From here to infinity: Refik Anadol’s art showcased during Winter Gallery Crawl |
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JoAnne Klimovich Harrop
Refik Anadol’s work will be featured at the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust’s Winter Gallery Crawl

The Winter Gallery Crawl “Crawl After Dark” throughout the cultural district is from 5:30 to 10 tonight.

This year marks the 15th time the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust is presenting four crawls annually.

These events bring one-of-kind visual arts experiences, engaging activities and performances created by community partnerships with cultural district neighbors and organizations throughout the city.

One of the featured artists is Refik Anadol. Born in Istanbul, Turkey, and currently living in Los Angeles where he is a lecturer and visiting researcher in UCLA’s department of design media arts, his work at Wood Street Galleries explores the space among digital and physical entities by creating a hybrid relationship between architecture and media arts with machine intelligence in the “Infinity Room.” He invites the viewers to visualize alternative realities by presenting the possibility of re-defining the functionalities of both interior and exterior architectural formations.

The Tribune-Review asked him some questions about his art:

How did you come up with an idea for the Infinity Room?

“The idea was kind of a childhood memory. I was very much enjoying transforming rooms into something else, kind of a childish game mixed with daydreaming. And during my MFA studies at UCLA’s Design Media Arts department I remember this memory while reading Aldous Huxley’s ‘The Doors of Perception.’ When you open the book there is an inspiring quote from William Blake. It says; ‘If the doors of perception were cleansed everything would appear to man as it is, Infinite.’ And that’s where idea came from.”

How would you describe this type of art?

“We can call it in from very different perspectives. For me it’s a media art. For architects it’s ‘media architecture,’ simply the idea of embedding media arts into architecture to speculate a space that doesn’t exist, but may exist. We can look from time and space concept that truly transforms viewers’ perception of reality. Or simply combine art and technology to create an abstract and poetic immersive environment.”

How do you incorporate light into the Infinity Room?

“I’ve used 4 ultra bright laser projectors. They have special lenses and they are running from a custom software that I built to create synchronous audio visual experience.”

How big is the room for this installation? “Only 12 feet by 12 feet by 12 feet of cubical space with mirrors on the floor and ceiling to support the idea of there is no gravity.”

Why did you want to be part of the Gallery Crawl?

“This is a great opportunity for me as an artist to connect with Pittsburgh art lovers who are open to explore a unique experience.” What do you want visitors to experience when walking through the Infinity Room? “This is really very unique to everyone, but the very first thing is calmly waiting to explore the space, and feeling the question of what would happen if there is no gravity? Or, what would happen if a room can shape-shift and create an other-worldly poetry in the mind. And, then feel the experiential journey of light, space and data.”


JoAnne Harrop is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact JoAnne at 724-853-5062 or [email protected] or via Twitter @Jharrop_Trib.

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