Art and Awe in the Age of Machine Intelligence

Refik Anadol

Internationally renowned media artist, director, and pioneer in the aesthetics of data and machine intelligence, Refik Anadol is the Director of Refik Anadol Studio in Los Angeles as well as a visiting researcher & lecturer in UCLA’s Department of Design Media Arts. He recently shared this short talk at our second annual a16z crypto Founder Summit in November 2023. Anadol’s work has been exhibited at venues including MoMA, Centre Pompidou-Metz, Art Basel, National Gallery of Victoria, Venice Architecture Biennale, Hammer Museum, Arken Museum, Dongdaemun Design Plaza, Ars Electronica, Istanbul Modern, and ZKM | Center for Art and New Media.

Anadol’s work locates creativity at the intersection of humans and machines — taking the data that surrounds us as primary material, and the neural network of a computerized mind as a collaborator, Anadol offers us radical visualizations of our digitized memories and expands the possibilities of interdisciplinary arts. Anadol’s site-specific data paintings and sculptures, live audio/visual performances, and immersive installations take many forms, while encouraging us to rethink our engagement with the physical world, collective experiences, public art, the creative potential of AI, and decentralized networks. His NFT designs span “CryptoCube” data block sculptures to space metaverse (in collaboration with NASA JPL) to quantum computing; and also draw on open source coral images from Miami to high-resolution science imaging camera images from Mars. Notably, Anadol’s artwork “Unsupervised — Machine Hallucinations” achieved a historic milestone when it was acquired by The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in October 2023 — marking the institution’s first inclusion of a tokenized artwork in its permanent collection.

Anadol has received a number of awards and prizes including the Lorenzo il Magnifico Lifetime Achievement Award for New Media Art, Microsoft Research’s Best Vision Award, German Design Award, UCLA Art+Architecture Moss Award, Columbia University’s Breakthrough in Storytelling Award, and Google’s Artists and Machine Intelligence Artist Residency Award.

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