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18 April 2024

TAEX Presents Scoletta dell'Arte: Digital Reform exhibition at the peak of the 60th Venice Biennale


TAEX Presents Scoletta dell'Arte: Digital Reform exhibition at the peak of the 60th Venice Biennale

TAEX is delighted to announce the exhibition Scoletta dell'Arte: Digital Reform, dedicated to digital art in a truly foundational way. 


Taking place at Scoletta dell’Arte dei Tiraoro e Battioro — an 18th-century college of the guild of artisans who produced gold threads and leaves — the exhibition provides a journey through digital craftsmanship. By observing the works of contemporary digital artists, the pioneers of the genre, and some of the most notable old masters, the visitors are invited to experience pieces that visualise the process of learning to make digital art and its direct links with the History of Art.


Curated by digital art researcher Dr Antonio Geusa, the exhibition restores the old building to its original role as an informal school — gold threads and leaves replaced by lines of code and audio-visual artefacts. Yet, the learning process is nothing but conventional. The visitors are invited to grasp the most important skill — of looking at, contemplating, and enjoying digital art oeuvres. Among the artists involved are TAEX’s Shu Lea Cheang, MAOTIK and Funa Ye; alongside new artists to the platform with a very established past: Andrea Meregalli, Francesco D’Isa, and Accurat.


The route of learning begins with an interactive installation by Andrea Meregalli You Are Making Art, which places the viewer in the role of both the art maker and the art piece with the help of an artist-programmed AI platform constantly producing new images throughout the 6 months of the show. The roots of this installation go back to the mid-60s of the last century, when artists began to produce performative situations to bring the process of dematerialisation of the work of art to its maximum. You Are Making Art takes up this mission, updating it with the use of AI and problematising the very idea of the authorship of the digital work of art. 


From a conceptual work, we move towards an analytical one centred around the rules of governing aesthetics. Francesco D’Isa’s Errors 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 answers that disrupt the original request yet maintain internal consistency. Here, the artist works as a human psychoanalyst, trying to probe the complexity of the machine's subconscious.


MAOTIK's immersive installation is the next “class” in our school. It channels those pivotal chapters in Digital Art History about the work of those artists (who were also skilled engineers) who, since the mid-1960s, built special equipment and created custom programs to help them find a “new visuality” for their contemporaneity. Accordingly, the artist has written original software and programmed the multi-channel installation to create a total, direct, and gripping audio-visual experience for the viewer with the digital work of art.


The exhibition continues with an “exhibition within exhibition”, filled with sketches of the old masters that have a direct connection with the process of learning and the nature of the digital. Featuring the works of Theodore Gericault, Abraham Bloemaert, George Rouault, Kazimir Malevich, among others from the private collection, this section showcases the process of making: from sketching to structuring; from classical craftsmanship to breaking with convention. 


Jumping a few centuries ahead we meet Neo-Mastr Portraits by Funa Ye, a work that speaks about technology and identity. This series of unique pieces, made using GAN technology, delves into the multifaceted identity, culture, and aesthetics of modern China through AI-driven artistic representation. Looking much like a wall filled with old portraits, the project analyses online images of Chinese ethnic minorities and the selfies of Smart — 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 studio which practises Data Humanism approach to analysing information. This 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 the city of Venice as subject, Accurat creates a new “painting” which is the visual representation of metadata related to the city morphology and its social functioning made by a plotter behaving like a human painter.


Last, but not least, each method has its discontents, which often come from misuse. This is the topic of Shu Lea Cheang’s work UKI Virus Rising, which brings the process of learning to the level of a warning. Unquestionably, an essential admonition when new technologies are taken into account. This action-filled animated story is a cautionary tale about the dangers of using/abusing technology when not mediated by reason, in the form of a digital animation.


Two special projects devised by Dr Antonio Geusa and TAEX are also included in the exhibition to enrich the learning experience even more. At the disposal of the exhibition’s visitors, there is a computer running Vera, TAEX’s custom text-to-image program. With the help of AI that has been specifically trained on a database of images of works belonging to the History of Digital Art, users can turn their prompts into original artworks that they can eventually own. 


For those who fancy a more analogue investigation into the reliability of artificial intelligence when it comes to the knowledge of art history, there is a quiz card game that visitors can play by themselves, in couples, or in groups. All questions and answers are given by AI, which was asked to make a quiz game. Each card presents a question, 4 possible answers, the right one according to AI, and a much-needed explanation when the machine does not get it right. 

Featured Artists


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


Francesco D’Isa is an Italian philosopher and artist. He has exhibited his works internationally in galleries and contemporary art centres. 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 notable works include the novel La Stanza di Therese (Tunué, 2017) and the philosophical essay L’assurda evidenza (Edizioni Tlon, 2022). Most recently, he released the graphic novel Sunyata with Eris Edizioni in 2023. Francesco serves as the editorial director for the cultural magazine L’Indiscreto and contributes writings and illustrations to various magazines, both in Italy and abroad.


Funa Ye is a Chinese artist exploring the relationship between the realities of everyday life and the perceived connection between authority and social life. Her practice studies the different power structures, ethnic groups, and the fictional space of propaganda striving for the concept of ‘perfection’ within an ideological system, and a utopian landscape.​

She has been an artist-in-residence at K11 Foundation (Hong Kong), Pro Helvetia Swiss Council 2018 Studio Residency (Bern) and 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-like synergy between the real and digital worlds, coding algorithms inextricably inspired by nature. He creates audiovisual sculptures that can breathe, move, and change shape; a mixture of nature, science, and technology that brings unique and unrepeatable experiences to the audience.


His works were exhibited at Art Basel, Frieze London, FIAC Paris, the British Film Institute and recently at the Digital Art Fair in Hong Kong with TAEX. 


Shu Lea Cheang is a Taiwanese-American artist and filmmaker, working with net art, participatory multi-player performance, video, and installation. Having an extensive background in art activism, her work promotes freedom of expression and critiques political oppression, technological, and environmental issues.


As a multimedia artist, she gained recognition for her net art piece BRANDON (1998-1999), the first-ever Guggenheim Museum’s web art commission. One of Cheang’s most recent and extraordinary commissions is the solo exhibition 3x3x6 for the 58th Venice Biennale (2019), where the artist represented Taiwan.


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


The exhibition will be open from April 19, 2024 till September 15, 2024, with a private view on April 18th, 2024. 




Scoletta Battioro e Tiraoro di Venezia

Salizada San Stae, 1980, 30135 Venezia VE, Italy


Opening times


19 April - 15 September

Tuesday to Sunday 10 am - 6pm, Mondays closed

For any inquiries please contact:

TAEX Head of Development 

Stefanie De Regel


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How it went. Multimodality: The Audiovisual Avant-garde

TAEX had joined an intense programme of London Digital Art Week by presenting a one-day exhibition Multimodality: The Audiovisual Avant-garde by Massimo Magee, curated by Aurora Garrison. We were delighted to see our fellow partners and collectors at Cromwell Place in the heart of London and present digital art in all its polyphony. The show featured the installation 3 Colours in 3 Modes including six digital and three physical artworks by Magee. The digital pieces were generously powered by Muse Frames.

30 April 2024