Darkblock Presents: NFT Virtual Galleries and the Future of Digital Curation
Last week on ‘Darkblock Presents,’ we sat down with All.Art/SolSea curator, Jovana Nedeljkovic. We discussed All.Art’s recent switch to all virtual galleries, the ins and outs of 3D walk-through exhibitions, and the future of NFT galleries and curation. Watch the full recap .
Darkblock: How did you transition from traditional museum curation into digital?
I worked for almost 10 years for the Museum of Yugoslavia in Belgrade. I was always more focused on contemporary art and research-based contemporary artistic practices. I’m actually quite new to Web3. I heard about NFTs and I was like, ‘What’s going on here and how will curating work?’ Then I decided to join the amazing team at All.Art/SolSea.
How does a curator rotate collections? How do you decide what you want to show?
One of the collections that I was in charge of had around 2,000 objects. The process of curating is much slower in real life than in the Web3 space. Some [IRL] exhibitions can take two or three years. It takes a huge team of people working closely with designers, architects, etc. There is a lot of collaboration.
Do you encourage artists to join not only the digital space but NFT land?
With virtual reality, I think you should look at it kind of critically. Digital art is perfect for NFTs. But if you are working with art whose materiality is important, then maybe not.
I worked on one exhibition that had so many pieces not ideal for VR. To tell you the truth, it was hell to make that exhibition. Not for me personally, for our 3D techs. In some cases, you shouldn’t turn your art into NFTs.
What you can definitely do and think about is adding different layers of story to the artwork. For example, if you have a painting with different layers, you can deconstruct the artwork and NFT-ize certain parts of it.
Overall, I believe that traditional art or physical art should still exist.
Are there any trends in AI art that you are seeing?
Yes, we’ve seen a significant advancement of AI, especially in the past few months. This artist, Sophia Elvis, takes participants’ dreams and turns them into art using 70% AI and the rest traditional art in Photoshop. It’s amazing what you can do with prompts and entering different things…you can get amazing stuff with AI, it’s a bit scary.
Tell us a little about the last VR exhibition you did.
The last one we did featured a Puerto Rican artist. While we were working on the exhibition, Hurricane Fiona happened. So he would send emails saying ‘Sorry, I didn’t have electricity this week,’ but still send these ideas. A lot of the things he sent were visual materials, like the pink wallpaper you see in the corner. He was passionate about the project and it was really such a pleasure to work with him. It was really a feeling of artists, curators, and designers working together and overlapping not only in real life but in this space as well.
How many virtual halls or exhibitions does All.Art have?
We have around 20 halls available and they vary on how customizable they are. For example we put one artist in a huge temple like the Pantheon called “Temple of Dreams.” She makes this beautiful AI art that works well in the space. But once you use a space like this [temple] for something, you can’t use it too much, it becomes a bit boring and people have already seen it. Hopefully we will work on creating more art galleries, but for now we have about 20 spaces we can use and then a few custom made or clone VR exhibitions.
The experience of building an exhibition is so different. Working in the physical world, when you want to make an exhibition, someone has to build it. Here, you just have some clicks. Sometimes it feels like I am playing Sims again.
Are there plans for interactivity?
Absolutely. Yes. We can be interacting in five minutes! They’re [the exhibitions] all available for viewing on the web. But they’re also available on headsets on the VR All.Art App, one of the products of the All.Art universe.
For artists without a large following, what do you recommend for them to get involved?
For me, I really don’t think the number of followers on Twitter or Instagram is necessarily the main criteria. We have some really great artists who have 1,000 followers, not 5k or 10K. One of the main things to get on the radar is-and I know it can be a hassle-to apply for collection verification. People are usually scared like, ‘I’m not gonna apply for collection verification because I don’t have all the followers.’ Doesn’t matter. Apply. You just have to be a real person who wants to try and we’ll work the rest out together.
Big thanks to Jovana for taking the time to sit down with us and chat about NFTs and the future of virtual exhibitions.
Tune into Darkblock Presents every Thursday on Youtube Live and make sure to send us your questions, topics, and guest suggestions!