Dropping technomagic on the streets of Melbourne
Series #1 launch: December 23, 2022
I started playing around with AI art generators – predominantly Midjourney – in August 2022. Although I came to AI art with no agenda, my explorations and experiments quickly became a form of art therapy. It was a low-barrier, high-reward way to reawaken my creativity, and to work through some difficult emotions, after a gruelling two years of lockdowns and pandemic restrictions here in Melbourne.
From the beginning of my relationship with Midjourney, it’s been more than just a tool. It’s been a companion, a collaborator, and not infrequently a counsellor – responding to my abstract prompts with images that I never could have imagined, but were exactly what I needed.
I started an Instagram account to share some of that early work, which was pointedly eclectic in style and concept. There was no unifying theme across the account, just a preference for abstraction, a minimalist approach to art direction, and a bent toward the esoteric. I wanted Midjourney to surprise me; to delight me; and, as my relationship with the technology deepened, to offer me solace and insight. As my prompts became more personal, I gradually stopped sharing the results publicly.
But it was never my intent to go dark, and in addition to the images I was generating just for me, I continued to make work that I wanted to share. That work didn’t really fit with the original Instagram account though, because I wanted to take my sharing a step further. I wanted to take it into the real, physical world – the world that had been lost to us for too long. I wanted to take it to the streets.
So like any good techno witch, I forked. Hek.one is a public art project that carries forward my collaboration with Midjourney, while also building on earlier experiments in rogue gifting and creating connection. Without unpacking an entire dissertation, I will say as well: those earlier experiments were actually about loneliness. In fact, the majority of my creative output over the past 10 years has been about loneliness, and my attempts to grapple with it in one way or another.
Hek.one is an offshoot of an existing project, but it’s a fork in another way as well. It’s a junction; a point at which my creative practice sets off down a new path – out of loneliness, and into the world of connection that I’ve been seeking for so long.
Hekate – goddess of the crossroads
One – we are all, like white light splitting through a prism