I approached this project with the pioneering spirit of an explorer, wishing to return to civilization with a visual record from a new land. My challenge was to depict and represent this artificial world whose appearance was varied and in flux, a land whose elements are built from repeating instances, whose light, atmosphere and display are partially determined by me, the end user. I collaged together modes of seeing, tropes and styles, composing and rendering my photographs to record what this land looked like, as well as reflect the thoughts of its creators and inhabitants.—Joel Lederer
The metaverse, a term coined in 1992 by science fiction novelist Neal Stephenson, is a collective virtual shared space—essentially the world of cell phones, email, the internet, and online gaming. The Metaverse is Beautiful is New York-based photographer Joel Lederer‘s recent project that explores the ‘virtualized environments’ so many of us find ourselves in. He focuses on the digitally constructed landscapes in the online virtual world game, Second Life, designed and created by its millions of avatars. Lederer makes screen-captured photographs of these lands and titles them with the time and date they were created, reminding us of their existence only on a screen in front of us.