adriana  sá
trans-disciplinary   music


Adriana Sá is transdisciplinary artist, performer musician/ composer. Her graphic scores choreograph texture, density, vocabulary and sequence variations, leaving other aspects open to interpretation. Designing and building the instrumentation is part of her creative process. She considers that music involves vision and physical space, beyond audition.

Between 1998 and 2008, Sá used sensor technologies to explore music connected to light, space, movement, architecture, weather and social context; her architecturally-scaled instruments combined analogue and digital components. In 2008 her practice turned to audio-visual performance. Her bridging of creative practice and perception science informed the development of audio-visual 3D software, which operates based on pitch detection from a custom zither input.

Sá has been developing and presenting her work in Europe, USA, Brasil and Japan since 1997. Her creative process has been fed through the collaboration with a wealth of different artists. Her custom instrumentation emerged in the context of residencies at STEIM, Metronom Electronic Arts Studio and Experimental Intermedia Foundation NY. It was further explored throughout site-specific projects, presented at the Aomori Contemporary Art Center in Japan, the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, the Serralves Museum and the Maria Matos Theatre in Portugal, at Caixa Forum and Arteleku in Spain, Monty in Belgium and EyeBeam in NY, among many other venues. She also presented site-specific work in a codfish-drying factory (Circular Festival), a chapel (Colina Project), a cave with water (Lisboa Soa Festival) and a convent (S.Francis, Coimbra), as well as in an active a textile mill in the U.K. (Ultrasound Festival).  She performed with portable instrument setups at Casa da Música, Culturgest, Teatro Rivoli and Chiado Museum (Portugal) as well as the Institute of Contemporary Arts (U.K.), among many other venues. Other performances and installations were presented in festivals such as Atlantic Waves (UK), Luzboa Biannual (Portugal), xxxxx (UK), Version Beta (Switzerland) and Festival Novas Frequências (Brasil).

After many years exclusively dedicated to her artistic practice, in 2009 Sá entered the academic world, teaching at ESAD - Upper School of Art and Design / Polytechnic Institute Leiria. Between 2011 and 2016 she was a researcher at Goldsmiths University of London, together with Atau Tanaka, Mick Grierson and the EAVI research group. She obtained a PhD in Arts and Computing, with a grant from the Foundation for Science and Technology. Her research bridges artistic practice, interaction design, audio-visual theory, neuroscience and experimental psychology. Her scientific work was published by the MIT (Leonardo Almanac and Leonardo Transactions), the Journal Of Science And Technology Of The Arts, the ICLI - International Conference for Live Interfaces, the xCoAx - Conference on Computation, Communication, Aesthetics & X and the NIME - Conference on New Interfaces for Musical Expression, a.o.. Sá chaired the ICLI conference in 2014, and is a member of its steering committee. Since 2016 she has been teaching at Coimbra University (2016-18), at ESAD / Upper School for Arts and Design (2016-present) and at Lusófona University Lisbon (2016-present). Simultaneously she continues to develop her artistic projects, frequently in collaboration with her husband John Klima and several other artists and musicians.

Reflexos de um pensamento esferico (world view, in Portuguese)

Interview for Oro Molido #54 (in English)