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Exhibition: ‘Elsewhere is a Negative Mirror’ at Vellum/LA

Text by CLOT Magazine

Vellum LA is the first physical gallery for NFT-backed digital art in Los Angeles. Located on Melrose Ave it aims to meaningfully situate the digital and crypto art communities within the context of art history while also educating the public on the potential of NFTs to impact the future of art. Vellum opened its doors last September, with writer and new media curator and advisor Jesse Damiani and Sinziana Velicescu as the principal curators; the Vellum has recently welcomed Alice Scope as the cultural producer.

In Elsewhere is a Negative Mirror, their current exhibition, artists grapple with the possibilities and impossibilities of architecture conceived in a virtual context. Decoupled from the laws of spacetime and concerns about utility, these artists can build with abandon—whether toying with scale and dimension, defying the laws of physics, or interpolating properties of light and colour. 

Through new software and creative tools, our ability to create, manipulate, and transform space is changing. Importantly, artists can approach the architectural act in ways never before possible. As digital realities become ever more intrinsic to our lives, how might our sense of architecture change? What constitutes “place” and “structure” in the language of bits, pixels, and screens?

Curated by Damiani and Velicescu, Elsewhere is a Negative Mirror features the work of 10 influential artists showcasing work that uses the built environment as a subject to explore perception, space, and reality, including Saks Afridi, Kirk Finkel (untitled, xyz), Vince Fraser, Mari.K (MadMaraca), Le Fawnhawk x Deep Light Labs, Nate Mohler, Kristen Roos, Sabrina Ratté, Nicolas Sassoon, and Thato Tatai.

For these artists, the physical world is merely one possible domain among infinite other universes of architecture. By reevaluating our most basic assumptions about what architecture can be, the artists in Elsewhere is a Negative Mirror situate reality itself as a medium in which to build.

As to the question that maybe these pieces should not have a place in the physical world, Damiani, in an interview for SuperRare just before Vellum’s launch last year, highlighted that they want to spotlight the work they believe is critically engaged in the new languages, materials, and logics of the coming metaversal world to present never before seen expressions both virtually and in meatspace.

(Image courtesy of Vellum/LA)
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