As someone who grew up in a city, cities have always fascinated me. They inspire me with their vitality, energy, and variety of faces and voices. They made my imagination run wild by all the lives and destinies hidden behind endless walls and windows. Cities have always given me a sense of safety on their streets, in their cozy spaces, rare green oases, and their dense and wild mosaic of humanity.
When I first saw Uninhabitable in December 2021, we were still in the middle of the pandemic. Confined to my space like everyone else, the delicate shapes of Uninhabitable appeared like a distant memory of beloved vibrant metropolitan places.
There were these cities, sometimes sublime and resting in themselves, wrapped in mystery — and at other times feeling expressive, loud, and agitated. There were these urban forests, with erased boundaries of man-made structures, rooted in earth yet reaching to the sky. There were downtowns, noisy and busy, chaotic and brutal, loud and ruthless. There were nowhere places with their stillness in the twilight, erasing into darkness what was, and bringing forth to light what would be. These uninhabited habitats appeared eager to embrace all meanings human-made spaces can contain.
Then there was February 2022. The war happened and felt so close. Devastation was all around. Kyiv, Kharkiv, and Mariupol, cities I knew, turned into uninhabitable zones. Gradually, Uninhabitable began to change its meaning. Red became the color of blood and hatred. Downtown appeared to lie in ruins, a devastated version of itself. The ellipses of urban forests emerged as if in a call to earth and the heavens. The cities became phantoms. Uninhabitable got a whole new reading. It changed in significance.
I remember the community’s massive excitement about this long-awaited release on December 17, 2021. That was in the first weeks of fxhash, and much has happened since then. The artwork took on its own life with all its ups and downs. It grew and matured.
One day, the war will end, and the cities will be restored. Uninhabitable ellipses, these ancient symbols of eternity, will reemerge in new meanings. And while my hopes grow, my previous perceptions fade, giving space to new visions.
In just half a year, Uninhabitable has emerged as one of the most iconic collections in generative art. It will continue to evolve and shift with time, taking on new meaning with each viewer. This is why I believe it will never lose its actuality or significance.