3D Tokenization: a Step toward VR + Blockchain
We are excited to announce that SuperRare will launch support for tokenized 3D artworks tomorrow, June 26, 2020.
Yes, that means you can collect and own the sculptures that will be exhibited in our upcoming VR Show.
For over the past two years, many of our artists have been creating 3D digital sculptures, tokenizing beautiful images and animations of the sculptures. We are thrilled to be taking 3D art to the next level by launching 3D file support and 360 display that makes the rendering of 3D artworks fully come to life.
Throughout art history, technology developments have often advanced art as they provide new media/tools supporting artists’ creativity, helping them materialize their imaginations in better ways. We believe that 3D tokenization will advance the notion of “art sculpture” by bringing it into the digital realm. 3D tokenization will not only increase the richness, variety and fun of crypto/digital art, but also expand the dimension and possibilities of what “art” is or could be, and how art will be created, exhibited, experienced, collected and interacted with in the near future.
VR provides an experience, one that is happening in both time and space.
— TAMIKO THIEL
Virtual Reality: the term we use to describe a three-dimensional, computer-generated environment. A person can explore and interact with this environment. That person becomes part of this virtual world. The person is also able to manipulate objects or perform a series of actions. It generally refers to experiences that use a headset to place viewers in an immersive environment.
VR Art: the term we use to describe the virtualization of art, made with the technical tools developed at the end of the 1980s. The development of computers and other technical tools such as “visualization casks, stereoscopic spectacles and screens, digital painting and sculpture, generators of three-dimensional sound, position sensors, tactile and power feed-back systems, and many others” transforms the artworks into an entire virtual universe.
Immersion: VR contributes to the art world by allowing artists to create sculptures in a three dimensional, virtual environment and by providing the viewers with highly immersive visual experience, combined with rich auditory stimulation. Art experienced in VR has taken immersion to an unprecedented different level in terms of sensory richness and immediacy. This deep level of immersion and personal involvement and the application of technical tools are the main characteristics of what we often call VR. With its ability to simultaneously occupy our senses, transcend space and present the work at full scales, VR art offers the substitute for reality.
Aether – SuperRare VR Art Show
Another mind-blowing application of VR and blockchain are the virtual crypto-art shows, where people can experience crypto-art using VR technology. Such applications are stretching the definition of art and are broadening the concept beyond its existing boundaries.
For the past years, VR works have been included in exhibitions organized by traditional institutions. These VR art are often put at small VR sections where people could try out the VR headsets. But could a virtual exhibition have artists and audiences across the globe gathering to the same virtual space from their home?
If yes, could VR make possible new forms of art exhibitions and cultural exchanges that are truly global, digital and “contemporary”? It’s not hard to imagine a future where exhibitions will be held in the worlds of virtual reality, instead of vice versa.
SuperRare’s first Virtual Reality Art Show, Aether, for more information see:
This coming Friday, June 26, 7-9pm EST, we will be opening SuperRare’s first virtual reality art show, Aether, in VRChat. Exhibitedin the VR world are 3D sculptures by seven of our 3D/VR artists: Frenetik Void, Giant Swan, Glass Crane, Marc O Matic, Metageist, Rosie Summers and Sven Eberwein. This art event aims to explore the world of 3D and VR art, and to expand the possibilities of exhibition, experience, and meaning of art in the digital age.
Collecting 3D digital sculptures
According to an article published on CNN titled “How to put a price tag on virtual reality artworks”, the art world establishment is yet to fully embrace VR art. They believe unlike physical art, virtual reality pieces are infinitely replicable. In their most basic form, they are simply digital files that can be experienced by anyone with a VR headset. It is near impossible to curb the spread of a digital file. However, as the possibilities of virtual reality develop, and VR artwork along with them, the art world is forced to wrestle with how to sell such digital creations. One question that comes up often in discussions of VR artworks and the market is how, exactly, such pieces could or should be sold.
Christie’s chief marketing officer, Marc Sands, did believe that it is only a matter of time before VR starts appearing at major auctions. “Response to (virtual reality art) from both consignors and buyers is largely positive but to date we have not discovered the ‘killer’ version of VR.”
3D tokenization as a step toward VR + Blockchain
What will 3D tokenization mean to VR, blockchain/crypto, or even the combination of both? As two of the most cutting-edge technologies based on the digital/virtual, the combination of the two is not unreasonable.
In the crypto art community, we have seen 2D cryptoart being exhibited in virtual worlds and VR. We have also seen the first 3D sculpture tokenized on blockchain, and 3D sculptures/architectures built in virtual worlds but not tokenized.
So what if we put these three- 1) 3D sculptures, 2) that are tokenized on blockchain, 3) and exhibited in Virtual Reality- together, what will happen?
In VR environments, blockchain can legitimize the buying/selling/trading of 3D NFTs as virtual assets in a trustless manner. Tokenizing these digital assets onto the blockchain will introduce a universally accepted mechanism for trust, as well as the notion of digital uniqueness and scarcity.
The virtual assets as we now know of today are mostly issued and controlled by centralized entities. But the most important part — what makes these worlds traversable and connected — should be the shared data layer between them. Without a shared data layer it’d be impossible to travel around seamlessly as the same virtual “you”. The shared data layer is what makes the Metaverse the Metaverse. Therefore, once that data layer is blockchain-based, blockchain will become the backbone of virtual worlds. (For more, read Fred Ehrsam’s “VR is a Killer App for Blockchains.”)
Combined, blockchain and VR can give birth to products and services not possible before. As blockchain is used to establish 3D digital item ownership in virtual worlds, it helps creators to get direct reward for their creative efforts. The potential of economic activities in VR will thus be increased. VR and blockchain could probably benefit a lot from each other.
Younger generations who have grown up surrounded by the digital and are entering the art world will not see this as evolution but as a natural extension of the world they know.
New technologies continue to reshape and reimagine the definition of art. 3D digital sculptures, blockchain and VR together have rich potential to extend artists’ abilities to explore their creativity beyond the confines of the physical space. As the world opens up to more digital experiences, and more people find comfort with purchasing digital artworks online, technology will bring the art world into new markets and modes of exchange.
VR provides artists with new digital tools to create works that would be unimaginable before, while blockchain helps creators to secure the authorship, and collectors the ownership, of these 3D digital creations as essential parts of VR. Blockchain, VR and their adoptions in the art world will be crucial to elevate the status of digital art, making it desirable for the global collectors, placing it as the future of art. And we believe 3D tokenization will be an important step along the trajectory.
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