Machine Hallucination

by Joseph McKeown

Machine Hallucination is a stunning large-scale immersive digital installation in a former boiler room at Chelsea Market in Manhattan. The installation, by Turkish-born media artist and director Refik Anadol, uses Barco-powered, 16K resolution, 150 megapixel, laser projection technology to display images created from machine learning algorithms on a dataset of over 300 million images of New York City architecture. The result feels like you are deep inside a computer’s initially disorienting but very beautiful and hallucinatory dream about the architectural creation of New York City. Although the staff hands out cushions for visitors to sit on the floor, we found a place on a bench, where we were mesmerized by the exploding colors, movement, and accompanying soundtrack. Anadol, a leader in the aesthetics of machine intelligence, says: “By employing machine intelligence to help narrate the hybrid relationship between architecture and our perception of time and space, Machine Hallucination offers the audience a glimpse into the future of architecture itself.” The experience is absolutely thrilling and we haven’t been this excited about a digital exhibit in a long time. Highly recommended!