Designboom_ An animated cuckoo clock springs to life amid the withering remnants of a 400-year-old Italian villa in Ryan Koopmans and Alice Wexell’s The Enchanted Hour. This dynamic artwork expands the duo’s ongoing utopian scenographic photography and video series, The Wild Within, which infuses renewed existence to decaying architectural wonders on the blockchain.
Merging reality and imagination, the NFT composition centers around the concept of time, employing cutting-edge technology to pay homage to classical subject matter. As morning slowly fades to night, each hour is marked by an owl emerging from a painting on the wall, gently hooting as it soars across the opulent baroque hall. Amid the once decaying soaring ceilings, gilded artworks, and sweeping archways, an abundant garden sways in the calming breeze and restores a sense of vitality to the abandoned space.
In collaboration with web3 platform Transient Labs, Canadian/Dutch lens-based artist Ryan Koopmans and Swedish artist Alice Wexell merged the realms of nature and architecture through photography and animation. Their series bestows new vitality upon ruinous architectural wonders from across the world that have undergone dramatic transition over time, which have now been reborn into the digital realm. Much like the preceding chapters of The Wild Within, the mesmerizing scenescape of The Enchanted Hour digitally renders a physical space photographed and reimagined as a dynamic NFT that revitalizes aging architectural structures with nature.
For this piece, the design duo looked to images captured during their exploration of an abandoned historic structure in Northern Italy, weathered with time, beautifying the essence of its decaying grandeur, timeless structure, and dynamic interplay of light with nature. An overflowing garden soothes the architectural opulence and occupies the previously empty space, while modified lighting and restored spatial elements bring life back into the room. A modern twist on the cuckoo clock, The Enchanted Hour transitions between 7am and 7pm animating a cycle of growth and decay as each hour chimes with the hoots of an owl. Each NFT synchronizes with its viewer’s distinct location, and can be displayed as full dynamic version or simply as ‘only Day’ or ‘only Night’ mode.