We had the pleasure to interview SINGULART artist Anna Dart about her experience with the intersection of art, technology, and fashion through her most recent work with THE FABRICANT.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I’m Anna Dart. I’m an artist, storyteller, creator, and advocate of female empowerment and sustainability. Since I was born, I’ve been practicing traditional art . However, professionally speaking, it all started in 2012 when I began exhibiting my works worldwide. I have always gravitated towards other arts like dancing, poetry, filming, and even architecture, which is how I became inspired by Antoni Gaudi and the other worlds he created through his work.
How did you begin to work with NFTs with your artwork? What made you gravitate towards it?
Having always been curious about integrating technology into my art practice, and expanding the boundaries of contemporary art, I consider myself a futurist .“Phygital” is a term that describes the experiences that blend the physical environment with the digital. In this moment of innovation, I think artists should be at the forefront of emerging tech, like NFTs. This technology allows us to create new experiences, and I like to think about if great masters, like Gaudi, could live in this moment; what kind of art would they create with this?
In 2020, I began working with Exquisite Workers, a tech spin-off of the Surrealist’s Exquisite Corpses, showcased on Instagram. In the last two years, we received almost 2,700 drawings from this digital collaborative project. From this, we created a collection to be bought, sold, or collected in our virtual museum. Interestingly, nearly 95% of our artists had never worked with NFTs beforehand.
You have probably heard of the word “Metaverse”; We are in the stone age of Metaverse, at the precipice of what we call the “Web3” world. The lockdown and gaming paved the way for it. With there being hundreds or if not thousands of them, like the galaxies, Metaverses are virtual worlds in which your most surrealist dream comes alive, from making friends to educating yourself, visiting hotels before booking them, etc. The idea of the Metaverse is a synchronous online experience tailored around the individual. We live in an incredible moment of history, where virtual reality opens up a whole new space of possibilities!
Complex advanced servers from gaming helped bring infrastructure for more people to interact in virtual environments. Games like The Sims, Second Life, and Roblox planted the seeds for what we now call the Digital Fashion industry. Recognizing Digital Fashion as its own art form is crucial to ensuring that the people curating and rendering these designs are rightfully acknowledged.
Could you tell us more about Digital Fashion at the intersection of arts and technology?
Digital Fashion, aka virtual or e-Fashion, is the visual representation of clothing created with 3D software. Since the first PCs, people have been doing Digital Fashion by rendering characters and skins. Crafted from excellent materials, virtual clothing does not adhere to physical rules, and E-garments provide limitless possibilities for invention.
An example is The Sims, where you can create thousands of variations of outfits; however, you, the creator, can not use or wear them in your out-of-screen life. This is where Digitial Fashion comes in. The best way to explain it is a filter you may find on Instagram. It’s like having a filter like this over your clothes. Even now, we are seeing more brands and celebrities have an e-Fashion category (Moschino, Prada, Nike, Grimes, etc.). A great example of a leading Digital Fashion house is The Fabricant, with whom I had the pleasure to work recently.
Who is The Fabricant, and how did you become involved with them?
The Fabricant is an Amsterdam-based Digital Fashion house that creates e-dresses for the future. They also build new collaboratives that are sustainable and more equitable ground for the Fashion and Art Industries. They created a workshop called The Fabricant Studio, which you could access for a limited time and become a Virtual Fashion Designer.
For their second season, The Fabricant invited me on behalf of the Exquisite Workers community to join the highly curated female-focused collaboration with the World of Women. Stepping into this task, I wanted to make a meaningful contribution that I would be proud of over the years. I regarded this opportunity as a chance to break free from the constraints of normality. I referred to my large traditional art portfolio on SINGULART Gallery, particularly two acrylic paintings, My Life is a Circus and Turn.
For three days, participants of The Fabricant Studio had a chance to customize their master dress with 24 colors, 20 materials, and 27 looks to choose from. Everything has happened online in real-time; 2665 variations were created out of the 300k possible combinations, with my digital-only Fabrics chosen 555 times, making them the most popular in the campaign. Since its closing, the collection is now a limited edition, making the items scarce and highly valuable.
One of the participants, SIMO artist, shares her impressions about her Digital Dress:
“It’s my favorite piece of all the Digital Fashion items I own so far. I named it “Dream of Gaudí”. It takes me back to 2008-09 Barcelona when I explored the city and got to know the genius Gaudí up close. Now I have Gaudí embedded in this garment forever through Anna Dart´s Material.”
I am grateful to SINGULART for its community efforts and these thoughtful questions. I hope more SINGULART artists will be inspired to participate in this history-making moment representing the beginning of a new era in which we marry art, fashion, and tech, evoking human emotions and the best of the culture.