We’re Already Living in the Metaverse
Our constant need for entertainment has blurred the line between fiction and reality—on television, in American politics, and in our everyday lives: Megan Garber's cover story of the March 2023 issue of The Atlantic. As the article outlnes: "By the mid-20th century, the historian Warren Susman argued, a great shift was taking place. American values had traditionally emphasized a collection of qualities we might shorthand as “character”: honesty, diligence, an abiding sense of duty. The rise of mass media changed those terms, Susman wrote. In the media-savvy and consumption-oriented society that Americans were building, people came to value—and therefore demand—what Susman called “personality”: charm, likability, the talent to entertain. “The social role demanded of all in the new Culture of Personality was that of a performer,” Susman wrote. “Every American was to become a performing self.”
While working on the art for this story I wished to step away from the chaos that one might associate with the metaverse, and focus instead on a kind of desert of the self. A big, gleaming nothing, in the midst of a vast darkness. Screen, body, and space gradually coalesce. Reflection, scale, mirroring, light, perspective, and magnitude are at play.
“Life in the metaverse brings an aching contradiction: We have never been able to share so much of ourselves.
And, as study after study has shown, we have never felt more alone.”