Computer graphic illustration of figure walking in a dark cave setting
Pierre Huyghe
French, b. Paris, 1962
One Million Kingdoms
Single-channel video; color; sound; 6:46 min.
Joseph H. Hirshhorn Purchase Fund, 2019 (2019.018)
In 1999, artists Pierre Huyghe and Philippe Parreno purchased the rights to a generic anime character they called Annlee. Over the course of three years, the pair invited thirteen artists to create works featuring the avatar in a project called No Ghost Just a Shell (1999–2002). This chapter, by Huyghe alone, follows Annlee as she traverses a computer-generated lunar landscape. She speaks in a voice synthesized from recordings of Neil Armstrong during the moon landing and lines from Jules Verne’s 1864 novel Journey to the Center of the Earth. As Annlee moves forward, the inflections of her voice generate the waves and valleys of the terrain through which she travels. The unstable, shifting landscape mirrors the content of the monologue as it slips erratically between fact and fiction.