Cryptovoxels’ Burgeoning Art Scene

Were you aware that the blockchain-based virtual world Cryptovoxels has a flourishing art scene?

Commissioned Crypto Art Gallery by Alotta Money
(from a tweet by Conlan Rios)

More and more often, I see announcements about art galleries and installations in Cryptovoxels, both regular art and blockchain art (the production of which is described at length in this article). Good sources of information about openings and events are the official Cryptovoxels Twitter and Discord channels.

The PROOFofARTWORK Gallery by Hans Benzin in Cryptovoxels
(https://www.cryptovoxels.com/play?coords=E@261W,72N)

If you are looking for galleries to explore, I can suggest no better place to start than Listed: Blockchain Art Galleries on Cryptovoxels.com, a directory of approximately forty galleries to visit. Or you can take the new Cryptovoxels Art Tour (CAT), which has an official guide book to approximately 30 art galleries. You can hop directly into each gallery from the guide book!

Limited-Edition Art Gallery by Jonathan the Designer (from the Listed list above)
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VersaillesVR: Explore the Palace of Versailles in Virtual Reality

When I was 27, I took one of those three-week Trafalgar bus trips on an excursion across Western Europe: England, France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria…I’m sure some of you have done it too.

While I got to see Notre Dame Cathedral, the Louvre museum, and the Eiffel Tower in Paris, sadly I did not get an opportunity to go see a place I had always dreamed of visiting: the sprawling, ornate Palace of Versailles, once home to the Kings and Queens of France and the royal court.

If, like me, you always wanted to wander the halls and galleries of Versailles as a tourist, you will welcome a brand new release from Google Arts & Culture, titled VersaillesVR: The Palace Is Yours:

You can teleport around various rooms and halls in the famous palace, including the Hall of Mirrors, the Royal Chapel, and the Royal Opera House. A handy map of the palace on your left wrist lets you jump from one room to another in an instant! And no crowds; you get the entire palace to yourself!

I have only one complaint with this wonderful program. Oddly, there are no snap or smooth turns available to reorient yourself using your hand controllers! You will need to physically turn yourself around at times, which means that you can get tangled up in your VR headset cable, or have your back to your tracking stations! It’s a bit irritating. But other than that, I am overjoyed with this new app! You can spend hours exploring.

And the best part? It’s totally free!

VersaillesVR is available now as a free download from Steam, and it works with the Valve Index, HTC Vive, and Oculus Rift VR headsets only. The experience requires a Windows 10 PC with 20GB of available storage and at least a NVIDIA GTX 1060 GPU. VersaillesVR is available in French, English, or Chinese.

Le château de Versailles est à vous de découvrir!
The Palace of Versailles is yours to discover!

The Royal Chapel at Versailles (from the VersaillesVR app):
You can click on objects to learn more about them, like the pipe organ.

Art Plunge: Step Inside Famous Works of Art in Virtual Reality

I just love VR apps about fine art and artists! Art Plunge is a short but satisfying program for the Oculus Go, Gear VR, and Google Daydream, which is now also available for the Oculus Rift VR headset.

Art Plunge allows you to actually step into three-dimensional versions of five famous paintings in the history of Western art:

You can’t move around while you are inside the painting, but you can tilt your head from side to side, look around you, etc. In the Mona Lisa, Mona’s gaze follows you are you move your head from side to side, a subtle but realistic touch! It almost feels as if Mona is patiently waiting for you to speak to her. Very effective.

The app is only CAD$2.29, so what have you got to lose? Give it a try! I loved it, and I only wish I could step into more paintings. Perhaps the developers will issue an expansion pack sometime in the future. I would definitely pay more to be able to step into some more famous paintings!

Occupy White Walls Now Allows You to Submit Artist Suggestions

Occupy White Walls (OWW for short) just keeps getting better and better. OWW allows you to create your own gallery and curate an art collection, pulling from a catalogue of thousands of artworks, from the ancient to the modern. People are doing insanely creative things with the platform (see the pictures here and here).

Occupy White Walls is working to expand the catalogue of art from which users can select items to display in their galleries. I am on their mailing list, and in a recent email they announced:

In June we added 461 public domain artworks and many artworks from contemporary artists too!

And, in response to user requests, you can now submit artist suggestions to OWW for them to consider adding to the game. They do caution:

While we love all art, sometimes it is not possible to have them in game, an example of this would be artists who died less than 70 years ago and are not in the public domain in their country of origin. Images need to me 2MB or larger in file size.

Here’s the form. You can submit as many different artists as you wish. I intend to use it to suggest some of my favourite Renaissance artists to OWW!

You can download Occupy White Walls for free from Steam.