Refik Anadol’s most recent project ‘Melting Memories’ tackles the connection between people and memory recollection by making use of the newest technologies and the infinite possibilities of the brain.
Refik Anadol is a media artist and director born in Istanbul, Turkey in 1985. Currently lives and works in Los Angeles, California. He is a lecturer and visiting researcher in UCLA’s Department of Design Media Arts.
Melting Memories is part of a series of works that has been created using a custom software which scans, analyses and visualises datasets obtained from Alzheimer’s disease research. The resulting visualisations produce a stunning visual artwork which examines the link between buildup and decay, coherence and disappearance. The works in the series allow us to reflect on issues of ageing, cognitive decay, and mortality.
To generate the data, Anadol conducted experiments at the Neuroscape Laboratory at the University of California, San Francisco. An artist statement describes the technical process: “Anadol gathers data on the neural mechanisms of cognitive control from an EEG (electroencephalogram) that measures changes in brain wave activity and provides evidence of how the brain functions over time. These data sets constitute the building blocks for the unique algorithms that the artist needs for the multi-dimensional visual structures on display.”
Undergoing this experimental voyage into the depths of the mind, one might think about things never thought of before. Anadol believes that the question “What are memories and what do they tell us?” – which has been asked by the philosophy of art since the 20th century – has evolved into “What can we do with memories?” when blended with technology.