The Vatican Will Launch a Metaverse Art Gallery in Sensorium Galaxy
The Vatican is working to bring some of its art and other collections to the metaverse in a new partnership with metaverse developer Sensorium. The digital universe and virtual being designer and the Vatican’s Humanity 2.0 Foundation will showcase the ar in a new virtual reality gallery hosted on Sensorium’s Galaxy metaverse platform.
Sensorium designs immersive metaverse experiences on Galaxy, including interactive games and digital concerts with performances from artists like David Guetta and Steve Aoki. The Vatican founded Humanity 2.0 a non-profit to explore the intersection of culture and life with media and technology. The new collaboration is looking to produce a virtual gallery of some of the Vatican’s nearly 800 pieces of art as non-fungible tokens (NFTs) that people can look at while traveling Sensoriun’s Galaxy metaverse. The NFTs won’t be for sale themselves, but could be linked to virtual show tickets or in a virtual gift shop setting.
“We look forward to working with Sensorium to explore ways to democratize art, making it more widely available to people around the world regardless of their socio-economic and geographical limitations,” Humanity 2.0 chair Father Philip Larrey said. ” The partnership with Sensorium brings this goal a step further and equips us with the latest tech solutions.
Galaxy is in beta right now but is scheduled to officially launch later in 2022. It’s accessible as a mobile app or through virtual reality headsets. The digital environment is populated by virtual beings built by Sensorium and some of its partners. They rely on conversational AI to communicate with visitors and could be useful as art gallery guides in the eventual virtual museum. The company is also working on developing a more experimental art gallery of its own.
“The Sensorium Digital Art Gallery is integrated into our second virtual world — Motion, dedicated to the practices of self-development and self-discovery. The concept of our gallery is not built around the development of digital copies of existing artworks,” the company explained in a blog post. “Our main task is to promote the integration of physical and digital art into the virtual environments of the Sensorium Galaxy metaverse, turning existing art pieces into building materials for the creation of new art or unleashing the creative potential of all users.”
The current explosion of metaverse interest has led to plenty of experiments in embedding culture in digital space, with an accompanying flood of development investment. Epic Games recently raised $2 billion to further develop its metaverse projects, including a new partnership with Lego to design a kid-friendly digital universe. Spotify bought a whole virtual archipelago from Roblox to showcase music and other content. On the art front, virtual human developer Uneeq has been leveraging its brand ambassador Sophie to sell NFTs and even collaborate with humans to generate new custom pieces of art based on discussions with the AI. An NFT of the Sistine Chapel may be hard to compete against, however, no matter how immersive the AI artworks become.