“I’ve always felt the promise offered by new technology and especially AI is the ability to see things in a new way, beyond our own imaginings. Yet these technologies don’t sit alone: they are built on past experiences together with universal themes which run through each and every one of us. With Persian Dreams, I’ve embraced these new tools yet fused them with the stories of the Shahnameh, an epic poem thousands of years old, to create a lens we might use to see how stories told a millennia ago still resonate today, even in a contemporary context.” — Brendan Dawes
About the works
Renowned digital artist Brendan Dawes debuts riveting new series Persian Dreams for Art Dubai 2023.
Presented by Gazelli Art House for the fair’s New Media section (Booth X7), this new body of work sees Dawes combine facets of artistic expression, ranging visual, linguistic, audio, and dance. The display comprises four screens of metamorphosing imagery: a fusion of AI, motion-captured choreography and algorithmically generated forms.
Inspired by The Book of Kings, or Shahnameh, these contextually charged artworks suggest temporal linkages; a renewed, digitised interpretation of an age-old Epic Poem. Written by native poet Ferdowsi between c. 977 and 1010 CE, the Shahnameh is the national epic of Iran and recounts a Persian golden age via some 50,000 ‘distichs’ or couplets. This work attests a preservation of mythologies and histories that here lend Dawes’ work an arcane and scholarly agency.
Persian Dreams: Heroes, Persian Dreams: Dynasties, and Persian Dreams: Creation, are stirred, respectively, by the Heroic, Historic, and Mythical Ages of the Shahnameh. Visuals choreographed to the movements of Charlotte Edmonds, are displayed over three uniform screens. Meanwhile a fourth, larger screen Persian Dreams: Monument draws from the whole. Scored by Artist duo Madota, experimental soundscapes incorporate elements of zoorkhaneh – traditional athletic – rituals. In each work, Shahnameh’s verses and visuals are manifest in fortuitous oscillations between figuration and abstraction.
About the Artist
Brendan Dawes (B. 1966) uses generative processes involving data, machine learning, and code to create interactive installations, electronic objects, online experiences, data visualisations, motion graphics, and physical sculptures. An Alumni of the Lumen Prize and Aesthetica Art Prize, Dawes’ work has been featured in exhibitions worldwide, including Big Bang Data in thirteen cities, and three shows at MoMA, New York; the latter acquiring artwork Cinema Redux for their permanent collection.
Dawes draws much of his inspiration from popular culture and nature, often revolving his work around concepts of time and memory. These analytical explorations interrogate our understanding of the surrounding world.
Following his Genesis NFT on KnownOrigin selling within the hour to legendary collector WhaleShark, Dawes released a collection on Nifty Gateway – selling out in under sixty seconds. He has also released work on MakersPlace, Foundation and SuperRare. His work has been auctioned at Sotheby’s Natively Digital: A Curated NFT Sale and Generative Art and The Future, an art exhibition in Shenzhen hosted by China’s largest auction house, Beijing Poly International Auction.