Living through a global pandemic has brought disruption and isolation to most people’s lives. But it’s also brought opportunities to reimagine how things might work differently. So when Z by HP—the tech titan’s line of high performance, professional grade laptops, desktops, displays, and solutions—asked its global ambassadors to make a video together, they jumped at the chance to join a new kind of creative community. The ambassadors signed on for similar reasons, each seeking to push against artistic boundaries and explore their crafts collaboratively. The ensuing two-minute film, The Living System, features artwork from Nidia Dias, Orlando Arocena, GMUNK, Jody MacDonald, Alex Trochut, Rik Oostenbroek, and Shane Griffin. Through the film, this multidisciplinary collective examines themes of energy, creation, and adaptation. True to its name, The Living System evokes a community functioning in harmony, just like an actual thriving ecosystem. 

Indeed, a sense of boundary-breaking cooperation undergirds everything about The Living System. The short is packed with mind-bending visuals and bursts with a sense of freedom. It plays off the interaction between the natural world and civilization, urging viewers to question their positions in both environments, while implying that perhaps they’re not so separate after all. And there is vital creative tension in this work too, as each artist pursues creative freedom in their own section of the film, all within the bounds of collaborative work. That push and pull between each individual and the community of ambassadors produces a unique short punctuated by a triumphant, invigorating finale.

Watch The Living System below, then scroll through to see what each artist had to say about the project, their inspirations, and what it was like to work together during the COVID-19 pandemic. And for more on the collaborative aspects of this project, hit the Z by HP site to watch CoCreated, a documentary on the process of making The Living System from each ambassador’s perspective.