Matthew Miller
Jun 10, 2021

This is your brain on cognac

INSPIRATION STATION: Actually, it's a visual interpretation of a Hennessy master taster's brain activity, created in a collaboration with media artist Refik Anadol and currently viewable in a popup exhibit in Hong Kong.

This is your brain on cognac

Hennessy teamed up with acclaimed media artist and director Refik Anadol for a project that captured the brain activity of the brand's master tasters as they imbibed and translated their emotions into an art installation and a packaging design.

Anadol traveled to Cognac, France, and outfitted the company's eighth-generation master blender Renaud Fillioux de Gironde and his colleagues in a specialised EEG (electroencephalogram) cap. This tracked their "emotions in real time, capturing their experience, sensations, and appreciations" as they evaluated a selection of eaux-de-vie destined to become Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège. 

Back in his California studio, Anadol and his team filtered, analysed and transformed the data to create 'Sense of Heritage', an immersive audio-visual installation—an 'infinity room' projecting images of the data. The installation started touring in May and is now at K11 Musea, a shopping destination in Hong Kong, through June 28.  

"Emotion lives in the senses, on the skin, in the heart, and in the mind," Anadol adds. "And with this hyper-sensitive equipment, we are able to trace everything, down to the movement of the glass. You can see heritage and savoir-faire become visible and observe how the material actually becomes the wisdom."

The Tasting Committee’s emotions were also transalted into colours, shapes, reliefs and textures that appear on packaging for the 2021 Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège Limited Edition. 

You've arrived at Inspiration Station, a weekly look at imaginative and artistic work from creators of all kinds across Asia-Pacific. Step off for a minute to recharge your creative batteries and find inspiration for that next big idea of yours further down the track.


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