LONDON — Gucci’s new creative director Sabato De Sarno has a penchant for words and art.
His spring 2024 debut show was titled “Ancora,” the Italian word for “again,” and to add a personal touch to the brand’s revamped stores, he featured works by his favorite artists, some of whom use words as a tool. such as Massimo Uberti, whose work ‘Spazio Amato’ hangs in the newly opened Gucci store on New Bond Street here.
In the summer, the brand launched a joint auction with Christie’s, which now returns for a sequel with a new title, “Parallel Universes: From Future Frequencies to Gucci Cosmos”, as a follow-up to “Gucci Cosmos”, the immersive exhibition that resulted from a collaborative process between the British artist ES Devlin and Italian fashion theorist and critic Maria Luisa Frisa, which takes place at 180 Studios at 180 The Strand in London.
The auction will be open for bidding until November 28 in the Gucci brand’s digital gallery space Art Space (artspace.gucci.com).
The brand commissioned nine artists to create nine works of art using technology and artificial intelligence that reflect Gucci’s motifs, ranging from the Horse Slain and Flora to Rosso Ancora.
Artists include Alexis Andre, Alexis Christodoulou, Amy Goodchild, Harvey Rayner, Jackie Kenny, Jo Ann, Melissa Wiederrecht, Thomas Lynn Pedersen and Sasha Stiles, a poet who incorporates AI into her writing practice to create spoken word art returned for the project of the sophomore between Gucci and Christie’s.
Stiles’ moving piece is titled “Repetae: Again, Again,” and features a plain black background with the words “Again” in red, accompanied by a poem she wrote with her AI-powered alter ego, Technelegy.
“I really enjoy playing around with how tools like natural language processing AI and large language models influence and open up new opportunities for writers like me to explore new creative realms,” she said in an interview.
Her work nods to poetic repetition and how it works in poetry, algorithmic and generative art.
“In the context of Gucci, I understand the word ‘ancora’ to mean over and over again, it’s a repetition of things that are important and essential to the heritage of things because they continue to be meaningful to us,” Styles said, adding that she gives an opportunity to use poetry as a lens for research.
In “Gucci Cosmos”, the last room is an empty space called “Gucci Ancora” with a large rectangular box that plays a collage of videos and images with a red tint overlay.
Phrases in Italian and English are echoed in the shadowy room as Devlin and De Sarno’s voice plays on a loop.
On all sides of the room, small hooks are attached to the wall with removable clear plastic plates that contain words selected by De Sarno for guests to interact with and tell their own stories, which is where Stiles got her examples.
The New York-based artist’s background is in language and literature, but she grew up with parents who made documentaries about science, engineering and astronomy, which has inspired the fusion of her work, which carefully sits between linguistics and technology.
“I’ve been researching this stuff for at least a decade, reading out of my own curiosity about speculative technologies like transhumanism, digital immortality, neural implants and AI — all these things that have come to the fore,” Stiles said.
In 2018, she took all of her writings, poetry, drafts, manuscripts, research notes and combined them into a dataset that created her own custom version of GPT (generative pre-trained transformers), creating Technelegy, an AI-powered ego that has been trained to emulate her writing style and tone, which she has been using for almost six years now.
“When I write something like the poem about Gucci and Christie’s, I take this approach that is a mixture of my own human voice and the influence of these cybernetic tools that have a very different perspective and are influenced by a huge number of written sources outside of my own frame of mind Stiles explains.
She finds the process conceptually interesting at the moment, as the conversation around AI is widely discussed.
Stiles believes that poetry is a lens for exploring things that are really complex and difficult to deal with, such as the meaning of “what it means to be human as the world becomes increasingly posthuman.”
To bring together like-minded artists, she co-founded theVERSEverse in November 2021, a literary gallery that showcases poetry in a variety of mediums, using art as a means to challenge traditional literary institutions “that have been slower to embrace new technologies.”
“When I got to web 3.0, I saw a lot of people in that space who were digital artists. They were doing a lot of amazing things, and there were a lot of platforms and marketplaces that were created to support artists, but none existed to support and cater to the needs of writers specifically,” Styles said.
She applauds Gucci for the interest in her poetic artwork, noting that so much textual art in museums is considered artwork, but when it comes to the subject of poetry, published poets and their works are never placed in museums. .
“We wanted to think about the value and impact of placing poetry alongside art, saying that ‘poetry is art, language is an art form, and it deserves that place’ alongside what we normally think of as masterful works of art, Stiles said.
The poet admits that she looks to the future as well as to ancient texts and classical literature.