Salt Research is getting ready to host an installation titled "Virtual Archive" by Refik Anadol from Dec. 22 to Feb. 25, 2018. "Virtual Archive" (2017) is a 3-D, computer-generated environment installation that is open to interactive explorations by single-users. Via a virtual reality headset, the user flies through a 3-D data point cloud formed by a t-SNE machine-learning algorithm, visualizing more than 1,700,000 documents in SALT Research archive collections. Anadol's installation is an extension of the artist's "Archive Dreaming" as commissioned by SALT in 2017.
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 has enabled new perspectives on content and challenged static concepts in the archive.
Devised during Anadol's residency at Google's Artists and Machine Intelligence, "Virtual Archive" is a prospect for research possibilities in the immediate future. The user first reaches a data tunnel, which slowly transforms into a navigable 3-D t-SNE data cloud. When the cloud settles into a 2-D 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.
In a session on Saturday, Dec. 23, the artist will discuss the installation at the Workshop II-III at SALT Galata, and is open to all.
Born in Istanbul in 1985, Refik Anadol is a media artist and director based in Los Angeles in the U.S. Anadol works in the field of site-specific public art via various means, including parametric data sculptures and live audio/visual performances with immersive installations. His work particularly explores 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, the German Design Award, the UCLA Art+Architecture Moss Award, the University of California Institute for Research in the Arts Award, the 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 in Los Angeles, the Hammer Museum in Los Angeles, International Digital Arts Biennial Montreal and the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz.