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If you’re in New York, come down to the pop-up SuperRare Gallery in SoHo until July 9, and see their third exhibition titled Digital Identity where eighteen leading artists search for what identity means in the digital age. Today’s world is a web of interdependence, merging the physical and the digital, and creating new concepts of the self, and new understandings of the other. Are our digital and physical selves one and the same?

Built on Ethereum blockchain, SuperRare are leading the way to ownership of digital assets, and provide an online marketplace for the buying and selling of CryptoArt. In a similar vein to how physical portrait collections were a signifier of wealth, beauty and virtue, NFTs can also communicate the social status and identities of both artists and collectors.

Curated by An Rong and Mika Bar-On Nesher, the exhibition showcases how our increasing dependence on technology affects our sense of self, and where we root our identity. Identity is no longer confined to physical spheres, but instead spilling out into the infinite possibilities of the metaverse. Navigating the merge of the two worlds, “the artists create self-contained metaverses, each possessing a unique set of philosophical and visual languages,” says An Rong. Digital Identity, and indeed SuperRare as a marketplace, display the need for a decentralized space in which identity can be expressed and defined.

We have entered an era of avatars and digital alter egos; An Rong contemplates “the concept of the double, a parallel version of ourselves that exists out in the physical or digital universe, as both uncanny and liberating.” Not only does the exhibition define what it means to be oneself, it also explores how we place ourselves in relation to “the Other”. For example, in the works of featured artist Cath Simard, we see a series of sweeping landscapes towering over a lone hiker, perhaps as a metaphor for the vast opportunities for self-determination that the metaverse offers us. NudeYogaGirl, also blends photography and the digital, featuring the naked human form against wild, physical landscapes. From Dolce Paganne’s intricate portraiture, to Hackatao’s animated works, Digital Identity features many more incredible artists and their exploration of identity in society today.
Digital Identity is now on view at SuperRare's pop-up gallery in SoHo, 417 West Broadway New York, NY 10012 until July 9.

Words
Mina Jenkins

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