Transient – Impermanent Paintings


Audiovisual concert

Transient is an audiovisual concert for two motorized pianos and video projections by Quayola/Seta. A real-time improvisation in which the artists collaborate with complex algorithms in order to generate compositions of a delicate anthropic and technological balance. The software, especially developed for Transient, simultaneously generates sound and images, creating perfectly synchronised synesthetic alliterations. 

The interaction with the technological apparatus, and the creative dialogue between entities that are cognitively and constitutively different, produces a form that constantly evolves. Transient is the land of impermanence that mutates and transforms into infinite iterations, feeding off its own processual nature. In the unlimited space between 0 and 1, data is consolidated into expressive units, becoming matter, musical compositions and computational paintings. Transient refers to the heritage of classical music, here evoked by grand pianos, and the painting traditions, hypothesizing new sonic landscapes and visual polyphonies. Pianos and paintings are freed from hand gestures. Non human virtuosos composed through mathematical functions animate the keys and the canvas, exploring new parametric possibilities. Infinite notes and chromatic elements multiply and articulate themselves in unison.  

Quayola and Seta attempt to penetrate deep computational logic to explore unusual expressive modalities. The algorithmic aesthetic is weaved together with natural progression; notes rain down, crashing and pounding on the keyboard. Data creates organic infused patterns, and looped, recurrent rhythms and polyrhythms. Transient combines the harmony and tensions between human and technological, natural and artificial, organic and synthetic, generating pictorial and sonic compositions of an abstract naturalism. 

© Skino Ricci

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Quayola (ITA)

Quayola employs technology as a lens to explore the tensions and equilibriums between seemingly opposing forces: real and artificial, figurative and abstract, old and new.

Constructing immersive installations, often at historically significant architectural sites, he engages with and re-imagines canonical imagery through contemporary technology. Hellenistic sculpture, Old Master painting, and Baroque architecture are some of the historical aesthetics that serve as a point of departure for Quayola’s abstract compositions. His varied practice, all deriving from custom computer software, also includes audiovisual performance, video, sculpture, and works on paper.

Past exhibitions of his work include V&A Museum, London; Park Avenue Armory, New York; Bozar, Brussels; National Art Center, Tokyo; UCCA, Beijing; How Art Museum, Shanghai; SeMA, Seoul; Bienal, São Paulo; Triennale, Milan; Palais de Tokyo, Paris; Museu Nacional d’Art de Catalunya, Barcelona; British Film Institute, London; Cité de la Musique, Paris; Grand Theatre, Bordeaux; Ars Electronica, Linz; Elektra Festival, Montreal; Sonar Festival, Barcelona and Sundance Film Festival.

Also a frequent collaborator on musical projects, Quayola has worked with composers, orchestras and musicians including London Contemporary Orchestra, National Orchestra of Bordeaux, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Vanessa Wagner, Jamie XX, Mira Calix, Plaid and Tale Of Us. In 2013, Quayola was awarded the Golden Nica at Ars Electronica.


Andrea Santicchia alias SETA explores the contrasts between anthropic and technological, synthetic and organic, natural and artificial, seeking one’s respective potential in the other.
Through decodification, it advances a reverse inquiry that from the object leads to the process. Perceptive phenomena become cognitive processes. The elements are fragmented into data and weaved into patterns. Using hybrid technology, SETA tends to depart from traditional schemes, combining elements from apparently incompatible fields. Generating chromatic polyphonies and geometries where the intangible becomes sculptural matter.

SETA has embarked on a new sonic and visual research project with italian artist Quayola.
Transient – Impermanent Paintings, their first collaboration, has been presented in prestigious international settings such as RomaEuropa Festival 2020 at Teatro Argentina, Rome; Expo 2020 Dubai; Node Festival 2021 at Teatro Storchi, Modena; and as an immersive performance at Ars Electronica Festival 2021, Deep Space 8K, Linz and ARTECHOUSE, Washington DC.

Andrea Santicchia has taught Interaction Design at IUAV in San Marino/Venice, Digital Art at IED in Rome and collaborates with DARLAB, Digital Architecture and Robotics Lab at South Bank University in London. He has collaborated on exhibitions and installations in prestigious international venues such as HowArt Museum, Shanghai; Paradise Art Space, Seoul; ARTISTS & ROBOTS (curated by Grand Palais, Paris), Expo 2017 Astana; SKP, Beijing; Château de Chaumont-sur-Loire Museum; STRP Festival, Eindhoven.

Credits & mentions