On September 6, ARTECHOUSE opened its New York City doors in the heart of Chelsea. The setting couldn’t be more perfect—an old boiler room in Chelsea Market, over a century old. Today, the new space utilizes an array of high-tech advancements for its laser projection technology, making it the only cultural institution to integrate the largest seamless megapixel count in this way. It also makes use of L’ISA immersive hyperreal sound technology with 32 separate channels.
For its inaugural immersive installation, Turkish artist Rafik Anadol is showing “Machine Hallucination”—an synthetic reality exhibition that focuses on 100 million architectural images of New York City. These images reveal the hidden connections between the iconic skyline, while offering a hallucinatory look into the Artificial Intelligence (AI) machine that processes these images.
“The mission of ARTECHOUSE has always been to give a platform to creators whose work pushes the boundaries of what is possible in the realm of technology and the arts,” said co-founder and art director Sandro Kereselidze. “We are thrilled to debut Refik Anadol’s visionary, groundbreaking new installation, which will engage New York audiences with an entirely new, never-before-seen kind of art experience of their beloved city.”
Rcently, we took a walk through the space with its other co-founder, Tati Pastukhova, who guided us through “Machine Hallucination.” At first, guests enter for a short introduction to the space and the exhibition in a quiet space, encouraged to download the app on iTunes for interactive experiences inside. Attendees then enter from above the space to an overlooking railing and its AR bar, and can explore a small room off to the side that holds a 2-hour video montage loop of the New York City images the AI machine processed and re-processed. Then, after heading downstairs to the immersive installation, guests can grab a small pillow, take a seat, and get lost in “Machine Hallucination.”
“I feel privileged to be chosen as the inaugural artist for ARTECHOUSE’s newest space,” Anadol said. “I’m especially proud to be the first to reimagine this historic building, which is more than 100 years old. By employing machine intelligence to help narrate the hybrid relationship between architecture and our perception of time and space, Machine Hallucination offers the audience a glimpse into the future of architecture itself.”
Whitewall spoke with Pastukhova about why this first exhibition was chosen for the space, and what her favorite part about it is.
WHITEWALL: Tell us a bit about this exhibition, and why you wanted it to be the first for the space.
TATI PASTUKHOVA: We are in a 100-year-old boiler room that’s been sitting vacant, and we’re dreaming of everything that’s been happening around it in New York City as the building have been going up and changing. What we have here is AI at its best feeding it over 100 million images of NYC from social media and creating its own interpretation of the New York landscape and how things are moving, changing, and dreaming.
WW: Tell us a bit about working with Rafik, who you’ve been working with for a while now.
TP: Our team has been working with Rafik for over a year and a half for a unique exhibition; the was the first time Rafik was showcased. He’s well known for working with data visualization and creating data-driven work, so it was really exciting to work with him on this project—a project that has to deal with architectural, something he’s known for.
WW: You previously presented him in your Washington, D.C. location, right?
TP: Yes, in preparation for this show, we showcased a retrospective of his in our D.C. location, which is now on view in Miami during Art Basel.
WW: What’s your favorite part of the exhibition?
TP: We have the main part of the exhibition, which is about a 30-minute documentary type of experience about what goes through the mind of the machine as it creates this visualization and analyzes them; hallucinates them. My favorite part is the “dreaming”—the last chapter of it, and the most abstract one. It takes you into a very different type of serene environment. It becomes such a unique moment; a space you find in this hustling and bustling city, where you almost mediate, and it takes you to a different perspective and mind level.