In an exciting collaboration, Belgian artist Aykan Umut and the renowned Scotch whisky manufacturer Glenfiddich have teamed up for an art exhibition of a different kind: inspired by artificial intelligence, the exhibition poses the question of whether AI is truly the enemy of modern art, and offers a fascinating answer…
Collaborations between major brands and independent artists are now all the rage. Just think of the successful collaborations of recent years: Louis Vuitton and Yayoi Kusama, Travis Scott and McDonalds or Snapchat and Jeff Koons.
These collaborations are an endeavour that is mostly beneficial for both sides: The artist benefits from the financial support and reach of the brand, while the brand gains a unique identity and authenticity through the artist.
Glenfiddich has known this for a long time: throughout its 136-year history, the distillery has repeatedly teamed up with artists to push its product and marketing boundaries through creativity and innovation. With campaigns such as the « Artist in Residence » program, the brand behind the popular single malt whisky has been displaying its commitment to the global art scene for many years. Last year saw the launch of the new project « L’Atelier by Glenfiddich », which focuses on current technological developments in the field of the arts. First and foremost, AI and digital art. For this year’s exhibition, the decision was made to collaborate with the Belgian artist Aykan Umut.
Aykan Umut, better known by his pseudonym « Ai-kan Umut », is a digital artist who, as the name would suggest, is known for his work with AI.
He likes to play with themes of urban culture, paired with retrofuturism and cyberpunk. The whole thing is created with the support of artificial intelligence. The end result is accordingly wacky, but also looks darn cool.
Umut and Glenfiddich have come up with something very special for this year’s « L’Atelier by Glenfiddich »: Over the course of three weeks, Umut’s digital artworks will be projected at various locations in Brussels and Antwerp. With the help of a QR code, they can then be brought to life via viewers’ smartphones. The entire campaign is being used to promote Glenfiddich’s 23-year-old Grand Cru single malt, whose colouring and flavour profile have also been incorporated into the artist’s creative process.
Glenfiddich has not only succeeded in creating an innovative marketing campaign, but has also made an interesting contribution to the highly relevant discussion on the topic of artificial intelligence within the world of art. The often expressed concern that artificial intelligence will make artists obsolete in the long term is met with a more optimistic response: by integrating AI and digital art into his works, Aykan Umut shows that technological tools can expand and enrich artistic creativity instead of replacing or threatening it. The exhibition uses innovative means such as augmented reality to make the artworks interactive and lively, emphasising a positive and harmonious connection between art and technology.
Pictures: Glenfiddich & Aykan Umut