Conversation with artist Eceertrey

We sat down with digital artist Eceertrey to discuss his origins as well as his thoughts on the current ecosystem shakeup in the art world due to NFT. We will be launching a charity art auction with Eceertrey on Foundation on March 26th, 2021 to coincide with Air Max Day and the launch of the Nike Air Max Pre-Day. The proceeds from the auction will be donated to local non-profits Latino Task Force and La Cocina.


First off where does the name Eceertrey come from?

My last name is Treece, flipped backwards it becomes Eceert. My Middle name is Rey, special because my mother is from Argentina and it was her maiden name before moving to America. I wanted to honor both my American and South American roots. Thus, Eceertrey. Also I was obsessed with graffiti at the time and posting content to the internet and didn't want to use my full real name.

How would you best describe your artwork and style?
I would describe my art as 'Augmented Landscapes' where I am exporting my imagination into our reality. I am using VR to sculpt objects in 3D space and then exporting those objects, and composite rendering them into landscape images I've taken while exploring. Also, I take the VR objects and export them again into Augmented Reality and then place those objects in locations and record videos capturing the objects in real time. I would say my artistic style is like 'Augmenting Nature harmoniously with Technology'... So, it's XR 'Mixed Reality' work.

What goes into the process of creating a single piece of work?
It's a multi-step process. It begins with a hike or exploration into nature. As I wander I look for "spots" similar to what a graffiti artist would do when cruising around downtown, looking for dope places to put up a piece. I basically do that but in nature and am imagining shapes and forms fitting into scenes as I explore along. I take a bunch of photos, either on my 10 year old Nikon camera or on my Iphone. Then after the sun sets I fire up the computer, upload my photos and begin to sort through them. 
The next part of the process is in VR. Using the Oculus Quest 2 headset I sculpt shapes in either Adobe Medium or Gravity Sketch. After creating some different VR sculptures I export those and then import them in Adobe Dimension. There I begin to texture the forms with either plastic or fabric like textures, or sometimes I use Adobe Capture on my Iphone which allows me to capture 3d material files that I can texture the models with in Adobe Dimension. Then I import one of the landscape photos I like and begin to position the sculpture into the frame while considering the weight, dynamic, and overall feel of the image. 
Lastly I can take that 3D model VR sculpture and export it as an augmented reality file type and then take videos of it places or share it with friends or soon mint that as an NFT itself.

How are you able to consistently capture such a range of terrain and environments from snow to desert and mountains ranges?
I have an old Subaru wagon, with around 100k miles on it. I drive exploring all around the West often with goals in mind. Lucky for me, my hub is the Denver/Boulder area which makes travelling to the alpine region of Colorado and the desert region of Utah a little bit easier than it is for most people. I also have a deep passion for trail running, hiking, and exploring anyways so I am always looking for new trails and photo locations online for epic spots to place my objects at. I'm always researching locations and excited to explore. I just love the mountains, outdoors, hiking and camping and all that just pushes me to explore more states and terrains.

We see a lot of symbols and numbers in artwork titles and its descriptions. What goes into naming your artwork?
I always liked the idea of making the title of the piece a little harder to read and, back to graffiti, I always liked playing with letters. So I basically came up with a simple way of using other keys to create the same letters to title the pieces. For example, 'Darkside' would become |)/-\|*\|{_\';|){= . At first it looks like jumbles of symbols but after a while it starts to make sense. Like /-\;|*\ |\/|/-\>< is 'AIR MAX'. I also really like using Russian, Korean, Japanese, and Chinese translations for the titles because in my mind these augmented reality sculpture forms could exist all around the earth.

With digital art, there’s a much broader range of use and it’s potential, where has your art been shown and where else do you see it going?
My digital artwork has already been shown on Crypto marketplaces such as Superrare, Rarible, Opensea, Ephimera, Knoworigin, and Zora. Also I've had work on display in metaverse spaces like Cryptovoxels, as well as via an Augmented Reality App where one of my pieces was geo-locked to a gps coordinate outside of the Denver Art Museum. Anyone using the app Spheroid AR was able to see it when they were at that physical location. The ability to share the art digitally allows for so many new ways of interacting and experiencing the artwork, as opposed to printing artwork and sharing it in a gallery. The sculptures can be scaled to virtually any size so the scale can play into the experience in the digital art space. As far as where I see it going, for me it involves more geo-locked augmented reality sculptures with the ability to have a NFT collectible aspect to them as well. A sort of 'scavenger hunt on the mountain tops and deserts' for my collectible NFT AR sculptures.

What’s the most appealing thing about NFT and the whole Crypto Art space?
The most appealing thing for me at first was the cost to be involved and share my work. When I first started back in February 2020 (feels like years ago now) the gas price to mint a piece was around $12. That, in combination with being on a curated platform like Superrare was really appealing because it felt like I could share my fine art without having to pay the prices of fine art printing, framing, and mounting. Also the appeal of sharing my artwork as true augmented reality collectibles that people can own and place wherever they like is awesome to me. Shoutout to MoCA for purchasing my first NFT drop on Superrare where I did just that and sent them the AR file to go along with the image artwork. This has evolved and so has my answer as the most appealing thing about NFTs and the whole Cryptoart Art space, which I would now say is the Community. The community of both artists and collectors is what keeps me going day after day, more excited than I have ever been in my entire life to pursue my passions and my dreams. Simultaneously seeing others do the same is so inspiring and definitely the most appealing thing to me at the moment. 

What does “bringing the future to light” mean to you?
To me it would be like using technology to create moments of wonder and intrigue so we learn and grow together. Illuminating parts of our reality we otherwise have yet to see. For me this is shining my passions as brightly as I can using art, technology and nature. Through my pure desire to learn, create, and explore I have created a future that is now allowing me to share my art with others. Using technology in a thoughtful way, with an appreciation for the environment and an excitement for a new brighter future for everyone on planet earth. That's what bringing the future to light means to me.