By combining advanced neuroimaging techniques with cutting-edge AI and multi-modal data visualization tools, Refik Anadol Studio explores the architecture of the human brain from an interdisciplinary perspective. 

The Experience

The Process


The Process

Machine Hallucinations is an ongoing project of data aesthetics based on collective visual memories of space, nature, and urban experiences. Since 2016, our studio has used DCGAN, PCGAN, and StyleGAN to train machine intelligence in processing these vast datasets and unfolding unrecognized layers of our external realities. We collect data from digital archives and social media platforms and process them with machine learning classification models such as CNNs, Variational Autoencoders, and deep ranking, 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.


To capture these hallucinations from a multi-dimensional space, we use StyleGAN2, an NVIDIA DGX Station, 500 TFLOPS of AI power, and the world’s fastest workstation for leading-edge AI research and development. StyleGAN2 generates a model for the machine to process the archive and the model is trained on subsets of the sorted images, creating embeddings in 4096 dimensions. To understand this complex spatial structure visually, we use dimensional-reduction algorithms, such as cuml-UMAP, projecting to a navigable 3-dimensional universe. This projection enables the audience to use an interactive browser to virtually fly around this latent space and record their own journeys.

The final stage of production reveals Refik Anadol Studio’s pioneering work in machine-generated aesthetics and synesthetic perception through various forms of data paintings, sculptures, and latent cinematic experiences. Fluid dynamics has inspired Anadol since the inception of Machine Hallucinations. The studio’s exploration of digital pigmentation and light through fluid-solver algorithms accelerated by GPU computation and real time ray-traced lighting made possible by NVIDIA RTX GPUs brings this inspiration to life in a masterfully curated, multi-channel, self-generating experience.


Space Dreams transforms a vast data set of 1.2 million images captured from the International Space Station, along with satellite images of Earth's topology, into a dynamic data painting. Each version of the machine’s dream sequences is derived from a different generative adversarial network (GAN), exploring AIs capacity to reach its own subconscious and offering an avant-garde form of cartographic aesthetics.


In Urban Dreams, Anadol offers new insights into the representational possibilities emerging from the intersection of advanced technology, urban memory, and contemporary art. The work uses over 100 million images from New York City and Berlin, focusing specifically on typical public spaces. The content is used to train a StyleGAN2 to identify and learn patterns hidden in urban scenery, showcasing how the elusive process of memory retrieval transforms into data collections.

Nature Dreams is a series of synesthetic reality experiments based on StyleGAN2 algorithms, using over 69 million images of National Parks, Iceland, and other natural wonders to train a generative model for the machine to dream about the most mesmerizing features of our Mother Nature. This transformation of the data collection becomes not just a means of visualizing information, but also a transmutation of our desire for experiencing nature into a poetic visual.


About Refik Anadol

Refik Anadol is a media artist, director, and pioneer in the aesthetics of machine intelligence that explores the intersection of humans and machines. In taking the data that flows around us as his primary material and the neural network of a computerized mind as his collaborator, Refik offers radical visualizations of our digitized memories and the possibilities of architecture, narrative, and the body in motion. His site-specific parametric 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. 

Studio Team: Alex Morozov, Arda Mavi, Carrie He, Christian Burke, Danny Lee, Efsun Erkilic, Ho Man Leung, Kerim Karaoglu, Kyle McLean, Nicholas Boss, Nidhi Parsana, Pelin Kivrak, Raman K. Mustafa, Rishabh Chakarabarty, Toby Heinemann | InstagramTwitter | Vimeo | YouTube  

Featured Sessions

Building an AI Data Sculpture from Brain Waves

Refik Anadol Studio (RAS) embarks upon a new journey to explore the architecture of the human brain by combining advanced neuroimaging techniques with cutting-edge AI and multi-modal data visualization tools.