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The first endeavor of X Virtual, a collection of virtual worlds that hosts 3D gatherings for intellectuals and art fans, is X Virtual Incubator. The project is the culmination of the project team’s two years of research on virtual environments and online exhibitions, and it includes first-person exploration of new digital art commissions. Four artists from China, the UK, Brazil, and other countries are brought together by X Virtual Incubator, whose works inspire fresh methodological paradigms for the upcoming network of virtual art. Pete Jiadong Qiang and Poppy Dongxue Wu collaborated on the project’s curation.
The implementation of new digital infrastructure on a worldwide scale is prompted by The Spatial Web’s hypothetical future, while art practitioners are educated by the oldest forerunner of the metaverse—massively multiplayer online gaming (MMOs). A larger collection of artists began to produce a variety of works, ranging from audio-visual space and performance to indie games and digital sculpture, as the game engine started to become a major instrument outside of the gaming business. This new method of creating art in a virtual setting has changed how culture and technology interact, opening up new avenues in the wider field that was previously delineated by the physical-virtual divide. The artists in the exhibition weave fictional civilisation, immigration histories, and cross-continent geopolitics into uncanny cyberrealities, extending new realms between art and technology, from the construction of an eerie archaeological temple standing in an untrodden desert to a series of related virtual worlds conceptually threaded by violence and freedom.
By hiring artists to focus solely on X Virtual’s online community, the project explores spatiality and its varied meanings in the virtual world. The artists in the exhibition imagine new forms of audio-visual experience, after-image of the digital object, as well as potential sentient mutants brought by the accelerated development of cyborgs, ranging from algorithmic music clips scattered around a meditative and boundless virtual space to AI chatbots in a fictional agency for hybrid cyborgs. Through text, sound, video, scene, AI chatbots, and independent games, the X Virtual Incubator supports interdisciplinary efforts that disrupt and reimagine the complex link between digital art, virtual space, and video games.
At the X Museum in Beijing, a physical display of the project that includes two immersive installations will be on display starting in September 2022. Through offline interaction, artists and audiences will create fresh meanings that do not already exist in the online virtual worlds. With Silicon Valet, this endeavor is part of a strategic alliance.
Artists: Kim Laughton, Gabriel Massan, CheeseTalk, ayrtbh
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