The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), one of the world’s most prestigious art museums, has recently welcomed a groundbreaking addition to its permanent collection, “Unsupervised” as Refik Anadol’s digital artwork.
The work has become the first-ever Non-Fungible Token (NFT) artwork to join MoMA’s esteemed collection.
Tech entrepreneur Ryan Zurrer, a prominent digital art collector, donated a valuable piece to the museum, along with a companion NFT. This generous contribution came through his 1OF1 Collection, in collaboration with the RFC Collection, headed by Pablo Rodriguez-Fraile and Desiree Casoni.
“We are very honored to be donating Refik Anadol’s iconic ‘Unsupervised – Machine Hallucinations’ to the Museum of Modern Art’s permanent collection. Pablo Rodriguez-Fraile and I decided early on that this work belongs in the MoMA, to be shared with the massive crowds that have come to be inspired by Refik’s vision. I’m very grateful for the amazing team at the MoMA that put this groundbreaking exhibition together, capturing the cultural Zeitgeist of the moment. I’m optimistic that more digital works, AI art and NFTs will find their way into the MoMA’s collection over time. This is only the beginning,” Ryan Zurrer’s tweet read.
“Unsupervised” was unveiled to the public at MoMA toward the end of 2022 and will be on display until Oct. 29.
The artwork is part of Refik Anadol Studio’s ongoing “Machine Hallucinations” project exploring a collective aesthetic based on visual memories. Since the project’s initiation in 2016, Anadol and his team have been collecting data from digital archives and public sources, processing them with machine-learning classification models.
For “Unsupervised,” the team processed metadata from over 130,000 pieces in the museum’s collection through a machine’s cognition.
MoMA’s explanation of artwork reads: “What would a machine dream about after seeing the collection of The Museum of Modern Art? For ‘Unsupervised,’ artist Refik Anadol uses AI to interpret and transform over 200 years of art at MoMA. Known for his groundbreaking media works and public installations, Anadol has created digital artworks that unfold in real-time, continuously generating new and otherworldly forms that envelop viewers in a large-scale installation.”
Anadol’s work continuously generates new forms by mediating between technology, creativity and modern art on a large-scale media wall measuring approximately 24 × 24 feet (7 meters x 7 meters) in the museum’s ground-floor Gund Lobby.