Patrick Tanguay weighs in on the metaverse, moving beyond stock claims on and critiques of the term. The problem, with ‘the metaverse,’ is it’s whatever you want it to be; VR or videogame developers see problems of interaction and immersion, crypto boosters and the web3 crowd speak of economic empowerment and decentralization. Here, Patrick uses the early days of the web to think about open standards and platform capitalism, and his reading is better off for it. Of note: his description of “a full world, at movie quality,” which imagines the blockbuster media property as a new kind of persistent experience. He is spot-on, in stating “the merging of the tools and interim steps are actually much more interesting … and offer much more varied potential than those 4-5-6 futures currently vying for the word metaverse.”
Underscoring Tetem’s [NL] commitment to hybrid experiences, an online component for “Eclipse” launches. Ali Eslami and Mathilde Renault’s exhibbition has been open for weeks, but, as of today, remote participants can book access to “discover the extent of their physicality … [and] their interactions with one another.” An offshoot of Eslami’s ongoing VR experiments, this browser-based iteration allows users to inhabit an avian avatar, and interact with more corporeal forms that are only accessible to visitors of the IRL exhibition.
Confronting the posthuman head-on, “From Creatures to Creators” opens at Kunsthaus Hamburg. Collecting works “going beyond the finite, conceiving the superhuman” artists including Ed Fornieles, Mary Maggic, and Tabita Rezaire contribute provocative, unsettling visions of life not as we know it, through installation, video, and VR. Pakui Hardware’s Thrivers (image, 2019), for example, presents glass forms as “porous hosts of life,” that fuse elements of flora and fauna lifeforms into chimeric experiments.
Directed by digital artist Ryoichi Kurokawa for Buffalo Daughter, the “ET (Densha)” music video premieres on the band’s YouTube channel. Known for his clincial deconstruction of natural forms, here Kurokawa ‘explodes’ flowers into point clouds, which waft and dissipate in sync with the central bass hook and guitar feedback. Founded in 1993, Buffalo Daughter is a key player in Japan’s “cut-and-paste” rock Shibuya-kei movement. “ET (Densha)” is the lead single from their upcoming album We Are The Times.
Kei Kreutler answers the question of the moment: what is a Decentralized Autonomous Organization (DAO)? Linking think tanks, libertarians, and MMORPG Guilds, she maps a prehistory of emergent governance, to contextualize (post-crypto) community tokenization. Noteworthy DAOs, both active and defunct get air time, as do tools and protocols; ultimately Kreutler schematizes DAOs as “tokens, teams, and missions” (image), and “compelling environments players want to inhabit, recognizing narratives, aesthetics, and goals held in common.”