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Nadja Kirchhof

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MWC 2022: Digitization interconnects art and artificial intelligence

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  • Deutsche Telekom Booth designed by renowned Spanish artist Antonyo Marest
  • Unveiling of the AI-inspired artwork "Satellite B" by Refik Anadol 
  • Interactive AI Exhibit against hate on the net

At this year’s Mobile World Congress (MWC) in Barcelona, firmly established as Europe’s leading hotspot for digital innovation, Deutsche Telekom is embracing the world of digital art to bring some added creative flair to its exhibition stand. Designed by Spanish artist Antonyo Marest and drawing on his trademark colorful architecture and nature-inspired style, the booth will showcase his artwork alongside work from renowned digital media artist Refik Anadol, known for his AI-created visuals.

"With the artists, we want to highlight the human side of digitalization. Our view of artificial intelligence is more technical. The interconnection of art and technology can offer us fresh perspectives on society," says Antje Hundhausen, Head of Brand Experience at Deutsche Telekom. "But we are aware that there is still more to learn and understand about AI. In addition to our focus on innovation, we're also dedicating this year's booth to AI and art."

Antonyo Marest: a cocktail of Art Deco and South Indian architecture 

Born and raised in Alicante, Spain, the internationally renowned multidisciplinary artist learned his trade studying architecture and art at several different European universities. Marest's works feature abstractions found in nature, such as light rays, waves, and liquids. They create harmonious forms that are a conversation between content, formats, and color. In one interview, Marest said of his art, "What influences me most are the colors and patterns of architecture. My inspiration is a cocktail of Art Deco, the architecture of South India, and the psychedelic stamps of the '80s."

AI artwork by Refik Anadol

Creating a riot of color from digital data is renowned media artist Refik Anadol's digital data sculptures. Anadol is a lecturer in UCLA's Department of Design Media Arts and director of Refik Anadol Studio in Los Angeles. "In particular, his work explores the space between digital and physical presence, using machine intelligence to create hybrid relationships between architecture and media art," FUTUR 21's website says of Refik Anadol. 

The Istanbul-born artist and new media designer is a pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence aesthetics. His artworks explore the power of data-driven machine learning algorithms to create abstract environments. At MWC 2022, Telekom will present the artist's artwork "Satellite B" as part of the art series "MACHINE HALLUCINATIONS: NATURE DREAMS", the aesthetic outcome of Anadol's research into the intersection of human consciousness, natural archives and machine intelligence.

Turning hate speech into colorful images

Despite the undisputed benefits of digitization, it carries obvious downsides. Online hate speech is a prime example of this. As part of its “No hate speech" project, Deutsche Telekom is sending out a clear message against online hate speech, disrespect and bullying at this year's MWC. 

"Digitization must be designed in a meaningful way. It connects people worldwide, improves work processes and can make the world more sustainable," says Antje Hundhausen. "On the other hand, online abuse is still a growing problem. As part of our project "No hate speech", we invite MWC visitors to actively oppose hate speech with something beautiful."

Visitors can creatively defuse hateful tweets with artificial intelligence at an interactive exhibit at the booth. With hateful online comments displayed on a large screen, visitors can select a post they consider particularly hateful and "unhate" it with the help of AI, which transforms the words into a beautiful image.

Visitors can experience the Deutsche Telekom MWC exhibition stand between February 28 to March 3, 2022 in Barcelona and also in a virtual tour online at mwc.telekom.com. The stage program will also be live streamed online.     

The #unhate exhibit was designed and implemented in collaboration with the Cologne-based creative agency Elastique.
 

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