MRI of the Earth

April 2022 | By Refik Anadol, Variable, Google Arts and Culture Lab, and Clare Brooks

Media Artist Refik Anadol interprets our planet’s ‘body’ to engage the public with the harm we are afflicting on it through climate change.

What would we see if we scanned the Earth for damages?


Media Artist Refik Anadol interprets our planet’s ‘body’ to engage the public with the harm we are afflicting on it through climate change. 


Taking data from IPCC reports on global warming published since October 2018, he has created a visualisation showing what an MRI of the earth would look like today in response to climate related natural disasters if we are to exceed the 1.5 degree benchmark. 

The artwork presents climate related weather events from 1970 to the present as a timeline with data on population, temperature and CO2 levels. Taking 200 million images of Earth’s landscapes, a GAN generates morphing visualisations that remind us of the Earth’s natural beauty and hope for the future - a hope that this will not be our only way of seeing nature in the future. 

Refik Anadol is an award winning media artist and director from Istanbul whose large-scale and interactive AI projects have inspired audiences worldwide.

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