Painting Spaces with Emotional Context
If I showed you a picture of a space decorated with lush plants, like green clouds suspended on bark-clad trunks reaching into humid soil, you might have a certain emotional response. Perhaps you imagine this space feels quite relaxing, welcoming, and soothing.
Perhaps you, like me, remind yourself that you should get another plant for your workspace - but pay attention to how the image changes when I tell you that all of the plants are plastic.
No really. Look at the picture again. Nothing about the pixels, the luminosity, contrast or saturation has changed, but it’s not the same picture. It’s not the same space.
You could even argue that language is the original augmented reality technology.
This substrate layer of emotional context colors our perception and paints our spaces in dimensions not captured by the bits and bytes of the actual photograph.
Nurturing is a human desire.
Why do we buy plants? If it was purely a visual aesthetic consideration we wouldn’t care if they were plastic or not. That the plant is alive, perhaps that it can die, is a big reason why we want plants. It is reassuring, in a deep, visceral, evolutionary way to see living things thrive in your space. It is gratifying and rewarding, in a profound and naturally intuitive way, to help things grow.
Perhaps this too is a deep embodied memory of our ancestors harnessing the power of agriculture to ease the burdens of living. I submit to you that nurturing things is a basic and foundational human desire and instinct, as important and real as our desire to eat, mate, and shelter from the weather.
I believe that it is ultimately the same impulse to nurture a plant that makes us buy a puppy. We want to love. That the puppy can love us back is really just a bonus. Our deep desire to love, and how gratifying even a one-sided interaction can be, is readily observed in the rising trend of parasocial relationships.
Humans want to love and nurture. It’s part of what makes us human. Transhumanism teaches us that embracing a merge with the machine will extend our physical capabilities. Building better machines is ultimately about building better humans, the physical transhumanist observes.
As a cultural transhumanist, I believe that we must take care to engineer our memes, our culture, and our consciousness to enable us to transcend our biological starting conditions.
Migrating to the Metaverse.
If the metaverse only becomes an avenue for expressing individuality and consumption, then we are missing the opportunity for a much more meaningful revolution.
We clearly live at the dawn of a truly transformative era, where humanity is transitioning, dipping their toes into the alluring waters of virtual spaces and experiences. Countless avatars, digital fashion, virtual accessories, tokenized versions of this, that and the other are being promised us to lure us deeper into these designer realities.
As we migrate to new digital realities we craft for ourselves, we are not only inhabiting bespoke environments but also experiencing bespoke consciousness. How mindful of your psychological well-being are the architects and creators of your next digital space?
If the metaverse only becomes an avenue for expressing individuality and consumption, then we are missing the opportunity for a much more meaningful revolution. Why not make spaces that connect us, things to care for and nurture, ways to bring us into the present?
At Matterless we choose to use these powerful new technologies to build an outlet for our human impulse to love and connect, rather than our desire to consume and atomize.
We are on a mission to paint our spaces with companionship, community, and connectedness.
About Matterless Studios
Digital life. Real connections. True Affection.
Matterless Studios is an augmented reality studio building the future of digital relationships, creating outlets for human love, nurture, and creativity. For more information visit www.matterless.com, join the Discord, or follow us on Twitter or here on Medium.