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Turkish Airlines introduces new art project called "Inner Portrait”

The world's leading airline, Turkish Airlines, has launched a pioneering art endeavor known as "Inner Portrait." This project, in partnership with esteemed media artist Refik Anadol, showcases introspective portraits depicting the impact of wanderlust on human biology.

Agencies and A News TÜRKIYE
Published June 12,2024

Turkish Airlines, the airline flying to the most countries in the world, has introduced a new art project called "Inner Portrait," which features portraits of people's inner worlds. Created in collaboration with renowned media artist Refik Anadol, this visionary initiative offers a deep exploration of the desire to travel and its effects on human biology. This collaboration also pushes the boundaries of storytelling through data on human connections.

The project embarks on a journey into the inner worlds of four people who have never traveled abroad before. Tuikuru, a Brazilian native from the Amazon, explores the bustling streets of Tokyo; Esther from Kenya discovers Istanbul's rich history; Sahar, living in Australia, travels among the ancient wonders of Göbeklitepe and Cappadocia; while Icelander Sigurbjörn experiences the captivating beauty of Jordan. Refik Anadol and his team use the latest artificial intelligence tools and neuroscientific sensors to capture the emotional data of these first-time travelers and transform it into AI Data Paintings. Thus, brain data becomes the pigment for a captivating visual narrative representing the transformative power of travel.

"Inner Portrait" starts with the collection of biological and neurobiological data from travelers. This data includes elements such as heart rate, skin conductivity, and EEG outputs, recorded using advanced tracking devices like those from Neuroelectrics. These recordings, which continue throughout the journey, form the foundation of the artwork by capturing participants' instant reactions to new environments and experiences. The project explores the relationship between experiences and neuronal activity, showcasing Anadol's innovative approach to "collecting" authentic human experiences as building blocks for new aesthetic expressions. Just as Turkish Airlines connects cultures, Anadol aims to highlight the profound emotional and cognitive impacts of travel and cultural exchange, creating a new art form that combines human experiences with technological innovation.

"Inner Portrait" reflects Turkish Airlines' commitment to promoting cultural change and innovation. This project, which adds a new dimension to the global brand's storytelling, also demonstrates the transformative power of travel.

Rafet Fatih Özgür, Head of Communications at Turkish Airlines, said about the project: "As the airline flying to the most countries in the world, we witness countless emotions and stories everywhere we fly, and we see the impact of travel on people. With the awareness that we are responsible for conveying these stories, we are delighted to transform the impact of travel on people into an artwork at the intersection of culture, art, technology, and science, and to present this work on a platform like Art Basel. I believe this work will encourage people to travel."

Refik Anadol added, "In my profession, I have had the privilege of traveling to all corners of the world, so I deeply understand the transformative experience of seeing new places, meeting new people, and discovering new cultures. Participating in a project with Turkish Airlines that gives four people the chance to travel abroad for the first time is truly inspiring."

"Inner Portrait" will be exhibited for the first time at Art Basel, a platform that values artistic innovation and cultural exchange, from June 13-16, 2024. A 30-minute "Inner Portrait" documentary will be released in the fall of 2024.