Refik Anadol Transforms Las Vegas’ Sphere Exterior With Immersive, ‘Unparalleled Canvas’

Refik Anadol unleashes his creative mind — with the help of AI — to render the exterior of the Sphere event space in Las Vegas for the very first time.

From Friday (Sept. 1), the Exosphere, the fully-programmable LED exterior of Sphere, is taken over by a so-called AI Digital Sculpture created by Anadol, the Istanbul, Turkey-born multi-media artist.

The immersive art project, “Machine Hallucinations: Sphere,” is a creative interpretation of humanity’s attempts to explore the depths of space, and will be visible on Sphere for four months.

It’s a two-chapter series, which, according to Sphere Entertainment Co., draws on more than 300 million publicly-available images of flora and fauna, which are presented as pigments, shapes, and patterns.

“I am extremely honored to be the first artist to utilize the exterior of Sphere,” Anadol comments in a statement. “It’s so exciting to be given such an architectural and engineering marvel as a canvas. This opportunity aligns perfectly with our studio’s long-term mission of embedding media arts into architecture to create living architectural pieces that are in constant interaction with their environments.”

Sphere is, according to its operators, a next-generation entertainment medium, covered with nearly 580,000 square feet of fully programmable LED paneling, for the largest screen of its type in the world.

Anadol’s project could be the first of many. Sphere Entertainment, the live entertainment and media company, anticipates its attraction could ”redefine the future of live entertainment,” and provide an “unparalleled canvas” for artists, partners and brands, including music companies, to showcase eye-catching content.

“Through the captivating power of the Exosphere and our unwavering commitment to showcase both art and brands on Sphere’s exterior,” comments Guy Barnett, senior vice president, brand strategy and creative development, Sphere Entertainment, “we will forever change the way artwork and commerce co-exist.”

Moving forward, the Nevada site will host original Sphere Experiences from leading Hollywood directors; concerts and residencies major artists; and premier marquee events. Those artists include U2, which kicks off a 25-date residency Sept. 29 at the new 20,000-capacity entertainment venue, located near the Las Vegas Strip next to The Venetian.

As previously reported, U2 and others will plug into the Sphere Immersive Sound system, created in tandem with Berlin-based audio company Holoplot.

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