A frontrunner in contemporary media art, Refik Anadol is known for his use of advanced technologies including artificial intelligence, machine algorithms, and quantum computing to create immersive installations and sculpture works.Read More
Anadol is also the director of Refik Anadol Studio (RAS), a technology-driven art and design studio, and visiting assistant researcher at UCLA's Department of Design Media Art.
Central to Refik Anadol's practice is a concern with the relationship between architecture and media arts, and the ways in which machine intelligence influences our perception of time and space. Anadol's work includes immersive environments, data sculptures and paintings, and NFTs.
Among Anadol's earlier projects is Infinity (2015), an installation in which patterns of light are projected onto the walls, ceiling, and floor of a cuboid room. Light, manifested in pulsating orbs, waves, or lines, appears to shift and alter the space for infinity—when, in fact, its patterns are produced by seven algorithms over a loop of 14 minutes.
The act of remembering formed the basis of Melting Memories (2018), Anadol's solo exhibition at Pilevneli Gallery in Istanbul. Working closely with the Neuroscape Laboratory at the University of California, San Francisco, the artist used data taken from the recordings of brain waves of participants recalling memories to create data-driven installations. In Melting Memories (2018), a large-scale LED media wall piece, CNC milled rigid foam flows from one shape into another—evoking sand, ocean waves, or flowers—visualising the materiality of remembering.
In his major ongoing project 'Machine Hallucinations', first presented in 2019, Anadol approaches the potential of artificial intelligence to learn and even dream and hallucinate, just as humans do. Often taking the form of large-scale projections, versions of 'Machine Hallucinations' typically draw images from their respective environments and translate them into an array of hypnotic colours and forms. When exhibited at The Shed, New York, in 2021, the installation used images of the city found online to highlight contemporary society's ready concession of personal data to the digital world.
Anadol has also ventured into NFTs, producing bodies of works such as Machine Hallucinations – Space: Metaverse (2021), a collection of NFTs based on the images recorded by the International Space Station. A culmination of the artist's three-year collaboration with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), Space: Metaverse was presented in an online auction at Sotheby's Hong Kong in 2021.
In that same year, Anadol presented the solo exhibition Machine Hallucinations: Nature Dreams at König Galerie in Berlin, where he exhibited new NFT works. Winds of Berlin, a monumental data sculpture projected onto the gallery's bell tower, derived the data for its vibrant colours from the streets of Berlin, while the video loop Nature Dreams showcases the colours of nature clashing and morphing into one another (both 2021).
Refik Anadol has exhibited his work across both online and physical locations.
Select solo exhibitions include _Unsupervised — Machine Hallucination_s, Museum of Modern Art, NFT Exhibition on FeralFile (2021); Machine Hallucinations: Nature Dreams, König Galerie, Berlin (2021); Melting Memories – Engram, Neurones, Centre Pompidou, Paris (2020); Machine Hallucination – Study II, Hermitage Museum, Moscow (2019); Melting Memories, Pilevneli Gallery, Istanbul (2018); WDCH Dreams, Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles (2018); Infinity Room, The Conference, Malmo (2016).
Select group exhibitions include the Venice Architecture Biennale (2021); National Gallery of Victoria 2020 Triennial, Melbourne (2020); Macau Currents: Data Paintings, Art Macao: International Art Exhibition, Macao (2019); The Invisible Body: Data Paintings, Sven-Harrys Museum, Stockholm (2018); Heterotopia, REM Art Space, Istanbul (2017); The New Creativity: Man and Machines, MAK Center for Art and Architecture, Los Angeles (2015); VitrA Contemporary Architecture Series: Dreams to Reality, Istanbul Modern (2014).
Sherry Paik | Ocula | 2022