‘Experiential’ NFT Art Platform Wild reveals the latest artists to be at home

‘Experiential’ NFT Art Platform Wild reveals the latest artists to be at home

Web3 The world has no shortage of NFT platforms, but Wildxyz (or Wild) is trying what they believe is a unique approach: one focused on “experiential” artwork, founder and CEO J. Douglass Kobs told Decryptas well as one built around a residency program that helps artists immerse themselves in Web3 as well as a community of other creators.

It’s a model that has the support of actress Gwyneth Paltrow, LinkedIn founder Reid Hoffman, Twitch co-founder Kevin Lin and Philadelphia 76ers president Daryl Morey. Wild recently announced its Matrix Partners-led $7 million seed round with these investors and others, plus the firm being advised by noted NFT artist Emily “pplpleaser” Yang.

Wild launched last fall with its residency program and its first “Season 0” cohort, which included artists such as Mitchell Chan, Alunaand Harm van den Dorpel. Each creator will eventually release new NFT-based artwork through the platform, but there’s already a new Season 1 cohort set to follow in their footsteps.

The artists in Wild’s next residency batch. Image: Wild

Revealed today, the Season 1 cohort includes artist and software engineer Sarah’s friendwho is known for experimental blockchain projects, as well as an artist and musician Serwah Attafuahwho has worked with GQ and Paris Hilton on NFT drop and who Kobs said he thinks “will be a household name one day.”

Other artists in the cohort include Jonas Lund—which has its own DAO and token — as well Nic Hamilton, Anna Lucia, Beryl, Lisa Odette, Gabriel Massan, Idil Dursun, Matthewand Tim Maxwell. The Season 1 group is rounded off StupidGiant, Santiago, Jerk Beasley, Nygilia, Sam Hains, Jenny Jiang, Yuma Yanagisawaand Mia Pixley.

There is a wide mix of artists from around the world, some of whom are more prominent than others or perhaps have deeper Web3 experience. Curating such a diverse group of artists appears to be a deliberate move, as Wild forms unique connections across the 12-week virtual residency program and helps each participant learn along the way.

AY Combinator for artists

According to Kobs, the residency includes a variety of programming, such as classes taught by artists to the rest of the group, allowing them to share their skills and experiences. Wild also brings in notable mentors: in the first group, influential pseudonymous generative audiovisual artist Deafbeef mentored artist Caleb Ogg for his recent Machines NFT falls.

Kobs describes it as being like Y Combinator for artists – an accelerator for creators to expand their Web3 skills and ultimately produce and launch new art through the platform. The goal is to “surround the artists with a bunch of villains that they can learn from,” Kobs said Decryptwith the goal of creating connections and community and providing distinctive blockchain art.

“I’m always happy to connect with and learn from artists in any way, but have always lacked some kind of structure, I guess,” Attafuah said. “Wild gives me a place to riff off of a really solid community of diversely talented creatives and I’m really looking forward to the Wild sessions as I take away so much more to reflect on.”

Building the Wildverse

It is a starting point for what Wild aims to build long-term, which is a destination for what Kobs calls “experience-based” art. The start-up is all-in on an immersive, spatial internet that can be experienced in VR or AR – what many would call metaverse, although Kobs believes the term has been “bastardized.” (His team calls it the “Wildverse” instead.)

Each NFT released through Wild features an immersive 3D environment for viewers to explore. Wild Oasis NFTs, for example, both offer platform benefits to holders and allow users to wander through a jungle. Machines’ NFTs have both 2D artwork and a virtual art gallery to view it within.

“People want to be in spaces that they can explore, and where they can make an emotional connection to someone who has created work,” Kobs said. “That place doesn’t really exist digitally, in my experience. I haven’t found it.”

Releases projects such as NFT-based interactive games and anarchic Microsoft Paint-esque sketches may not seem like the most direct route to an immersive online art experience. However, Kobs sees the current and future production of the cohorts as steps towards a thriving artist community that can support increasingly ambitious future Web3 work.

“I think these building blocks are really incredible things built by incredible people, that we can explore and then talk about and learn about — and also meet people along the way,” he said. “I see it as this catalyst for us to build a space that I want to play in and learn in, and that I want to meet people and create these relationships in.”

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