#Guy #A.I #Create #Art #Obsessed #WIRED
[otherworldly music] – [Narrator] It’s easy to get lost in Refik Anadol’s surreal installations. But dig a little deeper, and you realize his work is made up of millions of tiny pieces, and that every single little point represents a piece of data that he’s fed through a neural network
To show us his vision of our future. – I was always trying to speculate this idea of, “Can data become a pigment?” At the end, the data is truly numbers. It has no kind of inner skin or skeleton. But what I’m trying to do as an artist is find algorithm
That can narrate the moment of data, kind of make that invisible moment visible. – [Narrator] Enormous data sets inspire most of Anadol’s art and he uses machine intelligence and algorithms to create visualizations, what he calls data sculptures like this piece, called “Machine Hallucinations.”
He started by finding 113 million images of New York online. – [Refik] I let the machine learn from this entire corpus of data, and then we also find a way to erase the humans from this data and only focus on the buildings, nature, and environments that is a collective memory of New York.
– [Narrator] Once all of the images of people were removed, Anadol was left with 10 million pictures of New York. He fed them through a machine learning algorithm that generates visual associations as it learns. For example, when it sees multiple photos of the Statue of Liberty, taken from slightly different angles,
The algorithm interpolates information to help it create a moving, shifting image that represents the entire life cycle of the structure. – Machine looks at this information like a human being, but it’s kind of more like collective memories than personal memories, because a building in New York can be explored by thousands of perspectives,
From multiple angles, from a different time of the year. It’s more like an honest memory for a machine ’cause it feels more totalitarian, and feels everything and everyone than just one person. – [Narrator] Anadol covered the walls and the floor of a boiler room in a building in Lower Manhattan
With this machine-interpreted dynamic landscape. If you ask him, he’ll tell you that the machine is dreaming. – When a machine learns from outputs and memories like this, it can create an alternative reality. It look at the patterns of the trees, the buildings, the nature, the people,
Every single thing hidden inside these image corpus. Seeing a machine giving a context of data and giving an hallucinative output was something really inspiring. – [Narrator] Anadol created this piece to celebrate the centennial of the LA Philharmonic using half a million images, thousands of audio recordings,
And hundreds of videos from the orchestra’s archives. He fed all that into a series of algorithms that turned it into these extraordinary projected images. – [Refik] By using machine learning algorithms, the entire archive of LA Philharmonic becomes a shape of three-dimensional outputs. We were able to see all these data points
Becoming together or disappearing, and making kind of new sculptures. – [Narrator] And the building itself, Frank Gehry’s Walt Disney Concert Hall, became part of the sculpture too. – I was always looking for inspiring buildings, and Frank Gehry became my hero. And I rent a car, went to downtown, it was 2:00 a.m.
The building’s light was off, like there was nothing around it. And that night, I was really struck by an idea, like, “What will happen if this building can remember?” Like, “Can it dream?” – [Narrator] So he projected the machine interpreted archives onto a smaller model of the Walt Disney Concert Hall.
Once he settled on something he liked, he projected it onto the bigger, real life building. – [Refik] What we are doing not a typical painting, not a typical sculpture, but more like an experience from a near future. And when they come together with sound, data, machine intelligence, and light and architecture,
They have a new meaning, a new kind of symbiotic connections. I think I was really hooked up by the idea of, “A building can become an interface.” It can be a boring advertising, but it can be a beautiful interface. The ideation of a human instinct, becoming part of a machine,
Is really striking me emotionally. – [Narrator] Anadol and his team used 42 large scale projectors with an astonishing 50K video resolution to create a dramatic display in Downtown LA every night for 10 days, a nod to one of his favorite movies. [whimsical music] – I was eight years old
When I watched the movie “Blade Runner.” I was extremely inspired by the movie. In Downtown Los Angeles, a building suddenly becomes alive, and it has a cognitive capacity of remembering, and it has a capacity of dreaming. So this was all very high-level science fiction narratives. – [Narrator] In the futuristic dystopian films,
Exploration of more complex themes echo Anadol’s interest in the relationship between humans and technology. – You think I’m a replicant, don’t you? – When Deckard and Rachael contemplates each other and has a dialogue, where Deckard defines Rachael as a replicant, it was a very interesting moment. Where a human defines another machine,
That is kind of this, defining what is real or what is not. That kind of human consciousness and machine consciousness were having its dialogue moment, that was truly inspiring. – You remember the spider that lived in a bush outside your window? – The egg hatched. – Those aren’t your memories.
Those are somebody else’s. – I think, in humanity, we have very certain findings that transform who we are. When we found the fire, we cook with it, we create communities. With the same technology, we kill each other and destroy. And clearly, AI is one of the discovery in humanity
That has a potential to make communities or destroy each other. – [Narrator] Anadol finds data for his machine intelligence collaborations everywhere, and when he learned that when data is continuously being collected at the Boston Airport, he knew he’d found a gold mine. He turned it all into this project called “Winds of Boston.”
– I was always inspired by nature, as an inspiration, from the wind itself, the water, the nature, like a core nature, like aspect of motion, theory, and life in general, and I thought this can be an incredible opportunity to use wind as a data and as a pigment.
So we first located our data source from the airport, Logan Airport. The wind is extremely important for the flight networks. So we took a one-year-long wind data of Boston, and this data consists of the gust, speed, and direction, and the temperature of the weather. – [Narrator] Anadol fed all this wind data
Into a series of algorithms, then he built custom 13-foot-tall LED screens to display the visualized data. – And I thought that algorithms can be an incredible way of visualizing this invisible pattern of things, and transform them into a poetic-like motion. Because it’s very inspiring that a machine can find something interesting,
That I didn’t even think about it. And I found that the true collaboration starts, happen there. And sometimes machine gives opportunities that I didn’t think about it, and I do believe that is really something that is inspiring for humanity, that will most likely bring some new kind of imagination methods
That is not discovered yet. – [Narrator] The inspiration for this project, called “Melting Memories,” came from a personal place. – I went to Istanbul, my home town, and my uncle just couldn’t remember where I am coming from. And apparently it was his first stage of Alzheimer’s. When this disease happens,
We literally melt our memories. Our brain tissue disappears. But I also was very curious about, scientifically, honestly, what memory means. Like where do they come from? What is the cognitive representation of a memory/ – [Narrator] And the images on these 20-foot-tall LED screens represent the real data behind that process.
– And these moments are really trying to give a sense of a tangible feeling of a memory. I know that we are not there, as technology that truly transcribes memory, but it at least gives a glimpse of an abstract language of a memory. That’s one of those feelings that is hidden
In those algorithmic exploration of data. – [Narrator] Anadol partnered with scientists at a neuroscience lab. They asked subjects to concentrate on childhood memories, and recorded all their brain pulses using an EEG. – [Refik] The data itself is literally pulsing in four milliseconds of human brain activity, in the two location of brain,
From hippocampus to frontal left lobe, and the algorithm symbolizes the moment of remembering, and it is how poetic, moment of this firing location in two locations of the brain. – [Narrator] Anadol and his team created custom software that transformed all of that brain data into an artistic interpretation of the neurons firing.
Another example of how we use this technology to describe life. – I never stop thinking about data as a mean of like material. Sometimes it can be wind data. It can be wifi, be a little signal. It can be machine decisions. It can be CPU data, GPU data.
It’s honestly anything that machine needs to understand life, can become a material for this imagination. One problem we have to solve today [laughs] is the visual discontinuity problem. – [Narrator] Anadol has built a team with expertise in different fields to help him fulfill his vision. AI experts, computer scientists, architects, and designers.
– [Refik] Produce them, we want to make them continuous. – [Narrator] And they’re working at a new work flow for a data-driven public art project set for Portland. For this one, Anadol’s letting hundreds of thousands of images of Portland inform both the projections and the structure they’ll be projected on.
The team is using a 3D printer to build the structure one panel at a time. It will ultimately be a 21-foot-tall sculpture. – [Refik] I found that we were stuck in this just virtual world. I found that we are in the screens, 2D flat world of imagination. I was really looking forward,
How we can take this machine consciousness out of the screen and bring it to the 3D world. – [Narrator] Whatever’s in store for the future of Anadol’s work, data machine learning will be the foundation. – It’s very clear that machines can really capture our data, machines can capture our decisions, our memories,
But it’s not clear what will happen to them. And I think, also, clearly, the data we leave behind is the memories of humanity. My obsession with this relationship is what else we can do with that. [otherworldly music]