Scoletta dell’Arte: Digital Reform

About This Project

Exhibited at the Scoletta dell’Arte dei Tiraoro e Battioro – the headquarters of the Guild of Artisans of the eighteenth century who produced gold wires and leaves – from 19 April to 15 September 2024, in conjunction with the 60th Venice Biennale of Art, the exhibition will propose a journey through digital craftsmanship. Observing the works of contemporary digital artists, from the pioneers of the genre to the best-known old masters, visitors are invited to approach the works that identify the learning process aimed at the creation of digital art and its direct links with art history.

Curated by digital art researcher Dr. Antonio Geusa, the exhibition returns to the ancient building of the Scoletta the original role of simple art school – wires and gold leaves are replaced by lines of codes and audiovisual works. However, the learning process is not traditional at all. Visitors are invited to grasp the most important skill – observe, contemplate and enjoy digital artwork. Among the artists involved there are Shu Lea Cheang of TAEX, MAOTIK and Funa Ye; they join the platform new artists with a very consolidated past: Andrea Meregalli, Francesco D’Isa and Accurat.

The learning process begins with an interactive installation by Andrea Meregalli You Are Making Art, which puts the viewer in the role of both the artist and the work of art, thanks to the help of an AI platform programmed by the artist who will constantly produce new images during the 6 months of the exhibition. The roots of the work date back to the mid-60s of the last century, when artists began to create performative situations to maximize the process of dematerialization of the work of art. The installation by Andrea Meregalli resumes this mission, updating it with the use of artificial intelligence and problematizing the very idea of the authorship of the digital art product. From a conceptual work, we move towards an analytical work centered on the rules of aesthetics. Errors by Francesco D’Isa consists of a set of digital prints and an interactive installation. In both works, the artist comments on the subjective nature of what constitutes a mistake in making art in collaboration with artificial intelligence. Using text-to-image programs available on the Internet, the artist composes custom prompts that generate bugs in the system, causing unexpected responses that interrupt the original request while maintaining internal consistency. Here, the artist works as a human psychoanalyst, trying to probe the complexity of the machine’s subconscious.

The immersive installation of MAOTIK is the next “course” in our school. It leads you through those core chapters of digital art history on the work of those artists (who were also skilled engineers) who, since the mid-1960s, have built special equipment and created custom programs to help them find a “new visuality” for their contemporaneity. As a result, the artist wrote an original software and programmed the multichannel installation to create a total audiovisual experience, direct and engaging for the viewer with the digital artwork.

The exhibition continues with an “exhibition within the exhibition”, full of sketches of the old masters who have a direct connection with the learning process and the nature of digital. With the works of Theodore Gericault,  Abraham Bloemaert, George Rouault, Kazimir Malevich, among others of the private collection, this section shows the process of realization: from sketch to perfection; from classic craftsmanship to breaking with conventions.

Jumping a few centuries ahead we meet the Neo-Mastr Portraits of Funa Ye, a work that talks about technology and identity. This series of unique pieces, made using GAN technology, deepens the multifaceted identity, culture and aesthetics of modern China through the artistic representation guided by AI. With the appearance of a wall full of old portraits, the project analyzes online images of Chinese ethnic minorities and Smart selfies – a well-known subculture in China that has a very distinct sense of identity – to create distinct avatars.

Approaching the end of the exhibition, moving towards the windows overlooking the Grand Canal, visitors are presented with a research installation by Accurat – an Italian study that practices the Data Humanism approach to information analysis. It is a work that questions the role of “landscape painting” today and how it can be rethought and reinterpreted in the digital age. Using a data-driven approach and having the city of Venice as the subject, Accurat creates a new “painting” that is the visual representation of the metadata related to the morphology of the city and its social functioning made by a plotter acting like a human painter.

Last but not least, each method has its discontented, which often come from misuse. This is the subject of the work of Shu Lea Cheang UKI Virus Rising, which takes the learning process to a warning level. Undoubtedly, an essential warning when taking account of new technologies. This action-packed animated story is a cautionary tale about the dangers of using/abusing technology when not mediated by reason, in the form of digital animation.

Two special projects conceived by Dr. Antonio Geusa and TAEX are also included in the exhibition to enrich the learning experience even more. Visitors to the exhibition have access to a computer with Vera, TAEX’s custom text-image program. With the help of AI that has been specifically trained on an image database of works belonging to digital art history, users can turn their prompts into original works of art that they may possibly own.

For those who want a similar investigation into the reliability of artificial intelligence when it comes to knowledge of art history, there is a quiz card game that visitors can do on their own, in pairs or in groups. All questions and answers are provided by AI, who will be asked to play a quiz game. Each card presents a question, 4 possible answers, the right one according to AI, and a necessary explanation when the machine fails to give it correctly.


Shu Lea Cheang is a Taiwanese-American artist and director, who works with net art, multi-player participatory performances, video and installation. Having a broad background in artistic activism, her work promotes freedom of expression and criticizes political oppression, technological and environmental issues. As a multimedia artist, he gained recognition for his piece of net art BRANDON (1998-1999), the first commission of web art of the Guggenheim Museum. One of Cheang’s most recent and extraordinary commissions is the 3x3x6 solo exhibition for the 58th Venice Biennale (2019), where the artist represented Taiwan.

Funa Ye is a Chinese artist who explores the relationship between the realities of everyday life and the perceived connection between authority and social life. His practice studies the different power structures, ethnic groups and the imaginary space of propaganda that strives for the concept of ‘perfection’ within an ideological system and utopian landscape. She has been a resident artist at the K11 Foundation (Hong Kong), Pro Helvetia Swiss Council 2018 Studio Residency (Bern) and has exhibited her work internationally.

MAOTIK (Mathieu Le Sourd) is a French digital artist, who creates work at the intersection of art, science and technology – immersive environments, interactive installations, digital architectural sculptures and audiovisual performances. MAOTIK uses generative tools to create a mirror synergy between the real and the digital world, codifying algorithms inextricably inspired by nature. Create audiovisual sculptures that can breathe, move and change shape; a blend of nature, science and technology that brings unique and unrepeatable experiences to the audience. His works have been exhibited at Art Basel, Frieze London, FIAC Paris, British Film Institute and recently at the Digital Art Fair in Hong Kong with TAEX.

Francesco D’Isa is an Italian philosopher and artist. He has exhibited his works internationally in galleries and contemporary art centers. He debuted with the graphic novel “I.” (Nottetempo, 2011) and has since published essays and novels with renowned publishers such as Hoepli, effequ, Tunué and Newton Compton. His best-known works include the novel “La Stanza di Therese” (Tunué, 2017) and the philosophical essay “The Absurd Evidence” (Edizioni Tlon, 2022). Most recently, he published the graphic novel “Sunyata” with Eris Editions in 2023. Francesco is editorial director of the cultural magazine “L’Indiscreto” and contributes with writings and illustrations to various magazines, both in Italy and abroad.

Andrea Meregalli is an Italian artist and architect. He deals with design at different levels. He has always developed research projects through painting, drawing, printing techniques, digital technologies and the creation of unique books. He worked for years without showing anything, then, almost by accident, he processed his pain and began to make his work public.

TAEX is a digital art platform that is building a new community of collectors who shape the future of art. We show and co-produce works by leading artists with critical acclaim, selected by qualified curators.

Antonio Geusa – Curator

For over 20 years, his mission has been to facilitate the production, circulation, and reception of contemporary art. His work includes organizing conferences and seminars, curating exhibitions, and studying and teaching art history. His area of expertise is art and new technologies – he earned a PhD from the University of London in Media Arts. In particular, over the past two years, he has been involved in digital art projects. He is currently one of the curators of the TAEX platform, specializing in digital art. He is also the initiator and curator of the art and ecology festival “Echoes of Eco” (since 2011), its related “Video Art Laboratory” (since 2016), “Art Digital”, the first digital art festival in Russia (2005-2010), and the digital art platform “Techne” (2016-2020). Additionally, he has considerable experience in curating educational projects. In the recent past, among other things, he has worked as an associate curator for the Tate Gallery in London; he has been a jury member and expert committee member for various contemporary art awards; and he has collaborated with various universities and artistic organizations worldwide. Particularly well-known and frequently cited is his study on the history of Russian video art. Equally important to him is his work as a lecturer and speaker. He holds the chair of Contemporary Art History at the University of Tomsk and collaborates with various institutions specialized in teaching contemporary art. Places where he has been invited to give talks include: Centre Pompidou, Paris; University of Milano-Bicocca, Milan; Bozar, Brussels, Belgium; Photographers’ Gallery, London.

Scoletta dell'Arte: Digital Reform

A cura di Antonio Geusa
19.04 > 15.09.2024
Opening 18 Aprile ore 16


Scoletta dei Tiraoro e Battioro
Santa Croce 1980
30135 Venezia

Chief TAEX

Stefanie De Regel

My Tasks & Skills

National and international press office and PR & Media Buying.