art science tech— nology

Mastering 3D Thinking Skills for the New Era of AI, Metaverse and NFTs

Aug 29, 2023

As novelist and critic Marcel Proust said: “The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes.” To have the new eyes required to create this new 3D universe of the metaverse, NFTs and AI, business and tech teams can draw inspiration from philosophers, scientists, and artists who have always pursued three-dimensionality in their works.

Three-dimensional thinking requires a thought process unlike traditional modes of thinking; it is exploratory, experimental, and open to new ideas. This is the definition of avant-garde. Throughout history, the most avant-garde individuals have always been artists. French-born music composer Edgard Varese summarized this fact as follows: “Contrary to general belief, an artist is never ahead of his time but most people are far behind theirs.” Among all of the artists, Paul Cezanne is recognized as the most avant-garde, as he changed the course of modern art. He abandoned his father’s great fortune and dedicated himself to creating a new three-dimensional style, claiming that he would conquer Paris with an apple. Even great artists such as Matisse and Picasso regarded Cezanne as “the father of us all.” Cezanne created a new revolutionary approach by restructuring the relationship between form and color. His new-perspective system was based on chromatic effects, changes of angle, and shifts in proportion. In this way, he created a new visual language that conveyed emotions to the viewer. Cezanne’s biggest fan, Pablo Picasso, also created some of the most influential artworks of the twentieth century, thanks to new artistic perspectives he applied during his career. These new perspectives were most evident in his cubist masterpieces. Cubism arose as an alternative art movement featuring a more abstract form when compared to conventional painting methods that had been applied since the Renaissance. It was a new and revolutionary way of representing the world in paintings. Cubism was the result of efforts to paint three-dimensional objects on a two-dimensional canvas. Cubists questioned the classical norm of painting objects from a single perspective. Instead of focusing on a fixed viewpoint, they began to paint diverse views of an object from different angles, depending on the observer’s vision and movement. In this manner, they could show many different elements of an object at one time. Picasso’s famous painting, The Weeping Woman, is a prime example of this style. Da Vinci and other Renaissance artists wanted to convey three dimensions on canvas using techniques such as linear perspective, atmospheric perspective, chiaroscuro, sfumato, and perspectograph. Marcel Duchamp pushed the boundaries of different tones of the same colors to add a sense of movement on the static canvas.

Analyzing the inspirations, works, and lives of these great artists, who never saw things as they really are, could be the most effective way of gaining three-dimensional thinking perspectives and preparing for the new dynamics of the Web3-powered creator economy.  As evidence of this, Nobel prize winner Professor Eric Richard Kandel, a neuroscientist at Columbia University, depicted the connection between abstract art and neuroscience. Using the works of artists such as Monet, Kandinsky, Mondrian, Pollock, de Kooning, and Rothko as examples, his reductionism theory demonstrates how the brain simplifies and solves a problem with minimal effort.

Professor Semir Zeki, too, has greatly contributed to the field of neuroaesthetics by illustrating the impact of artful experiences at the neurological level. He showed that the brain’s emotional responses to artistic experiences are affected by the observer’s empathy with the subject, the artist, and with his/herself. In this context, Freud’s journal, Imago, was one of the first efforts to combine art, neuroscience, and psychology.

In particular, spending the time to analyze and understand art pieces by expressionist painters such as Vincent van Gogh, Edvard Munch, Mark Rothko, and Wassily Kandinsky; and surrealist painters such as Joan Miró, Salvador Dali, Giorgio de Chirico, and René Magritte enhances one’s ability to feel other people’s emotions and understand the inner workings of their subconscious.