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Source Link:

Date Minted: June 27, 2020

Artist Description: A 3d statue of my first exploration in total VR, Inspired by my earlier piece "Virtual Constructor" which was part of Somnium Space's Initial Land Offering.

CohentheWriter’s Commentary:

Dark colors and unexpressive figures and contemporary references are consistent aspects of Jivinci’s work, and work together to fascinating appeal here in VR CNSTRCTR statue. In a piece of such startling depth and detail, it’s sometimes difficult knowing where to start. Nothing within this piece is subtle enough to necessarily turn our attention elsewhere. But neither is anything so overt as to be clearly its centerpoint. Jivinic’s work here is technically sound, if for no other reason than the equipose of VR CNSTRCTR statue’s many facets. And you? Are you drawn more to the colors or to the fractured nature of the body? Do you more enjoy the interactivity, the play with light, the juxtaposition of colors —foreground upon background— or the allusions to VR both in title and image? If this piece has a commentary to make, which it certainly seems to, one must respect it for offering at least a half-dozen ways to arrive there, whatever it is mattering less than the journey to it. 

For a comprehensive overview of what exactly VR CNSTRCTR statue is, consider viewing it first from its most-zoomed out point of view. Here, we can see the piece fully, the figure standing tip-toed atop a shadowy sphere, its body composed of sleek, hard-edged geometric shapes, its environment a clutter of floating debris: some exact geometric cubes, others less-definable formations. Every piece is glazed in the same black, shimmering skin, like that of an animal pulled from an oil slick, or someone draped in fresh, sex-shop leather. On its own, that’s not exactly noteworthy, but when placed against a bright white background, the contrasting colors actually help distinctify the details here, the facets and faces of every shape, the way reflected “light” moves on and around them. 

There’s a serenity to this piece, almost like how a religious statue betrays no emotion, sitting simply and contentedly in some position of deific significance. One can see the same underlying thought applying here. Return now to the title —VR CNSTRCTR statue— and what’s actually being depicted here. Look at the figure’s face, and the schlocky-but-unmistakable VR goggles strapped to it. Hands are raised upwards, almost 90-degrees from the midsection, with fingers outstretched as if upon keyboard. I suppose we’re meant to assume that this is someone constructing a world in VR, physically inventing the confines of a multiverse wherein so much crypto art and culture will one day (likely) be. From the perspective of a crypto artist, can anything be more religiously significant as the architect of the technology which both portrays and inspires the movement? Imparting too much religious significance to a thing is not always wise, but this figure appears elsewhere in Jivinci’s oeuvre, and that could point to its becoming a motif throughout their work, a constant and recognizable reference point for a certain awestruck attitude towards the programmers who create VR worlds.

However, Jivinci works and creates in VR as well, so perhaps the artist is displaying their awestruck attitude towards themselves as well. Arguably deserved.

It is striking, even without the religiosity, to see someone assuming this stock-VR position, one which is both recognizable and still somewhat jarring. VR as a technology has obviously not yet taken off in the way many had previously predicted, and the use of it is still a novelty to many members of the non-Metaversal public. But examine the specificities of the image here. Look at the shapes swirling around the figure, and how perhaps the figure’s actions are controlling them. Could they be the architectural objects the figure is expertly placing? Look at the way the figure hovers upon the sphere below it, just barely standing with upright toe upon it, the way a ballerina would stand: with elegance, with ease, with grace. Look at the body itself —zoom in if you must, or if you haven’t already— and see how it is made of so many interlocking shapes, ones quite like those that float around it. Could Jivinci be suggesting that VR allows us to create not only the world around us, but our selves entirely? On an aesthetic level, in any VR program we would likely get to choose our features, controlling our appearance on the fly. Sure. But what if this were deeper? What if this were Jivinci looking forward to a future where VR allows individuals to be whomever they like on a moment’s notice.

Consider VR CNSTRCTR statue not as a finished product, but as a deliberately-designed work in process. The piece captures things not when they’re complete, but when they’re still in a state of coming together, rearranging, not fitting perfectly but sliding against each other, figuring out where they fit. It is both system and individual en media res, constructed from the only place in the piece we can’t see: within the VR goggles attached to the figure’s head. We are trapped outside of the place where the decisions are being made, where the ideas are being generated and applied, and out here, we can see only the effects of those decisions: the unfinished creation of an unknowable creator.  

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