Updated: Apr 7
In Ben Lerner’s debut novel, “Leaving the Atocha Station.” there’s a scene where the character broke down at the Madrid’s Prado museum in front of Rogier van der Weyden’s “Descent From the Cross,” a votive portrait about Paolo da San Leocadio and Hieronymus Bosch’s “Garden of Earthly Delights.” He expressed that he’s never been capable of experiencing still art profoundly.
Contrast this with the first ad of Meta that came out when Facebook rebranded as a metaverse company, you are presented with a view of a museum, but the only difference is – the art here is literally moving.
What is the Metaverse?
The metaverse is a virtual world or a network of 3D virtual worlds focused on social connection. Facebook officially rebranded to Meta on October 28, 2021, hoping to become synonymous with the tech world and become a dominant player in the virtual world.
Different companies or individuals own different metaverses. For example, Decentral and and Crypto Voxels are metaverses that let people buy and own parcels. These parcels are SimCity-like plots of digital land creating digital structures. It is today the best place to get digital art prints for sale.
The digital goods and merchandise in the metaverse like non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and digital clothing's for avatars can be bought by anyone.
The metaverses enable creators to make digital art prints in 3D programs like Unity and Magic Voxel. The NFT-certified ownership of the printed digital art is available on blockchain and is independent of the metaverse.
Art in Metaverse
The novel by Ben Lerner draws parallels to the first artistic ad by Meta. The video keynote explained to the investors about the prominence of art. The ad begins with four people admiring Henri Rousseau’s “Fight Between a Tiger and a Buffalo,” hanging in the Cleveland Museum of Art. The tiger’s eyes flicker when they gaze into the frame, and the kids jig along too. Fruit trees grow around in the gallery, and a hexagonal portal stands above the rainforest canopy, against the backdrop of a towering skyline of a tropical city. The whole painting comes to life, and a three-dimensional jungle stands tall.
This is Meta’s way of demonstrating a psychedelic dream of a global community shared via communal hallucinations. The video is quite tactfully displayed with a demo showing Mark Zuckerberg’s co-workers finding an augmented reality street art piece on the wall in SoHo. It is brought to life through 3D animation and ported to virtual reality.
The aim of the company is for ordinary people to view their product as a piece of art. It is almost like Meta intends to establish a platform for creative self-expression. This can perhaps be true in terms of fine art providing a more informative context than video games.
However, this approach to art is termed both moronic and apt. It is moronic because it turns art into more of a novelty, and it is apt because other entrepreneurs have already taken up this approach. Even so, the return to the art of dreaming and escapism is still an appealing proposition.
Painting, sculpture, traditional art, and even contemporary art are giving way to the new form of art in the metaverse. With digital technology at our disposal, art has transformed to become ever more interactive, personal, and real.
But few artists follow the ideals of Jean-Jacques Rousseau and his colleagues. They have embraced the realities of new technologies and breaking the original customary of creating unique work.
Artists with Rousseau’s spirit appreciate the potential of new mediums and wish to contribute to the metaverse for the general public. Today, it seems possible to invent an entirely new aesthetic and art style because of metaverse and digital f technology!