ARIUM platform - a conversation with Dan Oved, Co-Founder of Arium
Breezy Art is happy to announce that we are partnering with ARIUM platform. Discover more about this amazing new way to connect and enjoy art together in this interview!
Arium: why this name?
Arium is a suffix indicating those places that were created to contain a bunch of things brought together in intentional ways. With Aquarium it’s aquatic life, in a Planetarium it’s projections of galaxies, stars, and planets, in a terrarium a mix of plantlife living symbiotically.
We think of Arium as something similar: spaces that creators can make and which bring art, landscapes, architecture and people together for joyful experiences.
How did you come up with the idea of Arium?
Both Aidan Nelson, my co-founder, and I (Dan Oved) were postgraduate researchers at the Interactive Telecommunication Program at NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts in 2020. A big part of the program is the widely attended end of the year student show, where students both show their projects, stand in front of it and talk to attendees about the work. The social aspect around experiencing the art is just as important as the work itself and when the pandemic hit, there was no platform out there that could replicate this experience.
Standard video conferencing tools are not good for large social events, as only one person can speak at a time, and smaller group conversations only occur with manual facilitation from the call organizer. 3D VR programs always feature avatars as people, and this lacks the human connection when faces are not visible. Traditional websites for viewing artwork, like online viewing rooms or website builders, lack the shared experience of viewing the work together with other people at the same time.
So we developed a browser based 3d environment where student work was displayed along the wall, and instead of avatars, webcams captured the students and attendees and displayed them on cubes as they moved through the space. The sound of an attendees voice would get louder based on proximity, allowing people to cluster together in large events naturally to smaller groups, making the social aspect fun, serendipitous, and not fatiguing. The graduate school floor, where the physical show would have taken place, was recreated for this environment.
This show was widely attended, and unlike the traditional video conferring call, people stayed for hours and enjoyed themselves. Attending this event felt like being in the room together. The space was left open for weeks, and we discovered random people dropping into the space throughout the weeks for their own impromptu social events. We knew we were onto something that people really liked, and we got unsolicited requests for people to have spaces like this for themselves.
What does Arium bring to the space of digital art, virtual shows and events?
Arium is a new way to experience art and events collectively in a virtual setting. It brings back the social experience and human connection of being in the same physical space with a bunch of friends and strangers to a remote context, allowing everyone to collectively experience educational content or awe-inspiring art in a beautiful setting.
We are making the online viewing room a social, shared experience.
Artists, creators, and galleries can express themselves through their spaces, as they can fully customize anything, from the landscape, to the structures, to the lighting, and embed images, videos, 3d models, live streams, mirrors and more into their environment; physical constraints are lifted. Spaces can be as small or large as the creator wants, from a room with images on the walls to a museum to a landscape with rivers, trees, and a sea and life size installations scattered throughout, encouraging exploration, playfulness, and discovery.
Attendees and spaces hosts/creators form a connection to each other and the work by being fully immersed in it together.
We don’t intend for this to replace the in person event, but is the perfect option for a hybrid one which is the trend of the future; thanks to Arium offering a remote option - art shows and events can be attended by anyone in the world without them needing to be physically present, which benefits the environment with less fuel burned from travel.
Try to describe the Arium experience ... or we should just come and see?
The first words we hear when people enter are, “wow, this is amazing” or “I’ve never experienced something like this before” or “this is way better than ____” or “this is just like real life!” - of course the best way to find out is to try it out yourself!
Where is Arium going?
We want to be the destination where people go to to create and experience art and events online.
How do we get there? Stay tuned to find out!
Crypto Art: how do you see the integration of the crypto art space with the Arium platform?
I love the crypto art space. Since being introduced to it by you, I’ve discovered a whole world of new artists and wonderful passionate community. I feel crypto artists are pushing the limits of what's possible with technology, visuals, sound and 3d, and we see Arium as the ultimate way to view and experience this art with others. We think crypto art spaces and events held on the Arium platform bring the global community of artists, the collectors, and their fans together, connecting them in new ways and fostering the community. Since we are focused on purely the event and exhibition aspect of these events, we feel we can create the most high-fidelity and joyful experience around this.
Since we allow full customization, we see artists creating entire spaces and worlds built around their work, telling a story and bringing context to it in ways that’s not possible when viewing the art on a marketplace or twitter. And such - we see spaces created for crypto art on Arium a perfect complement and enhancement to the artists sales and public presence, their story and identity.
We see this also as a way for collectors to signal what they own, and invite their friends to hang out together in their spaces.
List a few things that Arium has and nobody else does.
Arium is built by artists and we understand the mindset and what’s needed for creatives to express themselves.
We can support events with large amounts of people yet individuals can have agency over their experience and social interactions.
We allow for full customizability.
We work in the browser and do not require a VR headset.
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