"Machine Hallucinations" by Refik Anadol illuminates Noor Riyadh

“Machine Hallucinations” by Refik Anadol illuminates Noor Riyadh

The works of media artist Refik Anadol began to light up the world in many prestigious exhibitions as his name is seen in Sotheby’s auctions. This time he brought light to the city of Riyadh in Saudi Arabia with technology and art with his latest installation.

Bringing together artists from 40 different countries, the city’s annual light and art festival, Noor Riyadh Light and Art Festival, kicked off this year with the theme “We dream of new horizons”. More than 190 works of art and installations presented at the festival lit up the city of Riyadh and transformed Riyadh evenings into dazzling nights. Site-specific installations, monumental public works of art, temporary sculptures, art walks, virtual reality, building projections and drone shows have captured the attention of art lovers.

Having hosted some of the world’s leading artists using technology, artificial intelligence, digital innovations, data storytelling and artificial intelligence (AI) to fuel creativity, delivering awe-inspiring experiences, one of the most stars of the event belonged to Refik Anadol from Türkiye.

Immersive setup

Refik Anadol’s immersive, multi-channel installation “Machine Hallucinations – Space” is presented to art lovers as part of Noor Riyadh’s From Spark to Spirit exhibition in the Jax district, one of the newly developed creative districts from the city. Visitors will be immersed in the artwork, in a room with floor-to-ceiling screens showing “a shared dream” created by the machine, based on recorded visual impressions of Riyadh.

Throughout the process, Anadol produced a generative network model on public photos of Riyadh collected from social media platforms and digital image archives to create his work. In this study, the city’s data universe is processed in more than a thousand hidden dimensions through machine learning. Regarding his work, Anadol said, “Building in an immersive environment creates an environment where we can step into the mind of a machine.”

Anadol’s “Machine Hallucinations – Space” emerged as the product of his long-term research into the photographic history of space exploration. Using advanced machine learning algorithms trained on photographs from deep space, the piece opens a doorway into the unknown.

Installation of artwork Amplexus by artist Grimanesa Amoros at DQ in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on October 27, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Nour Riyadh Festival)

Installation of artwork Amplexus by artist Grimanesa Amoros at DQ in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia on October 27, 2022. (Photo courtesy of Nour Riyadh Festival)

Light influences, transforms views

Curated by Neville Wakefield and co-curator Gaida al-Mogren, the exhibition “From Spark to Spirit” specifically traces the role of light in the life of humanity as part of how it shapes our relationship with the world. , how some participating artists use light to depict advances and changes in technology, and how light affects and changes our view of the environment in which we live.

Within this framework, Anadol’s work uses artificial intelligence as a collaborator of human consciousness to reveal its unrecognized layers, providing a sensational new form of autonomy through cybernetic coincidence.

Born in Istanbul and currently living in Los Angeles, Refik Anadol leads a studio and research practice that aims to renew approaches to data narratives by articulating alternative realities using architectural elements. In his work, the artist builds a bridge between the virtual and the physical with his three-dimensional data sculptures that allow the audience to be surrounded by the visual language of the digital world.

memory as space

Just as the “Light and Space Movement”, born in California in the 1960s and influenced by John McLaughlin, makes the viewer live the experience of light and other sensory phenomena under specific conditions, reflecting the changes in the established order, this exhibition explores a landscape of light influenced by the rapid cultural transformations that have shaped the Middle East.

As part of the exhibition, “Machine Hallucinations – Space” captures the essence of this transformation and change. Anadol explores how memory can be experienced in space and uses AI technologies to find a way to mimic how our memories and dreams work in vivid, layered, and seemingly impulsive and random ways. In a world enlightened by constantly evolving technologies and innovative techniques using light, his works refer to the unique property of light and its luminosity that allows all to perceive and project hopes and dreams into this world. .

Visitors will have the chance to live this unique experience until Friday.

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