The Technology of Art

by Danilo Brunetti

A new cutting-edge exhibition explores how technology can be utilized to create art, through the works of one of the world’s leading multimedia artists. Tiffany Parks shares her review.

An exhibition of the works of multimedia artist Quayola (b. 1982) goes up this month at Palazzo Cipolla. The Roman-born and London-based artist is considered one of the leading exponents of media-art on the international stage, and Re-Coding marks the first-ever monographic exhibition in his hometown. The elegant historic palazzo is the ideal framework in which to exhibit Quayola’s work, pieces that are  animated by a permanent confrontation and between classical education combined with a more futuristic and visual expression. The exhibition encompasses almost the entirety of Quayola’s artistic production, works created between 2007 and 2021 that constitute an immersive journey into the true essence of his computational art. The project develops across three thematic areas: classical iconography, unfinished sculptures, and the tradition of landscape painting. Making use of robotic systems of artificial intelligence and strings of generative code, Quayola recodes the history of art through a new perspective, using an innovative language capable of reflecting his poetic vision of the digital world.  Quayola also explores the infinite possibilities of the formalization of creative ideas through the multitude of opportunities that technology offers. This research process thus becomes the basis of the work of art itself. Quayola doesn’t simply use algorithms to create works of art, but rather provides indispensable tools of discovering and observing our contemporary world.

Renaissance and Baroque paintings are transformed into complex digital compositions through computational methods, and sculptures—inspired by Michelangelo’s technique of leaving his marble works unfinished—are sculpted by robotic means. Lastly, representations of nature are produced by a generative art that highlights the fascinating—though  paradoxical—similarities between the natural and digital worlds. 

Quayola’s works have been exhibited in highly important collections, such as the V&A Museum (London), Park Avenue Armory (New York), and the Palais de Tokyo (Paris), to name a few, and the award-winning artist has participated in biennials like that of San Paolo, as well as numerous festivals including the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

On all month at Palazzo Cipolla. Via del Corso, 320.