NGV Triennial

Quantum Memories



Triennial profile

Triennial conversations

Commissioned by the NGV, Quantum memories 2020 is Refik Anadol’s most technically and conceptually ambitious work to date. The work explores the opportunities presented by artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning and quantum computing to visualise an everchanging large-scale immersive multimedia artwork. Harnessing a dataset drawn from over two hundred million images linked to nature from publicly available internet resources and processed using quantum computing with machine learning algorithms, Anadol’s work uses the data to speculate an alternate dimension of the natural world as a complex cultural entity with memory. The first true quantum artwork created, Anadol’s arresting visuals and accompanying audio are composed in collaboration with a generative algorithm enabled by AI. In taking the data that flows around us as his primary material and the neural network of a quantum mind as his collaborator, Anadol paints with a thinking brush offering us radical visualisations of our digitised memories of the natural realm. By representing the complexity of our collective memory in the largest digital artwork staged by the NGV, the artist encourages us to imagine the beginning of a quantum computerised mind and its immense potential for the future of art and design.

New media artist Refik Anadol has created a body of work that locates creativity at the intersection of humans and machines. His site-specific parametric data sculptures, live audio/visual performances and immersive installations take many forms, while encouraging us to rethink our engagement with the physical world, its temporal and spatial dimensions, and the creative potential of the machine.

Exhibiting extensively in North America, Europe and Asia since 2009, Anadol’s works were presented in 2019 at the Florence Biennale, Italy; National Museum of China, Beijing; and Hermitage Museum, Moscow. In 2018 his works were exhibited at the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art, Arizona and Walt Disney Concert Hall, Los Angeles, where he worked with the Artists and Machine Intelligence programme at Google Arts and Culture to project imagery onto the entire façade of the building.

The NGV warmly thanks Triennial Champions Barry Janes & Paul Cross and Loti & Victor Smorgon Fund for their support.

NEC is extremely proud to be a supporting partner of the NGV Triennial 2020 and Refik Anadol’s Quantum memories digital artwork. As a company that believes in bringing the best in technology together with the best in humanity, this is an exciting new partnership for NEC Australia.