Refik Anadol – Echoes of the Earth: Living Archive – Serpentine North Gallery

Refik Anadol, Echoes of the Earth: Living Archive, 2024. Installation view, Serpentine North. Photo: Hugo Glendinning. Courtesy Refik Anadol Studio and Serpentine.
Art Martin Cid Magazine
Art Martin Cid Magazine

Serpentine is thrilled to present Echoes of the Earth: Living Archive, an exhibition of new and recent works by internationally renowned artist, technologist, and pioneer in artificial intelligence arts, Refik Anadol. The exhibition is on view at Serpentine North

Known for his digital works and large-scale public installations that present real-time generative environments, Anadol’s collaborative creative process with Al plays on human perception. Echoes of the Earth: Living Archive presents years-long experimentation with visual data of underwater landscapes and rainforests.

Refik Anadol
Refik Anadol, Echoes of the Earth: Living Archive, 2024. Installation view, Serpentine North. Photo: Hugo Glendinning. Courtesy Refik Anadol Studio and Serpentine.

The exhibition features Artificial Realities: Coral (2023), an immersive installation enveloping viewers in an AI’s imagination of underwater landscapes. For this artwork, Refik Anadol Studio trained a unique Al model with approximately 135 million images of corals openly accessible online. Generating abstracted coral images, the Al constructs new visuals and colour combinations based on the dataset.

Anadol’s solo exhibition also features the UK premiere of Living Archive: Large Nature Model a new site-specific installation which was first introduced at the World Economic Forum 2024 in Davos, Switzerland. At Serpentine North, the installation transforms the gallery into the Al model’s interpretation of a rainforest. It is the first installation in a growing body of work that is created employing The Large Nature Model, the world’s first open­ source generative Al model dedicated to nature. For this ongoing research, the artist worked with the data of majar institutions, including the Smithsonian lnstitution and London’s Natural History Museum. As additional data partners, such as universities, museums, foundations, government entities and libraries join the effort, the model, centred around archival images of fauna, flora and fungi, will expand over the coming years.

Refik Anadol said: “I am thrilled to bring our Studio’s most ambitious Al Art projects to date to Serpentine this year. A ground-breaking initiative that we call the Large Nature Model, developed by our Studio, stands as the world’s first open-source, generative Al multimodal focused on nature, trained on an extensive and ethically sourced dataset of the natural world. Echoes of the Earth: Living Archive displays multisensory artworks derived from this model, featuring visuals and sound. Collaborating on such a significant project with my long-time mentor, Hans Ulrich Obrist, with whom I’ve shared many stages discussing the future of Al art, is an immense privilege.”

Bettina Korek, CEO, and Hans Ulrich Obrist, Artistic Director, Serpentine, said: “Refik Anadol brings art, science and technology together to create generative, immersive environments that fascinate, educate and enchant audiences. This show kicks off ayear of research and projects by the Serpentine Arts Technologies department focused on Al, and we could not be more pleased than to collaborate with him.”

Taking the data that surrounds us as primary material, and using a neural network, a method of Al that is inspired by the human brain, as a collaborator, Anadol creates compelling visualisations of our digitised memories and expands the possibilities of interdisciplinary arts. His work explores the meaning of humanity in the era of artificial intelligence as well as the challenges that ubiquitous computing has brought forth. He investigates the profound ways in which the dominance of technology in our daily lives alters our perception and experience of time and space.

Refik Anadol
Refik Anadol, Echoes of the Earth: Living Archive, 2024. Installation view, Serpentine North. Photo: Hugo Glendinning. Courtesy Refik Anadol Studio and Serpentine.

The exhibition is part of the New Alliances strand of the Serpentine programme which aims to widen audiences through engagement and collaborations. Echoes of the Earth: Living Archive is presented in collaboration with 10F1, led by patron and philanthropist Ryan Zurrer, which partners with forward thinking artists and institutions by contextualising and supporting art of the digital age.

Since 2014, Serpentine has developed Al projects with Cécile B. Evans, James Bridle, Jenna Sutela, Ian Cheng, Pierre Huyghe and Hito Steyerl that have prefigured subsequent technological developments in the field. The establishment of Creative Al Lab in collaboration with King’s College London in 2019 offered a space for research into Al systems from artistic and cultural perspectives and interests, generating a solid foundation for thought leadership on this topic as Al gains increasing mainstream attention in 2024 which will also see Serpentine Arts Technologies develop a new Al project with Holly Herndon and Mat Dryhurst later in the year.

Echoes of the Earth: Living Archive is curated by Claude Adjil, Curator at Large, with Liz Stumpf, Assistant Curator and produced by Brittany Stewart, Creative Producer and Halime Ozdemir, Production Manager.

Refik Anadol
Refik Anadol, Echoes of the Earth: Living Archive, 2024. Installation view, Serpentine North. Photo: Hugo Glendinning. Courtesy Refik Anadol Studio and Serpentine.
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