Unfinished Sculptures

Investigations into new sculptural gesturalities through algorithmic and robotic strategies

The ongoing research behind Unfinished Sculptures takes inspiration from Michelangelo’s Captives (1510-1530), a series of never-completed sculptures which became emblematic for the expressiveness embedded in the exposed sculptural process. 

Quayola’s sculptures are also left unfinished, with the intent to document the actual logic and aesthetics of the process itself, which becomes the true subject of the artwork. This process does not document human actions, but instead the ones of an algorithmically-controlled robotic arm. 


As an ever-increasing number of human tasks are being replaced by robotic automation systems, we begin to further investigate what kind of relationships will be had with machines in the near future. Reflecting on this, Quayola speculates on new robotic-sculpting strategies where technology does not function as a mere instrument but gradually becomes a collaborator.


Originally focused on scanning and studying historical sculptural masterpieces, the research evolved into capturing real human bodies in action using high-precision 3d-scanning rigs.

Classical archetypes, bodies in torsion and tension, dynamic muscular forces and complex intersections of masses become the raw source data for computational sculpting processes.

Custom material-removal algorithms control industrial robots that physically carve blocks of matter. While never completing the full original figure, new articulations of complex geometries emerge from the robotic gestures.

The result of these experimental processes materializes as a series of unique sculptural articulations made in Carrara marble and performative robotic installations where new objects are machined live during exhibitions.


Performing an archaeology of future-pasts, Unfinished Sculptures propose a hybrid vision – traversing model and monument, code, the corporeal, and ultimately new alternative gestural expressions.