Refik Anadol (b. 1985, Istanbul, Turkey) is a media artist, director and pioneer in the aesthetics of data and machine intelligence. His body of work locates creativity at the intersection of humans and machines. In taking the data that flows around us as the primary material and the neural network of a computerized mind as a collaborator, Anadol paints with a thinking brush, offering us radical visualizations of our digitized memories and expanding the possibilities of architecture, narrative, and the body in motion. Anadol’s site-specific AI data sculptures, live audio/visual performances, and immersive installations take many forms, while encouraging us to rethink our engagement with the physical world, its temporal and spatial dimensions, and the creative potential of machines.
MYND and Therme Art are excited to be in collaboration with pioneering media artist, Refik Anadol, in presenting the work Sense of Healing, first unveiled at Aurora Institute’s Evening of Discovery, the inaugural event of one of the world’s leading annual gatherings for mental health philanthropy. This fruitful partnership has crystallised over the past year, and will continue to evolve over a long-term process towards the development of further ground-breaking and immersive experiences.
Through a critical engagement with the psychological effects of contemporary urban structures, environments and systems, this ongoing project aims to create spaces of healing and regeneration. It is a partnership that endeavours to utilise transdisciplinary creative research, development and production to rethink our current approaches toward mental health, wellness and wellbeing on a global level. Harnessing the power of the latest advancements in data capturing, neuroscientific research, quantum computing and spatial development will allow us to collectively approach contemporary issues of mental wellness in new, innovative and impactful ways.
SENSE OF HEALING
Refik Anadol, Sense of Healing
Commissioned by MYND for UNICEF’s fourth annual Summer Gala, and first unveiled at the Aurora Institute’s Evening of Discovery, Sense of Healing lies at the intersection of neuroscience and design to visualise fundamental questions about the architecture of the human brain with cutting-edge data visualisation tools provided by neuroscience pioneer MindMaze. The multisensory, immersive work was created through interpreted datasets of brain activities collected with EEG sensors, fMRI and DTI imaging techniques with the aim of promoting mental health and supporting collective healing processes. Anadol and his studio interpreted two different data sets that were gathered as part of pioneering neuroscience company MindMaze’s research; both of which contain the human brain’s reactions to different types of personal and emotional stimuli.
The first study collected electroencephalography (EEG) and electrocardiography (ECG) data of multiple participants as they were shown emotional music videos, and rated their subjective emotions using a visual analogue scale based on four emotion parameters: Arousal, Valence, Dominance, Love. The second captured, through functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the response of participants to both sick and healthy appearing avatars that came within peripersonal space using virtual reality.
Using the impact of sensorial experience to highlight the variety of subjective experiences to external stimulation, Anadol created a series of five chapters from the primary work Sense of Healing: AI Data Painting A, with each chapter comprising an edition twenty. Twelve editions were made available for purchase at Evening of Discovery and sold for EUR 120K each, with proceeds going towards the support of mental health causes.
Each unique chapter visualises the complexity of a different neural landscape based on the data collected, presenting a diverse range of organic forms in motion. Brain Data Flow depicts mercurial and mirrored folds; Parametric Memories, smooth sculptural formations; Neural Clouds, granular compositions; Neural Landscapes, topographical mountains and plains; and Neural Fluid Dreams, overlapping, textured layers.
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