By the end of NFT.NYC, the energy was low, but the excitement was still somehow high. As myself and hundreds of other attendees took our Ubers and yellow cabs down to Terminal 5, in the lower east side, we were buzzing with anticipation for the latest brainchild of the now legendary Metakovan and his venture Metapurse. Singapore-based blockchain serial entrepreneur Metakovan, AKA Vignesh Sundaresan, is known for going big. According to an entry in his medium blog: “Subtlety, as you might have gathered, is not our signature move.” While this event was far from subtle, it managed to, somehow, simultaneously stray from being ostentatious. Featuring a series of NFT art exhibits curated by a flock of some of the most prolific crypto-artists of all time and culminating in a rave headlined by Alesso, this was undoubtedly one of the hottest events of NFT.NYC and a beautiful way to close out the week.
Probably best known for being the collector of the most expensive NFT ever sold, Metakovan did not disappoint. During the day, attendees could roam around an immersive multi-floor art exhibit featuring dozens of screens, VR headsets, AR experiences, and a few physical art pieces, including a first look at hand-painted clothing prototypes by Fewocious. There were also a number of tech exhibits for attendees to experience, including an interactive installation from the people at Jadu Jetpacks by Asad Malik. The lineup of NFT artists was also stacked- which was not very surprising considering Metakoven’s iconic collection. Dreamverse exhibited over 150 artists in collaboration with Time Magazine, including Hackatao, Josie Bellini, David Bianchi and Beeple. DAO members Angie Taylor and Bryan Brinkman were also amongst the artists featured, both during the day and as part of the Dreamverse party, later that night.
At around 4 pm, the venue closed down to prepare for part 2 of Dreamverse, and the crowd meandered back into the flurry of New York. Several hours later, the lines started to stretch around the block once again for what could be considered the most exclusive party of NFT.NYC despite hosting well over 1000 guests. This time, art installations were moved up to the second and third floors to make way for one of the biggest raves of NFT.NYC featuring an excellent lineup of DJs topped off by Alesso. As you can see in our video above, Metakovan also unveiled Beeple’s Everydays: the First 5000 Days for the first time publicly in a grand display.
Beeple was in attendance, along with nearly every major NFT artist you’ve ever heard of. From 3Lau to Fewocious, Sabet to David Bianchi, the room was chalked full of some of the most influential artists in the space. The corporate representation was also strong, with C-Suite members from Rarible, SuperRare, DapperLabs, and nearly every major company in the space in attendance as well. And yes, Farokh was there too.
From my perspective, the event felt genuinely culturally significant. From the daytime art show to the nighttime pseudo-rave, the production level was extraordinarily high, and it made me proud to be a part of this community. I looked out over the massive crowd several times throughout the evening, smirked to myself and thought, “Oh yeah… NFTs are definitely dead.” When I was leaving the venue, I saw dozens of starry-eyed young people hoping to catch a glimpse of their favourite crypto-celebrities. It made me remember the early days of social media, where small groups would gather outside Vidcon to meet their favourite internet stars. A truck of young rappers even pulled up outside the venue doing an impromptu concert in hopes of being discovered (i suppose?) by the crypto-rich attendees. It was a surreal experience, all in all.
Regarding facilitating such a massive convergence of NFT heroes, Metakovan adds:
“The process of working with artists, the friendships I have forged with them, has been addictive and transformative. It has also given me the freedom to rediscover my own culture in a lot of ways. I want to create such friendships from around the world. Little moments of shared experience and serendipity that will lead to magical things. We created this amazing community in the metaverse, and we are now celebrating it in the real world, at Dreamverse.”
I think this statement is very well put. There is something exceptional about seeing a community that formed online come together IRL. While the whole week of NFT.NYC brought together thousands of folks from all parts of the community- this event felt like it was for us insiders. It felt like a “thank you” to everyone who makes this industry run. And I felt honoured to have attended, even briefly, as I withered away post four non-stop days.
I can’t wait to see what Metakoven does next and, if you’re interested, read more about this event and the work he’s doing over at Metapurse on his medium blog here.
I’ll leave you with these shots that our video crew got of the culminating Dreamverse Rave: