Rumi meets digital art


Rumi Dreams, a new digital project by Refik Anadol, known worldwide for his works based on artificial intelligence, was presented at the Atatürk Cultural Center in Istanbul (AKM) on June 4. The exhibition will be presented as part of the Beyoğlu Cultural Route Festival until June 12.


Culture and Tourism Minister Mehmet Nuri Ersoy said at the opening of the exhibition that Turkey has global brands from the past and the Rumi philosophy is one of the most important of these brands.

“We are creating our new brands. Istanbul and AKM are very important brands in the field of culture and arts. Refik Anadol has brought together the modern art of our time with Rumi’s philosophy in an exceptionally beautiful way. We would also like to thank the Konya Metropolitan Municipality. They cooperated with us. After all, when we mention Mevlana, Konya comes to mind,” the minister said.

Konya Mayor Uğur İbrahim Altay said that Rumi is Konya’s most important value and a very important initiative has been created to explain it especially to young people.

Noting that all the digital data at your fingertips has been turned into an exhibition by means of artificial intelligence, Altay said, “We conducted work with Anadol, one of Turkey’s prominent brands. It will impress everyone and create an opportunity, especially for young people, to meet Rumi. Of course, the exhibition is not only for young people, but also for all those who love him and adopt his philosophy.


Anadol, on the other hand, said that the Rumi Dreams exhibit is actually an artificial intelligence data sculpture.

“It is an experience that emerged after the digitization and archiving of millions of precious works. It has become a work we are all proud of, showing never-before-seen digital art emotions that attempt to bring the past, present and future together. Digitizing the data took over a year. But thanks to the excellent support of the Konya Municipality, a huge pool of data has emerged. It’s our biggest dream to spread this to the world,” he added.

Rumi Dreams

Inspired by Rumi’s multi-layered philosophical lens through which he interpreted life and the universe, Rumi Dreams is an AI-based light and motion show that animates a vast set of Rumi’s valuable archival data. This dataset, collected with the help of the Konya Metropolitan Municipality, includes Masnavi scripts in 19 different languages, more than 180,000 images of dervish lodges, pages from ancient books and documents, as well as recordings music and Sufi performances.


Anadol and his team processed this cross-disciplinary dataset emblematic of Rumi’s worldview using machine learning algorithms. The resulting universe of data becomes the building blocks of machine-generated Rumi Dreams, a unique perspective from which to view Rumi’s poetic universe on an unprecedented scale.

Generating a dynamic multi-sensory performance, Rumi Dreams is an artistic expression of the convergence between the sense(s) of light, knowledge and movement, encouraging you to find “your light that illuminates the world”.

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