Virtual Graffiti with Victor

May 23rd, 2024

I just spent the past two hours spray painting with my friend Victor. He painted from the comfort of his lounge room, while I painted in my backyard as I soaked up the sun.

We painted on the same wall simultaneously from two opposite ends of the planet. Immersed in the virtual reality around us, it felt like my internet friend had been right by my side.

The last time Victor and I worked on an art piece at the same time was in 2023 at a Burrito DAO art exhibition in Denver. During that event we’d take turns passing a sketch book back and forth as we each slowly added new marks to the page.

Almost a year later we’re doing the same thing, only from the comfort of our own homes. It had only been the second time in the past year I’ve used my virtual reality headset.

I’m not sure why but in the three years I’ve owned my Quest 2 it’s gone almost untouched. I think the novelty had seemed to wear off after my first few uses in games like Beat Saber and VR Chat.

But this time felt different. As I painted I forgot I was in Sydney and had been completely transported to a virtual warehouse tucked away somewhere on the internet. I was completely present, can in hand, chatting with my friend, making art.

This felt special. It felt like I was living inside a flashback twenty years from now - when Victor and I reminisce on how bad virtual reality used to be in 2024.

It’s funny that almost a decade a go exactly I was spray painting on my local train tracks with my friends from high school. I didn’t end up diving into the deep end of the graffiti world in fear of getting a criminal conviction.

Which was what made spray painting in virtual reality feel so great. It let me live out one of my pastimes without the risk. Although now I have too much respect to vandalise anyones property aside from an occasional sticker - it made me realise something, the possibilities this technology is going to provide for us as humans to live out dreams, fantasies and perhaps even nightmares is unimaginable.

I often forget the beauty of technology to connect with and understand the world. Today was a great reminder for the future ahead and I hope that these tools which will only become more immersive will foster deeper connections and growth for people around the planet.

There’s a bright future ahead,