October 4, 2023

Metaverse was released as part of the Uncomputer exhibition held by Unit London and Grailers DAO. It also adorns my frontpage. It continues my aesthetic explorations from Inprecision and Becoming, but in a dynamic setup.

Metaverse is a soothing representation of the community culture present in web3. It imagines the ever-evolving landscape of cryptoculture as a canvas of soft overlaps and hard connections that makes up a, sometimes coherent, sometimes disparate, whole. While appearing as a network structure, Metaverse is made up of disparate entities, only connected through proximity or a brief sharing of interests.

As web3 is a global community, Metaverse will appear identical on screens all over the world, no matter when it is opened. It relies only on the computer clock to determine the state of the community.

web3 can appear impenetrable and technocratic from the outside, but it is predominantly made up of humans. Meteverse embraces the human nature through use of rich and warm textures inspired by watercolor painting and silk screen printing, along with the subdued pace of its evolution. As such, it invites the viewer to take a deep breath and shun the superficially high pace of the web3 community.

Technical notes

Metaverse continues the exploration of deterministic infinite evolution that started with Detachment. This time the only limiting number is the storage mode of the time variable, which counts the number of milliseconds since January 1st, 1970. This number is capped at 9007199254740991 which means that Metaverse will likely break down around the year 274,000. If you, as the owner, are getting close to this date you can contact me for a full refund.

The code for the piece is written in fully self-contained JavaScript, using WebGL2. The script is stored in perpetuity on the Ethereum blockchain as part of the NFT.

Metaverse is designed for 5:2 displays but will adapt to any aspect ratio it is placed in. You can request that it auto-rotates so that it will always be displayed in horizontal no matter the aspect ratio (e.g. when displaying on a canvas that insists on being registered as vertical even if you mount it in horizontal). You do this by adding ?autorotate=1 to the URL pointing to the piece.

The algorithm is pushing against the limits of the computer performance at the time of it’s release. Because of this, supersampling will only be turned on automatically if displayed on a canvas below 2000px in width. You can add ?fast=1 to the URL pointing to the piece to turn off supersampling explicitly, or conversley ?fast=0 to turn it on.

Both of the above commands can be combined using & (i.e. ?autorotate=1&fast=1).

Blockchain information

Chain Ethereum
Contract Address 0x17A2B8964819DBFb8f127838375eaC8A874dA904
Platform Manifold
Token Standard ERC-721
Token ID 2