Immersive Nature’s Dreams
‘Machine Hallucinations - Nature Dreams,’ by Refik Anadol. 2021. Courtesy of the artist.
With calming sea colors of blue, green and yellow, the true impact of this beautiful artwork by the renowned Refik Anadol can’t be fully experienced as a static image. Standing across from it, soaking in its textures and changing colors, you can’t help but experience many stories.
It was chosen as the cover because it captures the heart of Ithraeyat’s theme, ‘re-set’, where immersing ourselves in nature — or in this case ‘Nature Dreams’ — can help us reboot ourselves.
Nature Dreams utilizes over 300 million publicly available photographs of nature collected between 2018- 2021 at Refik Anadol Studio.
Combined, this represents the largest raw dataset of nature ever gathered for an artwork, which was then used to train a GAN Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithm. Generative Adversarial Network (GAN) is a recent innovation in machine learning, where GANs are generative models, creating new data instances that resemble the training data but is still unique.
The resulting AI data painting in this artwork incorporates pigments, shapes, and patterns that are associated with nature, but only exist in the mind of a machine as dreams.
Each variation features an impressive visual interpretation, together forming a dynamic multi-faceted reflection of the nuanced relationship between technology, humanity, nature and culture.
Another point to remember is that, in the end, nature is all around us. We just forget to stand back and really see it, and cherish it for all that it gifts us each day.