In collaboration with New Art City a custom UI has been built specifically for this show. Every element of this environment is modifiable, as well as a new drag-and-drop function active on this menu page allowing any user to contribute to the work. It is encouraged one read the text below to understand the premise of the exhibition prior to interaction.
Minting a 3D object on OpenSea, or Foundation enables the object interactive functionality. Once minted, the object appears to float in blank space allowing users to orbit it as they please. But what is the space the object occupies? Whilst the only decipherable characteristic about the object's inhabited space is lighting, it's unclear if it’s in a space at all. Assuming a promise of Web3 is transparency, platforms should thus be neutral administrators of assets onto the ledger. But what if 3D assets were placed in a modeled environment the platform considered neutral, and the user couldn’t initially see? One must then question how this environment packages the non-fungible token, and what implications unseen spatial-identity might impose on the artist object, if any at all?
Platforms of Web3 allowing 3D objects to be minted in GLB and GLTF formats place these objects in a distinct virtual space, however, one can only see this space if a reflective sphere were uploaded through their protocol. Upon doing so, a spherical orb becomes a convex lens into a construct of the NFT gallery. At first glance this construct doesn’t appear to be anything spectacular— it’s proximity to online viewing rooms, and familiar cubic architecture suggest one might hang a rectangular image on the wall, or place an object on a plinth. In this case, it’s a dull assumption of what space digital-art-objects might exist in. Reproduced across platforms and presumably unintentional, the space itself is the color gray, situating it between the black box of cinema and the white cube gallery. As non-fungible tokens might already occupy a gray area, this gray feels like a fresh coat of paint on a room primed for transition. Therefore, this discovery functions as a prompt for artistic intervention.
Now Fungible, is an interactive work created by Jason Isolini and hosted by New Art City. Using techniques of panoramic stitching, mapping, and re-mapping it appropriates a previously unseen virtual space that’s secretly been the habitat for most 3D objects minted through a blockchain platform. Whether intermediary, or code-binding, this environment encapsulates orbital NFT’s camouflaged as empty browser space. Now Fungible is a conversational forum for visual, additive, or subtractive gesture. It is a space of contemplation, commencement, and re-organization for active users to explore off-chain. What does one do with this space now that it’s been revealed? While questions await to be pried, Now Fungible offers a replica environment to build upon, or not.
Much like Marcel Duchamp’s work Étant donnés, the reflective sphere exposing a virtual diorama functions as a peephole within an exterior interface. Thus, the reflective sphere-as-aperture solidifies platform dimensionality as a barrier of Web3. However, it is not forgotten that Duchamp provided instructions for the assembly and disassembly of his work. In this way, Now Fungible treats the appropriated diorama as an unfixed manual for user operation— one that calls for the deliberation of the suggested replica. Additionally, one should consider this work a camera obscura— It is a question of this simulated environment as a generator of the image itself, and therefore an apparatus of Web3. One must consider the projection of the image from within the diorama as an exposure of the NFT.