World's 1st immersive NFT installation connects digital, physical space

CHICAGO -- Art installations have always been a medium for artists to blend their work within the physical space.

New Media artist Adrian Stein said he wanted to explore how digital connectivity interacted with the physical being in his new installation Quantum Mirror.

"Quantum Mirror is my structural meditation on modern human consciousness," Stein said. "It's an infinity room with over 150 mirrors that touches on our interaction with technology. Our obsession with screens, the way that our self-perception has changed as social media has become more popular in our society."

The trippy installation took Stein and his co-creator Zac Hall four months to complete.

"It's kind of talking about that multiplicity of digital identities that you have in putting you in the context of seeing your own physical form as well," Hall said.

When a viewer steps into a 300 sq. ft. mirrored space, their reflection is infinitely morphed by Stein's digital NFT animations of abstract human figures, which are displayed on a tower of screens in the center of the installation.

"These bodies coming towards you are kind of like this, you know, multiplicity of, like, all of your identities, whether it be Facebook, Instagram and the identities that you don't think of online like your email account and your bank account," Hall said. "If those things went away what would happen? Those are absolutely a part of your identity."

NFTs are the new art world phenomenon.

NFT stands for "non-fungible token" and it allows digital artists to sell their work as collectibles within the cryptocurrency market.

"Quantum Mirror is considered to be the first immersive NFT installation, meaning that when you walk into the insulation/sculpture, you're totally enveloped by the reflections created by the images on the screen," Stein said. "As you walk around and you listen to the music and view the images, you see yourself, metaphorically, literally in the reflection of the space, which is about you. Right, it's about you as a human in your interaction with technology."

The digital NFT animations incorporated in the installation are available for purchase on Mintable.

"It's a tool that we have, like social media connectivity, phones, and NFT's are tools that we have to connect with each other," Stein said, "If NFTs are used by artists in the right way, then we're actually able to participate in an economy in a much wider scale."

Quantum Mirror is currently open to visitors inside ARTSPACE 8 Gallery at 900 N. Michigan. For COVID safety, only 10 people are allowed inside the gallery at a time. Reservations can be made at www.loneystein.com