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Refik Anadol's WDCH Dreams interactive media installation

About this Artist

REFIK ANADOL is a media artist and director born in Istanbul, Turkey, in 1985. He holds an MFA degree in Media Arts from UCLA, an MFA in Visual Communication Design from Istanbul Bilgi University, as well as a BA degree summa cum laude in Photography and Video. He now lives and works in Los Angeles. He teaches and works as visiting researcher at UCLA’s Department of Design Media Arts. 

He is working in the field of site-specific public art, taking a parametric data sculpture approach and live audio/visual performance with immersive installation approach. In particular, his works explore the spaces among digital and physical entities by creating a hybrid relationship between architecture and media arts with machine intelligence. 

As an artist, designer, and spatial thinker, Anadol is intrigued by the ways in which the transformation of the subject of contemporary culture requires rethinking of the new aesthetic, technical, and dynamic perception of space. Anadol builds his works on the nomadic subject’s reaction to, and interactions with, unconventional spatial orientations. Embedding media art into architecture, he questions the possibility of a post-digital architectural future in which there are no more non-digital realities. He invites the viewers to visualize alternative realities by re-defining the functionalities of both interior and exterior architectural formations. Anadol’s work suggests that all spaces and facades have the potential to be utilized as the media artist’s canvas.

Privileging difference rather than singularity, and movement rather than stasis, Anadol examines the new challenges imposed on architects, artists, and engineers by the gradual development of an enriched, immersive urban environment and ubiquitous computing. How is our experience of space changing, now that digital objects, ranging from smart phones to urban screens, have all but colonized our everyday lives? How have media technologies changed our conceptualizations of space, and how has architecture embraced these shifting perceptions? These are the three main questions that Anadol tackles, not by simply integrating media into built forms, but by translating the logic of new media technologies into spatial design.

He has received residencies and has served as a guest lecturer. He 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. His site-specific audio/visual performances have been seen at the Frank Gehry-designed Walt Disney Concert Hall; the Hammer Museum; International Digital Arts Biennial Montreal (Canada); Ars Electronica Festival (Austria); l’Usine / Genève (Switzerland); Arc de Triomf (Spain); Zollverein / SANAA’s School of Design Building (Germany); Santralistanbul Contemporary Art Center (Turkey); Outdoor Vision Festival, Santa Fe (New Mexico); Istanbul Design Biennial (Turkey); Sydney City Art (Australia); and Lichtrouten (Germany).