On May 30th at 3PM (EDT), SuperWorld presents the Central Park AR Art Show and Picnic, hosted by NFT artists Gabriel Dean Roberts and Gunnar Magnus. Attendees will download the SuperWorld app, and meet in the Sheep’s Meadow at Central Park for the world’s 1st #AR Group show in the Big Apple!
See our Q&A below with Gabriel and Gunnar below for more details on the event and how this exhibit ushers in a new era of art and art appreciation.
SW: This project is, without a doubt, the coolest use case we’ve seen for our app thus far. What was the impetus behind the project?
GM: I like the versatility this offers. Art shows are inherently temporary, and difficult to acquire. This lets artists keep an exhibition up anywhere in the world, to any collector or prospective collector or general audience member of their choosing.
GDR: I was thinking about how Superworld could be used to free artists further from the constraints and gatekeeping of traditional gallery scenarios while also opening the doors for artists and collectors to see art as omnipresent rather than stuck to a wall somewhere. Now masterpieces can come with us anywhere we want to go. THAT is a revolutionary thing, and it marks an opportunity that has vastly open ended potential.
SW: How many artists do you anticipate attending the event?
GM: Dunno, the more the merrier.
GDR: At this time it appears we will have at least 20 artists, based on verbal commitments, but I think that number could easily swell as we get closer to the date. The fact that it is free, and easy, and in a social distancing friendly setting is really key.
SW: We’d love to see this kind of event used to promote art and the artist’s community at large. Do you see this kind of event replacing the “traditional” gallery show, or is there still a place for conventional exhibits?
GM: Conventional exhibits will reign supreme for people steeped in physical art and academic spaces no matter how popular this gets. What this will accomplish is bringing the tail end of gen Z, and all of gen Alpha into what will most likely be the standard for how they experience art outside of their own homes.
GDR: I think that just like with what we’re seeing with NFT’s in general, there is essentially an entirely new market and crypto-based economy emerging. Up to this point, fine art has only occasionally crossed that precipice. In that same way, I think shows like this one are a bellwether for a massively expanding way of sharing. And while it will certainly change things as drastically as the iPod changed CD sales, I think there will always be a hunger for traditional settings as well. People still buy and sell records, for instance, though it’s too cumbersome and expensive for most to enjoy. So I think physical galleries will become more galvanized as shops for cheap souvenir type prints and ultra exclusive premium experiences. I believe AR will eventually swallow up the market and take 80% of the middle.
SW: Central Park is a great choice for an inaugural AR show. Obviously, living in New York makes it easy, but I’m curious: What are some other locations you have in mind for this kind of event?
GM: Tokyo, Tokyo, Tokyo.
GDR: I wanted this event to be a use case for artists who feel powerless. This model requires a free app and a free space, along with artists and collectors willing to show up and talk about their collections and work. This kind of thing could be easily done at house parties as well as grand locations around the globe. I plan to host small parties with this intent, and I also look forward to the day where I am able to host events like this at my space in front of the Louvre, and all over the world. Imagine having a day where this becomes the thing to do. From Akihabara in Tokyo to locales in Thailand, Russia and South Africa. Everyone can enjoy this, and enterprising minds will find ways to utilize this at a degree we haven’t yet fathomed.
SW: I see all sorts of great opportunities for “art hacks,” something popularized by our very own Marjan Moghaddam, in which art is placed in locations (museums, galleries, etc.) that subvert the conventional canon. If you could hack any hallowed art institution, what would it be?
GM: I’d hack the church of scientology headquarters and put up mock Beeples featuring Tom Cruise. The live TV meltdown would keep me happy until the end of my days.
GDR: I’ve already geotagged my work at Christie’s here in NYC, but I definitely want to keep a permanent installation at the Louvre. I’d never want to supplant another work of art, but I wouldn’t mind throwing my works next to a Caravaggio, or Gerome painting.
SW: I’m seeing this event as a springboard for various collaborative efforts by NFT artists and content creators. Of course, some artists are lone wolves, but I can’t see how opening the space up to greater collaboration between music/art/film/writing could be a bad thing. Are you hoping the event opens up opportunities for artistic partnerships for yourselves? And if so, what kind of artists would you be interested in collaborating with? (Musicians, writers, designers, etc…)
GM: They already have and I hope they’ll continue to do so.
GDR: I’m a photographer first and foremost, but my ideas stretch beyond that medium and I do dabble in other art forms. I embrace the idea of collaboration and delegation. Why should I make a crap 3D model when I have friends who are some of the best in the world? I think collaboration is an integral part of the new social economy, and while it isn’t required or expected, it’s definitely always an experience that changes one for the better.
SW: Do you foresee an event like the Central Park show encouraging new artists who wouldn’t otherwise be inclined to show their work? This event has the potential (we think) to really level the playing field, but is there a concern that once social distancing measures are lifted, we’ll fall into the old art world paradigms/system? Or is the foundation that’s been laid in the NFT / digital art movement strong enough to keep this momentum going into the future?
GM: potentially yes. I think the ease of showing and removing might make things a bit easier for newcomers to feel more secure in showing their work. As far as post covid, I think NFT’s are here to stay but it will be supplemented by new innovations and become more competitive.
GDR: I’m personally invested in creating a “free the NFT” movement in which we get people to understand that their art comes with them. How amazing would it be if you could geotag your art to yourself so anyone looking at you through an AR device could see your body of work trailing behind you. That’d be one hell of a way to show your credentials! The French post-structuralist, Michel Foucault outlined this concept that once the space for an idea is embedded in the human mind, there must always be something to take its place, and AR displays and interactions are now in the human mind. There is no going back. There may be ebbs and flows in popularity, adoption time frames etc, but eventually this will be as ubiquitous as the phones we hold. We won’t snap our necks staring down, because our apps will be front and center with us. Any discussion, in my opinion, about a return to the old can only be wreathed in the present.
SW: In brief, what do you see as the ultimate “goal” of the show?
GM: Honestly I just want a ballpark hotdog while I watch my gifs go crazy.
GDR: Frankly I want to sell art while supporting this new medium while expanding my influence, Gunnar’s influence and the reach of Superworld. I realize the things I do now are planting seeds for things that are days, weeks and years ahead. Beyond that, the goal is to expand the world’s view of what is possible.
SW: Let’s hope this event catches on and sparks a battery of similar events. Say you could choose 3 locations anywhere in the world to have a similar event…where would you choose?
- Hong Kong