Talent Curation & Management
Event & Technical Production
Marketing & Community Management
How does a retail and hospitality precinct entice customers back into its physical space in a post-Covid landscape?
Semi Permanent was engaged by the Commercial Bay in Auckland, New Zealand, to conceptualise and produce an immersive, site-specific art piece that would make the retail and hospitality precinct a destination during the three-week art, food and music festival Elemental AKL. With a broad program spanning the breadth of the city, the challenge for Commercial Bay was to standout within the festival lineup whilst contending with the physical constraints of its physical footprint and opening hours.
“People are eager to reconnect, and this three-week festival is the perfect opportunity to have some fun this winter with family-friendly events in public spaces. The next few weeks are going to be a treat for people wanting to discover something new.”
— Richard Clarke, director for arts, events and entertainment, Tātaki Auckland Unlimited
Through our extensive global talent network, Semi Permanent’s response was to commission prolific Turkish-American new media artist Refik Anadol to create and showcase a piece of work, Quantum Memories. The epic scale investigation piece is an intersection between Google AI Quantum Supremacy experiments, machine learning, and the aesthetics of probability.
Utilising Google AI’s most cutting-edge publicly available quantum computation research data and algorithms, Quantum Memories explores the possibility of a parallel world by processing approximately 200 million landscape and nature images through artificial intelligence. The 3D visual piece is accompanied by an audio experience that is also based on quantum noise-generated data, offering an immersive experience that further challenges the notion of mutual exclusivity.
“Prepare to have your mind blown this winter by Quantum Memories at Commercial Bay.”
— Stuff NZ
Tapping into the random fluctuations of quantum noise as a unique realm of possibilities and predictions, Quantum Memories provides an interactive aesthetic experience by tracking the audience's movements in real-time and simulating how their observer positions become entangled with the visible outcomes of the ever-changing artwork.
The installation marked the artist’s first showcase in Auckland, a significant triumph for Commercial Bay and Elemental AKL, as made possible by Semi Permanent, given Anadol’s global profile. Currently based in California, Anadol has received several awards and recognition for this work including the Microsoft Research's Best Vision Award, the German Design Award, UCLA Art+Architecture Moss Award, University of California Institute for Research in the Arts Award, SEGD Global Design Awards, and Google's Art and Machine Intelligence Artist Residency Award. Recent major exhibitions have included the Biennale di Venezia and the NGV Triennial, while his combination of 8 NFTs, named Machine Hallucinations, sold for US$5.06 million in a 2021 Sotheby’s Hong Kong auction, setting a new record in Asia for being the most expensive NFT collection sold by a single artist.
“The 3D visual piece takes up residence in Commercial Bay, prompting a provocative shopping experience that is both interactive and intuitive.”
— Denizen magazine