This is the grandmother story of how "Who's that Poke-...Wine?" experience came about...
We're a big Pokémon fan, we're an even bigger Digimon fan, but Pokémon is up there for us. We've played nearly every release of the franchise, and we're faithfully spending our hard-earned money on PokéBank just all so that the Charizard we've raised in Pokémon Yellow on our Gameboy Color can be passed down to our grandkids.
So naturally, videos like this pops up on our YouTube feed:
If you're too lazy to watch said video, basically it's a bunch of Pokemon Youtubers guessing what Pokemon the AI-generated abstract artwork is supposed to represent.
Amidst the hilarity of watching the players struggle, and also nursing my own bruised pride at getting some of them wrong myself, an absolutely horrible, terrible and marvelous idea struck us.
What if we did this , but with...alcohol?
The theory behind intersensorial Pokémon-Wine associations
If you're receiving this email, it means you probably know that we've been dabbling in gustatory aesthetics and taste experiences for almost two years now.
And a big part of what what we've been exploring in the world of taste is the intersensory aspect of it.
And I'm not just talking about synesthesia, which is limited to people whose brains are wired a little curiously. But also ideasthesia (how concept and ideas feel), an ability that all humans have.
As we work with taste as an experiential medium, we realized that ideasthesia gives our sense of taste and immense capacity for symbolism.
Taste can be used to capture and evoke meaning.
You can associate taste with anything: emotions, memories, personalities, shapes, colors...
And we see this even for non-synesthetic people.
But often times, it takes a lot of time, and a lot of explanation + scaffolding to help people uncover those associations. Even though taste is such a visceral thing for us humans.
And that's kind of where the abstract AI art comes in.
Our natural response to abstract art is to make sense of it.
How you ask?
The default mode is by association.
We form impressions of the shapes and colors and try to figure out that piece of artwork is or means.
It feels like there's something there, that if we can tap into people's instinctive nature to make sense of abstract visual art, it'll be easier for them to extend that into making sense of tastes and flavors, which is equally abstract.
(Yay for visually dominant society!)
It probably doesn't hurt that everyone will be under the influence of alcohol when bullshitting making these intersensory pokemon-wine associations.
all self-justifications aside...
We just think that watching tipsy people debate why a certain specific wine tastes more like a Bulbasaur than a Chikorita would be an absolutely hilarious experience.
Rubs hands together gleefully
So yes, if you're one of us grown-up children who have a soft spot for Pokémon and is finally at a phase of your life where you're into fancy things like wine, please come and be part of this strange experience where your inner-child and adult-self meet.