The State Hermitage Museum continues its in-depth study of the non-fungible token industry (NFT) with the opening of the first fully virtual digital art exhibition.
Shortly after raising more than $ 400,000 in the first NFT auction at Binance in September, Hermitage is now hosting a free exhibition of NFT art, exclusively hosted in a virtual room, the so-called “heavenly hermit” or digital the avatar of the museum. …
Hermitage Gallery, which opened on Thursday, is called “Invisible Ether” and is based on the concept of metaverse, which allows users to create digital avatars and view virtual locations using computers, smartphones, virtual reality glasses and other devices. According to the curator of the project, the virtual platform imitates the interior of the local old St. Petersburg stock exchange, but the real exhibition has nothing to do with trade.
Source: “Hidden broadcast” exhibition.
«The gallery’s works are not for sale. We avoid all themes related to the price of these works to focus on showing what digital art really is, because the cost of art is secondary to its value, Dmitry Ozerkov, director of contemporary art at Hermitage, told Cointelegraph.
Ozerkov noted that the Hermitage will return all works to its original owners, including artists and collectors, immediately after the end of the exhibition on December 10, adding: “There are other activities that go beyond the museum’s expertise.”
At a press conference on Thursday, Ozerkov said that the Hermitage “has no financial interest” in hosting a free exhibition, noting that the museum is seeking to find out the true value of the NFT. “We want to see what remains of the NFT by removing the money side,” he said.
The artists and works of the Hidden Ether exhibition were selected by curators Ozerkov and Anastasia Garnova, an employee of the Hermitage’s Department of Contemporary Art.
We believe that the choice of curators is crucial for a museum exhibition, as it makes it more integrated in relation to themes and chapters. The selection principle is based on the importance of works of art to understand the essence of NFT, Garnova told Cointelegraph. “Artists could not apply to participate in the exhibition,” Garnova told the Cointelegraph.
The full list of works is available on the gallery’s official website, which includes a total of 37 works, including CryptoKitties’ Schrödinger’s Cat, a popular blockchain game created by Canadian studio Dapper Labs on the Ethereum network. The list also includes works by St. Petersburg artist Darkzuu.
The fair also includes NFT platforms and major industry players such as Snark.art, Masters digital, The Art Exchange, Rarible, Superrare, KnownOrigin, ArtBlocks, Alterhen.art and OpenSea. As previously reported, the exhibition was organized with the support of the Aksenov Family Foundation, a local fund for cultural and social innovation.
Related topics: Beyond the NFT Hype: Creating Permanent Business Models for Artists
The exhibition space is a joint work of augmented reality startup Arhead.io, Masters Digital and meta-architect Oleg Soroko. Ivan Pozyrev, one of the founders of Arhead.io, noted that socialization is one of the most important components of the exhibition. “We built the project on the idea that digital experiences should be shared. “People share instructions, discuss work and laugh when they fall into space,” Pozyrev noted.
Nadya Taiga, CEO and curator of the art production platform Snark.art, is one of the key figures in Invisible Air, which acts as a consultant for galleries. “If a year ago we could expect museums to digitize their collections and create digital exhibitions in the metaverse, now, given the example of the Hermitage and this exhibition, we know that this is really a fact,” she said.