Digital Art and Technology: Refik Anadol’s “Machine Memoirs: Space” Exhibition

28 June 2021

Digital art started with the emergence of motion pictures in the middle of the 19th century. Basically, the concept is defined by the involvement of technology into the artwork. Thus, digital art mirrors the evolution of technology and adopts different forms such as video, photography, light and 3D animations and mediums such as computers and similar smart devices.

In digital art, the artist’s creativity is not subjected to any borders or rules. It is only determined by the artist’s perspective and mastery of the technology.

Learn more about the digital art concept with world-renowned digital media artist Refik Anadol‘s “Machine Memoirs: Space” exhibition, which includes works inspired by space and machinery.

Who is Refik Anadol?

Refik Anadol was born in Istanbul in 1985. The artist studied photography, video and media arts at Istanbul Bilgi and Los Angeles California universities. During his studies, he shifted his attention to technology and art and completed his education in related fields. Blending architecture and media arts in his PhD, he achieved remarkable academic success with his creative vision. Performing different professions such as media artist, director, designer and academician, he has become a popular artist with his innovative exhibitions.

Refik Anadol lives in Los Angeles and continues to work on his digital artworks by altering perceptions.

When and Where is Refik Anadol’s “Machine Memoirs: Space” Exhibition?

The exhibition “Machine Memoirs: Space” can be visited free of charge at the Pilevneli Gallery in Dolapdere, Istanbul until April 25, 2021. You can visit the exhibition every weekday between 9 am – 5 pm. It is better to check before you go as there may be changes in exhibition times due to the pandemic.

A Brief Summary of Refik Anadol’s “Machine Memoirs: Space” Exhibition

The exhibition covers the latest works of the artist. The works are produced after NASA JPL’s invitation to share data with Refik Anadol. The collaboration revolves around concepts such as space, machine, earth, nature, and dreams. In the solo exhibition, there are videos and orchestral compositions exhibited on screens that spread over the entire surface of the room. Each datum is used as a pigment for the artworks which consist of two different parts: “Memoirs” and “Dreams”.

More than 2 million images are exported from NASA’s space telescope and satellites such as ISS, Hubble and MRO. These images have been processed and turned into “Memoirs”. Since these images contain celestial bodies such as Earth, Mars and the Moon, they are associated with the transformation of the collective memory into data and life. These commemorative videos are produced from the largest dataset ever used in a work of art. Besides, they are designed to allow the audience participation interactively.

In the “Dreams” part, the audience steps into the three-dimensional data sculptures. In a metaphorical sense, the audience actually enters the dreams of artificial intelligence and watches its consciousness. Inspired by the question “What if the machine dreams?”, the artist uses the data as memories to create images in an endless progression that does not repeat itself. Accompanied with an orchestral composition, the visual art reflects the concepts of space and multidimensionality into the minds of the audience for 15 minutes.

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