ARANEA2

NFT/CRYPTO ART

Walking the quarries, searching for the almost invisible, Josip Mijić does not only explore the physical space; the earthly. This (almost) invisible thing he is looking for is not necessarily immaterial either, even though that contrast between the material and the immaterial will be the backbone of the Aranea2 cycle. Mijić goes in search for spider webs that he borrows from nature, like a pedantic arachnologist, and sticks onto wooden, black-colored cubes that he carries on his person. He repeats the process in closed spaces as well, transferring the spider webs from dusty corners of museums and galleries onto these same cubes.

While this process was dominant in the first version of the Aranea2 cycle, this time, the question of the immaterial is potentiated as Mijić takes his 10 cm3 cubes and transfers them into new media – virtual reality and NFTs (non-fungible tokens) – which relegate their material nature to the background.

The backbone or, perhaps, the leading thread of this cycle is the contrast between the material and the immaterial; the physical and the spiritual; the worldly and otherworldly. Thus, the black paint (black 2.0 that completely absorbs light and in which the cubes are covered) is contrasted with the white spider web. The spider web is barely noticeable without sunlight reflecting off its silky threads. The colour black then becomes a symbol of black earth – the ground we walk upon and in which physical life begins and ends at the same time. The spider web is a symbol of the eternal.

This all evokes Ovid’s myth of Arachne, who was renowned throughout the land for her weaving skills. (The allusion to art is not coincidental.) She was, as the story goes, even better than the goddess Athena whom she outshone in a weaving contest. The shamed Arachne tried to hang herself, and Athena punished her by slacking the rope and turning Arachne into a spider, condemned to weave her web for eternity.

It is no coincidence that the spider web became a symbol of skill and effort. But it also took on other meanings – that same web is used to catch prey; while it ends one life, it feeds another. The cycle of life and death continues.

Homer, on the other hand, describes the three Moirai (The Fates) who weave the thread of life; Clotho starts spinning the thread when we are born, Lachesis weaves it and keeps it safe, and Atropos is in charge of cutting it. This kind of web is not a spider’s web; it is handmade. However, the metaphor stays connected to human life, which can (or perhaps does not have to?) be preordained.

Whether the web is spun by destiny or man himself, its shape is defined by the circumstances in which it is made. Take a look at the pieces from the Aranea2 cycle; the more geometrical spider webs are made in the harmonious environment of nature, in accordance with the cubes they adhere to. But the obvious irregularity of the webs spun in closed spaces speaks of the chaos that rules the physical world, especially the one inhabited by man.

Escape from that chaotic world is something art can offer, if just for a moment. New media, such as virtual reality, can transport us into an entirely different world (ironically, still created by man). In the Aranea2 cycle, the viewer has the opportunity to see physical, tangible cubes covered in spider webs inside the white cube of the gallery space. But as soon as they put on a VR headset, they are transported into a bare, infinite, white space filled with – spider webs. To step into them or not? One does not have to be an arachnophobe to hesitate. While these spider webs are a trap in the physical world, in the virtual one, they become ghosts; astral bodies through which we can pass. The fear of the physical, the material, then vanishes. One realizes that they do not have to stand in their cube, hunched over and trapped, but that they can stretch and explore the white expanse before them and weave their own web.

ARANEA2

Edition: 1/1
Type: 3D Object (glb)

Edition: 1/1
Type: 3D Object (glb)

Edition: 1/1
Type: 3D Object (glb)

Edition: 1/1
Type: 3D Object (glb)

Edition: 1/1
Type: 3D Object (glb)

Edition: 1/1
Type: 3D Object (glb)

Edition: 1/1
Type: 3D Object (glb)

Edition: 1/1
Type: 3D Object (glb)

Edition: 1/1
Type: 3D Object (glb)

Edition: 1/1
Type: 3D Object (glb)

Edition: 1/1
Type: 3D Object (glb)

Edition: 1/1
Type: 3D Object (glb)

Edition: 1/1
Type: 3D Object (glb)

Edition: 1/1
Type: 3D Object (glb)

Edition: 1/1
Type: 3D Object (glb)