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NFTism at Art Basel Miami Beach Designed by Zaha Hadid Architects, powered by JOURNEE

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Zaha Hadid Architects

Opening this week and presented at Art Basel Miami Beach, 'NFTism' is a virtual gallery exploring architecture and social interaction in the metaverse.

Cyberspaces are virtual environments that enable human-to-human communication via computer networks. Current photo-real, 3D and massively multiplayer online (MMO) video-game creation technologies, combined with high-speed network and cloud technologies, allow cyberspaces to be 3-dimensional, interaction-rich, socially and sensorially engaging, as well as accessible through a variety of devices using desktop browsers, mobile apps and smart TVs. 

Cyberspaces are part of integral spatial-web technologies underpinning the metaverse – an online environment coupling spatial and interaction experiences of cyberspaces with supporting social, community forming and economic infrastructure. The metaverse supports new forms of cultural production and associated experience such as digital art and virtual art museums.

Galerie Nagel Draxler collaborated with media artist Kenny Schachter to curate their initial exhibition dedicated to artists working with blockchain technologies and NFTs: 'Breadcrumbs: Art in the Age of NFTism'. Their subsequent ‘Crypto-Kiosk’ collaboration piloted the concept at Art Basel 2021. Now at Art Basel Miami Beach, the concept is taken a step further with an LED wall presenting an interactive gallery space located in the metaverse.

With spatial designs by Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) that focus on user-experience, social interaction and dramaturgical composition, this virtual architecture is powered by performance aligned, field-tested parametric design technologies. Coupling ZHA’s designs with MMO and interaction technological services bring novel, use-enhancing experiences to a broad online audience. The virtual gallery features, among other items, designs previously commissioned by Kenny Schachter, namely the ‘Z-boat’, the ‘Z-Car One’, a sculptural bench-table ‘Belu’ and a stool ‘Orchis’. These designs are collaborations between Zaha Hadid Architects and Zaha Hadid Design.

Incorporating their technologies within the virtual spaces designed by ZHA, JOURNEE has developed a Software as a Service (SaaS) built on proprietary, performance optimized MMO technology integrated with audio-video interaction capabilities along with network and cloud-hosting services.

NFTism ©

Curation by Kenny SchachterInvitation and hosting by Galerie Nagel DraxlerDesigned by Zaha Hadid Architects, powered by JOURNEE

Galerie Nagel Draxler was founded in Cologne in 1990 and operates in Cologne, Berlin, Munich and Meseberg. We are proud to be a gallery that has a history, a present and a future. An emphasis lies on an established artist generation, that has been showing with us since the beginning and whose work has been strongly influential for following generations. Our mid-career artists take part in defining the artistic discourses of our times. Finally, with a young generation, we meet the challenges of tomorrow. We see it as a privilege, to be able to give younger artists a context rooted in recent art history.

Kenny Schachter has been curating contemporary art exhibits in museums and galleries, as well as teaching art history and economics for nearly 30 years. He has a regular column on Artnet.com in addition to writing for various international publications. A retrospective of his art was presented at Joel Mesler’s Rental Gallery in New York and he curated an exhibit at Simon Lee Gallery in London in 2018. More recently, Schachter had solo exhibitions at Kantor Gallery, Los Angeles and Blum & Poe in Tokyo.Zaha Hadid Architects (ZHA) is a global architecture brand founded by the late Zaha Hadid. ZHA has a global portfolio of high profile buildings, including museums, opera houses, corporate headquarters, railway stations, airports, residences, hotels and mixed-use complexes. ZHA principal Patrik Schumacher is currently focussing his research on the possibilities of cyberspace and the metaverse.JOURNEE is a leading technology company specialised in connecting brands with their audiences in the metaverse by providing the world’s most advanced metaverse technology platform. Using the cutting-edge platform, a team of 40 experts designs and builds stunning, customised virtual experiences tailored to fulfil client goals. JOURNEE has delivered resoundingly successful campaigns and events for numerous enterprise-level companies and leading brands across industries around the world.

Project Team

DesignZaha Hadid Architects (ZHA): Cesar Fragachan, Vishu Bhooshan, Henry David Louth, Shajay Bhooshan, Patrik Schumacher

DocumentationZaha Hadid Architects (ZHA): Cesar Fragachan, Vishu Bhooshan, Shajay BhooshanJOURNEE:  Christian Mio Loclair, Carlos Serrano, Faye Brown, Kevin Wang,  Marlene A. Schenk

Metaverse Application & Web ServiceJOURNEE:  Christian Mio Loclair, Carlos Serrano, Faye Brown, Kevin Wang,  Marlene A. Schenk

By Naser Nader Ibrahim

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