Riccardo Benassi’s interruption of a Geneva station
Deep in the bowels of a new train station designed by The Ateliers Jean Nouvel, swiss electronic artist Riccardo Benassi has created an evolving text and sound video which speaks to commuters on their daily journey.

A new trainline connecting the heart of Geneva to Annemasse in France is an unlikely place to go to find a series of experimental moving image works, but since 2017 through the Fonds Cantonal d’Art Contemporain funded MIRE Project, the five Ateliers Jean Nouvel designed stations have offered themselves up for uncanny, unnerving, playful and curious moving image works.


Throughout 2022, Ricardo Benassi’s moving sound, text and image piece Daily Dense Dance Desiderio (DDDD) (2021) will intrigue and inspire commuters. A green hue light occasionally flickering around the station - from within the escalator mechanics, or the fire-escape route lights - was “amplified” by Benassi, who created an abstracted film with occasional flashes of hands and body silhouetted against the bright green flashing. Is it a protest? Perhaps some kind of alien visitation? Maybe a rave? Benassi calls this the “gesture of a presence”, emerging from the idea of the dancefloor as a political space.

An artist who not only deals with sound but also creates electronic music, has composed a glitching, looping music, which also repeats both on the website of the Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement and in one of the toilets of the Centre d’Art Contemporain, where the biennial of which this work is a part of is located. The undulating noise reverberates around the halls, corridors and openings of Nouvel’s architecture, as a beckoning siren, just as the green reflections similarly shimmer from the metal, glass, and polished concrete materials.

fig.ii, CLICK to turn sound on/off

Over the top of the moving image is a single sentence which will change daily, offering up an oblique thought to those en route to or from a train. Benassi wrote these in collaboration with AI - feeding it questions, receiving answers, then tweaking and playing back and forth until fragmented poems were born.

Frequently collaborating with architects, the artist states that the work is “site-defining”, more than site-specific. The audio, a distorted-to-unreconisable recording of Benassi himself “howling to the moon” before being converted to MIDI and messed around further, plays against the analogue-to-digital video work, with lens scratches and dust compacted into the same frame as sci-fi lasers and other worldliness. Together, they react to the architecture, animating the main hall, and escaping up and around the building.




Riccardo Benassi is a multidisciplinary artist living and working in Berlin and online. His work focuses on the impact of technology in our daily relation to space and how technological devices change the structure of our daily life and organize reality. He uses an articulate assembly of images, texts, sounds, colors and design objects, forming large-scale installations, videos, art books, and sculptural elements.


The Mire artistic journey is a leading project of the Fonds cantonal d’art contemporain, displays audiovisual works in the new stations of the Léman Express, with the aim of inscribing art within urban development. On the occasion of BIM’21, Giulia Essyad (Chêne-Bourg station) and Riccardo Benassi (Geneva-Champel station) will present their original works co-produced by the Centre and the Fonds cantonal d’art contemporain Genève.



figs.i, ii, iv, v © Will Jennings
fig.iii  © Serge Fruehauf

publication date
06 February 2022

Riccardo Benassi, Geneva, Installation, Moving image, Jean Nouvel, Railway station, Site specific, Sound, Video