Refik Anadol: Melting Memories

Congratulations to Refik Anadol for international recognition for his artwork Melting Memories. You can find links to a selection of media coverage below:

Melting Memories: A Data-Driven Installation that Shows the Brain’s Inner Workings

Data Art : une œuvre montre comment s’agite votre cerveau… et c’est beau !


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DBC Roses & Lemon Breakfast Awards 2018


April 5, 2018— The Downtown Breakfast Club (DBC) on Thursday, April 5, 2018, bestowed a Rose award to the new Rossoblu restaurant in City Market South, one of several restaurants and bars recognized at the annual Roses and Lemon Awards Breakfast at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel. At the same time, the DBC bestowed an acerbic “Lemon” to the city’s “self-inflicted gridlock” – the congestion resulting from the city’s too-often uncoordinated event and construction activity. Each year, the DBC celebrates Downtown’s best new entertainment and development, while calling-out as a Lemon for improvement.


The DBC mission is to encourage the orderly growth of Downtown Los Angeles. This year’s event – co-chaired by Shelby Jordan and Jean-Guy Poitras, and overseen by President Mike Savage – paid special attention to DTLA’s new crop of renowned and innovative restaurants and bars.

Eat, Drink, Repeat!

Rossoblu restaurant, masterminded by Chef Steve Samson in the new City Market South development, received the Rose for Best Upscale Restaurant. Also nominated were La Boucherie, LASA and The Exchange Restaurant. Best Casual Restaurant was The Mighty, by acclaimed husband and wife chef duo Quinn and Karen Hatfield. Also nominated were Sari Sari Store and So Long Hi. And winning for Best Bar was Prank Bar, considered L.A.’s first-ever walk-up bar. Runner-ups were Bar Clacson and Birds & Bees.

Home Sweet Home

With downtown living crucial to the area’s evolution, the Breakfast Club recognizes the best new residential developments. This year the DBC recognized three categories of residential development: Affordable, low-rise and high-rise. Luxury condominiums Ten50, by developer Trumark Urban, was the high-rise winner, with Atelier in second place. WREN, the new apartments developed by Mack Urban, was the winner with its 362 South Park residences. Also in this category were G12 and Stoa. And for affordable development, the DBC recognized The Six, the architecturally acclaimed project by Skid Row Housing Trust.

Heads in Beds

The DBC added a category this year for new hotels. Taking the Rose was Freehand Hotel, developer Sydell Group’s unique California take on a European-style hostel. Also recognized were Hotel Intercontinental, Hotel Indigo and Tuck Hotel.

Live, Work, Play

The Rose awards divided DTLA’s office market into new developments (commercial, retail, mixed-use and creative space) and new tenant spaces. Winning the award for best development was City Market South (also home of Rose-winner Rossoblu), the growing adaptive reuse of the oldest wholesale produce market in Los Angeles. Also nominated were Wilshire Grand Center, Harris Building and 537 S. Broadway. In the tenants category, the winner was Cushman & Wakefield’s new offices in the Wilshire Grand, followed by Knoll, Oaktree Capital Management and Paul Hastings.

The Rose Garden of Innovation

The DBC bestowed Roses on three extraordinary new places: Los Angeles State Historic Park (the transformation of the former, underused Cornfield yards), Metro Station at The BLOC (Los Angeles’s first subway portal connected to a large, mixed-use development) and USC Village (the $700 million student housing and retail complex).

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Superyacht Art Program

Michelle Isenberg worked with client to develop art program for Superyacht

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Do Ho Suh’s SCREEN

Featured in APAA News

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OMAHA, NE.- KANEKO, located in the heart of the Old Market, introduces light, running from December 5th 2017 – March 31st, 2018. light at KANEKO is an interactive and visual art exhibition experience that explores art and science through light. 

light hosts a variety of performances, lectures, youth education, and hands-on creative experiences to connect visitors with their own creativity. Artists employ glass, sculpture and light itself to showcase the sublime beauty that light evokes aesthetically and thematically. The public will glean insight into scientific issues such as vision and optics, physiology of light energy, sustainability, light pollution and conservation. 

A large part of the exhibition is reliant on audience participation. Step inside an infinite abyss with Refik Anadol’s audiovisual installation. Interact and move through large geometric forms that change color, audio and intensity during an immersive light experience by Circus Family. Escape into a cocoon constructed of steel, wool, and found objects that absorbs you in a field of playable light by Taylor Dean Harrison. 

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Review: Dance Goes Digital at Impressive Barak Ballet Premiere

LA Times
By Laura Bleiberg

In the premiere of “E/Space,” Los Angeles choreographer Melissa Barak and her terrific dance ensemble took the Broad Stage audience on an ecstatic and mind-blowing 30-minute ride Saturday in the closing number on Barak Ballet’s three-piece program.

“E/Space” is a delightful melding of music, visual design and choreography. The work of Barak, media artist Refik Anadol and composer David Lawrence (this is their third collaboration), the ballet looks and feels like a living kaleidoscope. The nine dancers skitter about, regrouping and forming new patterns and shapes to a musical score that delivers its driving heartbeat, while Anadol’s digital imagery of lines and shooting stars is sometimes a catalyst for action, other times a decorative frame for the dancers.

We start by “falling” down a rabbit hole of sorts, like Alice, into a glowing white rectangle projected on a front scrim, its four sides growing larger to swallow us into a perspective-shifting helix. It dumps us mid-stage with a dancer waiting expectantly for us. Barak takes over with crisply energetic allegro dancing, adding a lively three dimensions to the digital drawings. A centrifugal cone of whirling lines matches the dancers spinning quickly in chaîné and piqué turns. Barak gives her dancers oversize movements so they aren’t overwhelmed by the ever-changing scenery around them; soloist Brian Gephart and lead couple Julia Erickson and Thomas Brown in particular excelled, but the whole cast galloped through this work with eagerness.

Two slow sections were slightly less engaging, and it felt unnecessary to have Anadol end the piece the way it began, with the audience rising out of the helix and spit from the rectangle to another dimension. But that’s quibbling. Lighting designer Nathan Scheuer made it easy for us to see the dancers through the scrim and amid all the squiggles. Costume designer Holly Hynes added the icing, dressing the women in sleek, pale blue leotards and shimmery skirts and the men, who danced without tops, in matching tights. “E/Space” could become a signature work.

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Wilshire Grand Center, tallest skyscraper in the West, debuts in downtown Los Angeles

LA Times
By Roger Vincent
June 23 2017

At 1,100 feet and the tallest building west of the Mississippi, L.A.’s newest skyscraper is hard to miss.

With a sweeping sail of a roofline, it stands out by day among the flat tops of its tall rivals and is illuminated at night with an enveloping expanse of ever-changing colored lights.

But for its owner, the best view of the Wilshire Grand Center is looking east from Koreatown, where the just-completed $1.35-billion tower can be viewed as a symbol of how much Korean immigrants and their descendants have shaped their adopted city of Los Angeles.

“From Olympic Boulevard, you can directly see this building, the tallest and in the center” of the downtown skyline, said Yang Ho Cho, chairman of Korean Air. “All the Korean community in L.A. is very proud of this.”

At the peak of visibility is the airline’s logo, emblazoned atop the the 73-story building that houses an InterContinental hotel, several floors of leasable office space and five restaurants.

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LA Times June 27, 2017

Everything there is to know about the Wilshire Grand Center from record setting concrete poor to its 100ft spire can be found in the LA Times June 27th 2017 issue. 

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Downtown News: Wilshire Grand Week


  • By Nicholas Slayton
  • Updated

DTLA – It could be said that the middle of the new Wilshire Grand Center is somewhat common. It’s huge to be sure, but the 889 hotel rooms and 400,000 square feet of office space are similar to other offerings in Downtown Los Angeles.

What really makes the 73-story project stand out — in addition to being the tallest structure west of the Mississippi and a game-changer for the Downtown skyline — is what’s on top, and what’s on the bottom.

The Wilshire Grand is the first Los Angeles high-rise that doesn’t have a flat top for helicopter landings. At the base of the structure are seismic elements that would allow the building to withstand a magnitude 7.5 earthquake from one of the 29 active fault lines within 50 miles of the building.

The Wilshire Grand has an 18-foot-thick concrete foundation. That provides some of the greatest seismic support, according to Gerard Nieblas, president of Brandow & Johnston, one of the structural engineering firms that worked on the building.

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Los Angeles Downtown News

Wilshire Grand Week: The Man Who Built the $1.2 Billion Tower

Architect Christopher C. Martin Talks About the Tallest Structure in the West, Project Changes and the Personal Side of a $1.2 Billion Development

Photo Credit: Gary Leonard 

  • By Eddie Kim

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1.7 Million Documents Become an Explorable ‘Library of Babel’

Using AI and machine learning, artist Refik Anadol has turned 1.7 million digital documents from a Turkish museum into a massive nod to Jorge Luis Borges.

The SALT Istanbul institution in Turkey is home to a library of over 40,000 publications including the Ottoman Bank Archives that cover Turkish contemporary and modern art, architecture, and economics from 1997 to 2010. It also has over 1,700,000 digitized items that can be viewed both online and off.

You might imagine that in the future these archives and printed materials might be accessible as some kind of virtual, immersive interface, the kind we often see in sci-fi and superhero movies.

Well, Los Angeles-based Turkish artist Refik Anadol did more than imagine. As part of a commission with SALT Istanbul and an artist residency at Google’s Artists and Machine Intelligence (AMI) program, Anadol used AI and machine learning algorithms to search and discover interrelations between these documents. The result has transformed the 1.7 million digitized items into an immersive room in the SALT Istanbul’s first floor gallery.

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Southpark The Place To Be: Roses & Lemon

Annual Roses & Lemon Awards:
The Downtown Breakfast Club Disses ‘Smartphone Zombies’ as Urban Dangers… And Delivers ‘Rose Awards’ to DTLA’s Best Bars, Breweries, Restaurants, Innovative Places and Concepts

Los Angeles, CA – The Downtown Breakfast Club (DBC) on Thursday, April 6 derided the increasingly unsafe actions of “Smartphone Zombies” engrossed in their devices while walking or driving. The DBC bestowed on them a bitter “Lemon” as part of its annual Roses and Lemon Awards Breakfast, which celebrates Downtown’s best new restaurants, bars, housing and innovative urban concepts, while calling-out as a “Lemon” something that needs improving.

“Far-too-many Downtowners are addicted to staring at their smart phones,” said DBC Member Hal Bastian announcing the Lemon. “Whether walking or driving, these Downtowners are a danger to themselves and their fellow citizens. Many are also hooked into earphones so they can neither hear nor see what’s around them. Most of us have been guilty of this at some point.”

Bastian and the DBC noted this treacherous trend comes as the city is investing in its pedestrian infrastructure, with parklets, improved sidewalks and safer intersections: “A strong walkable environment is a sign of economic and social health. Downtown is all about pedestrians. We want them to be alive and healthy too.”

The DBC mission is to encourage the orderly growth of Downtown Los Angeles. This year’s event, co-chaired by Shelby Jordan and Charlie Mutillo, recognized new successes with Rose awards. In particular, the group saluted the restaurants, bars, breweries and housing developments that are multiplying the energy and excitement of Downtown.

Let’s Eat!

The DBC keeps pace with DTLA’s culinary explosion. Its Let’s Eat! survey nominated three fine-dining venues and three casual restaurants. The Rose winner for upscale dining – presented by Club members Laurie Stone and Michelle Isenberg

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The Downtown Breakfast Club Disses ‘Smartphone Zombies’ as Urban Dangers… And Delivers ‘Rose Awards’ to DTLA’s Best Bars, Breweries, Restaurants, Innovative Places and Concepts

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DT NEWS: Smartphone Addicts Get “Lemonized” at Downtown Awards

By Nicholas Slayton 

The annual Roses and Lemon Awards were handed out this morning, and while plenty of people applaud the projects lauded with Rose prizes, in reality Downtowners most anticipate who gets the Lemon.

This year it went not to a single person or project, but rather to a collective group: “Smartphone Zombies” were Lemonized for being a blight on public safety and the community.

“We wanted to call them out because we think these devices are the best and worst things ever invented,” said Hal Bastian, a member of the Downtown Breakfast Club, which presented the 37th annual awards at the Millennium Biltmore Hotel.

Bastian noted that the cell-phone connected masses are increasing as the city invests in pedestrian infrastructure, including sidewalk repairs and safer improvements.

“The serious thing we want to articulate to all of you, and I’ve done this, is walking across an intersection like this,” Bastian said while miming looking down at a phone. “The guy in the car is doing the same thing and is going to win. We know it’s not going to change, so it’s a manner of how we manage it and respond to it.”

The Lemon came at the end of the ceremony. Before that, the DBC recognized a quartet of Downtown projects in a category dubbed the “Rose Garden of Innovative Concepts.” They included Hauser & Wirth Los Angeles, which opened in March 2016 and turned a former Arts District grain mill into a public arts complex; the cleantech-focused La Kretz Innovation Campus; the Civic Center’s United States Courthouse, which meshes sustainability with a modern design; and the Metro Bike Share program

Other prizes were handed out in individual sectors. The Home Sweet Home Rose went to the Blossom Plaza apartment building in Chinatown. Developer Forest City’s 237-unit project opened last September after more than a decade of delays.

Two restaurants were honored. An upscale dining Rose was handed to the Northern Italian-focused, Arts District establishment Officine Brera. A casual eating prize went to chef Neal Fraser’s hot dog and chicken spot Fritzi Coop, adjacent to the Arts District Brewing Co.

This year, libation-focused awards were split between bars and breweries. One Santa Fe’s Westbound took home the Rose in the former, while the Arts District’s Angel City Brewery received the latter. Runners-up included the El Dorado Bar and the Pacific Seas tiki bar inside the restored Clifton’s Cafeteria.

The club also gave a special recognition Rose to the transformation of the Financial District mixed-use complex The Bloc. Developer Wayne Ratkovich Company reimagined the former Macy’s Plaza, removing a roof to create an open-air courtyard off Seventh Street.


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LAMag: This Huge New LED Wall Creates a Constantly Changing Portrait of Los Angeles

The 100-foot piece is being unveiled downtown today

March 2, 2017  ArchitectureArtBusiness 1 Comment

If you’ve been downtown recently, you’ve likely noticed Greenland USA’s massive Metropolis towers going up on Francisco Street. But you may not have seen the 100-foot-wide LED wall that’s been built along the exterior of one of the buildings.

The piece—titled ConvergenceLA—was created by Susan Narduli and Refik Anadol and uses historical and live data from various sources (including RSS feeds, weather activity, and transportation information) to create a living portrait of the city. It contains 435,200 LED lights and took more than 20,000 hours of work over the past three years.

“We developed custom software which takes in this data—what’s happening in the city—and, depending on the data, gives it back to the city in this new form,” says Narduli. “It’s layered with three years of documentation of the city as well.”

Photo courtesy Susan Narduli.

ConvergenceLA will be formally unveiled tonight, but you can check it out at any time at Francisco St. and 8th Place.

An interactive website launches today as well. “It focuses on the same data, but in a different way,” says Anadol. Visitors can use the website to explore the data and access two accompanying soundtracks—one directly related the on-site experience, and one meant to be heard while actually viewing the work.

The artists drew inspiration for the project from LACMA’s original Art + Technology program, which curator Maurice Tuchman ran from 1967-1971. “He envisioned a kind of a collaboration between artists and technology companies,” says Anadol. “So I think we are kind of in the same domain, the same inspiration.”

Over the course of the project, Narduli and Anadol worked with public art consultants Isenberg & Associates and more than 30 people, including animators, programmers, software developers, photographers, engineers, architects, and research assistants. “This was a real team effort,” said Narduli. “Not only between our studios, but also with the art consultants, and Greenland, the architects, the city people, and many studios globally. Refik and I are so grateful. You don’t always get to work with such extraordinary people.”

Artists Susan Narduli and Refik Anadol with the “brain” of ConvergenceLA. Photo by Julia Herbst.

In a press release, Greenland USA CEO Gang Hu called the piece a “stunning reflection of the city and its interconnections.” The first residents of the Metropolis towers began the moving-in process in January, and the adjacent hotel, Hotel Indigo, will soon open.

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