Decentralized Arts #14: The Metaverse is the Future
BanklessDAO Weekly NFT and Cryptoart Newsletter
Dear Bankless Nation,
In Decentralized Arts we are hungry for art, passionate about NFTs, obsessed with collectibles, and in constant search of the best news and previews that can come from this sector.
We attend NFT exhibitions, we meet cryptoartists to grasp their moods, we attend conferences and debates as well as read the dozens of new posts that appear daily on social networks and portals.
Every day we breathe DAO, from morning to night. But the moments of true sharing are those in which we meet in chat and even more so in the audio and video channels. While thinking that others are always present on the other side of the screen, these are always fleeting representations of presence.
Perhaps the solution is our further blinding passion, on which we have not yet begun to tread: the Metaverse.
With certainty, the topics related to this will be increasingly present in the newsletter.
Welcome to Decentralized Arts.
This is the official newsletter of the BanklessDAO. You are subscribed to this newsletter because you were a Premium Member of the Bankless Newsletter as of May 1, 2021. To unsubscribe, edit your settings here.
Artist of the Week
🧑🎨 Artist: Bertaliot
🏦 Auction Type: Open Edition
💰 Price: 0.029 ETH
#NFT artist, musician and sound craftsman, crypto-art collector, and who knows what else...
bDAO: Tell us how you became a crypto artist
BE: I have been involved with music since I was a child. When I was young I played in several bands and later I started producing electronic music. But I would say I had almost quit with music. A few months ago a guy I know through twitter commissioned me to remix one of his original eulerbeats. I had sold all my gear during the pandemic lockdowns because I needed the money, but still with just some software I did the job. The guy paid me 1 ETH for it and told me that I had a lot of talent and that I could do very interesting things with the NFTs That was the spark that lit the candle. With the ETH, I bought some equipment and I was able to start creating again. And here I am.
bDAO: what is cryptoart for you?
BE: Cryptoart is a new awakening, an art renaissance on a global scale, and a cultural revolution of which we are not yet fully aware.
bDAO: What evolution do you see in the world of cryptoart?
BE: I see cryptoart as a newborn baby. There is a lot to be done yet. It is true that pieces are already being created that have reached incredible cultural value, as is the case of the CryptoPunks, or many of the pieces of Art Blocks that have been auctioned at Christie’s and Sotheby's. In my opinion, cryptoart in the metaverse is going to be the next big thing.
bDAO: What do you think about the combination of cryptoart and DAO?
BE: I believe that DAOs are going to become true hubs of cryptoart, and that they are going to have a very important role as curators. In the future people will have DAOs like Flamingo DAO, Palm, NILDAO, or BanklessDAO itself as reference points when it comes to assessing the art of the future, something like what museums like MOMA do today.
bDAO: Will you tell us about the works we are dropping?
BE: Sure. It consists of two pieces inspired by two of the projects that fascinate me the most in the entire crypto space, Ethereum and BanklessDAO. In both pieces I play with the logos of the projects and make them dance to the music. The piece inspired by BanklessDAO is called “Future is Blooming” and wants to express the vibrancy that I feel is happening in BanklessDAO as well as a huge hope for a better future for everyone. As for the piece inspired by Ethereum, it is called “Decentralized Love,” and it is, well, a love song. Love must be decentralized as well.
Curated NFT News
Popular Tezos-Based NFT Marketplace Hic et Nunc Closed With No Explanation
Tezos’ most popular app Hic et Nunc, hicetnunc.xyz, abruptly disappeared without explanation last week. The marketplace, also known as HEN, had hit more than $50 million in all time sales before suddenly closing. The only message that the community got was from the HEN Twitter account read “discontinued.”
After this event, they sent a last tweet as a goodbye, which was simply the smart contract address, and the replies were turned off so no one could reply.
Apart from this message there were no other explanations and there was a public outcry among the users of the website.
But all is not lost as many members of the community pointed out “Hic et Nunc was never the website: Hic et Nunc is the contract. The contract lives forever.”
Since then, devoted community members got into action, led by the DNS team and released some tweets outlining the steps to bring HEN back to life. They plan to run the marketplace as a DAO. While there have been some mirrors established, the most accepted domain is https://hicetnunc.art/
The recovery team has hailed this rescue as “one of the largest web3 coordinated recovery efforts.” This has been possible because blockchain technology exists and is another great achievement for decentralised structures. This would have been impossible or very difficult to achieve with a centralized system.
Nike Jumps into the Metaverse with Virtual World “Nikeland”
Nike has teamed up with gaming company Roblox to create this virtual world called Nikeland. It is inspired by the brand’s real headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, and includes Nike buildings, fields, and arenas for players to compete in various mini-games.
Users will be able to dress up their avatars in Nike-branded sneakers and apparel. However, this won’t be cheap, even virtually. A digital showroom lets users dress their avatars with the latest Nike digital products.
The company has filed trademark applications for its most famous branding—including “Nike,” “Just Do It,” Jordan,” “Air Jordan,” its Swoosh logo, as well as others to be used on several virtual products.
People with accelerometers in their mobile devices will be able to use real-world movements to power their online play. For example, you can move your body in a jumping motion and it will translate in the virtual world to enhance the experience.
Meanwhile, Nike’s competitor Adidas enters the crypto world with a POAP that was available last Thursday and has now been fully claimed. The company made clear through the terms and conditions that Adidas maintains ownership for all their NFTs. However, the company advised that the token might become useful at a later stage.
Bankless Brazil GHOST Sneaker NFT
Based on an Art contest made to celebrate the grants from AAVE that Bankless BR DAO had received as part of their Education and Community effort to grow the Crypto/DeFi ecosystem in Brazil and Portuguese-Speaking Countries, the Sneaker is based on the origin of the AAVE name, from the Finnish word for “ghost”, a reference to transparency.
Launch Date: November 29th.
The Metaverse: Starting the Conversation
Taking a cue from some of the news this past week, we introduce a theme that will be pursued in future Decentralized Arts editions, covering, with increasing attention, the metaverse.
On the web you will find many descriptions, opinions, hypotheses and predictions about the future of metaverses, passing from science fiction stories to some pioneers, such as Second Life. You can then listen to experts discussing the effect that the COVID lockdowns have had on the progressive acceptance of these virtual spaces for many people.
The metaverse is, in fact, above all, a space of encounter, of communion, of community. A place where the hyper-connected world can allow you to have moments of leisure and sharing for people who have known, played, or worked together for years without often ever having met in a physical place.
This is the metaverse we will talk about, the always and everywhere paradigm in which many of us live, expressed in various ways in both consolidated and experimental projects that present themselves to our eyes from day to day.
Our excursion begins today from what could be the fundamental points of contact between the physical and virtual worlds, the unaware ambassadors of a new era of representation of value and exchanges, and the objects of the "apparel" sector that from physical become virtual, thanks, above all, to the process of "assetisation" on the blockchain made possible today by NFTs.
As many have been able to read in recent months, the big fashion brands, from Gucci to Nike, have decided that the present is in the metaverse and in the avatars that move within it.
We spoke in Decentralized Arts # 7 | October 4 of the collaboration between Boson Protocol and Dolce and Gabbana for the creation of "The Glass Suite." Even as early as 2019, the attention of the fashion giants for the metaverse was high.
We remember the collaboration between League of Legends and Louis Vuitton, or Balenciaga's work with Fortnite, which consisted of four skins that players could buy in a virtual store.
The virtual H&M catwalk for Simone Rocha during the last London Fashion Week was interesting. And how can we ignore the project by Jean-Paul Gaultier who wants to create digital influencers to be used on social media and marketing channels?
The sale of Gucci's Dionysus bag on Roblox in May of this year marks an important moment in the life of the house in the metaverse. Gucci inserts its creation into a metaverse that has 46 million active users every day, who can dress their avatars with always different clothes and accessories.
Let's focus now on one of the most interesting “niche” phenomena of the moment: the world of sneakers.
Vans recently created branded scenarios on Roblox. The avatar can move around in a skatepark, can participate in a virtual concert in a specially created space, and can enter a shop where they can customize their sneakers.
Nike has moved even more massively. It has filed four applications with the US Patent and Trademark Office to protect its brands in various categories including "downloadable virtual goods" and related services for retail and entertainment stores.
Nike thus extends the application of its registered trademarks to products designed for the virtual world. Items indicated in the documents include headgear, eyewear, bags, backpacks and sports equipment.
Recall that in 2019 Nike had already linked its sneakers to a digital asset anchored to the blockchain to fight counterfeiting. Thanks to CryptoKicks, it is possible to associate a digital identity with each shoe.
Two days ago, Nike presented Nikeland, its metaverse on Roblox: a real paradise for swoosh fans, who will have the most complete showroom at their disposal and will be able to collaborate on the creation of new products.
The fashion path seems to have been traced: luxury brands are creating virtual flagship stores; presentation events and virtual fashion shows; and products that the consumer can enjoy through their avatar, which moves in these worlds.
The future is in the metaverse; the future is the metaverse.
Anamorphosis-10 Hermetic Bodies: by G. Contro
Guests of a world that has not invited them and which reluctantly tolerates them, these philosophers find refuge in academies, in business consultancies, or in the competitive commitment to be fashionable.
To this end, it happens that they find themselves forced to embrace the least philosophical of objects—contemporaneity—hoping to be paid with the title of "interesting."
One of the most interesting philosophers currently in circulation is undoubtedly the German-Korean Byung-Chul Han, who among the various implications of an incessant work, has also found a way and time to deal with The Salvation of Beauty (2015). Son of that eclecticism, typically contemporary, which consists in making one's own philosophy by sticking the pieces of the philosophy of others together, Han is no less effective in providing some ideas for our fork.
Here is a reflection on the idea of beauty that could flavor your day: "Natural beauty manifests itself as 'the trace of the non-identical in things subjected to the lordship of universal identity,’” he begins, stealing a piece of Adornian aesthetics, and continues: “Digital beauty bans any negativity of the non-identical and allows only consumable, usable differences. Otherness gives way to diversity (...) The more often the Net is woven, the more radically the world is shielded and protected from the other and from the outside. The digital retina transforms the world into a screen of images and control. In this autoerotic visual space, in this digital interiority, no astonishment is possible. Men find pleasure only for themselves."
Of course, we all agree.
In addition to eclecticism, Byung-Chul Han's philosophy is also sick with a—albeit slight—linguistic hermeticism, which on the other hand is the best vaccine against other and much more serious diseases of today's communication.
What is serving us, however, is not a well-bowed nothing. His thought, we could say, is the equivalent of an artist's shit in a philosophical format: the opportunity to pose a significant pauper object (who does not know that the current digital universe is the place of mass cognitive annihilation, governed by a total imaginary-of-commodities?) at the center of a process of signification and valorisation. A digital object—a body—is in effect a non-object, or rather the mystery of an existence delivered entirely to the perceptual polarity of sight alone.
As in a sort of Berkeleyan hallucination, it can only be experienced as a composition of illusions on a background that is not fully "dimensional" (where is the ogre Shrek actually? Where are the demons who attack us in Doom actually?) ... does it make it an entity devoid of otherness?
After all, such "substantial" objects of the material arts have always been removed from our tactile experience, stolen from the fullness of being (what a tired science ontology is!) by glass, alarms, and fences in the museum ban.
They have themselves become incorporeal, intangible, digital.
Bankless DAO NFT Updates
Last week’s weekly showcase numbers
Artist David Bollt made a total of 1.218 ETH in sales with the latest 4 pieces from his Conscious Money series.
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