With the metaverse approaching and various private organisations bidding to be the one who runs it, perhaps we need to pay attention. The internet was famously created to be open and built on a structure that nobody actually owns. Like a fertile field, what ever you grow on there is yours. Now the most successful gardeners want to tell you that the field belongs to them and they'll use every power to make you believe it. Who knows what the internet will look like in decades time, however we can keep an eye on how modern technology finds uses in new and interesting ways.
London's Serpentine Gallery is currently home to an exhibition by American artist KAWS. Back in 2020 the artist had an inspiration and decided to seek out the right help to make it happen. Teaming up with an organisation named acute art, the group set to work producing a series of augmented reality sculptures. These are set to be displayed via an augmented reality smartphone app that allows you to see and interact with the objects.
Titled New Fiction, this opening sequence is curated within the Serpentine Gallery and within the popular video game Fortnite. A first-person shooter with building and other functions that allows players to co-exist in a contained artificial world, Fortnite is an example of what the metaverse might look like in the future. Users are shown as an avatar that can be customised which then interacts with the other players each with their own designed character.
The Serpentine Gallery has been painstakingly recreated in this virtual world and the New Fiction exhibit is on full display. So it doesn't matter if London is out of reach, not every one has the ability to travel. If you're on Fortnite then you can get a healthy dose of culture at the same time as exploring the fundamental abilities of this new genre of creative expression.
Many of us are not even on this popular game, and for those of us who don't play there is thankfully a YouTube video of the display that we can enjoy regardless. It's not the same experience as walking around the virtual and augmented reality exhibition ourselves but it does give us a good perspective on the display nonetheless.
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