Next up among nominees for the Digital Innovation in Art Award 2021 is the multi-talented designer and creative technologist, Fabin Rasheed. His project, The Pilgrimage, was inspired by the pandemic and his inability to travel freely. Instead, Rasheed wanted his art to travel instead of him. 

Fabin Rasheed

The Pilgrimage Project, established by artist and innovator Fabin Rasheed in October 2020, is the first location-based Augmented Reality NFT collectible project of its kind. Pilgrimage is an artwork consisting of a series of nine 3D model artworks, which were distributed across 9 locations around the world, and could only be unlocked if the participant travelled to the destination and opened an affiliated link. The first person to reach the location, unlock a model, and share a video would be rewarded with the NFT token of the artwork. 

While Rasheed expected the project to take some time to reach its final completion, within the first week of its release, virtually all 3D model artworks were collected. This truly opened his eyes to the beauty of collaboration. The models were collected from the Museum of Modern Art (New York), the Louvre (Paris), Hagia Sofia (Istanbul), Monumento a la Revolucion (Mexico City), Sydney Tower Eye (Sydney), Jantar Mantar (India), National Arts Theatre (Lagos), Christ the Redeemer Statue (Rio de Janeiro) and from Todai-ji Temple (Nara). The Pilgrimage journey concluded with a collection in Nara, Japan. 

‘The relation between innovation and art is fractal. When innovation becomes an artistic practice, both culture and progress become harmonious’.

– Fabin Rasheed, Creator of The Pilgrimage project. 

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All feedback from those that participated in the project had been overwhelmingly positive. One person from the community said that ‘Pilgrimage allowed me to reconnect with dear friends of mine that I haven’t talked to for years and is an innovative push for all tokenized & programmable art’. Rasheed’s highly innovative works have graced the walls of renowned international venues like the Florence Biennale, Ars Electronica Global Gallery, NeurIPS Creativity Gallery and Re.Work AI Summit. In 2021, Rasheed was chosen as one of the top 10 global finalists at the Auria Awards, which honours excellence in VR & AR entertainment. 

Pilgrimage is now a permanent AR installation, and anyone that visits the given locations will be able to open a link and view the AR experience. We cannot wait to see what other exciting projects Rasheed will have in store for us!