Virtual Archive

Salt Galata

December 22, 2017 – February 25, 2018

Salt Anadol 1 Refik Anadol, <i>Zahirî Mekânda Arşiv</i>, 2017
Refik Anadol, Virtual Archive, 2017
SALT Galata, Floor -1

Virtual Archive (2017) is an installation of a 3D, computer-generated environment that is open to interactive explorations by single-users. Via a virtual reality headset, the user flies through a 3D data point cloud formed by a t-SNE machine learning algorithm, visualizing more than 1,700,000 documents present in SALT Research archive collections. Refik Anadol’s installation is displayed as an extension to the artist’s Archive Dreaming, also commissioned by SALT in 2017.

Devised during Anadol’s residency at Google’s Artists and Machine Intelligence, Virtual Archive is a proposal for research possibilities in the immediate future. The user first reaches a data tunnel, which slowly transforms into a navigable 3D t-SNE data cloud. When the cloud settles into a 2D library of archival documents, the user can later move from one object to another and select content for close-up studies as if they were available in a physical environment.

Following its initial presentation as part of The Uses of Art: Final Exhibition at SALT Galata, Archive Dreaming was exhibited at the Ars Electronica Festival 2017 under the theme “Artificial Intelligence” last September. Employing machine learning algorithms to search and sort relations among objects in SALT Research archive collections, this user-driven installation enabled new perspectives on the content, and challenged static concepts of the archive; when idle it “dreamed” of unexpected correlations among documents.

The artist talk (in Turkish) will be held on Saturday, December 23, 14.00 in the Workshop II-III at SALT Galata and is open to all.

About Refik Anadol
Born in Istanbul in 1985, Refik Anadol is a media artist and director based in Los Angeles, US. Anadol works in the field of site-specific public art through different means, including parametric data sculptures and live audio/visual performances with immersive installations. His works particularly explore the space among digital and physical entities by creating a hybrid relationship between architecture and media arts. He holds MFA degrees in Design Media Arts from UCLA, and Visual Communication Design from Istanbul Bilgi University. Anadol is the recipient of a number of awards, including Microsoft Research’s Best Vision Award, German Design Award, UCLA Art+Architecture Moss Award, University of California Institute for Research in the Arts Award, SEGD Global Design Award, and Google’s Art and Machine Intelligence Artist Residency Award. Recent site-specific audio/visual performances took place at Walt Disney Concert Hall (Los Angeles), Hammer Museum (Los Angeles), International Digital Arts Biennial Montreal, and Ars Electronica Festival (Linz).