Machine Hallucinations

Refik Anadol

Machine Hallucinations: Nature Dreams emerges from Refik Anadol Studio’s (RAS) long-term research project at the intersection of architecture, AI-based digital art, and environmental studies, to form a multi-sensory architectural exhibition of synaesthetic reality experiments. The artwork is an AI data sculpture that draws upon a dataset of millions of publicly available nature-related images – flowers, trees, mushrooms, landscapes, clouds. This vast dataset is processed through a custom software developed by RAS to speculate alternative modalities of nature, with images and pigments based on the colours of earth. Based on algorithms, Machine Hallucinations: Nature Dreams turns this dataset into latent multi-sensory experiences to commemorate the beauty of the earth we share.

Machine Hallucinations is Refik Anadol Studio’s ongoing project of data aesthetics based on collective visual memories of space, nature, and urban experiences. Since the inception of the project in 2016, Anadol has been training machine intelligence to collaborate with human consciousness in processing these vast datasets and thereby unfold unrecognized layers of our external realities. He and his team collect data from digital archives and social media platforms and process them with machine-learning classification models, filtering out noise and irrelevant data points. The sorted image datasets are then clustered into thematic categories to better understand the semantic context of the data universe. Fluid dynamics has been a source of artistic inspiration for Anadol since the inception of Machine Hallucinations. The artist’s exploration of digital pigmentation and light through fluid solver algorithms manifests this inspiration by showcasing the most innovative methods available to AI-based media artists.