Former CET Paper Store to Become Digital Gallery

Image: Refik Anadol Studio

Coventry City of Culture Trust has announced that the UK’s first permanent immersive digital art gallery, The Reel Store, will open in Coventry in April 2022, becoming a permanent new visitor attraction in the heart of the city.

The Reel Store is located in the former home of the Coventry Evening Telegraph newspaper, a distinctive post-war building in the heart of the city. Works are currently underway to transform the old reel store, which was once home to the rolls of paper, onto which the city’s stories would be printed.

The main exhibition space is an 800m2 fixed projection mapping canvas with fourteen, 4K laser projectors accompanied by a spatially adaptive sound system.

Following on from the huge popularity of immersive art spaces around the world, this new state-of-the-art space will feature innovative experiential art commissions and will be a prominent feature of the City of Culture programme in spring/summer 2022.

The first major exhibition will be Machine Memoirs: Space, by internationally acclaimed artist Refik Anadol. The product of a long-term collaboration with NASA, this exhibition uses artificial intelligence (AI) to reimagine two million publicly available images of space taken by NASA satellites and telescopes, and the International Space Station, capturing the deepest regions of outer space. Through machine learning, the computer sorts and categorizes these photographs ultimately developing an understanding of them. Then, it creates stunning new digital interpretations of space that exist only in the mind of the machine.

Machine Memoirs: Space provides a 360 degree cinematic experience of rich and futuristic visuals accompanied by 3D audio, allowing audiences to encounter the beauty and spectacle of space science, created entirely through AI.

Refik Anadol is a pioneer in the aesthetics of data and machine intelligence. His work intersects at the crossroads of art, science, and technology. He uses cutting-edge technology and big data advancements to creatively speak to the most pressing challenges of our time, and what it means to be a human in the age of machines.

Refik Anadol’s projects have been shown in over 50 cities, spanning six continents, and experienced by millions of fans. In 2021 alone work has been exhibited at Art Basel Miami Beach, COP26 in Glasgow, ARTECHOUSE in New York, Abu Dhabi, China, Japan and South Korea, as well as major cities across Europe including Istanbul, Milan and Venice.

Refik Anadol, said:

“Machine Memoirs: Space invites us to dream of an alternative universe where machines collaborate with humans to speculate our existence and create an alternative future. This is a hopeful future where machines and humanity, in combination, are agents for healing. A collaborative relationship with machines can give us new insights, knowledge and the power to not only dream, but create a better world.”

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