We interviewed Carlos Cabada with a few questions about producing art as a multidisciplinary artist, his vision on the metaverse, his evolutionary style, and the hybridization of art and AI technology. Check out his thoughts below and view his collection on Portion!
Hi Carlos! Can you please tell us a bit about yourself and your work? When did you get started creating art as a full stack multidisciplinary artist?
I’m Carlos Cabada, born and raised on the beaches of Veracruz, Mexico. I’ve been doing code and art since I was a kid. I first got interested in coding at 10-11 years old, in 2001. It all started in primary-school when we got introduced to HTML sites.
My first code-art interaction came shortly after learning HTML. I started by doing random websites with drawings. One of those websites was full of a bunch of “pixelated robots” that showcased different “species.” Kinda resembles the style and culture of NFTs today, ha.
It was a long path of coding and drawing on computers from 2001 to *whoosh* 2012, Full of personal projects that helped me reach what I am today. One of my biggest projects in that path was kind of what we all call today a “Metaverse." It was a virtual world where people would have their own avatar, dress however they want, buy land, and place furniture/buildings in their space. It was called “ilDom.” I’m so proud of this because it reached 100,000 users and by that time it was kind of hard to get people on internet websites.
Starting from 2012, my career started looking more professional and focused on making it part of my living, instead of seeing it as a hobby. Since that time I've been making art and coding like crazy. From robots making their own music with A.I, to hand-made sculptures that interact with their environment. My art is mostly all a combination of art with code. I think having this knowledge and passion about both industries has given me a lot of opportunities and areas to explore.
In 2017 I launched an art project called Eromatica, an art project aimed to explore our sexuality and intimacy without boundaries and limitations. It got a lot of traction and reached 400k followers within a very small time frame. The key to success of this project (like most) was a feeling of relatability with the illustrations. If you cannot make the audience feel relatable to your pieces, you’ll have a hard time growing it.
What do you think the development model of the Metaverse will look like? How will it progress in the upcoming years?
I think the Metaverse will be like our real-life. We’ll be able to visit places and take whatever we want with us. We won't really have limitations on what we wear, how we transport ourselves, or the activities we participate in.
The Metaverse must be interoperable. We need to be able to bring our clothing from one “metaverse” to the other. We need to be able to use our meta-bicycle in any of the metaverses. Want to dance in a particular way? Your avatar needs to be able to do that crazy dance in any “metaverse” you visit, etc.
This is how web3 should look like, just like real life. There won’t be a single Metaverse, just like there isn’t a single “park” to visit in your city. And we must find a way to make all these “metaverses” interoperable, which I think the NFTs are making possible.
“EVOL-V3” is a fascinating piece inspired by futuristic robots and their identities. Can you please speak on the meaning behind this piece? Do you truly believe there will be an occurrence such as this in the distant future?
Absolutely. We are very close to mimicking human consciousness, once we reach this… the possibilities for robots are endless. We would be making an evolutionary branch. Robots getting consciousness will lead to robots worrying about themselves on how to evolve and not die. Maybe we’ll start seeing families of robots walking their dogs enjoying life, ha.
When this happens, I believe robots would be mostly responsible for their own evolutionary progress, they would be the ones deciding if they upgrade or not. So now robots have the right of choice, and I believe some of them would decide not to upgrade themselves for any personal reason. They would rather become outdated than lose their inner-selves.
What was the creative process like for “EVOL-V3” and what was it about this piece that made it the right fit for Portion’s Digital Futures Month?
EVOL-V3 is the result of the evolution of a 2D piece I did about Self-Love. The 2D piece is about a girl that is giving herself some space and free time from the outer world. When I thought about making it 3D it gave me the idea to go a step forward and re-make it from a futuristic perspective, of the same scenario, a robot with consciousness giving itself some free time and mediating about the future this robot wants.
I have always been fascinated about mimicking human consciousness and studying how this new type of life adapts and evolves with the human species.
Not only are you an artist, but you also have a passion for technology (i.e. programming/coding). How are your interests in machine learning and artificial intelligence influencing the evolution of your style? What excites you most about the hybrid of art and technology?
A.I. in any area is starting to become your personal assistant/consultant. In art, it has helped me a lot to visualize things that I wouldn’t visualize without the algorithm. Since last year, every new project that comes to my mind automatically comes with an A.I.-mindset: “How can I encode my idea into datasets to train an algorithm?” By being guided by an A.I., one can reach a level of creation that has never been seen before. I can see why everyone is interested in this topic now.
We are reaching a level where you no longer need to create art pieces, but rather teach algorithms how to create them for you. And this is where people will become successful in the area, by teaching algorithms. The best “teachers” will be the most unique and valuable projects.
The thing that most excites me is that my multidisciplinary vision can get wider. The easier it becomes to create stuff, the more time it gives me to explore new stuff to keep creating.
Lastly, as an artist who has been working in the industry for a while, how do you see NFTs impacting the way artists create work and for relationships with their collectors and the market at large? What is the role of Social Media in all of this?
NFTs are here to stay, and it’ll help artists grow by a lot without being eaten by big corporations. It is our time to make a worldwide collective of people that act along the interest of everyone and not along the interest of an individual. We are still very early but it’s for sure part of a revolution that still has to explode. It’ll help everyone to become more independent, and less dependent on corporations. Whether in art or in personal life.
As for Social Media, I believe it’ll have a role at the beginning (now), but needs to evolve in order to stick with us, if not, it’ll die and be left behind. I believe in the creation of an Open Source Social Media owned by the people for the people, leaving the most-famous social apps behind, unless they evolve to become less corporate and open platforms. As for their role, it’s a perfect tool for marketing and getting exposure.