Refik Anadol Melting Memories: Engram as data sculpture

REFIK ANADOL

TK / US

This spectacular installation will be shown for the first time in Spain at Espacio EDP – Iglesia de La Laboral, and it is an exciting project about the materiality and representation of memories, a perfect dialogue among science, arts and technology.


From February 7 through March 17, 2018, Pilevneli Gallery presented Refik Anadol’s latest project on the materiality of remembering. Melting Memories offered new insights into the representational possibilities emerging from the intersection of advanced technology and contemporary art. By showcasing several interdisciplinary projects that translate the elusive process of memory retrieval into data collections, the exhibition immersed visitors in Anadol’s creative vision of “recollection.”

“Science states meanings; art expresses them,” writes American philosopher John Dewey and draws a curious distinction between what he sees as the principal modes of communication in both disciplines. In Melting Memories, Refik Anadol’s expressive statements provide the viewer with revealing and contemplative artworks that will generate responses to Dewey’s thesis.

Comprising data paintings, augmented data sculptures and light projections, the project as a whole debuts new advances in technology that enable visitors to experience aesthetic interpretations of motor movements inside a human brain. Each work grows out of the artist’s impressive experiments with the advanced technology tools provided by the Neuroscape Laboratory at the University of California, San Francisco. Neuroscape is a neuroscience center focusing on technology creation and scientific research on brain function of both healthy and impaired individuals. Anadol gathers data on the neural mechanisms of cognitive control from an EEG (electroencephalogram) that measures changes in brain wave activity and provides evidence of how the brain functions over time. These data sets constitute the building blocks for the unique algorithms that the artist needs for the multi-dimensional visual structures on display.

Anadol’s installations do not only address a productive espousal of cutting-edge technology and art but also a strong preoccupation with the study of human memory from Ancient Egyptians to Blade Runner 2049. The exhibition’s title, Melting Memories, refers to the artist’s experience with unexpected interconnections among seminal philosophical works, academic inquiries and artworks that take memory as their principal themes. The title further draws attention to the melting of neuroscience and technology into these centuries-long philosophical debates, questioning the emergence of a new space where artificial intelligence is not in conflict with individuality and intimacy.

Refik Anadol is a media artist and director born in Istanbul, Turkey in 1985. Currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California. He is a lecturer and visiting researcher in UCLA’s Department of Design Media Arts.
He is working in the fields of site-specific public art with parametric data sculpture approach and live audio/visual performance with immersive installation approach, particularly his works explore the space among digital and physical entities by creating a hybrid relationship between architecture and media arts with machine intelligence.
He holds a master of fine arts degree from University of California, Los Angeles in Media Arts, master of fine arts degree from Istanbul Bilgi University in Visual Communication Design as well as bachelors of arts degree with summa cum laude in Photography and Video. Co-founder and Creative director at Antilop.
As a media artist, designer and spatial thinker, Refik Anadol is intrigued by the ways in which the transformation of the subject of contemporary culture requires rethinking of the new aesthetic, technique and dynamic perception of space. Anadol builds his works on the nomadic subject’s reaction to and interactions with unconventional spatial orientations with data and machine intelligence. Embedding media arts into architecture, he questions the possibility of a post digital architectural future in which there are no more non-digital realities. He invites the viewers to visualize alternative realities by presenting them the possibility of re-defining the functionalities of both interior and exterior architectural formations. Anadol’s work suggests that all spaces and facades have potentials to be utilized as the media artists’ canvases.
Privileging difference rather than singularity and movement rather than stasis, Anadol faces all the new challenges that the gradual development of an enriched immersive environment and ubiquitous computing impose on architects, media artists and engineers. How is our experience of space changing, now that digital objects ranging from smart phones to urban screens have all but colonized our everyday lives? How have media technologies changed our conceptualizations of space, and how has architecture embraced these shifting conceptualizations? These are the three main questions that Anadol tackles by not simply integrating media into built forms, but by translating the logic of a new media technology into spatial design.
He has been given awards, residencies and has served as a guest lecturer.

LINKS

VENUE

Espacio Fundación EDP

– Iglesia de la Laboral


 


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