June 22, 2022

Paint by pixels

Can machines create art? This question lies at the heart of Illuminate Adelaide’s flagship exhibition taking over Adelaide’s East End this July.

Whether it’s the latest smart phone upgrade or the promise of self-driving cars, our relationship with technology is expanding in our day-to-day lives. It helped us stay connected during lockdown and continues workplace automation, while more technological breakthroughs and efficiencies are made every day.

But arguably, the final frontier for the digital revolution lies not in the scientific realm, but in the human compulsion to put paint to canvas and create something emotive and more than the sum of its parts.

The future of art is explored deeply by the flagship exhibition for Illuminate Adelaide’s July celebration of art, light, music and technology. Presented by global creative team Ouchhh Studio, Wisdom of AI Light is a captivating showcase of the possibilities of new media – and, in particular, artificial intelligence or AI.

Conceived by Turkish husband and wife team Ferdi Alici and Eylul Duranagac Alici, the exhibition has been over six years in the making. It includes collaborations with some of the world’s biggest technological innovators, from NASA to Switzerland’s CERN Institute.

“We integrate art, science and technology in public places and we are excited to be collaborating with Illuminate Adelaide to showcase Wisdom of AI Light as an Australian exclusive,” Ferdi said.

The concept for the exhibition involves feeding complex data sets into a responsive AI system to use data as the paint and algorithm as the brush and create breathtaking 360-degree digital sculptures.

To do so, the AI ‘learns’ how to create artworks from data too complex for any human to comprehend, including 20 million lines of theories, articles and ideas by the world’s great thinkers, from Einstein to Galileo.

Also fed into the system are ten years of space exploration data collected via NASA’s Kepler space telescope from 2662 planets, 61 supernovae and 530,506 stars. It also took in 15 billion brushstrokes from 20,000 paintings of the Renaissance and Baroque periods, including works by Leonardo da Vinci, Michelangelo, Raphael and Sandro Botticelli.

In short, it’s a lot to absorb.

Which is why Illuminate Adelaide co-founders and creative directors Lee Cumberlidge and Rachael Azzopardi knew the exhibition required a completely new space to house it.

“I had the pleasure of seeing the exhibition in Berlin and Istanbul and it does not disappoint,” described Lee.

“The scope and scale that Ferdi and Eylul play in with their work is completely mind-blowing. So, we both knew early on that to do the exhibition justice, we needed to create a purpose-built space to house it – which led to the design of the Illuminate Pavilion.”

“It’s a 1000 metre square, state-of-the-art venue with 8-metre high walls in the middle of Rundle Road,” continued Rachael. “Audiences can expect a truly immersive experience.”

“Ever since the early planning stages for Illuminate Adelaide, Ouchhh Studios has always been at the forefront of our conversations on who we would love to bring to Adelaide.

“To showcase their work in such a way with support from the City of Adelaide will be a truly unique experience for audiences.”


Ouchhh Studio’s Wisdom of AI Lights is on from Saturday, July 16

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