Live Sculpture

Chiara Passa

conference: DARE 2015: the dark precursor
date: November 9, 2015
venue: De Bijloke Music Center, Bibliotheek
format: on screen
practice: image
keywords: baroque, fold, Humberto Maturana, sculpture, stratum

abstract video about the author(s)


Live Sculpture is an interactive and performative video-sculpture, built as an auto-poietic and communicating mirror. When the viewer’s body stands in front of Live Sculpture, it is scanned and filmed in real time by a webcam installed behind a Baroque frame and then reanimated and reshaped in a full-size video projection simulating a three-dimensional marble sculpture. The new live image of the viewer-sculpture is entirely built from an ever-changing interactive mesh, which tunes in and reacts to body movements, the environment, light, and the speed of the viewer. My artistic research has always investigated changes in “liquid space” through a variety of techniques, technologies, and devices. The liquid space is unfolded in Live Sculpture by the subject herself, on one side, reshaping the human into something alive and vibrant and, on the other, challenging the notion of sculpture.

As a self-producing structure (Maturana and Varela 1980), Live Sculpture reveals strata, details, and nothing beneath: always in transformation, never reaching another side, never affirming. The interactive mirror—“mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the fairest of them all?”—gestures to infinity and its “Baroque trait twists and turns its folds, pushing them to infinity, fold over fold, one upon the other” (Deleuze 2006, 3). However, if the viewer might find intimacy in the continuous Droste effect, Live Sculpture remains “a Baroque chiaroscuro, a trompe-l’œil that fools ‘trompe’ no one, yet no one cares to touch its depthless folds. This is the space of the fully accepted, repeated but never shared illusion of unity that is difference” (Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos 2013, 77).



Deleuze, Gilles. 2006. The Fold: Leibniz and the Baroque. Translated by Tom Conley. London: Continuum.

La Cour, Anders, and Andreas Philippopoulos-Mihalopoulos, eds. 2013. Luhmann Observed: Radical Theoretical Encounters. London: Palgrave Macmillan.

Maturana Humberto R., and Francisco J. Varela. 1980. Autopoiesis and Cognition: The Realization of the Living. Dordrecht: Springer


about the author(s)

Chiara Passa

Chiara Passa is a media artist and lecturer at Fine Art Academy of Rome who currently lives and works in Rome. She works in different media, such as internet art projects, animations, interactive video installations, digital art in public space (site-specific artworks and video-sculptures), internet artworks (widgets, apps, and web-apps for mobile platforms). Her work is shown internationally, for instance at “ISEA-Disruption” exhibition and conference, Vancouver (2015); “Morphos,” Vortex Dome Los Angeles, curated by Ethan Bach (2014); Media Art Histories 5: RENEW Conference, Riga (2013); “Not Here Not There” LEA-Leonardo Electronic Almanac, MIT Press (2012); “AppArtAward,” ZKM|Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie, Karlsruhe (2011); FILE | Electronic Language International Festival, São Paulo (2011); “Soft Borders Conference-Upgrade International,” São Paulo, curated by Martha Gabriel, 18–21 October (2010); Artech 2010 “Envisioning Digital Spaces” International Conference on Digital Art, Guimarães, Portugal (2010); Electrofringe—Festival of New Media Art, Newcastle, Australia, (2008); Festival A10 Medialab, London (2008); MAK—Museum of Contemporary Art, Vienna (2007); Milano in Digitale, Festival di Arte Elettronica, Fabbrica del Vapore, Milan (2007); MAXXI—Museo Nazionale delle Arti del XXI Secolo, Rome (2006); CCCB—Centro de Cultura Contemporània de Barcelona (2006); Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid (2006); BizArt Center, Shanghai (2005); Centro per L’Arte Contemporanea Luigi Pecci, Prato (2005); MACRO—Museo di Arte Contemporanea, Rome (2004); PEAM—Pescara Electronic Artist’s Meeting, Pescara (2004); 11° Biennale, of young artists of Europe and the Mediterranean countries, “Cosmos—A Sea of Art,” Athens (2003); VIPER—International Festival of Film, Video, and New Media, Basel (2003); “XIV Quadriennale” Anteprima, Palazzo Reale, Naples (2003); GAM—Galleria d’Arte Moderna Torino, Turin (2001); GNAM—Galleria Nazionale d’Arte Moderna, Rome (2001); Biennale de Valencia “El mundo Nuevo,” Valencia (2001); 48° Biennale di Venezia, Venice (1999); Fondazione Bevilacqua La Masa, Venice (1999).

info & contact


Fine Art Academy of Rome, IT


chiarapassa [AT]