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The first international project of Nikolskaya Gallery and Art Guest Agency "Metaverse" joins the global discourse on the concept of metaverses and the prospects for the development of a new Internet dimension. The exposition of the exhibition explores the reactions and different points of view of the art community to the predicted fusion of real and virtual life. The exhibition is held in parallel at two venues in Miami (USA) and Moscow (Russia).
Thirty years ago, the Internet became public for the first time, and today we are already talking about the possibility of not only using it, but literally existing inside virtual reality. The Metaverse Project, presented by Mark Zuckerberg in October 2021, involves the integration of the real world and the virtual environment into a universal ecosystem adapted for the most progressive communication experience. The concept of the project is supported by large investments by leading IT companies in the development of AR and VR technologies, as well as the demand for these products during the pandemic.
The foundation of the new metaverse culture owes its birth to multiplatform video games and science fiction. The founder of Facebook (now Meta) is far from the first to talk about the possibility of synchronization of parallel realities, but his presentation demonstrated to the world the immutable intention of corporations to develop metaverses into a full-fledged habitat. Therefore, their appearance and development is only a matter of time. In the future, the "personified" Internet represents the beginning of a new technological era and the transformation of all areas of modern civilization.
This perspective raises many questions for discussion. First of all, what changes must take place in the real world in order to attract billions of users to the virtual universe? What awaits us when the progressive Internet becomes massive? Will VR become a new utopian reality or a form of total escapism? How will our attitude to communications change? What transformations will take place in economic models and will NFT become a legitimate global currency? Finally, how will the art market change and what opportunities will open up for artistic practices?
The exhibition "Metaverse" is based on the results of the international open-call and presents a wide range of artistic scenarios of the near and distant future in the metaverse paradigm. Participants are challenged to explore an intriguing alternate world being created by powerful visionaries right now; consider both probable and fantastic forms of cultural, social, economic and political interaction in a world where the main gadget for accessing the Internet is not smartphones, but VR glasses.
Will the metaverses be created? Undoubtedly. The Internet is constantly evolving, and every year virtual reality goes further and further beyond interactive entertainment. It is difficult for us to believe this, since at this stage we are witnessing the starting point. What changes will progressive VR technologies bring to our lives and will reality remain real? The Metaverse project by Nikolskaya Gallery answers this question with the voice of art. It helps artists to discover and express various moods, fantasies and assumptions through artistic images, and the audience to form a personal opinion and meet new talented authors. It will also be of interest to future generations in terms of art history and interaction with the past, similar to how we perceive retrofuturism today.