Canadian public art exhibition organization Vancouver Biennale is preparing to unveil an art installation that combines physical and digital realities withblockchain technology.
Located on the south side of the Cambie Street Bridge in Vancouver, the new Voxel Bridge installation is a blockchain-based augmented reality (AR) experience that can be viewed with iOS or Android devices. According to local enthusiasts, the installation is getting ready for the public launch this Tuesday and will run until spring 2023.
The art object is a 1,800 square meter installation by New York-based artist Jessica Angel that explores how public space can be constructed and utilized in both digital and physical realities. Shaped in the real world in the form of a massive two-dimensional vinyl mural, the piece also simultaneously exists in augmented reality through the app and resides on a blockchain network.
“Art is a mobilizing force with the power to bridge seemingly dissimilar worlds, and Voxel Bridge exhibits this capacity,” Angel said. “This installation transcends the enjoyment of art into a unifying and experimenting effort that enables blockchain technology, AR, and public art to examine new ways of interaction,” the artist noted.
Vancouver Biennale opens a bridge into the digital world. Voxel Bridge, by the Colombian artist Jessica Angel, turns a venerable piece of city infrastructure into a hybrid immersive art work. #VanBiennale https://t.co/JYMiCsli1f pic.twitter.com/10jVcnQWh5
— BLAH CITY (@BLAH_CITY) July 16, 2021
The installation is a digital, visual representation of the Kusama network, a decentralized blockchain network that is built as a “canary” chain to the major blockchain network Polkadot.
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Viewers can specifically see, touch, and hear the history of the Kusama Network via twenty different interactive animations, with each of those being represented in the form of a unique nonfungible token (NFT) existing on the blockchain. The NFTs will be sold on the Kusama art marketplace RMRK, with funds directed to offset the cost of producing the project, which reportedly went over-budget at more than $300,000.
The Kusama Council initially proposed the project in October, describing the project as a multidisciplinary piece and a “high impact art installation.” “Voxel Bridge will provide an experiential perspective of the Kusama Network, rather than a technical one,” a council member stated.