Photography in the Metaverse

In Focus: Diane Meyer on being a newbie artist to NFTs and her upcoming series, Berlin

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At the start of her NFT journey, Diane Meyer talks about jumping in with her genesis drop ‘Berlin’ consisting of 43 hand-sewn photographs following the circumference of the former Berlin Wall, and her NFT experience so far.

As someone who has only been working within the NFT world for just a few weeks, it has been really exciting to see how fine art photographers – including many whose work I have admired for a long time – have been working within this realm. Before starting out, I had a lot of misconceptions about NFTs and what they actually are, so I feel like I’ve been learning a lot – often through my own mistakes. But the best part of the process has been the amazing and supportive sense of community amongst artists navigating this new space. I discovered that most artists working with NFTs use Twitter or Discord rather than Instagram, a platform I hadn’t really engaged in previously. But, once I started, it was incredible to see the camaraderie amongst artists – people have been very willing to help those just starting out by answering questions or offering general encouragement. There are a huge number of online lectures in real time taking place on Twitter – something I hadn’t realized previously. On any given day, and at all hours, there are often multiple live artist talks or panel discussions one can participate in or listen to and it’s been easy to connect with other artists. As so many are in the same position of starting out and trying to navigate NFTs, there is a great sense of openness and enthusiasm and a real feeling of community.

I recently decided to make my series, Berlin, available as 1/1 NFTs on Foundation and will be listing a new image from the series every Thursday at 1pm PST. The series consists of 43  hand-sewn photographs following the entire circumference of the former Berlin Wall. Sections of the photographs have been obscured by cross-stitch embroidery sewn directly into the photograph. The embroidery is made to resemble pixels and,  in many images, the embroidered sections represent the exact scale and location of the former Wall offering a pixelated view of what lies behind. In this way, the embroidery appears as a translucent trace in the landscape of something that no longer exists but is a weight on history and memory. I’m interested in the porous nature of photography and, by using the embroidery in a way that is reminiscent of pixels, I wanted to make a connection  between forgetting and file corruption.

Often the embroidered sections of the image run along the horizon line forming an unnatural separation that blocks the viewer. This aspect of the sewing emphasizes the unnatural boundaries created by the wall itself. The sewing, which is soft and domestic provides a literal contrast to the concrete of the wall and a metaphorical contrast to its symbolism.

 I started the series during an artist residency in Berlin. At the time, I was interested in thinking about the photograph as a physical object, but wanted the embroidery to take the form of pixelization as a means of borrowing  the visual language of digital imaging in an analog, tactile process. By converting the physical object back into the digital, in the form of an NFT, the project has come full circle.

Check out the growing collection on Foundation and follow Diane on twitter @dmmeyerstudio where she is dropping a new NFT each Thursday

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