UNTITLED, ART Online & Artland review: A customer relationship manager with vast data collecting capabilities and some great artwork

Untitled added VR capability this year

UNTITLED, ART Online

Created by: Artland

Produced by: Untitled

Untitled has been around as an art fair since 2012 but this year is fully virtual and entirely available through a web-based VR experience built by Artland. The fair was originally scheduled to run from 31 July to 2 August but has been extended to Sunday 9 August at 9pm PST. There are 41 international galleries participating.

Launch date: 31 July 2020

Where to Find it

https://www.artland.com/untitled-art-online

UNTITLED, ART Online is an Artland web application accessible via computer and mobile devices, but it is much better experience on a computer, both in terms of navigation and artwork resolution.

They Say:

As a gallery partner you can take over your gallery profile to get discovered by buyers from around the world and receive qualified leads that ultimately drive sales

Artland: We believe everyone can transform from an aesthetician to a collector. We believe everyone can take part in art. No matter if you are an artist, amateur, collector, connoisseur, fan or challenger, we believe everyone deserves to be moved. As a gallery partner you can take over your gallery profile to get discovered by buyers from around the world and receive qualified leads that ultimately drive sales.

The XR panel's ratings

  • Eron Rauch gave a rating of 3/5 stars.
  • Gretchen Andrew gave a rating of 4/5 stars.
  • Carole Chainon gave a rating of 4/5 stars.

Giving an overall panel rating of 3.5/5 stars.

We Say:

UNTITLED, Art Online is replete with both excellent art and vaporwaves uncanny retro-80s aesthetics.

The website for UNTITLED, ART Online

Eron Rauch: A marble bust, 3D chequered floor, a painting drop-shadowed on a pink background; perhaps you too have slid into YouTubes cache of vaporwave art. While perhaps an odd place to start examining UNTITLED, Art Online, the self-proclaimed “First-ever VR fair” is replete with both excellent art and vaporwaves uncanny retro-80s aesthetics.

Utilizing Artlands newest platform, a simple click in your browser opens a white, translucent-ceilinged hall with two main booth-lined aisles, the walls punctuated with a few bay windows. In the centre, a large lounge extends to an outdoor patio. Both social spaces are adorned with classy computer-generated (CG) furniture, on which your virtual self has no ability to sit. Each glimpse of “Outside” reveals pixelated photography of a posh beach scene with palm trees and distant condos.

Windows at the fair show a faux beach landscape

As with many of the platforms weve reviewed, UNTITLED is not without frustrating user experience issues. Namely, you can click or use the WASD keys to move (as in gaming), but to look left, you drag the mouse to the right, and visa versa, which is very disorienting. While I might make the connection to vaporwave because of occasional pastel walls, eerie beach vibe, and slick CG furniture, these all significantly help create landmarks for navigation. Another nice feature is the ability to jump to any booth via a 2D floor plan or a spinnable toy 3D model.

For the art, 41 top international galleries are displaying works are on the walls in virtual frames. I was impressed by the overall exhibition design, which captured that critical quality of exploration at fairs of wandering to whatever catches your eye next. Many (but not all) of the artworks had excellent documentation. 3D pieces still sit awkwardly out of spatial perspective and lighting, with the exception being the surprising, well-executed Tsedaye Makonnen pillar installation.

Ultimately, this Artland VR platform is clearly an advance over other virtual platforms. But for UNTITLED, the overall feeling is somewhat eerie, like vaporwaves purgatory mall contortions. The hall is silent; no people to mingle with; no fashion to watch; no critical arguments to overhear; you walk alone in the forever frozen moment amidst the soft, digital sunlight falling at a slight angle.

Is the app easy to use?

Carole Chainon: It is very easy to access the Untitled VR Fair, whether from your computer or mobile phone. The onboarding is intuitive. Equipped with the link, we are invited to enter the fair in VR or we can browse the artwork booth by booth. Once in VR, navigation is straightforward and exploring the fair feels effortless, apart from a few wall run-ins. Connecting to the galleries is also a straightforward process.

Gretchen Andrew: Within the in-real-life (IRL) art world, there are different user types, known as “roles". For example, artist, gallerist, or collector is a role. As in software, roles represent a collection of users that are assigned permissions to perform similar actions or functions. As a system, the art world is not designed to support the usability of all groups equally. Projecting our artworld roles into software facilitates a discussion on which roles the system is best designed to serve.

The reverse is also true. Any software system such as Untitled, ART Online is designed with the priorities of certain user types. While as a computer user it is a great dealer more intuitive than the other VR exhibition apps, Artland is essentially a customer relationship management platform (CRM), a Salesforce for art, and its vast data collecting capabilities are a boon to galleries while offering collectors a value proposition worth reflecting upon. As with most free software, the collector is trading their data for convenience. As for the artist role? It is, after all, an art fair but it would have been neat to see Untitled extend its artist-run spaces into its virtual fairs.

How good is the art?

Stephen Chambers Portrait of Robert Creeley at Vigo Gallery

Carole Chainon: With 41 international galleries, it is a delight to see such a selection of wonderful works. As we get closer, some appear blurry which is unfortunate. I particularly enjoyed the 3D installations and being able to rotate around them.

Gretchen Andrew: Just as at an IRL art fair, UNTITLED, ART Online provides the opportunity for discovery. While on the hunt for a specific gallery or artist I found myself pleasantly distracted by that which I was passing. In this way, I fell in love with Stephen Chambers Portrait of Robert Creeley at Vigo Gallery.

What is gained by viewing in VR rather than In Real Life?

Carole Chainon: We weren't able to enjoy the fair in person this year due to Covid-19, so having the fair in VR really was the next best thing! Its great to see the medium being used effectively. The low-poly appearance is quite minimalist and feels a bit lonely without the real-life crowd. On the other hand this allows us to focuRead More – Source

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