Copyright© Rudolfo Quintas


The “O Ato Ciênsivel” project aims to promote active ageing through artistic research and experimentation with elderly people. The project’s vision is that art can promote the quality of life of older people and improve social life in care homes through processes of artistic co-creation.

The aims are to create multi-sensoral experiences, positively valuing the life experiences, stories, and accumulated experiences of older people as a place of empowerment. At the same time, a psychosocial and cognitive impact study will be carried out on the creative process, in order to reflect on the effect of artistic practice on improving the quality of life of older people.

The project will take place over a series of artistic workshops between October and November 2023, to be held at the Casa do Artista in Lisbon, a residential facility for senior citizens. The workshops will be facilitated by a multidisciplinary team of artists, creative programmers, scientists, social workers, animators, psychologists and researchers in the arts and sciences. These sessions will be divided into two phases.

In the first phase the workshops start with more traditional disciplines such as drawing, music and body movement, and in the second phase they integrate digital arts, in particular the creation of narratives using generative artificial intelligence, the creation of sound and visuals through body mapping, audiovisual and immersive environments, among others.

Experiences are imagined, such as visually reconstructing memories of senior citizens through generative artificial intelligence; creating magic mirrors where people can see their bodies transformed into digital paintings; or creating sound melodies through simple movement and facial expression. The last workshop ends with a rave party designed for senior citizens where they can invite friends and family to take part in an ecstatic dance. The process will be filmed and finalised in the form of a documentary. Through the exercises in the workshops, the aim is to boost curiosity, social interaction, cognitive stimulation and improve the mental health of the residents. The project aims to generate new knowledge in the artistic context but also to inspire new visions in the context of scientific research in the fields of mental, physical, social, psychological and neurological health. It is hoped to contribute to transforming the current less positive standard of ageing and to enhance the experience of care homes as possible creative spaces.

The project is under the artistic direction of Rudolfo Quintas and includes dancer Hugo Marmelada, creative programmer Joan Sandoval, film director Aya Koretzky, scent creator Daphné de Bugey, music researchers Eduardo Coutinho and Michael James Bryan, sociology and psychology researchers Susana Azevedo, Sara Ramos and Rafael Ribeiro, art and communication researcher Mirian Tavares, social worker Joana Figueiredo and cultural animator Ricardo Madeira.

 Planned activities:

Starting in October, creative workshops begin with the senior residents of Casa do Artista, which take place on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10:00 to 13:00.

  • 10 and 12 October – Drawing
  • 17 and 19 October – Dance
  • 24 and 26 October – Sound and Music
  • 31 and 02 November – Smell
  • 07 and 09 November – Digital Arts and Music
  • 14 and 16 November – Digital Arts and Movement
  • 21 and 23 November – Digital Arts and Narratives
  • 28 November – Digital Arts and Movement
  • 30 November – Ecstatic Dance and Digital Arts Jam

Later this year, on 16 December, there will be a public event at Casa do Artista with a screening of the residency’s documentary film, an exhibition of the work developed and a talk about the project with the participants, moderated by Mirian Tavares, CIAC researcher and coordinator, who will focus on the artistic aspects, and Sara Ramos (ICTE) who will moderate the psychology and impact aspects intrinsic to the project. The programme and full list of guests will be announced at a later date. Support:

The “O Ato Ciênsivel” project is supported by the Directorate-General for the Arts and has the production of Challenge Silence / Studio Rodolfo Quintas and the partnerships of CIAC – Centre for Research in Arts and Communication, DIN MIA’CET-Iscte – Centre for Socioeconomic and Territorial Studies, the Applied Music Research Lab at the University of Liverpool, ISTAR-IUL Digital Living Spaces, and Apoiarte – Casa Do Artista.