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Hennessy's collaboration with Refik Anadol: blending art and science

For the first time, Hennessy's heritage and savoir-faire become visible thanks to Refik Anadol’s artistic vision. Here’s how he selected and transformed his data into art.

Hennessy x Refik Anadol: a collaboration jolting together art and science

For the first time after 250 years of history, Hennessy's savoir-faire becomes visible in an artwork thanks to machine intelligence. Mr. Anadol created an artwork representing the Tasting Committee’s sensorial memory, which tracks the experience of tasting the eaux-de-vie.

Back in his California studio, Mr. Anadol and his team filtered the true data — the living memory of two centuries —through sophisticated analytics, transforming the data set into pigments and light. What emerged, the artist says, was a completely harmonious dialogue, an “architecture of memory” that was remarkably consistent across subjects at a specific point in time.

Interpretating and transcribing the Tasting Committee’s emotions

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“With help from machine intelligence, we embarked on a journey through gene memories and dreams. Neuro-scientifically, the Tasting Committee is the source of memory, dreaming about the future,” he says.

Artist Refik Anadol uses AI to turn Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège decanter into art

The filtered data seen on a screen, representing the sensory memory.

The result is a masterpiece three-dimensional data sculpture: Sense of Heritage, an immersive audio-visual installation, which will be revealed in May, 2021 in Beijing and Hong Kong. Using 3D data mapping, Mr. Anadol interpreted and transcribed the Tasting Committee’s sensorial memory while they were tasting the eaux-de-vie, into the colour, shapes, reliefs and textures that appear on the 2021 Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège Limited Edition cognac decanter.

The Infinity Room

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The infinity room with one of Mr Anadol’s previous artworks

What was once an invisible sensory experience has suddenly become tangible and appears in a harmonious and poetic surface design. Data becomes art in a visual metaphor for a blend; like the cognac itself, Sense of Heritage is designed to be appreciated on an individual, sensorial level. To augment this journey, Mr. Anadol designed an “Infinity Room” projecting the Sense of Heritage, the true inner emotion behind Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège felt by the Tasting Committee. The result is an immersive “architecture of memory” collected through the power of data.
A sharable digital platform will also be unveiled via a QR code on the bottle where people will be able to experience the artwork virtually and have a 360 experience of the Sense of Heritage.

An immersive art experience

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Back in his California studio, transforming the data

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Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège is a balanced cognac, expressing 200 years of Hennessy's know-how. The fruit of nature’s uncertainties, this unique blend has tamed the elements to craft and embody the original concept of cognac. The emotion awakened by the pleasure of tasting it continually reveals new facets of its personality. 

The savoir-faire of the Maison Hennessy is fully expressed in this balanced cognac: the selection of eaux-de-vie, aging and assemblage. A cognac of remarkable consistency and vitality, Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège conveys all of the savoir-faire of the Hennessy master blenders who have ensured the continued success of this harmonious assemblage for 200 years.