Virtual Depictions:San Francisco is a public art project by media artist Refik Anadol, commissioned for 350 Mission Building in San Francisco. The installation consists of a series of parametric data sculptures that tell the story of the city and people around it within a unique artistic approach to the building’s architecturally integrated media wall.
Virtual Depictions:San Francisco was conceived to bring a 21st century approach to public art and define the new poetics of space through media arts and architecture. Through architectural transformations of the media wall located in the lobby of 350 Mission (home of Salesforce), Anadol’s installation sought to frame an abstract, cinematic site-specific, data-driven narration. The media wall turns into a spectacular public event, engaging and activating the building’s interior and exterior spaces.
“The project also contributes to the contemporary discourse of public art by proposing a hybrid blend of media arts and architecture in the 21st century,” notes Anadol.
Anadol’s goal was to make the invisible visible by embedding media arts into architecture to create a new way to experience a living urban space.
“Traditionally, architecture cannot produce buildings that transform themselves in response to a environmental data feed. The architecture of the future, however, is enticingly malleable and increasingly collaborative, gathering architects with media artists, designers, programmers and engineers. And for these collaborators, the media architecture offers a decidedly public canvas on which they can observe how their creations come alive.”
Anadol combined frozen data sets with contemporary architectural algorithms to create parametric sculptures that show how site-specific data sculpture can transform, create, expand and interpret existing urban spaces. He used publicly available frozen datasets at https://data.sfgov.org and Twitter’s real-time API service.
SF Data, a platform launched in 2009, contains hundreds of city datasets for use by developers, analysts, residents and more. The City of San Francisco believes open data has the potential to support a range of outcomes, from increased quality of life to more efficient government services, better decisions and new businesses and services.
Anadol also created a social network sculpture that transforms the virtual life of the city into a poetic digital sculpture. His team created a real-time data sculpture pipeline by combining geolocation-tagged Twitter activities and 3D point cloud data of the city. The result is an immersive and unique experience every single day fed by API. For this part of the project, Anadol collaborated with Schnellebuntebilder and Quadrature.
Refik Anadol, Efsun Erkilic, Raman K. Mustafa, Kian Khiaban, Toby Heinemann, Daghan Cam, Sebastian Neitsch, Johannes Timpernagel, Sebastian Huber, Kerim Karaoglu
Skidmore, Owings and Merrill
2,691 sq ft
ArupSensory InteractiveSNASkidmore, Owings, and MerrillDPA Fine Art ConsultingDG Hunt & Associates, LLCNicole Stromsness, Sarah MacIntyre, Douglas Giesey, Craig Hartman, Michael Fukutome, Eric Cole, Josh Cushner, Eric Covrig, Jason Cox, Pat Green, Julie Goodwin, Amanda Brownlee, Shannon Knuth
Webcor BuildersWSP | Parsons BrinckerhoffSNASensory Interactive (digital integration)