Forget lifetimes of sorrow: a hyper-surreal browser-based world explored through NFTs

A strange browser-based world created by ExitSimulation and Varg²™ is presented as the first episode of an immersive audio-visual EP. Further episodes will unfold over the coming months, with each appearing as a separate NFT. The hyper-surreal environment of ‘Forget lifetimes of sorrow‘ is meditative like a stimulant, and it brings the two artists into a striking collaborative orbit around their novel creation.

ExitSimulation, real name Aaron Jablonski, is a digital artist, art director, and creative technologist based in Berlin. He works with technology in ways that enhance and examine our relationship to it. This places his work in line with developments in Extended Reality (XR), CGI, and creative coding. ExitSimulation’s digital creations and XR experiences are typically abstract and amorphous, with his digital sculptures detailing some kind of biological horror that’s simultaneously tender and alienating. He’s currently one of the artists in residence at Factory Berlin and Sónar+D.

Varg²™ is the moniker of Jonas Rönnberg. As co-founder of Stockholm’s Northern Electronics label, Varg²™ casts a cryptic shadow from the north over contemporary platforms in club music and more. His work has many touchstones, and he’s an agile collaborator and experimenter, particularly with artists in the circle of Denmark’s Posh Isolation. Despite his lack of constraint, it’s his starry-eyed misanthropy that colours his work most memorably. Varg²™ regularly presents his work internationally at music and art festivals, and most often in clubs. He’s made numerous appearances at festivals such as Berlin Atonal and Unsound.

Forget lifetimes of sorrow‘ is the pair’s first collaboration, though the themes and aesthetics of their respective practices share a great deal in common. Both ExitSimulation and Varg²™ have a keen sense of the melancholy in technology’s fragmentation of human experience, particularly social experience. Neither back out of this nauseating reality but rather engage it directly. For ExitSimulation this is primarily a visual enquiry. For Varg²™ it’s a sonic exploration.

For the first episode of their audio-visual EP the artists have engaged their mutual motifs by constructing a decelerative experience in the form of a virtual space which indirectly stands in contrast to the pace of media consumption we usually see in digital media. The landscape and all the details of ‘Forget lifetimes of sorrow‘ seemingly congregate around several alien sculptures that promise some kind of kinetic attack. The space is layered with sound such that the user’s movement through the terrain determines the composition of the soundtrack. The lighting and scenery likewise shimmers and morphs over time, with the glowing light sources offering readings of poems and texts about transcendental states, consciousness expansion, and our spurious relationship with nature. ‘Forget lifetimes of sorrow‘ aims to articulate a meditative state through the combination of these elements.

Every interaction with the environment in turn affects the way in which these parts manifest and fuse in subsequent visits. The experience renders differently every time. It’s therefore useful that screenshot functionality is built into the interface so that users may capture unique moments (by pressing ‘P’ on the keyboard).

Fragmentary texts roam the space too, often acknowledging how psychedelic associations are one and the same as religious experience. Vaporously soaring into view from above, there’s a playful hallucination that’s being provoked by the texts. Among them is a board. This board shows how ‘Forget lifetimes of sorrow‘ integrates with the SuperRare API. It displays the five highest bidders for the work in real time, opening up a new door to how visitors of the experience may interact with the artwork and the artists.

Forget lifetimes of sorrow‘ is the first episode of an immersive audio-visual EP by ExitSimulation and Varg²™ that is going to be released over the coming months as NFTs. Visitors can explore a hyper-surreal virtual world interactively and explore subjects like transcendental states, consciousness expansion, and our spurious relationship with nature through an audio-visual browser experience. This immersive world is best experienced through a desktop computer / laptop on Chrome and FireFox.

Custom Typeface created by Tr3mila (@tr3mila)

ExitSimulation x Varg2tm

Custom Typeface created by Tr3mila (@tr3mila)

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