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UAE. Advertising specialist JCDecaux and Dubai Airports have teamed up with globally renowned artist Refik Anadol* to launch the world’s longest AI Art content at Dubai International Airport (DXB).
The installation showcases Anadol’s digital masterpiece, ‘Data Portal: Nature’ during the COP28 climate change talks taking place in Dubai from 30 November to 12 December. COP28 forms part of the 2023 UN Climate Change Conference taking place in the emirate.
In recognition of the importance of the gathering and their respective commitments to environmental sustainability, the three partners have collectively chosen to create what they called a “visually stunning and thought-provoking digital experience that celebrates our shared connection with Mother Nature”.
Anadol – renowned worldwide for his work as a media artist, director, and pioneer in the aesthetics of machine intelligence – created the artwork with a blend of generative AI, aesthetics and environmental studies.
The digital artwork presents an AI Data Sculpture inspired by a vast dataset of over 400 million publicly available nature-related images including water, coral and flora.
‘Data Portal: Nature’ suggests that “through generative AI, humans can craft powerful art that both commemorates and helps preserve the sense of nature for future generations”.
The creative piece is being presented in four chapters, each brought to life through vivid visual narratives. It seeks to remind visitors of the “fragility of the ecosystem” and to inspire them to get involved in efforts to protect the environment.
Anadol said: “Over the years, our studio has been deeply immersed in unravelling data narratives of nature through long-term collaborations with researchers from around the world.
“Each project has been a step towards a greater understanding of nature, an ode to the planet’s beauty and complexities. The artwork we are presenting now stands as the next evolution of this series where art, data and nature converge and propel us into new territories of digital ecology.”
JCDecaux Managing Director Bertrand Mouraille added: “We are delighted to unite the visionary artist Refik Anadol with Dubai Airports for this remarkable collaboration. Our longstanding dedication to placing Dubai Airports at the forefront of digital transformation is underscored by this partnership, a true testament to our unwavering commitment.
“DXB being the gateway to the city and, by extension, the entrance to COP28 event, we are grateful to use our screens to contribute to raising awareness and sensibilising thousands of travellers about sustainability challenges.”
This advertising campaign also reflects Dubai Airport’s mission to engage passengers in cultural experiences and bring art to the airport.
The art installation signifies a sense of connection, inspiration and reflection, the partners noted.
Dubai Airports EVP Commercial Eugene Barry said: “The introduction of this unique virtual art piece is perfectly timed, aligning with DXB welcoming thousands of visitors to COP28 in Dubai.
“Beyond enhancing the airport experience, this art installation – powered by renewable energy sourced from a major solar power initiative – underscores our role in promoting sustainability. We take pride in supporting the sustainability agenda and look forward to welcoming guests with this distinctive blend of art and environmental awareness.” ✈
Born in 1985 in Istanbul, Turkey, Refik Anadol is an internationally renowned media artist, director, and pioneer in the aesthetics of machine intelligence.
Anadol’s body of work addresses the challenges and the possibilities that ubiquitous computing has imposed on humanity, and what it means to be a human in the age of AI.
He explores how the perception and experience of time and space are radically changing now that machines dominate our everyday lives. Anadol is intrigued by the ways in which the digital age and machine intelligence allow for a new aesthetic technique to create enriched immersive environments that offer a dynamic perception of space.
By proposing the possibility of ‘post-digital architecture’, Anadol invites his audience to imagine alternative realities by redefining the functionalities of interior and exterior architectural elements. He tackles this by moving beyond the integration of media into built forms and translating the logic of a new media technology into art and design.
Residing at the crossroads of art, science, and technology, Anadol’s site-specific three-dimensional data sculptures and paintings, live audio/visual performances, and immersive installations take varied virtual and physical forms.
Entire buildings come to life, floors, walls, and ceilings disappear into infinity, breathtaking aesthetics take shape from large swaths of data, and what was once invisible to the human eye becomes visible, offering the audience a new perspective on, and narrative of their worlds.
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