Will the Metaverse become the next graffiti? – Common edge
A picture of people walking on a city street, Staring at their phones, blissfully unaware of the world around them, may be the ultimate symbol of the 21st century. In the past 20 years, humans have changed the way we look at the world. We saw it once, then sometimes read about it, and then we might watch a theatrical performance or film production, but now, in the 21st century, we use the Internet as our main portal to see the world. With the advent of artificial intelligence, there will be a viable alternative to how we perceive the world, architecture, and human consciousness.
In 1973, I saw Stonehenge up close and personal. The pictures in the books missed a major distraction: centuries of carved graffiti – names, words and pictures, covering the stones everywhere. Graffiti is It is defined as occurring “without permission and in plain sight.” Until the advent of the Internet, there were social portals for permission and public exposure. Graffiti was illegal and sacrilegious. Now, if there is electricity and an internet connection, you can travel everywhere, without permission or cost. We can all introduce graffiti into any aspect of our culture.
The chisel or paintbrush was a time-consuming, messy, and unforgiving way of presenting your ideas to the world around you. In 1949, Ed Seymour in Sycamore, Illinois, mixed paint and spray in a can, and spray paint was born, revolutionizing the way graffiti was expressed. New York City subway cars are utilitarian vessels Which mostly lives underground But it is stored outside when not in use. In the mid-twentieth century it became one of the greatest social paintings of human expression. Soon these subway cars were covered inside and out with spray paint and magic ink. Like an empty subway car accepting spray paint, the Internet has evolved into the medium through which we can all communicate our ideas and provide feedback in a world that limits our influence.
Whereas spray painting relies on the canvas of what the world offers, the world now offers a canvas separated from any place or control. We now view this world as much as we experience the physical world, without the need for culture, context, weather, history, or sensory perception. Architecture follows how humanity uses technology. The human spirit does not change, but the way we express that spirit does. In the past two centuries, human perception of time and distance has been completely changed by technology, and how we perceive architecture will undergo a similar transformation. We walked, then we used horses, and finally we used engines to power the chariots, collapsing time and distance. When Lewis and Clark marched across America, it took three years, from 1803 to 1806. Now anyone could make that journey, without experiencing the world between the coasts, in six hours. Likewise, the Internet is destroying our sense of space and place. We are beginning to perceive and express architecture without attachment to the physical world.
Until this century, our lives lived in the analog world of physical space. Our buildings have tried to respond to Vitruvius’ three criteria: fitness, goodness and delight. If the buildings are erected, they are valid; If they fulfill needs, they offer a commodity; But if they go beyond what is required, they provide delight – and this has become an obsession for architects.
Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown divided the building letters into two objects, the duck and the ornate shed. Ducks were, according to them, “where architectural systems of space, structure and program are submerged and distorted in an all-encompassing symbolic form.” Decorative sheds: “Where the space and structural systems are directly at the service of the programme, and the decoration is applied independently.” Five years ago, during a controversial press conference in Paris, an exasperated (and perhaps plane-weary) Frank Gehry said: “In the world we live in, 98% of what is built and designed today is just rubbish. There is no sense of design, no respect for humanity or anything. They are bad buildings, that’s all.”
I think the era of dichotomies – ducks and sheds, design and pure nonsense – is coming to an end. These distinctions are doomed to fail because the fundamental way we look at buildings is changing. Buildings are built with many hands, and many dollars, which excludes the individual from participating beyond use and cash. Graffiti is a unique human expression that is as public and tangible as the buildings that receive it. So far.
In the past, our common culture distinguished between folk arts and fine arts. Pop music contains a hook, a beat, a lyric, and a melody. New music may not contain any of these elements. Definition of fine arts as Illustration using visuals as messages, Art aims to transcend our expectations or memory. As Gehry notes, most architecture is like pop music or illustration: it responds to basic needs, however crude. These buildings become the background music to the lives we live, when we use them. We tend not to do that He lives In art we look at it.
The Internet has upended the architecture game: physical creation is not the only means of expression. Just as technology changed the concept of time and space in the twentieth century, artificial intelligence will create a “massive shift” in the twenty-first century. This alternative world is not linked to any culture. We were previously limited in what could be physically shared, whether published, built, performed or displayed, all of which others deemed worthy before they saw it. The Internet allows anyone to express themselves to almost everyone: it is the world of graffiti dreams.
The analog world has created buildings, communities and space that elicit human interaction and response. This response led to comment, criticism, tourism, demolition, removal and graffiti. The world was a dualism between creation and material response. Now creation and response are one and the same in the metaverse.
The hanging decorates ducks and barns alike. Besides taking photos or combining features in the endless list that the Internet provides, the Internet will create a place where anyone can perceive graffiti without limits here and now, using their hand to declare their identity in opposition to the material world around us. These creations will have the same status as the unavoidable scribbles we see on highway retaining walls and building facades.
The tradition of revolutionary fervor found in the Gehry Building or the Zaha Hadid statue requires a context for its rebellion. Without an empty subway car, Stonehenge boulder, or brick wall, graffiti couldn’t happen. But unlike the tradition of metaphorical expression that is introduced based on the triviality of the “dirty” construction context, the next world of perception will be between our ears. The world is now available to our expressions, without permission. Politics implodes, music is broken in delivery, writing loses paper, and architecture, for many, perhaps loses buildings.
Architecture reflects culture. In the pre-Internet era, architecture culture was a closed loop. We saw only what editors, curators, writers, and institutions chose to attract attention, except for the building we actually encountered. Our daily encounters with architecture increasingly take place on a web that is open to everything, everywhere, all the time. Eventually, we will adapt to a new context, and may lose the streetscape, community, or buildings that we use as the basis for our understanding of architecture. The virtual world may become the place where we test our architectural ducks. We’ll see what’s shown on our screens, co-opted by the vulgar, popular or sinister whims of the internet.
The structure of the metaverse (or whatever it will eventually be called) It will be the crowbar that initiates the next change in our perception of buildings, regardless of location or even people. The way most people view and interact with architecture may turn into a kind of graffiti, as anyone can create buildings on platforms over which we have nominal control. This world will not live anywhere but in our minds. It is a world without context and full expression that this becomes the brave new world Just a subway car for our cultural spray paint.
Featured image: Stonehenge, via Wikipedia.