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Vhils x Felipe Pantone - Configurable Art

Words:

Edd Norval
April 15, 2019

Customisation and personalisation has become an industry unto itself over the last decade, allowing people to own something unique to them, that matches their own sensibilities. In the recent collaboration between Vhils and Felipe Pantone, customisation is now possible in art. You can be the third collaborator.

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Both of these artists have engaged with the effects of technology on art. Vhils in the way art influences how the self and collective reacts to various environments, Pantone more aesthetically incorporates internet and post-internet colour spectrums and styles into his pieces as a way of exploring technology. Both art and technology are undeniable parts of how we interact with the world around us. This collaboration allows both to examine each in new ways.


Configurable is a concept straight from the mind of Pantone who said that, "This project breaks the relationship between the artist as a sole creator and the spectator as a mere consumer in a radical way for the first time in my work." It's a way of allowing the audience to create their own version of art, constructed from a limited number of pre-set variables.


That means it's still the artists' piece - you're not creating something in their style, instead, you're entering an invisible dialogue with the creator, experimenting through trial-and-error, until something emerges that accurately reflects the desires of the collector.

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Using the customisation tool, the user is able to simply click and drag various elements and bind them together, rotate them, and augment a particular feeling in the piece. Using the glitchy elements of Pantone's work with the deeply human and expressionistic carved style of Vhils mixing to create a sort of cognitive dissonance, the feeling of something not quite adding up. Only, they do.


The feelings that can be evoked, particularly between these two artists, as future guests are yet to be announced, is something very contemporary. The faces and eyes of Portuguese artist Vhils juxtapose with the technological manifestations from Spanish Pantone. Muted colours sit side-by-side with colour spectrums, a mish-mashing culture clash that exists in everyday life, from advertising to the media - the human and the machine.

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The Configurable project as a whole is based on the intuition we feel towards art and creation. The idea of 'I could do that', or 'I'd love to have a shot of that', now becomes concrete. You are in control of what will hang on your wall.


Constructed as a physical manifestation of the Pantone philosophy, the project brought his ideas to life. The artist states that, "This project embraces all that my work is about: dynamism, transformation, and omnipresence. The idea of it being able to interact directly with the user and to have access to see their creations, to see their pieces grow and transform."


Limited by time, not quantity, collections last for one month, with Vhils holding tenancy between April 8 and May 8. Second in line, with the first spot being held by graffiti legend Futura 2000. Undoubtedly, as time passes, so too will the concept grow, developing from its earliest phase and morphing into something even more even deeper indebted to the true spirit of DIY in art. At the end of the day, that's what art, collaboration and customisation all comes down to. The freedom to just do. Configurable is both the rhyme and reason to heed freedom's call.

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