MoMA extends Refik Anadol’s Unsupervised. Is a permanent acquisition in store?

The Museum of Modern Art in NYC just extended Refik Anadol’s Unsupervised AI exhibition on an “ongoing” basis. The exhibition was scheduled to end this week.

In our prior review of Anadol’s exhibition, we noted its historical significance as a part of the 21st century’s AI and digital art. The exhibition has brought in throngs of people to MoMA who, like myself, were mesmerized by the new AI art.

Is MoMA acquiring refik Anadol’s unsupervised for its permanent collection?

MoMA’s extension of Anadol’s exhibition, listed as ongoing” on MoMA’s website, raises the question whether MoMA will seek to acquire it for its permanent collection. (Both Centre Pompidou in Paris and the Los Angeles Country Museum of Art (LACMA) have acquired digital artwork NFTs for their permanent collections.)

Well, we do know that the William Paley foundation auctioned off several artworks of Picasso, Renoir, Rodin, and others, which were entrusted to MoMA, to raise an estimated $70 million so MoMA can expand its digital presence.

We also know that visitors to museums are still down, compared to pre-pandemic levels.

And we also know that visitors have been captivated by Anadol’s Unsupervised.

Put these ingredients together and the chances are very high for MoMA to acquire the work. We think it would be a great investment in a pivotal AI artwork. MoMA curators Michelle Kuo and Paola Antonelli already understand its significance. Kuo stated to the New York Times: “Refik is bending data — which we normally associate with rational systems — into a realm of surrealism and irrationality. His interpretation of MoMA’s data set is essentially a transformation of the history of modern art.”

We are witnessing the virtual renaissance

We are now witnessing what I call the Virtual Renaissance, in which NFTs and now AI have sparked an explosion of digital artworks. To learn more about the Virtual Renaissance, check out Creators Take Control.

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