The Ethereal Aether. An Exhibition of Digital Art is the first fully virtual exhibit project by the State Hermitage Museum, the second largest museum in the world, is to be held from 10 November to 10 December 2021. This NFT exhibit is being hosted on Spatial, where people can experience galleries in a collaborative matter that generates community and is both familiar and novel. Share the experience with others around the world while being immersed in unique architecture that does not exist in the real world. Together walk through the space viewing art that is only digital as if it were hanging on the wall next to you.
This series of room displays a total of 38 NFT projects that follow the developmental story of tokenizing art works from different points of view. These are both landmark works in the history of NFTs and completely new ones, created especially for the exhibit. The State Hermitage Museum’s “Invisible Ether”: A Digital Art Exhibit will mark an important historical event for the worldwide trend toward digitizing museum exhibits in the metaverse and will serve as a launchpad for the museum’s new digital avatar they call the Celestial Hermitage.
At the core of this exhibition is an exploration of the meteoric rise of NFT technologies and their influence on contemporary art practice from 2014-2021. It is important to show digital art inside a work of digital art — its natural environment. These works were not translated into a physical reality for display — this is one of the conceptual decisions that shaped this exhibit. The name of the exhibit harkens back both to the poetry of Fyodor Tyutchev and to the multi-faceted meanings of the word “аether”: the original Greek, mythology and philosophy, and its use in the sphere of contemporary cryptocurrency.
This idea is also core to Spatial's beliefs, the environment in which you display your work should be a work of art equal to that of the art being displayed in it. Spatial is a metaverse for culture and curation, where you can generate an experience that is fully immersive, creative, and complimentary to your brand or identity. Build your community or expand your reach further by opening up to unbounded reach and and borderless togetherness.
You can read more about the project at celestialhermitage.ru. Here you can find an online catalogue of the exhibit, curatorial texts, information about exhibit partners, an online guestbook with comments –– and the entrance to the virtual gallery. The immersive exhibit is hosted on Spatial where visitors can virtually walk through the halls, studying exhibits and interacting with each other. Spatial is incredibly simple to use, simply click a link and explore. In Russia? The exhibit will also be accessible using QR codes placed at the entrance to the Hermitage and on the facade of the Exchange Building.
As for the architecture of the spaces, the exhibit is based on the interiors of the Saint Petersburg Stock Exchange, the central architectural landmark of the Strelka on Vasiliev Island, created in 1816 by Jean-Francois Thomas de Thomon. The team at ARHead worked tirelessly with organizers and the Spatial team to pull off these incredible and unique spaces. The team is as listed. Curators: Dimitri Ozerkov, head of the State Hermitage Museum’s Contemporary Art Division; Anastasia Garnova, member of the State Hermitage Museum’s Contemporary Art Division. Digital architect: Oleg Soroko. Consultant: Nadya Taiga, executive director and curator, Snark.art
List of artists, collective and projects:
Strategic partner: Aksenov Family Foundation
Program partner: Snark.art
With support from NFT platforms:
Snark.art, Masters digital, The Art Exchange, Rarible, Superrare, Dapper Labs, KnownOrigin, ArtBlocks, Alterhen.art, OpenSea