If there is ever a way to retrace your twitter algorithm, then sign me up. The steps taken that led me to discovering and falling in love with Gabriel <KÖI> Böing’s work must have been significant, or maybe just pure serendipity; either way it manifested itself in his artwork, Valley Of The Lost Dreams, which now and forever will hold a special place in my collection.
It’s an honour to unveil the first HYPERVIEW with Gabriel, who as an artist has a special power, capable of summoning waves of nostalgia and wonder, crafting realms that invoke instant reminiscing, yet make you yearn for their exploration. Not shy from breaking convention with the manipulation of diverse digital tools, ranging from AI to 3D software, Gabriel constructs a unique post-cinema domain; engaging in a profound exploration of personal identity, transmuting their introspections into ethereal art forms that transcend our everyday reality.
HYPERRETINA (HR): Have there been instances where elements from a dream world have seeped into your waking reality in unexpected ways, and vice versa?
GABRIEL KÖI (GK): I have accepted myself as a filter for the dream world(s) into this plane we share, which we can call Awakened Reality. I understand that I have a mission to interpret and filter this dream world (personal or rhizomatic-collective) and through my artistic (not ambitiously: but ritualistic) process, bring it into this shared reality. By staying true to this path, I have encountered other Dreamers-Explorers Inter-Planes, dissolving the fear imposed upon us as a form of wakefulness. Continuing on this path of fidelity and also strengthening the body and mind of this Avatar I inhabit, the boundaries between these planes, the real and the dream, have started to blend and present themselves intertwined, at times we can call it Just One.
So, yes, when I choose and allow (after this process of strengthening the Avatar), these layers between the Dream World and the Awakened Reality merge, and unexpectedly, they become a new learning experience. Through my filtering, a piece is materialised. It is a very intense process of understanding that the materialised piece does serve as a connection between these planes. When I exhibited my work on huge LED panels in global cities , I grasped this concept. The Dream World Affects the Awakened Reality, which I call the PLANE OF WILL.
HR: As someone who has exhibited their work in such culturally diverse cities as São Paulo, New York, Berlin, London and Bogotá, has exhibiting in such environments influenced how you experience and wish to exhibit your art in the future?
GK: Note that I have already exhibited my work in places closer to global centres of power and places more distant from them. I am a Brazilian Multidisciplinary Digital Artist. I know I am Brazilian. Due to all the sabotage present here and the difficulty of TO MAKE (especially in the realm of digital art), the Brazilian experience greatly influences my creation, particularly in my dream-like process. Brazil is a vast Crystal-Enigma, and the deeper you dig into this crystal, the more you see blood and magic. Without the Brazilian experience, my work would be a deep hole filled with empty words and hollow concepts.
In the future, I desire to be physically present in those places closer to global centres of power, to have firsthand experience. My work has already visited, but now my Avatar must visit. I am seeking the maximum potential that this Avatar of mine allows. This is what I want for the future. Access. Open paths. A dignified life.
HR: You’ve described yourself as a multi-chain artist, what factors do you consider when choosing which blockchain to mint NFTs on? Are there specific audiences or communities you are targeting on each platform?
GK: I began minting my digital artwork on the ETH blockchain in 2021, during the cultural and media boom that occurred. A few months after I joined, the HIC ET NUNC platform was launched on Tezos. It was a milestone. It was a true movement.
This platform provided access to many artists, especially artists from the Global South, who often couldn't compete with the exposure that artists from the Global North have, and therefore had to migrate from their homelands to seek those opportunities.
HIC ET NUNC brought dignity to many artists, and I reconnected with pre-NFT artists and met new artists in this movement. It was a beautiful experience to live through. I produced many pieces and found a frequency that brought dignity and honesty to my process as a digital artist from the Global South. I built sincere connections with artists and collectors from all over the world.
After the end of HIC ET NUNC, and with the depressing devaluation of Tezos, I find myself exploring my artwork once again on the ETH blockchain, which, in my opinion, has evolved its technology significantly and capitalised well on the culture and investment behind this currency. I am exploring Manifold and the Zora platform extensively.
HR: I ♡ your description of a ‘creative state is a haven in the midst of chaos’ — I’m interested to know if your journey from idea to final artwork embraces this chaos or if you have a creative process you like to follow, especially as you work with a diverse range of tools?
GK: It truly depends on the type of process I am going through. Certainly, all creations begin as an epiphany when I am cataloging the idea, and that epiphany can last throughout the entire process. However, if it's a project leaning towards ‘experimental cinema’ and ‘post-cinema’ then the chaos must be more controlled, more guided, within my creative system.
As I mentioned, most of my ideas come from the dream realm or manifestations of these dream frequencies in waking life. I then nurture these ideas to bring them here as faithfully as possible. In this process, I create scripts, storyboards, seek collaborations, and think about the soundtrack - in short, the epiphany becomes more controlled until the point where the piece feels ready to be born, and the time for birth approaches.
When the piece decides to be born, I see that the essence is already contained within it, and thus, it will have a life of its own. This is my work.
HR: I’ve come to realise the resonance I have with your work is because it echoes worlds I’ve explored through PS2 games like Shadow of the Colossus and Half-Life. I wonder if any forms of media or pop culture, such as video games, have shaped and influenced your work?
GK: Absolutely. I know that nothing is created from scratch, and everything can inspire my work. Anime and games have always been a significant influence on my artistic being. I have always been immersed in gaming culture and PC culture, a cybernetic culture. I grew up with this mix of cultures, along with the experiences I had in the streets of São Paulo, my city. Manga series like Berserk, Homunculus, Evangelion, and Serial Experiments Lain, as well as MMORPGs, have been major influences. I admire how these works manage to delve into hidden themes and ancient cultures while being accessible forms of entertainment, without diluting their core meanings. Sometimes, you can indirectly study the I-Ching while reading a manga, you know? That fascinates me.
In addition to the mentioned media, sports also significantly influence me. I love the true basketball culture and the media culture of Kung Fu, like the films from the Shaw Brothers Studios of the 1960s. These two sports have helped me escape from many problems in life.
HR: Your artworks embody such a powerful visual language. Does this serve as a reflection of your perception of the physical world or perhaps even how you recollect dreams?
GK: Absolutely. I keep digging into the ‘visual’ until I get as close as possible to what I felt I saw in the dream realm, or in some dream-like manifestation in waking life. It's all about textures and sensations, and my main goal is to get as close as I can to what I experienced. There comes a point in this process where it feels like a switch flips, and I feel tuned into that exact sensation I had in my dreams. It's a lot of fun. It’s a cure.
HR: Can you speak more on your visual experiences lab, The Experimental Lobby and your musical entity NAGUAL555?
GK: I feel that my work as GABRIEL <KÖI> already has a well-established identity and narrative. Everyone expects a piece from GABRIEL <KÖI> to be something "post-cinema," dreamlike, 3D, or experimental cinema. But I do more than that. I create things different from GABRIEL <KÖI>, and I can't stop myself from doing so. Hence, my alternative project THE EXPERIMENTAL LOBBY was born, focused on generative art and AI. It's a place where I can deposit these creations in a more unpretentious' manner. This project is like my Game Boy - a space for playful exploration.
NAGUAL555 is not a musician, DJ, or anything of that sort. It's a sonic entity that presents itself to me. Typically, NAGUAL555 is the one composing the soundtracks for my pieces. I have always treated NAGUAL555 as a visitor to me, and it is they who create the music while I end up yielding to their songs. It's a unique and symbiotic relationship where I allow NAGUAL555 to guide the musical aspect of my creations.
Gabriel Böing, also known as "KÖI", is a artist from São Paulo, Brazil. He believes that artists act as filters, interpreting their surroundings in both a macro and micro sense. KÖI is surrounded by like-minded individuals who share his belief that the creative state is a haven in the midst of chaos. Explore his expansive works on Objkt, Zora, Foundation and KnownOrigin. His musical entity NAGUAL555 can be found on Spotify and Bandcamp.
HYPERRETINA stands as an evolving nexus of post-internet and digital art, rooted firmly within the expansive Web3 ecosystem. With the mission to amplify the artists and creators that are sculpting our new virtual landscape. Don’t hesitate to get in touch on Twitter, Warpcast or Instagram. See the growing HYPERRETINA collection on Objkt, here.