Motorized piano and video projections combine human and technological elements through a system of generative algorithms in an ARTECHOUSE exhibition now on view. Courtesy of Tom Mesic

By Southwester Staff

From January 17 to March 6, Southwest’s ARTECHOUSE will host the U.S. debut of Transient: Impermanent Paintings, an exhibit by Italian multimedia artist Quayola. 

Originally created as an audiovisual concert for two motorized pianos by Quayola, the piece uses generative algorithms so each brushstroke is sonified with a piano note. As a symbol of musical tradition, the pianos synthesize technological and human features. By reproducing hand movements, they act as a link with the human while performing non-human virtuosity.

The same algorithms driving the hyper-realistic digital brushstrokes articulated endlessly on the impressive multi-channel projection system also materialize in the sound of classical pianos via Yamaha Disklavier, experienced through 24-channel L-Acoustics L-ISA Immersive Hyperreal Sound technology.

In partnership with Yamaha and ARTECHOUSE’s production team, who provided hardware and software ecosystems available exclusively at the venue, the exhibit marks the beginning of a new sound and visual collaboration between Quayola and musician SETA in exploring new possibilities of art and technology.

“This exhibition aims to blur the boundaries between image and sound, presenting a series of immersive audiovisual installations along with motorized pianos,” Quayola said in a press release. “Transient does not generate finite music and paintings, rather it presents the impermanence that lies behind its algorithmic potential.” 

As traditional artistic techniques are rethought in the context of human-machine relationships, Quayola’s exploration of the synergy between sound and image in Transient: Impermanent Paintings offers a unique experience of the intimate collaboration of classical music and painting.

Complementing the exhibit are three installations. One focuses on the technical and creative process that went into creating the exhibit, a second invites visitors to explore a multi-screen audiovisual installation with automated motorized controllers and a third which features immersive video projection and unique prints of visuals from previous iterations of the main installation. 

“What is unique about this exhibition is the exploration of synergy between sound and image,” said Sandro, ARTECHOUSE Founder and Chief Creative Officer in a press release. “Quayola presents this as performance art, but at ARTECHOUSE we have transformed it into an exhibition where the performance continues to exist and engage with the visitor even after the artist has left. We believe this is an important step towards a new way to experience a live music performance.” 

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit artechouse.com/location/dc.

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