Gray Area is pleased to present Gardens of FELT Zine Delights, a special exhibition of artwork by experimental internet artist collective FELT Zine. The show consists of a simulated world, video series, NFT collection, and interactive experience inspired by classic icons from Hieronymus Bosch’s famed triptych, The Garden of Earthly Delights (1490 - 1510).
Gardens of FELT Zine Delights stemmed from a collaboration between Mark Sabb (Concept and AI Art), Ty Vadovich (3D Artist), and Max Bochman (Web3 Developer). Though originally conceived as a series of 3D-rendered sculptures and animations to be released as a collection of NFTs, has evolved into a fully developed interactive world built using a video game engine. In this fantastic environment, FELT Zine brings imagery that has been solidified in both art and popular cultural history into a contemporary canon with current visual vernacular that speaks to modern experiences with screens: meme aesthetics, video game graphics, and algorithmic feed-space.
Promotional video artwork for Gardens of FELT Zine Delights
Playing cards and their four suits—diamonds, hearts, spades, and clubs—take a central role in Gardens of FELT Zine Delights. In much art during Bosch’s time, each of the playing card suits connotated strict religious and patriarchal themes. Breaking out of this context, FELT Zine disrupts the heavy-handed imagery in Bosch’s work with simulated, internet-culture aesthetic references with specific nods to the vaporwave movement—of which FELT Zine was a founding conceiver in the late aughts—such as 3D tropical plants, neon color palettes, and shiny texture renders.
In each video and still image output from the wider Gardens universe, certain content imagery—such as background textures—are fully generated by AI with no editing or interference from FELT Zine artists. Speaking to new modes of image-making taking hold of online communities across social media, particularly the rising popularity of artificial intelligence and machine vision tools like Open AI’s DALL-E, the Gardens of FELT Zine Delights is a modern visual culture touchstone for future web3 arts communities.
An internet art collective focused on creating digital and in-person experiences that examine digital activism, hip hop culture, race, gender and class, FELT Zine was founded a decade ago to give voice to art that wouldn’t likely be embraced by traditional galleries or museums.
"FELT Zine is dedicated to widening the conversation around digital art, and allowing space for art that hasn’t been considered critically, and artists outside of the traditional art world circuit, to be taken seriously and included in the discourse," said Mark Sabb, founder of FELT Zine and artist who's been embedded in the Bay Area cultural community. "Gray Area Gallery exists to show this exact type of boundary-breaking, experimental art, so we are excited to kick off their exhibition programming and amplify our shared value to the communities we serve."
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