Hypereikon: Digital creation as an extension of nature allows us to reimagine what we observe

Images and sounds of nature, 3D sculptures as well as  microscopic designs coexist in the work of Hypereikon (collective formed by the duo of artists Constanza Lobos and Sebastián Rojas) to deconstruct visual elements present in nature throught he use of AI tools. In this interview we reflect on how to expand hybridization between humans and ecosystems as well as conceptualizing “artificial imagination”.   

Hypereikon’s audiovisual and sound projections summon imaginaries and textures present in nature, utopian configurations that expand the ways we visually conceive  flowers, plants, animals, and the various species that nourish and make up the planet’s biodiversity. This artist duo  has described their creative processes as expressions of generative art, “using materialities that merge emptiness and voltage” creating visual manifestations that resonate with an era that has been baptized as technocene, in allusion to the development of highly complex technologies and the transformations of our planet through creative and catalytic human action.

Having common interests in  experimental music, Constanza Lobos and Sebastián Rojas began working in 2018 with images, sound, and video through digital tools, as well as ethnobotany that today translates into a project that combines Artificial Intelligence techniques and data processing images. The collective owes their name to the plant Hypericum perforatum or St. John’s wort, whose etymology refers to “above everything imaginable”. The duo recently presented their work in the 4th version of our Poligonal program: New narratives for regeneration with creations that explored  with the randomness of algorithms to translate sensitivities and perceptions of the environment as a result of a commission by the new digital editorial project Superreinos.

Fundación Mar Adentro:  In the manifesto you have both written, there is a section that speaks of inhabiting  the Internet as part of a post-nature. How is this notion linked to your creative work and the ability to interrogate the present to think about alternative futures?

Sebastián Rojas (SR): Inhabiting the digital world is a fundamental part of our life experience. Since childhood we have lived and dreamed of this space. The environment we create and share through the computer is as authentic as real life off the screen. Today we talk about the Metaverse as something new, but Facebook and Instagram, for example, already make up a certain logic of digital life.

Constanza Lobos (CL): The formation of emotional bonds also originates in the Internet. As artists we must take this sensitivity into account since we cannot separate ourselves from it, considering that our world is largely configured from this space. Inhabiting the Internet is assuming an everyday life rather than entering something really new. For us there is no antagonistic binomial that separates technology from nature. As individuals who live in these spaces, we consider them to be an extension of nature and an opportunity to review what we have around us.

Our creations are born from a need to reimagine possibilities in our environment, especially considering the Latin American and regional context. We observe a super stimulating nature that is also marked by strong contrasts, where it is common to see a native forest located next to a monoculture plantation. So, we not only think about pristine places, but about the plastic nature that coexists in urban areas. For example, in Valdivia, there are wetlands of great importance for biodiversity in the middle of the city, which have been filled in or converted into garbage dumps.

What we create are utopian imaginaries as a way of opening doors to reflect and reimagine what we are observing, they are images that pose questions and are open to interpretation.

The imagery of your creations  is situated in a hybrid space between the sensory, the digital, and the organic. What metaphors and representations coexist in these formats and how do they translate into the human-nature-more than human relationship?

SR: Our creative process is not limited to the description of images, as is generally done. Instead, we mix different concepts of images and process them through Artificial Intelligence in a kind of blender that generates new imaginaries. For example, we combine photos of nature, beaches, forests, with 3D designs or sculptures, as well as with microscopic worlds of different scales.

CL: We are interested in exploring the relationship between the micro and the macro, since in nature there are organic situations that share similarities in form, movement, and plasticity in a way that reminds us of the human experience. This leads us to think about the different scales that inhabit nature, its temporalities, and dynamics, and to reflect on whether human beings are inside or outside these ecosystems. Exploring how other beings inhabit the world is a way to expand perception.

Likewise, it is in our unconscious to work with images in the same way as sound, which is always a source of unknowns open to interpretation, and from there we try to create a  type of landscape, an ecosystem. We imagine the sound of bugs or their metamorphosis processes and everything that is not in our sight, which allows us to think about futures, pasts, and the present.

FMA: Recently, as part of Poligonal, you collaborated with the visual development for the science and fiction magazine Superreinos. What transdisciplinary potential exists in the dialogue of generative art with literature?

SR: Our collaboration with the magazine was super interesting. Generally, our creative process begins with exploration followed by the creation of a poetic narrative to create meaning. However, in this case, the process was reversed. We were provided with a lot of meaning, well-developed texts and ideas. From that, we began to intertwine concepts, problematize, and generate common images.

CL: It was a kind of digestion of immense images. We use various techniques to approach texts, focusing on the main concepts. With texts such as poetry that have subreadings, we found it very interesting to try to represent these ideas and make them sensory through visualization. Reading already establishes an imagery, so our challenge was based on interpretation, visualization, fine-tuning it with the technique and reaching a balance.

FMA: In Poligonal darkness was addressed as a creative axis with fertility potential. How was your approach to the language of darkness?

SR: The approach to darkness suited us like a glove, since generative art is born from emptiness, darkness, and nothingness to materialize imaginations. Darkness is a space full of possibilities, where things begin. In that sense, we see darkness as a field of possibilities.

CL: We approach darkness as a fertile process, where things emerge, a space in constant movement, which is not immediately perceptible. It challenged us to sharpen our perception to see what is happening there. Darkness is a theme that is intertwined with the generative process and coding , which is also perceived as dark, in the sense that it lacks visualization. It leads us to question what we perceive with our eyes in everyday life, what we assume to be true, when in reality it is a human and subjective perception. Darkness drives us to question and mix ideas that go beyond human experience.

 

 

 

Hypereikon: Experimental creation duo conceived by María Constanza Lobos and Sebastián Rojas. as a body of affections that through experimentation investigates generative art, creating dreamlike spaces and invoking through sound and visual signifiers that convey the idea of digital becoming and inhabiting the internet as part of the post-nature that we inhabit. In recent years they have carried out extensive research based on practice with AI techniques with the aim of exploring different visual-technical imageries, engaging in a sensitive practice that operates as an imaginary prosthesis.

 

Rocío Olmos de Aguilera

 Rocío Olmos de Aguilera, communications coordinator at Fundación Mar Adentro. Journalist with a degree in Social Communication from the Playa Ancha University of Valparaíso, with a specialization in art and culture. She has a diploma in Tools for Communications Management from the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile..