Exploring the realm of digital art: extended realities, NFTs and the metaverse

Contemporary art continues to incorporate new technologies and new paradigms, encouraging spectators to explore different ways of thinking and seeing the world. Being an open and progressive platform at the forefront of current developments in art and society, the European Cultural Centre selected for its biennial art exhibition Personal Structures – Reflections a group of artists and galleries that contribute to the realm of digital art.

Superchief Gallery | Photo credits: Chiara Dalla Rosa

A range of different installations boasting new media, are now on show at Palazzo Mora, Palazzo Bembo, and Marinaressa Gardens including works by ([{ collective, Superchief Gallery, Carrie Able, Gill Gatfield, Sasha Sparks, Corine van Voorbergen, Mark Dotzler, and Marianna Williams.

NFTs installations

Welcoming visitors at the entrance of Palazzo Mora is the site specific NFT (Non-Fungible Tokens) installation art + faith ≠ farth by Italian ([{ collective. The Virgin Mary is represented as a transformative animated being in endless change, an explosive vision made of digital clouds. The installation represents the lack of distance between art and faith: the art is faith. The NFT is screened inside an ancient confessional and accompanied by celestial and immersive music.  

The second digital religious installation dedicated to the idea of faith by the collective is all we need is fides which proposes the triptych of needs in 2022, among pandemic, energy and financial crisis, interpreted through the figure of Virgin Mary. The site-specific work, consisting of three NFTs transmitted inside three modern tabernacles, is inspired by the wayside shrine of the Venetian tradition. 

art + faith ≠ farth by ([{ collective

art + faith ≠ farth by Italian ([{ collective

In the same venue, Superchief Gallery has transformed an entire room into a NFTs gallery which presents monthly exhibitions that raise the standard of digital artwork experiences. For Personal Structures, they are proud to present Membrana by Waterbod (Aron Sanchez), a collection of abstracted macro images of creatures he encounters in the beaches of Los Angeles. Furthermore, they showcase Asunder Culture, a set of works that represent the ephemeral anxiety and ecstasy of global culture and historical power structures being torn apart through strife and technological evolution. The installation also features the works of Coby Kennedy, Ganbrood, Laura Laine, LOOOP, and Swoon.

The gallery is the World’s First brick and mortar, IRL NFT Gallery. Since its opening, Superchief has held the belief that digital-native art is an essential medium to include in the larger art movement of our era. 

Superchief Gallery | Photo credits: Federico Vespignani

Extended realities

Multidisciplinary artist and innovator of the Metaverse Carrie Able reimagines the familiar, creative disciplines of oil painting and sculpture through the use and intersection of Extended Reality (XR) and Decentralised Blockchain Technologies, building new worlds for audiences to immerse themselves within. The works on view as part of her installation titled Dall’Anima (of the soul), highlight the integration of technology through all stages of creativity – the visual components of this exhibition include the premier of eight large-scale oil paintings, which act as Augmented Reality-markers, volumetric, SLS 3D printed sculptures, fully immersive VR digital paintings and a holographic installation of a choreographed music performance. Additionally, components of the exhibition in-person and remotely will be interactive with Able’s new custom app.

At Giardini della Marinaressa, New Zealand sculptor Gill Gatfield presents Native Tongue XR, a three metre virtual sculpture existing in the Metaverse. The totemic figure is the digital twin of an ancient kauri monument named Native Tongue, carved from the heartwood of a majestic tree from a forest in Aotearoa New Zealand at the end of the last Ice Age. Merging creative technology within the framework of conceptual art, the artwork presents as an immersive sensory experience while also using the method of its making as critical content to build further ideas. In Gatfield’s practice, extended reality is a means and not an end. Monumental and deeply personal, Native Tongue XR ‘lives’ inside each viewer’s mobile device, a monument in every hand, roused at will.

 

Dall'Anima by Carrie Able | Photo credits: Federico Vespignani

Native Tongue XR by Gill Gatfield

Digital worlds 

A science-fiction-like landscape is the work presented by Sasha Sparks at Palazzo Mora. An artificial yet realistic image illustrates an isolated desert scenery without a precise geographical location, possibly from another planet. Sparks introduces the topic of the ephemeral nature of life and the theme of death presenting a blooming Sakura tree inside a metal cage. The artist’s digital work relates to a topical theme about nature and technology. With interdisciplinary references, the artist demonstrates the unique way technology should protect and conserve physical existence in wildlife and refers to essential concerns about being.

For the machine-made artwork titled Echo, artist Corine van Voorbergen took inspiration from 17th century Dutch still-life painter Rachel Ruysch. Supported by the Rijksmuseum, Van Voorbergen was able to translate one of Ruysch’s paintings to a digital algorithm that transformed the 2D painting into a 3D design. She used technology to bridge the gap of time. Selecting colour pigments from the original painting, Van Voorbergen communicates with Ruysch’s work while translating them to the minimalistic, monochrome, and circular shaped objects that become eternal machine-made landscapes.

Magnetic Sakura by Sasha Sparks

Echo by Corine van Voorbergen | Photo credits: Federico Vespignani

Continuing on the upper level of Palazzo Mora, Mark Dotzler’s sculpture Hard Drive employs components of the first programmable digital computers that used thermionic valve (vacuum tube) logic circuitry (like Colossus & ENIAC). Each thermionic valve was a single bit, either off (0) or on (1). Hard Drive also employs components from a hard-drive. The artist  is interested in the digital age and its impact on society, hence his art comprehends tech nomenclature, relational dimensions and material societal issues. Almost everything we do nowadays involves the binary code (01) in one way or another, this is having dramatic effects on society and Dotzler wants to bring this to attention.

Exhibiting at Palazzo Bembo, Marianna Williams presents an installation of three different artworks: a video, two sculptural wall pieces, and a dark reflecting surface on the floor.  Marianna Williams develops digital tools and visual strategies which question how we see the natural world and the ability of this world to be simulated, emulated and measured digitally. The language of emerging technologies amplifies the information that we perceive through sensing. There is a balance in the work between what is generated procedurally by hand and what is generated mechanically through an interface.

Hard Drive by Mark Dotzler

Marianna Williams | Video still credits: Media Trama

These works offer viewers enlightenment on how artists and creatives from all over the world are utilising digital art as never before. The NFT phenomenon is an example of how contemporary art always stays at the forefront of changes related to economy and society. Artists are eager to delve into new technologies and use them to portray current developments in the real and digital environment.

 

Visit all participant's installations at Palazzo Mora, Palazzo Bembo, and Marinaressa Gardens until the 27th of November or discover their work by exploring the virtual tours online. Discover more about the artist on their profiles online.

Exploring the realm of digital art: extended realities, NFTs and the metaverse

Contemporary art continues to incorporate new technologies and new paradigms, encouraging spectators to explore different ways of thinking and seeing the world. Being an open and progressive platform at the forefront of current developments in art and society, the European Cultural Centre selected for its biennial art exhibition Personal Structures – Reflections a group of artists and galleries that contribute to the realm of digital art.