Art and technology: Refik Anadol x Bulgari


Life in Milan is gradually getting back to normal, after several months of lockdown and uncertainty that have basically stopped the cultural sector in the city and elsewhere.

Refik Anadol

It’s precisely Milan that Jean-Christophe Babin, CEO of Bulgari, decided to pay homage to through a series of events aimed at nourishing the relaunch of cultural life in the Lombardia region. Bulgari decided to take part in the Milanese Renaissance after the pandemic by celebrating Refik Anadol, an international media artist that represented the concept of metamorphosis at its finest.

Courtesy of Bulgari and the artist

Anadol, born in Turkey and now based in Los Angeles, is an artist specialized in the aesthetics of data and machine learning, he uses AI as a collaborator for his works that combine art and architecture through algorithms and technologies.

The artwork

Serpenti Metamorphosis is the three-dimensional and digital installation, conceived by Anadol and his studio in collaboration with Bulgari, that focuses on the infinite transformations taking place in nature, represented by Bulgari’s snake emblem. The data sculpture derives its aesthetic and spiritual strength by the combination of serpent’s iconic place in Bulgari’s history, and its great potential for metamorphosis and reinvention.

Courtesy of Bulgari and the artist

AI and the future of art

The artwork process started form a database of 200 million pictures of nature from which a custom software has trained on millions of images of floral patterns, categorized them and eventually learnt what a flower is. From here, the AI can now dream of flowers that could exist in nature or not, and then provide an alternative vision of reality.

In addition to the visual and audio experience, Anadol engages the audience’s sense of smell by collaborating with Firmenich to create a unique scent, imagined by an artificial intelligence.

Courtesy of Bulgari and the artist

The aim of this project is to inspire people to re-evaluate the relationship with nature and also to provide a new perspective about the creative potential of technology.
The pavilion is installed in Milan’s main square, Piazza Duomo, and it’s open to everyone until the end of October. After this period, the multisensory experience will be travelling the world and then become the first immersive, AI-driven NFT artwork to be auctioned for charity.

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