The Art Labyrinth: an aesthetic and existential journey to experience in 3D

Barabeke posing in front of his labyrinth

Imagine getting lost in a labyrinth that contains some of the greatest art ever created, finding your way to its center where a meaningful surprise awaits you…

Today everyone can have this experience inside “The Art Labyrinth”, a very special maze I have created inside OWW (Occupy White Walls), a virtual world entirely devoted to art. Here is a preview of the labyrinth.

I chose to build this experience inside OWW because of the stunning graphics (powered by Unreal Engine) and its user friendly interface, but also because I love their community and artists oriented approach. Everyone who either has a good laptop or a decent connection can enjoy the full experience for free.

Aside from building the labyrinth, I have spent pleasant hours learning about art and artists I was not aware of. OWW has its own AI (Daisy) that helps you discover art you like similarly to how Spotify’s AI helps you discover music you like. You can get all the details for every artwork and see it in high resolution. In a way, it’s art education gamified.

Free land for all

As a cryptoartist in theory I should be mingling in crypto based virtual worlds such as Cryptovoxels, Decentraland, or Somnium Space. I do have a presence in such worlds, but to build my labyrinth I chose OWW even if it doesn’t support crypto. Because its graphics and user experience are superior but also because land in OWW is free: everyone gets a piece of it where they can build their art gallery. On crypto based worlds instead a piece of land nowadays can cost like a car in the real world! 😱

I think virtual land should be free for all (at least a plot of it) considering that it can be pretty much infinite and therefore inherently inexpensive. Even in our finite world, when there was new land to colonize, people would just go and occupy it.

What can be worth, rather than virtual land, is what people build on it and the size and the vitality of the community. If land in a potentially infinite world is just for those who can afford it, that land is going to be sterile or at least not as fruitful as it could be. I think the “free land for everyone” model will ultimately prevail for virtual worlds, because it’s not just philosophically but also commercially more sound.

I appreciate OWW for its approach, I think its team is showing us how art in virtual worlds should be treated and how it can be empowering for the general public and for artists.

Visit The Art Labyrinth

Today anyone, from anywhere, can experience The Art Labyrinth for free, with the same quality you see in the video, even if your laptop sucks. I find this to be a beautiful innovation.

To visit the labyrinth: head to OWW website, download and install their platform, create an account. Once in, teleport (T) to “the art labyrinth” (you can search for it, alternatively look for “barabeke”). In case your laptop is not powerful enough you can still experience it via cloud gaming thanks to NVIDIA GeForce NOW (which has a free version, requiring a queue).

Will you manage to get to the center of the maze? I can’t tell you what you will find there, but I promise it’s going to be meaningful or at least surprising… I hope you’ll enjoy the experience, your feedback is welcome (please no spoilers!).

Originally published at https://barabeke.net on May 8, 2021.

Visionary artist, futurist, poet, counterculture agent, real life cryptopunk. Keeping the ancient flame alive in dark times 🔥