ISE Celebrates 20th Anniversary with Sofia Crespo's Projection Mapping Event and Keynote Address

To mark the 20th anniversary of Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) and the 200th anniversary of Barcelona's Passeig de Gràcia, a prominent avenue housing the famed Casa Batlló, ISE is funding a projection mapping on the façade of the celebrated Gaudí building.

This event follows the mappings by Refik Anadol in 2022 and 2023, with Casa Batlló once again extending an invitation to a distinguished digital artist to turn the structure into a showcase for technology-infused art. Sofia Crespo, a trailblazer in the investigation of organic life and its progression via Artificial Intelligence, has been selected for this honour. As the co-founder of Entangled Others Studio, Sofia is acclaimed for her work in neural networks and machine learning, demonstrating a profound interest in biology-influenced technologies. Her creations, such as Neural Zoo and Artificial Remnants, delve into the capabilities of AI in the realm of art, offering new perspectives on creativity.

Crespo’s creations have been shown across the world, including a month-long takeover of Times Square last May during which digital works were displayed across 96 billboards. She has also been part of the Meta AI Artist in Residence programme, in collaboration with Meta Open Arts, during which she created Critically Extant, a project exploring the limits of available data as a means of engaging with critically endangered species. Crespo explains: "The great challenge has been to convey Gaudí's inspirations in a façade with a lot of personality and intricate details. I wanted to capture how he worked and thought, including the materials, the symbology, and his more spiritual dimension. It has been a fascinating project because it combines art and technology, the cultural legacy of Barcelona, and a creator whose work remains alive and is constantly reinterpreted by artists."

Mike Blackman, Managing Director of Integrated Systems Events, said: “We are excited to be working with Sofia Crespo and Casa Batlló to create what will not only be an incredible spectacle for ISE attendees, but that also allows us to say a huge thank you to Barcelona for hosting us each year. Casa Batlló is one of the most recognisable buildings in the world and I can’t wait to see how Sofia uses this unique canvas to create a thought-provoking and unforgettable experience. Sometimes, it can be difficult to explain to people what the amazing AV technology that visitors experience during our show achieves, but these spectacular digital artworks, and the creativity from artists such as Sofia Crespo, truly showcase AV technology in all its beauty. A big thank you goes out to the team at Panasonic who are a huge support for this breath-taking project.”

Gary Gautier, General Manager of Casa Batlló added, "Sofía’s creative universe is perfect for capturing Casa Batlló's essence, structures, and beauty, bringing a personal view that unites art and innovation, just as Gaudí did in his time."

Sofia Crespo's mapping at Casa Batlló will take place on 27 January (first session: 21:00, last session: 22:30) and 28 January (first session: 19:00, last session: 22:30) and will be also live-streamed on the Casa Batlló website. The music for the performance, created by Robert M. Thomas, a renowned generative composer, features local performers such as organist Juan de la Rubia and the string quartet Cosmos Quartet. The collaboration extends to the Palau de la Música Catalana and the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, showcasing a unique blend of art, technology, and scientific collaboration. Events on both days can be attended free of charge.

Sofia Crespo will also be presenting a Keynote speech at the ISE Show Floor Stage in Hall 4, situated at the rear of the Content Production and Distribution Technology Zone. In the address, she will explore the Casa Batlló projection and the creative, technological and production methodologies that were able to create and deliver the project in a short space of time. The Keynote will take place at 13:15 on 1 February. In addition, ISE attendees who were not able to get to the Casa Batlló for the performance will be able to view the digital art in its entirety on the ISE Creative Cube, a 6m x 2m LED four screen monoliths, powered by Lang, that will be situated in close proximity to the ISE Show Floor Stage in Hall 4. The screening will run throughout the duration of ISE 2024.