From Raw Data to Digital Sculpture at Charlotte Douglas International Airport

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The Turkish-born media artist Refik Anadol, one of two main masterminds behind last year’s APEX Award-winning digital artwork known as “Convergence” at the Metropolis mixed-use property in Los Angeles, returns with another mind-blowing media wall. This time, the venue is Charlotte Douglas International Airport (CDIA), and Anadol’s new piece is just part of Phase 1 of Concourse A’s $200 million expansion project. The work has been dubbed “Interconnected,” and it’s now being called the biggest data-driven piece of public art in history as it draws on almost three months of operational information from airport systems including parking, baggage movements, and arrivals and departures to create abstract art in motion.

The vivid and textured forms undulate in high-definition on three different screens (one 140-foot-long panel beside a moving walkway and the two others large rectangular panels around the corner near the concourse’s entrance). Paid for by airport user and vendor fees, the installation of “Interconnected” cost $2.9 million alone and is powered by one of the world’s fastest computers. This high-performance engine of sorts employs custom software written in Anadol’s own 11-person studio, and its unique ability to translate information into moving sculpture art allows travelers and CDIA staff to never see the same sight twice.

Check out video to see Anadol speak passionately about his approach and this marriage of raw data and custom tech to produce “living art.”

About Author

Jason Kushner is a videographer, editor, writer and filmmaker living in the Greater Atlanta Area. With an educational background combining film and journalism, Kushner has shot video and written for a myriad of publications and multimedia projects including Creative Loafing Tampa, TBO.com, Starline Films and Digital Signage Connection. His 2009 documentary American Colonies: Collapse of the Bee became an Official Selection at 12 international film festivals, won Best Documentary at the 2009 Central Florida Film Festival and a John Muir Gold Award at the 2009 Yosemite Film Festival.  In 2015, he became Digital Media Editor for Digital Signage Expo, LightShow West and LED Specifier Summit and has since become Digital Content Manager for those shows’ parent company, Exponation.

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