Interview with Anna Dart at #ShillInterview by NZBR
Anna Dart is a multidisciplinary artist, curator and futurist who promotes ecological, cultural and social sustainability at the intersection of new tech. Co-founder at Exquisite Workers, Gaudi´s ambassador, top 3 winner at Claire Silver AI Contest in 2022, co-creator of the world's first digital-only garment on the blockchain based on a traditional painting. “Art with frames, life without them”.
1) Tell us more about you.
Hello dear all. I am Anna Dart. Since a young age, I have been practicing traditional and digital art. Nonetheless, professionally speaking, it all started in 2012 when I began showcasing around the world. Over the last 10 years, I have been working on cross-pollinating the disciplines of visual and performing arts, fashion, high-tech, and artists' collaborations to explore the place of human emotions and memory in the challenging process of global virtualization.
Entering the cyber realities, we are going to face lots of challenges and it is important to make a statement about what kind of future we want. I want a future which is culturally rich, beautiful, warm-hearted and fair to all people and the planet Earth. I want the future of active positive engagement and liberating experiences.
In 2020, with award-winning Roger Haus we established Exquisite Workers, a tech spin-off of the Surrealist’s “Exquisite Corpses”, co-created daily on Instagram among 1K artists around the globe. We fully adopt the surrealist technique, since in no other movement, from Romanticism to Futurism, we may produce together with the favor of luck that sort of fugitive works, possessing such a profound meaning and allowing the artists to project a shared ideal and setting the criteria of the convulsive beauty we search to express.
In times of change, we shall challenge the status quo by developing fresh models, novel forms of collaboration, and new sources of creative thought, and the Surrealists were skilled at it. If the great Surrealists lived now, I bet some would eternalize their colors in a Digital Fashion and integrate the AI within their creative processes.
2) How do you describe your NFT Art?
There is nothing better than being comprehended, if not now, but sometime somewhere. There is nothing better than doing each of us our labor the best way we can. This is the path to making the world a better place. I would describe my art as surreal, evocative, humane and disruptive. It is a celebration of sovereignty, cultural heritage and communication of a human with a human beyond time.
One of my biggest references is the extraordinary persona of Antoni Gaudí. Gaudí´s masterful work, denied by the people of his time, is greatly appreciated nowadays. In the early 20th century Gaudí's world, like ours, was developing fast and unpredictably. As we delve into the always-online era, Gaudí grappled with the transition from horse-drawn carriages to automobiles living in the new industrial landscape.
The challenge in both moments is the same: how to move with the times and manage the unknown. Gaudí teaches us that art should be innovative, touch the strings of the human soul and always bring us back to the origins.
3) Why did you choose this piece to show us?
I have chosen to show you the Digital Dress #17 from Season #2 of WoW Fashion.
This is one of the most exciting artworks in 2022 and a result of fascinating collaboration with the female-focused community World of Women and with the decentralized digital fashion house The Fabricant which leads the fashion industry towards a new sector of digital-only clothing.
World of Women members are united by a unique avatar collection which showcases only the faces of their enigmatic female characters. Applying state of the art tech and creative vision, The Fabricant and co-creators were invited to imagine how the avatar bodies and digital dresses would look like - the extension of the collectibles for the Metaverse.
Digital-only Fashion refers to clothing and accessories that exist only in the digital realm. This includes items like virtual outfits that are used in video games or other online environments. Because Digital Fashion exists only in the virtual world, it cannot be worn physically. However, you can use it as a filter in apps such as Snapchat or Instagram, which allow you to superimpose virtual items onto your photos or videos. Additionally, some online environments, such as avatar-based virtual worlds (e.g. Decentraland, Voxels, Digital Village, Oncyber, etc.), may allow you to "wear" Virtual Fashion within these environments. In this case, you would use a VR headset to interact with the space and see yourself wearing the e-garments. You can also dress in Digital Fashion by using the augmented reality wearables, such as AR glasses. This technology is still in its early stages, but it has the potential to revolutionize the fashion industry by allowing people to experiment with different designs in a more immersive and interactive way.
Digital Fashion has no history, no seasonality, no norms to follow and no gravity. It enables a much closer understanding of reality and a faster response to people's needs. In Digital Fashion everyone is a creative agent of self-expression and curates the virtual identity in real time. Digital Fashion breaks free from the constraints of normality as it is created from the most surreal materials. The limit is your own imagination. Most importantly, a Digital Dress, as a file on your computer, drastically reduces the negative environmental impacts of the couture paradigm. The full extent of the Digital Fashion uses will become clear as society fuses Metaverse with our daily lives.
Let me give you an example. You might have played The Sims. In this game you can create thousands of variations of outfits; however, you cannot wear them in your out-of-screen life. In the Digital Fashion realm you will be able to wear designed items, acquire ownership, gift and sell them as digital collectibles.
As any fashion garment has style, materials, colours, the digital garments are not the exception. For The Fabricant Studio I submitted several material designs on behalf of the Exquisite Workers community.
These fabrics are based on my traditional art as we applied the digital imaging technology to scan the painting and create a digital version of it. For the first time physical art became digital couture and a bridge of two realities.
In a span of 3 days at The Fabricant Studio the participants had a chance to choose between 24 colours, 20 materials, 27 looks, their exclusive combination and customize their master dress. Everything has happened online instantaneously. Out of possible 300K variations, 2665 have been picked and introduced on blockchain through a smart contract which featured everyone participating.
The collection now is closed and is limited to an edition of one making the items scarce and highly valuable. Like wonderful flowers, now these exceptional collaborative e-dresses have opened their petals to shine to the world.
“Turn” painting has become one of the first-of-the-kind fabrics based on traditional art. It is a part of my ethereal collection on canvas “The Verb I am” first exhibited in Barcelona in the home of eco-fashion Friday´s Project and interpreted by Lydia Ayllón and Jaume Viñas in a live performance. “Turn” refers to the basic movement in dance and makes reference to the time when I studied choreography. “Turn” takes you into depths of imagination and Barcelona melting architecture, and fills the world with dazzling colours and Mediterranean warmth.
The creation of a digital dress based on a traditional painting is truly significant for the history of contemporary art. The digital dress is created in a way that accurately captures the details and qualities of the original artwork “Turn” and is an important example of using technology to preserve and showcase art, and reimagine it in the limitless spectrum of innovation.
The Digital Dresses with “Turn” fabrics have already been exhibited in a museum in Seattle, USA and in the Amsterdam Central Station as a way of highlighting the intersection of art and technology.
The dress #17 Emerald Elven Cape in particular was co-created in the very first seconds when the Studio was open. I feel extremely lucky that this exact combination of tender yellow color and the sophisticated dream-like Cape model with “Turn” fabrics appeared in the promotional video of the Season #2.
4) Can you leave a message to collectors and other artists that are willing to connect with you?
In the near future you and I are going to build digital closets that will be no less significant than the physical wardrobe and utterly artistic. I hope more communities will be inspired to participate in this history-making moment with a sense of global connectedness, mindfulness, and excitement.
Thanks to the NZBR team for these awesome questions and for collecting my work.