensea.io/collection/otherdeed
https://www.artprice.com/artist/1011081/yuga-labs/lots/pasts/27/nft

Contemporary artist Takashi MURAKAMI (1962) has announced that he wants to build a Metaverse which would be like the sum of all his projects,
murakamiflowers.kaikaikiki.com:

Normally, 60 years old may indicate you are in the final stage of life, but as I said earlier, my artworks are designed so that their mechanism would start working after my death. So this is truly the start line for me.

I tried to recreate in the digital world a scene where the foot of Japan’s sacred mountain, Fuji, is in full bloom with cherry blossoms. I drew a delusional picture of a future virtual space where, along with M.F [Murakami Flowers], my various titles and business endeavors will be reconstructed in the digital world.

Murakami’s project may well be somewhat nebulous, but, like many other Metaverse projects, it will no doubt harbor several fascinating surprises.