Each week, we bring you the backstory of work featured in our collection, written by a member of our curatorial team.

Portrait of 60960.JPG (Starry Night over the Rhone by Vincent Van Gogh)

by Poppy Simpson, Head of Content and Curation

I was in the audience when Eric Corriel took to the stage at New York Tech Meetup last April and asked a simple question: “Imagine you could shrink yourself down, swim around your hard drive, and meet your files face to face—what would they look like?”

It struck me as a genuinely interesting question. I spend the majority of my day, creating, viewing, editing, and organising an array of media and while my digital files might share the same basic DNA as those of others, they are also unique, in terms of the data they contain and the way they are categorised. I began to contemplate the singular anatomy of my hard-drive—what do my emails look like, I thought? What about my desktop?

Portrait of 71325.jpg (Waterlilies - Morning (centre right section) by Claude Monet).jpg

I know what Eric’s desktop looks like, because he showed us. For his ‘Enter the Machine’ project, Corriel built an algorithm that translated his files into color-coded pixels. His desktop, visualised, appears as phosphorescent shifting sands—a symphony of orange and red (.jpg and .png files) punctuated with delicate strings of white (.zip) and green (Microsoft Office files).

It struck me, as I listened to Eric speak, that it would be fascinating to apply his algorithm to some of the most renowned paintings in the Meural Collection. And so was born Meural’s first digital art commission.

Eric has created a series of exclusive digital portraits of his favourite works on the platform and we are excited to share the first couple of these with our community. They are at once painterly and experimental and I hope you find them as hypnotizing and enchanting as I do!