PRECIOUS META(L) & THE FUTURE OF DIGITAL JEWELLERY
CARBON is launching Mercurial, a state-of-the-art metamaterial that will pioneer a new virtual experience, unlocking the unlimited potential of virtual design, expression and collaboration.
“If what AARON is making is not art, what is it exactly? And in what ways, other than its origin, does it differ from the real thing?” asked Harold Cohen, inventor of AARON, the computer program developed to create original artistic images. The British-born artist was one of the first to explore computer-generated art in the 70s, and yet the questions he raised remained at the core of our virtual (art) experiences: what makes something real?
Carbon’s debut project places itself at the core of that question by exploring the very fundamentals of our reality: matter itself. Mercurial is an entirely virtual metamaterial, an artistic attempt at rendering mass and volume in the digital sphere. Designed by contemporary artist Andy Picci to evoke the properties of precious metal — weight, plasticity, and unparalleled beauty — the metamaterial confronts us with the essence of materiality.
How can we replicate real-world processes — in this case, the act of forging exquisite art from raw metal — in the digital world? The answer lies in bold and ambitious digital artistry. What may begin from lines of code — a splay of two-dimensional, electrically-powered pixels — suddenly carries the value of a limited, earthly resource. Upon the minting of an NFT, those pixels are directly and continuously tethered to our environment.
Continuing the parallel with real-world metals, Mercurial is experienced in two steps: The initial stage of the project is purchasable as a single orb of virtual metamaterial, from a limited edition run of 6000 NFTs. Then, just like a physical precious metal, that base is offered to the world’s most forward-thinking jewellery designers who morph the material into jewellery and facial adornments through state of the art designs (called ‘programs’) — exclusively available to the owners of the metamaterial. These jewellery designs will function on multiple platforms in Augmented Reality, including Instagram, Google Meet and Zoom, with further utility including compatibility with Virtual Avatars accompanying their owners in the Metaverse.
Just as a master jeweller transforms a lump of precious metal into a work of art, Carbon has created a virtual equivalent to the process, combining all the creative possibilities of rare raw materials with the utility of digital assets. Thus, Mercurial explores both the core fundamentals of physicality and the creative process that transmutes matter into art, luxury, fashion and jewellery.
Utilising digital capabilities to their fullest potential, the Mercurial NFT also acts as a unique virtual key. As well as unlocking access to the design programs, ownership of the Mercurial NFT also provides a free-of-charge subscription to the exclusive Carbon membership, a privilege for core members of the CARBON community. Our collaborators will also be providing further utility as the Mercurial project develops, including airdrops and VIP access to IRL events, launch parties and other collectables.
Who are we?
Carbon is the first fashion MetaZine, a digital platform showcasing the most cutting-edge and collectable fashion imagery and storytelling. Commissioned and curated by a team of leading fashion industry figures, every element of Carbon is exclusively produced for the crypto-empowered Metaverse. Featuring fashion projects across photography, video, AR and VR, gaming, and digital art — every part of Carbon is purchasable in its unique Web3.0 marketplace as highly collectable NFTs and digital fashion. Carbon is creating a destination for the world’s leading fashion creatives to present and monetise their most innovative work within the new digital NFT economy, providing them with a highly curated platform in line with their luxury-industry standards.
Maintaining the core values of the team behind its creation, this inaugural release by Carbon demarcates a historic moment for the annals of fashion and crypto; the first bold strides in our journey to forge the future of virtual fashion, art and design.