Debut at 2023 Ars Electronica Festival
September 6-10, POSTCITY Linz (AT).
Ars Electronica Garden Fano:
Umanesimo Artificiale (IT).

DIVERGENCES is a film and a 1:1 scale video installation by mixed-media artist Federica Sasso and sound artist Luca Pagan. Drawing from the photographic tradition of studies on human motion, the artists reframe Muybridge’s legacy, resulting in a moving statue that embraces hyper-contemporaneity. Conceived as a live recorded performance, a middle-aged man who lost his left leg in an after-work accident walks continuously on a treadmill surrounded by an aseptic space while immersed in virtual reality.

Walking through four VR liminal environments, the subject wears a biosensor suit developed by the artists and a high-tech prosthesis from the Rehab Technologies Lab of the Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia (IIT) and INAIL - where the treadmill is typically used for functional tests. Wearable technologies drive him to real-time feedback on his movements by generating sounds reminiscent of water, grass, and the steps of female and male heels, all connected to the four spaces he is virtually walking in. Immersed in an architectural concrete corridor with a metaphorical light on the horizon, as he proceeds, the surfaces change, from carpet to marble, from water to turf.

DIVERGENCES explores a range of phenomena, encompassing the sensation of embodiment (feeling an external – digital or physical – object as part of one’s mental representation of their body) and human perception in a surrounding environment, alongside its reaction to external digital stimuli. Citing scientific experiments and placing them outside of their common context – with the video suspended in white, bright, and fictitious, on the border between art and advertising – the artists push the boundaries of the relationship between humans and technology, leading the viewer to question the future of physical and virtual interactions, ergonomic solutions, and their implications in contemporary society.

Sasso and Pagan investigate new possible connections between the body, sound impulses, and new realities, eager to experiment with how a digital-physical setting (including a virtual environment and a bionic extension of our bodies) can make a person perceive haptic sensations. They guide us through a suspended universe that unveils unconscious and brain reactions, making us question: “Would I react in the same way?”.

Federica Sasso

Luca Pagan

Art Director
Emanuele Amighetti

Giovanni Nordio
Gregorio Nordio

Editor & Supervisor
Carlo Fusani

Emanuele Cantò

Ciro Di Niccolo

Vice Project Manager - Hyperleg Project

Samuele de Giuseppe

Italian Institute of Technology (IIT)

VR Designer & Developer

Igor Iurevici

Test Subject

Omar Cantoro

Isotta Fiorenzi

1st AC
Emma Mariano

Tommaso Bolongaro

Alberto Braga

Graphic Designer
Maria Chiara Moro

Bolt Operator
Marc Debon

Styling Assistant
Miriam Perego

Web Developer
Marco Pagan

Giacomo Alberico

Francesco Migliarese

Ars Electronica 2023

Sept. 6-10, POSTCITY Linz

Ars Electronica Garden Fano

Umanesimo Artificiale

About the Artists

Federica Sasso is a mixed-media visual artist. Her work examines human body perception, the virtual-real interplay and the impact of technology on contemporary life. Her approach delves into the contamination of photography, video, artificial intelligence and virtual reality.

Luca Pagan is a sound artist, performer and independent researcher. His performances explore the relationship between physical movement, sound and environment. His research is focused on the perception of body movement with music and the use of self-designing wearable technology, software, hardware, biotechnology and machine learning techniques.



Shot in August 2023, Milan. Thanks to MovieChrome