Barcelona’s Casa Batlló Gets Lit With Sofia Crespo’s A.I.-Generated Projections. See It Here

Crespo is the site's latest artist-in-residence, following in the footsteps of Refik Anadol.

Sofia Crespo, Structures of Being (2024) at Casa Batlló. Photo: Claudia Maurino.

Over the weekend, January 27 and 28, Casa Batlló in Barcelona was transformed with light, color, and motion. About 95,000 visitors turned up to watch the kinetic display, in which artist Sofia Crespo’s artificial intelligence-assisted scenes and textures were projected onto the Antoni Gaudí-designed monument. 

The Lisbon-based Crespo, best known for her use of technology to explore biological structures, is the Casa Batlló’s second artist-in-residence, a role created as part of its Heritage of Tomorrow program. Just as Refik Anadol before her, Crespo was invited to create new works referencing Gaudí’s design; the first of these, titled Structures of Being, was unveiled at the live projection mapping event (other installations from Crespo’s residency are forthcoming).

Sofia Crespo, Structures of Being (2024) at Casa Batlló. Photo: Claudia Maurino.

Across 12 showings, Crespo’s art danced over the facade of the building. Her luminously hued organic forms—florals, coral reefs, butterflies, and other natural phenomena—rippled and morphed in tandem with music by British composer Robert M. Thomas. The images also played off Gaudi’s surreal architecture, itself inspired by the shapes of the sea and marine life. 

“The fact that he’s using architecture as a way of connecting with the natural world,” said Crespo about the Catalan designer in a video accompanying the event. “In a way, I see a big parallel with what I’m doing.” 

Rendering of Structures of Being by Sofia Crespo. Photo courtesy of the artist.

The work was created by Crespo in partnership with the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, which provided the artist with data on the behavior of marine currents. With this, Crespo used A.I. to generate her projection, emphasizing the “active effort of creating datasets… of training… of directing where that output goes,” she said. Thomas’s score, too, was an algorithmically generated piece that was performed by local performers.  

“We wanted to have this sound that illustrates Gaudí’s transitions,” Crespo explained. “There’s a big part of Gaudí’s work that is largely alive because it’s constantly being interpreted by people and literally being built right now. We wanted to tell that story.” 

See more images from the event below. 

Sofia Crespo, Structures of Being (2024) at Casa Batlló. Photo: Claudia Maurino.

Sofia Crespo, Structures of Being (2024) at Casa Batlló. Photo: Claudia Maurino.

Sofia Crespo, Structures of Being (2024) at Casa Batlló. Photo: Claudia Maurino.

Sofia Crespo, Structures of Being (2024) at Casa Batlló. Photo: Claudia Maurino.

Sofia Crespo, Structures of Being (2024) at Casa Batlló. Photo: Claudia Maurino.

Sofia Crespo, Structures of Being (2024) at Casa Batlló. Photo: Claudia Maurino.

Sofia Crespo, Structures of Being (2024) at Casa Batlló. Photo: Claudia Maurino.

Sofia Crespo, Structures of Being (2024) at Casa Batlló. Photo: Claudia Maurino.


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