When a group of our West Coast Cultivist members arrived at Refik Anadol's studio, they were greeted with a waft of floral perfume. Like much of the artist's work, the scent was created by artificial intelligence, we later learned, a sensory introduction to his astonishing practice.
Refik Anadol and his team were hard at work unboxing an LED screen, to add to the impressive collection of screens already lining the studio walls. Swirling with bold-colored visuals and ever-changing landscapes, it was exemplary of his practice centered around discovering and developing innovative approaches to data narratives and artificial intelligence. Anadol was born and raised in Istanbul, Turkey. He now resides in Los Angeles, California where he owns and operates Refik Anadol Studio and RAS LAB. He also spends his time as a lecturer for UCLA’s Department of Design Media Arts where he obtained his second Master of Fine Arts.
Anadol's works are captivating on their own, but after hearing the artist speak about the process of creating each piece and his inspiration behind them, our group of Cultivist members was left in awe. His inspiration comes from ‘machine consciousness’ and the use of machines to draw upon the rich history of human experience, preserving and presenting our collective memories in powerful new ways. Almost all of Refik’s his works are a collection of archives which are combined and changed into something new and exciting. He says archives are one of the most important physical spaces because that’s where information turns into knowledge.
Artificial intelligence and the world of NFTs are complex instruments that are capable of creating elaborate and imaginative artworks we’ve never seen before. Anadol is one of the leading artists in this field, and has a way of connecting the virtual world to the physical world in a truly beautiful and inspiring way. It was mind-blowing, eye-opening, and remarkable to hear. We could see each other's minds moving towards fascination and curiosity as he spoke and taught us about his projects and the future of AI and NFTs.
From Monday, June 20th to Thursday, June 23rd, NFT.NYC will be hosting NFT talks at 7 venues around New York. It will be a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the future of NFTs. The Cultivist will be hosting a talk on June 17th during this forum at Betaworks with key players in the field. If you're interested in attending, don't hesitate to get in touch for information on how to become a member.
– words by Emma Casey