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<Painting with OLED>

Nov 17, 2021
Gallery visitors admire three neon-colored digital paintings displayed on OLED panels.

If you could take a peek into the mind of a dreaming machine, what would you see? Using vast data sets, intricate algorithms and OLED as a digital canvas—new media artist and designer Refik Anadol is building a bridge between our natural environment and an alternative, data-driven reality.

His newest piece, Machine Hallucinations: Nature Dreams, debuted at the renowned König Galerie in Berlin and will be on display until mid-December. Using an array of 12 individual OLED screens, Anadol has created a gateway to a hopeful future where machine intelligence and human expression collide.

Machine Hallucinations: Nature Dreams shows shades of red, orange and black behind Refik Anadol’s silhouette.
“In Nature Dreams…the beauty that exists in nature—the aesthetics of life—is basically the core memory.” – Refik Anadol

This multifaceted installation takes a closer look at the comprehension of nature through the eyes of machine intelligence. In collaboration with his Los Angeles-based team, Anadol compiled more than 300 million images from around the world and created four independent algorithms to represent the many angles from which we, as humans, interact with and experience nature.

  • Digital art on OLED screens showcase perfect black and vivid colors.
  • A woman uses her smartphone to take a photo of a wall of OLED digital canvases.
  • 12 colorful art pieces are displayed on ultra-thin OLED screens.
A group of young Berliners admire Refik Anadol’s art on OLED digital canvas.

This series is grouped into centralized triptychs of vertically mounted 77-inch OLED displays. Individually, the pieces within Satellite Simulations, Floral Pigmentations, Earth Simulations, and Perennial Pigmentations provide a closer look at a different perspective of the natural world, as interpreted by artificial intelligence in real time.

  • Exhibit visitors sit on the floor to admire a 10-meter digital sculpture.
  • Silhouette of Refik Anadol in front of digital art showing shades of red, white and black.
  • Point of view of a visitor taking a photo of Machine Hallucinations: Nature Dreams with a smartphone.

This exhibition also features two additional larger-than-life displays that each create a truly immersive, polychromatic experience. Complete with AI-generated musical accompaniment, Machine Hallucinations: Nature Dreams incorporates a massive audiovisual data sculpture using a 10-meter square LED screen.

The Winds of Berlin data augmentation is projected on the König Galerie’s St. Agnes tower.
Front view of the Winds of Berlin multicolored light projection.

Winds of Berlin, which is the most sizable part of the series, comes to life after sundown in the form of a colossal real-time data augmentation that is projected on the tower of St. Agnes.

Nine OLED displays, aligned in triptychs, each play a different piece of vibrant digital artwork.

Of course, every artist needs the perfect medium to bring their vision to the surface. As a pioneer in data pigmentation, Anadol uses OLED’s accurate color performance and perfect black production to highlight complex textures and movements. Striking contrast gives even more depth to each image, allowing these vast data sets to evolve into living, breathing works of art.

Close-up view of an AI-generated data painting shown on a 77-inch OLED display.

And OLED has the capacity to portray these data paintings as vividly and accurately as possible. Each panel uses at least 8 million self-lit pixels to expose uncharted patterns of data through AI-generated hallucinations.

Johann König admires digital art on three vertically mounted ultra-slim OLED displays.

But, what is digital art and the growth of high-quality display technology doing for the contemporary art scene? The slim profile and sleek design of these OLED displays make media art more accessible than ever. With OLED’s incredible processing speed and smooth movement, you can enjoy each dynamic piece just as the artist intended.

“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.” – Refik Anadol

Anadol’s research into the complexities of human consciousness and machine learning has created a realm where our hopes, dreams and optimism can be quantified. With millions of images as source material, his algorithms can create hallucinations of their own from a human point of view.

And thanks to the attainability of high-resolution, vibrant OLED display technology—art lovers around the globe can tap into a digital experience that truly illustrates the advancement of emotional intelligence and data-driven reasoning.

“In principle, OLED is the 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.” – Johann König, Gallerist and König Galerie Founder

OLED allows artists, collectors and enthusiasts to transcend the physical and digital worlds and experience a new stage of imagination. This combination of light, raw data and self-emissive display technology can manifest the richness and beauty of nature from a paper-thin screen.

Pixel by pixel, Machine Hallucinations: Nature Dreams incites a sense of hopeful wonder and serendipitous curiosity by showcasing cutting-edge technology in a revolutionary way. And with brilliant OLED displays as the medium, Refik Anadol has opened a portal into the intersection between artificial intelligence, human consciousness and the natural environment that surrounds us all.

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