What Refik Anadol has done for Bulgari’s Serpenti Metamorfosi is a multisensory journey which transforms nature into data and data into abstract images that stimulate the viewers’ senses. As an artist whose popularity arose from translating artificial intelligence to an innovative artistic and expressive language called “data sculpture” and “data painting”, he doesn’t believe in predefined schemes of what it means to make art or architecture, he is interested in the human capacity to imagine, in relation to a global and infinite memory.
Refik Anadol is a director and pioneer in the aesthetics of machine intelligence originally from Istanbul, Turkey and currently residing in Los Angeles, California. His work addresses the challenges, and the possibilities of what it means to be a human in the age of AI. He explores how the digital age and machine intelligence allow for new aesthetic techniques to create enriched immersive environments.
During an interview for Elle magazine the artist states “Metamorphosis is change and innovation, it is the inevitable flow of life, in a continuous flow of beauty. For this installation we used artificial intelligence and 70 million photos of flowers out of the 200 million photos found in nature. It is therefore the largest data collection ever made to “instruct” artificial intelligence. I work in the field of AI data painting, so I used artificial intelligence to “dream” and create this kind of “drawing”. A drawing that, when you enter the room, turns into a sculpture that perpetually changes through the interaction with the bodies. The visitor also has the sensation of being immersed in nature, not only through sight, but also through smell and hearing, because we have recreated the scent and sound: it is a completely immersive multisensory experience. Metamorphosis for me is a new way of thinking and designing: now buildings can dream.”
The artwork is a metaphor for the innovation embraced by Bulgari, as they evolve their icons and anticipate the future while remaining faithful to their heritage and DNA. Serpenti Metamorfosi is also the first large-scale luxury NFT immersive artwork based on artificial intelligence; after Milan, it will travel to different cities around the world until it will be converted into a multisensory and multidimensional NFT artwork that will be sold at auction — a way to make the Serpenti Metamorfosi unique, eternal, and collectible.
To complement the narrative dedicated to Serpenti, the Bulgari store in Via Montenapoleone hosted an exhibition of some of the most iconic Serpenti creations from Bulgari’s Heritage Collection. In the 1940s Bulgari reinterpreted the snake in sinuous bracelet-watches. These jewels helped to catalyst the Maison’s international fame. From time to time Serpenti has taken on more realistic or stylized forms: the livery crafted with the Tubogas technique complements the tubular one with
gold scales or colored enamel.
The eyes light up with the sparkle of diamonds, emeralds, rubies or sapphires, the head is turned into a dial or hidden in the jaws of the reptile, making for a mysterious timekeeper.
The Serpenti creations have conquered many great personalities of the movie world, like Elizabeth Taylor who discovered Serpenti in Rome while working on the set of Cleopatra. Today, Serpenti continues its endless metamorphosis in jewels, watches, and accessories.