Rumi meets with digital art
Rumi Dreams, a new digital project by Refik Anadol, who is known around the world with his artificial intelligence-based artworks, was introduced at Istanbul Atatürk Culture Center (AKM) on June 4. The exhibition will be on display as part of the Beyoğlu Cultural Road Festival through to June 12.
Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said at the opening of the exhibition that Turkey has world brands from the past and the Rumi philosophy is one of the biggest of these brands.
“We are creating our new brands. Istanbul and AKM are very important brands in the field of culture and arts. Refik Anadol brought the modern art of our age together with the philosophy of Rumi in an exceptionally beautiful way. We would also like to thank the Konya Metropolitan Municipality. They cooperated with us. After all, when we mention Mevlana, Konya comes to mind,” the minister said.
Konya Mayor Uğur İbrahim Altay stated that Rumi is the most important value of Konya, and that a very important initiative has been created to explain him especially to young people.
Noting that all digital data at hand were transformed into an exhibition by means of artificial intelligence, Altay said, “We conducted a work with Anadol, one of the important brands of Turkey. It will impress everyone and create an opportunity especially for young people to meet Rumi. Of course, the exhibition is not only for young people, but also for everyone who loves him and adopts his philosophy.”
Anadol, on the other hand, said that the exhibition Rumi Dreams is actually an artificial intelligence data sculpture.
“It is an experience that emerged after scanning and archiving millions of precious works. It has become a work that we are all proud of, showing previously unseen digital art emotions that try to bring together the past, present and future. The digitization of data took more than a year. But thanks to the excellent support of the Konya Municipality, an enormous data pool has emerged. It is our biggest dream to spread this to the world,” he added.
Inspired by Rumi’s multilayered philosophical lens through which he interpreted life and the universe, Rumi Dreams is an AI-based spectacle of light and motion that animates a vast dataset of precious Rumi archives. This dataset, collected with the help of Konya Metropolitan Municipality, includes scripts of Masnavi in 19 different languages, more than 180,000 images of dervish lodges, ancient book pages, and documents, and recordings of Sufi music and performances.
Anadol and his team processed this interdisciplinary dataset that is emblematic of Rumi’s worldview though machine learning algorithms. The resulting data universe becomes the building blocks of machine-generated Rumi Dreams, a unique perspective from which to view Rumi’s poetic universe on an unprecedented scale.
Generating a multisensory dynamic performance, Rumi Dreams is an artistic expression of the convergence between the meaning(s) of light, knowledge, and movement, encouraging you to find “your light that lights the world.”