Perfume, often inconspicuous but greatly enticing liquids that carry a versatility of effects it has on our relations. The installation... Read More
Perfume, often inconspicuous but greatly enticing liquids that carry a versatility of effects it has on our relations. The installation Algorithmic Perfumery is a representation of exactly these multifarious fascinations that perfumery epitomizes through its symbiosis of art, technology, and humanity. In its first instance, the installation is a machine that users feed with information to obtain an individualized scent. Its artificial intelligence utilizes each interaction, updates already received information, and ultimately generates a personalized code that is translated into the scent best suited to the consumer. The machine thus depends on its human counterpart’s eagerness for interaction and offers a variety of stimuli including curious mechanical sounds, rhythmic movements, luring scents, and pastel-colored liquids. What we experience is a conglomerate of synesthetic sensations in the likes of an expanded cinema.
The participatory sphere offered by the installation confronts us with our relation to the ongoing mechanization of our world, and therefore with ourselves. It triggers our reward systems so obviously that it is solely our choice to engage, and equally our choice to provide the data it needs. Being a facilitation of the free-market dogma bluntly questions our willingness to concede to the meta-data dictate of contemporary consumerism. As the installation inquires after our personality traits and self-evaluations, it optimizes a market that depends on our urge to self-optimize. Simultaneously, Algorithmic Perfumery is a subtle but no less provocative commentary on the art world and the value of art as such, as both too often submit to the market dictate.
The machine’s sterile and artificial appearance is an antithesis to the organic and rich sensuality of perfume. Its clinical character rather resembles the relentless advancement of production automatization. Its appeal is in its postmodern coquetry with the abyss. But above all, it is a testament to complexity: the complexity of the machine, of dataflow, of our personality, and of scents is compressed into a discourse that eventually expresses the complexity of our times.