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Turkish Airlines Launches “Inner Portrait” with Refik Anadol at Art Basel

Turkish Airlines Launches “Inner Portrait” with Refik Anadol at Art Basel

Turkish Airlines, the airline flying to more countries than any other, has unveiled a new art project titled “Inner Portrait”.
This visionary initiative, created in partnership with the world-renowned media artist Refik Anadol, pushes the boundaries of storytelling, offering a deeply personal exploration of the desire to travel and its effect on human biology.

The project delves into the inner landscapes of four individuals who have never embarked on a journey abroad; Tuikuru, a Brazilian man from the Amazon explores the bustling streets of Tokyo, while Esther, a Kenyan woman, discovers the rich history of Istanbul.

An Australian woman named Sahar also embarks on a journey through the ancient wonders of Göbeklitepe and Cappadocia, while an Icelandic man named Sigurbjörn experiences the awe-inspiring beauty of Jordan.

Utilising the latest AI tools and neuroscientific sensors, Refik Anadol and his team capture and convert the raw emotional data of the first-time travellers’ experiences into AI Data Paintings. Brain data becomes the pigment for a mesmerising visual narrative, representing the transformative power of travel.

Inner Portrait begins with the collection of biological and neurobiological data from travellers, including heart rate, skin conductance, and EEG outputs, using advanced monitoring devices such as the Neuroelectrics. This detailed recording extends throughout the journey, capturing the participants’ immediate reactions to new environments and experiences, thus providing a foundation for the artwork.


Rafet Fatih Özgür, Turkish Airlines SVP Communications, said: “Inner Portrait is a testament to Turkish Airlines’ commitment to fostering cultural exchange and innovation. By partnering with Refik Anadol, a pioneer in the field of data-driven art, we further elevate our brand narrative, revealing the essence of what it means to travel.

“As the airline flying to more countries than any other, we witness countless emotions and stories, and the profound impact travelling has on people everywhere we fly.

“Recognising our responsibility to convey these stories, we are delighted to transform the impact of travel into a commissioned artwork that intersects culture, art, technology, and science, and to showcase this work on a platform such as Art Basel. I believe this work will inspire more people to travel.”

Refik Anadol, said: “In my practice, I’ve had the privilege to travel around the world, so I deeply understand the transformative experience of seeing new places, meeting new people and learning about new cultures.

“Having the opportunity to partner with Turkish Airlines on a project that gives four people a chance to travel abroad for the first time is truly inspiring.”

The project explores the link between experiences and neuronal activity, showcasing Anadol’s innovative approach to ‘collecting’ authentic human experiences as the building blocks of new aesthetic expressions.

As Turkish Airlines bridges cultures, Anadol aims to highlight the profound emotional and cognitive impacts of travel and cultural exchange, creating a new form of art that merges human experiences with technological innovation.

Inner Portrait makes its public debut on June 13-16, 2024 at Art Basel in Basel, a prestigious platform that celebrates artistic innovation and cultural exchange by pushing boundaries and challenging perspectives.

A 30-minute documentary of Inner Portrait will be live in Autumn 2024.