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EnergySculpture #287

Museum Link:

Source Link:

Date Minted:  March 1, 2021

Artist Description:  To become an Energy Sculptor, you first have to find your way into MU. Once arrived, an extensive period of trials will test your capabilities for earning the right to be an Energy Sculptor. This project is part of The Realm of MU saga.

CohentheWriter’s Commentary:

“Nobody knows how old the realm of Mu is, but if legends are true, it existed before time. A truly eternal place. What is known is that very few have visited this realm, and what they’ve reported experiencing is inexplicable. As though so overwhelmed by the beauty of this place, people find it difficult to retain any memory of their visit…

“The realm consists of many fluid layers. Comprised of what man believes to be nothing short of a manifestation from the mind of a God. The Realm is guarded by what are called ‘Bridgers’. Supernatural entities who guide others through this energy realm.” 

This is how Beervanger’s Realm of Mu is introduced on its dedicated website, with all the psychospiritual bells and whistles one would expect from a project that clearly takes visual and narrative influence from the great legends of Eastern philosophy. A kind of augmented-reality game mixed with NFTs and with other role-playing characteristics, a large aspect of the Realm of Mu experience lies in collecting affiliated generative NFTs, one of which happens to be EnergySculptures, from whence EnergySculpture #287 emanates. These hypnotic, animated NFTs have thematic resonance within the Realm of Mu itself, but it’s their aesthetics and context which really interest me. With 369 EnergySculptures in existence, the project —in look and feel— evokes a generative ArtBlocks project, each of the individual sculptures differing in color, shape, the speed at which they move —endlessly inwards, like those black-and-white hypnosis boards old magicians would use— and their internal symmetry. Giving an ArtBlocks-esque project this kind of fantastical role-playing use case is fascinating, offering a prescient and predictive look at a future in which gaming melds itself to our individual experience and becomes a much more personal product. And looks damn good to boot. 

You’ll be happy to know that, after some insignificant digging, I learned that indeed, EnergySculptures is a certified ArtBlocks project, and so is the other object in the Realm of Mu universe, a series of multi-colored cubes called Hyperhash’s. Normally, I’d revise the initial ignorance in the prior paragraph to reflect  this, but I actually think the nebulous place of the EnergySculptures’ creation is important to understanding its context. Coming upon it via an Opensea page, as I have, there’s no information relating to its birthplace. The Artist Description for the piece itself reads “To become an Energy Sculptor, you first have to find your way into MU. Once arrived, an extensive period of trials will test your capabilities for earning the right to be an Energy Sculptor. This project is part of The Realm of MU saga.” If you were intrigued as I was, you probably did as I did and Googled “Realm of Mu,” though if we looked into the collection itself, we’d see that it was ArtBlocks certified. I’m certainly not implying that ArtBlocks is a less interesting birthing ground for a piece like EnergySculpture #287, but the context of this piece’s creation does change our relationship to it. My initial experience with the Realm of Mu imparts mythos onto the EnergySculpture series, and now I will forever see it as a narrative product first and an aesthetic piece of artwork second. Both things can simultaneously be true, but it’s undoubtedly harder to find buy-in from an audience who would find this project on ArtBlocks first than the other way around.

The aesthetics, meanwhile, do support a mystical reading. Each EnergySculpture is a glowing mandala in the center of a colored frame; the background color reflects that of the subject itself. Ours, #287, is a green mandala made of several cornucopia-like shapes floating in a green void. The EnergySculpture itself is a dancing, flowing, endlessly growing and shrinking aurora borealis, hard to describe with words, mesmerizing to the eye. Three-to-four rings of a glowing yellowish color exist on the screen at any one time, either flowing towards a bright central orb, or expanding outwards away from it, the rings growing thinner and more spindly until glowing lines we thought were single unified cables become untethered from each other, stringing off into 6, 7, 8 segments. There’s a sense of perpetual discombobulation and recombobulation, of never-ending incompletion. To watch it is to be entranced by it. 

And so the mythical element is rather easily drawn-out. And the aesthetic element is rather easily repressed; not because the piece itself isn’t aesthetically pleasing (all the 369 outputs are actually quite spectacular) but because when we strip the implied mysticism of specific form, the piece seems to be missing something. It requires the context of its Realm-of-Mu purpose. Otherwise, though pleasing, there’s a lack of concrete, independent life. Sans that context, we cannot find the artist here, nor can we discover the intent (generative art projects tend towards that). But when the context is applied, the piece opens up. It is originally wide-enough in interpretation to invite in limitless associations. But when tempered with our knowledge of Beervanger’s larger project, with the rules of the world he’s trying to create, the EnergySculpture becomes a more potent symbol and an object that can find a receptacle for the spiritual tactility it exudes. It has a theoretical use (in the literary sense), and it is in our possession. If we minted it ourselves, we might well form a deep attachment to it for this reason. This is our Energysculpture. There are many Energysculptures like it, but this one is mine. And that’s important! It’s a connection that gets made only when the context appears. And the enchanting spell of the aesthetics takes on the fullness of that adjective. EnergySculptures appear mystifying in a much fuller sense of the word. 

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