Gabriel Massan & Collaborators: Third World: The Bottom Dimension / Serpentine North Gallery

Official description: Third World: The Bottom Dimension is a journey into a fantastical and thought-provoking world, built by a vital generation of Brazilian artists. It is part of an ongoing and multi-dimensional project of the same name by Gabriel Massan and collaborators, which includes web3 tokens built on Tezos and a video game that explores Black Brazilian experience as it intersects with the impacts of colonialism.

“I want to create the experience of walking through possibilities and memories of life and narrative… A work that people can walk inside.” – Gabriel Massan

Gabriel Massan & Collaborators: Third World: The Bottom Dimension / Serpentine North Gallery. London (UK), October 10, 2023.

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Exhibition text:

Third World: The Bottom Dimension is a multi-part project conceptualised by artist Gabriel Massan in collaboration with invited artists Castiel Vitorino Brasileiro, Novíssimo Edgar, and vocalist and music producer LYZZA. Together, their work explores Black Brazilian experience as it intersects with the impacts of colonialism.

Through the lenses of decoloniality, queerness and decentralisation (technological, social, economic, and ideological), Third World: The Bottom Dimension challenges us to rethink the ways in which we understand and orient ourselves in the world. Launching in June 2023, the project has three components: a free-to-download video game, an exhibition at Serpentine North and web3 tokens, built on the Tezos blockchain, which bring together Massan, their collaborators and a wider web3 community.

Built with practitioners who are concerned with deconstructing colonial knowledge systems, ‘Third World’ challenges destructive narratives that continue to shape our physical and digital worlds. In development since late 2021, the experimental project prioritises ‘consciousness-raising’ and worldbuilding, convening a wide network of researchers and practitioners, including artists, developers, animators, filmmakers, and more. Across its multiple parts, Third World: The Bottom Dimension gathers interdisciplinary responses to what the artist calls our contemporary ‘state of emergence’.* 

The project continues Serpentine Arts Technologies’ commitment to experimenting with the role that art can play in the development of advanced technologies such as video games, blockchain and AI, and understanding their impact on culture and society. This is achieved through the commissioning and production of ambitious artist-led projects, and a research and development programme that includes Future Art Ecosystems and R&D Labs to prototype protocols and strategies for the future of art and advanced technologies.

*This project, and this phrase, arise from Massan’s questions about how to emerge from a moment of emergency, and Brazil as a state of re-emergence.

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