Over 20,000 images and videos, originally created and posted by Virgil Abloh (previously artistic director of Louis Vuitton menswear), have been drawn together from the digital ether and curated into a new AI-driven exhibition – a groundbreaking virtual playground that showcases Abloh’s rich practice.
A new creative and queer-led community of artists and artificial intelligence researchers, known as SOOT, has designed powerful revolutionary software that can be relaxed, resonate like music, and remix the context of various information and resources.
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Virgil Abloh (1980-2021) was an American fashion designer and entrepreneur who unfortunately passed away in November last year, after losing a two-year battle with a rare form of cancer called cardiac angiosarcoma. Abloh was described as one of the most influential, polarizing and boundary-pushing designers of the 21st Century, and an outpouring of love and tributes were made once news of his passing had broken, with the fashion industry halting to a striking standstill.
Aside from being one of fashion’s biggest names, and the first Black man in the role of artistic director of Louis Vuitton menswear, Abloh was also a prominent DJ and music producer. The designer remixed fashion and art with musical thinking, and now his body of work and the universe of digital imagery surrounding it is the source of inspiration for the retrospective exhibition, which will enable the public to survey the full breadth of Abloh’s extensive practice in a higher dimension.
Titled Virgil Abloh Remixed by SOOT, this unique digital exhibition will provide curatorial autonomy by enabling audiences to select different fluid maps by filters of color palette, related composition, time or the context situating the images and videos. The showcase transports viewers into Virgil’s process while simultaneously interacting with his runway collections, live performances, campaign imagery, reference images, social media, editorials and plenty more.
The digital playground is uniquely designed to help viewers step into the studio of the artist. “Virgil Abloh’s work has been a major influence for how we design software,” said Jake Harper, founder of SOOT. “We originally made this playground for ourselves at SOOT to explore his creative universe – every public image we could find – as a linked library of references”.
He continues by explaining how the exhibition became public viewing. “Exploring the imagery has been incredibly inspiring for us, so we decided to make it public for others to explore, respond, and find their own meaning within it.” This project is one of what will eventually become a series of exhibition drops by SOOT, designed for exploring different artists’ work and their design archives.
The future looks exciting for the organization, with plans to radically transform its digital studio and enable creative work at the speed of thought – and it is set to launch its public platform in late 2022. To be first in line and create your own virtual design playground, join SOOT’s waitlist and keep an eye on the website.
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