At Art Basel Refik Anadol brings a work on climate change
It’s called Glacier Dreams, and will be projected on the facade of Theater Basel until June 18th.
An AI-generated work showing glaciers disappearing all over the world: this is the latest creation by Turkish digital artist Refik Anadol, whose research consists in transforming data obtained by algorithms into abstract and dreamlike environments. “The idea is to draw attention to glaciers, which are a phenomenon as inspiring as they are fragile,” says Anadol.
The installation had already been presented at Art Dubai and at the i Light Singapore festival; while the next part should be shown at the Serpentine in London later this year (November-February 2024).
“The London exhibition will be the conclusion, showing the behind-the-scenes process and datasets used [to create the work]; several glaciers will wind their way through the show, from Patagonia to Greenland. [Serpentine art director] Hans Ulrich Obrist helped us perfect the work.”
The artist has used algorithms to simulate the melting of glaciers, processing more than 100 million images from various archives, combining them with some images he took in Iceland, Greenland and Antarctica. “It took 4 years of research to create this work; we have worked with institutions such as the Icelandic Space Agency,” he says.
Not only a visual work but also a sensorial one, in fact, Anadol states that “We have used an artificial intelligence model and have created a stimulating olfactory formula, which evokes the scent of fresh water after the melting of a glacier”.
Furthermore, Glacier Dreams will be a real scientific tool that can be used by researchers.
Glacier Dreams was commissioned by Swiss private bank Julius Baer as part of its arts, science and technology initiative, Next.
Image Courtesy of Refik Anadol Studio