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A.A. Murakami’s debut NFT collection is an ode to Earth’s 'bubbly' beginnings

Created as an ode to primordial life on Earth, “Floating World Genesis”, features animated scenes of colorful, dancing bubbles that mimics the dynamics of the biosphere, and marks the artist duo’s first foray into NFTs via their own unique "mataverse".

In collaboration with Pace Verso and generative art platform Art Blocks, A.A. Murakami’s debut NFTs are a collection of animated scenes featuring shape-shifting, multi-colored bubbles, a recurring source of interest for the Tokyo and London-based artist-duo.


Launching today (December 21) at 12pm EST on Art Blocks, “Floating World Genesis” is the first component of a multidisciplinary project that pays homage to primordial life on Earth. The collection comprises 250 unique NFTs, each featuring animated bubbles — and among them: mesmerizing scenes of colorful microbial bubbles splitting and multiplying that mimics the dynamics of the biosphere, giving off tranquil, meditative and hypnotic qualities often associated with minimalist paintings and the Light and Space movement — a minimalist art movement that originated in Southern California in the early 1960s.


“Usually you can't take home a bubble, you can take home the memory of it, but then I really love the idea that you can actually capture it somehow on the blockchain and make it something you can take home,” Alexander Groves, one half of AA Murakami, told Artazine. 

Bubbles have been an enduring source of inspiration for A.A. Murakami, whose seminal work New Spring, which was displayed during Milan Design Week 2017, is an interactive, multi-sensory installation that emits mist-filled blossoms. Given the artists’ track record of producing work that straddles art, design and technology, it is not surprising to find the incredibly technical and scientific methods adopted to realizing their first NFT project.


The duo is Inspired by the 1953 Miller-Urey experiment, which simulated conditions of the early days of the Earth to explore how life first formed in the primordial oceans through self-organizing bubbles.


The bubble is also a common motif in art history, and has long been used as a memento mori, a reminder of the transitory nature of life.


“They exist and you watch them burst. It's this reminder that this beautiful thing exists and it's fleeting. So yeah, bubbles are in a way trivial and light and silly, but at the same time, actually very profound,” said Groves.


“Floating World Genesis” explores the kinetic possibilities of bubbles (here’s a really detailed breakdown on the technical complexities), producing a wide range of generative effects. Hence the opacities and diffusions of color vary among the NFTs, as do the shapes and positions of the bubbles. Some of the NFTs are stereoscopic even, allowing viewers to have a three-dimensional experience.

Co-founded by architect Azusa Murakami and artist Alexander Groves, A.A. Murakami is known for their “ephemeral tech” installations that employ the use of technology to recreate immersive, organic experiences that almost feel sublime, and are intended to be experienced in-person, rather than standard interfaces like screens.


With the multifaceted Floating World Genesis series, the duo aims to further explore the possibilities of blockchain art in engaging all viewers in immersive and tactile environments.


They even coined a term for this concept, calling it the “mataverse,” which represents the space between the physical and digital worlds.


“We are really interested in materials and that's why we want to actually bring materiality to NFTs,” explains Groves. “We're not interested in making a metaverse because again, like I said, I spend too much of my life already online and on emails. But we're interested in — this “mataverse” — is combining real life installations with blockchain [-enabled art], which you experienced with all your senses. And we want to make a true synthesis of those.”