Q&A with a SuperWorld Artist-in-Residence

The history of  SuperWorld  can in some ways be broken down into two eras: Before  Vesa  (B.V.) and After Vesa (A.V). When we first broke…

The history of SuperWorld can in some ways be broken down into two eras: Before Vesa (B.V.) and After Vesa (A.V). When we first broke digital ground on SuperWorld, we knew we were on to something special. By creating the first decentralized platform to combine Blockchain / Artificial Intelligence / 3D Animation / Augmented Reality into a unified #SuperReality, the only question we had was: Who (or what) will be at the vanguard of this vision?

With cryptoartists and NFT creators coming into clearer focus as ideal first-adopters of our platform, we began searching for artists and digital creatives whose talent was tantamount to our tech. That’s when we discovered Vesa, whose work was universally admired by our team, and whose talents and insight have helped SuperWorld become the home to so many other talented artists from around the world.

One of the first artists to acquire property in SuperWorld, Vesa has blazed a trail in the art world as well, exhibiting his work in over 10 countries around the world from the UAE to the US, including the internationally-renowned Veena Malik Project and his groundbreaking Big Data NFT Art collaboration with famed Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Brittany Kaiser.

In between recent commitments in Dubai, London, and Helsinki, Vesa was kind enough to chat with SuperWorld for this, the first installment of our Artists-in-Residence Q&A, The SuperWorld Star Chamber:

SW: I promise I won’t ask about your process because I’m not sophisticated enough to understand it, but I am interested in your learning process. Do you set out to learn something before you create a work, or does learning something (about the world, about a technique, etc.) serve as the catalyst for the art?

VESA: Since we have the explosive magic of the internet now, and videos are way cooler than type, this 2-minute compressed process video really tells it in a much more compelling way than I can write it:

I think my soul first fully came online seeing Star Wars: A New Hope as a 5-year old. Unlike some other nerds, however, I realized the goal was not to bang plastic toys together, but to apply the lessons in real life. The path will nearly break you multiple times. Only later did I learn that George Lucas had transferred Joseph Campbell’s “A Hero’s Journey” book into a movie with robots in space.

SW: We grew up at the same time, although I was a nerd whose goal was just to bang plastic toys together. What’s the connective tissue in Star Wars that binds us together?

VESA: It’s the globally shared myth on how a boy becomes a man, assembled into a single work from millenia of universal tradition. If you are laughing at Star Wars, you really are laughing at the literary & oral tradition of world culture. It was the introduction to why Jungian archetypes, and the work of integral theorist Ken WIlber, would later help sophisticate my expression into a more mature world view. It’s also important to maintain the aspect of the human animal in the equation. The current art academia has become a very narrow expression, leaving out the kinds of insights given by Jill Bolte-Taylor’s TED lecture about her stroke. At our core, we have awe.

SW: How does one obtain artistic freedom? Psychedelics?

VESA: Psychedelic really means ‘to reveal the soul’, which is largely, like myth, misunderstood as hallucinations or falsehood - as opposed to the pre-mapped parts of personae embedded in us as we’ve evolved to this point. Rupert Sheldrake talks about this idea, morphic resonance, about how our brains are more like an antenna, rather than a generator. Psychedelic really means a lot more than the current ‘drug culture bad’ reference. It’s countered also by Dali’s” I am drugs” statement, in that we can shape our internal chemistry by choosing how we take things. This ability is ever present in us waiting for us to have the strength and courage to face it - as hard as it sometimes is. Most of the day, I listen to lectures on Youtube from the intellectual dark web people, Camille Paglia, Sadhguru, and more. The Hindu Vedas, as well as ancient Egyptian culture, remains an endless supply of inspiration. Ancient Egypt was the only time that I can truly see art served humanity, as a part of a holistic system based on truth. It’s even embedded into the built structures themselves. I’m always trying to discover and re-evolve the cultural avant-garde. As far as I can tell, I’m among the very select few doing it, as the culture at large has given up trying to look for its essence in the visual establishment art long ago. The arts in general have been a lame duck travesty since Warhol, until crypto art came along. We are now in danger of screwing that up too, though. The businesses can’t handle the controversy, for the most part, and on a grander scale we have an audience illiteracy problem of the cultural context relating to the spectrum of the history of art. I know many hate to hear this, but we’ve been cuddled for way too long, and Camille Paglia, as well as this work, are the antidote we need.

SW: Many of your pieces—I’m thinking of pieces like “Flower of Life”, “Ananda”, “Absolute Rebellion” and “The Crossing” seem so technically intricate and anarchic at the same time. How much do you let chaos (of motion, of ideology) inform your creations?

VESA: My true innovation was in 2008, when I began to involve the real human being in my process of portrait art. “Body art,” in this sense, had been a very stable process, as well as a fairly narrow expression before I came along. Since it involves the subject in a very cathartic way, in the early body works my job was just to allow the real human to come through, and capture it - juxtaposing their story with my own. The final phase is to relate that to the archetypal field, and what is going on with society. At best, to top that, where we might be going. We need to constantly try to shed our past skin, and honor it. Life really is a complicated, difficult thing to do well.

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SW: To what degree did you interact with your subjects beforehand?

VESA: I got to know the people I worked with beforehand, then tried to interpret a bigger picture of how they were embedded, societally and spiritually. You don’t have to make a lot up, when you work with the real thing. “Ananda” was born from the subject’s unprocessed pain of having tried to help a friend, who put her into deep debt monetarily. She released that in the studio session, so the whole cathartic process was recorded into that piece. “Flower of Life” relates to the search for an expansive ideological balance under difficult circumstances. It features the world religions, and what they have to contribute to the moon shot view of the world. I would have had no shot doing that without being guided by talks of Ken Wilber, and the courage of Veena. With her, the process and cultural context was so intense that we could have been killed for it. She is Pakistani, and a Muslim, so the process aligned with the purpose was a powder keg. As a matter of fact, some of my family and friends expressed real concern for my safety, with a few people even offering veiled “goodbyes” in the process. The point of it all was bridge-building and love, so even in Pakistan, they got the larger world context once we published the works. The vibe we built carried, and it was a beautiful thing.

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"Ananda", Mixed media, Digital, 2009

SW: Your art is very narrative to me, and I’m astounded by how in even a single still image you’re able to tell a compelling story. When did you decide to make your narratives “move” into the digital? Did that coincide with your Artevo movement?

VESA: For the most part, the current demand in digital art is for the works to move for the sake of novelty, but of course skill is seen and appreciated, too. My point was to move the viewer, though. I’m not an animator, and I hate doing things that aren’t the best they can be, so I’m still waiting for my Medicis to come along and support my vision properly - this so I can make the subject move as effectively, and organically as they “move” on a still image. If I expand from a single image, every frame needs to be a contribution. My work often consists of a hundred layers of photography, or more- up to about 2000 - so it requires a real skill to animate or digitize what I’ve imagined the work to be. Artevo is short for “Art Evolving”, so forward motion is always the goal.

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"Truth Or Dare -The Currency of Ganesh", Digital, 2018

SW: Could you explain the genesis of ARTEVO? Was there a “Eureka” moment, or did you come into it sort of organically?

VESA: I had been making films of various sorts from documentaries to music videos, and shorts since 1999. I went to film school in the UK, and had a production company with bills and business loans to pay. I realized, after making a well-paying TV series about educating people about dogs, I was on the wrong path, and needed a course correction. It was a dark night of the soul of sorts, and there would be many more to be had, but it was again, one of those ‘coming online’ moments. Seeing the co-founder of NLP, Mr. Richard Bandler, on stage made me realize that what my idiot teacher told me in school—that I had no talent as a painter due to my 12-year old water colors—was in part true; I couldn’t technically paint. But I could direct, light, photograph, tell stories, Photoshop, and I could help people go through difficult shit because of it. I’d had to overcome a lot by that point due to a volatile childhood, so the techniques of NLP that worked on me worked on others too. So in a way it was a combo of trauma, a feverish search and an organic unfolding. When I saw the first piece ready in front of me, I arrived home.

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"The Flood", Mixed Media, Digital, 2008

SW: You’ve been in the #blockchain and #cryptoart space for a while now, so you’ve seen a real sea change in how art is created/viewed/appreciated. When did you first sense that NFT or “cryptoart” was a viable platform for you? Did it take some convincing?

VESA: I first heard of crypto in 2010, but unfortunately it was from a source I did not respect due to previous engagements. I started posting documentaries about the monetary system on Facebook in 2006, so by the time crypto entered my life in 2017, I not only understood the world view, but paid the price of trying to cope without it. There were maybe five professional-level artists,but no other international career ones in that space at that time. We now have likely over 10.000. The second important discovery for me was the NFT thing. My works have been high-resolution digital originals since 2008 when I started Artevo, so I’ve been HODLing them for quite a while. This turned out to be a blessing and a curse, because when other artists were happy to literally get \$20 for an NFT, I had sacrificed hundreds of thousands of dollars, nearly died twice making it all, and ready to do more. The collector base that will understand the value I’ve generated is still yet to arrive, so most of my work is not yet minted.

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Vesa in 2018 in Las Vegas with Charlie Lee, the founder of Litecoin, who commissioned him to do work for the Bitcoin Foundation. It was exhibited, with a keynote, at the Litecoin Summit of 2019

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"Invisibility", Mixed Media, Digital, 2019,
A commission for the Litecoin Foundation

SW: Some people consider your art to be overtly spiritual in nature, which I get, but I think that label alone does you and your work an injustice (Much like people calling the Veena Malik project a “body” exhibit). To me, your art seems more representative of grounded existential narratives underscored by a kind of sense/curiosity of the fantastic realm, which is another way of saying that there is truth in your art, because it tries to answer questions, not just ask them (a distinction that, I think in art, separates the “spiritual” from “New Age shit.)” I suppose the question is, how do you reconcile being perceived as one kind of artist with the desire to just be an artist?

VESA: You nailed a huge problem of mine, and thanks for being honest in the question. For balance, you sometimes end up talking about the thing most missing most. The word “spiritual” has likely been more corrupted than the word “art.” Both words point to something devastating to your life when they truly enter, but the use of those words have diluted to mean lies, mostly, in the eyes of contemporary culture. The majority of institutional religion, art education, new age cults, and social circles are now grounded in centuries of entropy, and that was laced with steroids in the ’80s with the deconstruction movement. We were also culturally robbed of many things that still haven’t emerged properly. Rothko, Pollock, Hilma af Klint, Klimt, Kandinsky, and many others were deeply spiritual artists, often expressing this in their writings about their work. This was repressed out of our collective understanding due to heavily left-leaning politics, and right wing religious institution interests during their cultural zeitgeist. Pollock, for example, was a devout student of theosophy, which is rarely mentioned. Basically aspiration has been off the menu for four decades in the arts, and the kind of spirituality we now recognize much longer. This is now showing as anxiety, depression, and unprocessed despair in our collective psyche. We are not even specs of dust in the material world, but can carry the universe inside us if we remove the roadblocks. If the word spiritual means anything, it is that process. The words of Camille Paglia are really the only relevant ones out there putting the collapse of the humanities and art education into its real context in the arts. If an art education to professionals now starts from a postmodernist (communist with a twist) point of view without cave painting, ancient Egypt, natural sciences, the enlightenment, and almost anything before modernity, what chance does a public educated on reality TV have recognize what I’m doing or talking about? In reality, exorcising psychological demons, achieving transcendence, and purpose beyond the utterly devastating mercilessness of life is linked to why we made and value art to being with. In the renaissance period, Churches harnessed the power of art, and that is arguably still its biggest generators of centuries long experiential value. If spirituality means anything at all, its the authentic process of removing roadblocks to realization. We are but specs of dust at best in the eyes of the material universe, but can hold the universe inside us.

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"Reconnect", Mixed Media, Digital, 2017

SW: So how has the artistic tradition evolved?

VESA: What art has been doing since “Piss Christ,” is to sell down the river and insult the tradition and expectation of art built over millennia; to shock us about what particular piece of shit sold for what price. It’s profoundly inlationary at its core, but the price of this is realized by few. This is why I love Bitcoin. It’s restoring the value of money. This is why a lot of people can’t handle me, but what I point to has to be reckoned with at some point or we lose our signal to noise completely.

SW: I love how vocal you are in calling out the bias and bullshit inherent in so many corners of the art world, and I wonder if your outspokenness is something that you feel the art community finds threatening. How do you tune out the noise?

VESA: Nifty Gateway avoids me like the plague, and in private messages Async art told me they can’t handle me. My outspokenness has cost me now literally millions of dollars, and will continue to do so for a short time. First of all, I don’t do this because of the money, but trust me I know what keeping my core has cost me, and I would love for some investors to realize the value that is being built. I’m not talking nostalgia, but what is soon to happen with Brittany again. In 2014, Michael Schwartz, a distinguished Professor of History and Philosophy of Art, placed me among the top of the most advanced expressions of western abstraction. That means Picasso, Pollock, Kahlo, Dali, Monet, Gaugain, Van Gogh and others now in the \$100 million club. This really is about building a lasting legacy, while most others are striving to be the flavor of the week at best. Once real collectors see the value, not only short term, but culturally in the same way as the Catholic Church saw the Sistine Chapel, things will shift. An inconvenient truth is that the early OG geeks of Bitcoin now have too much money, flattery, and comfort to understand that their purpose is to fund the emerging world Bitcoin, at its foundations, critiques. It wasn’t about them getting rich, and building a castle to eat cake from laughing at poor people. They will come at you with pitchforks, justifiably, sooner than you can say oops. The selfish talk of citadels, while saying: Have fun staying poor, even if we understand it due to years of frustration trying to help people, is removed from the interconnected reality. This kind of talk needs to take a back seat to those fighting for the real thing: humanity, and the other species we mercilessly control in our pursuits. Many will blame me as the messenger, as the message is hard to absorb. Only the strong will be able to take that on with me at first, but that’s ok.

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"Selling Banks Their Fat Asses Back", Mixed Media, Digital, 2020,
A commission piece by Tone Vays, also collected by Willy Woo

SW: Those are big names—do you find a kinship with any of those artists?

VESA: Well, there is no Vesa without Dali, but personally, I consider Da Vinci the only artist that can be put into a cultural context in a similar way due to the outward push personally, or as a signpost against which I can measure the rest of my life. Hieronymus Bosch is likely more important as a voice from the past, btw, than Da Vinci, but his personal life is not comparable to the societal holistic push of Leonardo. We, meaning Da Vinci, and me, address institutional corruption, monetary evolution, the mystical point of view, scientific discovery (my most lacking in comparison), technological innovation, and we share a real sense of a ‘skin in the game’ approach in the direction to connect beyond our social circle into the world. I know saying that will lose many in the readership, but time will tell. I’m past kowtowing to people who won’t do the research, can’t analyze the vision nor invest in it. My communication is intended for a very select few. This is what you learn being able to talk to 300 million people at once—like what happened with the Veena project. Journalists said that the event shifted the cultural foundation of two big countries, but the exhibit was accepted to zero museums. Zero. My life is embedded in a much larger story of entropy and academic cowardice as to why it has not yet been heard more widely in cultural circles.

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SW: Some of my favorite works of yours include the “Lux” film/exhibition, “Hot Penguin”, “Sommelier”, and of course the Veena Malik collaboration, and I think it’s a testament to the beauty and impact of your work that I’m drawn to many sometimes disparate works. But what about you? Are your “favorite” pieces based more on the emotional resonance you felt creating them, or is it too hard to consider your own work objectively?

VESA: I have favorites. The Veena project was significant for sure, for a variety of reasons, but I can’t separate many life events contextually from the process. I met my fiancee Lotta Vainio in the session that birthed “Lioness”, so that is important. Getting to paint Zoe West, the daughter of the famous Egyptologist John Anthony West in Finland, became a profound experience linked to travelling to Egypt. LUX took three years to achieve right after the Veena Malik project. Getting into crypto finally liberated me from trying to be an innovator in the swamp that was the legacy system for me, so Fork & Flip selling its first version to a hedge fund, allowing me to travel to Miami to a conference to sell more works was pivotal. Meeting Adam from World Crypto Con allowed me to meet The Bad Crypto Podcast guys that became the signature project… so much history already. Damn. I owe crypto a bunch, which is why I fight for it feverishly.

SW: Tell us a little more about the collaboration with Cambridge Analytica whistleblower, Brittany Kaiser. Since she started the Own Your Data Foundation, you’ve been collaborating with her. The 3D render of the studio is astonishing. How did y’all hook up, and what’s it like to work with her, and more specifically, work with her knowledge.

VESA: I met Mr. Ben Leff through a CoinGenius event I keynoted and presented at, and he started collecting my pieces. He then told me he worked with Brittany, and I immediately introduced the idea, which resonated with him, and took it up with Brittany. She really is an Edward Snowden-level whistleblower, but perhaps not as famous due to her life circumstances not becoming equally tragic to Snowden, and Assange. The day she came out with her info about FB, they lost a 120Bn in market value. People wrote 35K articles about her a day for consecutive days, and there are now over 5MM articles written about her in context to Brexit, Trump, and the data security & ownership wars. I have the absolute privilege to turn her life into digital art, which will become NFT history. She will travel to the Helsinki studio early Feb, so we are in full pre-production mode. We will likely launch the works from Dubai later on in 21, with the help of the Dubai Blockchain Center.

SW: As an artist, you’d be in the minority if you hadn’t had at least one shitty job in your life. What’s the worst job you ever had (and, if possible, was it to sustain your art? Or just bad luck)?

VESA: I learned a lot working in the government run alcohol shop called Alko as a teenager. You can buy beer in grocery stores in Finland, but for wine and spirits you need to go to a special monopolistic store. You meet just about everyone there, from a societal perspective, so it was good for an observing mind.You come face to face with what people say and what they do, once you see guilt in action. Unfortunately, I wasn’t in a very practical place starting the art, as I had production company bills to pay, and got badly ill right after the crash of 2008. All the work disappeared, and bills kept coming in. Doing a shitty job wouldn’t have helped, so my life really has been a rather vicious fight for the resources to keep creating. The Veena Malik was self funded, so we couldn’t go where the iron was hot - when it was. These works really were full productions demanding many people, and resources like a studio, and a ton of gear, funded by loans. This is what people didn’t get when I said my work had more value, and others were happy with $50 for a 1/1 digital work on Superrare in 2018. Back then, I had made a partnership with Orion Vault, a digital only platform that had secured the rights to the digital Mona Lisa 1/1, and they were promoting my NFTs as $50K USD works as the featured pieces on their site. Four Park wanted to securitize my physical versions for similar amounts, and they were talking about me doing a collaboration with the family of Michelangelo, so we would do works in VR together. Both platforms collapsed soon after, as the bear market was vicious to new blockchain companies after the January crash.

SW: Sorry—gotta ask it: Creative influences. Let’s start with dead ones

VESA: Da Vinci is the poll to measure against as a holistic renaissance perspective. I might fail in terms of Da Vinci, but I’d rather try to reach the top and fail rather than aim too low and succeed. I don’t know how to invent cannons to defend Finland like he did Florence, but I have a few tricks up my sleeve as an entrepreneurial spirit, and they might just surpass that for VR. People first laugh when Sadhguru says he is, by an order of magnitude the most important guru, but then they check the numbers.

SW: Anybody living?

VESA: I think especially the Gods series of Damien Hirst was an interesting take-off to a new realm for him. The statue by the pool of The Palms in Vegas is striking, but I’m afraid he tries to dazzle with size rather than substance in the end. I’ve spent a few fair hours with it now. His shark at the same hotel is an incredible comment on the bestial nature of man. Imagine that. He sliced, and hung up this fierce top predator on top of a bar, embedded in trivialities for our sensory casino amusement. In another habitat it would tear us apart with ease, but in that context it’s a sad trophy and comment on what we are doing to the oceans as a whole. Also a great landmark on what monsters we still are, even if the tone police now pretend otherwise. That is genius, even if he didn’t intend the oceans part. Android Jones is cool, and meaningful but as it’s all made out pixels it kinda leaves me a bit cold. Alex Grey is an important artist, as well as a voice. I would recommend his book The Mission of Art to anyone. Alotta Money manages to combine a lot of cool new stuff together. He might be my favorite crypto artist. I’m also a fan of Marc-O-Matic, and happy that Inward Sound just entered cryptoart. I’ve been trying to invite a digital pioneer, Mr. Lawrence Gartel in for a while, but thus far unsuccessfully. He taught Warhol how to use a Mac, and has been at it since the ’80s.

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"Damien Hirst", Demon, at The Palms Hotel in Las Vegas

SW: I like to hear you skewer the establishment. Perhaps it’s your cool Finnish vibe, so even when you’re railing, it’s very cathartic—like ASMR for grievances. Could I trouble you to rail a little more for me against the art world and some internalized artistic prejudices?

VESA: Thanks for noting the intent behind it. Finns are actually, mostly, my opposite in that regard, but with pleasure! I think a huge part of the problem is that the art world itself has become a footnote of a series of footnotes of previously successful artists. Very dogmatically religious in that sense. Why? Because academia is looking at new sources through such an insular scope of references that nothing new can emerge. I look for inspiration outside of art, to turn into art. That’s a useful, less cannibalistic view, and mutually beneficial. The real source of inspiration for my work has been, like I said, the authentic ’60s counterculture figures like Alan Watts, Terence McKenna, musically Lisa Gerrard, Solar Fields, and recently the Intellectual Dark Web (IDW) are the inspirations. Wayne Dyer helped me sort out a lot of my bad attitude, and Richard Bandler gave me a tool box of resources to create better. On a lot of levels, crypto is now also rewarding done-to-death concepts from the art world that are then hailed as genius as soon as they’re tokenized. What trite bullshit, but again, people pay for it for the same reasons. There isn’t even a beginner level “art” art awareness in the art space as a whole, nor the culture at large, so people collect what makes them feel smart and cultured without any of the associated work. Some of it is genuine support, which is cute, but for authentic and original artists, it’s murder psychologically. This space was meant to finally be the one that helps real voices emerge - and in part, for some, it does. It can’t yet handle me, though.

SW: Who looks over your shoulder when you create? (This can be anything from nobody at all, to a real or imagined gargoyle, to the ghost of Dali, or your own critical doppelgänger growing out of your back, etc.)

VESA: I truly am my worst critic. I respectfully stand on the shoulders of giants, but certainly I feel God laughing at my aspirations, as well as the great masters. I might have done the work artistically already to deserve to be in the Parthenon, but culturally I’m still an ant in a known colony of the greats. I’ve only been doing this 12-years though, and already reached a significant part of the human population with something, so I have time to keep fighting. I really need some real and resourceful support with me. My health can’t sustain it like this anymore. Jordan Peterson said it well that you can ride a wave, but best not confuse yourself too much with it. I think, what I have, is a resonance base to something very big about to shift in the world.

SW: It looks like the capital “A” art world has blinked first in the cryptoart/”art” art standoff, which is in many ways a good thing, but do you fear that the old art world paradigms will fall back into place now that big auction houses and galleries have discovered a new revenue stream?

VESA: For the most part they are still stuck in the fiat printing glory illustrated well by the documentary The Great Contemporary Art Bubble. The economic crash didn’t influence the elite, so they had a great deal of stupid money to spend for fun around 2000-2010. The artworld, catering accordingly to them, printed the shit out of a bunch of nonsense, helped by postmodernism, so they ousted the critics with integrity from the space. Many of them now realize they need new avenues, but are stuck inside a paradigm, which Camille Paglia has been outlining for decades. Seeing the signals Sotheby’s and Christies are sending with the people they are currently selecting to represent their blockchain efforts doesn’t fill me with hope. Most of art history is insiders doing the revolution. This is a Jedi affair, as it will either be a small group of rebels, or the same old carnival packaged into shiny moving objects, which has no cultural substance, no meat on its tech bones. Technology will win, but I’m not yet convinced that culture does. This all started from the Silicon Valley and California guys, and the East coast is still awakened from a cultural point of view - and that’s just the US. It’s the history of rap, but reversed in order. That’s the reason the art is also so tame still. China is also coming in strong now behind the scenes. I know ‘cause I’m talking with them.

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"Delicatesse", Mixed Media, Digital

SW: How much work does an artist or NFT creator have to put in to cultivate collectors and audience?

VESA: Currently, because my NFTs are mostly still undiscovered, and the pre-production of the Brittany project, I am mostly acting as the producer and marketer of myself as an artist. The resource battle is tremendous. I created only four art pieces in 2020, but one of them, The Br8ve, took 5 months to make for a Bitcoin OG who revealed that Satoshi, according to him, was 8 different individuals. My own ambition and respect to tell that story was completely unsustainable financially. There is no magic bullet, but I’ve been at this for a long time already. The foundation that most are still struggling for, even as an artistic voice, let alone reputation, network, and process is already there. This is why I am calling for my Medici. I need to discover the true visionaries of crypto, who will fund a renaissance to world culture through it. Seems they will soon have the money to do so.

SW: The cryptoart community still feels pretty cozy, aside from the occasional shitheads, but the party is getting bigger and bigger by the day. How do you feel about that? And I’m not talking about gatekeepers, but sometimes it seems to me (at least in the realm of social media) that the more a movement grows, the lower the bar gets, the more diluted the dialogue, the more base the insults, etc. How do we keep the #NFT creator community together without devolving into the usual beefs?

VESA: I wish people knew the Walt Disney method of creativity more widely. I understand the worry about gatekeepers after trying to bang my head against the wall with the legacy system idiocracy for a decade, but I’ve been calling for home-grown critics to enter the space for some time. Hierarchy has gotten a bad rap in the culture wars, sometimes for a good reason, but without it we have nothing but noise and chaos. Disney had three modes: dreaming, critiquing, and problem solving repeated with his teams. As each one is a different mindset, there was a break in between them. NLP helps with things like that, too. Nikola Tesla outlined this by saying: “If you want to know the secrets of the universe, think in terms of energy, frequency, and vibration.” There is natural law, and it’s all over nature. Are we so insane now that we truly think we’ve removed ourselves from millions of years of evolution?

SW: Do you have a “dream” project? This can include a particular collaborator or location or medium or theme, etc.)

VESA: I have a vision for a VR platform, which has been in the thought works, mostly, for three years. The connotations of artists being able to immerse their influence circle into a whole world are immense, but there is more to that innovation that is needed for it to land home. I can’t talk about it more yet. The real dream project, however, is to be a part of the solution to shift the cultural conversation to more point to the solutions needed to the critique I offer. It’s so much bigger than me, that the only way is to vibe with it, and those who are on the journey too.

SW: What got you interested in SuperWorld?

VESA: I’m really grateful for the #BitcoinLIVE guys for having introduced us. After our first conversation together with you and Hrish, it was a no-brainer. You guys are absolutely the future and cross-point of so many things it’s ridiculous for the developing metaverse. Not only do you also get me, but what you are building is the next step for so much more than art. It’s the next social media platform that makes artists out of everyone. Well… at least people with more liberated ability to express and create, more accurately. If Superworld, with your resources, worldview, and passion becomes what I think it can become, I am lucky indeed to be included in the journey. Maybe I won’t even have to make my own platform.

SW: Where did you purchase your first plot of virtual land in SuperWorld and why? (There’s been a lot of discussion over whether to acquire properties based on their potential as virtual real estate investments, or as interesting locations to showcase art and AR content, or motivated by nostalgia/emotional heft of place).

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Luxor Temple owned by VESA in SuperWorld--the foundation of our landmark project

VESA: The first plot was the Karnak Temple, which as you know is the centerpiece for my collaborative project with SuperWorld. The Egypt nerd in me not only rejoices that I own something, even digitally, that is so awesome in conjunction with the Luxor temple, but I can’t wait for us to really dig into what we can create together with it. It’s once again, pushing into new territory.

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Aerial view of Karnak Temple

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Representation of Karnak structure in relation to human form

SW: Feelings mutual, Vesa! Thanks so much for visiting with the SuperWorld Star Chamber today!

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Tyler Smith

Working as the Content Director for the SuperWorld Team.