One Pixel at a Time Repainting the Canvas

This paper is important for a series considered The Big Ideas, in which scholars answer a solitary inquiry: What is reality? You can peruse more by visiting The Big Ideas series page.

A couple of months into the pandemic, in the late spring of 2020, I watched my youngsters play a computer game. It was Animal Crossing: New Horizons, the colossally well known Nintendo title that enthralled fans with its adorable designs and vivid social interactivity. In it, players overall can go on the web and meet in a common computerized space: to blend, to eyeball each other’s manifestations (every player is entrusted with fostering a vacant island) and to coincide basically.

As the world was grasped by the pandemic and our social ties started to shred, the game offered a panacea of sorts. For my youngsters, presently effectively tucked away at home, it gave a virtual space where they could accompany their companions.

For my purposes, it was an enlivening.

Here, in this advanced scene molded by innovative vision and coding, I experienced what many would now call the metaverse. It was a seismic change truly, both in what I saw it to be and what I saw it very well may be.

I accept specialists have the ability to assist with extending this mental field. We work in a discipline that continually pushes us to reevaluate and rethink our very own world: through dream and incongruity, humor and eccentricity, discourse and subtext. In the metaverse, the intrinsic duality among the real world and fiction breaks up, making a hyperreal presence that is floated by innovation yet energized by the creative mind we bring to it.

The commitment of this hyperreality has both stimulated and injected my work. I have moved into making NFT craftsmanship, wagering on the possibility that nonfungible tokens — simple information, deprived of any sort of material, human structure — address an astonishing new mental domain. I have been zeroing in on calculated work that tries to carry credibility to the metaverse and the computerized spaces we presently possess.

Last year I teamed up with the virtual style brand RTFKT Studios on a NFT project called the “Clone X” assortment, contributing my craftsmanship for their carefully delivered three dimensional characters, or symbols. In the spring I sent off my long-gestating “Murakami.Flowers” project, an assortment of NFT work of art containing pixelized forms of my blossom craftsmanship.

The effect that this thriving computerized world is having on my craft has provoked me to rethink my very own existence, helping me to remember two events in my day to day existence when the truth of my current qualities imploded.

The first includes an early experience with contemporary craftsmanship. The second includes something undeniably more common — a taste of espresso.

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