CFP: call for contributions

CAC.7: Computer & Media Art at the Age of Metaverse and NFT

CAC.7 wishes to delve into how digital arts allow for the exploration of new creative, cultural, economic and legal paradigms in relation to the rise of metaverses and NFTs. We expect for this Congress to be a solid framework for the emergence of transdisciplinary reflections, research projects and artistic experiments. The 7th edition of the Computer Art Congress will be held in Crans Montana, on September 1st and 2nd 2022.

The artistic creation evolves through its modes of representation, dissemination and monetization. The proliferation of dematerialization causes the impossibility of having a single space and moment of life unshaped, uncontaminated, uncontrolled, as Giorgio Agamben explains, « this split separates the living from itself and from the immediate relationship it has with its environment ».  

Since Modernity, artists have this will to question the networking of the world (Baron Hausmann’s building sites, invention of photography, installation of railroads, aviation, sewer systems, postal services…) by bringing art closer to life. The technical evolution has increasingly imposed the presence of mechanical and electrical objects between the human body and the surrounding space. This change of paradigm was accentuated in the 60s with mass media, the birth of computer art, later on with the arrival of the Internet net-art appears in the 90s and today with the arrival of the blockchain and metaverses. Artists take a singular look at these imposed media and machines (video art, net-art, computer art, virtual art…) by diverting them and questioning the practices linked to these tools and their societal impact.

When one wonders about the components, the necessity and the identity of a tangible or intangible place, certain current devices can help us clarify the fog that our modern times nourish with the question of eSPACE, namely around the question of a media territory in network and associated with networks.

The analysis of the appearance of metaverses and digital territories invites us to look at the mechanisms behind the  evolution of cities with their time. Cities are marked during their creation or their successive extensions and renovations by the techniques, cultures and social-economic projects of their time.  Dubai has been declared the capital of the 21st century, an Instagram city whose development strategy is based on its potential resonance on social networks. However, the capital of the 21st century could be of another type: hybrid or entirely dematerialized, and structured around a public space in the form of a metaverse where the public space of tangible cities and their zones of exchange, as much commercial as social and cultural, could be augmented through avatars.

Will the apprehension of the sites we cross with the augmented, virtual realities, the new possibilities of modeling and perception, the communication and the diffusion of the works in the era of the digital reproducibility and the dissolution of the forms transform fundamentally our report to the world? And how will this digital insight offer us undeniably new experiences through programming and digital immersion?

With metaverses, the historical overlays and stratifications of the physical world combine with the digital world’s overlays of images and data flows. The NFTs and the anchoring on blockchain amplify this effect of historical inscription of contents and interactions. The sensory amplification offered by metaverses and the digital reification by NFTs give the artist increased modes of expression and monetization.

Blockchain and cryptography open up new possibilities for artists, especially digital and urban artists, who rarely have physical media as a marker of rarity to monetize their art. Non-fungible tokens (NFT), which are technically based on a smartcontract with a unique identifier and metadata pointing to the characteristics of the work, give artists the possibility to declare authenticity, a level of rarity for their work and to associate rights to the tokens they put up for sale. Tokenization also makes it possible to renew the relationship with collectors and, more broadly, with the public by structuring communities holders of NFTs and other tokens linked to the artist’s universe, in particular by creating decentralized autonomous organizations (DAOs). These NFTs, which are also used in video games, should progressively appear as the assets by destination of both decentralized (Decentraland, Cryptovoxels…) and centralized (Meta…) metaverses, and artistic NFTs are already exhibited in digital museums of metaverses.

This phenomenon lends itself to multidisciplinary analyses, calling upon information and communication sciences, digital art, computer science, economic and legal sciences, sociology and even digital ethnography.

For this call for papers, we will focus our reflections on the current possibilities of virtual modeling and integration of artistic forms, offering new spaces of creation as well as new economic models.

Among the related themes, the Congress wishes to explore the following points:

  • Art and metavers: VR, AR, XR
  • Ephemeral works and digital doubles
  • Sensors, dynamic works and art
  • New interfaces: metaverse and web 3.0
  • Cultural mediation and metaverse: methods and hybrid paths
  • Curation of digital art in the era of metaverse and NFT: methods, issues and perspectives
  • Nature of NFT according to a multidisciplinary approach
  • Crypto-art movement: origins, symbolism, modes of intervention, digital cult approach…
  • Decentralized organization (DAO) and NFT
  • Authenticity and digital work
  • NFT, intellectual property law and intangible assets
  • Decentralized finance (DeFi) and NFT
  • The economics of NFTs: digital assets, economics of scarcity, incentives
  • Collective management organizations and NFTs
  • Actors in the art market and NFT, institutional and economic stakes; disintermediation and reintermediation
  • NFT and technical standards (jpeg…)
  • NFT and smart contract: technical aspects and challenges
  • Structuring, storage, securing and scalability of NFTs’ metadata

The Congress also includes a call for artistic and experimental proposals related to :

  • Cryptography: process of encryption and decryption of the work’s symbolism, bitcoin puzzle
  • Generative art and smart contracts
  • Decentralized organizations (DAO) in the creative process, the relationship to the public and to collectors
  • Sensors, oracles, dynamic and evolving works
  • Hybrid works and devices: AR/XR/VR
  • Interactive experiences and web 3.0
  • New symbols and digital icons

Venue

The 7th Computer Art Congress will be held at Geneva University of Art and Design (HEAD – Genève, HES-SO), Avenue de Châtelaine 5, CH-1203 – Geneva, Switzerland