Federico Díaz: outside itself at the Veniice Biennale :: June 4 - September 30, 2011 :: Opening: June 4; 6:00 pm :: Nappa 90, Arsenale Novissimo, Venice.
Federico Díaz, acclaimed Prague-based artist, is creating a self-replicating, site-specific sculptural installation shaped by viewer-inspired data that gives new meaning to the term “going viral.” Imagine thousands of black spheres morphing according to changes in ambient light generated by the fluid interactivity of viewers. A mathematical program enables two robots to build, and together, arrange about 2,000 5-centimeter-diameter balls every 12 hours. Each ball will represent an individual “photon.” Optical sensors will monitor the available light at the site which is influenced by viewers’ presence, movements, and even clothing, creating a data stream that informs the robots in their production of the shape-shifting installation. Together, viewers of all ages and nationalities will influence the sculpture’s ultimate form in this work of “Light” and “Nations” on the occasion of the 54th Biennale, titled ILLUMInations.
For Díaz, the robot is like a “stretched hand of our senses,” that extends human ability beyond the limitations of the body, in the same way that society now uses technology to simulate or stimulate experience, or to create “social networks.” Technology is relied upon to communicate and achieve what the body cannot — to go beyond, to go “outside” of oneself.
The outside itself installation is an evolution of the work that Díaz created for MASS MoCA (Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art) in North Adams, Mass, U.S. in late 2010. His Geometric Death Frequency - 141 installation in the museum’s courtyard also consisted of black spheres that were milled and assembled by robots into the semblance of a rolling wave confined by the boundaries of a non-existent 50-foot-long, 20-foot high. Federico Díaz’s Geometric Death Frequency - 141 remains on view at MASS MoCA in the U.S. through Spring 2012.
Federico Díaz lives and works in Prague, Czech Republic. He has shown in international exhibitions at institutions including: Institute of Contemporary Arts/ICA, London, UK (2005); Royal Institute of British Architects, London, UK (2000); Algorithmic Revolution at ZKM Center for Art and Media, Karlsruhe, Germany (2004); Fondation Electricité de France, Paris, France (2003); Ars Electronica Festival, Linz, Austria (2005); Mori Art Museum, Tokyo, Japan (2005), among others.
He has received the Milano Europe, Futuro Presente 2001 special award for his engaging Generatrix, and the Florence Biennial’s 2007 Premio Internazionale “Lorenzo il Magnifico” in the new media category for his Sakura project (2005). In the U.S., Díaz’s installation Ultra was the first presented in 2008 for the MOMA/PS.1 exhibition at Art Basel Miami Beach. Most recently, Federico Díaz was selected to represent the Czech Pavillion at the 2010 EXPO Shanghai where he presented LacrimAu, an interactive, scensory-monitoring installation featuring a 24K gold sculpture of a human tear.
outside itself is organized by DOX - Centre for Contemporary Art, Prague, Czech Republic.
Curated by P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center founder Alanna Heiss, and selected by the Biennial’s Board and ILLUMInations Director Bice Curiger .
By Canal: outside itself (A) is accessible by boat from Vaporetto stops “Arsenale” (B) or “Giardini” (C) to stops “Celestia” (D) or “Bacini” (E) via lines 41, 42, 51, 52. (F) la Biennale/Arsenale –Entrance. For a schedule of times, please visit www.actv.it. See map for further directions.
Image above: Federico Díaz, “Geometric Death Frequency—141,” 2010. Site-specific sculpture for MASS MoCA, Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art Data Sculpture. Courtesy MASS MoCA, Photo David Port.