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Pohualli

Pohualli is a 100 edition generative art project inspired by Aztec mythological motifs and the rich history of Mexico. The project reflects on the constant passage of time, the diverging paths into the future, and the desire to revisit and resurrect forgotten cultures. The title references the Nahuatl vigesimal counting system, in which ‘pohualli’ is a base unit.

The concept for this project was first conceived by Fahad while he was living in Oaxaca de Juárez. Though many parts of Mexico have been drastically transformed, often forcibly, through colonization, a surge of tourism, and modernization, Oaxaca has managed to hold strong to many indigenous customs. Looking ahead to the next century - which elements of our cultures will we preserve and celebrate, and which will we erase from our memories?

Each artwork in the Pohualli collection takes the form of an alebrije-like creature that grows over time, following a random walk algorithm that represents our path through life. Every day the creatures will look slightly different, adding new feathers, shields, ribbons, vines, and geometric blocks to their forms. The Aztecs believed time to be cyclical, and so when a creature inevitably reaches its final day, it will die and be reborn.

This artwork changes over time and so is best experienced live instead of as saved images. Press ‘p’ to download the displayed image. Press ‘d’ to toggle the date labeling.

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