A machine learning–based light show will illuminate L.A.'s Walt Disney Concert Hall

Dreams Come True

A machine learning–based light show will illuminate L.A.'s Walt Disney Concert Hall

As part of an upcoming centennial celebration, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, media artist Refik Anadol, and Google Arts & Culture have partnered to create WDCH Dreams, a series of digital art projections that will bathe the Walt Disney Concert Hall in “dream-like” light. 

For the project, Anadol and Google Arts & Culture have translated the L.A. Philharmonic orchestra’s complete digital archives—over 45 terabytes’ worth of recordings, images, and video—into millions of data points. This “data universe” will be manipulated by deep neural networks and projected as three dimensional light displays across the rounded stainless steel geometries of the Gehry Partners–designed concert hall. 

Rendering of WDCH Dreams
Rendering of WDCH Dreams (Courtesy Refik Anadol)

The light shows will be joined by a soundtrack crafted by sound designers Parag K. Mital, Robert Thomas, and Kerim Karaoglu. The music will use selections from the philharmonic’s archives that have been sorted into thematic compositions by machine learning algorithms.

Inside the concert hall, the Ira Gershwin Gallery will contain a companion installation where participants can interact with the philharmonic’s archives via a mirrored, U-shaped room with two-channel projection.

Billed as an “exploration of synergies between art and technology, and architecture and institutional memory” in a press release, the “data sculpture” shows will take the form of nightly “performances” between September 28 to October 6, 2018.

The Ira Gershwin Gallery opens to the public on September 28 and will remain open throughout the Centennial season.