Subterranean Virtualscapes, Virginia Bianchi Gallery, 27 May – 29 July

Subterranean Virtualscapes
Virginia Bianchi Gallery
27 May – 29 July
curated by Virginia Bianchi

Artists: Sofia Braga, Fred Cosci, The Cool Couple, Federica Di Pietrantonio, Andrea Frosolini, Kamilia Kard, Rachele Maistrello, Martina Menegon, Deborah Mora, Alessandro Moroni, Alice Palamenghi, Veronica Petukhov, Valeria Segna, Olia Svetlanova, Matteo Zamagni.

Subterranean Virtualscapes is the result of the gallery’s willingness to be involved with two different subjects, the first being the recently boomed crypto art marketplace: VBG believes it is paramount, for realities operating in the realm of digital art, to engage with the new terrain of NFTs to take a stance against its critical ecological unsustainability and pledged free market opportunities. Subterranean Virtualscapes is our answer to this too-hastily-expanded ecosystem whose basic technology, however, we believe could be beneficial to artists and other
players of the digital art world.

For this reason, the platform hic et nunc has been chosen to host the minting of the works in their NFT version: hic et nunc is a newly established, decentralised marketplace for NFTs on the Tezos blockchain, a cryptocurrency that uses proof of stake, a 90% greener and more sustainable process than its counterpart, proof of work, used by most popular currencies like Ethereum and Bitcoins. To assure neophytes of crypto art the opportunity to take part in the collecting process, VBG also chose to make the works available through a traditional acquisition process – with fiat and authenticity certificates.

The second subject addressed by Subterranean Virtualscapes is digital art in the Italian ecosystem. In line with the gallery’s mission, the show poses itself to be an innovative and groundbreaking opportunity for Italian-born artists to experiment with a still unfamiliar medium for the Italian art scene. In September 2012 issue of Artforum, art historian and critic Claire Bishop referred to the art market’s hesitation to embrace new media art as “a preoccupation that is present but denied, perpetually active but apparently buried”: while the situation might have improved in other countries, Italy still has a long way to go. Subterranean Virtualscapes is the first step towards the gallery’s long term commitment to create online and offline exhibiting spaces for Italian new media artists, in a wider attempt to put digital art under the spotlight.

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