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" the moving-image work explores the space between art and artificial intelligence in both its form and content." – Yahoo



YUGEN (2018)


Artist/Director: Martha FIennes

Starring: Salma Hayak

Music performers: Magnus Fiennes, Sussan Deyhim, Morgan Sorne, Andrew Cronshaw, William Close.


Exhibitions: Venice Film Festival, Serpentine Gallery Frieze London 2018, LACMA Frieze LA 2019

The second in the ©SLOimage series, Yugen, is a far more ambitious proposition than the earlier Nativity, exploring this radical AI –driven digital art platform to even greater depth and complexity (see: Nativity).

Yugen stars Salma Hayak as a subtle representation of the Gnostic ‘fallen Goddess’ Sophia, administering maternal, sometimes playful and on occasion, despotic command over an evolving ‘Gaia ‘ Earth from a series of fractal ‘control’ rooms that appear to exist in some multi-dimensional space.


Yugen launched at Venice Film Festival in August 2018, was exhibited with sponsorship from Gucci at the Serpentine Gallery in London in October 2018 as part of Frieze Art fair. It premiered in the USA at LACMA as part of Frieze LA 2019 and in New York June 24 for Christie’s Art & Tech summit. LACMA acquired Yugen in 2019.


Replete with burning towers, alien spacecraft and animistic dance rituals, Yugen embodies a gestalt of a nexus of influences; from gaming aesthetics, digital magical realism, mystic cosmologies and the psychedelic, entheogenic experience. It is resonant of a language of dreaming, hallucinations or out of body experiences. 


Musically I set out to create something both pagan and alien yet meditative and redemptive, as if Alistair Crowley was making a yoga or meditation album. I utilized the extraordinary vocal talents of Sussan Deyhim and Morgan Sorne as well as rare folk instrumentalist Andrew Cronshaw and William Close and his Earth Harp. 


Music mix and additional composition by David Celia.



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