Quantum Memories | Refik Anadol Studio | World Design Awards 2021

Refik Anadol Studio: Winner of World Design Awards 2021. Exhibited on the largest LED screen that National Gallery of Victoria has deployed to date, Quantum Memories is Refik Anadol Studio’s epic scale investigation of the intersection between Google AI Quantum Supremacy experiments, machine learning, and aesthetics of probability. The work is a data sculpture that draws upon a dataset of more than two hundred million publicly available nature-related images, which are processed using quantum computing software developed by the Google AI Quantum research team in combination with a supercomputer that has been programmed with machine-learning algorithms. The resulting real-time video can be considered both as an alternate dimension of the natural world and a radical visualization of our digitized memories of nature. Its arresting visuals and accompanying audio are composed in collaboration with a generative algorithm enabled by artificial intelligence (AI) and quantum computing, a new form of computing that exploits the unusual physics of the subatomic world, and turn the visual data that flows around us into an artwork that represents our collective memory of nature. With this multisensory experience, we encourage the visitors to imagine the potential of this experimental computer technology and the immense opportunities it presents for the future of art, design, and architecture.

Technological and digital advancements of the past century could as well be defined by the humanity’s eagerness to make machines go to places that humans could not go, including the spaces inside our minds and the non-spaces of our un- or sub-conscious acts. Quantum Memories utilizes Google AI’s most cutting-edge, publicly available quantum computation research data and algorithms to explore the possibility of a parallel world. These algorithms allow us to speculate alternative modalities inside the most sophisticated computer available, and create new quantum noise-generated datasets as building blocks of these modalities. The 3D visual piece is accompanied by an audio experience that is also based on quantum noise–generated data, offering an immersive experience that further challenges the notion of mutual exclusivity. The project is both inspired by and a speculation of the Many-Worlds Interpretation in quantum physics – a theory that holds that there are many parallel worlds that exist at the same space and time as our own. Tapping into the random fluctuations of quantum noise as a unique realm of possibilities and predictions, Quantum Memories provides an interactive aesthetic experience by tracking the audience’s movements in real-time and simulating how their observer positions indeed become entangled with the visible outcomes of the ever-changing artwork.

Project Details
Refik Anadol Studio

Project Name
Quantum Memories

Refik Anadol

World Design Awards Category
Architecture & Technology

Project Location
Melbourne, Australia

Alex Morozov, AnalogNative, Brian Chung, Carrie He, Christian Burke, Danny Lee, Efsun Erkilic, Kerim Karaoglu, Pelin Kivrak, Ho Man Leung, Kyle McLean, Nicholas Boss, Nidhi Parsana, Raman K. Mustafa, Toby Heineman


Photography ©Credit
©Tom Ross on behalf of the National Gallery of Victoria

Established in 2014 by Refik Anadol (b. 1985, Istanbul, Turkey), a pioneer in the aesthetics of data and machine intelligence, Los Angeles-based Refik Anadol Studio produces enthralling and immersive media art intended for anyone, any age and any background. The award-winning studio has been engaged by leading tech companies, groundbreaking researchers and cuttingedge thought leaders to produce projects that have been shown in over 50 cities, spanning six continents, and experienced by millions of ardent fans.

Refik Anadol Studio comprises artists, architects, data scientists, and researchers from diverse professional and personal backgrounds, embracing principles of inclusion and equity throughout every stage of production. Studio members originate from 10 different countries and are collectively fluent in 14 languages. The Studio’s internship program also demonstrates a strong commitment to mentoring young people from a variety of personal experiences, values, and world views.

The studio’s body of work locates creativity at the intersection of humans and machines. In taking the data that flows around us as the primary material and the neural network of a computerized mind as a collaborator, Anadol and his team paint with a thinking brush, offering us radical visualizations of our digitized memories and expanding the possibilities of architecture, narrative, and the body in motion. The site-specific AI 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.

Website | refikanadolstudio.com
Instagram | instagram.com/refikanadol
Twitter | twitter.com/refikanadol