Artist Refik Anadol Turns Data Into Art, With Help From AI

Giant stashes of data are valuable assets to corporations in industries from fossil fuels to finance. Artist Refik Anadol sees pools of data as something else—material for what he calls a new kind of “sculpture.”Anadol creates mesmerizing art installations by seeking out interesting data sets and processing them into swirling visualizations of how computers capture…


Large stashes of information are treasured property to companies in industries from fossil fuels to finance. Artist Refik Anadol sees swimming pools of information as one thing else—subject matter for what he calls a brand new roughly “sculpture.”

Anadol creates enchanting artwork installations by way of in the hunt for out fascinating knowledge units and processing them into swirling visualizations of the way computer systems seize the arena and other folks in it. He does it by way of the usage of tactics from synthetic intelligence, particularly device studying algorithms, to clear out or amplify on his uncooked subject matter.

The consequences, proven on large monitors or projected onto partitions or whole structures, use knowledge issues in a type of AI pointillism.

Anadol explains his ingenious procedure in a brand new WIRED video. It options works together with Gadget Hallucination, a 360-degree video set up comprised of 10 million footage of New York. Anadol used device studying to staff footage and morph between them, developing flickering pictures of town as recorded by way of many various other folks. “It’s roughly like a collective reminiscence,” he says. “A development in New York can also be explored from a couple of angles, from other instances of the yr.”

Anadol has extensively utilized his knowledge sculptures to appear inward, within the human mind. After finding his uncle didn’t acknowledge him because of the onset of Alzheimer’s, the artist teamed up with neuroscientists to collect a brand new supply of information. “I considered probably the most valuable and maximum personal data that we cling as humanity,” he says.

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The scientists used a hat studded with electrodes to seize the mind process of other folks reflecting on youth recollections. Anadol grew to become the information into hypnotically shifting fluids proven on a 20-foot-tall LED display screen.

One theme of Anadol’s paintings is the symbiosis and rigidity between other folks and machines. The artist says his paintings is an instance of the way AI—like different applied sciences—can have a extensive vary of makes use of. “After we discovered hearth, we cooked with it, we created communities; with the similar era we kill each and every different or ruin,” Anadol says. “Obviously AI is a discovery of humanity that has the possible to make communities, or ruin each and every different.”

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