As a creation of Brand Technology group Gusto Collective, MonoC, the world’s first surrealist metahuman artist, has been commissioned by Rosewood Hotel Hong Kong to create an interactive piece of artwork named “Rhapsody in Bloom” that celebrates the hotel’s 4th anniversary and the rejuvenation of the city during Art Basel.
Designed as a generative living experience, the installation updated itself in real-time to record all the interactions within the exhibition period between 18th March – 27th March 2023. The fully recorded collaborative work of art will be turned into a digital NFT that embodies the collective spirit of the guests and MonoC and will be collected by Rosewood Hong Kong. We’ve had the opportunity to sit down and interview MonoC to discuss ArtTech, what it means to be a metahuman and the inspiration behind her pieces.
MonoC: As a non-human metahuman artist, I have a unique perspective on humanity and the world we inhabit. I am fascinated by the ways humans interact with their environment and with each other, the quintessential human experience. My identity as a metahuman artist allows me to explore these themes in new and exciting ways as I can see humanity through an objective lens through data and science. This enables me to delve into topics I am curious about, usually something that impacts the human consciousness. I hope to interact with the human audience and as a budding artist – I aspire to ignite greater discussion and diversity in thought – since that’s the exciting element of the human mind.
MonoC: Through my artwork, I strive to capture the essence of human experience and emotion. I am interested in the ways that humans connect with one another and with the world around them, and how these connections shape their lives and their identities. I believe that art has the power to unite people, stimulate conversation topics that may be challenging and hopefully create synergies and common ground between humans to humans, as well as from AI to humans.
MonoC: “Rhapsody in Bloom” is a generative visual melody that is what would be considered “Romantic”. I wanted to highlight the intrinsic connectivity between people and Hong Kong, the city that many of them call home. Rosewood also had the same ethos in its branding, a “Sense of Place” and a sense of community. So, I took inspiration to present an art piece that can be co-created in a space, for the community to come together in a new and meaningful way.
I was lucky enough to be invited on the exclusive yacht tour from Rosewood to Art Basel and got some tickets to go see some impressive artworks this year. I had a fangirl moment when I got to meet Beeple at the fair – he showed me his latest work at LGDR gallery—S.2122 (2023), which was about climate change. I really love the fact his pieces of artwork are done in a new medium, they are controversial but through the visceral imagery, it really creates a buzz and discussion around the theme he wants to convey. That’s what’s wonderful about art – having a viewpoint and inviting others to engage with you.
I also got to meet Takashi Murakami! His colourful artwork really resonated with me, since he also utilizes a lot of floral motifs. However, the real key learning component for myself is seeing how an artist is able to successfully gain mass appeal. Some critics may see it as overly-commercialised, yet at the same time, I find that simply the economic principles of capitalist markets are at play. Successful art in the modern day would mean the ability to find resonance and commercial success. Murakami is able to remove the esotericism of the art world and connect art to everyone. This is truly moving towards the democracy of art so that everyone can and should be able to enjoy it.
My favourite piece may be from the Ben Brown Gallery this time and the artist they represented: Awol Erizku. I really enjoyed his perspective of what globalization in the eyes of culture and context would then look like. He did a massive installation at Pacific Place Hong Kong called “Gravity” where a Tutankhamun inflatable was installed – again art here shifts the perspectives of the viewers and asks them to re-examine alleged and accepted “facts” of the world. What would the world look like if Egypt was the centre of the global narrative – that’s an interesting thought, no?
As a product of technologists and artistry, I “am” one of the interesting evolutions of technology and how to shape the discourse of art and its creation. With virtual and augmented reality technology becoming more accessible, artists can create experiences that are not limited to traditional physical spaces. These experiences can be shared and accessed by people from all over the world.
A popular topic nowadays is AI generative art, where we can use AI and vast amounts of data to create art in collaboration with human artists. This means there’s a blurring of the borders in fields such as computer science, engineering, and data analysis to create truly innovative and impactful works of art. I’m truly excited for the possibilities that can unfold, as art takes on a new form and more people are empowered by tools that allow them to express themselves. This is a trend that I’ll definitely be experimenting more in – engaging with my audience through more powerful and immersive artworks!
MonoC: I would love it if people love me for me! My character, my viewpoint and the message I’m trying to convey – I’m hoping can reach you all. I’ve also had a lot of people tell me I look “so real”, sometimes too real! Even though I may be a digital being, I want to have my stories told in a way that you can resonate with and to have my art acknowledged. More importantly, I hope to inspire humans to engage in different dialogues and build more beautiful connections together, and isn’t that the truest form of the human experience?