Dubai: Visitors to get colourful welcome at DXB Terminal 1 with world’s longest AI artwork

Renowned artist Refik Anadol's creation draws inspiration from a vast dataset of over 400 million publicly available nature-related images encompassing water, coral, and flora

by

Nasreen Abdulla

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Top Stories

Published: Wed 6 Dec 2023, 5:53 PM

Visitors to Dubai will get a colourful welcome with a digital artwork that combines millions of nature-related photos. Renowned artist Refik Anadol unveiled the world’s longest artificial intelligence (AI) art content at Terminal 1 of Dubai international airport in time for COP28. The innovative artwork presents an AI Data Sculpture that draws inspiration from a vast dataset of over 400 million publicly available nature-related images encompassing water, coral, and flora.

“I'm calling it a data painting. So when the people come to Dubai, the first thing they will see is this AI dreaming nature,” he said, speaking to Khaleej Times at the unveiling of the painting. “I think it is very futuristic and positive, just like Dubai.”

Refik partnered with Dubai Airports and outdoor advertising company JCDecaux to offer a never-before experience to passengers arriving in the city during the event.

The digital masterpiece titled ‘Data Portal: Nature sits at the crossroads of generative AI, aesthetics, and environmental studies and is represented in four chapters that remind viewers about how fragile nature can be.

Perfect match

Refik said he was thrilled when he first got the invite to collaborate on the artwork. “I believe that art should not be in a museum or gallery,” he said. “Art should be everywhere for everyone to enjoy. It should be at airports, hospitals and schools. So when I was invited for the project, it was a perfect match.”

Using state-of-the-art giant screens recently installed in Terminal 1 Arrivals as an extraordinary canvas, this artwork is meant to inspire and connect with people on several levels. “At Dubai Airports, delivering an elevated customer or guest experience underpins everything that we do,” said Alison Macdonald, Vice President - Commercial Concession Management. “This AI data sculpture demonstrates our commitment to innovate and to introduce various immersive or engaging experiences.”

She said the release was timed with COP28 to send the world a message. “Dubai Airport is the the gateway to Dubai as well as to COP28,” she said. “So we're going to have, almost 65,000 international delegates visiting, of which the majority will be transferring through this space. I think we not only have this opportunity to welcome these guests, but really to get them to pause, reflect and immerse themselves in the art. It also fosters some dialogue that can then move everyone towards some very positive, sustainable actions.”

Dubai magic

Refik, who is in the country to attend Cop28, said that he has had an incredibly positive experience. “I've been joining Cop in multiple countries as part of UN,” he said. “But it's the first time I saw that people are truly in discussions without any negativity. There is no finger pointing. People just want to connect and solve problems. This is a Dubai magic and I never saw this anywhere else. This, to me is very hopeful because seeing all the people a little bit relaxed but still careful and thoughtful”

A similar artwork of Refik’s is also on display at Expo City in the Al Wasl dome every night during the duration of Cop28. “We have the millions of images being displayed on the dome and it is beautiful,” he said.

ALSO READ:


More news from UAE