nft now/Mana Common

Take a Walk Through the World’s First Web3 Metropolis

BY Jolene Creighton

December 03, 2022

Miami Art Week has reached critical mass, and so has The Gateway: A Web3 Metropolis. Organized by nft now and Mana Common, the five-day festival spans two city blocks and 12 buildings. It’s also hosting some of the biggest names in Web3. At the event, Ethereum Co-Founder Joseph Lubin spoke about the future of blockchain and NFTs, GaryVee discussed the crypto winter, and Porsche unveiled its first NFT drop and announced its entrance into Web3.

But the speakers are just the beginning.

The festival featured more than 90 renowned artists from every corner of the NFT space. Beeple, IX Shells, Pussy Riot’s Nadya Tolokonnikova, and a host of other creators exhibited their work. If you can’t make it — or if you were and want to revisit some of your favorite pieces, we have you covered.

Here’s a look at some of the immersive installations featured at the festival.

Daniel Arsham’s Ares House. Credit: nft now/Mana Common

Daniel Arsham is a multidisciplinary artist whose paintings, sculptures, and architectural installations have been exhibited around the globe. Arsham created Ares House as a metaverse architecture project. 3D projection mapping is used to create a digitally-enhanced version of Ares House that people can walk around and explore in real life. Through the work, Arsham merges the physical and digital worlds.

Nike/RTFKT Cryptokicks shoe. Credit: nft now/Mana Common

Nike is leading the way when it comes to sneaker brands in Web3. The globe-spanning firm acquired RTFKT Studios and incorporated them into their Swoosh universe in 2021. But at The Gateway, the RTFKT team unveiled its latest work — creating an activation to reveal their Cryptokicks footwear line. In the experience, people can enjoy immersive art as they walk around and see the various shoe designs.

The Nucleus, created by nft now and Excetera. Credit: nft now/Mana Common

The Nucleus is an interactive generative work of art created by Excetera in collaboration with nft now. The piece is suspended 15 feet in the air using a 37-foot truss. The Nucleus activates and transforms when individuals stand beneath it, representing a digital ecosystem powered by people.

Defaced Studio’s Shiftie’s Rentals. Credit: nft now/Mana Common

Shiftie’s Rentals was created by Defaced Studio. In the experience, users can explore a number of prints, interact with Gurt the puppet, grab a VHS tape, and (if they dare) interact with a box labeled “do not touch.”

Wall panels frame the speaker area. Credit: nft now/Mana Common

At The Gateway, art isn’t relegated to dedicated areas — it’s everywhere. 30-foot wall panels frame the speaker area, featuring art from an array of creators. The above image shows Teaboswell’s “September” (left), Maalavida’s “Arrakis” (center), and IX Shells “Remote Shell” (right).

Alternate view of the speaker area. Credit: nft now/Mana Common

Wall art featuring works by Victor Mosquera (front left) and Alotta Money (center frame).

Olive Allen with Andrew Heid. Credit: nft now/Mana Common

Olive Allen is a New York-based artist and tech entrepreneur who works at the intersection of art, tech, and gaming. She is also an early adopter of crypto and one of the pioneers of the NFT space. Allen created “Change” in collaboration with Andrew Heid. For the gamified experience, people can explore a dystopian world created in Unreal Engine.

JN Silva’s meditation room. Credit: nft now/Mana Common

This immersive art installation, which was created by J.N. Silva, is also a meditation room. Interested in experiencing it? Head to the Instagram House in Sector 8. You can also see what went into the work here.

Valfré’s Quimera. Credit: nft now/Mana Common

Ilse Valfré (known as simply “Valfré”) is a Mexican contemporary artist who creates eccentric female characters in a variety of color palettes and styles. Her retro-futurism style blends vintage aesthetics with more modern tones and styles. In her “Quimera” experience, Valfré states that all humans are infinite consciousnesses that are temporarily inhabiting human bodies. In other words, we are all avatars. The room is ultimately an homage to the various avatar characters she has journaled along the way.

Nitemind’s light wall. Credit: nft now/Mana Common

Nitemind creates mesmeric visual experiences and innovates with cutting-edge lighting technology to create custom light installations and interactive experiences. At The Gateway, Nitemind’s creation combines light, motion, and color to transport individuals out of their everyday lives.

Faze Clan activation. Credit: nft now/Mana Common

FaZe Clan is a lifestyle and media platform rooted in sports, entertainment, culture, and gaming. During The Gateway, the brand partnered with UCOLLEX to bring its Japanese competitive art concept to the public. The installation challenges artists to create a masterpiece in an intense, 20-minute showdown that is simultaneously broadcast live on YouTube and Twitch.

nft now's vault gallery with Xcopy's Mortal showing in back.
nft now’s vault gallery with Xcopy’s Mortal (center back). Credit: Nft now/Mana Common

The festival took place at a former bank, and the nft now team transformed the massive vault into an immersive gallery. Xcopy’s piece appears on the center back wall of the gallery. Known for dark, abstract, and dystopian illustrations, the London-based Xcopy often uses motion, flickering, or glitching effects in his pieces. This piece, Mortal, is no exception. His style has become a staple of the NFT ecosystem, with countless artists and projects imitating his animated pieces in creations of their own.

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