For Murakami, Physical/Virtual Collide
1. An Arrow Through History
At Takashi Murakami’s new immersive exhibition, the physical and virtual realms collide. An exploration of the evolution of Japanese culture through the arc of history and into the metaverse, the exhibit blurs the lines between past and present, high culture and low. Featuring anime-inspired reimaginings of mythical figures alongside sculptures of Murakami’s 2021 Clone X NFT avatars, the physical experience is enhanced throughout with Snapchat Lenses. Those who can’t make it out to NYC can access the exhibition through a webspace gallery or in VR.
“When I work on a creative production, I make no distinction between digital and analog.” - Takashi Murakami
2. Meta’s Instagram Trotting Out NFTs
Leaning away from the term non-fungible token in favor of “digital collectibles”, Instagram is giving the ability to a small group of users to post NFTs on their feed, stories, and messages. Instagram is also promising to listen to its community about how to implement blockchain technology for the benefit of artists and creators.
But there’s an obvious tension at play here: Instagram is a very centralized platform entering the fundamentally decentralized space of NFTs.
3. Kendrick Lamar’s Deep Fake Art
How do you artistically repurpose a much-abused AI technology like deep fake? Ask Kendrick Lamar, whose new music video showcases the digital likenesses of multiple black celebrities over the rapper’s own face. Deep fake has become synonymous with identity fraud and political satire, but Lamar turns this association on its head with thoughtful cultural commentary ahead of his new album.
4. Gaming Developers Prototype For Mars
“Toys are not really as innocent as they look. Toys and games are the prelude to serious ideas.” - Charles Eames, designer and architect
The gaming industry is crossing paths with NASA. In partnership with Epic Games, NASA is issuing a challenge to game developers to create virtual reality assets and experiences based in their MarsXR virtual world in preparation for a real trip to Mars. Whoever thought that gaming was irrelevant to serious science is about to be proven wrong.
5. Coffee Community Embraces NFTs
If there was ever a moment for middle-class America to encounter NFTs, it’s here.
Starbucks is planning to use digital collectibles this year to build on its success at gaining loyal customers and being a tech innovator with their popular mobile rewards and payment app. Details about the NFT collection are forthcoming, but you can be sure it will capitalize on the Starbucks brand as a communal “third place” where people can gather outside of work and the home.
…And In Case You Missed It