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Artist Turns Data Into Art, With Help From AI


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media artist Refik Anadol

One theme of Refik Anadol's work is the symbiosis and tension between people and machines.

Credit: Rolls-Royce Art Programme

Giant stashes of data are valuable assets to corporations in industries from fossil fuels to finance. Artist Refik Anadol sees pools of data as something else—material for what he calls a new kind of "sculpture."

Anadol creates mesmerizing art installations by seeking out interesting data sets and processing them into swirling visualizations of how computers capture the world and people in it. He uses machine learning algorithms to filter or expand on his raw material.

The results, shown on giant screens or projected onto walls or entire buildings, use data points in a kind of AI pointillism.

Anadol's works including Machine Hallucination, a 360-degree video installation made from 10 million photos of New York. Anadol used machine learning to group photos and morph between them, creating flickering images of the city as recorded by many different people.

The artist says his work is an example of how AI—like other technologies—will have a broad range of uses.

From Wired
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