Media artist Refik Anadol uses Panasonic projection technology to create immersive art

By Neil Matsumoto | 3 min

Born in Istanbul, Turkey, media artist and director Refik Anadol creates acclaimed site-specific public art, as well as orchestrates live audio/visual performances. With numerous awards and residencies, including the Microsoft Research Best Vision Award, Anadol has held exhibitions and A/V performances throughout the world, including ARS Electronica Center in Austria, Daejeon Museum of Arts in South Korea, Artechouse in Miami and New York City, and many more. Residing in Los Angeles, Anadol is currently a lecturer and visiting researcher in UCLA’s Department of Design Media Arts.

Last year, Anadol collaborated with the Los Angeles Philharmonic to celebrate its Centennial season and to celebrate both the orchestra’s history and future. By using machine learning algorithms, Anadol explored the LA Philharmonic's digital archives – 45 terabytes of data – to create a public art installation, WDCH Dreams, in which he projected stunning visuals comprised of photos, videos, and sound onto the Walt Disney Concert Hall. (The Frank Gehry designed concert hall is one of LA's signature architectural landmarks.) Anadol used 40 large venue projectors - primarily Panasonic PT-RZ31KU 3-Chip DLP® laser projectors.

Inside The Infinity Room where media artist Refik Anadol used four PT-RZ120 laser projectors to project data visuals inside a 10 x 10 room with a mirrored floor and ceiling.

Projection Dreams

“We found out that  if you have enormously powerful projection, we were able to alter the problem of reflective surfaces,” explains Anadol, on the WDCH's curving stainless steel exterior. “As a media artist working all over the world in public spaces, we’re always trying to find ways of getting rid of light pollution in the city. I think the one and only way is by using this beautiful machine to fight with that problem and augment the different surfaces of different scales of buildings purposefully, but also impactfully.”

A triptych of data paintings projected by a PT-RQ50KU 3-Chip DLP® laser projector.

During the recent Frieze Los Angeles art fair, Anadol held an open house at his Los Angeles studio where he collaborated with Panasonic in debuting two art projects/installations that showcased projection technology.

The first piece was a triptych of AI data paintings. Instead of oils or acrylics, Anadol's art medium is data and light. All three paintings were projected by a single PT-RQ50KU 3-Chip DLP® laser projector. “We are using one of the world’s brightest projectors at 50,000 lumens on such a small-scale environment and augmenting three distinct surfaces,” says Anadol. “To be able to bring that sharpness, beautiful color and such fine brightness, I think it’s truly transforming this data into a pigment.”

Using the PT-RQ50KU 3-Chip DLP® laser projector, Anadol was able to turn data and light into a pigment.

A Silky Fine Mist

Anadol also exhibited The Infinity Room, a 10 x 10 room that when entered, a visitor is surrounded by an environment that creates a perception of being present in a non-physical world. Anadol collaborated with Panasonic in creating a new version by using a mist created by Panasonic’s Green Air-Conditioner, which produces a “silky fine mist” that creates a volume in the confined space that can reflect light. The machine was designed as a countermeasure against heat, but the mist it creates is very effective indoors because, according to Anadol, will not bother a viewer like smoke. For the visuals, Anadol employed Panasonic PT-RZ120U 1-Chip DLP™ fixed installation laser projectors, each with a wide-angle ET-DLE060 lens to produce the dreamlike setting.

Panasonic's Green Air-Conditioner creates a silky fine mist to create a volume inside The Infinity Room

“We are feeling privileged to use one of the best machines in the world, work with some of the best engineers in the world who can tackle big problems using light or mist as a material,” reveals Anadol. “I’m really grateful to connect cutting edge technology with cutting edge art to create something purposeful and beautiful.”

“Refik is a pioneer in new technologies continuously challenging the status quota to come up with new possibilities in his artwork,” says Brian Duffy, Panasonic Business Development. “It’s artists like Refik that inspire Panasonic to be on the forefront of innovation.”

Watch how Anadol creates his art using Panasonic projection technology below...

For more information on Refik Anadol, visit his website at www.refikanadol.com.

For more information on Panasonic projectors, click through here.