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  • Writer's pictureMichael Jonsson

Hyper Fiction: inspiration over function

Updated: Nov 15, 2022

This installment of our blog finds us amidst some pretty turbulent times as far as the crypto markets go and being builders in web3, we realize there is a lot of crossover in the two spaces and that this could be affecting many people in our community. Could the fallout from this also affect metaverse platforms and any progress that is being made? That remains to be seen but it serves as a reminder of how important decentralization is to the health and growth of our ecosystem and that no matter what, we keep building!

And amidst all of this, Decentraland threw their epic music festival this week - big things are still happening here in the Metaverse! So we thought we'd jump in and lift our spirits with some fun and frivolity. We especially loved the gloriously technicolored, piñata themed Dillon Francis stage!

It's also a reminder that big names and brands continue to enter the metaverse to be seen and to make their presence known!

Dillon Francis stage in Decentraland

All that being said, lets get to the topic of this post, the decoupling of function and inspiration: hyper fiction!

Once we fully realize that things don't have to function in virtual space as they do in the real world, creativity can truly take flight. But it may take a while for people to wrap their minds around the fact that their creations don't have to be functional or even represent their IRL counterparts. Most virtual spaces still resemble real places as if they are conforming to the physics, form and function of the real world.

There is currently a trend to recreate real things like malls, storefronts, office spaces and galleries. It's possible we may need this phase for people to feel comfortable entering and interacting virtually. Or could it be lack of inspiration on the creator side? Most people would be willing to suspend belief and make the imaginative leap. We have, after all been used to avatars consisting just of a torso with no legs and hands that float around without accompanying arms! We probably wouldn't be averse to floating buildings either!

Although there are circumstances where the virtual matches the real one for one as a 'digital twin', for medical or equipment training purposes for example. Or perhaps creating environments for nostalgic reasons. But digital twinning could become problematic if the Metaverse starts becoming so real we will no longer distinguish between the real world and the virtual, with people living out their lives in a virtual simulation of the real world. Would most people even want to spend most of their time in a virtual twin of their office? Perhaps not?

Virtual reality and immersive experiences of any kind have typically been used to temporarily escape reality, as with other, more traditional forms of media such as written fiction and film. It stands to reason that people would continue to use immersive media in a similar way going forward.

The wonderful thing about creating digital items is precisely the fact that they don't have to conform to our physical laws or to their place as functional items. They are also not subject to material or distribution costs. This decoupling of the cost of production and physical materials allows for the creation of something truly inspired. It allows anyone with an idea to bring it to life. These items and spaces can be anything you want them to be, a floating city or a giant, futuristic looking, metaverse toilet! Yes you read that right! Welcome to Super Fiction's creation on Monaverse! It's a symbolic piece of world building art representing a cleansing ritual of sorts.

The Super Fiction Monaverse experience

It's also about taking items out of their original context and placing them in an entirely new one, thus giving them a whole new meaning.

But this isn't the first time artists have decoupled an object from its function, turning an everyday item into a thing of art or beauty. Super Fiction's metaverse toilet is somehow reminiscent of Marcel Duchamp's 1917 urinal, which has become an iconic piece of art history as one of the first and most well known pieces of conceptual art.

When placed out of context, it became something entirely different, an abstraction, an object of beauty? It was renamed 'Fountain' and in the renaming, became something else.

Super Fiction's Metaverse toilet on Monaverse

Marcel Duchamp's urinal: 'Fountain'

Super Fiction's experiential piece doesn't just take something out of context, the project has changed an object's form so it becomes just a symbol of the the thing it once represented.

The Super Fiction experience is a piece of metaverse conceptual art, possibly the first? The name itself could even become coined as its own term in the Metaverse! What is Super Fiction? Extra reality? Hyper fiction? Where objects are not just part of a fictional environment, but are themselves works of fiction: Real objects that have been fictionalized or fictional objects that are so improbable, they couldn't possibly exist in the real world. The creativity lies in the interpretation of the term and the creation of extraordinary things!

Realizing and implementing these concepts, for creators is the best form of creative leverage they can wield when producing virtual items and spaces. This is especially true of architecture and fashion which are typically bound by function.

Hypothetical virtual garment

After all, we want to experience extraordinary things when we enter the Metaverse! That is ultimately its promise, to experience things that wouldn't be possible in the real world!

Hazel Griffiths

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