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Meta Starts Art Exhibit Series in Its Metaverse App During Black History Month

The immersive VR art exhibit "I Am a Man" is the launch piece for a Metaverse Culture Series.

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Gabe Gault's "I Am a Man" is an art piece created inside Meta's Horizon Worlds VR app.
Meta

Several months after Meta's Horizon Worlds social VR app entered public beta, Meta is starting to exhibit metaverse art experiences made with its own metaverse tools.

A project created by VR sculptor Gabe Gault is the first of what Meta describes as a series of cultural and art experiences that will be launching inside Horizon Worlds. Gault's work, called "I Am a Man," is a 3D immersive sculptural work that explores Black history from the 1960s. It's about "paying homage to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Rosa Parks, 'I Am a Man' activists, and the Tuskegee Airmen," according to Meta's description.

Though Meta has already made game experiences in Horizon Worlds, this is the company's first move into art and culture for its metaverse. A press release points out that its Metaverse Culture Series will be "a more accessible entry point into the future of tech for historically excluded communities, ensuring culture and diverse perspectives are woven into the fabric of the metaverse." 

The exhibit begins Feb. 22 and runs through Black History Month, although a specific end date wasn't indicated. The project was created by Gault in Horizon Worlds, which has a number of creative tools. 

According to Meta, a round-table discussion with the artist and a few members of the media was held inside the company's work-focused Horizon Workrooms app to talk over the process. Meta seems to be following this approach with other projects, too. The company's recent Foo Fighters VR concert had a very limited fan-focused meetup in Horizon Workrooms, where conversations could be easier to organize than in the more free-form Worlds app.

In the past, Facebook and Oculus were frequently involved in creating art and immersive experiences that would appear either as apps or 3D video documentaries, appearing at festivals such as Sundance and Tribeca. Horizon Worlds seemed like a venue where Meta would start exploring more immersive curated experiences, but it's still unclear how the company will handle larger-scale moderation of behavior in these worlds.