VCA Curatorial Picks- week 20 June, 2022

Welcome to our latest Curatorial Pick– a special edition this month, as we delve into an upcoming project for ‘Proof of People’, London’s first 3-day NFT festival which takes place in Fabric [6-8 July]. 

theVERSEverse is an NFT poetry gallery, launched in November 2021 with the belief that a poem=a work of art. Founded by Ana Maria Caballero, Kalen Iwamoto and Sasha Stiles,  the team onboards acclaimed writers to web 3.0 whilst celebrating crypto-native poetry.

So, let’s take a look at what they’ve got planned for the festival…

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‘Word Camera’, Ross Godwin (image courtesy of the artist)

The project underway stems from the team’s curatorial framework, which falls into three distinct parts: Curated (where the works of poets is paired with crypto native artists), Conceptual (elevating the profile and impact of text-based artists in crypto spheres) and Gentext (exploring the potential of generative text).

For ‘Proof of People’, the team are creating two related activations.

The first, VERSES BY VERSA (in partnership with Tezos Foundation/TZ Connect), will see a live-minting activation with their autonomous AI and the data poet, Ross Goodwin.

The work will be ‘brought to life’ using GPT-3 and the poem NFT can then be printed along with a paper wallet, sealed in an envelope. The free NFTS will be collated and presented on a dedicated page on Objkt.com and the genesis poems will be kept in a VV vault, as poetic artefacts.

“As long-time fans of Ross’s ground-breaking work with generative text, we’re thrilled that he is our lead poet on this inaugural stage of the project, and that VERSA will mark his entry into the NFT space,” says theVERSEverse.

The idea stemmed from a dedication to creating an ‘experimental playground for algorithmic poetry through GEN TEXT’. The latter being a section of the gallery dedicated to AI authorship, with four issues published to date by  Stiles x Gisel Florez, Ana Maria Caballero x Ivona Tau, Kalen Iwamoto x Rose Jackson, and Christian Bok x Sarah Ridgley.

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You must roll the dice to gamble away your realm’, Gen Text series of AI-powered visual poetry, by Christian Bök x Sarah Ridgley, courtesy theVERSEverse 

The second aspect will be, THE LISTENING ROOM, two private and immersive audio stations offering a screen-free zone for poetic contemplation, where participants can sit back and listen to spoken ‘electronically enhanced’ word poetry using wireless headphones, running on a 1-hour loop.

Set within the vivid and energetic ambience of the broader festival, these spaces strive to create ‘pockets of peace’ and draw attention to the space between introspection and our outward-facing selves, in a world saturated by external stimulation.

The planned installation also promises to reflect and develop broader considerations of the relationship between the physical and digital, but with a unique focus on text and poetry as a bridge between these spheres.

Indeed, theVERSEverse describes poetry as generating an “almost tactile experience.’

In addition to the installations, theVERSEverse will be providing onboarding and education sessions, live poetry readings and a workshop on ‘Poetry on the blockchain & poetry reading’, on Thursday 7 July at 5pm.

Learn more about theVERSEverse here

And get your tickets for ‘Proof of People here

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