Artist’s NVIDIA-Powered AI Images of New York City Blanket Manhattan Landmark

by Brian Caulfield

NVIDIA-developed AI — and NVIDIA GPUs — plays a starring role in the opening this month in New York City of a permanent venue for new media art.

“Machine Hallucination” made its debut this month in the 6,000-square-foot Chelsea Market boiler room — an expansive space beneath the Manhattan landmark’s main concourse.

Created by Turkish media artist and director Refik Anadol and his studio, the installation uses six custom media servers powered by NVIDIA Quadro GPUs.

“People have never seen something like this before. It’s not  hyperbole to say it’s the future of cinema,” said Anadol.

These servers — paired with 18 4K projectors — splash stunning digital images based on some of New York’s most iconic architecture across the cavernous space’s brick walls and terracotta ceiling.  

The story behind the immersive spectacle involves even more NVIDIA technology.

Starting with more than 110 million images of New York — collected, prepared and sorted by an NVIDIA DGX Station — Anadol modified an NVIDIA-developed deep learning algorithm known as a StyleGAN.

“We wrote a latent space browser, a custom program to work with StyleGAN that has the capacity to animate every layer of the neural network and be able to choose latent coordinates to narrate our AI. Basically, we put a camera inside StyleGAN and allowed us to navigate latent space purposefully,” he said.

The exhibit — the inaugural exhibition for ARCTECHOUSE in New York — runs through Nov. 17. Admission is $24..