On June 2nd, this past Tuesday, a virtual art show took place in parallel with a number of events happening in Miami this week.  What set this show apart from most of the physical events happening across Bitcoin Conference Miami, Shitcoin 2021, and a number of NTFS.tips events – this show was presented entirely virtually. Curated by Trish Reda, as per the commission of JenJoy Roybal of Ntfs.tips curation team, this show featured over two dozen diverse photographers and image-makers from around the world. Displayed in a virtual world constructed by the talented Roger Kenny, called “Road Gallery,” the space evoked a midnight drive across a desert. Except, in which, either side of the road was featuring beautiful billboard-sized renderings of photographic NFTs. The experience is truly unique, as one enters the space, you feel the need to speed up and get through the show. However, the user’s character moves slowly with intentionality, lingering on each piece in order to give it the time and appreciation that it deserves.  As the viewer moves through a star-lit desert vista, new pieces of art emerge in the distance, each one entirely unique and striking in and of itself. 



The show featured a healthy mix of established voices and exciting new talent. Including staples in the NFT photography space such as Matthew Neubauer, Sean Bonner, and John Knopf (the current highest-selling photographer in the NFT space).  At the same time, featuring a number of fresh/up-and-coming voices, handpicked by Reda herself, including Raven “50mm,” Dariush Raad, Amat Toussaint, and many others. This diverse and decentralized blend of talent from all over the world spans a vast array of practices and styles within the confines of photographic work. From analogue to digital, unprocessed to heavily manipulated, traditional images to animated ones. This virtual art show displayed the near full palette of options that have been made available to photographers active in the space today. In fact, the cavalcade of styles and processes exhibited in such a new-age format gave the show quite a futuristic feel. Though this could simply be my personal bias as I, the writer, was one of the artists featured and this was my personal first ever purely digital gallery exhibition. 


Screen Capture by: @shakenbakespear ft image by @nft_ish
Screen Capture by: @shakenbakespear ft image by @nft_ish




However, my own involvement aside, there are three key aspects I’d like to take away from this experience as a viewer.  1) The virtual space that this was held in was, and is, constructed beautifully.  If you haven’t yet – please make sure to click the first embedded tweet and follow the link directly to the show.  It’s a custom gallery created in Mozilla hubs, and while it may not be the most realistic virtual experience I have ever had, it was definitely one of the most visually appealing.  2) The diversity and range in artists from all different styles and backgrounds all within the confines of one specific medium were extremely encouraging.  In a time where companies and individuals alike find excuses for lacking diversity on a daily basis – Trish Reda came into this space as a fresh curator and, intentionally or not, truly acted as a champion of diversity and representation.  From representing artists all over the world to a healthy mix of race and gender expressions to purposefully highlighting several queer artists (such as my partner and myself) in celebration of Pride Month – Trish truly went above and beyond.  3) Finally, just because I’m so impressed, I need to mention the time frame.  Trish reached out to me only 5 days before the exhibit.  So, in a matter of about a week, Trish Reda was able to coordinate with over two dozen artists and promote an extremely well-received event and corresponding clubhouse room.  While I’m not surprised, as both Trish and the NTFS.tips team are absolute powerhouses, I am nonetheless extremely impressed.  Most established galleries would struggle to do the same and Trish, more or less independently, pulled off the impossible in just one week!


A wholehearted BRAVA to Trish and all of the artists involved!


Screen Capture by: @shakenbakespear ft image by @lindseybyrnes

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To paraphrase William Gibson, the Metaverse is here – but it’s not yet evenly distributed. While we all dream of being able to step into a fully-featured, immersive virtual world where we are bound only by the limits of our imagination, we are not quite there yet. 

VR headsets are gradually accustoming us to an immersive audiovisual experience, where we genuinely feel that we are somewhere else. However, the current limits of this technology mean that the rest of our senses are still not yet fully engaged. Research shows that our sense of smell is one of the most important ways with which we build memories: wood smoke on a cold winter night, the salty tang of sea air, or the comforting aroma of a home-cooked dinner.

As we immerse ourselves in digital worlds that are becoming progressively more realistic, which form an increasingly significant portion of our social lives as people opt to hang out with their friends in game worlds. We need to engage another sense in order to bridge the divide between our virtual and physical selves – or so the creators of an exciting new venture argue. For example, if there was a ‘Scent of the Metaverse’, what would it smell like? This might seem like a strange question – but it is one that Rook Perfumes have set out to answer, in collaboration with Nifty Orchard, with a release of an exclusive perfume NFT creation.

Perfume NFT Rook Perfumes


Described as “the first experiment towards a fully-fledged perfume DAO”, this experience offers participants co-creator rights in a limited-edition run of just 100 bottles of perfume, plus an NFT of the label artwork. But just as integral as the finished product, is the four-month experience of actually creating the fragrance. Buying a ticket – in the form of an NFT on Known Origin entitles holders to participate in the creation process, led by master perfumer Nadeem Crowe. This experience will involve various virtual social activities across the Metaverse, culminating in a launch party, before the physical perfume bottles are finally sent out. 

I spoke to NFT collector and Head of Metaverse Technology at Boson Protocol, Holly Atkinson, one of the participants in the Scent of the Metaverse DAO and asked her why she had decided to purchase. According to Atkinson: “I decided to buy one of the limited edition ‘The Scent of the Metaverse’ NFTs on KnownOrigin not only because it’s a beautiful artwork, but because it’s the first NFT to ever provide its owners with full rights to collaborate with the project team in a novel experimental process to co-create a perfume from scratch!” 

Furthermore, according to Atkinson, “It’s unlocking this concept of NFTs as an experience and bridging members of the virtual crypto community with the physical world in an exciting new way that’s directly tied to art but which also moves beyond it.”

Meanwhile, Jamie Anson of Nifty Orchard explains that he sees it as just the start of what he hopes will be just the beginning of a new trend of co-creator experiences presented as NFTs. “I was interested in working out how we can create experiences and eventually DAOs with NFTs,” he said. 


Perfume NFT by Rook a Smoke Outline


Furthermore, according to Anson: “Rook had done these collaborative perfume production experiments before and was looking for a way to integrate with NFTs. Using NFTs as a membership token and for co-creator rights seemed a great fit.” Anson hopes that this partnership “can continue making a few more perfumes so we can get a proper DAO together in the future.”

So what will this experiential “scent of the Metaverse” smell like? I guess waiting is the only way to find that out, since  Rook is not giving much detail away. However, while this might be the first ever perfume NFT, it’s highly likely that in years to come, this will be just one of many such fragrance experiences. 

Discover more: Here


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