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During Miami Art Week, Aorist presented two public installations, which opened on November 29. From the creative house, Random International, was the commission titled Living Room installed in a special pavilion at Faena Beach. Nearby, a collaboration between Aorist and Faena Art marked the U.S. debut of Quayola’s video series Effets de Soiron view in the Faena Project Room.
The immersive Living Room called upon Web3 technology to create an experience that considers the exhibition space itself as a living entity. To execute the commission, Random International’s beachside space—presenting as an architectural environment with live functions like fog, light, and sound—was outfitted with a series of motion sensors. Tracking the movements of its visitors, each individual to enter Living Room collects a unique dataset that follows their time in the space, linked to their singular entry ticket. The complete data of the space will be collected over its lifespan and minted as an NFT in the first usage of the blockchain to archive this type of immersive work.
Titled for the phenomena that exist between lights and shadows at dusk and dawn, Quayola’s Effets de Soir combined visuals and sounds for an effets de soir of the artist’s own creation, capturing with technology depictions of the natural world that mimic the natural effect. To learn more about the installations—each with a portion of proceeds donated to the ocean biodiversity effort The ReefLine—Whitewall spoke with Pablo Rodriguez-Fraile, Aorist Founder & Chairman, and Ximena Caminos, Aorist Co-Founder & Chief Cultural Strategist.
WHITEWALL: Tell us about commissioning Living Room for Miami Art Week. Can you describe the collaborative process that was involved between Aorist and the creative house?
PABLO RODRIGUEZ-FRAILE: The process was very organic. At Aorist, we have a mission to support artists that create digitally and push the boundaries of art while utilizing the medium to its full intent. Our past activations have shown that we have both the commitment and the know-how to realize these highly sophisticated projects. The process was similar to others in that the artists take command of the entire creative component, and we facilitate everything else around it so that the artwork is presented in the way it deserves.
XIMENA CAMINOS: Very few creators are true innovators. At Aorist, we work to seek out artists who innovate and support works that push their limits, enabling new ways of experiencing art. With these aims in mind, working with Random International was a given. Our process has been extraordinarily efficient and inspirational, and the results are beyond imagination.
WW: Living Room is an in-person experience bridged with technology that will also be minted into NFTs. Given that each person’s own data will become a unique NFT, what can viewers expect through this process? How will the data of the installation as a whole be imagined in NFT form?
PRF: This is fundamentally what makes this Living Room a paradigm shift in the way that audiences engage, interact with, and collect immersive art. Undoubtedly the physical exhibition alone is impressive and profound in its own right. We feel that allowing viewers the opportunity to co-create and immortalize the artwork in a coherent and smoothly connected way will bring the audience even greater impact from the experience. The data gathered from your time inside Living Room will then be used to generate a personalized digital artwork, with the visuals and creative inputs from Random International. Does it get more appealing than that?
WW: The installation Living Room is the first archive of an immersive artwork that will be stored on the blockchain. What kind of precedent might this set for future artists working with a hybrid of in-person and web3 mediums?
PRF: After the digital hype slowed down in the last few months, we are starting to see the emergence of highly sophisticated and well executed art-related projects utilizing the blockchain to innovate. This work sets a new standard in this domain and will contribute to maturing the space. It is very obvious to me that this is the right path for these types of projects and we hope to prove that with the proper infrastructure, digital and immersive exhibitions can really gain in longevity. That is, of course, in addition to furthering engagement with the audience.
WW: Tell us about Quayola’s Effets de Soir and how it resonates with Aorist’s ethos of innovations in art.
XC: Quayola has all the characteristics of a true renaissance master, except that his tools and medium couldn’t be more contemporary. He is pushing the frontiers of art and technology, and his aesthetic is sublime. We consider Quayola one of our favorites and one of the most important artists in this ecosystem.
WW: How do the works by Random International and Quayola coexist at Faena Art? Are there any shared narratives or underlying dialogue that comes from the two installations being seen together?
XC: The common denominator is talent—talent that expresses itself without boundaries, that is immersive, participatory, and approachable to all. Both installations also demystify tech. They show us that NFTs and the blockchain are mere tools serving extraordinary artists’ imaginations.