Refik Anadol, visiting assistant researcher at the UCLA Department of Design Media Arts, has been thinking about how machines dream. His latest project, “quantum memories,” uses machine-learning algorithms to analyze more than 200 million online nature images and display them in real-time video. The work was produced for the National Gallery of Victoria’s Triennial exhibition, which is Melbourne’s largest presentation of contemporary art.

Anadol hopes “quantum memories” will give an alternative portrayal of our world and nature that cannot be immediately accessed by the human mind. He used quantum computing software developed by the Google AI quantum research team, along with a supercomputer that has been programmed with machine-learning algorithms, to analyze online nature images, which are intended to be a window to an alternate dimension of the natural world.

Anadol is a media artist, director and designer born in Istanbul in 1985. He currently lives and works in Los Angeles. Working in the fields of live audio/visual performance, site-specific immersive installation and parametric sculpture, Anadol explores the space among digital and physical entities by creating a hybrid relationship between architecture and media arts.

Privileging difference rather than singularity and movement rather than stasis, Anadol faces all the new challenges that the gradual development of an enriched immersive environment and ubiquitous computing impose on architects, media artists and engineers. “How is our experience of space changing, now that digital objects ranging from smartphones to urban screens have all but colonized our everyday lives? How have media technologies changed our conceptualizations of space, and how has architecture embraced these shifting conceptualizations?” These are the three main questions that Anadol tackles by not simply integrating media arts into built forms, but by translating the logic of a new media technology into spatial design.

The National Gallery of Victoria’s Triennial exhibition features international contemporary art, design and architecture. On display through April 2021, the large-scale exhibition has 86 projects by more than 100 artists, designers and collectives from more than 30 countries.