Who will we be when we can be anything?
William Gibson first described it: “Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in each nation, by children learning mathematical concepts. A graphical representation of the data extracted from the banks of each computer in the human system. Unthinkable complexity. Lines of light stretched out in the non-space of the mind, clusters and constellations of data. Like the city lights receding.
In the days of the analog glory of the early 1980s, when exciting new arcade releases such as Pac-Man stoked the public’s hunger for the joyous escape from computer games, Gibson extrapolated where all that harmless fun could be. lead.
Its science fiction novel Neuromancer would consolidate cyberpunk as a genre and spawn a whole new virtual dystopia in which to play our technological paranoia. A decade later, Neal Stephenson’s novel Snow Crash – now a staple on Silicon Valley’s reading list – would take over and use cyberspace..
Foreshadowing both cryptocurrencies and the concept of the internet based on virtual reality, the author gave us the buzzword of our time – “Metaverse”.
In science fiction, the digitally connected environment has remained a place of both fear and intrigue, a man-made network in which we become self-slaves in a matrix beyond our control.
Yet as we conceptualize the closest iteration to what Gibson and Stephenson envisioned, the anticipation is off the chain.
The nascent metaverse may be several years away, but several players are gearing up to define our brand new unreality. If the initial promise is anything to keep, things are about to get visually spectacular and candy-colored.
The Metaverse, a universe of persistent virtual spaces that will form the immersive iteration of the Internet, in which we will interact, process, and experience, currently keeps developers and coders on the planet deeply connected to their keyboards.
Epic Games, creators of multiplayer giant Fortnite, is the name most often dropped as a favorite in space and is beta testing our appetite for virtual spell by serving digital wow after wow to experienced gamers.
Epic’s big name gigs in Fortnite’s “Party Royale” mode have inspired millions of people to throw their guns into the game and be transported on beautifully imagined 3D journeys, featuring artists Marshmello, Travis Scott and Ariana Grande.
With each musician portrayed as a dominant avatar in landscapes of images that bring their sound and aesthetic to life, the craziness of visual technology in each concert is a commitment to wow minds; the predicted digital dystopia reinterpreted as joyous excitement.
If we take a moment to step away from the dazzling imagery, it is the avatars themselves that we should stop to consider.
These particular digital twins were born for entertainment and are mostly faithful recreations of their human counterparts, created for instant recognition by their fans.
However, in the metaverse, in an existence beyond physics and boundaries, all options are on the table, and we are about to have a banquet of expressive possibilities. If the lines of identity blur IRL as we embrace broader notions of gender, imagine the debate when we can picture ourselves as an entirely new species.
As we all become digi-sapiens, will the politics of real-world identity become meaningless or will it be digitally amplified to become more vital than ever?
Now that RenaiXance technology is upon us and we wander wide-eyed into the magical hinterland between being and non-being, it is worth considering which aspects of our “selves” will pass into the realm. digital and which we will keep in the solid ground of physical reality.
These aren’t necessarily thoughts many are losing sleep on right now, but for The Manufacturer, as a digital fashion house that only creates non-physical garments, it’s these kinds of questions that inform our process as we go. let’s iterate the metaverse wardrobe.
Creating a fashion for the non-physical space requires us to simultaneously press our own neural buttons while we code the drape and fit of a digital garment. From our perspective, the 3D fashion we create is not just about digital dressing, but a way to convey emotions as we journey through humanity into a new realm of existence.
It sounds like a lot, but fashion has always been the front line of our identity, and it is the means by which we will realize ourselves in environments where we are no longer tied to genetics or the need to decide whether a garment flatters or fails. The data looks good for everyone.
Transcending physicality also means transcending self-judgment and allows us to take experimental steps that we would otherwise be afraid to take. If the Metaverse lives up to its conceptual height, in its realms we will be beyond age, beyond gender, and when skin becomes a matter of choosing between fish scales or bark. tree, beyond ethnicity.
The scope of digital fashion will include more than trying on clothes; we will try new bodies, new experiences, new ideas and new lives. Those unexpressed corners of our identity that we have hidden for fear of straying from an “appropriate” presentation are about to spend their day in the data sun. Prepare to take a walk on the wild side. After all, there is no danger of a twisted ankle in digital ten-inch stilettos.
With blockchain and crypto fueling our metaverse experiences, the spirit of decentralization will underpin its philosophy and manifest itself in resistance to old world systems. On the fashion side, we will say goodbye to the historical guardians of style and their velvet cords, who will not have much to say in the democratic space of digital fashion creativity.
The data will influence the design, and those who do not currently consider themselves fashion connoisseurs will create their own looks.
New tribes will form as clothing becomes tools of communication and connection. Want to signal your love of all things Rick and Morty? Then you can rehearse like Rick’s disembodied white lab coat scrolling through dialogue from your favorite episodes, ready for outings to 3D worlds that recreate the duo’s intergalactic escapades.
Dedicated digital fashionauts will find new ways to explore individuality with clothing that communicates hopes, dreams and desires. Digi-couture collections coded with personality types defined by Carl Jung could detect traits that match those of your soul mate.
Translucent ambient clothes made of changing color landscapes could go from deaf to bright in response to your emotions. Physical pieces that have long since crumbled to dust can be digitally revived to create new stories, and physically impossible figures will take shape in spaces beyond gravity.
Algae, glass, light beams and blood cells will become digital fabrics for clothing containing playlists, stories, hidden messages or belief systems. All of this, if an interoperable open metaverse becomes the norm, will flow seamlessly through virtual worlds to be worn, traded and collected.
The vast creative possibilities of digital fashion will spark an ongoing process of experimentation to discover the most meaningful ways to display our innermost being. What we can predict with certainty is the sheer volume of digital clothing that will be required when we are voicing not one but many of us in a range of characters, from professional to gamer.
This pressing capacity issue is something The Manufacturer is addressing right now by unlocking the ability for anyone, anywhere to become a digital fashion designer through collaborative creation. It is our goal to initiate a fashion revolution for a more democratic, fair and sustainable industry, adapted to our technological age.
Our co-creation studio is starting its first seasons and allows digital fashion newbies to craft and craft limited edition clothing in NFT form, requiring no knowledge of 3D software. The designers and brands experienced in the 3D space deposit blank clothes ready to be personalized.
Users collaborate on the design by selecting from the multiple fabrics, textures and colors available for each, creating a unique new piece. No two are alike, providing scarcity to give the clothes a value that will benefit everyone involved in their creation in perpetuity.
The intention is to create a virtuous circle of creativity, participation and compensation that will improve the lives of our digital and physical selves.
In our physical reality, billionaires build rockets to transport themselves on ego-trips to the far reaches of our atmosphere. However, in the digital realm, it is the universes that we ourselves will create that will allow each of us to experience new ways of being.
As we speculate on who we will become as humanity focuses on the potential of the non-physical, it is wise to revisit the original meaning of the word “avatar” as defined in Sanskrit, the ancient native language of the Hinduism. It means “descent”, meaning the manifestation or incarnation of a released deity on Earth.
Perhaps rightly so, this is the word we use now to describe how we will self-create to become the gods and goddesses of our own imaginations.