Artist Carrie Able Believes VR/AR Will Help Drive Collaboration

The popular artist says XR technology will allow more people to explore their creativity in exciting new ways.

Carrie Able is an internationally known XR artist whose work peels back the layers of where art and XR intersect to uncover an unexplored space of creativity that blends VR sculptures, oil painting, and coding. The outcome is a series of one-of-a-kind virtual art that becomes a stream of consciousness while at the same time unintentionally reflecting her own identity.

Able is also a well-known musician with an international following who attracts over 71K listens a month on Spotify. Two of her songs have over 1 million streams each while her Instagram page has almost 185K followers. 

Able’s creative perspective has even caught the attention of Forbes Magazine calling her a “Pioneer in XR Art as a multidisciplinary artist who breaks genres within the field of art”.

Just recently, Able traveled to Venice, Italy for the premiere of her solo exhibition DALL’ANIMA at the 59th Venice Biennale during the sixth edition of Personal Structures: Reflections. Invited by the European Cultural Centre (ECC), Able’s participation showcased her vision of volumetric, holographic, and decentralized blockchain technology through performance, oil painting, and spoken word. 

Through this approach, Able discovers new pathways for art and the evolution of Web3 and XR. VRScout reached out to Able while she was in Venice to learn more about her work in XR and the excitement surrounding Personal Structures: Reflections, presented with the European Cultural Centre:

“As an artist, I am constantly creating, often out of necessity, and have been developing this new collection of traditional and XR-enabled works for the past 3 years,” said Able in an email.

“The goal of this presentation of works has always been to harness the opportunity to represent the full capacity of my multidisciplinary practice, spanning live performance, music, oil painting, sculpture, and cryptocurrency, each interacting with Extended Reality. I am working to inform a global audience about how immersive art can increase accessibility and cross-cultural communication. There are inevitably parts of my female and queer identity in my work but that is not my intentional focus.”

For Able, who worked with her curator Sam Light and the staff of the ECC, their work reflects the joys and pains of the human experience. The project also showcases original choreography by Pink Supakarn Niruktisart, performed by herself along with dancer Kate Griffler.

When asked about the future of XR, music, and art landing, Able talked about the expansion of XR in both widespread adoption and global art market capacity, stating, “The delineation between genres will have a symbiosis and not a sharp distinction. Just as in film production, a vast amount of skill sets are needed to produce the final product of a profound XR experience. I think XR will drive more collaboration between all types of artists, but also for developers to learn more art skills, musicians to learn more about painting, and children coming of age not to see such a strong distinction at all.”

It is an exciting time to be an artist, according to Able, especially considering how easily accessible XR technology is through smartphones and computers and how literally anyone with an internet connection can produce, edit, write and star in their own work.

To fall back on the question of where XR will “land,” Able says, “I do not believe that XR tech will ever land, but will continue to evolve. Just as the invention of the analog film camera inspired painters to expand beyond capturing realism, I believe this expansion and invention of new hardware tech will heavily influence not only art incorporating technology but more transitional uses of media.”

“Just as we may not write on a typewriter anymore, we can still experience that written story now and in the future. Technology will always be forever changing and advancing, what will survive time is the greatest art and the impact it has on humanity.”

Though Able believes that it’s an exciting time to be an artist in today’s tech-heavy world, she still feels that the nuances of XR have yet to break through into widespread art adoption but is hopeful that we’re close, telling me, “I believe this moment is poised for XR-enabled, immersive art to be accepted into the mainstream, fine art world,” adding, “part of the reason I have pushed myself so hard for the current exhibition in Venice is that I feel a duty to represent XR art in the best possible light, as a step to get beyond these barriers.”

I hope to inspire more artists and curators to delve into this, increasing the call for widespread adoption for creators, exhibitions, and collectors. I think that as more artists engage and teach themselves the skill sets, while the hardware simultaneously improves, there will be better curatorial experiences and an overall proliferation on the global art stage.”

Able recognizes that the state of XR today is still in flux. She tells me that XR today is at a convergence point where there is widespread interest. As tech giants and corporations continue to announce their “metaverse” strategy, she sees misinformation and “FOMO ” being part of the dialog in the general public.

“This to me seems the equivalent of being scared of missing out on the internet in the 1990s.”

Able ends our conversation by affirming her belief that XR will hit a critical mass in the near future, certainly widespread change within 5 years of network capabilities and adoption of wearable technologies. For now, XR technology presents Able with new and creative ways to translate her past experiences, her identity, and her voice into complex works of art.

DALL’ANIMA is on view from April 23 to November 27, 2022, during Personal Structures: Reflections. Presented by the European Cultural Centre, the physical installation is located within Palazzo Bembo premiering as part of the 59th Venice Biennale.

Image Credit: Carrie Able

About the Scout

Bobby Carlton

Hello, my name is Bobby Carlton. When I'm not exploring the world of immersive technology, I'm writing rock songs about lost love. I'd also like to mention that I can do 25 push-ups in a row.

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