Renaissance Dreams — Palazzo Strozzi
Exhibition, NFT Collection, Public Art
Palazzo Strozzie, Florence, Italy
18 May 22 - 31 Jul 22

In the historic building of Palazzo Strozzi, Refik Anadol Studio unveils an alternative way of perceiving Renaissance painting archives through the lens of artificial intelligence. Coining the terms “AI Data Painting” and “AI Data Sculpture,” Refik Anadol has invited his audience to imagine alternative and dynamic realities by re-defining the functionalities of both interior and exterior architectural elements. For this site-specific AI Data Sculpture, Anadol and his team collected a dataset that included the images of artistic and literary works produced between 14th and 17th centuries to create “Renaissance Dreams” in the mind of a machine. These datasets have been processed through algorithms that become proficient in mirroring the styles and contents of Renaissance paintings. Creating a unique, immersive experience in the machine’s latent Renaissance data universe, the installation displays an entirely new and poetic way of renewing our connection to the eternal traces of art history.

“…Refik was amazing because he created something new for us, thinking about our space, our architecture, and our history.” Arturo Galansino, Director of Palazzo Strozzi 

“There was a time in the ancient world – a very long time – in which the central cultural problem must have seemed an inexhaustible outpouring of books,” writes prominent Renaissance scholar Stephen Greenblatt. “Where to put them all? How to organize them on the groaning shelves? How to hold the profusion of knowledge in one’s head? The loss of this plenitude would have been virtually inconceivable to anyone living in its midst.” Centuries later, even for us who are not living in its midst, the unimaginably vast corpus of creative works and knowledge that have been produced, re-produced, and circulated during Renaissance remains highly unconceivable. For MEET Digital Culture Center’s Immersive Room, Refik Anadol Studio created a site-specific immersive art experience that emerged from RAS Lab’s experiments with turning visual and textual Renaissance datasets into mesmerizing multimedia art pieces.

The immersive multimedia installation features four chapters; each focusing on separate datasets of painting, sculpture, literary texts, and architectural works created between 1300 and 1600. These datasets have been processed through unique GAN algorithms that were specifically developed to generate a dynamic multidimensional shape matching the architecture and infrastructure of MEET. As the machine re-imagines these historical works of powerful imagination, elevated craftsmanship, and distinguished acumen, the dynamic installation changes its immersive shapes, colors, and audio design, representing a unique walk through the machine’s latent data universe. Creating an illustrative audio-visual channel of multi-dimensionality through which to re-view the entire Renaissance corpus, the piece displays an entirely new and poetic way of renewing our connection to living traces of art history.

Refik Anadol Studio
Alex Morozov
Carrie He
Christian Burke
Daniel Seungmin Lee
Efsun Erkilic
Ho Man Leung
Nidhi Parsana
Pelin Kivrak
Raman K. Mustafa
Rishabh Chakrabarty
Toby Heinemann
Yufan Xie

Sound Design
Kerim Karaoglu

Commissioned by: Palazzo Strozzi

Palazzo Strozzi, Florence, Italy

May 18, 2022 – July 31, 2022 

AI Data Sculpture
6M x 12M
4 Channel Sound
Custom Software

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