Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège Limited edition boldly recast its savoir-faire in an unexpected new dimension. In a groundbreaking collaboration, Hennessy welcomed the pioneer and acclaimed media artist and director Refik Anadol to its historic seat in Cognac, France, to observe the Tasting Committee at work. It was the first time ever that the Maison allowed an artist to capture this time-honoured ritual in real-time. He used neuroscientific research methods and machine intelligence to collect data to create an unprecedented work of art.
Enduring mastery and new modes of expression also came together in an extraordinary convergence. Anadol borrowed the experiment from another realm. Nevertheless, the Hennessy Tasting Committee consented to “open up their minds” to a completely unconventional experiment. Outfitted in high-tech equipment, the Master Blender and his colleagues allowed Refik Anadol to track their emotions in real-time. He captured their experience, sensations, and also appreciations of eaux-de-vie.
“In our craft, we are constantly classifying, describing, and also trying to find exactly the right words to convey our impressions and experiences,” said Renaud Fillioux de Gironde, Hennessy’s 8th-generation Master Blender. “We were all very intrigued to see what elements technology might bring to light.”
During the traditional 11am meeting, a rare and specialized electroencephalogram (EEG) typically reserved for laboratory research was used to capture sensorial data as each participating Tasting Committee member evaluated a selection of eaux-de-vie destined for Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège. Freshly equipped with sensors, the committee followed a ritual that has remained unchanged for generations. Past and present merged in what Refik Anadol describes as “a near-future experience, in real-time.”
Hennessy V.S.O.P Limited edition Memories
“Emotion lives in the senses, on the skin, in the heart, and also in the mind with this hypersensitive equipment, and as a result, we are able to trace everything, down to the movement of the glass,” Refik Anadol explains. “You can see heritage and savoir-faire become visible and observe how the material actually becomes the wisdom.”
Back in his California studio, Refik Anadol and his team filtered the true data of two centuries’ worth of living memory through sophisticated analytics. They transformed the data set into pigments and light. What emerged, the artist says, was a completely harmonious dialogue. This “architecture of memory” was remarkably consistent, particularly across subjects at a specific point in time.
“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.
The 2021 Hennessy V.S.O.P Privilège Limited Edition by Refik Anadol is now available at leading retailers.
For more information visit www.hennessy.com/en-int