Fine Art: The Virtual Experience
by Allese Thomson
It’s not news to anyone, really — over the past five years, the arenas of marketing and media are almost unrecognizable from their forebears. Brand-driven marketing, as we traditionally know it, is largely outmoded with the most profound relationships between branding and media now happening via individualized, experiential experiences that enhance the lives of those who consume it.
It’s a new reality for the creative community as well. No longer are they relegated to working behind the scenes, churning out endless amounts of content, but rather, they are the faces of this new paradigm. Seismic changes are taking place within the art industry, too. At a time when artistic discipline includes animation, design, fashion, music, film, VR, and large-scale installations — the traditional exhibition does not carry the reach it once did.
In short — we’re standing at the dawn of a new age, where each industry borrows from the other to be truly innovative. The future will see the best ideas expressed through both technology and art, creating immersive, mixed media experiences. It’s that very idea that led us to launch our Experiential Art Division at HERE BE DRAGONS.
It is our mission to bring the leading creatives from the arts and humanities into collaboration with the leading minds of those in technology, advertising, and Hollywood. We are developing a new roster of talent that will create indispensable experiences that surpass native advertising, sponsorships, and branded content. The experiences we aim to create will be inspired around –rather than about — the identity of the brand, authentically showcasing the ingenuity and innovation of that company and the integrity of its products.
This approach views technology as a medium in need of a message — in place of advertising, we will produce cultural expressions that act as the message of technology, which, in turn, promotes the technology via the creative. The power of art lies in its ability to shape the way we see and the way we feel about the world. We are pulling the magnetism of that spirit into the ad and tech world by creating opportunities for collaborative work.
We want to provide artists with an opportunity to make experiential, large-scale projects that work alongside the icons, brands, companies, and corporations that shape the contemporary zeitgeist. Experiential projects — exhibitions, filmic interventions, activations, public projects, performances, digital experiences, VR — allow artists to intimately engage popular culture and mainstream media.
One such example is Jordan Wolfson’s debut VR project for the Whitney Biennial — “Real Violence” — produced here with HERE BE DRAGONS. “Real Violence’ emphasizes how embodying virtual reality can be. Because artists generally think in terms of medium and not narrative, their proposals are often pioneering when it comes to new technologies — “Real Violence” fits into this range of experiences that are not film nor game, but somewhere in-between.
By combining art, creative thinking, and virtual reality, we will harness culture itself to outpace traditional marketing — with measurable results. The content we are aiming to create will feel good to brands, inspire audiences, and empower creatives, combing the best parts of technology and art to achieve truly immersive content all the while challenging each discipline to continue to innovate forward — pushing boundaries and creating new artistic achievements.