Sarah Meyohas

Discover in this portrait, how Sarah Meyohas transforms everything into digital art.

Rachel C. George |  Ed. Peter Traynor  |   12 October 2021

Woman in Digital Art: Sarah Meyohas - Agora Digital Art
Website

Sarah Meyohas (b.1991) is a French American conceptual artist living in New York and London. Her unique digital art encompasses film, virtual reality, augmented reality, sculpture, photography, and performance art. She deconstructs the technological world by using nature to visualise the processes at work in systems like artificial intelligence.

Current Event

Speculations #18 (2018)

Meyohas is currently selling a collection of non-fungible token(NFT) art on Opensea, based on photographs that were part of her Speculations exhibition at the Wasserman Projects in Detroit in the US.

Sarah Meyohas, Speculations #18 (2018) © Courtesy of the artist.

What’s next?

Dawn Chorus (2019) is being shown at the Seeing the Invisible project, which is an AR contemporary art exhibition. It is the first exhibition of its kind and runs simultaneously in twelve botanical gardens around the world including USA, Australia, United Kingdom, South Africa, Canada and Israel. It is open from 30 September 2021 to August 2022 and was initiated by the Jerusalem Botanical Gardens in partnership with Outset Contemporary Art Fund, with the support of the Jerusalem Foundation. It was curated by Hados Maor and Tal Michael Haring. The same exhibition will be presented at each botanical garden, but the surroundings will be different in each garden. The augmented reality art can be viewed through a mobile app. 

In the work, digital AR birds create music by interacting with a grand piano. When the mobile app launches the AR, a bird flies towards the viewer, hovers and then flies to the piano as if to invite the viewer into the work. When the beautiful green and turquoise birds land on the piano strings, a ripple of colour spreads across its surface. The haunting music is created by an algorithm. Commissioned public works of this piece have been installed in Times Square, New York City.

Dawn Chorus from Sarah Meyohas on Vimeo.

Sarah Mayonas, Dawn Chorus (2019) excerpt video 1 min. © Courtesy of the artist.

Did you know?

As well as an MA in Fine Art, Sarah Meyohas holds a Bachelor’s of Art in International Relations and a Bachelor’s of Science in Finance from The University of Pennsylvania.

Featured Projects

Sarah Meyohas, 100,000 Rose Petals (2017)  video 78 min. © Courtesy of the artist.

Cloud of Petals (2017)

Meyohas’ project Cloud of Petals (2017) was filmed and photographed throughout each stage of its progress. A team of male workers plucked petals from thousands of roses and then photographed 100,000 of them. This dataset was used to write an artificial intelligence algorithm that could create unique digital petals.

Petals cannot digitize themselves and so they need human hands to do the job for them. The categorisation and cataloguing of each petal remind us of the way our lives have also been dissected and stored as datasets. This information might someday be used to create unique humans who are also just a collection of ones and zeros. 

The work is also a metaphor for the way the female self is deconstructed by the male gaze and its aesthetic values. It questions masculinity and gender roles by having only male workers cataloguing the petals for Meyohas. The male workers were asked to save their favourite petals from each rose. The chosen 3,291 petals became part of the exhibition. 

The digital copies of the petals were eventually transformed into Virtual Reality Art. Cloud of Petals, VR (2017) creates digital planes where three-dimensional petals fall around viewers wearing VR headsets, immersing them in a simulated world made from 3D models of the petals, which were created in a VR studio. 

Sarah Meyohas, Bitchcoin (2015) 06:51 min.© Courtesy of the artist.

Bitchcoin (2015)

Back in 2015, Meyohas launched Bitchcoin (2015), a crypto-currency backed by her art. The investor buying a Bitchcoin invests in their perception of Meyohas’s worth as an artist. Mahoyas was ahead of her time and her crypto-currency was minted before the launch of the now global Ethereum, which also facilitates trade in assets, in the form of non-fungible tokens, and just like the Bitchcoins, these are minted on the blockchain. 

The physical art currently backing Meyohas’ cryptocurrency is a series of photographs of unique petals from her Cloud Of Petals (2017) project. When she first started, each Bitchcoin sold for $100 and was worth 25 square inches of any one of Meyohas’ current or future photographic prints. However, once Ethereum was launched, she was able to auction her Bitchcoins, so now the value fluctuates depending on the market. 

Obviously, the title Meyohas used for her crypto-currency is a reference to the Bitcoin crypto-currency. Bitcoin’s value depends on supply and demand because it is not backed by gold, silver or any government. So not only was the Bitchcoin (2015) project a seminal piece of conceptual art that asked questions about value, it was also the first cryptocurrency to be backed by an asset. 

itchcoin (2015) was recently part of the Proof of Art NFT show at the Francisco Carolinum Museum in Linz, Austria. It proved to be so popular that the exhibition was extended from the 15 September 2021 to the 12 October 2021. The auction house, Phillips, recently auctioned off bundles of Bitchcoins, recognising the work for its pioneering contribution to digital art. You can currently buy Bitchcoins on Opensea

Sarah Meyohas, Stock Performance (2016) 06:51 min.© Courtesy of the artist.

Stock Performance (2016)

In 2016, Meyohas’ performance art project Stock Performance (2016) explored the relationship between the stock market and art. Meyohas bought thinly-traded stocks, choosing them for their interesting names, to create a series of paintings. 

When the stock performance lines moved, the artist drew the results on canvas, creating a series of paintings. The minimalist paintings were a series of lines, some jagged and others straight. Meyohas bought shares on her laptop in the middle of a room in the 303 Gallery in New York, while spectators walked around the room and surveyed the paintings created by her manipulation of the market. 

Instead of buying stocks to make money, she bought them to make art. Her work draws attention to the abstract uncertainty inherent in buying stock and shares. It also highlights the importance of these trades and their effects on the economy. 

Sarah Meyohas, Speculations #18 (2018) © Courtesy of the artist.

Speculations #18 (2018)

Meyohas is currently selling a collection of the non-fungible token(NFT) art on Opensea, based on photographs that were part of her Speculations exhibition at the Wasserman Projects in Detroit in the US. The photographs were made using mirrors to create a series of never-ending reflections captured by the camera and not altered digitally. The reflections are a metaphor for value and the relationship between materiality and price. Meyohas asserts that price cannot exist without there being an object to value. 

The NFT photographs available on Opensea are presented as a series of shrinking, receding frames in water and are often surrounded by mist. The water carries a reflection of the frames and the different coloured lighting. The image disappears into a dark square as if this relationship of value will continue into the future, existing for longer than the viewer. 

Key achievements

In 2017, she was chosen as one of Forbes 30 under 30 list. She also held a residency at the School of Visual Arts, New York in 2011.

Solo Shows

2020, Dawn Chorus, Nahmad Projects, London, UK

2020, Forever First Mixed Reality, New Museum, New York, USA

2019, Sarah Meyohas, Ming Contemporary Art Museum, Shanghai, China

2019, Generated Petals Interpolation, Flint Institute of Arts, Michigan, USA

2019, Infinite Void, Galerie Pact, Paris, France

Group shows 

2021, Proof of Art, Francisco Carolinum Linz, Linz, Austria

2018, In Times of Perseus, Sargent’s Daughters, New York, USA

2018, New Lights, Galerie Leage, Paris, France

2018, Adventitious Encounters, Open Space Contemporary, London, UK

2017, Tu es Métamorphose, Galerie Pact, Paris, France

Festivals

2019, Barbican The Curve

2018, Buenos Aires Film Festival (Best Experimental)

2018, Locarno Film Festival

2018, Slamdance Film Festival

2018, Minneapolis St. Paul International Film Festival

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