Melting Memories in Istanbul | Exhibitions | Showcase


This is a memory. And this is a memory. Called data sculptures, these artworks embody
Refik Anadol’s mission to transform all kinds of data into visual, and auditory material. The idea is what would happen when we have
the chance to see our own memories, or somehow the idea of memory as a substance, data as
a substance. And can artificial intelligence help us make this invisible visible process much more poetic or somehow make it more artistic merit. Refik’s made use of American research that
dates back more than 20 years, and 800 memories donated by individuals. These memories, which typically last four
minutes, have been converted into algorithms using a brainwave sensor. These algorithms become both three dimensional
paintings and audio tracks. In these three versions for example, we are seeing three different memories and their reactions, and their complete appearing and disappearing
from the brain. So it’s a completely poetic and abstract interpretation of the data points but at the end the user or the audience can have his or her mnemonics or associations. It’s not about giving you what was that day,
was it about the dinner, or mountain, or hike that makes that memory. I don’t want to explain that but it’s about the audience’s imagination. Individuals donating memories would wear a
skin cap like this, with sensors linking straight to Refik’s computer. Refik Anadol’s influenced by thinkers from
Ancient Egypt, to the Middle Ages. His work draws on everything from medical
studies of neurological diseases to the newest Blade Runner movie. Those influences are clearly seen in the work. It’s full of texture, and although futuristic,
somehow timeless. Not content with visualizing memories, Refik has big plans for the future. My next step is a collaboration with Frank
Geary and his building in Los Angeles, the Walt Disney Concert Hall. There we ask, can we give a consciousness
to a building, I think machine intelligence can bring more
meaning to spaces and let them remember and react us and I think it would make our life much better. So I guess the questions are more important
than the answers to get AI in our life quickly and practically. One step at a time, Refik Anadol is using
art to make the invisible visible. Miranda Atty, TRT World, Istanbul

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