The immersive exhibition includes user-generated tokens minted on the Tezos blockchain
LONDON--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Third World: The Bottom Dimension, an exhibition and video game that deploys tokenized memories minted on the Tezos blockchain, opened today at Serpentine and will run through October 22, 2023. Brazilian artist Gabriel Massan conceptualized the project in collaboration with interdisciplinary artists Castiel Vitorino Brasileiro, Novíssimo Edgar, Jota Mombaça, Ventura Profana, and vocalist and music producer LYZZA. Third World expands Massan’s practice of ‘fictional archaeology,’ by investigating the converging landscapes and post-colonial complexities of contemporary Brazil.
The exhibition is the latest project in the multi-year partnership between the Tezos Foundation and Serpentine. The partnership celebrates the efforts of the Serpentine Art Technologies Team to develop experimental artist-led blockchain projects while educating the public, and the Tezos ecosystem’s commitment to innovation and creativity in the arts and culture sector. The partnership will continue to expand on the possibilities provided by blockchain technology for artistic creation, community engagement, collaborations, patronage, and innovation.
The Third World: The Bottom Dimension game is a fantastical simulation that investigates the converging landscapes and post-colonial complexities of contemporary Brazil and beyond. The project explores the concept of ‘game-as-platform' and the role of a public arts institution in nurturing a constellation of diverse perspectives. Its web3 elements further emphasize the importance of artistic, cross-media collaboration as an essential movement in contemporary art and creative exchange - allowing visitors to create, collect and own their collaborative experiences in the game in a sustainable way. The Tezos community’s commitment to this collaborative innovation made it a perfect choice for Serpentine, the artist, and their collaborators.
“I want to create the experience of walking through possibilities and memories of life and narrative–a work that people can walk inside,” Gabriel Massan said. “The project is a meta-simulation about warped perspectives and an exercise in terms.”
Each level or "episode” in the game is conceptualized by a featured artist in collaboration with Massan, contributing themes central to their practices to build on the Third World lore. Each episode invites players to navigate different geographies, challenges, and objectives. While navigating disorienting virtual environments, players will encounter new lifeforms, languages, and ways of knowing while thinking about ideas of transformation and discovery.
Third World features participatory web3 tokens powered by Tezos. Players can record “memories” of their actions as they play the game and mint their experience on Tezos, thereby creating a public archive of Third World experiences and weaving a tapestry of audience participation. In addition, a limited-edition collection will bring together Massan, their collaborators, and a wider community of artists to the Tezos blockchain.
“Massan’s Third World exhibition is an elegant demonstration of how art and gaming can merge in decentralized platforms like the Tezos blockchain to provide an expanded field for artistic creation and unique, immersive experiences for users,” Mason Edwards, Chief Commercial Officer of the Tezos Foundation, said. “We’re excited to support Serpentine in bringing this powerful in-person experience to the community, to support Gabriel Massan and their collaborators in bringing their artistic vision to life, and for the community to permanently leave their mark on Tezos.”
Bettina Korek, CEO and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director added: “Third World: The Bottom Dimension, is a dynamic commission powered by Tezos that brings pioneering digital artist Gabriel Massan and their collaborators to the forefront of gaming and cultural communities. Massan’s project not only demonstrates an iterative process in terms of our relationship with the artist - supporting the development of concept, game, then exhibition, but also how work like this can exist and engage across fields, building new connections between artists and society.”
The exhibition is available to view in person at Serpentine, and the Third World is available to play at home as a PC download on Stream.
Gabriel Massan (b. 1996, Brazil) is a multidisciplinary digital artist. Combining storytelling and world-building techniques, Massan creates digital worlds and sculptures that alternatively simulate and narrate situations of inequality within the Black-Indigenous Latin American experience. Working across 3D animation, digital sculpting and painting, single-player games, NFTs, and virtual and augmented reality experiences, the artist investigates notions of strangeness and ignorance in how the ‘Third World’ is imagined. Gabriel was a 2019 resident at the ETOPIA – Centre for Art & Technology, invited artist of the 2020 “IMS Convida” at the Instituto Moreira Salles (IMS), Circa x Dazed ‘Class of 2021’ Selected Artist, contributor of the “Rotten TV “online research platform supported by “The British Council Digital Collaboration Fund,” 2022 The Photographers’ Gallery “Open Space“ Commission artist and 2022 X Museum’s “X Art District (XAD) Selected Artist. Recent exhibitions include: ‘WORLDBUILDING: Gaming and Art in the Digital Age’ (Julia Stoschek Collection: Dusseldorf, 2022); ‘Canon!’ (Frieze No.9 Cork Street, 2022) and ‘Possible Agreements’ (Mendes Wood DM, 2022).
Tezos is a pioneering Proof of Stake blockchain, redefining what it means to hold and exchange value in a digitally connected world. A self-upgradable and energy-efficient Proof of Stake blockchain with a proven track record, Tezos seamlessly adopts tomorrow’s innovations without network disruptions today. For more information, please visit www.tezos.com
Serpentine Arts Technologies
The project is curated and produced by Serpentine Arts Technologies led by Tamar Clarke-Brown (Curator, Commissions), Kay Watson (Head of Arts Technologies) and Róisín McVeigh (Associate Producer), with Eva Jaeger (Curator), Victoria Ivanova (Strategic Lead) and Alex Boyes (Producer), with the exhibition alongside Sarah Hamed (Assistant Exhibitions Curator) and Halime Özdemir (Production Manager).
The programme proposes critical and interdisciplinary perspectives on advanced technologies through artistic interventions, challenging and reshaping the role that technologies can play in culture and society.
The foundation of Serpentine Arts Technologies’ programme is in an evolving R&D Platform that nurtures innovation for future art ecologies by securing a crucial institutional space for pragmatic interventions and necessary risk-taking at the intersection of art, science and technology. This is achieved through dedicated research labs (Blockchain Lab , Creative AI Lab , Legal Lab, Synthetic Ecologies Lab ), orientation and knowledge-sharing with the wider sector through Future Art Ecosystems, and co-facilitation of a national Creative R&D Working Group.
Creating new connections between artists and society, Serpentine presents pioneering contemporary art exhibitions and cultural events with a legacy that stretches back over half a century, from a wide range of emerging practitioners to the most internationally recognised artists, writers, scientists, thinkers, and cultural thought leaders of our time.
Based in London’s Kensington Gardens, across two sites, Serpentine North and Serpentine South, Serpentine features a year-round, free programme of exhibitions, architectural showcases, education, live events and technological activations, in the park and beyond the gallery walls.
Randall Woods, SVP