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Max Cooper
‘ASCENT’ digital art collection by Max Cooper and Martin Krzywinski

The latest NFT collection curated by Mesh Lab features vast images of transcendence in 75 million pixels on billboards in NYC, LA, Miami, London, Berlin and Leuven.
‘Ascent’ is chapter 9 of Max Cooper’s audio-visual masterpiece, ‘Unspoken Words’ - a multi-platform project incorporating music, film, installation, live experience and digital art, exploring themes around the struggle to understand and express our internal state.

‘Ascent’ is an audio-visualisation of transcendence told through the lens of music, science and art.

Max Cooper said about the inception of the theme:

“I was working on an installation project for a cathedral in Leuven, trying to communicate the idea and feeling of transcendence. I wanted to create this intense experience which I couldn’t put into words, but there was an ascending musical form which captured it.”

Max commissioned mathematician and long-time collaborator, Martin Krzywinski to express the theme visually, interpreting the idea as an ascent into higher dimensions of spatial form, the resulting 5D hypercubes collapsed back down to the two dimensions of a screen.

“I discussed the idea with Martin [Krzywinski] to make associated visual ideas from the mathematics of form beyond our everyday, which delivered the message as directly and completely as I could.”

The ASCENT NFT collection comprises five categories of works across a range of media and valuations. Black, Plasma, Viridis, Video and Public will be available via Mesh Lab on Objkt on the Tezos blockchain.
IMAGE CREDIT: ‘ASCENT_Viridis’ by Max Cooper and Martin Krzywinski (Mesh Lab), 2022 © Max Cooper and Martin Krzywinski

Public, the focal point of ASCENT, captures Max Cooper’s ability to transcend the limits of traditional media, creating immersive experiences that reach a global audience. Bridging the divide of both private and public art collections and the digital/physical lag, the sale of six vast still images will trigger real-world installations in six significant cities: New York, London, Los Angeles, Berlin, Miami and Leuven. These images of almost 75 million pixels will be printed and hung on billboards usually reserved for advertising to display these fine examples of leading-edge digital art.

Video features a unique time-compressed render of the original dynamic visualisation by Krzywinski, as featured in Cooper’s AV opus ‘Unspoken Words’ and used in his live performances (here in Cooper’s show at Odeon of Herodes Atticus on the site of the Acropolis in Athens on 6th July 2021) set to an edit of the musical composition.

Three sub-collections of still images - Black, Plasma and Viridis - complete an expansive range of 90 vast still images. These stills depict the whole scene, often revealing what exists outside of the field of vision shown in the video piece at specific moments in time. Plasma and Viridis feature rare one of one pieces, with the use of colour, procedurally generated by the interaction of the 5-dimensional panels, to reveal previously hidden structural details.

Black features 50 images with five editions, and one registered collector of each piece will be randomly selected and receive a unique one of one physical giclée print, printed on 300gsm minuet cotton rag using archival inks.

See Martin Krzywinski’s website for a fascinating and detailed description of what appears in the video and how the animation system works to derive the stills:
Mesh was founded in 2016 to explore the intersection of music, science and art.
With a growing global audience and engaged community of practitioners and activists, the platform has conceived work by leading creatives in the fields of music, digital art, film, installation, code, architecture, developing collaborations and commissions with business, arts and science institutions.

Typically, Mesh projects begin with a scientific stimulus which leads to a creative expression, incorporating a variety of digital media including AR, AI, VR, NFT, spatial audio as well as physical structures and live experiences. Collaborators and commissioners include The Babraham Institute, Zaha Hadid Architects, Dolby, L-Acoustics and PepsiCo, and have been exhibited and performances at Barbican Arts Centre, Odeon of Herodes Atticus at the Acropolis and will host an interactive art installation during Art Basel in Miami from 1-2 December 2022