The spread of OLED displays as a canvas for digital art continues worldwide, from Seoul to London, and now Berlin. The German capital is hosting highly intricate works by globally renowned media artist Refik Anadol – enlivened by the vibrant colorful contrasts only OLEDs are capable of. Anadol’s exhibition MACHINE HALLUCINATIONS: NATURE DREAMS has stunned onlookers since it opened at König Galerie on Nov. 6. Set to run until Dec. 17, let’s take a look at what makes this showcase so special.
Refik Anadol, digital art pioneer
How do you make data look beautiful? It sounds like a question only the most passionate data analyst would appreciate, but Turkish-American media artist Refik Anadol has found a way to present data-driven machine learning algorithms as mesmerizing works of art. His exploration combines artificial intelligence with architecture and NFTs with nature. Having gathered around 300 million images of nature, Anadol’s MACHINE HALLUCINATIONS: NATURE DREAMS project is the culmination of almost three years of data collection. And he is full of praise for OLED as a “new canvas that allows all artists working in this digital space to form their digital paintings in the highest quality, to the highest standard and with the best presentation.”
Capturing the concept
MACHINE HALLUCINATIONS: NATURE DREAMS is a solo exhibition of the works of Anadol. According to König Galerie, it reveals “the aesthetic outcomes of his research into the intersection of human consciousness, archives of nature, and machine intelligence.” What that translates into is a brilliantly colorful and hypnotic portrayal of nature as it collides with people and technology. LG Display is the creative force behind OLED displays, which are able to capture these colors with great accuracy and richness. Anadol adds, “OLED is absolutely delivering that fantastic and almost perfect experience that a machine is dreaming, or a machine is hallucinating.”
True to the tiniest detail
Anadol uses triptychs, or sequences of three panels, to expand unique visions of nature. In total, 12 77-inch OLEDs have been arranged both vertically and horizontally at the exhibition to express everything from delicate floral patterns to the detailed contours of satellite imagery. OLED technology can rise to this aesthetic challenge by harnessing the power of millions of pixels that all control themselves individually. This self-emissive advantage of OLED means you can get true black right next to vivid colors, creating a contrast that enables digital artists to portray exactly what they intend. “One of the reasons why I’m extremely happy and satisfied with using OLED in my work is it has perfect black and self-emissive technology. And, because of the natural concept of the project, it can show an enormous gamut of color and clarity in the experience,” Anadol says. Despite all of their own strengths, OLED panels are thin and light, so they blend into their surroundings and allow the art itself to shine. In addition to the triptychs, another three 65-inch OLED panels have been positioned at the entrance of the exhibition hall to demonstrate Anadol’s signature creative process and past works.
Data takes shape
Sharing the title of the exhibition itself, Anadol’s sculpture NATURE DREAMS takes on a life of its own. The pigments of nature are, in this case, machine-generated. It appears so dynamic that it might burst into movement at any moment. And another of the works is on the outside of König Galerie – WINDS OF BERLIN evokes stained glass on the former church tower of St. Agnes. Based on environmental real-time data collected from the city, it is the first generative public artwork to be shown in Berlin in NFT form.
Thanks to the colors, precise image quality, and design that only OLEDs can provide, visitors to MACHINE HALLUCINATIONS: NATURE DREAMS can immerse themselves like never before. With unbridled creativity, we can look forward to yet more digital art emerging through OLED’s capabilities. To borrow the words of Anadol himself, we are “excited to explore and find uncharted territories of imagination with OLED.”