PIONEER TOWER | Quayola

Quayola(b.1982) employs technology as a lens to explore the tensions and equilibriums between seemingly opposing forces: the real and artificial, figurative and abstract, old and new.  Constructing immersive installations, often at historically significant architectural sites, he engages with and reimagines 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. 

The new video artwork produced for the Fort Worth Pioneer Tower commission will be a continuation of Quayola’s ongoing research on the tradition of landscape painting, and more broadly a reflection on man’s tradition of representing nature. The observation of nature is at the basis of the primitive bond of man with his surroundings. In his work, Quayola reclaims an idea of knowledge from the past, in which the artistic practice allowed scientists to decipher nature. In Leonardo Da Vinci’s studies, for instance, the pictorial practice served the task of understanding the natural world. Similarly, Quayola’s artistic research is allowing us a new, different glimpse at the natural world, which can be achieved through the cooperation between him and the technological apparatus. This new artwork will be divided into chapters, each looking at capturing a different perspective on Fort Worth’s natural settings, using for each a different technological process.  

In the first of these chapters Quayola will employ high-precision 3D laser scanning systems to capture geometric data of various trees in Fort Worth.  Each tree will be translated into hundreds of millions of 3D coordinates, which will then be visualized digitally as complex clusters of geometries.  The resulting animation will explore both the intricacies of natural forms as well as the aesthetics of digital reproduction. 

The next chapter will focus on the observation and ultimately new representation of one of Fort Worth’s most iconic symbols: Horses.  Employing the latest digital tracking systems, Quayola will digitize a series of horses’ movements and translate them into abstract animations.  The rhythmic movements of the horse become a dataset to drive pictorial simulations.  The result of this process will be a series of computational paintings, on one side completely abstract, but on the other fully driven by the animal’s motion. 

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 Orchestraof Bordeaux, Ensemble Intercontemporain, Vanessa Wagner, Jamie XX, Mira Calix, Plaidand Tale Of Us.  In 2013, Quayola was awarded the Golden Nica at Ars Electronica.

INTERESTED IN LEARNING MORE?

See projects currently underway by visiting the Art In Progress page.