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Federico Díaz - Outside itself

54. Esposizione Internazionale d’Arte – la Biennale di Venezia - Eventi collaterali

Dal 4 giugno al 30 settembre 2011


Un progetto site-specific. Sculture di dati assemblate da macchine robotizzate e non toccate da mano umana dal loro concepimento fino alla realizzazione. Migliaia di sfere che rappresentano fotoni individuali, composte e messe insieme dai robot. Federico Díaz: outside itself  rappresenta la luce, che non è razionale ma estatica.

Federico Díaz, acclaimed Prague-based artist, is creating a self-replicating, site-specific sculptural installation shaped by viewer-inspired data for la Biennale di Venezia 2011 that gives new meaning to the term "going viral." The installation, curated by P.S. 1 Contemporary Art Center and the Clocktower Gallery/ founder Alanna Heiss, and selected by the Biennial's Board and ILLUMInations Director Bice Curiger, will premiere as a Collateral Event of the 54th International Art Exhibition – la Biennale di Venezia. Díaz's outside itself project is an interactive, mathematically-programmed, robotically-produced, light-responsive installation that grows and morphs as a life form unto itself. The installation will be on view Tuesday through Sunday from 10am to 6pm, June 4 through September 30, 2011, as preceded by a preview June 1 at 5pm and official opening June 4 at 6pm. Admission is free and open to the public. outside itself is being presented at Nappa 90 within Arsenale Novissimo in the northern section of the main Arsenale and is easily accessible from the Giardini. For detailed directions or more information, please visit


Imagine thousands of black spheres being created and 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. 

Scheda Evento

Arsenale Novissimo Nappa 90 - VENEZIA