9 Things You Didn’t Know About Infinite Space by Refik Anadol
This immersive show is driven by data and artificial intelligence, and specifically showcases Anadol’s work from 2015 to today. His pieces explore concepts of memory, dreams, consciousness, emotions, infinity, how we experience the world around us, and our relationship with technology.
Anadol is quick to note that these works are not sculptures or paintings as we often think of them, but creations constructed by data points and machine intelligence itself. And while thousands of people have been able to immerse themselves in Anadol’s work, the intricate show has plenty of interesting facts that one might not have picked up on your first visit.
Below are nine fun facts about Infinite Space that you may not know.
All of the data sets used in the installations are publicly available, with a total runtime of all the installations together clocking in at over one hour.
Bosphorus, the colorful blue installation found in the main gallery, is based on rhythms of the Marmara Sea in Turkey, with data collected using high-frequency radar by the Turkish State Meteorological Service every 30 minutes over a 30-day period.
For Machine Memoirs, also found in the main room, Anadol and his team collected 2.2 million photographic data sets from the Earth, Moon, Mars, and the galaxy, taken from ISS, Chandra, Kepler, Voyager, and Hubble observations to create its own visions of the universe. And during the final part of this installation one can see 150 million data points comprising 4 terabytes of data that took four weeks alone to process.
All the sound in the exhibition is created from data sets by sound designer Kerim Karaoglu from Folkwang Academy, a German academy known for its music education.
In Melting Memories, one of the four installations in the infinity cubes, the data used was collected from a study where individuals were asked to think about different short- and long-term positive and traumatic memories as an electroencephalogram (EEG) recorded their brain data. Anadol then created data visualizations about how our brains access memories and how we remember, and chose for the positive memories to be visualized in this installation.
The Data Tunnel v. 1.0 made its debut at ARTECHOUSE DC and was built just for the space. It purposely makes the visitor have a slightly disorienting experience, which helps them further explore the concept of infinity and to exist outside of the space they are used to.
For Archive Dreaming, Anadol teamed up with SALT Research to use machine learning algorithms to sort through 1.7 million documents focused on art and design in Turkey from the late 19th century to present day. The final sequence of this installation showcases the 10 data points, out of the millions available, that the AI found the most interesting.
None of the installations use traditional glass mirrors. Data Tunnel v. 1.0 uses an optical film that is stretched over a frame and then shrunk further using heat, and the cubes use a special reflective Plexiglass, which is made of acrylic — which explains why these installations are so delicate!
The Infinity Room has been seen by more than 2 million people worldwide.