Refik Anadol Studio was commissioned by World Economic Forum 2023 in Davos – Artificial Realities: Coral, an AI Data Sculpture based on approximately a hundred million images of coral as data.
The “Artificial Realities: Coral” project aims to raise awareness about climate change through art. The artwork emphasizes the preservation and sustainability of corals by combining science, technology, and visual arts. It connects a digital data ecosystem to a landscape teeming with living ecosystems, with the goal of leveraging the potential of both the Metaverse and blockchain economies to address global climate change issues.
The primary goal of this multidisciplinary project is to be able to use cutting-edge data visualization and machine learning methods to create 3D-printed AI Data Sculptures for the underwater universe that perfectly resembles corals found in nature and aid in the restoration of ocean ecosystems.
This monumental piece for the World Economic Forum 2023 combines physical architecture and embodied experience in the real world while insisting on hybridity with our digital realm. By creating an artificial ocean environment, Anadol hopes to draw attention to an urgent environmental reality: the impact of climate change on coral die-offs.
If you are curious about Refik Anadol’s works, you can listen to PA Talks 07 – Refik Anadol
Artificial Realities: Coral is a masterfully curated multi-channel experience that immerses the audience in a virtual underwater space while physically surrounding them with talks and seminars about how to create a better world.
The artwork is divided into chapters that culminate in mesmerizing experimentation with the Stable Diffusion model – one of the most groundbreaking artificial intelligence technologies in image production. Refik Anadol Studio trained a unique AI model with subsets of the collected coral archive in the first part, using StyleGAN2 ADA to capture the machine’s “hallucinations” of coral images and colors in a multi-dimensional space. Each image in the series depicts a cluster of chosen “hallucinations,” and Anadol chooses from a plethora of coincidental allusions to coral images occurring in “the machine mind.”
Credits: Refik Anadol Studio, Alex Morozov, Carrie He, Christian Burke, Daniel Seungmin Lee, Efsun Erkilic, Kerim Karaoglu, Pelin Kivrak, Ho Man Leung, Mert Cobanov, Nidhi Parsana, Raman K. Mustafa, Rishabh Chakrabarty, Simone Burke, Toby Heinemann, Yufan Xie