201819

201718

digitalmorph.sink.sexy

Emir Šehanović

For his residency, Emir Šehanović is looking at how constructed, modified and transformed bodies are represented and mediated using the internet and networked technologies. Emir draws from Vivian Sobchack’s idea of the ‘digital morph’ as a culture’s common understanding of an ideal body that is constructed through constant improvement and its dissemination by advertising images, photo sharing platforms, film and fashion. His residency takes us through Western value systems and highlights how the internet facilitated the use of the desirable body for monetary value.

Emir has chosen statuettes from the African and Asian Collections of the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris, using their ritualistic and enshrining ceremonial circumstances as a starting point for his research into body decorations and modifications in our capitalistic culture. Entering the highway set out by gender roles, the two statuettes are both idols, one female one male, illustrating bodily ideals that were once worshipped. The wooden Gwan female sculpture is tied to ideals of physical beauty, character and action and in ceremony it is taken out of its shrine to be ritually washed, oiled and clothed, the Behu Lawolo male figure, made of stone, possibly shone as a symbol of masculinity, wealth and status. Throughout this month’s residency, Emir will be morphing these inanimate objects in the directions of the currents governed by our contemporary visual ideals.

 

Emir Šehanović ESH was born in 1981 in Tuzla, Bosnia & Herzegovina. In the late 90s he was already an active participant of the local street art scene under the pseudonym Aorta. His biography is filled with multi-faced engagements – from street art projects, over solo and collective exhibitions. Emir received international recognition for his mural projects, video, digital prints and multimedia. Pagan tradition, superstition and the occult are some of the constant themes present in his work. The final result may be a collage, print or spatial intervention, based in the digital domain but intruded by specific materials which have a deep cultural value for the author. The space receives a special treatment in his works, whether it is an intervention in public space or a classic format of a painting.

Per la sua residenza su sink, Emir Šehanović si interessa al modo in cui i corpi costruiti, modificati e trasformati sono rappresentati e mediati utilizzando internet. Emir prende spunto dall’idea di Vivian Sobchack del ‘digital morph’ come concezione comune ad una cultura di un corpo ideale che si costruisce attraverso il miglioramento continuo e la sua diffusione in immagini pubblicitarie, piattaforme di condivisione di immagini, film e moda. La sua residenza ci fa navigare i sistemi di valori occidentali ed evidenzia il modo in cui internet ha facilitato l’uso del corpo desiderabile per il valore monetario.

Emir ha scelto due statuette della collezione africana e asiatica del Musée du Quai Branly di Parigi, utilizzando le loro circostanze ritualistiche e cerimoniali come punto di partenza per la sua ricerca sulle decorazioni e modifiche del corpo nella nostra cultura capitalistica. Le due statuette sono entrambi idoli, uno femminile e uno maschile, che illustrano ideali corporei un tempo venerati. La scultura femminile in legno Gwan è legata a ideali di bellezza fisica e di carattere, usata in cerimonie, veniva estratta dal suo santuario per essere lavata ritualmente, oliata e vestita. La figura maschile Behu Lawolo, realizzata in pietra, brillava come simbolo di mascolinità, ricchezza e status. Durante la sua residenza, Emir trasformerà questi oggetti inanimati dandogli gli aspetti fisici dettati dai nostri ideali visivi contemporanei.

 

Emir Šehanović ESH è nato nel 1981 a Tuzla, Bosnia-Erzegovina. Alla fine degli anni ’90 partecipava già attivamente alla scena locale della street art con lo pseudonimo Aorta. La sua biografia è ricca di esperienze – da progetti di street art, a mostre personali e collettive. Emir ha ricevuto riconoscimenti internazionali per i suoi progetti murali, video, stampe digitali e multimediali. Tradizione pagana, superstizione e occulto sono alcuni dei temi presenti nel suo lavoro. Il risultato finale può essere un collage, una stampa o un intervento spaziale, basato sul dominio digitale ma intruso da materiali specifici che hanno un profondo valore culturale per l’autore. Lo spazio riceve un trattamento speciale nelle sue opere, sia che si tratti di un intervento nello spazio pubblico o di un formato classico di un quadro.

Download Objects

1. Gwan Female Statue 39.4MB 2. Behu Lawölö Male Scultpure 16.8MB

golddust.sink.sexy

Rebecca Aston

During her November residency, Rebecca will explore Akan Gold Weights from the British Museum collection. Akan Gold Weights come from the region formerly known as the Gold Coast in Africa, or modern-day Ghana. They were used as part of a currency system to weigh gold dust to be traded for goods. The weights themselves hold many symbolic meanings that informed the act of trade. It was a flourishing system that the Portuguese first came into contact with, followed by other European nations such as the Dutch and the British. Later when the region was a British colony, the British banned this currency system and replaced it with their own. Many of these weights now remain in the British Museum collection, a few have been scanned and published online for download.

Focusing on time in the archive, or time as medium, Rebecca questions the unseen behind these 3D scans, which float out of context, perhaps more than ever before. In the context of museological acquisition and history telling, is the act of scanning an act of democratization? Who owns the gold weights now? Over the course of the month, drawing on media-archaeology and historical research, Rebecca will provide alternate ways to traverse through the data she unearths and collates. She will speculatively tie information into 3D form; looking at the dust that isn’t held in the archive. Questioning whether digitization can provide another picture, one that traces value, culpability, erasure and symbols. Towards the end of the residency you will be able to download a version of the artifact that attempts to capture this process.

 

Rebecca is a Zimbabwean artist currently based in London. She questions and decodes the meaning people embed in both physical and virtual spaces, objects and the environment. Looking through a post-colonial lens, she examines global flows of data, matter and people through history up until the present day and on into speculative futures. Temporality is central to her practice, both as medium, including capture technologies, computation and the moving image, as well as subject matter, in the form of history and memory. She is doing an MFA in Computational Art at Goldsmiths and has a BA in Fine Art from Yale.

 

Durante la sua residenza, Rebecca studierà i Akan Gold Weights della collezione del British Museum. I pesi d’oro Akan provengono dalla regione precedentemente conosciuta come la Costa d’Oro in Africa, l’odierno Ghana. Sono stati utilizzati come elemento di un sistema valutario per pesare la polvere d’oro da scambiare con le merci. I pesi stessi hanno molti significati simbolici che influenzarono l’atto del commercio. Era un sistema fiorente con cui i portoghesi entrarono in contatto per la prima volta, seguiti da altre nazioni europee come gli olandesi e gli inglesi. Più tardi, quando la regione era una colonia britannica, i britannici trapiantarono questo sistema monetario con il proprio. Molti di questi pesi ora rimangono nella collezione del British Museum, alcuni sono stati scansionati e pubblicati online per il download. Rebecca, concentrandosi sul tempo nell’archivio, o tempo come mezzo, si interroga sull’invisibile dietro queste scansioni 3D che galleggiano fuori contesto. Nel contesto dell’acquisizione museologica e del racconto storico, l’atto della scansione è un atto di democratizzazione? A chi appartengono i pesi d’oro oggi?

Nel corso del mese, attingendo all’archeologia dei media e alla ricerca storica, Rebecca fornirà modi alternativi per attraversare i dati che scopre e raccoglie. Legherà speculativamente le informazioni in forma 3D, guardando la polvere che non è contenuta nell’archivio, domandando se la digitalizzazione può fornire un’altra immagine, una che traccia valore, colpevolezza, cancellazione e simboli. Verso la fine della residenza potrete scaricare una versione dell’artefatto che tenta di catturare questo processo.

 

Rebecca è un’artista dello Zimbabwe, attualmente lavora e vive a Londra. Attraverso il suo lavoro, mette in discussione e decodifica il significato che le persone incorporano negli spazi fisici e virtuali, negli oggetti e nell’ambiente. Con una chiave postcoloniale, esamina i flussi globali di dati, materie e persone attraverso la storia fino ai nostri giorni e in un futuro speculativo. La temporalità è al centro della sua pratica, sia come mezzo, includendo le tecnologie di cattura, il calcolo e l’immagine in movimento, sia come soggetto, sotto forma di storia e memoria. Sta seguendo un MFA in Computational Art presso la Goldsmiths e ha conseguito un BA in Fine Art a Yale.

 

Download Objects

1. European Cannon Akan Gold Weight 13.30MB 2. Sitting Frog Akan Gold Weight 16.20MB 3. Asante Stool Akan Gold Weight 12.70MB 4. Sawfish Tails Akan Gold Weight 31.90MB 5. Decorated Flat Base Akan Gold Weight 8.20MB 6. Man Sitting Astride Horse Akan Gold Weight 43.80MB

gambits.sink.sexy

Johanna Flato

Johanna has a habit of inadvertently, but repeatedly, breaking the long-established rules of chess (we’re talking rules first established in India in the 6th century).

Amidst its many captured ‘hoards’ and artefacts, the British Museum prominently presents their own prized chess set as a pivotal ‘symbol of European civilisation.’ The Lewis Chessmen (AD 1150-1200) are a static collection of somber-faced royalty and faceless, formless pawns carved by Norsemen from whale teeth and walrus tusks and buried for centuries on a beach in the Western Isles. The British Museum acquired and glass-boxed the set after the trove was discovered in the 1800s. Now a digital shell of the set is available to download online.

For the October residency, Johanna invites visitors to participate in a new game on the sink platform, the rules and trajectories of which she’ll be making up and manipulating as the month advances. By playing along, visitors will join her in a non-linear inquiry into the revered mess of earnest concentration that chess typically calls for. Using the Lewis chess set as a starting point and the open-source platform Twine as an interactive storyboarding tool, Johanna and visiting players will encounter bad plays and bluffs; will explore parallels of ‘acquisition’ and violence in play, museology, and geopolitical war; and will see what happens when formulaic strategy and assumed rules and behaviours are corrupted. Beware broken hyperlinks.

At the end of the month and at the player’s completion of the game, an updated set of rules and a updated set of pieces will be be available for free download. 3D-print and play!

 

In her practice, Johanna creates research-based, iterative projects through which the tensions and thresholds between language, territory and technology are made visible. Her materials include maps, text, voice, and algorithms; variable outcomes span experimental micro-organizations, essays, digital video, installation, and, in this case, reconfigured chess sets.

Johanna ha l’abitudine di inavvertitamente, ma ripetutamente, infrangere le regole di lunga tradizione degli scacchi (stiamo parlando delle prime regole stabilite in India al VI secolo).

Tra i suoi numerosi ammassamenti e i suoi artefatti catturati, il British Museum presenta i suoi preziosi scacchi come “simbolo della civiltà europea”. I Lewis Chessmen (1150-1200 d.C.) sono una collezione statica di pedine senza volto o forma scolpite dai vichinghi a partire da denti di balena e zanne di tricheco e sepolte per secoli su una spiaggia delle Ebridi Esterne. Il British Museum acquistò e fece inscatolare il set dopo che il corredo fu scoperto nel 1800. Oggi come oggi, un guscio digitale del set è disponibile ad essere scaricato online su Sketchfab.

Per la residenza di ottobre, Johanna invita i visitatori a partecipare a un nuovo gioco su sink, le cui regole e traiettorie saranno inventate e manipolate man mano che il mese avanza. Giocando insieme, i visitatori si uniranno a lei in un’indagine non lineare del venerato pasticcio di sincera concentrazione richiesto di solito da una partita a scacchi. Utilizzando il set Lewis Chessmen come punto di partenza e la piattaforma open-source Twine come strumento di storyboarding interattivo, Johanna e i giocatori incontreranno cattivi giochi e bluff; esploreranno i paralleli tra processi di ‘acquisizione’ e violenza nel gioco, museologia e guerra geopolitica e vedranno cosa succede quando la strategia formulaica, le regole e i comportamenti assunti sono corrotti. Attenti ai hyperlinks rotti!

Alla fine del mese e al completamento del gioco, una versione nuova del gioco con regole e pedine aggiornate sara resa scaricabile. Stampate in 3D e giocate!

 

Nella sua pratica artistica Johanna crea progetti di ricerca interattivi attraverso i quali vengono rese visibili le tensioni e le soglie tra lingua, territorio e tecnologia. I suoi materiali includono mappe, testi, voce e algoritmi; gli esiti variabili comprendono microorganizzazioni sperimentali, saggi, video digitale, installazioni e, in questo caso, scacchiere riconfigurate.

Download Objects

1. Lewis Chess Set 5.80MB

idleinstitute.sink.sexy

Idle Institute

For their residency on sink, the Idle Institute have selected five 3D models of animal artefacts, each selected because of their parasitic qualities. For the Institute, each model will become a pretext for a poetic prank call. They are considered as zoomorphic symbols from five narrative worlds—entered via online chats, email threads and phone conversations.The Idle Institute made their selection in a ‘magpie’ manner, partially concealing the institutional and historical context. The objects were approached as triggers with narrative potential, becoming dingsymbols, totems in the fictional world of a story. A Boccaccian falcon becomes a curled rat from the Minneapolis Institute of Modern Art, a small, purely decorative sculpture once used to hang a pocket from a Kimono. Now, this curled relic of practical use will be resurrected as a digital pest and will seek to irritate multiple pest control sites…

The theme of a parasite is an excuse to naively initiate difficult questions of political urgency through awkward online and phone conversations. The 3d models of museum objects will be visually altered in response to the advice of business support helplines, pest control companies, sex chatrooms, zoos and restaurants to whom the prank calls will be directed. Working with objects of digital matter, the Idle Institute will attempt to ask questions about layers of representation, the translation of the corporeal to the symbolic and of the symbolic to the virtual.

 

The Idle Institute (established in 2017) is a storytelling lab: a collective of writers, filmmakers, sound-artists and engineers founded by Sonia Bernac, Eliot Allison and Bruno Klopott. Combining theories of the public sphere with quantum physics, they investigate the potentialities of the story – seen as virtual matter and a precise political tool. The Idle Institute’s projects build from narrative experiments: poetic traps in urban space, phone pranks, impersonation games and sci-fi installations. Currently developing a theory of the narratology of the public sphere, their research explores narrative entanglement, machine(s) of writing and technologies of storytelling.

They cheat occasionally, but only when it makes a good story…

Per la sua residenza, Idle Institute ha selezionato cinque modelli 3D di artefatti animali, scelti per la loro qualità parassitica. Per Idle Institute, ogni modello sarà un pretesto per mettere in atto dei poetici scherzi telefonici. Questi oggetti vengono considerati come dei simboli zoo-morfici di cinque mondi narrativi diversi, attraversati per mezzo di chiamate online, catene di email e conversazioni telefoniche.

Idle Institute ha fatto la sua selezione in modalità casuale, nascondendo in parte il contesto storico e istituzionale degli oggetti. Sono stati abbordati come stimoli con un potenziale di narrazione, diventando dingsymbols, totem nel mondo fittizio di una storia. Dal Minneapolis Institute of Modern Art, un Falco Boccaccio diventa un ratto arrotolato: una sculture piccola e puramente decorativa, una volta usata per appendere da una tasca di un Kimono. Ora, questa reliquia arrotolata di uso pratico sarà riesumata in un parassita digitale che cercherà di infettare un numero di siti di disinfestazione.

Il tema del parassita è una scusa per iniziare, in modo ingenuo, delle domande difficili di urgenza politica attraverso goffe chiamate online o telefoniche. I modelli 3d di oggetti museali saranno alterati visivamente rispondendo direttamente ai consigli dati da assistenze telefoniche, aziende di disinfestazione, chatroom di sesso, zoo e ristoranti ai quali questi scherzi saranno diretti.

Lavorando con oggetti di natura digitale, Idle Institute cercherà di fare domande sui livelli di rappresentazione, sulle traduzioni dallo stato corporeo allo stato simbolico e dallo stato simbolico a quello virtuale.

 

Idle Institute (costituito nel 2017) è un laboratorio per la narrazione di storie: un collettivo di scrittori, filmaker, sound-artist e ingegneri fondato da Sonia Bernac, Eliot Allison e Bruno Klopott. Mettendo assieme teorie della sfera pubblica con la fisica quantistica, investigano le potenzialità della storia – vista come materia virtuale e strumento politico. I progetti di Idle Institute si costruiscono da esperimenti narrativi: trappole poetiche in spazi urbani, scherzi telefonici, giochi di imitazione e installazioni sci-fi. Attualmente, sviluppando una teoria della narratologia della sfera pubblica, la loro ricerca esplora intrecci romanzeschi, macchine da scrivere e tecnologie dei racconti.

Download Objects

1. Netsuke – Curled Rat 9.31MB 2. Rhinoceros Beetle 27.00MB 3. Bobcat Effigy Pipe 1.00MB 4. Spitzmaus 7.00MB 5. Common Raven Cranium 5.00MB

polo.sink.sexy

Alessandro Polo

During this month’s residency Alessandro Polo will attempt to reconcile with the digital realm by presenting documentation of his offline, hands-on work. He’ll be working on creating new objects from found materials and making the most of DIY techniques to continuously and instinctively improve existing objects he finds in his proximity. He will be sharing step by step processes on his page throughout the month, like a diary of his strokes of genius; Alessandro will be providing us with a goody-bag of grand design which you are more than welcome to replicate at home.

07112913120.sink.sexy

Barbara Elamitic

You deserve to be happy.

Do you have problems with your life as an art world worker? We are here for you. We are the first phone line fortune telling service dedicated solely to young creatives. We will help guide you through love decisions, health difficulties and the stress of having to juggle 3 paying jobs to be able to afford to do the job you actually went to uni for, the job that you know deep down is your true calling. If this sounds like you, call us! We are available 24/7 at 07112913120 at a rate of 0.80£/minute. If you can’t afford these fees, we also accept payment through artworks: you will be able to upload them on our site and we’ll tell you if we want them.*

For one month Barbara Elamitic will bring you behind the scenes of a fictitious fortune telling service destined to you. She will gradually introduce the army of women who are the psychic readers behind SINK fortune telling. She delves within their lives and gives you the opportunity to get to know them as she imagines a service she could, as a young artist, need at any time. The women Barbara speaks of are loosely inspired by women from her own life.

 

*All calls are recorded; the caller must be 18 or over and have the bill payer’s permission. Readings under UK law are deemed to be for entertainment only.

rendercolour.sink.sexy

Natália Trejbalová

During her residency Natália Trejbalová presents a story that she will slowly reveal. She invites us to navigate between possible facts and fictions through signs that stand as landmarks, anti-monuments used as selfie backgrounds and an AI creative unpredictability that generates temporary landscape scenery.

chiselmebadd.sink.sexy

Francesca Tamse

During her residency, Francesca will work on images taken from Western historically male dominated groups in sport and vocation. Every three days she will publish a new study created by using found material from internet database and existing archives. Chiselmebadd will work as an evolving blog of studies that will be replaced by an online collection of final collages by the end of the residency.

naturedoesnotexist.sink.sexy

Giulio Scalisi

And as we wind on down this road, our shadow getting taller than our soul, we must undo our conscience’s knots and embrace what else was left at the perimeters of our thoughts. So if committing such crime must be my fate I’ll gladly reject our idea of nature so that I could have you look back at my face oh weird, twisted, fucked up creatures.

Let the nymphs of the forest tell you: *nature does not exist*.

In Giulio’s endless forest reside some adorable nymphs, elves and other enchanting creatures. When you find them you can download them and keep them forever. They might just haunt the deep crevices found in the bellies of your devices whilst in search of another corporeal forest. Until then, happy nymph-watching!

opticon.sink.sexy

Janis Lejins

31/11/2017 11:00: This December, Sink’s resident is Janis Lejins.

31/11/2017 11:01: Also we have it on some authority that Jesus was born in December

31/11/2017 11:02: Buddha got enlightenment then too (8th), plus it’s Hanukkah, Human Rights Day and Kwanzaa (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_multinational_festivals_and_holidays#December)

31/11/2017: 11:03: ha, so happy holidays! I guess.

31/11/2017 11:07: Maybe – it remains to be seen – Is the timing a coincidence? (Janis + Jesus)

31/11/2017 11:10: Who knows.

31/11/2017 11:20: … Apparently Jesus’ dad was omnipotent.

31/11/2017 11:30: , Well I guess he knows then.

31/11/2017 11:35: … – I heard he is dead.

31/11/2017 11:36: What? , Who killed him?

31/11/2017 11:36: – us.

31/11/2017 11:37: Oh.

31/11/2017 11:40: … Anyhow. Janis is circumnavigating the world this festive season. He’s going from Shanghai to London to Sydney to Hawaii to London to do his research.

31/11/2017 11:41: Really? What is his research?

31/11/2017 11:44: Not sure. I think he’s just going home for Christmas and trying to dress it up. He just sent us this:
opticon. plural -s. : an external enlargement of the optic lobe of the insect brain that is the innermost of the ganglionic masses connected with the compound eye.

31/11/2017 11:50: – Maybe he is trying to see everything then.

31/11/2017 11:50: Potentially

31/11/2017 11:52: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Messiah_complex

31/11/2017 11:54: .. Maybe?

31/11/2017 11:57: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/God_complex

31/11/2017 11:58: That could be anyone

31/11/2017 11:58: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Narcissistic_personality_disorder

31/11/2017 11:59: I mean that’s more Trump or Hirst but… potentially I mean his wifi password is janisisgod

01/12/2017 12:00: – Plus he wrote this script.

yxes.knis.sink.sexy

Name Surname

I was asked ‘What question would you ask yourself? I thought hard to find one, only to discover the initial question resonating, repeating itself like a mantra. What question would I ask myself? I came to think that THAT would have be the question. To ask yourself a question is to not know the answer, as, if you did know, to question is impossible.

Taking the residency time structure as a point of departure, I will make one work (that I shall call here, an answer) each day, that will in some capacity go on to inform the next. I want to find the parameters of answers, whereby the question is only formulated once the answer has presented itself.

A new experience, everyday for the duration of the month. What will happen will inform the means or medium in which it is made.

everythingbutthekitchen.sink.sexy

Jessica Samuel

sink – verb /ˈsiŋk / – Popularity: Bottom 50% of words

To go to the bottom. A trip to the buttocks. An excursion to the rear. Or maybe some would put it as is to become partly buried – (as in mud), (as in gunge), (as in plunging your hands in), (as in being in trouble for the mess on your new trousers). Similarly to become engulfed [not] enlarged, enflamed, enraged or engorged. But again it is to fall or drop to a lower place or a lower level or even lower than that if it’s possible. An utterance from another could be that it is to burn with lower intensity – a limp little match flickering in the rain, endeavouring regardless of futility (and disgusting all the same).

I found a newspaper a few weeks ago, printed on 12 September 2001. The combination of images, articles and adverts made for such a beautiful display of irony (a multitude of ironies) that I quickly became obsessed with it. For the month of October I will be digging – attempting to find whatever it is about this particular swamp that draws me in. It would be nice if you came along – let us Sink together.

thememoryofthepeasant.sink.sexy

Edoardo Manzoni

For the month of September, Edoardo Manzoni has chosen to share part of his research linked to Italian rural realities and material culture. He suggests a return to the primitive and the pastoral as an analogy of a study carried out by radical Italian architects and designers of the 70s, notably that of Superstudio: An investigation of peasant manual labour and most particularly of their capacity of being self sustainable as a way to define the true necessities of man today.

The anthropological experience of any planet, earth included, is inevitably mediated through a series of tools, an assemblage of devices which cultivate and transform an environment that would otherwise be uninhabitable. We look at the landscape to understand the reasons for our actions, the ones that permanently leave a mark of domestication on our planet. We also look at time itself to seek responses for the emotions left by dawn and the mysteries that great landscapes awake in ourselves. We look at seasons, the stars and planets. We look at distant space, free from any set paths that delineate new terms of creation and knowledge as the ones here on Earth.

malchevadaandrabene.sink.sexy

Caterina Gobbi

This August, sink’s resident is Caterina Gobbi. She’ll be traveling south from Northern Italy to end up settling in Sicily. For her residency she will be trying to make sense of moving restlessly on the road whilst being an artist in residence. This feat will be accomplished following her grandma’s precious advice: being safe, promptly saying prayers and never forgetting the legacies of italianitude that flow through her veins.

instant-monuments.sink.sexy

Agostino Quaranta

Rome, where I grew up, is characterized by its strong bonds to classical culture. Latin language is the official language for the Vatican City State; the cultural heritage of the city is endlessly painted in political speeches and national television like a testament to this Italian idealized obsession with the past. The use of fancy and outdated expressions like ‘immeasurable heritage’, ‘eternal’, or any other reference to the Ancient Rome are all fragments that perpetuate a glorious ‘history’. This has pushed me to dig into past and present events, and create dialogues between them. I like to embrace the paradoxes of being a digital native that has grown up amidst the reminiscence of a conservative capital.

I’m currently interested in the values of antiquity and the production of replicas it generates. My residency on sink is dedicated to considering the contemporary life of historical monuments and the dichotomy between what should be real, original, and what should be exclusively understood as a copy. Can the future consolidate the value of the original monuments with that of the replicas? What will become of the originals and the value it is given to them? My starting point will be the Colosseum iconography since it is generally considered as one of the most recognizable site associated with Roman ancient past.

visitkipuka.sink.sexy

Riccardo Sossella

Visitkipuka is an open e-vite to visit oddly familiar places through a series of overlapping narratives, all set in the same fictional touristic destination.

We know every object, every shape, every island, every word has been colonized multiple times over history, and in the process of losing their ’authentic’ meanings and conquering new ones, these tokens have also accumulated power. This energy is the result of the deconstruction and subsequent requisition of structures over a defined space, whether cultural or geographical. I believe these metamorphoses have the capacity to crack open icons and symbols, unleashing their savage and rebellious nature.

Witness the formation of an archipelago as the day unfolds, knowing that misinterpretation is the only condition through which this journey can be fully experienced.

Archive of Everything and Nothing Jaana-Kristiina Alakoski Rosa Johan Uddoh Samboleap Tol The Cool Couple Yushi Li Johanna Flato Alessandro Moroni Lydia Blakeley Georgia Lucas–Going Deo Suveera Virginia Garra Anna Frijstein Sara Procter Luca George Jungyoon Hyen Puck Verkade Max Colson Giulio Scalisi Stefania Carlotti Vasiliki Antonopoulou Tereza Cervenova Name Surname Isabelle Levadoux Isabella Benshimol Nora Silva Aldo Lurgo Guendalina Cerruti Stefano Filipponi Caterina Gobbi Edoardo Manzoni

Archive of Everything and Nothing

16.12.18 @?hl=en

How do you present yourself on your CV or motivation letters?

I usually am really straightforward with how everything works and I’m really anti-personal-statements, I never give personal statements. Pretty much never, unless I feel like it’s gonna be useful. It’s usually quite difficult to define things and I find it quite difficult to speak in general and precisely because things are complicated and spiralling. I feel like it’s just touching things at the surface to pinpoint things, and like, if I were to a statement it’d probably be like 40 pages long, and it would be some like video or performance. I’d rather not engage in that generally.

What’s in/on your bedside table?

My bedside table is like a drill set box that came with my drill, it’s just a box that sits there with stacked up bills that I need to pay and plants basically..haha and things that I’m reading, books and shit.

What company or franchise do you wish would go out of business?

Mcdonalds. 100%. Mcdonalds is the devil. Yea.. haha. Mcdonalds is the devil 100%. Recently I’ve gotten into the bad habit of getting filet-o-fish and fries cus I’ve been stealing all the vouchers from the metro. And I’ve been drinking too much and ending up going there because it’s the only place open, but I boycotted it for like 4 years or something. So if ever it goes out of business I wouldn’t have to go there at all haha…Actually, I’ve realised the corporation I want to go out of business more than anything is Nike. Too late to swap? Nike if definitely the devil.

 

An event this year that had a direct impact on your practice?

I think starting the RA (Royal Academy) was the biggest thing because it made me think a lot about things because usually I’m quite a fast worker and I overproduce quite a lot, I make a lot of stuff. Since I’ve started this masters I’ve been learning how to slow down because I’ve got 3 years so I’m not in any rush, and the work has changed a lot. I’ve got time, I’m not in any rush to get anywhere. I don’t really do research but I spend more time sitting with things, I’m working on objects I’ve been working on for like the past 3 months maybe, and I’d never spend that long making a thing. I’ll sit with it then I think it might need some paint, then I might carve a piece off it, I’ll take it apart and put it back together in another way, so I’m like constantly working on these objects. I’ve maybe got like 6 of them which I’m working on at the same time, it’s so much richer I think. So learning pace in general…but also being really broke! It’s probably had a big effect on me because I don’t have money to produce anymore, I have to sit with the things that I have!

Ketchup or Mayonnaise?

Neither! Hahaha neither! I used to eat mayo all the time but eggs are really gross so I don’t eat mayo anymore. And ketchup is just not that interesting. I’m always fascinated by people who are really obsessed with ketchup but I’d rather just have like olive oil or something. This new Siracha mayo thing is really good, it’s like vegan and really nice.

The last music video that your watched?

It might have been yesterday. My friend basically sends me music videos, like 5 a day. I try to get through this stuff, like the backlog of shit, most of the time.

If you could play one instrument really well, which would it be?

Jazz trumpet, yea straight up. That would be my dream. I really I really wanna be a jazz musician but I can’t play music so I make things. I used to play the violin and the flute… but really bad, I never got anywhere so I just quit before.

The last exhibition where you thought ‘wow’?

Yea, that was today actually: Francis Upritchard at the Barbican Curve. She makes these figurative sculptures, the work was amazing. I’m kind of obsessed with figurative sculpture and the moment and just trying to make figurative sculpture, so just seeing how she does it was really exciting.

A life hack for us?

My life hack is: meditate. lol.

A question for us… something you’ve been thinking or reflecting on?

If you, like Crusoe after a shipwreck landed on an island, and you’ve got all the books in the world but you know you’re never gonna see a living face ever again, would you open the books? (I got that from Darren Bader’s book Life As a Readymade by the way.) Would you read the books knowing you would never see another human again? That’s my question. Which really just means: if you’re like alone and you know that there’s no more knowledge to pass onto anyone, is there any point? Surely you’d burn them all to keep warm right? Is it worth knowing anymore knowledge if you know you’re just gonna die?

 

I don’t know if I’d wanna read any of it. Why I find this question interesting is because it translates to making, and like making in isolation knowing nobody is ever going to see anything you make, is it worth making anything?

 

This ties into maybe the CV question and about self-promotion… like I don’t really self-promote, I haven’t really posted about the show I’m in (New Contemporaries) and I don’t really think I need to. I don’t really like the model people are following at the moment (with instagram)… maybe I’m lucky, like I’m here with a 3 year master, I don’t need to rush to try and survive as an artist, I’ve got the luxury of time and not needing to push myself too hard… but I think it’s a scary place that art is moving to where people are constantly promoting themselves and what they’re doing. I think we should be promoting the work, and not the character, the brand. It’s turning into a branding exercise and I’m not into that.

 

So, maybe I would keep making, obviously people see stuff, like we’re talking now and people see things and you are pushed into the world, but I mostly make things in isolation and it’s about a balance I think. If I was on the island and asked if I would make things knowing I’d never see another human again: yes.

16.12.18 @?hl=en

Come ti presenti sul tuo CV o lettere di motivazione?

Di solito diretto ed onesto. Sono veramente contro gli statement, non do mai un ‘personal statement’. Quasi mai, a meno che non senti l’utilità di farlo. È abbastanza difficile definire le cose e trovo sia difficile parlare in generale proprio perché le cose sono complesse e si muovono in spirale. Penso che scrivere uno ‘statement’ sia soltanto toccare le cose in superficie per individuarle, e se io dovessi scrivere uno statement sarebbe lungo circa 40 pagine, e sarebbe un video o una performance. Ma preferirei non partecipare in questi modelli in generale.

Cosa c’e dentro o sopra al tuo comodino?

Il mio comodino è una specie di scatola per trapano che è arrivata con il mio trapano, è semplicemente una scatola seduta lì con pile di bollette che devo ancora pagare e piante… haha, e cose che sto leggendo, libre e altra roba.

Quale compagnia o franchising ti piacerebbe vedere fallire?

Mcdonalds. 100%, Mcdonalds è il diavolo. Si… hahahah. Mcdonalds è il diavolo al 100%. Di recente ho svilupatto la brutta abitudine di prendermi il filet-o-fish con patatine perché rubavo i vouchers dalla metro. E poi bevevo troppo e finivo li perché era l’unico posto aperto, ma ho boicottato Mcdonalds per 4 anni. Perciò se fallisce non potrò mai più andarci haha… Anzi, ho realizzato che la compagnia che vorrei vedere fallire è Nike. Troppo tardi per cambiare? Nike è definitivamente il diavolo.

Un evento di quest’anno che ha avuto un impatto diretto sulla tua pratica?

Penso il fatto di aver iniziato il corso alla RA (Royal Academy) è la cosa più grande perché mi ha fatto pensare molto alla mia pratica, perché di solito lavoro molto veloce e produco un sacco, faccio tanta roba. Da quando ho iniziato questo Master sto imparando a rallentare perché ho 3 anni perciò non sono di fretta, e il lavoro è cambiato tanto. Ho tempo, non sono di fretta ad arrivare da qualche parte. Non faccio veramente ricerca ma passo più tempo affianco alle cose, sto lavorando su oggetti su cui ho lavorato per gli ultimi 3 mesi magari, e di solito non avrei passato mai così tanto tempo a creare qualcosa. Mi siedo affianco e poi penso che ha bisogno di un po’ di pittura, poi magari ne ricavo fuori un pezzo, lo decostruisco poi lo ricompongo in un altro modo, perciò sto costantemente lavorando su questi oggetti. No ho magai tipo 6 sui quali sto lavorando allo stesso momento, è un processo più ricco penso. Quindi il passo con il quale sto imparando in generale… ma anche essere al verde! Ha avuto un grosso effetto su di me perché non ho soldi per produrre perciò sto tanto tempo con le cose che ho!

Ketchup o maionese?

Nessuno! Hahaha nessuno dei due! Mangiavo sempre la maionese ma le uova mi fanno schifo perciò non mangio più la maionese. E il ketchup non è poi cosi interessante. Sono sempre affascinato da persone che sono ossessionate con il ketchup ma preferirei avere un po’ di olio d’oliva o qualcosa del genere. C’è questa nuova salsa maionese Sriracha è veramente buona, è vegana e super buona!

L’ultimo videoclip che ti sei guardato?

Mi sa che era ieri. Il mio amico mi manda video, tipo 5 al giorno. Cerco di vederli tutti, un’accumulamento di roba, la maggior parte del tempo.

Se potessi suonare uno strumento, quale sarebbe?

La tromba jazz, sinceramente si. Sarebbe il mio sogno. Volevo veramente essere un musicista jazz ma non so veramente suonare perciò creo cose. Prima suonavo il violino e il flauto… ma molto male, non sono mai arrivato da nessuna parte perciò mi sono fermato prima.

L’ultima mostra che hai visto che ti ha fatto pensare ‘wow’?

È stato oggi infatti: Francis Upritchard alla Curve del Barbican. Crea queste sculpture figurative, il lavoro è fantastico. Sono un po’ ossessionato con sculture figurative in questo momento e sto cercando di crearle me stesso, perciò vedere come le fa lei è stato eccitante.

Un life hack per noi?

Il mio life hack: meditate. Lol.

Una domanda per noi? Qualcosa sul quale stai riflettendo di recente?

Se tu, come Crusoe dopo un naufragio atterri su un isola deserta e hai tutti i libri del mondo ma sai che non vedrai mai più nessuno, apriresti i libri? (questo l’ho trovato in un libro di Darren Bader che si chiama Life as Readymade) Leggeresti i libri sapendo che non vedrai mai un’altro essere umano? Quella è la mia domanda. Che in realtà vuol dire: se sei da solo/a e che non c’è sapere da trasmettere a nessuno, perché leggere? Di sicuro li bruceresti per stare al caldo no? È importante sapere di più se poi di sicuro morirai?

 

Non so se ne vorrei leggere. Trovo questa domanda interessante perché si traduce nel produrre, e nel produrre in isolazione sapendo che nessuno mai vedrà quello che produci, è valido continuare a produrre?

 

Questo si lega alla domanda del CV e dell’auto promozione… che tipo a me non piace proprio auto-promuovermi, non ho versamento postato a proposito della mostra nella quale sono al momento (New Contemporaries) e non penso di doverlo fare. Non mi piace la struttura che la gente sta seguendo ora (su Instagram)… magari sono fortunato, tipo che sono qui con un master di 3 anni, non devo spingermi troppo… ma penso che sia una direzione paurosa quella verso la quale l’arte di oggi si sta muovendo, dove la gente si sta costantemente promuovendo con quello che sta facendo. Penso che dobbiamo promuovere il lavoro, e non il personaggio, il marchio. Sta diventando un esercizio di branding e a me non interessa.

 

Quindi, mi sa chi io continuerei a produrre, è ovvio che la gente vede cose, e uno viene spinto nel mondo, ma io creo principalmente nel isolazione e penso che si debba trovare un equilibrio giusto. Se io fosse sull’isola e mi facessero la domanda: creeresti cose sapendo di mai più vedere nessuno? La mia risposta sarebbe si.

Jaana-Kristiina Alakoski

What role do ethics have in making art?

I would say that ethics mostly become relevant in relation to labour and how the context of art labour is conducted (if you can say that?)… and I guess it has a role if a piece involves ethics!

Do you have any piercings/tattoos?

Yes! I have like 5 in my ears, one in my belly button and I guess I have like 4 tattoos or something. Wait, let me count, yes, 4! For the belly button ring… it’s because I wanted to be like Britney Spears and I still want to be like her because it will never leave my consciousness.

Does she still have it?

Yes! I’m pretty sure.

Can you tell us of one thing you remember seeing on instagram today?

Hahah, my own post. I’ve been looking at my own posts today, evaluating them and stuff, and I really clearly remember my own post. It’s a screenshot from another account which I’ve been following for a really long time which is a meme with to M&Ms talking to one another.

And then the twist is that I added a text: ‘All middle class girls in Sweden’.

The best boy band ever?

Oh my god, I’ve never listened to a boy band! I don’t know.

A text you’ve consulted recently for your work?

Ouu, interesting. I‘ve been working a lot with Maurice Merleau-Ponty and his book ‘Phenomenology of Perception’. I’m working together with a friend on compiling an exhibition with other artists as well, based on a philosophical premise that is derived from his work, but that is also derived into a fictional premise; something that could be possible if we use his thoughts. It’s going to be in June next year.

What’s your favourite smell?

Rain on asphalt. Very cliche but that’s it…but has to be kind of warm asphalt and I guess it has to be surrounded by some greenery I would say, it can’t be just asphalt.

A movie you can watch over and over?

Inception. I think I saw it maybe 2 months ago or something, but maybe I’m more of a TV show girl. I have my TV shows that I have watched all the seasons like 7 times over and over. I don’t know if everybody does that but I do have that. Like ‘True Blood’ is the latest one… but also this fucking shame of my life, I can’t believe I’m admitting to it but also ‘How I Met Your Mother’ I’ve watched like 20 times, it’s so bad. I watch it if I don’t want to think about anything, and if like I’m tired, I kind of don’t even watch it, I just turn it on and listen to it and think to myself ‘Oh my god, this is embarassing’ or ‘oh they’re so sexist, they’re homophobic, omg it’s actually racist’ and I still kind of enjoy having it there because it’s something I remember from my childhood. It’s like kind of having the voices of a known environment around me.

Have you ever locked yourself outside of the house?

Yes. Yea, many times I guess. I can’t even remember all the times. The very last time I just locked myself out of mine and Guendalina’s room in the house we currently live in. I was just in the kitchen and we lock our room because we live with so many randos. The door locks by itself and luckily the window was open and I just climbed back in so I was fine. I just had a thought that maybe I should always leave the window open so that I can always come in. It’s on the second floor, there’s a little roof thingy that you can hold onto and climb up.

A painter you like? 

I did see something recently. I’m so bad with names so I need to look. I see the paintings but I don’t remember the artist. It looked soft, blurred but still detailed like reddish scales and simple with beautiful light.

Scales, like fish scales?

No, scales of red of basically portraits of men, like gay men. I’m sure you’ve seen it, people have been into her lately this painter. I also saw a painter using airbrush paint that looks really digital. Maybe I’d like to name drop her as well, I don’t know haha!

 

The ‘red’ lol
https://xinyichengart.com/

And then the airbrush painter:
http://nug.jp/en/artist/harumi_yamaguchi.html

Do you have a life hack to share with us?

I remember once I thought to myself that I was doing a life hack, which is such a funny life hack because it’s not really a hack – but it becomes a hack because it’s such an obvious thing that you wouldn’t think about it. It’s when, you know, you have a water bottle that’s too big for a tap and can’t fill it up so you’re like ‘damn it, what am I gonna do? I can’t just crumple this up into a small bottle and fill it. The hack is that: you actually can! You can just squeeze it, make it small, almost ruin it, fill it up and then you’re fine! I do it almost every day.

Do you have a question for us?

I had this in a conversation with a friend and with Guendalina yesterday. We were talking about people’s CVs and job applications. And we stated that there are 2 types of people, The ones that go for the strategy of ‘I would be so dedicated, I love your company, I really wanna work for you, I’m really excited’ and they go for all of it. Then there are the ones that go for a strategy that is ‘I’m a little bit too good for this, you should be really happy to have me, I don’t want this job but it would be great if you got me’ the ones that try to play it cool basically. And the question is: Which type are you?

Which type are you?

The one that crawls, the one that’s like ‘I would like to work hereee, I’m gonna be dedicated!!’

Che ruolo ha l’etica nel fare arte?

Direi che l’etica diventa rilevante quando si tratta di lavoro e come il contesto nel quale viene fatto (se si puo dire?)… Penso che abbia anche un ruolo se l’opera d’arte ha a che fare con l’etica.

Hai dei piercing o tatuaggi?

Si! Ne ho tipo cinque nelle orecchie, uno all’ombelico e penso di avere 4 tatuaggi o qualcosa del genere. Aspettate che conto, si, 4! Per il piercing all’ombelico… volevo essere come Britney Spears e ho ancora voglia di assomigliarli, questo non lascerà mai la mia coscienza.

Ce l’ha ancora Britney?

Si, sono abbastanza sicura.

Una cosa che ti ricordi di avere visto oggi su instagram?

Hahaha, il mio proprio post. Oggi stavo guardando i miei post, valutandoli e roba del genere, quindi mi ricordo chiaramente un mio post. E’ uno screenshot di un altro account che sto seguendo da un bel po’ di tempo ed è un meme con 2 M&Ms che si parlano e poi ho aggiunto il testo: ‘le ragazze svedesi della borghesia’.

 

La migliore boy band che esiste?

Oh mio dio, non ho mai ascoltato una boy band. Non lo so!

Un testo che hai consultato di recente per un tuo lavoro?

Uuuu, interessante. Stavo lavorando tanto con Maurice Merleau-Ponty e il suo libro ‘Fenomenologia della percezione’. Sto preparando una mostra con una amica, coinvolge altri artisti e si basa su una premessa filosofica che deriva dal suo lavoro ma che deriva anche in una premessa fittizia: quello che potrebbe essere possibile se usassimo i suoi pensieri. Sarà a giugno dell’anno prossimo.

Cos’è il tuo odore preferito?

La pioggia sull’asfalto. Molto cliché ma è quello…ma deve essere asfalto caldo e penso che deve essere circondato da un po’ di vegetazione direi, non può semplicemente essere asfalto.

Un film che puoi rivedere all’infinito?

Inception. Penso di averlo visto 2 mesi fa. Ma magari sono una persona che si da di più alle serie TV. Ho le mie serie di cui ho visto tutte le stagioni all’infinito. Non so se tutti lo fanno ma io si. Tipo ‘True Blood’ è l’ultima…ma anche questa grossa vergogna della mia vita, e non posso credere che lo sto ammettendo, ‘How I met your mother’ l’avrò’ vista tipo 20 volte, e’ terribile. La guardo se non voglio pensare ad altro e se sono stanca, non la guardo neanche in realtà, la metto su e ascolto e mi dico ‘oh mio dio, questo è imbarazzante’ oppure ‘oh, quanto sono sessisti, sono omofobi, oh mio dio sono veramente razzisti’ e mi piace averla lì comunque perché è qualcosa che mi ricorda la mia infanzia. È come essere circondata da voci con le quali sono familiare.

Ti sei mai chiusa fuori di casa?

Si. Si, tante volte penso. Non mi ricordo neanche quante volte. L’ultima volta mi sono chiusa fuori dalla stanza nella quale vivo con Guendalina, dentro alla casa in cui viviamo attualmente. Ero in cucina, e chiudiamo a chiave la nostra stanza perché’ viviamo con delle persone un po a caso. La porta si chiude da sola e per fortuna la finestra era aperta quindi sono scalata dentro. Ho pensato di sempre lasciare la finestra aperta per questo motivo. E’ sul secondo piano, c’è un piccole tettuccio sul quale posso aggrapparmi e salire.

Un pittore/pittrice che ti piace?

Ho visto qualcosa di recente. Sono terribile con i nomi perciò devo guardare. Mi immagino i dipinti ma non mi ricordo il nome dell’artista. Erano morbidi, sfuocati ma allo stesso tempo dettagliati con tonalità’ di rosso e semplici con una bella luce. In pratica ritratti di uomini, uomini omosessuali. Sono sicura che li avete visti, la gente impazzisce per i suoi dipinti ultimamente. Ho anche visto dipinti di una pittrice che usa la pittura con l’airbrush che li fa sembrare digitali.

Quello ‘rosso’ lol
https://xinyichengart.com/

And la pittrice che usa il airbrush:
http://nug.jp/en/artist/harumi_yamaguchi.html

Hai un life hack per noi?

Me ne ricordo di uno che stavo facendo ed è buffo perché non sembra veramente un lifehack ma ne diventa uno perché è una cosa molto ovvia da fare alla quale uno non pensa. E’ quando hai una bottiglia d’acqua e la devi riempire ma la bottiglia è troppo grossa per stare sotto al rubinetto. E uno pensa ‘cavolo, cosa faccio? Non posso fare niente’ e invece devi solo accartocciarla e poi riempirla, questo è il life hack: lo si può fare! Devi solo schiacciarla, farla diventare più piccola, quasi rovinarla, poi riempirla e funziona! Lo faccio quasi tutti i giorni.

Una domanda che ti faresti?

Stavo avendo questa conversazione con un’amica e Guendalina ieri. Stavamo parlando di CV e candidature di lavoro. E ci siamo dette che ci sono 2 tipi di gente, quelli che usano la strategia ‘sarei super impegnata, mi piace tantissimo la vostra compagnia, vorrei tanto lavorare per voi, non vedo l’ora’ e ce la mettono tutta. E poi ci sono quelli che usano la strategia che è ‘ io sono un po’ troppo bravo per questo lavoro, dovreste essere felici di avermi, non voglio veramente avere questo lavoro ma sarebbe ottimo se io lavorassi con voi’ quelli che se la tirano e cercano di giocarsela cool. E mia la domanda è che tipo se tu?

E che tipo sei tu?

Quello che gattona, quella che è del tipo ‘Voglio lavorare quiiiii, sarò super impegnataa!!!’

Rosa Johan Uddoh

Do you leave the house with 100% or 30% battery on your phone?

I am 100%. 100% yea. There is no point in leaving the house with just 30% because it’ll just be dead by the end of the street. I would say that I’m pretty successful in doing so, it’s one of the ones I’m actually quite good at.

A sport you excelled at as a child?

Ehmm I was really good at netball. I was alright at tennis though I could never really get the serve down which is ironic since now I just spend like all of my life performing this one performance called The Serve. I dabbled in a bit of lacrosse… that was a bit of a strange experience because I went to like a normal state comp school and the only schools that played lacrosse were these really crazy boarding schools so we’d always go and play these schools in their beautiful grounds and we’d get absolutely smashed every single time! It was kind of learning a lesson I guess [hahaha], like the rich are just really rich, and better than you at sport! Hahaha… but I like to think I was pretty good within the school.

Do you want to tell us a bit more about The Serve performance?

It’s a performance about my autobiography, between me and my sisters’ relationship but also about the Williams sisters’ relationship, Venus and Serena, and kind of blurring the two. My dad plays tennis and he’s really obsessed, like making us become the next Williams sisters, which is quite a common thing. And my brother too, he was also going to be like the next Williams sisters. He’d take us to the local court and play all the time. We weren’t that good, like I said, but you know, he loved it and we didn’t want to let him down. We’d always get in the car on the way back and we’d be like ‘Dad, dad! Rate us! Rate us!’ and he’s be like ‘Ook, today Rosa a 7 for accuracy and a 5 for speed’ and those kinds of things. I was always a very slow tennis player, the balls I would hit were unexpectedly slow so that was kind of my secret weapon.

Loose or tight fitting clothes?

I want to say tight, I know that that is better, but I mean yea: loose fitting clothes… sadly, sadly. It’s a shame you know, I know it’s patriarchal to say but it’s a shame, we’re in our like 20s, we’re young, we should be wearing tight clothes, we haven’t got that much longer you know!? It’s more that you should embrace your body at every stage and if you wear loose clothes the whole time you won’t even know and you’re body is just doing whatever, it’s kind of sad all round. Anyways, I live by that, it’s just what I do! haha

I actually watched this film Irma Vep, from the 90s, it’s a French film. In it the character just wears like this bondage kind of spandex suit for the whole film. It’s kind of a joke and part of the joke is that it’s meant to be a satire of french cinema. Every time she moves it just goes like ‘chrrrrr’

One song you’ve had on loop?

You know what, I don’t actually listen to any music, it’s really bad hahaha… I just listen to the BBC world service, constantly. I find it just puts everything in perspective.

One spice you can’t live without?

Scary Spice!

The Spice Girls are going back on tour right?

Yea, I’m trying to get a free ticket that’s why I’m bringing up Scary Spice! Just mentioning her in the press, in a podcast, maybe they can just find me a free ticket. I’m imaging this panel talk with these women and they need somebody to come and talk about the spice girls and I’m just trying to position myself as an expert hahaha…

A work that you never started or never finished?

I do have one of these with small ears, I’ve looked up people of the internet and just zoomed in on their ears up close and then just made it out of clay. I have Obama’s ear. I don’t really know what to do, I like have all of these ears, I just got quite obsessed. I don’t know what’s going to happen with the ears, they’re weird really. I also have cheddar man, this prehistoric guy they found in England, who’s like the first European sign of man, they’ve reconstructed his face and I did a little clay of his nose haha!

What fictional villain do you identify with?

I would say boss baby. Is boss baby a villain? Do you know boss baby? I don’t think I’ve actually seen the film but I’ve just seen pictures of him. It’s a baby but he’s a boss, there’s just something about him. There’s a TV series as well on Netflix, that’s what I’ve seen.

What are you really happy about being terrible at?

I think probably dancing. I’m quite bad at dancing but I quite enjoy dancing and I obviously do a lot of performance where I dance.

Can you share with us a life hack?

A life hack from my grandma would be something like Brandy gets you rid of hiccups or something like that, haha.

 

The other day I deleted my email app from my phone. I don’t know if that’s just impractical but it made me feel good at the time. It was liberating just the act of deleting. My boyfriend was like ‘can you even delete the email app?’ and I was like ‘Yeah! I’m just gonna do it!’ and he was like ‘No! Don’t do it! It’s going to be really annoying’, ‘Yeah! I’m just gonna do it!’ And I did it! That was exciting. Delete the mail app!

 

I feel like with the email app I’m really getting somewhere, like I’m really getting to the heart of the phone, it being one of the essential apps. I could try to delete the clock app…that’s a bit crazy hahaha. I’m going to do that! I’m just going to do that! Can you even do it? Has anyone ever done it before? Oh my god yes, I’m going to do that when I get off this call!

A question/something you’ve been asking yourself lately?

If I’m honest, the question I’ve been asking myself is: What role do ethics have in making art? It’s quite a deep question… I think that the answer may lie in another question which is: why do I make art? The reason I make art is so that I feel good, does that mean that I can do anything in art to make myself feel good? I mean no, obviously because I’m not like a psychopath… but it is a question for me when I’m setting up performances or thinking of audiences for my art work. Where does outreach and accessibility fit in when creatively exploring something which might be problematic? I’m coming to this from a black feminist perspective and someone who is engaged and interested in work that is about participation and accessibility and one of the main reasons I make work like that is because I think it’s the right thing to do… Is that making the most interesting artwork? I don’t know…but that’s what I’ve been thinking about recently.

Esci di casa con il 100% o il 30% di batteria sul tuo telefono?

Direi al 100%. 100% sì. Non ha senso uscire di casa con solo il 30% perché morirà prima di arrivare alla fine della strada. Direi che ho un discreto successo nel farlo, è una di quelle cose che riesco a fare.

Uno sport al quale eri bravissima da bambina?

Hmm ero davvero brava a giocare a netball. Andavo bene a tennis, anche se non ho mai avuto un buon servizio, il che è ironico, dato che ora passo tutta la mia vita a fare questa performance che si chiama The Serve. Ho provato un po’ di lacrosse… è stata un’esperienza un po’ strana, perché frequentavo una normale scuola statale e le uniche scuole che giocavano a lacrosse erano questi collegi davvero folli quindi andavamo sempre a giocare contro queste scuole nei loro bellissimi campi e ci distruggevano ogni volta! Almeno ho imparato una lezione: i ricchi sono solo molto ricchi e più bravi di te nello sport! Haha….. ma direi che ero tra le più brave della mia scuola.

Vuoi dirci un po’ di più sulla performance The Serve?

E’ una performance sulla mia autobiografia, sulla relazione tra me e le mie sorelle, ma anche sulla relazione tra le sorelle Williams, Venus e Serena, e confonde un po’ le due cose. Mio padre gioca a tennis ed era davvero ossessionato con il farci diventare le prossime sorelle Williams, cosa abbastanza comune. E anche mio fratello, sarebbe stato come le prossime sorelle Williams. Ci portava sempre sul campo da gioco locale e giocava regolarmente. Non eravamo così brave, come ho detto, ma sai, li piaceva così tanto e non volevamo deluderlo. Salivamo sempre in macchina al ritorno e dicevamo “Papà, papà! Dacci un voto!’ e lui diceva ‘Ook, oggi Rosa un 7 per la precisione e un 5 per la velocità’ e questo genere di cose. Sono sempre stato una tennista molto lento, le palle che colpivo erano inaspettatamente lente, quindi questa era la mia arma segreta.

Vestiti larghi o aderenti?

Voglio dire stretti, so che è meglio, ma diró vestiti larghi.. purtroppo. E’ un peccato lo so. So che è patriarcale dire che è un peccato, ma abbiamo vent’anni, siamo giovani, dovremmo indossare abiti stretti, non abbiamo più molto tempo a disposizione! Dovremmo accettare il nostro corpo in ogni fase e se indossi abiti sciolti tutto il tempo non saprai nemmeno com’è veramente il tuo corpo. Ho visto questo film Irma Vep, degli anni ’90, è un film francese. In cui il personaggio indossa una specie di abito di spandex da bondage per tutto il film. È una specie di scherzo che vuole essere una satira del cinema francese. Ogni volta che si muove fa un rumore tipo “chrrrrrrrrr”

Una canzone che ascolti in loop?

In realtà non ascolto musica, è davvero un peccato… Ascolto solo il servizio mondiale della BBC, costantemente. Trovo che metta tutto in prospettiva.

Se dovessi scegliere una spezia essenziale?

Scary Spice!

Le Spice Girls tornano in tournée, giusto?

Sì, sto cercando di ottenere un biglietto gratuito ed è per questo che sto menzionando Scary Spice! Basta menzionarle sulla stampa, in un podcast e forse possono trovarmi un biglietto gratuito. Sto immaginando questo pannello di donne dove hanno bisogno di qualcuno che venga a parlare delle Spice Girls e io sto solo cercando di posizionarmi come un’esperta haha…..

Un progetto che non hai mai iniziato o mai finito?

Ne ho uno sulle orecchie piccole, ho guardato su internet e ho semplicemente zoomato sulle orecchie da vicino e poi le ho fatte di argilla. Ho le orecchie di Obama. Non so davvero cosa farne, mi piacciono tutte queste orecchie, sono solo ossessionata. Non so cosa succederà alle orecchie, sono davvero strane. Ho anche l’uomo cheddar, questo uomo preistorico che hanno trovato in Inghilterra, che è il primo segno europeo dell’uomo, hanno ricostruito il suo volto e io ho rifatto il suo naso con un po di argilla hahaha!

Con quale cattivo personaggio ti identifichi?

Direi boss baby. Boss baby è un cattivo? Conoscete il Boss baby? Non credo di aver visto il film, ma ho solo visto le sue immagini. È un bambino ma è un boss, c’è qualcosa in lui. C’è anche una serie TV su Netflix, che ho visto.

Sei contenta o fiera di una cosa per la quale non sei dotata?

Penso che sia ballare. Sono piuttosto negata a ballare, ma mi piace molto e ovviamente faccio molte performance in cui ballo.

Che life hack ci puoi dare?

Il life hack di mia nonna sarebbe qualcosa come bere del brandy ti libera da singhiozzi o qualcosa del genere, haha.

 

L’altro giorno ho cancellato l’applicazione e-mail dal mio telefono. Non so se sia solo inutile, ma mi ha fatto sentire bene in quel momento. E ‘stato liberatorio solo l’atto di cancellare. Il mio ragazzo mi diceva “puoi veramente cancellare l’applicazione e-mail?” e io ho risposto “Sì! Lo farò” e lui diceva: “No! Non farlo! Non farlo! Sarà davvero fastidioso”, “Sì! Lo faro’” e basta! E l’ho fatto! E’ stato eccitante. Cancella la mail app!

 

Sento che con la cancellazione della applicazione e-mail sto davvero andando da qualche parte, come se stessi davvero arrivando al cuore del telefono, essendo una delle applicazioni essenziali. Potrei provare a cancellare l’applicazione orologio ……che è un’atto un po’ pazzo haha. Ho intenzione di farlo! Lo faró! Ma si può fare? Qualcuno l’ha mai fatto prima? Oh mio Dio, sì, lo farò quando finisce questa chiamata!

Una domanda che ti sei fatta ultimamente?

 

Se devo essere onesta, la domanda che mi sono posta è: Che ruolo ha l’etica nel fare arte? E’ una domanda piuttosto profonda….. Penso che la risposta potrebbe essere in un’altra domanda che è: perché faccio arte? Il motivo per cui faccio arte è che mi fa sentire bene, ma questo significa che posso fare qualsiasi cosa nell’arte per farmi sentire bene? Voglio dire, no, ovviamente perché non sono psicopatica….. ma è una domanda per me quando sto preparando una performance o pensando al pubblico per il mio lavoro artistico. Come si inserisce l’idea dell’accessibilità quando esploro creativamente qualcosa che potrebbe essere problematico? Vengo a questo da una prospettiva femminista di persone di colore, essendo una persona che è impegnata e interessata a un lavoro che riguarda la partecipazione e l’accessibilità, uno dei motivi principali per cui faccio un lavoro di questo tipo è perché penso che sia la cosa giusta da fare….. È questo fare l’opera d’arte più interessante? Non lo so…..ma è a questo che ho pensato di recente.

Samboleap Tol

What would you be doing if you weren’t doing what you’re doing right now?

That’s an interesting question because in my previous life I was in online marketing, I lived in Sydney where I worked in online marketing and I have a degree in media. So I think I spent 6 years of my life doing something else before I went to art school and maybe that was my alternative life so I think I’ve arrived in art school and the art world with this feeling of ‘this is the only thing that I can do’ so I feel like any other answer wouldn’t be actually true.

Something online that stuck with you this week?

It was a youtube video where Hito Steyerl was being interviewed and they asked her how she would define contemporary, and I’m paraphrasing but it was something about ‘not being in sync and sort of about being fractured’. Hearing that was very generative, I really felt like this fed into my own work or how I maybe intuitively felt about modern life or the contemporary.

The most random thing you have in your wallet?

Oh my god, I don’t have a wallet! I don’t have a wallet, I lost my bank card a week ago, so it’s been very chaotic. I literally have 2 credit cards, an ID and a bunch of money, that’s it and it just hangs about in a bag, a tote bag. If somebody can donate a wallet…

Here’s My triple AAA bag where everything’s dumped in:

The last gig you went to?

I went to a gig at the Lexington in Camden because I reconnected with a friend I hadn’t seen in 10 months. He’s a bass player from South London and he just told me that he’s playing for La Roux and flying around the world. He has a booking agency and wears a lot of hats and every time I go out with him I end up going somewhere I’ve never been before. So we we ended up being at a gig of a band called Cocaine Piss, it’s a Belgian punk band and I think the name is brilliant because it really comes alive in your imagination.

If you could invite 3 family members (dead or alive) to hang out to a pool party who would that be?

That would be my grandmother, my great grandmother and my mother…wow that would be so sick!

This is a bit of a long story but the reason I chose these women is because it’s great to speak about a lineage of women obviously but also because my grandmother went missing in 1975, when my mother was about 6 years old. She was a nurse in the war in Cambodia and she went missing so my mother can’t really recall an image of her. My great grandmother I met in Sydney, she fled to Thailand and ended up living in Sydney. When I moved to Sydney she already suffered from dementia and couldn’t really chat with me because she forgot about everything and then she passed away. And my mum lives in Cambodia and last time I saw her was almost 4 years ago, so I’d love to have these three women in one swimming pool, all healthy because in any normal situation there would have been a chance to chat and to be each other’s mothers but because of the war and life none of that has ever happened within these 3 generations.

What was your favourite item of clothing as a child?

Wow…it was a yellow dress made out of cotton and it was very simple but my favourite colour at the time was yellow.

What’s the best advice you received?

It’s not really advice but I asked a friend of mine, who graduated from the Royal College of Art in Curating 6 years ago and who’s now doing very well, I asked him: How did you do this? How did you manage to create what you have right now in 6 years? Not many people do what he does and I have a trajectory of trying really fucking hard and I can beat myself up for thinking ‘I try so hard, where can I see the fruits of the labour?’ or ‘Am I doing something wrong towards the end?’ or whether I just tend to make things really difficult for myself… And he said that the thing he changed in his life and that he recommends me to do is basically to believe in yourself. It sounds very hallmarky but at the time I really needed to hear it and lately I’ve been really using this advice from him in however ways my life needs it.

If you created your own country what would it be called?

Haha, probably Sambodia. It’s also my dj name when I dj but I never dj because I’m a horrible dj.

A museum you’d like to visit that you haven’t been to?

Ok, I would pick the Van Abbemusem in Eindhoven simply because I’m Dutch and I’ve never been. This is an illustration that I haven’t lived in my native country for 8 years and Van Abbe was known for some of the stuff I’m really interested in; the diversity, the participatory, reinventing the museum. Claire Bishop had a chapter on this museum in her book called Radical Museology… the reason I want to go is because I feel a sense of shame, I’m Dutch and I haven’t been, so I would definitely say that museum.

Life Hack?

Having a speaker with you. I think people generally have headphones anyways but I think having music with you that you can play out loud or just play at high quality. My life hack is that because it makes me feel safe. I think music is really feels safe not in the binary of safe/unsafe but it comforts me and puts me at ease. One of the works I’ve done is that I played music out loud and I had a whole mob behind me rapping, this was in CSM (Central Saint Martins) we went from the 1st floor to the 3rd floor. Music can bring a particular energy where people come together and unlock stuff. Another work I did was that I asked a lot of friends who were from different backgrounds to send me music that their parents used to play when they were younger (so music from the 90s that was culturally specific). Then I got on the tram in Antwerp were most of the foreigners congregate and I played the music on the tram… so when Moroccan people came I’d play Moroccan music, when Congolese people came I’d play Congolese music… So yes, music diffusing a chill vibe is a life hack I truly believe.

 

WORK N° 8: I LED A MUSIC MOB THROUGH MY SCHOOL (2018). Photos by Thai Mahendrakumar


A question you’d like to ask?

Are you a person that would leave the house with 100% phone battery or are you one of those people that leaves with 30% phone battery?

I am 30%, stupid you know, that person whose phone always dies and always needs someone else’s power bank and I am just the way I am…

Cosa faresti se non stessi facendo quello che fai ora?

Questa è una domanda interessante perché nella mia vita di prima facevo del marketing online, vivevo a Sydney dove lavoravo in marketing online perché ho una laurea in media. Quindi penso di aver passato 6 anni della mia vita facendo qualcos’altro prima di studiare arte… magari quella era la mia vita alternativa e penso che sono arrivata ai miei studi artistici e nel mondo dell’arte con il sentimento che ‘questa sia l’unica cosa che io possa fare’ perciò penso che qualsiasi altra risposta a questa domanda sarebbe falsa.

Qualcosa che hai visto online questa settimana che ti ha colpito?

Era un video dove Hito Steyerl si faceva intervistare e gli hanno chiesto come definirebbe la contemporaneità, e sto parafrasando ma ha risposto qualcosa il linea con il ‘non essere in sync e in qualche modo essere fratturato’. Sentire ciò è stato molto generativo per me, alimentando il mio proprio lavoro o le mie intuizioni sulla vita moderna e il contemporaneo.

La cosa più a caso che hai nel tuo portafoglio?

Oh dio, non ho un portafoglio! Non ho un portafoglio, ho perso la mia carta di credito una settimana fa perciò la situazione è stata un po’ caotica. Ho letteralmente 2 carte di credito, una carta d’identità, dei soldini in giro dentro a una borsetta, un tote bag. Se qualcuno vuole donare un portafoglio…

Questa è la mia borsa dove mollo tutta la mia roba:

L’ultimo concerto a cui sei stata?

Sono stata a un concerto al Lexington a Camden (a Londra) perché ho rivisto un’amico che non ho visto ha 10 mesi. È del sud di Londra, suona il basso e mi ha detto che ultimamente suona per La Roux e sta viaggiando per il mondo. Ha un’agenzia di prenotazioni, indossa tanti cappelli, e ogni volta che andiamo da qualche parte mi porta in posti dove non sono mai stata. E quindi siamo finiti a un concerto di un gruppo che si chiama Cocaine Piss, è un gruppo punk belga e penso che il nome sia brillante perché lo puoi proprio immaginare.

Se potessi invitare 3 membri della tua famiglia (vivi o morti) ad una pool party, chi inviteresti?

Sarebbero mia nonna, la mia bis nonna e mia madre…wow quello sarebbe bellissimo!

Questa è una storia un po’ lunga ma la ragione per la quale ho scelto queste donne è perché penso sia ottimo parlare del lignaggio delle donne  ma anche perché mia nonna è scomparsa nel 1975, quando mia madre aveva circa 6 anni. Era una un’infermiera nella guerra in Cambodia ed è scomparsa quindi mia madre non riesce neanche a ricomporre la sua immagine. Ho incontrato la mia bisnonna a Sydney, lei è fuggita in Thailandia ed è finita a vivere a Sydney. Quando mi sono trasferita a Sydney, soffriva di demenza e perciò non poteva veramente sostenere una conversazione con me perché non si ricordava di niente e poco dopo è venuta a mancare. Mia madre vive in Cambogia, l’ultima volta che l’ho vista era 4 anni fa. Perciò vorrei avere queste 3 donne in una piscina, tutte sane, perché in qualsiasi situazione normale avremmo avuto la fortuna di parlare e di essere le madri di ognuna ma per causa della guerra e della vita, niente di ciò e mai accaduto in queste 3 generazioni.

Cos’era il tuo abito preferito da piccola?

Wow… era un vestito giallo di cottone, era molto semplice ma il mio colore preferito al tempo era giallo.

Cos’è il miglior consiglio che hai ricevuto?

Non è veramente un consiglio ma ho chiesto a un mio amico, che si e laureato dalla Royal College of art in curatela 6 anni fa, che ora sta proprio bene, gli ho chiesto: Come hai fatto? Come sei riuscito a creare quello che hai creato che hai in 6 anni? Non tante persone riescono a fare quello che fa lui, io per esempio ho la traiettoria di provare facendo uno sforzo tremendo e di autoflagellarmi pensando ‘Provo così tanto, dov’è il frutto del mio lavoro?’ oppure ‘Sto facendo qualcosa di sbagliato verso la fine?’ o se rendo semplicemente la situazione difficile per me stessa… E lui mi disse che la cosa che ha cambiato nella sua vita e che consiglia è di sostanzialmente credere in se stessi. Questo suona molto cliché ma al tempo avevo proprio bisogno di sentirlo e ultimamente ho veramente usato il suo consiglio quando la mia vita ne aveva bisogno.

Se dovessi creare il tuo paese, come lo chiameresti?

Haha, probabilmente Sambodia. Questo e anche il mio nome dj, quando faccio il dj, ma non lo faccio spesso perché sono una pessima dj.

Un museo che ti piacerebbe visitare al quale non sei mai stata?

Ok, sceglierei il Van Abbemuseum in Eindhoven semplicemente perché sono Olandese e non sono mai stata. Questo è anche perché non ho vissuto nel mio paese natale da 8 anni e il Van Abbe è conosciuto per cose nelle quali sono molto interessata; la diversità, la partecipazione, la reinvenzione del museo. Claire Bishop ha un capitolo su questo museo nel suo libro Radical Museology…la ragione per la quale voglio andare è perché ho un senso di vergogna, sono Olandese e non sono mai stata, perciò direi proprio quel museo.

Hai un Life hack per noi?

Avere uno speaker con se. Penso che le persone hanno comunque generalmente degli auricolari ma penso che avere della musica con sé che uno può suonare ad alto volume o ad alta qualità. Questo e il mio life hack perché mi fa sentire sicura. Penso che la musica sia un posto sicuro, non nel senso binario di sicuro/insicuro ma che mi consoli e mi dia conforto. Una delle opere che ho fatto è che ho suonato della musica ad alto volume ed avevo un gruppo di gente dietro di me che rappava, questo era a CSM (Central Saint Martins) siamo andati dal primo al terzo piano. La musica può portare una certa energia permettendo alla gente di unirsi e di liberare alcune cose. Un’altro lavoro che ho fatto è uno dove ho chiesto a tanti amici di contesti culturali diversi di mandarmi la musica che che ascoltavano i loro genitori quando erano più giovani (perciò musica degli anni 90 di culture specifiche). Poi sono stata nel tram a Antwerp dove c’è una maggior congregazione con persone dell’estero per suonare questa musica… quando salivano persone del Marocco, suonavo musica Marocchina, quando c’erano persone del Congo, suonavo musica Congolese… Quindi si, la musica diffusa una buona energia in cui credo veramente.

Una domanda che vorresti fare?

Sei il tipo di persona che esce di casa con il cellulare carico al 100% oppure una di quelle persone con il 30%?

Io il 30%, idiota, quella persona a cui muore sempre il cellulare e che ha bisogno della batteria di qualcun altro, sono semplicemente così…

The Cool Couple

With Niccolò Benetton and Simone Santilli

What’s your biggest fear?

Niccolò Benetton: A fear we share, in a wide sense, is that of poverty. Instead, with regards to primordial fears, let’s say that I’m terrorised by insects (but not all of them). Stink bugs really drive me crazy.

 

Simone Santilli: On my end I tend to be really disgusted by things that slither.

The best moment of your summer? With a possible soundtrack?

S: Best moment of the summer… this question is making us quite paranoid, in the sense that it has been a very difficult and intense period. In one way the past months have flown by and in another there have been so many things that could have been really significant moments. Significant in terms of work, because we have basically worked the whole summer without taking any breaks (or maybe just one week’s break).

 

N: Possibly, the moment with the highest level of satisfaction and liberation was the exhibition inauguration at Mambo (in Bologna) on the 21st of June because we came to terms with a projects that lasted months. It was also been the launch of a new work for which we we had been doing a lot of research. Anyhow, it was a brief moment of joy because the next day we immediately started working on new projects that are due basically now. But the summer was dotted by many beautiful moments: we were in residence at Bocs Art and had a series of project developments (but Mambo remains the best).

S: The soundtrack on the other hand has varied quite a bit. We need to clarify something immediately: we very often use Spotify’s Weekly Discovery, so at least once a week we go around listening to our Weekly Discovery. So this soundtrack has been varied with some Afro sonorities and I’d say some techno ones.   

 

N: Yes, quite techno… we also have a great passion for Fela Kuti and Newen Afrobeat. And I’m quite fond to things that are more hip hop. I’m trying to take interest in contemporary trends, even if I stay close to Wu-Tang Clan. And what else did we listen to?

 

S: We listened to Clap! Clap!

 

N: Ah! I also went to a Jon Hopkins concert, very nice! But yes, a summer of techno and afro beats, said in this manner doesn’t sound super appealing.

You favourite  saying?

S: hmm absolutely nothing, nothing is coming to mind…I don’t really have a phrase I say often.

 

N: I’m very attached to Jim Jarmusch and in one of his famous interviews, speaking of the originality and of taking things from others, he quotes Jean-Luc Godard saying: “it’s not where you take things from it’s where you take them to”. This is one sentence I’m quite fond of.

 

S: Another one we say every now and this is: “It’s better to blush before that to turn white later”.

If you could work with anybody for your next project, who would that person be?

S: Well, first we’d have to understand if we would able to work at all… but we’re a bit torn because we could choose between someone from the art world or we could go further. It’s a difficult choice. I’d have inclinations for working with somebody who’s already dead, so that’s difficult. Otherwise I’d like to work on a project with Cristiano Ronaldo or Balotelli, but I think I’d also like to work with an alien because that would be really awesome.

 

N: I’d like to work with Kate Tempest or with Jim Jarmusch, that I’ve cited earlier, and obviously with GZA from Wu-Tang Clan.

S: I’d like to work with Alberto Angela and possibly also fishing out Giovanni Muciaccia from the corners of the past, the guy that used to do Art Attack.

The most and least sexy names that exist?

S: We’re a bit torn because our girlfriends will slap us, but I think I’m correct in saying that both of us agree to the fact that the name Camille could be quite sexy.

 

N: Or basically french names.

 

S: The problem is that we easily get fascinated by the voices of singers like Hope Sandoval, the singer of Mazzy Star and the voice in Paradise Circus of Massive Attack. That voice would make any name sound sexy.

 

N: The least sexy name is difficult to pinpoint because it’s generally tied to other fundamental characteristics of a person. Anti-sex is not something doesn’t only depend on a name but on a series of characteristics, I mean there are some unfortunate names but that doesn’t necessarily mean they’re not sexy. You could have an awful name but still be an extremely sexy person. Maybe compound names such as Mariastella or Piergiovanni, that you can then break into two names, so you can still find something sexy in there.

An object that shouldn’t exist?

N: I’m quite passionate about motors, so sometimes I see cars and motorbikes that I believe should not exist. If we can consider a car or motorbike as an object then I can provide you with a list.

 

S: We know that there are objects that shouldn’t exist but I can’t think of any right now in this moment.

 

N: For instance, amongst the cars, the Renault Cactus is a car so ugly it should not exist, just so we’re on the same page: the one with the rubber on top of the doors.

 

S: The corgi is a dog that should not exist, but in terms of objects of everyday life nothing is coming to mind, even though we know that there are some. Hogans should not exist for instance, or those orthopedic shoes that have that curved sole in order for your back to stay straight; very trendy amidst university professors of a certain age. Mosquitoes too, if they can be considered an object that should not exist.

 

N: Mosquitoes aren’t an object but I have found the name of a motorbike that should not exist, it’s called Honda DN01, this one really shouldn’t exist.

 

S: The fiat multipla is another car that ought not to exist.

 

N: Oh we got it! We had it in mind the whole time: the object that ought not to exist is the man satchel! That disgusting thing Italians wear with a shoulder strap, it hurts the eyes and really characterises the Italian man abroad. We can tolerate the fanny-pack/bum bag but the satchel no. If I saw someone on a Honda DN-01 with a satchel I don’t know how I’d react.

Still or sparkling water?

S: Water for me is still and and for Niccolò it’s sparkling.

If you could have assisted to an event in history which one would that be?

S: I’d probably go back to see the assassination of Julius Caesar. Pompei would have been another marvellous thing to see.

 

N: I would love to have spent an evening with Caravaggio, for that one I’d pay gold. And personally I’d love to have seen the 1936 Berlin Olympics.

Life hack to share with us?

S: So we’ve tested this recently and it works: if you need to go back home by bicycle, it’s pouring and you have nothing to protect yourselves with, we built an a rain jacket from a space blanket and paper tape. It works very well.

Your last selfies?

A question you might like to ask yourselves?

S: When to stop? Will the time come when you decide it’s enough

Con Niccolò Benetton e Simone Santilli

La vostra paura più’ grande?

Niccolò Benetton: Paura che condividiamo, nel senso molto ampio, è quella della povertà. Invece, per quanto riguarda le paure ataviche, diciamo che io sono terrorizzato dagli insetti in genere, anche se non tutti. Le cimici sono una cosa che mi manda via di testa.

 

Simone Santilli: Mentre a me, tendenzialmente, fa schifo tutto quello che striscia.

Momento migliore della vostra estate? Soundtrack?

S: Momento migliore della nostra estate…questa domanda ci ha mandato un po’ in paranoia, nel senso che è stato un periodo molto difficile, intenso. Da un lato gli scorsi mesi sono volati via in un attimo e dall’altro ci sono state tantissime cose che in realtà potrebbero essere dei momenti significativi. Significativi lavorativamente parlando, perché abbiamo praticamente lavorato tutta l’estate senza pause, se non per una settimana.

 

N: Forse il momento più alto al livello di soddisfazione e liberazione è stato l’inaugurazione del Mambo il 21 Giugno che ha culminato un progetto lungo mesi. E’ stato anche il lancio di un nuovo lavoro dopo un po’ di tempo che ci stavamo facendo ricerca. Tuttavia si è trattato di una gioia molto breve, perché, dal giorno dopo, abbiamo iniziato a lavorare su altri progetti che sono in scadenza adesso. Ma l’estate è stata punteggiata da tanti momenti belli: siamo stati in residenza a Bocs Art e c’è stata tutta una serie di sviluppi di progetti nuovi, ma il top è stato il Mambo.

S: La colonna sonora invece è stata piuttosto variegata. Bisogna subito precisare una cosa: che è molto spesso il Discovery Weekly di Spotify, per cui una volta alla settimana andiamo in giro ascoltando i nostri Discovery Weekly. La colonna sonora quindi è variegata, imprevedibile, con delle punte di sonorità Afro e delle altre direi techno.

 

N: Sì abbastanza techno… abbiamo una grande passione per Fela Kuti e i Newen Afrobeat. Poi io rimango sempre abbastanza affezionato a delle cose più hip hop. Sto cercando di interessarmi un po’ di più delle tendenze contemporanee, anche se resto sempre molto affezionato ai Wu-Tang Clan. E poi cosa abbiamo ascoltato?

 

S: Abbiamo ascoltato i Clap! Clap!

 

N: Ah! Io ho anche visto in concerto Jon Hopkins, molto bello! Però sì, è stata un’estate di techno e Afro che detta così non suona un cazzo bene.

La vostra frase preferita?

S: Io, zero assoluto, non mi viene in mente nulla, non ho una frase che dico spesso.

 

N: Io invece sono molto affezionato a Jim Jarmusch e c’è una sua intervista famosa dove, parlando dell’originalità e del fatto di prendere cose dagli altri cita Jean-Luc Godard dicendo: “it’s not where you take things from it’s where you take them to”. E questa è una frase alla quale sono abbastanza affezionato.

 

S: Un’altra frase che diciamo ogni tanto: “è meglio arrossire prima che sbiancare poi”.

Se vi dicessimo che per il vostro prossimo progetto potreste lavorare con chiunque nel mondo. Chi sarebbe?

S: Intanto, bisognerebbe capire se riusciremo a lavorare… Però qui siamo abbastanza combattuti perché potremmo scegliere tra personalità del mondo dell’arte oppure potremmo andare anche aldilà. E’ una scelta abbastanza difficile. Avrei delle propensioni per lavorare con persone che però sono già morte, quindi sarebbe difficile. Altrimenti mi piacerebbe tentare un progetto con Cristiano Ronaldo oppure Balotelli, però io preferirei l’alieno perché mi prenderebbe benissimo.

 

N: Io vorrei lavorare con Kate Tempest oppure con Jim Jarmusch, che ho citato prima, e ovviamente GZA di Wu-Tang Clan.

 

S: Vorrei lavorare con Alberto Angela e anche ripescare dalle pieghe del tempo Giovanni Muciaccia, quello che faceva Art Attack.

I nomi più e meno sexy che ci siano?

S: Siamo un po’ combattuti, perché le nostre rispettive ragazze ci prenderanno a schiaffi, però mi sembra che siamo abbastanza d’accordo sul fatto che Camille potrebbe essere un nome abbastanza sexy.

 

N: O nomi tendenzialmente francesi.

 

S: Il problema è che spesso ci facciamo facilmente affascinare dalla voce di cantanti come Hope Sandoval, la cantante dei Mazzy Star e la voce in Paradise Circus dei Massive Attack. Quella voce farebbe diventare sexy qualsiasi nome.

 

N: Nome meno sexy è molto difficile perché si lega ad altre caratteristiche fondamentali di una persona. L’anti-sesso è una cosa che non dipende solo dal nome, ma da tutta una serie di caratteristiche: ci sono i nomi sfigati, ma non era necessariamente anti-sesso. Potresti avere un nome bruttissimo ed essere una persona estremamente sexy. Forse in realtà non sono anti-sesso nemmeno i nomi composti tipo Mariastella o Piergiovanni, che puoi smembrare nei rispettivi nomi e quindi ci trovi comunque del sexy.

Un oggetto che non dovrebbe esistere?

N: Io sono abbastanza appassionato di motori, quindi ogni tanto vedo delle macchine o delle moto che sono veramente delle cose che non dovrebbero esistere. Se possiamo considerare oggetto anche tipo un’auto o una moto potrei farvi un elenco per oggetto.

 

S: Sappiamo che ci sono degli oggetti che non dovrebbero esistere però non ci vengono in mente così su due piedi.

 

N: Ad esempio, tra le auto, la Renault Cactus è una macchina così brutta che non dovrebbe esistere, quella coi gommini sulle portiere, per capirci.

 

S: Il Corgi è un cane che non dovrebbe esistere, però di oggetti della vita quotidiana in realtà non ci viene in mente niente anche se sappiamo che ci sono. Le Hogan non dovrebbero esistere, per esempio, e anche quelle scarpe ortopediche che hanno la suola un po’ stondata che sono quelle per tenere su la schiena che vanno molto di moda tra i docenti universitari di una certa età.

Anche le zanzare se si possono considerare un oggetto non dovrebbero esistere.

 

N: Le zanzare non sono un oggetto. Ma ho trovato il nome di una moto che non dovrebbe esistere si chiama Honda DN01, questa non dovrebbe proprio esistere.

 

S: La fiat Multipla è un’altra macchina che non dovrebbe esistere.

 

N: Ci siamo arrivati adesso! Ce l’avevamo in testa! L’oggetto che non dovrebbe esistere è il borsello da uomo! Quello schifo che si mettono un sacco di italiani a tracolla, che è una cosa inguardabile e soprattutto caratterizza subito l’italiano all’estero. Possiamo tollerare il marsupio, ma il borsello no. Se vedessi qualcuno con una Honda DN-01 e un borsello non so come potrei reagire.

Acqua frizzante o naturale?

S: L’acqua per me è Naturale, per Niccolò frizzante.

Se poteste avere assistito personalmente a un evento nella storia, quale sarebbe?

S: Io andrei indietro per vedermi l’assassinio di Giulio Cesare probabilmente. Concordiamo sul fatto che Pompei sarebbe stata un’altra bellissima cose da vedere.

 

N: A me piacerebbe tantissimo avere fatto una serata con Caravaggio: per quella pagherei oro. E poi mi sarebbe molto, ma molto, piaciuto vedere le olimpiadi del 1936 di Berlino.

Life hack da condividere?

S: Allora l’abbiamo testato di recente e funziona benissimo: se dovete tornare a casa in bicicletta, diluvia, e non avete niente con cui proteggervi, abbiamo costruito un impermeabile con una copertina termica e il nastro carta e funziona molto bene.

I vostri ultimi selfies?

Domanda che vi piacerebbe farvi?

S: Quando smettete? Arriverà il momento che deciderete che sia abbastanza?

Yushi Li

28.09.18 yushi.li

What are you afraid of?

I am afraid of making mistakes.

What was your favourite band as a child?

Umm, I don’t really have one, I have a singer. Britney Spears, first time I saw the Oops!… I Did It Again video I thought she was like a barbie, really pretty, really cute. I think my friend had a DVD of her and we watched it together.

If you could eat something from home right now, what would it be?

A mooncake, because it’s going to be the Mid-Autumn Festival soon and around this time we have mooncake.

Could you show us the 3 last pictures you took with your phone?

I’ll chose some because I’ve just started my PhD so my last three ones are screenshots of my course information.

How long did your last project take to make?

It took me more than one year. It was the one I showed at my degree show, it’s called Your Reservation Is Confirmed.

Who are the subjects of the images?

They were men I found through a weird website, people on it are willing to be naked on photographs and for drawings. Some of them you pay very little, some of them do it for free. The photos are all taken in airbnbs and with arranging the models, every shot takes a long time to arrange. I spent more time planning and thinking, most of the time I already knew what I wanted to shoot, so the shooting process is short. I spent a long time choosing the picture and printing in analog.

In the series, all the subjects except you are white men, this is a choice you made right?

I started My Tinder Boys first, where I took photograph a black man as well, but it didn’t work, not because of race but of the photo had technical issues. Then I had some tutorials and I realized my work isn’t about race but it kind of is there, because I’m Asian. I think it works because there is a Western gaze towards Asian women, from white men.

Mango or pear?

Mango… I just think pear is a bit boring. In my mind apples and pears are the most boring fruit. I don’t know why but I guess it’s because they’re really common in China.

What’s the last exhibition you paid to go see?

It’s called the Abstract Eye at the Tate Modern, it was about photography and light. Actually, it’s called The Shape of Light, I remembered it completely wrong! It wasn’t the most exciting exhibition but I thought it was well curated.

Best subject to photograph?

Men.

Life hack?

If it’s something that can be told by grandparents, in China we have a lot of that bullshit that I don’t believe haha… But I know that if you put chopsticks or something long (like cooking chopsticks are really long) over the pot with boiling water, the water will not come out. It really does work!

Something you’ve been asking yourself lately?

Lately I’ve been asking myself a lot about what I really want to do in my life.

Did you find an answer?

No, I think I’m still very confused. I ask myself: do you really want to be an artist? And if I want to be an artist which direction do I want to go? We all wonder this no? Like now, I’m doing my PhD but If I was not what would I be doing after school? If I was not doing my PhD I think I would try to find a job so I can survive and then try to make work and find a balance I guess.

28.09.18 yushi.li

Di cosa hai paura?

Ho paura di fare errori.

Qual era la tua band preferita da piccola?

Umm, in realtà non ne ho una, ho una cantante. Britney Spears, la prima volta che ho visto il video di Oops!… I Did It Again ho pensato che fosse come una barbie, molto bella, molto carina. Penso che la mia amica avesse un suo DVD e lo guardavamo insieme.

Se potessi mangiare qualcosa da casa in questo momento, cosa sarebbe?

Una torta lunare, perché presto è la festa di metà autunno e in questo periodo mangiamo torte lunari.

Potresti mostrarci le ultime 3 foto che hai scattato con il tuo telefono?

Ne sceglierò alcune perché ho appena iniziato un PhD, quindi le ultime tre sono screenshots di informazioni sul mio corso.

Quanto tempo ci è voluto per completare il tuo ultimo progetto?

Mi ci è voluto più di un anno. È quello che ho mostrato al mio degree show, si chiama Your Reservation Is Confirmed.

Chi sono le persone fotografate?

Sono uomini che ho trovato attraverso un sito strano, dove la gente è disposta ad essere nuda per delle fotografie e per dei disegni. Alcuni paghi molto poco, altri lo fanno gratuitamente. Le foto sono tutte scattate in airbnb e con il fatto di dovere organizzare i modelli, ogni scatto richiede molto tempo per essere impostato. Ho passato più tempo a pianificare e pensare; la maggior parte del tempo già sapevo cosa volevo scattare, quindi il processo di ripresa è breve. Ho anche passato molto tempo a scegliere le immagini e fare le stampe in analogico.

Nella serie, tutti i soggetti ad eccezione di te sono uomini bianchi, questa è una scelta che hai fatto giusto?

Ho iniziato con My Tinder Boys, dove ho fotografato anche un uomo nero, ma la foto non ha funzionato, non per motivi di colore di pelle ma per problemi tecnici. Poi ho avuto alcuni tutorial e mi sono resa conto che il mio lavoro non riguarda il colore della pelle ma questo è un aspetto comunque presente, perché sono asiatica. Penso che le immagini funzionino perché c’è uno sguardo occidentale verso le donne asiatiche, soprattutto dagli uomini bianchi.

Qual è l’ultima mostra che hai pagato per andare a vedere?

Si chiama Abstract Eye alla Tate Modern, trattava di fotografia e luce. In realtà, si chiama The Shape of Light, il mio ricordo è completamente sbagliato! Non è stata la mostra più eccitante, ma ho pensato che fosse ben curata.

Il miglior soggetto da fotografare?

Uomini.

Life hack?

Se è qualcosa che dicono i nonni, in Cina abbiamo un sacco di cavolate alle quali non credo haha. Ma so che se metti le bacchette o qualcosa di lungo (tipo le bacchette per cucinare che sono davvero lunghe) sopra la pentola con acqua bollente, l’acqua non uscirà. Funziona davvero!

Qualcosa che ti sei chiesta ultimamente?

Ultimamente mi sono chiesta molte volte cosa voglio davvero fare nella mia vita.

Hai trovato una risposta?

No, penso di essere ancora molto confusa. Mi chiedo: voglio davvero essere un artista? E se voglio essere un artista, in quale direzione voglio andare? Ci chiediamo tutti questo no? Come adesso, sto facendo il mio PhD, ma seno cosa avrei fatto dopo la scuola? Se non stessi facendo il mio dottorato penso che cercherei di trovare un lavoro in modo da poter sopravvivere e poi cercherei di fare il mio lavoro artistico.

Johanna Flato

What do you do with your clothes after you’ve take them off?

Yea so, I haven’t grown up and I have a capital P – pile, often like in the middle of my room so that’s pretty real and that’ll last for a while and then I’ll kind of slowly work my way down the mountain. So, I’m a child.

Your favourite type of cheese?

Super boujee answer: Manchego. A no-brainer for me, my total guilty pleasure.

Do you find it easily?

They have it at Tesco..Tesco has all their normal cheeses then they have a selection of very small amounts of cheeses, so it’s kind of like treasured cheese gold.

You live in London, what makes you feel like a foreigner in London?

Two answers to that. One, when I actually moved here, I thought that as a place that’s English speaking it wouldn’t be much of a transition, but it was the supermarkets. This is just a thing in Europe I don’t think I was used to; the way the eggs are displayed and not in refrigerators. All those things just threw me off and not knowing what milk to pick. I guess the other thing is just realising how American I am in certain things. The way I leave something or a place where I was with friends I say ‘this has been so fun’ like an announcement to everyone. ‘Fun’ is the main word I use for some reason like everything is really ‘fun’ and ‘so fun’ and ‘funny’. And I really appreciated it last time I did that because everyone just kind of laughed at me and called me out for the limited vocabulary. But it’s also a level of enthusiasm people are suspicious of. Where they’re like ‘I had a lot of trouble believing you were being earnest’ and I definitely would have been utterly earnest and sincere in whatever I have been enthusiastic about but they just could not buy it that I was speaking with exclamation marks basically. Those are the two things.

What are you reading right now?

I’m reading reading ‘Psychopolitics’. It’s a really little book but I picked it up a while ago and then am finally now progressing through it now. I highly recommend it!

All my books just got packed up. I’m moving in a moment so I came home the other day to find all my books that my boyfriend had just like stuffed in boxes which is tragic because normally my entire life is just having them around me and that was very sad… but I’ll find it for you all and send you a picture.

Can you describe what you’re working on right now in 3 words?

language – technology – plastic

Facial or massage?

Oh. Facial would be the more responsible choice but massage is the more fun one and I could use one right now.

Tell us about the last time can you spent a reasonable amount of time in front of an artwork.

Like where I lingered…let me think. Sondra Perry at the Serpentine back in March. I thought having viewers row through hair gel while staring into the multiple screens of her video work and immersed in the audio was brilliant, and the work itself was like Turner but contemporary and urgent.

The last image you liked on Instagram [:

Do you know John Yuyi. She does all these temporary tattoos. This one is pretty low key. That’s what I liked.

Do you have a life hack you’d like to share?

I’m a big fan of portable chargers as an accessory. So, that would be my thing – extra battery packs hanging out of every pocket trying to keep my phone alive.

A question you might like to ask yourself?

I was so excited to talk to you guys but these questions make me notoriously nervous, this has been very pleasant but it’s like a whole interview of icebreakers. Ice breakers are my fear! But this has been relatively painless. I can think of list of icebreakers that have terrified me in the past. This moment of meeting people then just being absolutely frozen with icebreakers. So my question would be: what’s your greatest fear? And that might be one of them.

Cosa fai con i tuoi vestiti dopo esserteli tolti?

Non sono mica cresciuta tanto, ho una pila gigantesca in mezzo alla mia stanza che rimane abbastanza presente per un po’ di tempo, poi pian piano mi metto a lavorare per farla diminuire. Quindi sì, sono una bimba.

Il tuo formaggio preferito?

Risposta super borghese: Manchego. Non ci devo neanche pensare, è un guilty-pleasure per me.

Lo trovi facilmente?

Ce l’hanno a Tesco. Tesco ha la sua sezione di formaggi poi hanno un reparto con una selezione di formaggi in piccolissime quantità, quindi è tipo il tesoro dei formaggi.

Vivi a Londra, cosa ti fa sentire una straniera a Londra?

Due risposte a questa domanda. Uno, quando mi sono trasferita qui, un’altro posto dove si parla inglese, non pensavo che sarebbe stata una grande transizione ma l’ho notata soprattutto nei supermercati. E’ una cosa tipica Europea alla quale non sono abituata, per esempio, le uova sono disposte fuori e non nei frigoriferi. Tutte quelle cose me hanno fatto sentire scombussolata, anche il fatto di non sapere quale latte scegliere. C’è un’altra cosa che mi fa rendere conto di quanto sono Americana per certe cose. Quando me ne vado da un posto o dagli amici dico ‘e’ stato molto fun’ come un annuncio che sto per fare a tutti. ‘Fun’ e’ una parola che uso spesso.  E ho apprezzato che l’ultima volta che l’ho fatto, i miei amici me l’hanno fatto notare e mi hanno preso in giro per il mio vocabolario molto limitato. Ma è anche un livello di entusiasmo abbastanza sospettoso per gli altri che pensano che io sia sincera e non possono capire la mia onesta e il mio modo di parlare con i punti esclamativi. Queste sono le due cose.

Cosa stai leggendo ora?

Sto leggendo ‘Psychopolitics’. E un libretto che ho raccolto tempo fa ma lo sto affrontando adesso. Lo consiglio fortemente!

Tutti i miei libri sono stati imballati. Tra poco mi trasferisco, quindi l’altro giorno sono tornata a casa e ho trovato il mio ragazzo che aveva imbottito tutti i miei libri in scatole, una situazione abbastanza tragica perché’ normalmente passo la mia vita intera con questi libri attorno. Ma questo ve lo trovo e vi mando una foto.

3 parole per descrivere quello su cui stai lavorando.

linguaggio – tecnologia – plastica

Massaggio o trattamento facciale?

Oh, il trattamento sarebbe la cosa più responsabile da fare ma il massaggio è più divertente e me lo farei volentieri adesso.

Raccontaci l’ultima volta in cui hai passato un bel po’ di tempo davanti a un lavoro d’arte.

Dove mi sono soffermata… lasciatemi pensare. Sondra Perry alla Serpentine Gallery a marzo. Ho pensato che invitare gli spettatori a remare nel gel per i capelli mentre guardano i molteplici schermi del suo lavoro ed essere immersi nell’audio fosse una cosa fantastica. Il lavoro in sé era come un Turner ma contemporaneo ed urgente.

L’ultima cosa a cui hai messo un like su instagram?

Conoscete John Yuyi? Fa questi tatuaggi temporanei. Questa era piuttosto tranquilla perciò mi e piaciuta.

Hai un life hack da condividere con noi?

Sono molto fan di caricatori portatili in quanto accessori. Quello sarebbe la mia mossa: avere batterie esterne che escono da ogni tasca per mantenere vivo il mio telefono.

Una domanda che vorresti fare a te stessa?

Ero molto contente di parlare con voi ma queste domande me rendono notoriamente nervosa, è stato tutto molto gradevole ma è come una interview piena di icebreakers (battute per rompere il ghiaccio).  Posso pensare a una lista di icebreakers terrificanti del passato. Niente di peggio che incontrare delle persone e poi essere incastrati con solo icebreakers. Quindi la mia domanda sarebbe: Cos’e la tua paura più grande? E questa ne sarebbe una.

Alessandro Moroni

If you had one superpower what would it be?

Wow, tough question. It would probably be something to do with time – maybe having power over time… not actually going back in time but something like having more time in some specific situations, stretching it or having the ability to skip it forward in other situations.

If you were to go down in history for inventing something what would that be?

I have this thing for pioneering electronic music, like the first synthesizers and things like that. I think it’s a very romantic version of scientific research but completely focused on music and musical experimentation. I would like to be one of those first people to realise that electricity could produce sound, that you can translate an electronic signal to an audio signal and all the possibilities that come after that!

Is there a software you’re struggling to use?

Probably Adobe Illustrator… because I’ve recently started doing some illustrations and I’ve done most of them with Photoshop and I know that they’d come out way better with Illustrator. I feel like I’ve come to some point in which I managed to work out my own way of using Photoshop. Moving to a new software kind of scares me and also I would really like to actually know how to use some musical softwares the one I use right now is like the lamest software ever.

An exhibition you think would be good to take children to (nephews, cousins)?

Ok I think there are two different paths you can take from here. One is some sort of super huge institutional exhibitions for example I think about the Philippe Parreno exhibition curated by Andrea Lissoni at the Hangar Bicocca, it’s almost super entertaining and it could be entertaining for children as it has all those lights and the magical atmosphere. That could be an easy way into an artwork. Last time I was in London, I saw this show by Darren Bader at Sadie Coles. It was very lighthearted but it managed to address some super serious issues in the art world and how contemporary art really works right now. So I think starting from that could bring some very interesting approach to viewing contemporary art.

What’s the last song you played on your phone?

Let’s check Spotify…’In the Beginning’ by Weyes Blood. She’s an American songwriter. I think she’s really cool because she’s playing on all these typical folk singer aesthetics from the 60s and 70s and on it’s current revival without really being part of that revival (if it makes sense). I’ve got a quite strong connection with her and her music because I found out about her a little more than a year ago and when she came to play here in Milan there were like 10 people in the audience. I feel like one day she will be super big and I’ll be able to say ‘I was one of the 10 people who went to her show!’

If you could have been assisting any movie director in the making of a movie, who would it be and for what movie?

For historical reasons I’d say: assisting Stanley Kubrick on the set of The Shining. I once saw this documentary (I think by his daughter) that was on the set of The Shining, and it was super intense…apparently Shelley Duvall’s hair started falling out because she was so stressed. He adopted this technique where even if a scene was really good he’d keep filming to the 50th take to get the actors genuinely stressed out, not playing the role of a stressed out person but being really stressed. And even the hotel rooms, there were like 2 windows so it appeared like a corner room but when seen from the outside it clearly wasn’t a corner room. I think it would have been really interesting to take part in it, it’s one of the movies I like the most.

The most exciting thing in your schedule for this summer?

I’ve got a few concerts I’m really looking forward to, like yeah there’s this band called Godspeed You Black Emperor, then I’m going to see My Bloody Valentine so that will be exciting.

Yeah…I think that’s it for the summer because actually I have this thing in which my parents and my sister schedule their summer vacation like a lot earlier than I can even imagine and so I always end up being the one taking care of the dogs in August…but that’s pretty exciting as well, I’m kind of getting used to that being my real vacation like I have my house free for a month and I can watch all the TV series and movies and readings I missed during the year…yeah let’s see.

If you could right now speak to the ghost of an artist who would it be and what would you ask them?

Wow. If I could choose a writer it would be Frank Herbert. He’s the one who wrote the Dune Saga. It’s this super crazy and deep sci-fi saga set like 10,000 years in a parallel future where humanity has destroyed and banned any kind of artificial intelligence. I read the books back to back like 2 years ago and I feel like they completely changed my life and the way I see the future, humankind and life as a whole. I remember finishing them and feeling the urge of writing him a letter even though he died like more than 20 years ago I really felt like I had something to ask or tell him.

Do you have a life hack for us?

I am so glad you’re asking because I do and I really think it could make everybody’s life better! It’s actually my own copyrighted lifehack. I remember as a child I kind of developed super easy technique on how to wear your clothes when they are inside-out without having to put them the right way. So if you’re jumper is laying inside-out on the bed, you can just stick your head in the head hole and reverse it when you are wearing it. Super simple but just… genius!

A question you might like to ask yourself?

I’m really glad you asked how I wear my jumper haha, so I guess my question is: How do you wear your jumper? Or maybe: Do you fold your clothes after you wear them or do you just leave them there for the next time?

Lydia Blakeley

If you were to describe yourself in a dance move what would it be?

Ooh, that’s tricky, it’s hard. I don’t know the terminology, but I can do it now. A 70s hips move with a click. That’s my dance move/signature, it sums me up.

What was/is your favourite reality tv show on tv?

It’s obviously got to be Keeping Up with the Kardashians, it has to. I just think it’s so interesting. The way it’s changed over the seasons, it is fascinating. I’ve recently been watching Life of Kylie, which I also think is great, and obviously all of the offshoots: Kocktails with Khloe and Khloe and Kourtney in Miami. But the Keeping Up with the Kardashians franchise is definitely my number one favourite go to. I kind of went away from it and then came back to it, and I’m just just fully immersed in it even though it makes me quite sad to watch it because it’s just another world but it’s fascinating.

Let’s add an image of your Kardashian homes series

KIMS HAUS (painting by me 66x42cm)

When was the last time you changed your bedsheets?

Oh, I actually did that really recently It was about a week ago and I got some really nice bedding from TK Maxx. Your bedroom has to be a haven, you have to love being in there.

If you were to eliminate one colour from your palette forever what would that colour be?

Purple, real dislike. All purple. A really bright purple is just kind of gross, like Barney purple. It’s just garrish and nasty. It’s awful when you’re mixing up paint and you end up with purple or when it gets on the canvas and you’re like what is that… Never in clothing, not on a palette, never, no flowers either.

French fries or doughnuts?

French Fries everytime, I’m more of a savory person. McDonald’s, great ones.

One single that you are you like that came out in the last year?

Well, recently, in line with the colour theme, one song I’ve been listening to on repeat is PYNK by Janelle Monáe. It’s such a lovely song. The whole album, Dirty Computer, is amazing.

Something you are looking forward to?

Lots of things. Summer break! This year has been quite intense, it will be nice to take some time to relax and not watch reality tv. Take a few weeks over summer to go out to places, go to the seaside and be a tourist. Enforce time to not work and do things I would enjoy as I have a tendency to box myself in.

If you could choose anyone to sit for you for a portrait?

I’d have a group, or a band. Maybe a family! Omg, as long as they were there in the flesh, I would paint the Kardashian family portrait and the extended family. Even in purple, if they wanted. If it would be of one person I would choose Kris, as she is the matriarch.

Life hack?

Right, my life hack is Citymapper! I literally couldn’t negotiate London without it, as someone who’s come from outside the city. A friend of mine told me to get the app when I got here last year and recommend it to everyone. I use it daily and it’s a total godsend.

Question?

If you had one superpower what would it be?

In Xmen, there’s this guy who can split himself into multiple versions of himself. I think he’s called Madrox! It would be so good to have multiple clones so I could get more stuff done, so while I’m in the studio there could be another me doing the washing, or shopping, and going out and about to galleries. It would be amazing, it’d be super productive!

Georgia Lucas–Going

What would you like for dinner?

Uhmm…well..I just downloaded MyFitnessPal for the 20th time. So i’m gonna have to eat what fits into my calorie count and currently I only have 450 calories left. I eat when i’m sad.

How tall are you?

5ft7…

In cm? … google says 170cm. That’s model material right there!

Haha, its been two years since I went to the gym but I need to start back, genuinely for my performance work. I like pushing myself to limits. My ideal height would be 2 inches taller, that’s like 175 cm.

What was the last thing you created?

My mum gave me a big bag of her old hair and weaves. I‘ve been playing around with that and some conch shells from Barbados where my family are from. So right now they kind of look like little animals. I found animals healing but was only allowed/could afford goldfish and hamsters. I’ve been playing around with that: stuffing the hair in the shells. And I’ve made some engravings on steel plates. It’s all centred around my parents and my core friendship group.

Can you tell us a joke?

The only one I can remember is:

Why didn’t the skeleton go to the dance? -because he had no body to go with. It’s awful isn’t it? I found it in the penguin packets, the chocolate bars.

If you could steal something without getting caught, what would it be?

Uhmmm… money. I’d steal money and I’d make more art from all the money I’ve stolen.

What do you like to wear when you go to work/your studio?

To my studio I end up wearing like leggings and a hoodie, or a skirt and a hoodie. I’m always in skirts. Being as comfortable as possible and also not wearing too nice clothes because they just end up getting messy anyway. This studio is warm, thank god, but in other studios I end up being wrapped up; anything with thermal lining.

Do you do a salary work outside of your art practice?

Of course I do, and for that I have a stricter uniform: it’s black and chic and maybe a little bit sexy.

Are we allowed to know what this work is?

I work in an erotic boutique.

Do you like it?

Yea, the power dynamic is quite different to the past retail jobs or waitressing I’ve done throughout the years where people can talk to you like shit. Whereas in this place people tell you a lot of secrets, they are in a much more vulnerable position at times so they’re nicer to you. How often do you get to know what happens when people get home, in the bedroom etc. The ‘normal’ ones are never ‘normal’.

An artist or mentor you would chose as a godfather/godmother?

‘FORMERLY CALLED’, a collective of Black and brown artists that i’m currently in residence with at Wysing. They’re amazing. All the collective would be my chosen GODPEOPLE.

What would you like to have written on your gravestone?

Wow these questions are quite intense haha…it’s good though because I deal a lot with death in my work. I think I would just like to have it plain and have ‘G’. No age, no nothing. I think I’d just have my nickname ‘G’ and that’s done. Also I think I want to be cremated, graveyards are a tight squeeze you know.

If you could perform with one person for the rest of your art career who would it be?

I think performing with one person for the rest of my career is weird, we’d end up both be annoyed at each other. I think that’s a really hard thing to do. And if it’s a peer or someone I admire, I think in the end it would be stifling. So I guess it’d have to be my mum, it would have to be mamma-G. SHe’s stuck with me, she made me hehe.

Can you share a life hack with us?

My life hack is to have one day off a week. I think it’s very easy when we’re writing applications and stuff to think ‘oh I’ll just do that on my day off, lying in bed’, but that’s still work, that’s still labour. So one day where I do nothing or whatever it is that I want to do that has nothing to do with art (even reading about art). So yes, one day off a week is really beneficial for my mental health. I’ve done that before and ended up not feeling very good at all. I have to enforce it, I have it on my contract, I tell people, I even tell my mum she might not be able to get a hold of me on Sundays.

A question you might want to ask yourself?

If you were to describe yourself in a dance move what would it be?

For me….grinding, body rolls, twerking, wining up etc etc

Deo Suveera

When was the last time you went to an amusement park?

The last time was at Winter Wonderland, in Hyde Park. I went with friends but I didn’t do any rides. I’m afraid of heights, so I don’t enjoy those kinds of rollercoasters.

What did you have for breakfast today?

Um… bread with Nutella. That’s kind of weird.

For us as Italians it’s normal…for breakfast with coffee, just perfect.

Yea. I don’t usually have breakfast with bread, but really had no time for cooking this morning.

The name of your first pet?

I had a dog when I was really young, and his name was Bao. I don’t really know what the meaning of the name is. I remember, he was an Alsatian (German Shepherd). My family were with him for many years. After Pao, we had to move into a city and didn’t have much space for a pet anymore. I do miss Pao sometimes!

The last video/film/photo that made you cry?

I have to think about it.. I’m sure there’s one, because I’m a very sensitive guy. Oh! It was a movie called the Pursuit of Happiness. I just watched it again for the 3rd time and still cried…every time. It is such an emotional film.


The most played song on your phone?

I’m not sure about my phone but I actually always listen to music on Youtube, and there’s a song that I played, something like 15 times last night. It’s a song called Never In My Wildest Dreams, by the guy of the Black Keys, the singer [Dan Auerbach]. I just found out that he’s doing a single album now, I love it, it’s very good!

Could you give us a photograph of your last holiday?

A photograph, on the phone yea?

The last holiday…when was it? It was like three days ago, when we got sunshine in London. I had so many things to do, but I decided to not care about it. I went to the park with friends and we sat there, sitting in the sun, talking about the world and life. After, we went to play basketball but I haven’t exercised in many years so I was really tired…But it was awesome to get some sun here, Everything changes!

What is your phone lock photo or background?

It’s a black plain background. Hahaha, sorry guys, nothing so exciting.

Do you think you are generally lucky as a person?

I am. A very lucky man. In many terms… I always feel like I’m blessed to be here, I’m blessed to be doing what I’m doing and to be the person that I am. So that’s a wonderful feeling!

So you believe in luck?

Well, I’m a Christian, so I believe that everything is somehow all planned to be.

Do you have a life hack for us?

Ok: when you’re stressed, just go to sleep. Not necessarily sleep but taking a nap, closing! your eyes for a second and try not to think about anything.!

A question you might like to ask yourself?

It’s very simple but very hard at the same time. Let me think…

What would you like to have for dinner?

I really wanna have some Thai food now.

Any place you’d recommend in London?

There are some, the one called Lao Cafe is really nice, very authentic, in other words: SPICY!!

Virginia Garra

What animal are you right now?

Right now, I feel like an animal that is about to go into hibernation, that goes in reverse now that spring is coming. I love spring but I feel like going for a rest. I don’t know if animals can hibernate in reverse.

I don’t think so but there is one hemisphere that is entering winter

Yes, maybe I got the wrong time zone, I should live on the over side of the world, and somewhere warm, maybe. Maybe it’s a special animal that doesn’t exist on this planet yet.

The last song you listened to on youtube?

I watched an excerpt of a classical music opera, by this singer called Juan Diego Florez who sing an aria from Orfeo ed Euridice. This is because I recently saw him at La Scala. I thought he was a great singer so I tried to get in last minute and I managed! I really liked it so when I came home I looked for something he had sung live.

Coffee or tea?

Americano… which is a coffee that is a little like tea because it’s so watery.

The last place you visited on your last holiday?

It was this weekend, I went in Romagna… so, except for ending up at a nude beach with nudists, (10 degree weather), I went to a place with a lagoon. It felt like being in Star Wars, when Luke goes to visit Yoda at his house where trees grow from the water. I won’t tell you how it’s called, I’ll leave it as a mystery. Let’s call it Yoda’s House in Romagna.

If you were a witch what would your favourite spell/potion be?

Let me think… a potion to fly?! I don’t have to give you a recipe right?

Can you give us 3 images/stills of stuff that you’re working on?

Your favourite fruit?

Mango!… but mangos like the ones I ate in Israel, because they’re in another league. I’d really eat a mango right now. But no it’s not the right season.

If you could save one of your art works which one would it be?

The video with my grandma making mountains. It definitely has some sentimental value.

Do you have a life hack for us?

Yes… oh no I can’t tell you this one it’s too stupid haha: wearing double socks in winter!

Or actually, I would advise to have a lot of small plants. They make me happy, everyone should have a lot of plants.

One would have to be able to take care of them though.

Then you have to have succulents. So you have something you can take care of, love without thinking only about yourself.

A question you might like to ask yourself?

Well, when I was in Romagna I saw the Ferris wheel of Mirabilandia, this amusement park. So I wondered when was the last time I had been to an amusement park. It’s like trying to track down prehistoric information…well actually now I remember: two years ago I was in Pescara with friends and one night we passed by an amusement park so we just went in and decided to spend all of our time on the caterpillar roller coaster!

Anna Frijstein

Do you love penguins?

I’m a bit… It immediately reminds me of my Greek teacher in high school. I started laughing because he really looked like a penguin and he walked like a penguin. So I said to my friend: Oh – mr. Bonn was his name – he really looks like a penguin, and he heard me so from that moment, my grades they really went down.

What do you wish you had learnt as a child?

Electric guitar, I’m still trying to learn but I realized I will never get close to Kurt Cobain. It was also to seduce Kurt Cobain but I didn’t realize he died, so when I found out I was really sad. I’m still trying to learn but I really realize it’s too late.

A drink you are craving right now?

I think it’s a White Russian, but maybe… yes that’s not really true, because you were starting to talk about what you would have liked to learn as a child, a language, so that made me think of Russian and the White Russian drink. Now, I would like coffee, always craving coffee.

If you could design the theme of a video game what would it be?

Marshmallowland… Marshmallow World, where you walk around, yourself as a marshmallow in a marshmallow world. Baby colored: baby blue… baby pink, maybe orange… Nice and soft, fluffy and sticky.

Something that you used have recently started enjoying?

Let me see… It’s very intimate so I won’t tell you about that [haha]… Maybe peanut butter. I didn’t like it, but now I’m really addicted to it.

What made the change?

When I moved away from Holland, where we have really good peanut butter, called Calve Pindakaas, it’s very good, please look it up. I suddenly started to miss it. So now I’ve been importing and even smuggling it. After my last visit to Amsterdam I tried to smuggle peanut butter and Sambal Badjak (of course not Dutch but Indonesian) back to London but at the airport they were like ‘Sorry Miss, this is way more than 100ml’…. And the measurements were in grams not ml, it’s just stupid, I’m not going to kill anybody with peanut butter. So they took my food but didn’t take my razor blades!

Can you screenshot your desktop for us?

Are you superstitious?

I’m very superstitious actually. I like to believe I’m not, but I really am.

What’s your biggest superstition?

The number 8. I see it everywhere. The loops. I have this thing with palindromes and symmetry, like my name ‘Anna’ when you flip it it’s still ‘Anna’. That loop, I see it everywhere like it’s following me. I once had a drawing contest, as a child, and I won but I won only because I had this 8, I drew the 8 on the back of the drawing. And there is also this astrology newsletter that I really believe. A friend recommended this to me, it’s a guy from New York called Rob Brezsny.

We love Rob Brezsny!

Oh my god! Seriously guys, last week he told me ‘you will have 3 successes’. It started off as a horrible week… I was really sad because I used to love him and believe in him and suddenly I didn’t believe him anymore. But then I got 2 emails and a phone call with good news! I was like ‘Oh Rob!’. A friend recommended him, so no credits to me!

www.freewillastrology.com

The last art show you went to where you felt really uncomfortable?

Maybe it was the last time I was doing a performance. I did it a few times but there was a moment when only 2 people were watching. It makes you really self aware.. I’m really happy that I’m not a painting, you see how people look (or how little they look) at an artwork. That was at the WIP show at the RCA (Royal College of Art).

Life hack?

Yes, I would say, so I live in Brixton and to get to school in Battersea it takes 1hr 15minutes to walk. So during the walk use that time to plan the day and make phone calls with my friends back in Amsterdam. Walking around, you save money and you use that time to make phone calls! And you exercise too!

A question you would like to ask yourself?

What animal would you be if you were an animal right now?(because you know, it changes everyday). So looking at myself right now on Skype, I would say I look a bit like a frog with a big mouth….but my eyes are really like small, and frogs have big eyes. Maybe also a donkey because I have been think about them a lot recently. So maybe I’d be a donkey with a frog face.

Can you tell us about the donkeys?

So I’m working on a performance which will be sort of a workshop on how to become a donkey.

Sara Procter

Who do you think you are?

I don’t know, that’s such a hard question. Oh god, I.. who do I think I am. An artist who wants to… no forget that. I think I’m an artist who likes penguins.

What is your favourite emoji?

I don’t really use emojis that much. But when I use emojis i always put a smiley face with three smiles for no reason… because I hate that the emoji comes up without wanting it to be emoji so I always put three smiles :)))

Have you ever witnessed something paranormal?

I have actually. When I was younger, I would always leave my keys in the door, but then my mom would always tell me off. One time I left my keys in the door and there was someone outside and they ran away and I heard stuff downstairs but no one had come in the house…And there might have been an angel like scaring away people, which I don’t know… I don’t know if it was real or not. I think there was a good demon in my house scaring away people who tried to steal my keys.

Cheese or chocolate?

Chocolate, I do like cheese as well but it’s chocolate. Although I’ve had to stop eating chocolate because my teeth are starting to hurt so I might have to switch to cheese, I don’t know.

Favourite chocolate?

I think… it’s a hard question. Salted caramel, anything with salted caramel.

Something that is currently stressing you out or frequently on your mind?

I always get stressed out that I’m not being productive. I’m always thinking I haven’t had a productive day even if I’ve done lots of stuff, that always stresses me out. Even when I’m being productive, I’m worried I’m not being as productive as I can be.

If a pop singer could feature in one of your works, who would that be?

Mhmm, I’ve got my computer, I’ll look at my Spotify list. I think, the Beastie Boys, just because I like that Intergalactic song, that’d be a good song.

If you could chose someone to design your house?

Hmm, maybe some crazy themed film…like Stanley Kubrick, that’d be cool.

Not like the shining right?!

I was thinking more like space odyssey I think, maybe not. I’ll just let him do what he wants.

Your favourite theme park/zoo?

Well, I love penguins, when I was younger my favourite zoo was called Birdland and it was because you got to stroke the penguins. So was my favourite because I got to touch a penguin.

Tell us how much of your work deals with penguins (in percentage).

Well I’ve always liked penguins, so if I don’t know what to do I’ll always associate it with penguins. So probably like 50% of my work is with about penguins.

What are you working on?

I’m writing a short film about a dodo that works in a computer shop. That’s all I’m going to say right now because I’m still writing it.

We’re big fans of dodos here!

I’m still writing it. You know when you’re at that writing stage where you still haven’t formulated everything… I’m going to make a animated story that’s gonna be set in the future but it’s going to be kind of ridiculous with time and so these dodos are going to have giant gloves and they’re going to be fixing old computers. I don’t want to give too much of it away!

Life hack for us?

Yea I do! 2 days ago, no, last week, my grandma got me a diary. Very simple, the last week of my life has been so much more organised because I write everything. So, ‘get a diary! When someone is like ‘are you free next week?’ I get out my diary and feel so much more productive (even though I’m not being that productive) and look it up…It’s a socialcano hehe

Question you would like to ask yourself?

Is this going to be asked again? Yes great:

Do you love penguins?

When did you find out you love penguins?

It all happened when I was 1, my nan bought me a penguin toothbrush holder and I liked it more than any of the other toys that I had. So it was a penguin toothbrush holder and it was Pingu but I called it Kiko. And because I loved it so much, everyone kept buying me penguins. Then Pingu came on TV and I was like ‘yay, I can watch Pingu’…There’s no way out!

Luca George

How old do you think you are?

I think I am 27 because I know I am 27. No, yea I know that I’m 27, I’m just gonna answer that. That’s a really rubbish answer, but there you go, my own age.

The ultimate travel food?

I think this is interesting because I once applied for a job as someone who moves trolleys around in a supermarket car park. During the interview they got everyone together, it was maybe 15 people, and asked these similar questions of like ‘What’s your favourite food?’ or ‘If you were to travel somewhere what would you eat?’…and I really crumbled in that situation. I think there’s a way in which you see yourself as mediocre or you become mediocre when someone asks you the kinds of questions that have you think on your feet. In order to get out of that kind of situation you think of the first thing you can think of so you can escape that question.

And so my favourite travel food…I mean, I like fruit…and that makes me seem like a generic mediocre person but I like to eat fruit when I’m traveling.

Yea, so I’m gonna say: A satsuma.

Your dream job when you were a child?

I wanted to be an actor but I don’t think I knew it was a job. It’s just what I wanted to be. I think you learn to answer that question at a young age. Don’t you? And I think that if you say something funny you realise very quickly that you don’t want to say it again because it brings attention to you…but maybe I enjoyed saying I wanted to be an actor because it brought attention to me. Then when I hit puberty I stopped wanting so much attention, so I kind of avoided the question.

Your favourite gif?

It’s david beckham and his sons getting covered in gold gunge. And this one with the field.

The most memorable thing you did for valentines day?

It’s valentines day tomorrow right? My partner is not mad on valentines day…because she’s much more, uhm, intelligent than other people. I think that I probably had some tragic cinema dates with people when I was younger. I actually went on a valentines date with someone and my mum to see a film, so maybe that one!

Do you remember how old you were?

I was 25 (haha). I would have been about like 9. I’ve always been a really romantic person especially in my youth. I was very emotional and sensitive and I used to fall in love almost every day.

If you could be gifted with a skill, what would that be?

I get quite sad. I think that if I could control that, that would be a hell of a skill. I think there’s a way in which you can take certain things that stop your brain from making you feel sad… but if there was a way in which you couldn’t feel sad it would probably be a nightmare, you’d be like someone with no inhibitions and you’d be awful to be around. The concept of not being sad is pretty blissful though and I’d probably take that.

The most embarrassing object you used for an artwork?

Probably my own body because, honestly, I’m quite obsessed with this idea of embarrassing myself so much that I’m not embarrassed. That question is the answer of my practice in a way…I’m constantly embarrassed. I’m embarrassed to talk about it, you know, especially when people ask me what I’m doing out of the institution or comfort of an art school or art bubble or whatever it is. I think that being alive as someone who identifies as an artist is pretty embarrassing and pretty selfish and it’s a daily struggle.

The best profile to follow on instagram?

Oh come on guys! I actually kind of loathe instagram but I’m very much aware of what it means in my life. I used to not really play computer games when I was younger, I would with other people but I would never do it on my own because I found it unfulfilling, you never really get anywhere, it’s like that concept of the donkey and the carrot. As soon as you turn it off it’s gone. I feel like with instagram I never have any closure and I often behave in like a really erratic way and then regret it. I don’t think anyone should follow anyone on instagram, so I don’t think you should follow any profile on instagram. I think that in 100 years instagram will have come and gone…but I’m on it if you want to look at it, and I apologise for what I put on there.

Yea, we use it way too much… One of us has 4 accounts…

There used to be a thing called bebo when I was growing up. I don’t know if you guys ever encountered it, it was a bit like myspace but you could give each other ‘loves’. So I used to go on my little brother’s account and then give myself a love and then I’d delete it from his so he never knew. I had loads of loves so it made me seem really popular. So I guess that’s the kind of person that I am.

Do you have a life hack for us?

Yea, I think you should not aim to hack your life.

That’s a fuckin’ facetious answer haha. You know what, recently I was on a plane and I was listening to some happy hardcore music as the plane was taking off. That was euphoric. It felt like my heart was going to explode so you should do that. I’ll send you a link.

What is Happy Hardcore?

Happy hardcore and also hardstyle, it’s kind of really intense techno music and has a very fast beat-per-minute. It’s very intense and overbearing but to me it sounds like the music of the future. I think that one day people won’t be interested in melody but they’ll be interested in syncopation and will only want to experience music texturally.

A question you might like to ask yourself?

I feel like I’ve spoken quite a lot so we’ve covered a few things but if I were to ask myself a question I would ask myself: Who are you?

Do you want me to answer it as well?

Yea…

I’m Luca George.

Jungyoon Hyen

Are you afraid of the dentist?

Yes I am! Super afraid… 3 weeks ago when I was in Korea I got my wisdom teeth taken out. They were lying down so to take them out you need to like smash them into 4 piece before taking them out. I hate going to the dentist and dentists really hate me also because I go crazy. I ask so many questions because you can’t really see what’s happening and what they’re using. Like, ‘what are you going to use to smash my wisdom teeth’ and this nurse made a joke: ‘Oh with a hammer’, I was like ‘Oh no!’ but then she said it was a joke… They can see what I can’t see.

The last screenshot that you took?

I’m really interested in screenshots because you’re making a digital object on your phone that just remains as a picture in your photo album. I have plenty of screenshots!

Your favourite superhero?

Maybe Spiderman? I need to think about it…Actually, I really like the ‘Sadness’ in the Inside Out animation. Maybe it is because people said I resemble her (haha). I kind of liked her laziness and lethargic state. And actually she is the unsuspected hero of the story. This is my Sadness doll.

The best present you ever got?

I think, it’s the best and the worse: On my birthday there is a friend who gives me these presents as a joke to make me upset or something. On the last birthday she gave me a children’s book about this birthday girl who invites everyone to her birthday and then no one comes so she gets really sad. This present was actually the best one, it gave me different feelings…it’s one of those presents that you can’t use. Something that is wearable or something that I can use doesn’t remain a ‘present’ for me, it becomes mine the moment I start using it.

What’s last movie that made you cry?

I saw this movie on the airplane when I was coming back from Korea. It made me cry, I had tears in my eye…It was about this woman painter who struggles with arthritis and she met this guy who was really grumpy and really bad to her but then they fall in love. The film is called Maudie.

What’s your favourite form of public transportation?

I hate the tube. It’s not because it’s dirty or whatever, it’s just because I don’t like the fact that I need to go down and come back up again. Maybe the bus. In korea I always took the bus to go to school, like for an hour. When I’m on the bus it’s the place where I think the most, I go somewhere else in my mind.

A really awesome material you discovered(and started using) in the last year?

Art Material? I liked and started using Silicon, casting it or covering the surface of things. It has really different kinds of textures, when you make thin layers it shines, if you let it dry in the air it stays shiny and if you cast it in something it gets more matt. I also like this milliput thing, it’s like a clay but it gets super solid in like 10 hours. You can make anything. You need to mix the two pieces together and make stuff. You can also carve a little bit later. It looks like plastic after, it doesn’t really look like clay.

If we could gift you with magical powers what would you choose?

The power to move anywhere in like 1 second. What do you call it? Teleportation? That’s the only thing I want as a magical power because I don’t want to read or hear someone else’s mind or anything like that because it would make my life complicated and I would be really confused. The only power that I think is beneficial is teleportation. Then I could just go to Korea to see family in one second, have a meal with Korean food that I cannot get here (like raw fish), and then just come back. Or like if I need to research something and need to see it for real, I’d just go see and come back.

Is there a life hack you would like to share?

Something like: Never believe the person that talks really good…or that is really good at talking. Never believe them. I try not to because I am the person who, when someone is making a joke and says a really random thing, will believe them. I’m really bad at lying so when you’re like that you don’t think someone else will lie to you. That’s why I need to be aware of people who talk really well and who are really fluent in everything. Some other people also told me this, people back home maybe slightly older people or maybe even people like me who are not actually very good at talking.

Question you would like to ask yourself?

How old do you think you are?

You know like I feel as though I have this grandma and this seven year old boy inside me. So sometimes when I’m really hyper with close friends I become a seven year old boy (not a girl, a boy). Then when I think ‘Oh what is life’, ‘Is it all bullshit?’ I become a grandma ‘ You know, just being healthy is the best thing’.

Puck Verkade

Has your work/practice responded to any particular event in the last year?

The first thing I think of is yes, of course. I turned 30 this year, or I knew I was gonna turn 30 this year, it made me self conscious and I have a lot of struggles with the question of reproduction and how that quite possibly would influence my life as a woman. And so, regarding personal events, I signed up to be an egg donor and that resulted in my most recent works which is all about reproduction…All sorts of forms of reproduction, so not only sexual reproduction but also social reproduction and digital reproduction. So yeah quite a particularly personal event, but it’s not only personal it’s also political, I guess.

If you could be an insect, which one would that be?

Oh cool, uhm…weirdly, the first thing that comes to mind is a grasshopper but I don’t know why. Really random answer.

A pair of shoes you wish you owned?

Oh my god. These are all things I’ve never thought about, even the shoes! My feet are really difficult so every year I buy the same shoes: these, the ones I have on. I almost never wear other shoes. My feet are just difficult, I have really wide feet, they don’t fit in like really girly shoes hehe…which is also good because I’m not girly anyway, so it’s fine. These are standard brand vagabond shoes. The only thing that I’m worried about is that it’s leather and I really don’t want to wear leather anymore but, I don’t know, I still wear them.

Best horoscope to read/look up? (If you do read horoscopes)

The one that tells me that everything is going to be ok?! This is why you read it right? Because you want to read that everything is going to be fine and you’re going to be completely happy and everything will work out. That’s what you want to read.

I was reading a book where a girl reads five different horoscopes to choose her favourite, and the one that says that everything will be great.

That’s me! That girl’s me!

Last google image search?

Oh I do know, ha! It was Saturday evening when I was looking for images of oysters, because I’m making a video with oysters as narrators… So I needed an image of an oyster to animate faces into them and give them a voice. The oyster with all its gendered connotations and its ecological role in climate change is going to be the intertwined thread. I think the new video I’m working on is going to explore the complexities of consent and shame. The oysters are going to give confessional speeches of how they’ve been assaulted or harassed. There’s a scene when they’re on a plate, you know with ice, and then they start singing, shouting and crying.

If you could collaborate with any other currently living artist, who would that be?

To be honest, as an artist I’m not the best at collaborating because I kinda need to reach a really weird place in my head to make work. It’s a way of getting the demons out I guess, without it sounding too therapeutic, it would be hilarious but impossible to try and share that process with someone else. But in other aspects of my life I love collaborating with people, like when I used to organise techno parties with my friends, or when I teach I feel like that’s a form of collaboration as well – those are all forms that seem to come naturally. With art not so much. I totally disagree with myself because I do collaborate all the time! With actors, voice actors and through re-appropriated material. So, no I do collaborate! You see? I’m doing it again, the existential spiral – why can’t I just say: Rihanna.

The most memorable wall colour of your bedroom?

Well I once lived in a squat in the Hague and I knew I had to leave because the building was going to get demolished. So I asked all of my friends to come over and spend the night. I asked them to bring markers and to leave messages or drawings or whatever on the walls as I was going to get kicked out anyway. It was a way of saying goodbye I guess…It was ugly haha, it was really really ugly, I was an 18 year old living in a stupid squat place, my friends were not losers but you know…no one really cared. So it turned out to be a really disgusting thing.

One of the things you’re proud of accomplishing everyday?

Waking up? I mean everyday is kind of like: Oh I’m still here, yay!

Jennifer Lopez or Madonna?

Madonna. I was a big fan of Jennifer Lopez when she started out but there is no competition, it’s just Madonna.

Do you have a lifehack you could share with us?

When you have gum stuck on a sweater or even in your hair you put peanut butter on it! Because of the oily base, it works. You can first put it in the freezer and then you put peanut butter on it and it then comes out. I mean, you can’t stick your head in the freezer of course haha. Or you cut your hair, just like I did!

Do you have a question you’d like to ask yourself?

That’s hard…I have a tendency to think too deep anyway. So then this becomes like an existential thing suddenly. I can’t really avoid it, the problem is that I don’t seem to be able to keep it casual. For instance I have a really big problem with small talk. Most of the time I just catch people completely off guard by saying or asking something way too personal. Especially in England, I feel like I’ve offended people because I’m way too straight forward. I’ve really tried to tone it down but it’s hard.

So I’m not sure what to ask myself…I can ask something practical like:

Why don’t you just make an appointment to go to the dentist you idiot? I need to go to the dentist, I’ve never been to the dentist in England. I’m a little bit afraid because a piece of my tooth broke off and now I’m postponing my appointment.

The question could be: Are you afraid of the dentist?

Yea, ok my answer would be: slightly, I’m slightly scared.

Max Colson

What’s your favourite colour?

I don’t know, it’s probably black just because it’s easy to match things with it and it’s quite neutral… yea… although is black a colour?

If you could have been born anywhere else than your actual birthplace, where would that be?

Somewhere in the north of Britain: Scotland or Glasgow… a different city in the UK (as I was born in London, I’ve grown up in London and I’ve never left the city really). I think London gives a very limited understanding of the UK if you’ve lived there solely (as a lot of Londoners found out in the referendum last year). While I am interested in a lot of cultures outside of the UK I feel like I don’t know the UK as well as I should.

A cartoon character you aspire to be?

Probably someone like Wolverine. I’m quite attracted to this kind of intuitive ‘macho-ness’ even though that’s not really who I am, I wouldn’t describe myself as a matcho. I’m very interested in macho culture and heteronormative maleness. Wolverine is someone you’re attracted to and repelled by because he’s a good guy but he kind of flies off the hinge and gets a little bit mad and does stuff without thinking.

If you were a fly, who would you spy on?

I’b be interested to spy on Donald Trump just to understand what is behind the media image of him and whether he actually genuinely spends all his time watching Fox news and getting annoyed that he’s not getting covered in the right way. Just for my own peace of mind I’d want to understand that there’s hopefully someone that has some kind of strategy.

George Michael or Michael Jackson?

Haha… George Michael. He’s someone that was very in control of his image, he was very playful and knowingly playful. Michael Jackson was great of course, in terms of his music (haha) but I just feel as though he was someone who had a massive team behind him.

If you could go on a date with a dead artist who would that be?

A dead one… I think I want to say Andy Warhol. His work is so relevant now; the way he turned his practice into a business. I wonder what he would think of digital culture… oh, and I would like to ask him about his relationship with Basquiat… it might make the date awkward!

The place where you get most of your work done?

At my desk, in my flat, in my laptop. I don’t have a studio… That’s just a reality of living in London. Everything I do is on my laptop, I’ve never had access to a studio.

The thing that you’re proudest to have achieved this year?

I think winning the Tenderflix prize (….with you! hahahaha). It’s an award that I’ve followed for a few years and people who have influenced my work have won it. I think it’s a really exciting prize because I feel as though the potential for video art as a medium is so great right now with access to production technology.

An Instagram account everyone ought to know?

It’s an account run by 2 designers who just photograph packaging left in the street and then tag the designers who are responsible for designing that packaging. I think that’s a really great way of connecting the work of designers and creative practitioners to wider problems; implicating designers in littering and anti-social behaviour.

Your go-to fast food?

Pret A Manger. The staff project this happiness in a way that’s too genuine like they’ve been too well drilled. I feel a bit conflicted about it because there is a Pret in almost every single new retail development giving no space to independent cafes but. It’s a guilty pleasure!

Do you have a life hack to share with us?

Always put a piece of blue-tack on the camera of your laptop otherwise you never know who will be looking at you.

A question you might like to ask yourself?

Has your work/practice responded to any particular event in the last year?

In my case, yes, a film I’ve just made ‘The Green and Pleasant Land’, it’s being exhibited at Arebyte gallery. I guess it’s a post-Brexit film, it’s an animation, a fantasy about British history. It’s a direct response to Brexit but I feel as though it has taken me away a little from my core interest that is the relationship between architecture and built environment, so It’s something I’m going to go back to.

Giulio Scalisi

How do you read at bedtime whilst lying down in bed?

Actually the reason I read at night is just to fall asleep. I find that it’s a really nice way to induce sleeping. I don’t really read much. I only read when I need some basis or inspiration for my work, it’s not really my go-to or that entertaining for me… unless it’s summer, I really like to read during summer, like after going for a swim and laying in the sun, that’s when I usually read.

What would you do if you weren’t allowed to use a computer for the next 3 years?

Oh fuck! [haha] I guess I’d use my iPhone. Maybe I would draw more or I would start painting… but I would still need to use my iPhone… how could I access all the references I use for my work? I’d have to, there’s no escape from it.

Corgi or Chihuahua?

That’s really hard! Both cute. Corgis can twerk but Chihuahua are more fascinating to me because they’re as big as cats but they’re dogs…and they’re really bitter and angry. So yeah, I think Chihuahua because they’re true jerks (and they’re cat size).

The last thing that you typed into Google?

It’s probably really embarrassing. Oh ok, it’s ‘Drake on a wheelchair’… he used to be an actor (in Canada because he’s Canadian right?) in a sitcom there, don’t know which one but he was on a wheelchair. People might get offended, I don’t know, I’m not making fun of the handicap, I was just looking him up.

If you were an important textbook figure (like the ones studied in history books) who would you be?

Let me think about it…because I didn’t really study that much history. Maybe I’d like to be Leonardo da Vinci minus the raping of young guys. I really liked him as a figure… or Lady Gaga hehe [historical].

The top 3 things that terrify you?

You know when elevator or subway doors close, I’m scared that I will get stuck and that they will crush all of my bones. The second one is ‘pigeons’, I mean I love pigeons but I’m scared that they’re gonna hit my face when I’m walking or that they’re gonna poop on me. And the third one maybe ‘dying alone’…really millennial of me.

If you could feature in somebody’s music video, who’s video would you be in?

Either David Bowie’s ‘Life On Mars’ (it’s my favourite video of his) or Rihanna of course, she’s like the coolest person alive right now.

Your favourite TV show villain?

I really really like Bob from Twin Peaks! …terrifying

If you could invite a living artist for tea and cake who would that be and what sort of cake would you offer?

I don’t know…definitely a red velvet cake because that’s my favourite..but who should I invite? My first thought goes to Mark Leckey because I really like him but maybe not. I’ll say Will Benedict, and I would offer him a space cake (hehe).

Life hack?

Going back to the falling asleep question, actually I always had trouble falling asleep. So I think the best way for me to do that now, aside from reading (of course), is setting up a completely fake story inside my head. What I do usually is put myself inside these environments I’d really like to be in. What I used to do when I was really young was imagining myself inside the Harry Potter castle and I would try to come up with every single detail for the story. Every night I would do that (I don’t do it with Harry Potter anymore) and it would always be the same and I would never get to live inside that thing in my mind because I would just fall asleep in under 5 minutes. So I guess that’s an act people could try if they’re weird enough…

Is there a question you would like us to ask you?

What’s your favourite colour?

I think grey…a 50% grey, not too dark but more on the light side.

Kind of like the background in software for designing in 3D?

Yes, exactly that one!

Stefania Carlotti

How do you find the balance when a work of yours includes or speaks about a specific person you know?

That’s a hard question, I was expecting something like: What colour are your socks? Haha..
With regards to this question I’d say that not being ‘explicit’ is essential and it depends on whether or not this other person is aware of the work you might be creating. I also believe that a balance needs to be found in something that is both interesting to me in terms of the other person or the relationship to that person, but also how this tie might be similar in a viewer relating to the experience. As a viewer, I might not be as interested if I’m not aware of the relationship/bond between the artist and subject.
I was doing this for my thesis piece: My work was about my former roommate. She was still my roommate whilst I was making the work and she was not at all aware of the fact that I was doing this.. Still now the situation is unclear, I always use vague terms.. haha my roommate still doesn’t know that she has been the subject of my thesis piece.

One existing building you wish you could live in?

Damn… I don’t know.. maybe In some patio home of Miles Van Der Hoe. Yes, actually I’d really like that: huge windows and calmness, you really feel calm in there… I’d watch everything from the windows!

One habit you wouldn’t be able to give up on?

Putting an embarrassing amount of pepper on whatever food I’m eating.

The best thing to eat in your hometown?

The tortellini of Modena! No doubts on that one!

What’s on Santa’s list?

A pair of winter boots for Switzerland. It’s so cold here right now…

What kind of boots? Like rubber boots?

No, something a slight bit more elegant. I need to upgrade my current status, I can’t keep going around in sneakers (haha)…

If you were to be gifted 3 tonnes of a specific material to make your art, what would it be?

The only thing that’s coming to my mind right now is whipped cream. I’m imagining something huge ahaha.. but maybe I should say something a little more serious, in fact, I think I’ll say amber. Amber is my favourite material right now.

The last thing you liked on Instagram?

I’m quite scarce on Instagram to be honest. The last profile I followed was victorinioxswissarmy and I think I liked some of their posts.. [checks instagram]
Actually, it’s this post by Lorenza Longhi of an art space we opened up within the university (Master Art Visuel, Ecal). The space is called ‘wishing well’. Every time there’s a post about it from an external person, there are like a thousand likes from everybody in the class.

Is there a language you wish you were fluent in?

Well, English. I really suck at English…

If you had to bring your grandma to an exhibition, which one would it be?

I think to Lauvre Prouvost (the exhibition she did in Hangar Bicocca in Milan). Mainly because that exhibition was on her grandpa, so I feel that it could be something quite interactive where my grandma could have fun without being too perturbed.

A life hack to share with us?

Oh I do something: I peel an egg by putting it in a glass full of water. When you make a boiled egg and then want to peel it, you put it in a glass of water, block the open part with your hand and shake.. the egg peels itself!

A question you’d like to ask yourself?

I hate asking questions.. maybe a breakfast question? Like now I learnt how to eat yoghurt… I never used to have it but it’s quite fundamental for me now… I have it with little seeds, or muesli or whatever.
Actually, one of my big questions these days is:
How do you read at night at bedtime whilst lying down in bed?
I don’t think I’ve found a solution to this, not even coffee helps… it’s quite deadly.. so yea, I’m still looking for the answer.
Before I used to be able to do this but now I can’t even watch movies, I just fall asleep midway through them. Maybe I tire myself out more, but I think I might just be getting old. The cinema for me is just banned, I sleep big time and need to be awake at the end. We’re getting big, we have more problems and are more stressed so the moment we sit down we fall asleep hehe…

Vasiliki Antonopoulou

Which song do you remember off by heart?

Uhmm..Many songs! I recently went to a Placebo gig, so I’d say ‘Special K’ by Placebo.

Haven’t heard their recent stuff.

Don’t, you will cry of disappointment…

What is your favourite kind of museum?

‘The Museum of Life’, no joking…I guess artist run spaces because you never really know what to expect and you feel more comfortable in them because they don’t feel so sterile. Are they museums though? If not if you mean any type of museum, not necessarily an art museum, I’d say the Geffrye Museum in Haggerston, it’s amazing, it’s all replicas of interiors,it’s a museum on interior design and furniture.

What was the scariest thing you did in the name of art?

Driving in Saudi Arabia…although to be fair it wasn’t in the city but there were some people around. I drove not very far because I don’t know how to drive (haha), it was an automatic car, I drove in a straight line. It was a performance for a video I did about the driving ban.

Is there an app that you hate but use anyways?

My period tracking app called Period Diary and of course the logo is a flower. I hate it because if you get it wrong it ruins the whole cycle, I’ve had to delete and redownload it…I should comment, write a review.

What’s the last thing you ate?

I had a chicken soup from Fulham Tarts. It wasn’t that great but it looked healthy so it was a step up.

The last person you followed on instagram?

Let me check, I don’t remember, I’m actually curious. Ah, it was ‘papalokoparty’, it’s like a queer techno party, it’s actually good! It happens in Angel, in Electrowerkz, it’s great that this place exists, it used to be a massive warehouse/factory and it’s right behind Angel station. They do a lot of parties.

If you were stranded in the desert, what’s the one (non electronic) object you’d choose to have with you?

Non Electronic? That’s difficult… A Shovel maybe? I’d dig dig dig until I find water. Is that a thing? Is it possible? At least it would occupy me.

It sounds very creepy, like digging for your grave.

I mean it’s that, either I find water or I dug my grave, it kind of goes full circle.

Cheese or yogurt?

Cheese, I hate yogurt. I’m not a big fan of cheese either but yes, cheese. It’s just with yoghurt, I’ve been traumatised, I’m Greek I’ve had to have it so much that I can’t have it anymore.

What’s the best Zodiac sign? The worst?

Oohh, I’m so into zodiac signs! I’m tempted to say pisces, because I’m pisces but I must say that the best zodiac sign (love and hate relationship but mostly love) is the scorpio. So, the worst, also scorpio.

Life hack?

This is not a hack but I find it really cool, you know those leaves that sting, Nettles, next to them grows the plant that soothes the sting. Isn’t that amazing? But that’s incomplete information so it’s not very useful haha..

Oh I have one actually that has been very useful for when I moved to England: Sticking sharp objects into plugs! You know the plugs, like the ones in Greece that accommodate plugs with two bits (and how those don’t really fit in English plugs unless you have an adapter). Well, you need to insert a sharp object in the top hole and it unlocks the mechanism for plugs to fit into the bottom holes… I hope nobody dies after we give this advice!

Do you have a question you’d like to ask?

A Challenge I am facing now is with work that is very personal and when it has to do with real people? How do you include it in a work in a way that is both comfortable for you and the other person?

How have you been facing this?

Oh you ask, I thought you wouldn’t ask hehe. I use metaphors and little clues, it excites me when I use certain details (even if metaphorical or symbolic) that relate to anyone but the specific person will know that it’s about them because it’s very specific to them. So, the idea that people look at the work and see what they want to see, but that one person knows that that moment that it’s them, that kind of intimacy…

Tereza Cervenova

Who’s the last person you felt like slapping?

Ohh… there’s a few. It’s difficult because I wouldn’t go and slap them, but I feel like I just want to shake them… or why is not going well.

What colour are your socks?

Black. They are often black, but I’m trying to change that.

Would you rather own an Anish Kapoor or an Ai Wei Wei work?

I don’t know… I’m not the biggest fan of either of them. I think I’d probably rather have Ai Wei Wei.

A dead person you wish you could have taken a picture of?

Virginia Woolf, first comes to mind. She was so beautiful and I love her thinking.

Your favourite time of the day?

It used to be morning for sure and now… I think it’s actually sunset. So whenever the sun is setting, because in London the sky is always quite magnificent. So yeah, when the sky goes really red, most of the time you have clouds but at the sunset the clouds become an amazing spectacle.

I did take a lot of Instagram stories of the sky, because I wrote my dissertation on my roof, hence the twilight.

The best exhibition you’ve seen this year?

One of the really beautiful ones was of Alice Neel at the Vincent Van Gogh Foundation in Arles, (there was the photography festival on there, which I should be more interested in but I didn’t care about anything because that show was so beautiful). I only just discovered her and I loved it. This one just stuck with me, it was so rough, visceral and honest…and she’s a portrait painter and I’m a portrait photographer (not only, but I make work about people) so that one really touched me! There was this Andy Warhol painting that was unlike any other portrayal of him right next to a Harlem Mother with her child. She really knows what to show and what to omit and I loved how a lot of the paintings were ‘unfinished’ but it was just enough, you didn’t really need anything else.

What are the most comfortable shoes you’ve ever owned?

The ones I’m wearing now! They are from Ecco, and I wish that I had bought 3 pairs so that when these go bad I just have another (haha). They are kind of like boxing shoes…but ohh yea, they are just the most comfortable shoes in the world. As a photographer and an assistant: Shoes are important!

Actually, funny enough, I have another story about shoes. Recently I was commissioned to photograph Julie Verhoeven, she’s an illustrator, wonderful artist and she’s worked in fashion quite a lot so she’s famous for the fashion illustration. Anyways, so when I got the commission, I googled her and I couldn’t believe that one of the first images that appeared on google search images. It was this illustration of a girl that I had taken inspiration from as a teenager, I had painted it on a pair of white sneakers that I owned…and now 10 years later I get a commission to photograph this person! And actually my portrait of this artist looks so similar to my illustration on my shoe!

The one best thing about going home to your family?

The warmth and the feeling of safety in a way that I can switch off. I feel that like when I go back, a big weight gets lifted off my shoulders… where for a little moment it’s almost like being on holiday from being an adult! Ah and my brother!

What TV show would you like to appear on?

I don’t think I would like to appear on a TV show. No. I’d like to be a member of the crew when Simon Schama was doing the BBC series on painters, they were amazing… but I wouldn’t want to appear on one (haha). I don’t really watch TV shows… when I was really low, just finished my BA and had no work, I watched the whole of Dr. House series. It was such an intense and really sad experience and I just I don’t want to fall into that. I don’t really like being in front of the screen, my work is completely non-digital… so I can see the appeal of ‘relax’ by watching a TV show but I’m just not into it.

Life hack?

When you have hiccups: drink really slowly a spoon full of lemon juice.

Is there a question you would like to ask yourself?

I think that a lot of the questions that I would like to ask myself are a lot more on a personal level and I’ve been asking a lot of questions to myself… in the end it’s about being true, true to oneself. Actually, recently I think that I’ve allowed myself to be more open. If you’re trying to be as transparent as you can, you might not need to ask yourself questions… just be open to the questions by others. Lately I’ve been asking myself: What do I want my work to do? It’s personal and autobiographical but at the same time it’s not showing me there…My work is about contemporary moments that I find are beautiful…it’s about care, attention and stopping for a moment.

Actually one other question is that you were selected for the last ‘Bloomberg New Contemporaries’, how’s that been?

It was probably one of the best art experiences I’ve had because we were selected and that was it, there wasn’t one winner. We were really looked after, it felt genuine, the speeches by the chair and the director were touching, we have a saying in Slovakia that says ‘They didn’t put a serviette in front of their mouths’; they were not scared of addressing Brexit or the fact that art schools are getting so many more students and the frustrations of people paying so much more money…they were addressing the core. I was very much in the photography world before coming to the RCA and because New Contemporaries is very wide and doesn’t only deal with photography it’s very different to the previous very photographic competitions I applied to before…I literally applied half an hour before closure! I’m very honoured and happy to be part of it.

Name Surname

21.10.17 @?hl=en

What’s the fullest you’ve ever been?

I just got back from a little tour of Italy, I went to an Italian wedding and it was the most insane event I’ve ever been to. The church was on top a hill overlooking the ocean in Tuscany, it was attached to a castle and inside this castle there various rooms with different events going on. There was typical Tuscan charcuterie in the courtyard, a seafood section on the terrace, dinner was a 5 different knives and forks scenario, in which I’m not at all well versed in, everything so lavish…it was nice…and because of my slightly adverse opinion on marriage and stuff like that I have to find a way of making it somehow ok for me, so on my shoes (because I had to buy a pair of shoes for this) I wrote in correction fluid (in really small writing) ‘Smart shoes for Weddings…’ on shoe and then on the other: ‘…and funerals’. But yes, I was full.

What behaviours make you think a person is creepy?

I think it would be the polar opposite of what’s conventionally creepy..because I have a lot of the conventionally creepy attributes. I’d say 9-5 jobs and wearing a suit at work I suppose, it’s pretty creepy.

What’s the last thing you fixed?

I fixed a washing machine actually. I think that was the last thing, instead of fixing a cocktail or something like that…I learnt how to do it using youtube tutorials.

A music guilty pleasure?

I try not to say that they’re guilty pleasures…but my go to answer would be Coldplay, the first three albums are fucking amazing, oh and some U2 songs. I guess that would be it, I don’t feel guilty about it; more like what would be perceived as guilty pleasures.

If you got gifted a holiday, what would you do?

Usually when I go on holiday I tend to go alone, in fact I’ve just come back from Bruges. I went on my birthday – a solo mission to Bruges – walking around gothic Bruges, listening to a recently discovered German band called ‘Gas’, some really dark, droney techno from the 90’s…I feel like I’m on holiday all the time, experiences blur into one another, not having a set structure for my life…I guess I would carry on doing what I usually do. I like to joke and say ‘my life’s a holiday…and I want to go home’ sniff sniff…

If you could transform one part of your body, what would it be?

Transform, I guess you’re being clever with the wording; not using ‘better’ or ‘make perfect’…huge tits! No, joking. I guess it would be my spine, from skateboarding 20 years I’ve got an S-curve in my spine due to standing on one foot…I guess I would make my body proportionate and how it’s meant to be. I went to 4 different chiropractors to try and sort it out but it’s an ongoing problem…It’s not like having a gun instead of a leg or anything, but it would be nice.

Your favourite type of cat?

I’m not very good with breeds but my favourite cat is called Beatrix who is white and completely deaf (as I think 50% of white cats are meant to be). It’s crazy because she’s got a constant solemn expression on her face but she’s the happiest cat in the world. She’s also mad on water, so you’ll be brushing your teeth and she’ll be going in the sink. So yeah, it would be Beatrix, I don’t know what breed she is but I think she’s Russian.

If you had an art collection, what would your top 3 pieces be?

This is very difficult to answer, I see no real fundamental reason to own any work, if it exists in the world and I have engaged with it, you have that, which can’t be taken away, though as you gain a myriad of different experiences the work might change for you. There was a time when I really liked Jenny Saville paintings. I remember having a book of hers from when I was around 10 or something. I would just obsess over her work, I remember going to see a solo exhibition in Oxford years after, the anticipation before entering felt similar to the one you have before going to a gig (of a music artist you admire).

But yeah, I think I would abstain from having any art.

One thing people take too seriously?

My immediate answer would be ‘life’. Yea life, themselves, I think there are so many things that people take too seriously, including myself, when it all boils down to it nothing matters, we’ll be in the grave soon.

A life hack you might like to share with us?

I almost feel bad saying these ones because they reveal a slightly sketchy side of my character but: If you choose to steal food from the supermarket, make that supermarket Waitrose or Marks and Spencer, because with the more middle class shopping Centre’s, the weighing scales aren’t as sensitive, so you can bleep 2 packs of salmon through and put them down at one time. I don’t know why exactly, but I guess it’s because they don’t want the alarm to go off all the time, they just want it to be a nice smooth shopping experience.

Also, for bunking the Overground, you’ve got to get on and get off stations with no gates (obviously). Sit in the middle of the first carriage, this gives you a view down the whole train and if the ticket officer gets on they will usually turn left to inspect the tickets of the people at the very front, hence your position in the middle which enables you to turn and casually walk down the train when their back is turned. I sometimes pretend to make videos of the views from the train window on my phone, to look like an innocent wondering tourist as opposed to a bunker.

Is there a question you would like to ask yourself?

I try to imagine this as if there were a me sitting there. I guess it would be: What question would you ask yourself? I’ll just have to keep asking it until something happens. But yea, the bigger ones, you know what they are; they can be frightening and fun.

Isabelle Levadoux

28.09.17 vimeo.com

How do you like your eggs?

A la coque (soft boiled) with ‘mouilletes’ (sticks of toast bread) and butter. You couldn’t find an answer more French…with salt and pepper!

A famous person you wish you looked like?

Looked like? Physically or globally? Physically, Natalie Portman (not very intellectual). If it wasn’t physical, Chantal Akerman (definitely more intellectual).

If you had to burn one of your works which one would it be?

Burn one of my works? All the paintings that are in my apartment that take up space and that I don’t look at anymore. They’re in a big pile. I haven’t painted for five years so now they’re just in a corner and I don’t pay attention to them. I don’t have the heart to throw them out so maybe burning them would be a good way to recycle them. They are covered in dust. They are acrylic and drill paintings: they’re these huge canvases where I painted in acrylic and then pierced tonnes of small holes through them. They’re very light but they’re quite big and take up a lot of room and are too fragile for me to open up and put them in my room…I don’t appreciate them anymore. It’s a problematic painting to burn.

What are you reading?

‘Le petit manuel de la composition typographique’ by Muriel Paris (the small manual on typographic composition). She’s so French, she’s named Paris.

Can you give us a image from your phone from this past week?

Croissants, cake or Ice cream?

Croissants. So French. With an egg “a la coque” and some “mouillettes” (haha).

An artist you’ve been looking up lately?

Clement Cogitore https://clementcogitore.com/

He’s on show at the Bal, and if you pass by Paris you should absolutely see this, it’s incredibly beautiful. He’s the one who made the movie Ni le ciel ni la terre (The Wakhan Front).

What is an everyday thing that gives you anxiety?

Sex.

(Haha) Let me think of another option..maybe starting a new project, I think my work in general, I think about it at night, what I’m going to work on tomorrow…

If you could spend one day with a now dead politician who would that be?

Simone Weil.

The best place in France?

La Ria d’Étel (that’s in Breton, the official name is Rivière d’Étel). It’s a place in Bretagne near the Gulf and the Barbillon. It’s so beautiful, the landscape constantly changes. It’s a lagoon with many different small islands and the water comes up and down, here’s a screenshot:

Would you rather lose your laptop or lose your family photos?

My laptop. There’s nothing inside my laptop because I have copies of my work everywhere. I often make copies and delete folders. Actually once I deleted an important folder with texts I had written; recently I looked everywhere for those texts as I’m trying to build my website but I can’t seem to find them, I must have deleted them by accident. I’ve tried retracing them in my inbox to see if I sent them to anybody by chance but no…

You’re making your own website?

Yes, that’s why I’m reading ‘Le petit manuel de la composition typographique’! I’m trying to find a graphic identity. I find that many artist websites look extremely similar, it’s always this very clean looking modern typography with the little icon on the left and the slide of images on the right. I’d like to work on something a little more fun with gifs and other elements. It’s delicate because it mustn’t give off fake impressions (for instance: it mustn’t look like a fashion website)…it’s complicated, I still haven’t found the answer. I work a lot with image textures I’m thinking I might use textures in the background extracted from video frames or pixelated qualities from images zoomed in.

Like Hack?

How to cool down a beer very rapidly: You wet paper towels with water and wrap them around your beer. You then put it in the freezer. It cools down twice as fast as if you don’t use the wet towels. It works!

Is there something we didn’t ask you that you’d like to ask yourself?

Who’s the last person you felt like slapping?

My previous boss. I was working in a production company, we went to Cannes together, just before the Festival de Cannes he used to call me everyday until 11pm to re-work the design on invitation cards etc. I got so fed up that I refused and the day after I refused I got a little note on my desk saying ‘You can go fetch my shirts at the dry cleaning place’. Since then I quit (haha)!

Isabella Benshimol

09.09.17 @ibenshimol

Do you think that you perform for social media?

Not really..not at all. It’s an interesting question but I don’t believe that I perform for social media. I like to think that I have more of an ‘outsider’ point of view in terms of social media; I’m interested in it but I’m not part of it. And if I’m part of it, I wouldn’t call it a performative action but I’d call it something different…Well, like it do it sometimes with the eggs but I’m also very conscious of the fact that I don’t want to be doing a performance (with my body, selfies etc.) on social media.

What’s your latest guilty pleasure in terms of item of clothing?

I did buy a few things in New York when I was there…In New York everyone was crazy with sales and it made me super anxious. I remember I spent one whole night thinking that I had to buy something just because of sales and I ended up not sleeping because I got really anxious. My latest guilty pleasure would be these Gucci sunglasses, they’re really amazing! Of course I didn’t buy them, they were like €400…

What’s your favourite sweet and salty dish?

Sweet plantain chips with goat cheese! I just had it in Venezuela and it reminded me of my childhood…I was like omg I need to eat more of this but of course you don’t find the sweet ones in Europe; the green ones are the ones you usually see in Latin American markets but the other ones you only find them in Caracas. That dish is amazing, that’s the one for sure.

Can you describe your instagram account in 3 words?

Melting – Eggs – Sexiness

What animal would you feature in an art work?

A frog. It just came to my mind, but yes, I guess a frog. A very slimy frog. I love the hands of the frog (do you say hands?). I find them really sexy. I’d get like a really cool one with a shiny colour and slime…and I’d go for a really small frog, not the big ones, that’s disgusting. I’d choose a very sleek and smooth little frog.

What’s the last thing you watched on youtube?(no cheating)

Oh yea [haha] there’s this new Reggaeton album by Ozuna that’s amazing:

If you could work with one famous artist, who would that be?

I think Alex da Corte. I met him in New York, he’s so nice and really cute person. So yea, I guess him because of the aesthetic and I think it would be really interesting to work with him in space; on making a space.

What bothers you the most at 7am in the morning?

Not having avocado in my house and not being able to have avocado in the morning. When I’m really hungry and I want my eggs with avocado and I don’t have them…I’m just ‘fuck I need to go out and buy them…Or when the avocado is not ready to eat, that’s just fucking fucked up haha. Not having avocado and having to leave the house to go buy them, or not having eggs…I guess just not having a complete breakfast, that’s just sad and I get really pissed.

Gold or silver?

I think silver…melting silver.

Any good life hacks?

I think it’s related to food, as always. I hate the garlic smell on my hands, my grandma always says this: after you chop garlic, you rinse your hands under cold water (don’t use soap) and then clap, like an actual round of applause, your fingers need to be open. And that actually works, it’s really funny because it does work. You’ve never done it before?! Oh and you must not dry your hands with a piece of cloth, you dry them, by clapping.

Something you would like us to ask you?

How do you like your eggs? I like mine boiled. I’ve discovered that like 5 minutes 35 seconds is the perfect egg cooking time for me. Sometimes you cook it somewhere else, you boil it in another house and the timing is different…then sometimes it overcooks, the egg gets too hard and I get pissed. I like my boiled eggs really soft and runny.

Nora Silva

Do you like street signs?

Yes, I guess so. I’m a bit obsessed with ‘safety’ so I always look at signs (like the ball games ones) that are in london in all the council flats, and in like basically every public space. There are signposts with regulations of what you can and cannot do. In London I find that everything is incredibly regulated, especially in public spaces.

If you had to chose your last meal what would it be?

I have already thought about that! I would have a Spanish omelette (the classic one with just potatoes, onions and eggs). And I would also have tomato salad, but not just any tomato salad, it needs to be with the incredible tomatoes you get in Spain (I’m guessing that in Italy you have them as well). They’re really huge and ugly but on the inside they’re so rich and intense that they’re almost burgundy… It just brings tomato to its highest level of accomplishment. For me that’s my last meal.

I think this is the most Spanish answer I could come up with! And it’s funny because actually the potato and the tomato are Mexican but they are the main ingredients in Spanish cuisine.

If you owned an object with superpowers, what would that object be?

I think something related to sustainability and climate change because that’s one of my main concerns at the moment (my dad works in this domain so I’m quite aware of it). Possibly a machine that creates local produce in everyone’s homes and that at the same time recycles the soil…that way we don’t need a food industry anymore, we’d produce our own food in our own homes…the food industry is a huge component of the damage we’re doing to the earth. I think this self sustainability would help climate change quite a lot.

What’s your most popular self portrait on Instagram?

This one is related to my art practice: And this one to my music:

Insert a screenshot of the last thing (movie/ tv show/ video) that made you cry

Oh, I cry with an advert so that’s super easy! Adverts that show a family with a mum that’s moved because her son is coming home…in advertising they know how to generate empathy like that. In any case, this is the last movie that made me cry a lot:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yKgRUqINlPE

If you were cooking for 4 famous people at one table, who would they be?

Do they have to be alive?

No.

So, I’d like to cook predominantly for women. They’d be: Angel Olsen, she’s alive, she’s a musician and I really like her music and her lyrics. Then, Frida Kahlo, I mean it’s a cliche but she’s the feminist I admire the most. Hannah Arendt, she’s an incredible philosopher, the discussion would suddenly become quite serious but whatever..and maybe my great great great grandmother, just to see who she is.

If you invented a cocktail, what would you call it, what color would it be?

I have actually invented quite a few cocktails in my supper club but they were always based on the work of the artists I was working with. The cocktail I’d invent now would be something sort of related to brexit…Oh, I would call it Post-truth! Something really sweet but at the same time really bad for you, so it’s easy to drink but it just corrupts your stomach..something like that. And it would be the most popular colour of them all, which I guess is like pink or red… a bright colour that traps your eye: fluorescent pink!

One exhibition you wish you hadn’t seen?

That’s a tricky question because I only remember the exhibitions I liked, the other ones are kind of faded in my memory. When you have an idea of what an artist’s body of work is like but their exhibition is just another one imitating displays and standardised strategies it’s something that can leave you disappointed. So it’s just some sort of realisation of this artist you thought was revolutionary but they’ve just blended in with the rest of commercial artists….Oh, I thought of one: Damien Hirst! This was ages ago, I discovered his work in uni and I was quite impressed by it (the cow and everything…) then I went to see his exhibition, it was a huge one, he had all this gold, very over the top, it was incredibly vulgar. I was like ‘this is not what I thought it was’…it was quite an awakening. It’s so obscene and dramatic that it appeals to some sort of maybe sublime kind of concept of what art can achieve by being overwhelming but at the same time it’s just obscene..but at the same time it doesn’t mean that it’s not impressive.

You’ve just graduated right ? Do you know what will you be doing next?

This is a question I have been asking myself for two months! (haha) I have always had my priorities very clear: I know that I want to be an artist, I guess the struggle comes when you try to find the balance between your day job and your art practice, it’s a classic right? I have recently formed a band (Coskeyass), I would really like to merge my art practice with my music practice to make some form of touring-art-exhibition-concert. I have been applying for many jobs but I think I’m going to end up working as a chef again which I guess makes sense…what I want to do after graduating is to continue making art work, focusing on my band and trying to merge these practices, the way I have of making money to sustain this is usually through food: I’m either a chef of I have my supper club and I have plans to make it bigger (maybe transform it into an art residency)..I’ll just keep trying really.

Do you have a life hack you’d like to share with us?

I’m going to give you two answers. One is really obvious but nobody does it: how to chop an onion properly! It’s really simple, you peel it first and you cut it in half across the ends (without cutting off the ends). People usually do the whole thing and then it falls apart and you kind of try to hold it together..but if the end is still there it holds it all together and it’s so good, absolutely necessary in everyone’s lives.

Here is a link that shows what I’m talking about:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dCGS067s0zo

The second life hack is something that has helped me a lot: my SAD lamp. It’s for us from the south, suffering from the lack of sun…it has saved my mood so many times. I use this lamp when I’m reading, working, whenever I can (I have also used it in my work). It’s this very very bright white light that simulates the light of the sun…great for when it’s a very grey day in London and you need that amount of light.This is maybe for foreigners who have nostalgia of the sun.

Let’s keep it at the onion and the sun.

Is there a question we haven’t asked you, that you’d like to ask yourself?

Something I ask myself (that I try to prevent or control) is: Do you think that you perform for social media? In the sense that you portray a version of yourself that you wish to project or. Or how manipulated or manufactured is that image? By you or the media? What kind of image am I giving through my Facebook or through my Instagram and if someone who doesn’t know me has access to that (quite personal information) who am I? When I take a selfie I think ‘oh this doesn’t work’, but why? Am I curating myself? This is like a daily performance for this invisible audience.

My response to the question would be: Yes. I am performing all the time for social media and it is so paradoxical because social media is aimed to bring your intimacy closer to other people but in a way it distances you from yourself. It’s like publishing an extra layer of imagery of this created intimacy that you are putting out there. I think very much of ‘what is going to work on instagram’, ‘I can’t put too many selfies in a row’, ‘I need to put a bit of art work, a bit of selfies etc.’ That’s going to make me look like ‘the artist’, ‘the person who is behind it’, ‘the singer’…all these things that you want to project. I think it’s scary.

Aldo Lurgo

07.08.17 @?hl=it

What did you lose recently?

I cannot currently think of anything specific or absurd, because (there’s a reason) in the last years I’ve lost crazy amounts of stuff…like IDs and mobile phones, the usual stuff. So because of this, I’ve tried to set my things up in a way as not to lose them. I can’t remember the last time I lost something…at least something physical that is…

If you could bring one movie with you on a desert island (please be honest)?

Fuck, the movie… I can’t even remember the last film I saw. This is difficult…I’d say ‘Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance)’, as it’s one of the movies I remember because I liked it. In fact it’s a movie I really liked, it’s the kind that keeps you company (on an island). I could’ve answered this question with TV shows (as now I’m really into survival, fishing and those types of shows) but then my answers might become incredibly trivial. Like, you’re already there working like crazy and trying to survive only to watch others in your exact position working like crazy and trying to survive…

Nutella/beer: If you had to eliminate one of these from you life for ever which one would it be?

Nutella, yes. For survival reasons; beer quenches your thirst and it’s more useful generally. If you had asked me to chose between a variety of spreads, I would have chosen Nutella, no doubt.

What’s the last thing you liked on instagram or Facebook or both?

A video you can find online that everybody ought to see.

The last thing you read/you’re currently reading?

The last one, I read ten minutes before starting this interview with you. I was reading an article that came out on Artribune talking about a book that focused on failure in a moment of “post everything”.

Which artist would you go on a date with?

This is hard, uhmm…. I would answer with Jonathan Meese, because it would be a crazy date. Otherwise Rihanna.

If you could work with only one material what would it be?

It would be iron or metal in general. I had started a work with drawing and sculpture made out of forged cast iron. It cost a crazy amount, between 5000 and 10000 euro to make one sculpture. I didn’t do it in the end. So, iron would be great.

It’s August. What are your holiday plans? Did you already have a holiday?

I was with my family at my hometown’s local fair for 10 days (in Canale). And now I’m going with my girlfriend to the lake of Como to then head to Salento, in Puglia. There I hope to turn off my brain. You are the last thing linking me to civilization, my last official commitment before the holidays.

Best reason to live in Milan?

The amazing amount of people you can meet and things you can do (this is coming from a person who grew up in a tiny town). It can feel like a big city but in the end it’s quite small. By bike you can go from one side to the other in 40 min. It’s manageable and yet has lots to offer. A reason not to live in Milan is that, as you can see I’m dripping, it’s August, it is 40 degrees celsius right now, but for a human being it feels like it’s about 50. That’s why I’m running away.

Life Hack?

I go crazy for videos like “how to open a pen in 20 different ways” they’re amazing. However the best thing I’d advise right now, since it’s August and some people go camping, is the camping fridge. Basically, you make a pretty deep and big hole in the ground, you place a plastic bag inside and then you cover it. It becomes a fridge next to the tent. It doesn’t cool anything just keeps stuff at a good temperature. At festivals it works great.

A question you’d like to be asked?

Nothing good comes to mind. A question could be: why do you like street signs this much? It’s something I regularly ask myself. The answer… I don’t really know but I’m especially in love with the base of street signs (I don’t know if you’ve seen my pictures). I like the blocks used to stabilize them, some crazy things, or objects created specifically for that function (made out of cement or iron). They are beautiful: spontaneous sculptures.

Guendalina Cerruti

When will you stop being so obsessed with food? (Are you obsessed with food?)

I don’t think I’m obsessed with food, even though I’m very picky. I have to say that this year I have been very obsessed with food in the sense that everyday for lunch I’d have the same thing: I’d buy these packaged vegetables, warm them up in the microwave and I’d also buy a hotcake and an apple…because I thought all of this was more healthy (haha). I quite liked having this routine because it’s just something this certainty that at noon when I had my break I knew what to eat, where to buy it, how many minutes it had to be microwaved…

And what if the supermarket had run out?

I would’ve probably eaten at McDonalds (hahaha). This was during the week though, not weekends…on weekends I generally have pizza…to catch up on the calories.

Your cartoon crush?

Like crush (in love), that I was in love with?

Yes

I’m not sure.

Maybe more than a crush, it’s the idea that you identify with the character; you love them because you want to be them. In that case my character would be that troublemaker from Treasure Planet by Walt Disney. He’s the super cool one with all the flying skateboards and his little ponytail and crop top and overall strange look. He believes in finding this treasure since he was small, it’s great, the aesthetics are weird (a sort of cyborg-fornarina mix) if you haven’t seen it in a while I strongly recommend it!

What’s the thing that you buy most often? (That is not a basic necessity)

Since I have an Amazon account, everything I buy is basically not a necessity! Anyhow I regularly buy those present balls from dispensers (the ones with little toys or necklaces and rings). If not I buy things at the cashiers in the supermarket (that aren’t necessarily candies or chewing gums) like fake tattoos, collection cards or Hotwheels. I do this, I think, to understand better what attracts me most. Oh, and kinder eggs of course…but honestly, I think of those as a necessity.

If we were to gift you a flying ticket to fly out tomorrow, where would you go?

I would go to Seoul. A lot of my current friends are from there and I’ve had a lot of friends during my course at the RCA who are from South Korea and I’d really like to go! I find the culture quite fascinating. It’s true that a lot of my friends come from a mixed background and they’re very occidental orientated, nonetheless there are some aspects in the ways of our relations that have made me curious. We’ve had the best laughs, the best bellies full of Korean sea food pancakes and the best conversations, I’ve found in them a special sensitivity and I’ve always felt deeply loved. Also, I’d also like to go to better understand the pop culture, and the standards of beauty (the body treatment and aesthetics). It’s fascinating how there’s an attraction to the idea of cuteness; for instance in that of the image of the male singer in the musical industry of K-pop.

What’s your spiritual animal?

I know it! So many people have asked me this in the past two years, so I’ve had to think about it! I think my spirit animal is a little monkey…I have the face, I have long arms, I’d like to have their posture. I quite like monkeys, they’re active and curious.

Could you share with us some frames of your latest instagram Stories?

Here are two screenshots. The first is the Miami one, I love taking selfies under the palms near my place in Vauxhall and saying that I’m in Miami. I also tag myself and always say that I’m on holiday busy getting a tan. The second one is me and the London eye. I’ve recently been dwelling on the practices of self documentation as a way of reinforcing contemporaneity: exploring the communication of the self in the digital era.

Who’s the most fun to follow on instagram according to you?

Let me have a quick look and then I’ll get back to you.

Ok, so the profile I find fun is ‘Hipdict’.

What would your Pope name be?

I would like to keep my name, so that would be Guendalina. Then I could put a number like ‘the third’ [or terzo in Italian, terzo thus of male gender]. And then…what’s generally used?

Something for which you are recognised, like Pio 11th the Murderer (hehe).

Ok, so I’d like to be ‘Guendalina 3rd the Cutest Ever’.

Would you rather have a Cattelan golden toilet or a Damien Hirst shark?

The Shark I think. It’s pretty impressive, I think it’s more impressive to me than a golden toilet. It could be more fun during a party, like people could chuck things in and try to break the glass…rather than trying to find the bathroom and finding the golden toilet.

Life hack for us?

I have been attracted to these things for the past year, I’ve saved them on my facebook, let me have a quick look. So, this is a life hack that I found on how to eat a hamburger properly, it works!

What would you like us to ask you?

This year I have lost 3 pairs of sunglasses and 3 pairs of earphones! So, I guess my question would be: What did you lose recently?… I lose my sunglasses because I always put them on after I drink a bit (haha). This idea of putting on your glasses when you are drunk is something I find so trash, I have no idea where my impulse comes from!? (A super Italian thing to do!) And even earphones as objects are super easy to lose because they’re small, you put them down somewhere or in your pocket. It’s terrible to have to head home without the possibility of listening to music because you don’t have your earphones!

Stefano Filipponi

24.07.17 youtube.com

What is the last thing you bought?

I bought foundation from Wycon, €6.80. My new passion is makeup and beauty.

If you weren’t an artist what would you be doing?

Oh god. Hmm…anything really. In my life I’ve tried so many different things and I’ve tried to embody many personas: like, I’ve tried to be an engineer, a mathematician, an architect etc. but it all went pretty bad. The artist profession has treated me quite ok…maybe…

Pizza or cake?

Ahh (horrified). Pizza. It would be nice to make a cake out of pizza.

If you were only allowed one cake for the rest of your life which one would it be?

I think it’s the most difficult question anyone has ever asked me. If I have to pick one hmmm…actually, the cake that my partner Filip made for me for my birthday (that was like two weeks ago) is made up of 12 different cake slices. However, this way I’m ignoring your question, if I really have to choose, I’d probably pick a cheesecake. I think cheesecake contains both the aspects of sweet and salty food…eggs, cheese, everything, *wow*

The one thing you would like to be remembered for?

I’d like to be remembered not so much for the things that I’ve done on an artistic and musical level but rather as a pleasant and lovable person by my friends. Many artists make really great and cool things but then when they pass away they’re not truly missed and so maybe it was better for them to die in the first place. I don’t want to be that person, I want to be remembered as a fun person.

What would be written on your tombstone?

I think I’d put what I have on my Whatsapp status: ’Pizza and Sailor Moon’. That’s it.

Your last (musical) guilty pleasure?

Oh I have so many! Ok, there’s this one single by Alessandra Amoroso (this really cheap Italian singer) and there’s this album I really love by Sharon Needles who is a drag queen who won RuPaul’s Drag Race like 5 years ago.

Send us an edited screenshot of you right now (with as many stickers as you want).

A still you fell in love with recently.

If you had an art collection, what would be the number 1 piece?

The strongest piece of my art collection would be the installation of the huge penis by Simon Fujiwara: Phallusies(An Arabian Mystery). It was exhibited at the Giò Marconi gallery years ago. That exhibition made me fall in love with contemporary art.

Do you have a life hack for us?

To sweat less. So like now in Italy it’s really hot and everybody is sweating so much. In general sweating is really disgusting, everybody hates seeing other people sweat and everybody sweats.

So, you can do 2 things: First of all, equipping yourself with specialized makeup products or if you have more money you can do botox shots to stop the excessive sweating. One thing I like to do is put on a hydration cream with this very peculiar dabbing technique where you tap areas of your face with the tips of your fingers in order to reactivate the microcirculation. Only then you apply foundation and spread it (if you don’t have money, you can use a leaf from a random plant or even an eggplant). Once done, you apply transparent face powder in order to make everything set.

You can also frighten people with your makeup: cover your eyebrows and put on huge glasses. So, when you walk into a shop and the girls says ‘hi’ you look at her over the tip your glasses and you scare her. I think frightening others can help you avoid the heat.

*To cover your eyebrows, you need makeup, makeup glue, other things…hours and hours of explanation, there are plenty of tutorials out there.

What would you like us to ask you?

When does one stop being so obsessed with food?

Your response?

Oh no, I also have to reply?! I think after a cancer or after a serious illness. If one day I’ll be feeling really really bad, then I guess I’ll stop thinking about food.

Caterina Gobbi

Do you have a current obsession?

More than one probably…knowing me…I have to choose one?

Yes

Probably those shoes, uhmm what are they called, Raf Simons for Adidas. They’re amazing also because they’re called oswego bunny.

Milk or juice?

Juice.

…great question guys.

Somebody who deserves to be googled.

Myself! No, of course I’m kidding….hmmmm…M¥SS KETA. I should just be her PR, the number of fans I got her is quite something.

Who is M¥SS KETA for those who don’t know her?

Miss Keta, oh it’s difficult to describe..she’s a singer but not really, there’s a collective behind the whole thing called Motel Forlanini. She’s a bit like the apotheosis of Italian trash (Italian trash from Milano). So she describes, with very catchy beats, things that happen but also behaviours of the Milanese people…of course, in a really ironic and super-pushed way, as in, she never shows her face and one of her songs is called ‘Burka di gucci’.

Mountain holidays or seaside holidays?

Ah, depends if it’s summer or winter.

An artwork that disconcerted you the most in the past year?

Richard Mosse, the video at Barbican, I forgot the name of it. I thought there were some ethical issues…capitalising (or making money) on people’s suffering, without necessarily doing anything active to counterbalance it.

The last song you played on your spotify.

Chanel by Frank Ocean.

Your favourite place in London?

Aha, there are a few…Richmond park.

If you could pick an astrological sign?

Oh this is a great question!…hmm

Also which one is yours?

Scorpio but I’m aquarius, my ascendant sign is aquarius and it’s really strong. If I have to pick one…I like mine…maybe capricorn?

Some recent photos of the ‘behind the scenes’ of your art practice you’d like to share with us.

What’s the last thing you bought online?

Almost the shoes! They’re still in my cart (haha), I didn’t check out yet. Oh, some free rings! I saw them on a Facebook ad, like ‘we’re giving away these free rings’ and you just have to pay for the postage. They’re like a set of rings of these people that help turtles (haha).

So you just paid for the shipping. The last thing you bought?

The book that Kaleidoscope made about the shoes: Le Silver!! You know I went to Footlocker to try some TN (Squalo) to see how they looked on my feet and the guy(super british) working there asked me ‘are you Italian?’. Even Italians don’t think that I’m Italian…but then I thought possibly only Italians buy those shoes!

Didn’t know they still existed..quite timeless

Do you have a life hack you could share with us?

Hahaha…Using the bathtub as the bidet! Because they don’t have bidets here(in London)! (Such an Italian answer). Or also, going to Waitrose (the supermarket) and getting free coffee. If you’re a member and you buy something, they give you free coffee in a cup that says ‘Waitrose’…but if you just go back with the same cup then you can get free coffee!

Do you have a question for yourself that we didn’t ask you?

Yea, you asked me what I bought online but not what was the last coolest thing I bought (without it necessarily being online). A Synthesizer! A Korg Volca Sampler, I bought it from a guy physically…not online.

What are you using it for?

B-tss b-tss b-stt..beats. It’s a sampler, so you can load your own samples on it and you can just play. You can play live without a computer, it’s great….I’m playing with it for now but you can actually make songs out of it. It’s part of a series, there are like six different ones and you can connect them all…soon soon..one at a time.

Edoardo Manzoni

If you could only choose one dog breed which one would it be?

Great Danes. Oh no, wait, Sighthounds! Yes, Sighthounds…I don’t know why I said Great Danes, they terrify me.

City or countryside?

City. Country to find inspiration and City to work. In the city it’s easier to find ways to make your ideas happen.

One skill you’d like to master right now?

Maybe being able to construct more things on my own… I have many visions but I’d love to have more manual skills.

To make what more precisely?

To make sculptures. Actually, I’d like to make these huge sculptures in plastic materials but I still haven’t figured out how.

Have you ever thought about a rapper name? (If you haven’t got one already)

Of course I have one (haha). It would be ‘ELK’.

Like the animal?

Yes yes. Then that name also has its variations such as ‘ELKO’. I’ve always liked it.

Not Dr.Manzo? (…beats by Dr.Manzo)

No (haha), that has been my email for way too many years. Maybe Dr.Elk…no, but it sounds a bit too much like a cartoon character.

Nutella or peanut butter?

Nutella. I’ve barely ever had peanut butter, I don’t even know if I really like it.

The best person to follow on Instagram ?

The best person? Rapper’s instagram stories are the best way to clear my brain when i’m tired, I advise it. Rappers with big necklaces.

Screenshot of the last video you saw on youtube:

Photo with the most likes (both Facebook and Instagram):

Best show you saw in the past year?

I knew you would have asked this.

We’re predictable.

Humm. What did I see last year? I really liked this one, at Hangar Bicocca, of Laure Prouvost. I really like how she thinks about display, how in the videos there was sculpture… and we talked a lot about her.

Could you please share with us a life hack?

Ok.. So i’m really superstitious. I don’t know if it makes my life easier, but I’m really superstitious and I use… I always choose a one euro cent coin from my wallet and I keep it, I separate it from the others and I put it in my pocket and I keep when I have to do important things. So I’m kinda obsessed with these cents and i’m also putting them in my works.

Does it work?

Maybe so, well i don’t know. It works because I believe that if I a have one cent in my pocket things go well. It’s all belief. I’m also obsessed with magic lately. I’m studying some magic, even country/peasant/rural/farming magic (magia contadina in italian, not easy to translate directly ). But the cent coin one has always stayed since I was little. So.. I do it. I have always been attracted by the one cent, it’s so small, it’s beautiful. And now maybe they want to remove them, they won’t exist anymore.

What question would you want us to ask you? And could you answer it.

My last obsession? I would like to talk about Bruno Gironcoli, I just found out about him and I went crazy, to make these kinds of sculptures I think he must have been abducted by aliens.

THE ECP.*

by Alberta Romano
illustrated by Nicole Colombo

Rome, 2218

The sun was already shining that morning in Piazza dei Ponziani and the sky was bright blue as always. The trees were following their regular weekly cleaning, the smell of hot croissants spreading overbearingly in homes and the safety road barriers were beginning to lower and slowly disappear into the ground.

Octavio lived on the fifth floor of the corner building, the one with the centuries-old ivy with iridescent leaves, and that morning he had woken up early because of that research he had been postponing for days.

Octavio was in his first year of Engineering at university and had never liked going to the Tiberino Archive to study, it was a building too solemn for his taste, as if having previously been a hospital worried him a priori.

That day, however, he had no other choice, because his deadline was set for tomorrow.

He got ready, turned the music on and went out.

The barriers were already gone, the drawbridge was now low and Octavio had no more excuses to delay. Ever since he was a child he loved to see the mechanisms of barriers, bridges and aqueducts in action, whether they were closing or opening, it was something that had always fascinated him.

Seeing the confines of his neighbourhood rising always gave him a slight thrill; he felt, in a tangible way, the beginning or the end of a possibility, inexorable and incontrovertible and that wait in front of the mechanisms in operation always moved him, to the point of getting so nervous every time that some structure got stuck halfway, which often happened due to the complex foundations of the city.

In any case, that day there were no barriers to move him or make him nervous and in no time he was in front of the large garden of the Tiberino Archive.

“Hi Octavio, have you seen the new gloves with 50 TB of memory? The model you have is now 4 years old, why don’t you try these?”

He must still have been sleepy because for a second he confused the voice of the advertisement with that of Camilla, but as soon as he realised that it was only the personalised hologram, he kept walking without even giving it a second glance.

At that time of morning very few people were already inside the Archive.

In the center of the hall was a chubby girl who fidgeted nervously attempting to carry as much material in her brand new gloves, while, in the small room on the left, was the usual group of old people who spent their days there. One of them was raving against what his gargantuan viewer was showing him, two others, ecstatic, were handing each other some faithful reproductions of old devices and one, sitting on the side, seemed to be moved by a two-dimensional projection of a newscast.

Octavio didn’t really know where to start and, seeing those people so taken by their research, had already gotten him a little nervous, but as he now was already there, he put the fanny pack on a stool and slipped on his gloves.

Around him, white screens instantly appeared, on which he threw in bulk all the key words he had collected at university. The search required was rather simple, it was for the first part of the Privacy 1 exam, which consisted in the study of some 3D reproductions of paintings and sculptures depicting bridges, viaducts, overpasses, etc..

The purpose of the research was to analyse the development of security systems that led to the construction of the present anti-passage barriers.

He found structural analyses extremely boring, that’s why he had been postponing the research for days. However, if there was one thing that had always amused him, it was to take the pieces of art into his own hands. Those 3D models were so detailed that they faithfully reproduced every detail of those works, Octavio loved touching the surface of these finds and feeling under his fingertips the thickness of the brushstrokes and the texture of the chipped wood within frames.

Amongst the first results of the Archive, he was quickly struck by an ancient representation of Bosch.

Even though it had a fairly simple structure, the bridge depicted by the Dutch painter made evident the dangers and pitfalls that had allowed for the security measures of modern barriers. He could have started his presentation like this, why not?

So, after having touched the board and caressed the very light colour that covered it, he downloaded and filed it.

The 3D models of the architectural reproductions were certainly the most useful elements to take home, but even though he kept turning them around in his hands he couldn’t find any ones that spoke to him, so he chose a couple of the most complex and scenographic ones and filed them too.

After some research, he had at least a hundred 3D reproductions in front of him, and those grids were really starting to tire him out.

Then, suddenly, he saw the perfect bridge!

It was a drawbridge, like the current ones, and very articulated in its rudimentary architecture. When he noticed that it was a painting by Van Gogh he could not hide a bit of excitement and with a smug resolution he downloaded it and, without even looking at it in its complexity, he began to caress the brushstrokes that made it up. Van Gogh’s brushstrokes were by far his favourite, some were as tall as a finger and almost all of them were so stratified that they looked like small tree bark, rough and curved; those brushstrokes literally drove him crazy.

He caressed the whole painting several times, but his attention continued to be drawn repeatedly to some strange white reflections in the water, he had never seen so clear, he touched them again and again, almost as if he wanted to uncover the composition.

They were strange because he couldn’t understand what they might be reflection of. In the sky there was nothing, not the shadow of an airplane (even if it was not certain that they already existed at the time of Van Gogh), not a streetlamp, nor even shuttles or floating houses.

In the water, small segments were reproduced, united and dense, almost to create columns of smoke, but he did not understand what they could be, the sky was of the purest blue and extremely uniform just like the one he was used to seeing every day above his head, and yet in the water there was something white being reflected.

Octavio now no longer paid attention to the bridge, not even the brushstrokes but continued to be obsessed with those whitish spots.

He began a quick search and opened all the paintings by the same author that had skies in them, but he found nothing like it. Every sky painted by Van Gogh was blue, uniform and without any shade of colour, perhaps too uniform to be painted by Van Gogh, but it wasn’t the moment to go into strange artistic theories, it was not really his field, but he turned around and, turning his back on the page of the Archive, opened an online search window and wrote: “white objects in the sky.”

A series of planes, the latest generation of shuttles and seagulls were repeatedly shown among the blue and crystalline skies, but nothing that resembled those strange shapes that he saw reflected in the water.

Octavio was doubtful, he wasn’t sure he wanted to continue that search, he was a little worried and at the same time he feared that he had gotten a little too carried away by this obsession.

He looked around, as if he wanted to share his insecurity with someone.

When he looked up, the old men had doubled and some of them were arguing animatedly. The chubby girl was gone, but instead there were two young men walking through an ancient temple full of tombs and inscriptions. There were other boys in the background, but no one seemed to be paying him any attention.

In the midst of his doubt, he took the painting in his hands again and went back to looking at those reflections in the water.

He stayed like that for a while, then he filed a copy and looked up again in search of comfort.

In the distance he saw an employee of the Archive, they could be identified by the suspicious way in which they wandered between the corridors and the machines.

Octavio took off a glove and raised his hand, as fast as a hawk, the caretaker saw him and came his way.

He didn’t know exactly what to ask him, but as he waited for him he zoomed in on those white heaps that Van Gogh had painted in the water.

“What is it?”

“Hello, yes, so… I was looking at this painting… and I found these signs in the water… do you know what they are? What do they symbolise for Van Gogh? Because there doesn’t seem to be anything reflected in the water, in the sky there is nothing, so I didn’t understand what they could be…”

“Oh no.”

“What?”

“No, nothing. This file needs to be modified, we need to fix it. There must have been a system error that reproduced those stains taking them from some other painting, sometimes it happens… I’m so sorry, I’ll fix it right away, don’t worry.”

The tone of the caretaker had become extremely accommodating, he had never heard one speak to students in that way.

“Ah, okay. And yet they looked like original brushstrokes of the painting, see?”

“No, no, it happens sometimes, they are errors in the system, I told you, which overlap parts of some paintings on other paintings, now I’ll have it fixed and send it to you personally updated, without errors. Ah, have you already downloaded a copy by chance?”

“Yes, here it is… you’re welcome…”

“Great, excuse me again, I’m sure they’ll be working on it already in the offices, it’s a matter of minutes.”

“Yes yes don’t worry.”

Octavio was a little disoriented. He couldn’t think of anything but the fact that he so easily handed in his 3D copy of that painting. Why did he say he’d already downloaded a copy? Why had he not kept it for himself? He could have shown it to his mother, his grandfather, maybe even Camilla and, why not, they would have tried to understand it better together, it would have been fun.

Instead, no, he had handed it in and would never see it again.

Suddenly he had the impression that he was forgetting the shape of those white marks in the water. But then were they really white?

A chime announced the arrival of the new modified scan of the painting.

“We apologise for the inconvenience, your help has been greatly appreciated by the Team of the Tiber State Archive. Here’s a small reward for your help.”

A ribbon was flashing under the message, Octavio clicked and in front of his eyes a 25% discount appeared to buy the new 5 TB gloves advertised just outside.

“Thank you eh” whispered Octavio to the screen. He didn’t want those gloves, let alone a 25% discount to buy them.

He didn’t know what to do at that time, but he suddenly remembered that he was there to do some research for Privacy 1 and that the deadline was set for tomorrow.

He listlessly touched the new painting that had been sent to him and reopened it.

As soon as he saw it, he moved back slightly as if he was being hit.

Then he instinctively rubbed his eyes, also hurting himself because he had forgotten to take off his gloves. Everything was very strange, very different.

The flatness that previously characterised only the upper part of the painting now seemed to cross over into the river. Most of the brushstrokes that filled the surface of the water had been made uniform in color and some flattened even in their consistency.

It was true, the more Octavio observed that painting the harder it was to remember how the previous one was made and the disorientation that had overwhelmed him at the sight of the new file was now the only certainty that remained.

With a quick gesture he closed everything that was open in front of him. He didn’t even save the new painting, took the fanny pack from the stool and without looking around he headed towards the exit.

While walking, he slipped off his gloves, he was angry, even if he didn’t know the reason why, and wanted to throw those gloves on the ground, but he didn’t, and removing them he put them away distractedly in his fanny pack.

Along the avenue he heard the programmed voice of the advertisement that was talking to him again and at that moment he recognised every imperfection, from the cadence to the weird and automated articulation of the phrases, he thought he was really dumb to have mistaken it for Camilla’s voice only a few hours earlier.

He looked at his arm and with a gesture raised the volume of the music to the maximum.

It was not recommended to go around with the volume so high, not only for the safeguards of under-skin chips, but also because you were running the risk of not hearing any alarm or surrounding danger.

Octavio, not having better solutions, was simply venting his frustration and ignoring any kind of prudence. In an instant, however, he arrived at the house. The barriers would close in minutes for lunchtime, but he didn’t care, he climbed the stairs, opened the front door and turned on the live shows, that day he no longer wanted to think.

 

 

 

 

 

 

*2098 was the year in which the ECP (Erasing Clouds Program) was approved, which had foreseen the programmed elimination of every image, document, word and implicit reference to clouds. From the real skies the clouds had disappeared at least a decade before, but the artificial solutions to guarantee the climatic balance never succeeded in totally calming the polemics of the environmentalists and the bloody protests they had provoked.

By planning the elimination of any reference to clouds, the ECP would ensure the cancellation, in the long term, of any form of protest, also preventing curiosity in subsequent generations who would never have evidence of an ecosystem different from the current one.

Obviously the program took years to be complete and in 2218, 120 years later, there were still some small details left to be standardised.

Non spaventatevi! Avvisiamo i nostri gentili lettori che le traduzioni sono state fatte dalla team di sink perció scusate le imperfezioni.

THE ECP.*

scritto da Alberta Romano
illustrazioni di Nicole Colombo

Roma, 2218

Il sole splendeva già alto quella mattina in Piazza dei Ponziani e il cielo era azzurro vivo come sempre. Gli alberi stavano seguendo la loro consueta pulizia settimanale, l’odore dei cornetti caldi si diffondeva prepotente nelle abitazioni e le barriere antipassaggio, iniziavano ad abbassarsi per poi scomparire nel terreno.

Octavio viveva al quinto piano del palazzo all’angolo, quello con l’edera secolare dalle foglie iridescenti e quella mattina si era svegliato presto per via della ricerca che da giorni continuava a rimandare.

Octavio frequentava il primo anno di Ingegneria all’Università e non aveva mai amato andare all’Archivio Tiberino a studiare, era un palazzo troppo solenne per i suoi gusti, come se l’essere stato in precedenza un ospedale lo inquietasse a priori.

Quel giorno però non aveva altra scelta, il giorno dopo avrebbe avuto la consegna.

Si preparò, accese la musica ed uscì.

Le barriere non c’erano già più, il ponte era ormai basso e Octavio non aveva più scuse per tardare. Sin da quando era bambino però adorava vedere in azione i meccanismi delle barriere, dei ponti e degli acquedotti, che fossero in chiusura o in apertura, era qualcosa che lo aveva sempre affascinato. Vedere i confini del suo quartiere sollevarsi gli procurava sempre un leggero brivido; sentiva, in maniera tangibile, la fine o l’inizio di una possibilità, inesorabile e incontrovertibile e quell’attesa davanti ai meccanismi in funzione lo emozionava sempre, al punto tale da innervosirsi tutte le volte che qualche struttura si incastrava a metà strada, cosa che capitava molto spesso per via delle complesse fondamenta della città.

Ad ogni modo quel giorno non c’erano barriere ad emozionarlo né a farlo innervosire e in men che non si dica si trovò difronte al grande giardino dell’Archivio Tiberino.

Ciao Octavio, hai visto i nuovi guanti con 50 TB di memoria? Il modello che hai tu ha 4 anni ormai, perché non provi questi?

Doveva essere ancora assonnato perché per un secondo scambiò davvero la voce della pubblicità per quella di Camilla, ma appena si rese conto che si trattava solo dell’ologramma pubblicitario personalizzato, tirò dritto senza nemmeno degnarlo di uno sguardo.

A quell’ora di mattina erano in pochi ad essere già dentro l’Archivio.

Al centro della sala c’era una ragazzina paffuta che agitava nervosamente le braccia caricando più materiale possibile nei suoi guanti blu nuovi di zecca, mentre, nella piccola saletta di sinistra, c’era il solito gruppo di vecchietti che passava lì le sue giornate. Uno di loro inveiva contro quello che il suo sgarrupato visore gli stava proponendo, altri due, estasiati, si passavano tra le mani alcune riproduzioni fedeli di vecchi dispositivi e uno, seduto in disparte, sembrava commuoversi davanti a una proiezione bidimensionale di un telegiornale.

Octavio non sapeva bene da dove cominciare e, vedere quelle persone così prese dalle loro ricerche, lo aveva già innervosito, ma ormai era lì, posò il marsupio su uno sgabello e infilò i guanti.

Attorno a lui comparvero subito delle schermate bianche sulle quali scaraventò alla rinfusa tutte le parole chiave che aveva raccolto all’università. Si trattava di una ricerca piuttosto semplice, richiesta per la prima parte dell’esame di Privacy 1 che consisteva nello studio di alcune riproduzioni 3D di dipinti e sculture raffiguranti ponti, viadotti, cavalcavia etc.

Lo scopo della ricerca era quello di analizzare lo sviluppo dei sistemi di sicurezza che avevano portato alla costruzione delle attuali barriere antipassaggio.

Trovava le analisi strutturali estremamente noiose, per questo continuava da giorni a rimandare quella ricerca. Tuttavia se c’era una cosa che lo aveva sempre divertito era prendere in mano le opere d’arte. Quei modelli 3D erano così dettagliati da riprodurre fedelmente ogni minimo particolare di quei lavori e Octavio adorava sfiorare la superficie dei reperti e sentire sotto i suoi polpastrelli lo spessore delle pennellate e la consistenza del legno scheggiato delle cornici.

Tra i primi risultati dell’Archivio fu subito colpito da un’antica rappresentazione di Bosch.

Seppur molto semplice nella struttura, quel ponte raffigurato dal pittore olandese, rendeva tangibili i pericoli e le insidie che avevano reso necessarie le misure di sicurezza delle moderne barriere. Avrebbe potuto aprire così la sua presentazione, perché no.

Così dopo aver toccato la tavola e accarezzato il leggerissimo colore che la ricopriva, la scaricò e l’archiviò.

I modellini 3D delle riproduzioni architettoniche erano sicuramente gli elementi più utili da portare a casa, ma nonostante continuasse a girarseli tra le mani non ne trovava nessuno di particolare, così ne prese un paio tra quelli più complessi e scenografici e archiviò anche quelli.

Dopo un po’ di ricerca aveva di fronte a sé almeno un centinaio di riproduzioni 3D e quelle griglie cominciavano davvero a stancarlo.

Poi, all’improvviso, vide il ponte perfetto!

Si trattava di un ponte levatoio, come quelli attuali, e molto articolato nella sua architettura rudimentale. Quando si accorse che si trattava di un dipinto di Van Gogh non riuscì a nascondere un briciolo di eccitazione e con un risolino compiaciuto lo scaricò e, senza neppure guardarlo nella sua complessità, iniziò ad accarezzare le pennellate che lo componevano. Quelle di Van Gogh erano di gran lunga le sue preferite, alcune erano alte quanto un dito e quasi tutte erano così stratificate da sembrare delle piccole cortecce d’albero, ruvide e curvate; lo facevano letteralmente impazzire quelle pennellate.

Accarezzò tutto il dipinto più volte, ma la sua attenzione continuava ripetutamente ad essere attirata da alcuni strani riflessi bianchi nell’acqua, non ne aveva mai visti di così chiari, li toccava e li ritoccava, quasi a volerne scoprire la composizione.

Erano strani perché non riusciva a capire di cosa potessero essere il riflesso. In cielo non c’era nulla, né l’ombra di un aereo (anche se non era sicuro esistessero già all’epoca di Van Gogh), né un lampione, né tantomeno navette o abitazioni fluttuanti.

Nell’acqua erano riprodotti piccoli segmenti uniti e fitti quasi a creare delle colonne di fumo, ma non capiva cosa potessero essere, il cielo era di un azzurro purissimo e dal colore estremamente uniforme proprio come quello che era abituato a vedere tutti i giorni sopra la sua testa, eppure nell’acqua c’era riflesso qualcosa di bianco.

Octavio improvvisamente non prestava più attenzione al ponte, neppure alle pennellate, ma continuava a essere ossessionato da quelle macchie biancastre.

Iniziò una ricerca veloce e aprì tutti i quadri dello stesso autore che avevano dei cieli al loro interno, ma non trovò nulla di simile. Ogni cielo dipinto da Van Gogh era azzurro, uniforme e senza alcuna sfumatura di colore, forse anche troppo uniformi per essere dipinti da Van Gogh, ma non era il caso di addentrarsi in strane teorie artistiche, non era proprio il suo campo, così si voltò e, dando le spalle alla pagina dell’Archivio, aprì una finestra di ricerca online e scrisse: “Oggetti bianchi nel cielo”.

Una carrellata di aerei, navette di ultima generazione e gabbiani si ripetevano tra i cieli azzurri e cristallini, ma nulla che assomigliasse a quelle strane forme che vedeva riflesse nell’acqua.

Octavio era dubbioso, non era sicuro di voler continuare quella ricerca, era un po’ preoccupato e allo stesso tempo temeva di essersi fatto prendere un po’ troppo la mano da quell’ossessione.

Si guardò in giro, quasi a voler condividere con qualcuno quell’insicurezza.

Quando alzò lo sguardo i vecchietti erano raddoppiati e alcuni di loro stavano discutendo animatamente. La ragazza paffuta non c’era più, ma al suo posto c’erano due giovani che camminavano dentro un tempio antico pieno di tombe e iscrizioni. C’erano altri ragazzi sul fondo, ma nessuno sembrava fare al caso suo.

Nel dubbio prese di nuovo in mano il quadro e tornò a guardare quei riflessi nell’acqua.

Rimase così per un po’, poi ne archiviò una copia e alzò di nuovo lo sguardo in cerca di conforto.

In lontananza vide un addetto dell’Archivio, si riconoscevano dal fare sospettoso con il quale si aggiravano tra i corridoi e i macchinari.

Octavio si sfilò un guanto e alzò la mano. Veloce come un falco il custode lo vide e andò verso lui.

Non sapeva bene cosa chiedergli di preciso, ma lo aspettò mentre zoomava su quei cumuli bianchi che Van Gogh aveva dipinto nell’acqua.

Che c’è?”

Salve, si, ecco…stavo guardando questo quadro…e ho trovato questi segni nell’acqua…lei sa cosa sono? Cosa simboleggiano per Van Gogh? Perché non sembra esserci qualcosa che si riflette nell’acqua, in cielo non c’è nulla, quindi non capivo cosa potessero essere…”

O no.”

Cosa?”

No, niente. Questo file deve essere modificato, dobbiamo aggiustarlo. Ci dev’essere stato un errore del sistema che ha riprodotto quelle macchie prendendole da qualche altro quadro, a volte capita…mi dispiace tanto, adesso lo faccio sistemare subito, non si preoccupi.

Il tono del custode era diventato estremamente accomodante, non ne aveva mai sentito uno parlare in quel modo agli studenti.

Ah, ok. Eppure sembravano pennellate originali del dipinto, vede?

No no, sa a volte capita, sono errori del sistema, le ho detto, che sovrappongono parti di alcuni dipinti su altri quadri, adesso lo faccio sistemare e glielo mando personalmente aggiornato, senza errori. Ah, ne ha già scaricato una copia per caso?

Si, eccola…prego…”

“Benissimo, mi scusi ancora eh, sono sicuro che negli uffici ci staranno già lavorando, è questione di minuti.”

“Sisi, non si preoccupi.”

Octavio era un po’ disorientato. Non riusciva a pensare a nient’altro che al fatto di aver consegnato con tanta facilità la sua copia 3D di quel dipinto.

Perché aveva detto di averne già scaricata una copia? Perché non l’aveva tenuta per sé? Avrebbe potuto farla vedere a sua madre, a suo nonno, forse anche a Camilla e, perché no, avrebbero cercato insieme di capirci di più, sarebbe stato divertente.

Invece no, l’aveva consegnata e non l’avrebbe mai più rivista.

All’improvviso ebbe l’impressione di non ricordarsi nemmeno più la forma di quei segni bianchi nell’acqua. Ma poi erano davvero bianchi?

Un trillo annunciò l’arrivo della nuova scansione modificata del dipinto.

“Ci scusiamo per il disagio, il suo aiuto è stato molto apprezzato dal Team dell’Archivio Tiberino di Stato. Ecco a lei una piccola ricompensa per il suo aiuto.”

Un fiocchetto lampeggiava sotto il messaggio, Octavio cliccò e davanti ai suoi occhi comparve uno sconto del 25% per acquistare i nuovi guanti da 5 TB pubblicizzati all’esterno.

Grazie eh” sussurrò Octavio allo schermo. Non voleva quei guanti, figurarsi uno sconto del 25% per comprarli.

Non sapeva cosa fare in quel momento, ma si ricordò improvvisamente che era lì per la ricerca di Privacy 1 e che la consegna sarebbe stata il giorno dopo.

Toccò svogliatamente il nuovo dipinto che gli era stato inviato e lo riaprì.

Appena lo vide indietreggiò come quando si viene colpiti leggermente sul naso.

Poi istintivamente si strofinò gli occhi, facendosi anche un po’ male perché si era dimenticato di togliersi i guanti. Era tutto molto strano, molto diverso.

La piattezza che prima caratterizzava solo la parte superiore del dipinto ora sembrava sconfinare nel fiume. La gran parte delle pennellate che riempivano la superficie dell’acqua erano state uniformate nel colore e alcune appiattite anche nella loro consistenza.

Era ufficiale, più Octavio osservava quel dipinto più faceva fatica a ricordarsi come era fatto il precedente e il disorientamento che lo aveva travolto alla vista del nuovo file era ormai l’unica certezza che gli rimaneva.

Con un gesto veloce chiuse tutto ciò che era aperto davanti a lui. Non salvò nemmeno il nuovo quadro, prese il marsupio dallo sgabello e senza guardarsi intorno si avvio verso l’uscita.

Camminando si sfilò i guanti, era arrabbiato, anche se non sapeva bene il motivo, e aveva voglia di gettarli per terra quei guanti, ma non lo fece e togliendoseli alla rovescia lì infilò distrattamente nel marsupio.

Lungo il viale sentì di nuovo la voce programmata della pubblicità che parlava con lui, in quel momento ne riconobbe ogni imperfezione, dalla cadenza alla stramba e non disinvolta articolazione delle frasi, pensò di essere stato davvero stupido ad averla scambiata per la voce vera di Camilla poche ore prima.

Si guardò il braccio e con un gesto alzò il volume della musica al massimo.

Era sconsigliato andare in giro con il volume così alto, non solo per la salvaguardia dei cip sottopelle, ma anche per il rischio di non sentire assolutamente alcun allarme o pericolo circostante.

Octavio non avendo soluzioni migliori stava semplicemente sfogando la sua frustrazione ignorando ogni tipo di prudenza. In un attimo, però, arrivò sotto casa. Le barriere si sarebbero chiuse a minuti per l’ora di pranzo, ma a lui non interessava, salì la scala, aprì la porta di casa e accese i live, quel giorno non aveva più voglia di pensare.

 

 

 

 

 

 

*Il 2098 è l’anno in cui fu approvato L’ECP (Erasing Clouds Program) che aveva previsto l’eliminazione programmata di ogni immagine, documento, parola e implicito riferimento alle nuvole. Dai cieli reali le nuvole erano scomparse almeno un decennio prima, ma le soluzioni artificiali per garantire l’equilibrio climatico non riuscirono mai a placare totalmente le polemiche degli ambientalisti e le cruente proteste che avevano suscitato.

Programmando l’eliminazione di ogni riferimento alle nuvole, l’ECP avrebbe garantito la cancellazione, a lungo termine, di ogni forma di protesta, prevenendo anche e soprattutto la curiosità nelle generazioni successive che non avrebbero mai avuto le testimonianze di un ecosistema differente da quello attuale.

Ovviamente il programma impiegò anni per essere completo e nel 2218, ben 120 anni dopo, rimaneva ancora qualche piccolo dettaglio da uniformare.

Non spaventatevi! Avvisiamo i nostri gentili lettori che le traduzioni sono state fatte dalla team di sink perció scusate le imperfezioni.

Notes

Note

FALLING THROUGH THE CLOUD

by Veronica Gisondi

There’s something that transcends the longstanding fascination for the exploration of the unknown. It goes beyond planning the future of humanity through utopian projects like terraforming to ensure its preservation. However, it still relates to the way non-terrestrial environments and the Solar System attract human curiosity. A certain “lure of the void” might be the cause. It is a concept articulated by Nick Land, who re-contextualises the perception of gravity as a paradigm of captivity. The Apollo program and 1969’s first moon landing evidenced how, as gravity had been defied, the limit once set by space travel became an image of advancement in itself, as well as a fuel that fostered the establishment of forms of softer authority, territorial-political strategy and social organisation. Space as a frontier turned into a horizon of escapism: it was the symptom of a refusal of limitations to growth and expansion.1 Thus escaping the Earth and its “gravitational confinement” can be read as a means, not an end, that focuses on overcoming the split between terrestrial dimension and orbit, the ultimate limit and threshold leading to a metaphysical outside. The Earthrise photograph, taken from lunar orbit in 1968, was the first portrayal of Earth from an external position. Remote, in the black depths of outer space, Earth finally appeared in its entirety, suggesting a new, absolute scale, a totality to be measured, mapped and governed.2 Archetypal distances collapsed, and gaps in meaning, space and time alike seemed to disappear.

“We were told not to look back from orbit, but of course, we did, and what we saw pulled us back down. The damnation of our extraterrestrial out-leap gave birth to a lucid environmentalist vision—the earth seen from space.”3

As Land points out, every descent from the heavens is now a fall. Events unfolded as in a prophetic fable, one that foretold what would later become ordinary circumstances for digital users. If gravity has been keeping us somewhere, limiting our perception, then “lift-off” from planet Earth is, metaphorically, an epiphany to the numerous anti-gravity technologies that came after and reenacted the same “outward momentum” in the effort to evade embodied vision.4

Earthrise, taken on December 24, 1968, by Apollo 8 astronaut William Anders → View source

Since then, a similar condition of fluctuation has been absorbed as characteristic of the design and functionalities of software interfaces. For their users, interfaces work as instrumental images, decoding the functions of platforms; they are “dream worlds, however restricted.”5 They enable us to visualise objects in isolation, in blank, abstract fields that can shape exceptionally lucid visions. Augmented clarity is achieved by removing external distractions and background presences – the noise of physical reality. This dynamic feels comfortably familiar, and it’s something I have personally internalised. 

Growing up in the 1990s, when the diffusion of interface-mediated vision through personal computers started to peak, led me to perceive that particular possibility to “see” – that is, beyond the two-dimensional screen – as novel. The first 3D computer graphics video games and interactive .exe programs were still a very exciting experience for the child-me of the early 2000s. Technological advancements in digital imaging have made floating 3D renders of items a common encounter today: previews of purchasable items and free-roaming world maps developed on platforms like Google Earth and Google Street View engage users through 3D optics, as do the virtual tours of exhibition spaces provided by Google Arts & Culture. More recently, museums as well have started to employ digital systems to transform their archives into online resources, and the practice has spread quickly.

In July 2017, the first Sketchfab model of the Rosetta Stone appeared on the Internet. Today, the British Museum is one among many cultural institutions that are investing in capturing and uploading substantial parts of their collections in 3D form. Examples of other digitised stones include Harvard Semitic Museum’s uploads of ostrakon (ancient Greek and Egyptian pieces of broken ceramic on which letters, election polls, receipts, and exiles are transcribed); and Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology at Cambridge, whose online display includes several ancient Mayan stele that carry information about lunar calendars, astronomy, supernatural entities and alternating time frames. Existing anew as scanned data, a plethora of historical artifacts is suspended in interfaces such as Sketchfab and Scan the World. Ancient sculptures, prehistoric relics and monoliths coexist in the platform with community-generated 3D scans and designs. One can find an accurate reproduction of an aircraft cockpit as well as a hyper-detailed scan of the main portal of Notre-Dame de Paris. Indexed, searchable, downloadable and printable. Cultural institutions have been working with scanning technologies to increase the scope of their digital archives by adding more scans, asserting their presence as plugged-in, eminent organisations that care about being globally accessible. Having been granted access to hundreds of globally disseminated archives and collections, users supposedly benefit from the democratisation of museum collections and the increased accessibility to international cultural heritage. Hence, de-hierarchisation may seem a genuinely positive gesture, an act of generosity towards what is often referred to as ‘wider public.’

Screenshot of the Rosetta Stone model uploaded by the British Museum onto Sketchfab → View source

Museums have been programming material image banks since the age of enlightenment in the 18th century, with visual encyclopedias and image-based supplements.6 Today museum archives merge with the digital, and they become data. By implementing the database as an operational logic, collections are transformed into digitised online resources that embrace new desires and haptic expectations. These have become abstract as the speed of technological advancements promises a distinct type of aesthetic experience, one that reproduces tactile qualities which were originally unique to physical reality, such as volume, material or texture. Supported by hardware, virtual spaces allow the visitor-become-user to engage with each uploaded object. What is observable though is mostly an increased availability of images. Artifacts are made visible through interfaces with a brief description attached; they manifest themselves in a different, unfamiliar domain, where both the user’s locality and the museum’s geographic specificity seem not to influence how information is consumed. The aforementioned transformation feeds into the notion that things that are “formally equivalent” by their shared condition (in this case computability, which leads to their existence as 3D models), are, as a consequence, “ontologically and culturally equivalent,”7 thus implying that their nature and cultural value are also comparable. Each item shifts into a dimension where the interface, as means of navigation, is the only mediator between what is visible – what can be known – and the invisibilities of software.8

The first message that pops up when we access the digital archive is “Loading 3D model…,” followed by “click & hold to rotate.” Like portals built on the edge of a separate dimension, interfaces take in our gaze and transmit our gestures. Their response comes from somewhere beyond visible processes. Indeed, as Benjamin H. Bratton notes, “Platforms don’t look like how they work and don’t work like how they look”: users tend to understand their interactions in relation to the hierarchies determined by graphical user interfaces, but these don’t correspond to the actual structure of interactions within the platform.9 Media interactivity feeds off the imbalance between the user’s need for constant communication, the ideal of always-available information and the possibilities that technology allows in terms of designing and claiming opaque governmental spaces. This relationship characterises platform sovereignty as it associates geographic illegibility with a massive accumulation of interactions: the mechanism that limits our activity is autocratic, and because it provides an apparent liberty of use, it ultimately enforces the platform’s standardising power.10 Model Inspector, View in VR, Theater mode and Fullscreen are some of the executable commands on Sketchfab, and below the interactive viewer, users see Download, View and Like counts, along with the number of triangles and vertices that compose the model and a link to the material’s copyright license. As “software links visual cues to unseen forces”, the images we see are merely the outer layer of a system constituted from below, an infrastructure made invisible by exploiting the inherently “unknowable” essence of data execution.11

The longing to explore what can’t be seen translates into the will to understand “the diagrams we seek to inhabit,” as Wendy Hui Kyong Chun describes.12 Interfaces like those employed by museums to present their digital collections offer to our seemingly sovereign subjectivity a chance to “map” the network by directing our navigation and enabling file storage. At the same time, every interaction is being mapped.13 With the disappearance of the horizon and physical referents a different kind of place-ness comes into play, and our concept of location is inevitably transformed. Artworks are now seen in the virtual scenario set up by the interface. The gaze is de-territorialised, the point of view suspended, and the user is in “free fall” into meaning.14 It is apparent that the act of distancing oneself from everything in order to become able to see from ‘nowhere’ is a foundational property of several technological instruments of visualisation, including radar imaging, panoramas of images stitched by algorithms and computer-generated virtual reality experiences provided by VR headsets. Computation technologies operate in ways that surpass and overflow regular cartographies.15 In a sense, disembodiment may seem more of an achievement than a disquieting side effect of transcending geographic location, if we consider that the eye can finally escape physical limits and observe from a detached, all-seeing ‘above,’ as defined by – and corresponding to – the virtual outside. Programming an environment fundamentally presupposes the deletion of indeterminacy, the design of a calculable reality where the weight of the real becomes more graspable as it can be pictured, rationalised and monitored.

Moving through the network and searching the database for information may suggest a deeper involvement with those anti-gravitational ambitions that, in the mid-20th century, pushed humans to escape earth-based spatial coordinates. That lack of ground now affects every user’s perception. As we share, understand and interpret the world mostly through the mediation of language (and text as a form), we often end up seeing “what one says about things.”16 Language is active at the infrastructural level and, not unlike software, hardware and code, it is always posited as already existing, self-evident, a source.17 The crucial role of language in the work of museums and archives goes well beyond their status as repositories of knowledge. The feeling that archives enable us to see the complete structure of a globally orchestrated system, where art, culture and history are spread out before us in luminous network diagrams, is an illusion: even though today’s cultural imperative seems to be “more data is better,” the archive can only ever be “partial,” “incomplete,” and able to give us “coded answers” told through technologies that change “the very meaning of what is being transmitted.”18 This conflict can be detected in the context of digital archives by observing the way online institutional mediation occupies structures of perception, like those seen on Sketchfab. It resides in the facile transference that is at the essence of the digitisation of museum collections. In the guise of philanthropic enthusiasms, these procedures seemingly ignore their own vagueness of intention as well as the nature of information. Museums eventually reinforce systematic forms of knowledge policing while radically altering the significance of the objects they decide to convert. Any effort to grasp reality and its nonlinear leaps, fragmented tempo and intangible limits has to take into account the suppression of complexity inherent in the current disposition of interfaces, programs and devices that mold contemporary database-driven archives.

Within this framework, what constitutes an institutional operation, and how does it influence the process of knowing? With its ever-changing nature and unbound location, the digitised archive proves to be a positively challenging ground to rethink how institutions are narrating the present, both linguistically and visually, and how knowledge can be processed otherwise.19 Data introduces models of reading that create a distance from textual analysis, and thus may still be used to generate fruitful interruptions by temporarily suspending the knowing subject’s familiarity with the linguistic and visual realm. As we fall through the cloud, we also leap across continents of data, navigate among islands of meaning, and swim in infinite rivers of information. Learning to understand the networks we landed on means realising that they cannot be interpreted as a text, neither as a pure image. In the light of this shift, it could be useful to reframe the topic by summoning an interpretation of “geography” as “earth-writing” – a way to write space as well as to express, communicate and politicise the images that make up those new terrains.20 This time, however, the interplay between us and unknown land ought to be different from past yearnings toward outer space. Decoding scattered information may require us to abandon hermeneutics and implement a model of seeing that involves other modalities of knowing, such as “scanning,” “rearranging,” “filtering,”21 and reconnecting across the abyss we fear to look into – the openings and depths of data. We may just need to embrace the cloud.

Non spaventatevi! Avvisiamo i nostri gentili lettori che le traduzioni sono state fatte dalla team di sink perció scusate le imperfezioni.

CADENDO ATTRAVERSO LA NUVOLA

di Veronica Gisondi

C’è qualcosa di trascendentale nel fascino per l’esplorazione dell’ignoto. Qualcosa che va oltre utopie progettuali per salvaguardare il futuro dell’umanità, come nel caso del terraforming. Ma è qualcosa di ancora legato al modo in cui gli ambienti non terrestri e il Sistema Solare stimolano la curiosità umana. Una certa “attrazione del vuoto” {lure of the void} potrebbe esserne la causa. È un concetto articolato da Nick Land, che ricontestualizza la percezione della gravità come paradigmatico per una condizione di cattività. Il programma Apollo e il primo atterraggio sulla Luna del 1969 hanno dimostrato come, nel momento in cui la gravità è stata elusa, il limite che un tempo corrispondeva ai viaggi nello spazio era diventato di per sé un’immagine del progresso, che allo stesso tempo alimentava la fondazione di forme più sottili di autorità, di strategie politico-territoriali e di organizzazione sociale. Lo spazio inteso come frontiera era diventato un orizzonte di fuga: un sintomo del rifiuto dei limiti imposti alla crescita e all’espansione.1 Così la fuga dalla Terra e dalla rispettiva “prigionia gravitazionale” può essere letta come mezzo, e non fine, concentrato sul superamento della divisione tra la dimensione terrestre e l’orbita, il limite ultimo e la soglia che portava ad un esterno metafisico. La fotografia Earthrise, scattata dall’orbita lunare nel 1968, fu il primo ritratto della Terra proveniente da una posizione esterna al pianeta. Remota, immersa nelle profondità nere dello spazio, la Terra apparve finalmente nella sua interezza, suggerendo l’esistenza di una nuova scala assoluta, una totalità da misurare, mappare e governare.2 Le distanze archetipiche collassarono, e i gli intervalli nel significato, nello spazio e nel tempo sembrarono scomparire.

“Ci era stato detto di non voltarci e guardare indietro dall’orbita, ma ovviamente, così facemmo, e quello che avevamo visto ci attrasse nuovamente verso il basso. La dannazione del balzo verso l’extraterrestre diede luce ad una lucida visione ambientalista–la terra vista dallo spazio.” {We were told not to look back from orbit, but of course, we did, and what we saw pulled us back down. The damnation of our extraterrestrial out-leap gave birth to a lucid environmentalist vision—the earth seen from space.}3

Come Land nota, ogni discesa dal paradiso ora è una caduta. Gli eventi si sono susseguiti come in una favola profetica, preannunciando quello che sarebbero diventate delle circostanze ordinarie per gli utenti del digitale. Se è la gravità a trattenerci, a limitare la nostra percezione, allora il “decollo” dal pianeta Terra è, metaforicamente, un’epifania in rapporto alle numerose tecnologie anti-gravità che sono arrivate dopo e che hanno rimesso in scena lo stesso “slancio verso l’esterno” provando ad evadere dalla visione incarnata.4

Earthrise, scattata il 24 dicembre 1968 dal astronauta William Anders di Apollo 8 → Vedi riferimento

Un simile stato di fluttuazione da quel momento è stato assorbito come elemento caratterizzante di design e funzionalità delle interfacce nei software. Le interfacce, per i loro utenti, sono immagini strumentali che decodificano le funzioni delle piattaforme digitali; sono “mondi di sogno, seppur ristretti.”5 Ci permettono di visualizzare oggetti isolati, in campi vuoti e astratti che modellano visioni eccezionalmente lucide. L’aumento della chiarezza viene raggiunto togliendo ogni distrazione esterna o presenza di sfondo – il rumore proprio della realtà fisica. Questa dinamica mi è familiare, ed è qualcosa che ho personalmente interiorizzato. Essendo cresciuta negli anni ’90, quando la diffusione delle visioni mediate da interfacce di PC stava arrivando al suo apice, fui portata a percepire quella possibilità in particolare di “vedere” – ovvero, oltre la bidimensionalità dello schermo – come nuova. I primi videogame sviluppati con grafiche 3D e i programmi .exe interattivi erano ancora un’esperienza molto emozionante per la me bambina dei primi anni 2000. Gli avanzamenti tecnologici nell’imaging digitale hanno fatto sì che i render tridimensionali di oggetti fluttuanti diventassero un incontro comune: sia le anteprime di prodotti acquistabili e le mappe free-roaming interattive sviluppate su piattaforme come Google Earth e Google Street View coinvolgono gli utenti tramite ottiche 3D, così come fanno i tour virtuali degli spazi espositivi ‘forniti’ da Google Arts & Culture. Recentemente anche i musei hanno iniziato ad utilizzare sistemi digitali per trasformare i loro archivi in risorse accessibili online, e la pratica si è diffusa velocemente.

A luglio 2017 il primo modello Sketchfab della Stele di Rosetta è apparso su Internet. Oggi il British Museum è una delle tante istituzioni culturali che investono su acquisizioni e caricamenti online in 3D di una parte sostanziale delle loro collezioni. Esempi di altre pietre digitalizzate sono i caricamenti degli ostrakon (pezzi di ceramica rotta risalenti all’antica Grecia e all’antico Egitto su cui erano trascritte lettere, ricevute, votazioni elettorali e ostracismi) da parte dell’Harvard Semitic Museum; e diverse stele Maya, riportanti informazioni su calendari lunari, astronomia, entità sovrannaturali e contesti temporali in alternanza, caricate sulla pagina online del Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology di Cambridge. Una moltitudine di artefatti storici esiste sotto forma di dati generati da una scansione, sospesa all’interno delle interfacce di di Sketchfab e Scan the World. Sculture antiche, reperti preistorici e monoliti coesistono nella stessa piattaforma con scan e design 3D generati dalla community. Si possono trovare riproduzioni fedeli di cabine di pilotaggio di aeromobili e scansioni iper-dettagliate del portale principale di Notre-Dame de Paris. Appaiono sotto lo stesso indice, e si cercano, scaricano e stampano nello stesso modo. Le istituzioni culturali usano queste tecnologie per aumentare la portata dei loro archivi digitali, aggiungendo progressivamente nuove scansioni e affermando la loro presenza come organizzazioni eminenti, aggiornate, a cui interessa essere globalmente accessibili. Ora che l’accesso a centinaia di archivi e collezioni disseminati per il mondo è garantito, gli utenti presumibilmente traggono beneficio da questa democratizzazione, oltre che da un’aumentata accessibilità per quanto riguarda il patrimonio culturale internazionale. L’eliminazione delle gerarchie potrebbe sembrare un gesto genuinamente positivo, un atto di generosità verso quello a cui spesso si fa riferimento come ‘pubbico generale.’

Screenshot della Stele di Rosetta caricata dal British Museum sulla piattaforma Sketchfab → Vedi riferimento

I musei hanno programmato banche di immagini fisiche sin dall’illuminismo, quando le enciclopedie venivano accompagnate da supplementi di natura visiva.6 Oggi gli archivi museali si fondono con la dimensione digitale, e diventano dati. L’implementazione del database come logica operativa fa sì che le collezioni si trasformino in risorse online digitalizzate, pronte ad accogliere nuovi desideri e aspettative aptiche. Queste ultime sono diventate astratte da quando la velocità degli avanzamenti tecnologici ha iniziato a promettere un’esperienza estetica distinta, che riproduce quelle qualità tattili che un tempo erano esclusivamente proprie della realtà fisica, come il volume, il materiale o la texture. Grazie al supporto dell’hardware, gli spazi virtuali permettono al visitatore-utente di interagire con ciascun oggetto caricato. Ma è principalmente un aumento della disponibilità delle immagini ad essere osservabile. Gli artefatti sono resi visibili tramite le interfacce con una breve descrizione allegata; si manifestano in una dimensione altra, non familiare, dove la località di un utente e la specificità geografica dei musei sembrano non influenzare il modo in cui le informazioni vengono consumate. Questo mutamento perpetua la nozione che cose identificabili come “formalmente equivalenti” per via della loro condizione condivisa (in questo caso l’essere computabili, che le porta ad esistere come modelli 3D) siano, di conseguenza, “ontologicamente e culturalmente equivalenti,”7 implicando dunque che la loro natura e il loro valore culturale siano a loro volta comparabili. Ogni oggetto si sposta in una dimensione dove l’interfaccia, il mezzo di navigazione, è l’unico mediatore tra il visibile – quello che può essere conosciuto – e le invisibilità del software.8

Il primo messaggio che appare quando si accede all’archivio digitale è “Loading 3D model…,” seguito da “click & hold to rotate.” Come portali costruiti al confine con un’altra dimensione, le interfacce assorbono sguardi e trasmettono gesti. La loro risposta proviene da un luogo che risiede oltre i processi visibili. Indubbiamente, come nota Benjamin H. Bratton, “le piattaforme non appaiono nel modo in cui funzionano e non funzionano come appaiono”: gli utenti tendono a comprendere le loro interazioni in rapporto alle gerarchie determinate dalle interfacce grafiche, ma queste non corrispondono alla struttura effettiva delle interazioni interne alla piattaforma.9 L’interattività dei media si nutre dello squilibrio che lega la necessità di comunicare costantemente degli utenti, e l’ideale che le informazioni siano sempre disponibili, alle possibilità offerte dalla tecnologia per la progettazione e rivendicazione di spazi governativi poco riconoscibili. È una relazione che caratterizza l’autorità sulle piattaforme in quanto associa l’illeggibilità geografica a un’incredibile accumulo di interazioni: il meccanismo che limita la nostra attività è autocratico, e poiché garantisce una libertà d’uso apparente, finisce per rafforzare il potere standardizzante delle piattaforme.10 “Model Inspector,” “View in VR,” “Theater mode” e “Fullscreen” sono alcuni dei comandi eseguibili su Sketchfab, e sotto il visore interattivo, gli utenti possono vedere il conteggio di “Download,” “View” e “Like,” assieme al numero di triangoli e vertici che compongono il modello e un link alla licenza di copyright del materiale. Poiché il “software connette indizi visuali a forze nascoste,” le immagini che vediamo sono solo lo strato più esterno di un sistema costituito dal basso, di una infrastruttura resa invisibile sfruttando l’essenza intrinsecamente “non conoscibile” dell’esecuzione di dati.11

Il desiderio di esplorare ciò che non può essere visto si traduce nella volontà di comprendere “i diagrammi che cerchiamo di abitare” {the diagrams we seek to inhabit}, come descrive Wendy Hui Kong Chun.12 Interfacce come quelle impiegate dai musei per presentare le loro collezioni digitali offrono alla nostra soggettività, in apparenza autonoma, l’opportunità di “mappare” il network dirigendo la navigazione e permettendo l’archiviazione dei file. Allo stesso tempo, ogni interazione viene mappata.13 Un’altra idea di luogo entra in gioco quando sia la linea dell’orizzonte che i referenti fisici svaniscono, e il nostro concetto di località subisce una trasformazione inevitabile. Le opere d’arte vengono visualizzate nello scenario virtuale definito dall’interfaccia. Lo sguardo è de-territorializzato, il punto di vista sospeso, e l’utente è in “caduta libera” {free fall} nel significato.14 È evidente che l’atto di distanziarsi da tutto per acquisire la capacità di vedere dal ‘nulla’ è una proprietà fondante di vari strumenti tecnologici di visualizzazione, incluse le tecnologie di imaging via radar, i panorami formati da immagini assemblate dagli algoritmi, le esperienze di realtà virtuale generate da computer e rese fruibili tramite VR headset. Le tecnologie di computazione operano in modi che sorpassano e inondano le cartografie classiche.15 In un certo senso, il distacco dalla dimensione corporea potrebbe sembrare più una conquista che un inquietante effetto collaterale del superamento della localizzazione geografica, se consideriamo che l’occhio può finalmente sfuggire ai limiti fisici e osservare da una posizione onnisciente, ’al di sopra,’ come viene definita da un ‘esterno’ corrispondente al virtuale. Fondamentalmente, programmare un ambiente presuppone l’eliminazione di ogni indeterminatezza, il disegno di una realtà calcolabile in cui il peso del reale, potendo essere immaginato, razionalizzato e monitorato, sembra essere più comprensibile.

Azioni come muoversi all’interno del network e cercare informazioni sul database potrebbero suggerire un coinvolgimento più profondo con le medesime ambizioni anti-gravitazionali che, a metà del secolo scorso, spinsero gli umani ad abbandonare le coordinate terrestri. Attualmente una simile mancanza di terreno influenza le capacità percettive di tutti gli utenti. Dal momento in cui condividiamo, capiamo e interpretiamo il mondo principalmente attraverso la mediazione del linguaggio (e della forma testuale), spesso finiamo per vedere “quello che uno dice sulle cose” {what one says about things}.16 Il linguaggio, essendo attivo a livello infrastrutturale, in un modo non dissimile da software, hardware e codici informatici viene sempre postulato come già esistente, come qualcosa di ovvio, una fonte.17 Il ruolo cruciale del linguaggio nel lavoro dei musei e degli archivi va ben oltre il loro status di custodi della conoscenza. La sensazione che gli archivi ci permettano di vedere la struttura completa di un sistema orchestrato globalmente, in cui arte, cultura e storia si dispiegano di fronte a noi in diagrammi luminosi, è un’illusione. Anche se l’imperativo culturale del presente sembra essere more data is better, l’archivio può solamente restare “parziale,” “incompleto,” e ci può solo dare “risposte codificate” comunicate con tecnologie che cambiano “il significato stesso di ciò che viene trasmesso.”18 Questa conflittualità emerge nel contesto degli archivi digitali osservando il modo in cui la mediazione istituzionale online occupa certe strutture percettive, come quelle viste su Sketchfab. È propria di quella leggerezza nella trasposizione che costituisce il nucleo della digitalizzazione delle collezioni museali. Assumendo le sembianze di entusiasmi filantropici, queste procedure sembrano ignorare sia le loro stesse intenzioni ambigue che la natura delle informazioni. I musei finiscono per rafforzare le sistematicità dietro alla regolamentazione del sapere mentre alterano radicalmente il significato degli oggetti che scelgono di convertire. Qualsiasi tentativo di cogliere i balzi non lineari, il tempo frammentato e i limiti intangibili della realtà deve considerare il modo in cui la soppressione delle complessità è innata alla disposizione attuale delle interfacce, programmi e dispositivi che stanno plasmando gli archivi contemporanei.Cosa costituisce un’operazione istituzionale all’interno di questa struttura, e come viene influenzato il processo del conoscere? L’archivio digitale, con la sua natura in perenne mutamento, svincolato da una località fissa, si dimostra una base positivamente stimolante per ripensare al modo in cui le istituzioni narrano il presente, sia linguisticamente che visivamente, e a come il sapere può essere processato diversamente.19 I dati introducono modelli di lettura che si distanziano dall’analisi testuale, e di conseguenza possono ancora essere sfruttati per generare interruzioni produttive, per sospendere la familiarità di un soggetto con il mondo linguistico e visivo. Cadere attraverso la nuvola significa saltare da un continente di dati all’altro, navigare isole di significato, e nuotare in fiumi infiniti di informazioni. Imparare a comprendere i network su cui siamo atterrati vuol dire realizzare che non possono essere interpretati né come testo, né come pura immagine. Alla luce di questo cambiamento, potrebbe rivelarsi utile ricontestualizzare l’argomento ponendo l’attenzione su una interpretazione di “geografia” come “scrittura della terra” {earth-writing} – un modo per scrivere lo spazio e per esprimere, comunicare e rendere politiche le immagini che formano questi nuovi territori.20 Questa volta però l’interazione tra noi e le terre sconosciute dovrà essere diversa dalle brame del passato per l’esplorazione dello spazio profondo. Decodificare queste informazioni disseminate potrebbe richiedere da parte nostra l’abbandono dell’ermeneutica a favore dell’applicazione di un modello visivo che comprenda altre modalità conoscitive, come “scansionare,” “ridisporre,” “filtrare,” {scanning, rearranging, filtering}21 e infine riconnettersi attraverso quell’abisso in cui abbiamo paura di guardare, nelle profondità e aperture lasciate dai dati. Forse dovremmo solo abbracciare la nuvola.

Non spaventatevi! Avvisiamo i nostri gentili lettori che le traduzioni sono state fatte dalla team di sink perció scusate le imperfezioni.

Notes

Note

1N. Land, ‘The Lure of the Void’, 2014, p. 4, https://themigrationperiod.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/
nicklandlureofvoid.pdf, (accessed 10 December 2018).
N. Land, ‘The Lure of the Void’, 2014, p. 4. Disponibile 10 dicembre 2018, da https://themigrationperiod.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/
nicklandlureofvoid.pdf.

2B. H. Bratton, The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty, Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press, 2015, p. 86.B. H. Bratton, The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty, Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT Press, 2015, p. 86.

3N. Land, ‘The Lure of the Void’, 2014, p. 3.N. Land, ‘The Lure of the Void’, 2014, p. 3.

4Ibid, p.11.Ibid, p. 11.

5B. H. Bratton, The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty, Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press, 2015, p. 124.B. H. Bratton, The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty, Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT Press, 2015, p. 124.

6E. Wolfgang, Digital Memory and the Archive, Minneapolis, Minn., University of Minnesota Press, 2013, p. 133.E. Wolfgang, Digital Memory and the Archive, Minneapolis, Minnesota, University of Minnesota Press, 2013, p. 133.

7B. H. Bratton, The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty, Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press, 2015, p. 79.B. H. Bratton, The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty, Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT Press, 2015, p. 79.

8W. H. K. Chun, Programmed Visions: Software and Memory, Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press, 2011, pp. 57, 74.W. H. K. Chun, Programmed Visions: Software and Memory, Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT Press, 2011, pagg. 57, 74.

9B. H. Bratton, The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty, Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press, 2015, p. 50.B. H. Bratton, The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty, Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT Press, 2015, p. 50.

10Ibid.Ibid.

11W. H. K. Chun, Programmed Visions: Software and Memory, Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press, 2011, p. 179.W. H. K. Chun, Programmed Visions: Software and Memory, Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT Press, 2011, p. 179.

12Ibid, p. 69.Ibid, p. 69.

13Ibid, pp. 9, 59.Ibid, pagg. 9, 59.

14H. Steyerl, ‘In Free Fall: A Thought Experiment on Vertical Perspective’, e-flux journal, no. 24, 2011, https://www.e-
flux.com/journal/24/67860/in-free-fall-a-thought-experiment-on-vertical-perspective/, (accessed 14 November 2018).
H. Steyerl, ‘In Free Fall: A Thought Experiment on Vertical Perspective’, e-flux journal, no. 24, 2011. Disponibile 14 novembre 2018, da https://www.e- flux.com/journal/24/67860/in-free-fall-a-thought-experiment-on-vertical-perspective/.

15B. H. Bratton, The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty, Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press, 2015, pp. xviii, 119.B. H. Bratton, The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty, Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT Press, 2015, pagg. xviii, 119.

16M. Heidegger, History of the Concept of Time: Prolegomena, Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 1985, p. 56.M. Heidegger, History of the Concept of Time: Prolegomena, Bloomington, Indiana, Indiana University Press, 1985, p. 56.

17W. H. K. Chun, Programmed Visions: Software and Memory, Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press, 2011, pp. 49-53.
W. H. K. Chun, Programmed Visions: Software and Memory, Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT Press, 2011, pagg. 49-53.

18K. Crawford, ‘Asking the Oracle’, 2016, pp. 137-138, http://www.katecrawford.net/docs/AskingTheOracle-
printedition.pdf, (accessed 10 December 2018).
18 K. Crawford, ‘Asking the Oracle’, 2016, pagg. 137-138. Disponibile 10 dicembre 2018, da 2018http://www.katecrawford.net/docs/AskingTheOracle-
printedition.pdf.

19D. Mende, (2018) ‘The Undutiful Daughter’s Concept of Archival Metabolism’, e-flux journal, no. 93, 2018, p. 8, https:// www.e-flux.com/journal/93/215339/the-undutiful-daughter-s-concept-of-archival-metabolism/, (accessed 10 December 2018).D. Mende, (2018) ‘The Undutiful Daughter’s Concept of Archival Metabolism’, e-flux journal, no. 93, 2018, p. 8. Disponibile 10 dicembre 2018, da https:// www.e-flux.com/journal/93/215339/the-undutiful-daughter-s-concept-of-archival-metabolism/.

20B. H. Bratton, The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty, Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press, 2015, p. 85.B. H. Bratton, The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty, Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT Press, 2015, p. 85.

21A. Galloway, ‘What Can a Network Do?’, Spike Magazine, no. 39, 2014, p. 69.A. Galloway, ‘What Can a Network Do?’, Spike Magazine, no. 39, 2014, p. 69.

The Digital Collection:
Compression, Democracy and Dissemination

by Benton Ching

It’s a quarter to six on a Tuesday afternoon, and Geoff (not his real name) is getting ready for the end of his shift. We’re talking about his experience working at the V&A, having worked there in visitor experience for over 10 years, and his take on the societal value of museums. “So i bought my grandkid a book for Christmas – she took one look at it and swiped her finger across the bloody thing!” he chuckles, drawing lines across his palm with his finger to mimic the skeumorphic gesture of using a touchscreen. Before we part ways, he extols the importance of the museum’s role in preserving important cultural knowledge (such as the use of books/scrolls/parchment), while lamenting some of the challenges the museum has faced in integrating new technology into its practices.

What will the museum of the future look like? For Geoff’s grandchild, digitisation will certainly play a major role in shaping her future experience of the museum. As a designer with a background in philosophy and political theory, and a keen interest in the societal impact of technology, my research into museums centers around questions of how digital processes might improve access to collections, and facilitate the process of meaning-making in museums. In Art and the Brain, Neuroscientist Semir Zeki argues that the function of art is an extension of the function of the brain. That is, to seek knowledge in an ever-changing world.1 Can the digital collection play a significant role beyond that of a digital ledger or record, and facilitate this process of meaning-making? The notion of meaning-making through collections is not a novel one. Collectors in the Enlightenment era engaged in what Philip Blom refers to as “practical alchemy”2, attempts to divine a hidden truth through collecting the wonders of the world around them. The objects in their collections were thought to transcend thing-hood, and were viewed as important puzzle pieces in the quest for universal meaning. Though the modern collection might not share the same intention of discovering the secrets of the universe, it continues to play an important role in the preservation and dissemination of cultural knowledge. In both instances, the eccentric private collector and the modern museum would have to judge what belongs within the realm of the collection. In the former case, the question might be what artefacts would best represent some important truth about the universe. While in the latter, the judgment may concern what items are of most cultural or historical importance.

You could think of this as an everyday form of data compression. When compressing music into a .mp3, the bits of sound outside the range of human hearing are generally removed to optimise the size of the audio file. By analogy, as collections decide what to collect or display, bits deemed inaudible or irrelevant are inevitably left out. This essay uses the informational technics of compression in digital formatting as a framework to address some of the broad challenges to access and meaning-making facing those in the practice of display and collection in the digital age.3

THE MUSEUM AS SITE OF COMPRESSION

As part of my research, I spoke to Christopher Marsden, Senior Archivist in the Word and Image Department at the Victoria & Albert Museum’s archives at Blythe House, to gain an understanding of how museum archives work and the challenges posed by digitisation. According to Christopher, one of the biggest challenges for both museums and archivists is how to handle “born-digital” material – assets which exist purely in digital form. This material becomes increasingly ubiquitous as digital processes become more embedded in our everyday lives. For the V&A’s archives specifically, this extends from the 2D and 3D CAD (Computer Aided Design) files used by architects and designers, to field recordings used by sound artists, or digital videos that capture moving image. Such files might seem like the archivist’s best friend. After all, you can easily save a document on your computer with the click of a button and transfer it onto another using a USB drive, an email or a cloud storage service. However as you shall see below, significant challenges stem from the extension of archival practice to the virtual sphere.

My interest in museum digitisation was spurred by a naive but (I think) still relevant question: what do museums do with all the stuff they don’t display? If we accept that museums are limited in what they can afford to display at any given time, what is an ideal second-best option? Such discussions often quickly turn to digitisation4 as a solution to reveal what lies beneath the tip of the museum iceberg.

Digitisation plays an important role today for museums and archives, and is considered good practice for collections management according to Spectrum 5.0, the UK Collections Trust’s collections management standard.5 There’s a review section in Museums Journal, the print magazine of the Museums Association, dedicated to reviewing the websites and online catalogues of galleries and museums.6 Consider also Olafur Eliasson’s digital archival project Your Uncertain Archive, which graced the covers of the design journal Disegno in 2014.7 Even libraries are getting in on the act, with the Bodleian library’s dedicated Twitter account that keeps bibliophiles up to date with its digitisation and preservation practices.8 Beyond the practical dimension of digitisation, there seems to be strong evidence that the digital collection is becoming an experience in its own right.

Your Uncertain Archive Covers, Disegno → View source

Boris Groys, drawing on Durkheim’s sacred-profane dichotomy, discusses the role of the collection in perpetuating what is considered culturally valuable by making a distinction between The Cultural Archive and the Profane Realm.9 The latter refers to the ever-growing set of everyday objects and ideas which are considered dispensable, whilst the former refers to the items and thoughts that society takes from the realm of the profane, and elevates to the pedestal or plinth. Through the curation of what is deemed culturally significant, collections engage in a form of historical compression: presenting the visitor with only the parts of cultural knowledge taken to be essential or worthy of transmission. In the exercise of power through display; hiding and revealing, museums bring about the apotheosis of holy relics and patron saints of our day. Digitisation might be seen as a way of ameliorating this compressed account of cultural history, allowing the museum to display in virtual space what it would normally be unable to show in the physical space of the museum. The museum’s digital counterpart serves to make artefacts normally hidden in storage or archives visible, thus revealing previously unknown or inaccessible parts of the collection to new audiences online.

One of the ethical challenges that emerges alongside the digital museum’s capacity to reveal is how one treats alternative conceptions of value concerning display. In the Bambui kingdom in North Western Cameroon for example, notions of sacred and profane are inverted from the model proposed by Groys. Mathias Alubafi Fubah writes that in Bambui culture, local notions of sacredness and secrecy mandate that the most important artefacts such as ancestral drinking cups, statues, masks and gowns are kept hidden away in storage. These items gain their value from “concealment rather than revelation”.10 This method of determining value stands diametrically opposed to the way most Western museums treat valuable cultural artefacts. Herein lies a significant tension: digitisation attempts to provide greater accessibility and democratisation of the museum’s archives and reserve collections. Yet, to reveal some cultural artifacts results in a diminishing of their status according to local tradition. A first significant challenge emerges for those in the business of digitisation: does the practice perpetuate a kind of cultural homogenisation rooted in principles of Enlightenment reason?

Certainly, digitisation allows for greater democratisation and ease of access to a collection were it not digitised. However, an additional challenge concerning the democratisation of the museum collection that emerges from digitisation is how one finds or stumbles upon artefacts of relevance.11 How does one make the swathes of information practically available for perusal? In a sea of millions of digital objects, the blank search bar becomes an intimidating prospect. Museums might attempt to reintroduce the serendipity of discovery by employing the use of a recommendation algorithm to suggest relevant works. However, this path is itself fraught with dubious outcomes for agency.12 A project that (in my opinion) successfully introduces serendipity to the digital museum experience using algorithms is Recognition by Fabrica and JoliBrain, winner of the Tate’s 2016 IK prize, which created an online gallery using a machine learning algorithm to compare new images from Reuters to similarly composed images within the Tate’s art and archival collections.13

Recognition, Fabrica & Jolibrain → View source

Furthermore, there is a significant cost to both digitising an existing collection, as well as attendant challenges of maintaining the software architecture and ensuring this digital collection survives the process of technological obsolescence. This means that museums with more funding to allocate to the digitisation process can afford to reap the benefits of visibility afforded by digitisation. In this way, better funded institutions exercise a greater influence on what sits within the canon, providing yet another challenge for the democratisation of the digitisation process.14

In spite of the perceived effervescence of the virtual, an associated challenge that stands in the way of considering the digital collection a final preservation solution or process of immortalization of the object is the vulnerable physical material associated with the data. Possible issues that will arise on a mid to long-term horizon include the vulnerability of the sites where data is physically stored, the corruptibility of digital information and as mentioned earlier, the likely possibility of technological obsolescence. The digital data museums accumulate is not as immaterial as one might assume. In one of his most comprehensive interviews, the notoriously elusive musician Aphex Twin mentions how an analog format like the vinyl record, despite being older, might outlast newer digital formats found on USBs, hard drives and even online cloud streaming services, making it his preferred method of archiving his work. Ironically, the interview was initially found on Soundcloud but subsequently deleted, and can now only be accessed via the Wayback Machine, an archive of the internet.15

So far I have considered the institutional challenges that digitisation brings to the politics of display and canonisation, and whether it necessarily constitutes a process of democratisation. I will now turn to a look at the objects themselves, and how digitisation affects changes in representation and dissemination.

ATTENDING TO THE OBJECTS THEMSELVES

When one enters and leaves Blythe House, they are greeted from behind a large gate by Igor Mitoraj’s Luci di Nara – a large sculpture of a fragmented face. I can’t help but feel like the sculpture represents the spirit of the practice of collecting ephemera that archivists such as Christopher engage in. The fragments of leftover material; the contents of Lucienne Day’s studio drawer, a dusty unopened model train set from another time, a personal collection of covers of Penguin novels. The archivist puts these together, trying to impose as little meaning as necessary to allow visitors to piece together their own narratives and profiles of the people whose effects are preserved within.

A second area of contention that emerges from digitisation is the representation of objects within virtual space. Armed with the prospect of an aesthetics of the simulated object alongside optimistic belief in the possibility of greater verisimilitude in the digitisation process, one might consider digitisation as an immortalisation of the museum object. Indeed, the process of digitisation allows us to freeze an object, or even an entire site in time, allowing the possibility of revisiting it in its captured state in future. One project attempting to do this is NewPalmyra, an attempt to restore the Palmyra Arch, destroyed by ISIS in Syria in October 2015. This project resulted in a scaled-down 3D printed replica of the arch that was toured around the world.16 It currently lives in Dubai, standing as a testament to our technical ability to both revive and immortalise that which was lost. In a similar vein, Google’s Arts and Culture wing runs the OpenHeritage project, which allows online users to explore virtual recreations of historical sites. The challenge is how to decide when and what in a valued object or site ought to be captured.

When an object (say an old musical instrument) is digitised, whether through the capturing of an image, 3D-scan or through a recording of the sound it makes, institutions need to decide on the best form of representation. After all, it is virtually impossible to capture the noumenal object replete with its full function and embodiment. This pragmatic choice results in the compression of meaning in an object: certain elements of its physical information are removed in its transmission to the virtual. This is a matter of concern for those involved in the study of archival material, especially as digital museums replace physical study rooms in museums.17 Digital surrogates become seen as the cheaper, safer alternative to handling the physical object, which makes keepers of collections more reluctant to allow access to the originals.18 With diminished access to the objects themselves, representation and meaning become locked into the elements deemed relevant in the creation of the digital copy.

We might expect this to be a technical problem that our increasing technological prowess will one day resolve: the complete simulation of an object’s form, function and meaning. This is a phenomenon Jonathan Sterne refers to as the dream of verisimilitude: the pursuit of an ever-more realistic portrayal of or correspondence with “reality” through our media, which has often been indicative of technological progress. A complication that arises however, is that aesthetic pleasure, immersion and definition have no necessary relationship to one another.19 Often, for representation to mirror reality, it has to be augmented – touched up. In the words of Robert J. Flaherty, who directed Moana, a controversial docufiction about Polynesian life:

“Sometimes you have to lie… One often has to distort a thing to catch its true spirit.”20

This, and other practices of reality-augmentation are examples of Baudrillard’s hyperreality: a distorted simulation of the real, which appears realer than reality itself.21 The creation of the hyperreal is pervasive in media practice. In the domain of sound, current recording practice dictates that sounds should have more treble than would be actually heard in the real situation.22 In documentary filmmaking, it is common practice to use re-enactment in place of actual found footage.23 In Schwartz’s terms, the modern culture of the copy tends towards each replay and simulation transcending the original. In the satirical short story Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote, Borges writes of Pierre Menard, a fictional author who, so immersed in Cervantes’ Don Quixote, writes a word-for-word copy in the original 17th Century Spanish. The story details a review of Menard’s reproduction of the Quixote, which argues that the copy was in fact superior to Cervantes’ original because of the levels of immersion Menard would have needed to be able to recreate the Quixote with exact accuracy from his 20th Century context.

The creation of the hyperreal image indistinguishable from reality is a topic that characterizes the recent work of photographer Andreas Gursky. His piece, the digitally altered Rhine II sold for a fee of USD $4.3 million in 2011, the largest sum paid for a photograph.24 What is interesting about the piece is that it is a digital print. There is no restriction on how many instantiations this piece could have, should Gursky decide to print more. This is unlike a photograph on film, whose physicality limits its reproduction. Reflecting on his own work, Gursky describes his project as such:

“I am interested in the ideal typical approximation of everyday phenomena – in creating the essence of reality.”25

Rhine II, Andreas Gursky → View source

The dream of verisimilitude, and the hyperreal images exemplified by Gursky’s Rhine II stand in contrast to what Hito Steryl refers to as the “poor image”. This refers to the sea of low-resolution images that have been compressed, re-edited, downloaded and uploaded. In her paper In Defense of the Poor Image, she argues for a repositioning of these images within the hierarchy of value. Rather than representing the accuracy of the subject itself, such images present a snapshot of the people involved in its reappropriation. Like the patina of well-worn leather often held as a badge of honour, the marks of these images reveal a multiplicity of use to be respected, or at least investigated.26 For Steryl, a new metric of appreciation should emerge for the appraisal of poor images, one in which value is determined not by resolution or scarcity, but rather by speed, intensity and spread of dissemination. The poor image points not to the original source from which it stems, but rather to the lived conditions which lead to its digital dispersion. It is for this reason that Steryl argues that these images tell us about more about reality than the high definition images which society traditionally tends to value.27

Steryl’s points can be extended also to the materiality of other digital media such as sound. Despite the perceived equivalence of newer digital audio files to analog formats, the sound differs in the way it decomposes. A DJ slowing down a vinyl record produces a distinct set of low end frequencies, as do .wav files, and .mp3s.28 When a .mp3 is compressed more than once, a musical equivalent to pixelation in images known as a “compression artefact” is created.29 Steryl’s calls for a new aesthetics for the compressed visual is something that already exists in the realm of music, particularly in the appreciation of the burgeoning sample culture stemming from the use of the AKAI MPC drum machine and sampling in the 90s30, and emerging genres of music such as lo-fi house31 and Gqom – a genre of South African house music from Durban made popular through the rattling speakers of the multitude of minibus taxis travelling between townships across the country.32

Can we consider the 3D models of digital collections in the same light? Christophe Lemaitre suggests that any attempt to restore a work of art should never regress in time, or try to fix the meaning of the piece. Instead, to be involved in restoration is to be in the business of re-production: a continuation and extension of a piece.33 This is epitomised for instance in the restoration of frescoes using the tratteggio technique. According to this practice, modifications are made clearly visible when one stands close to the piece, but indistinguishable from afar.34 Might we say the same for our practices of digital preservation?

An aesthetics of the simulated and hyperreal would involve a rejection of the idea that the simulated and compressed are a mere shadow or apparition of the truth. Rather, digital surrogates become re-productions in Lemaitre’s sense. In this case, the object and its digital counterparts function like the Ship of Theseus, whose parts never remain constant and are constantly replaced and augmented. They remain united in virtue of being part of the same chain of causal continuity. Considered this way, digital copies continue to add meaning to the original, whilst simultaneously taking on novel meanings in their own right, with specific attention devoted to their materiality as digital objects.

How might we come to terms with the mechanisms of compression that occur within collections in the digital age? As societal conceptions of value shift from the valorization of the immutable original to an appreciation of the widely disseminated copy, the knowledge that what collections currently represent is but one way of compressing or formatting what we ought to consider culturally salient. This opens up necessary room for the creation of new adumbrations, interpretations and counter-narratives that offer stark alternatives to our current practices of dissemination and preservation. In so doing, we can challenge the dominant voices that drive our cultural institutions, and the voices conventionally deemed outside the metaphorical range of hearing might be made audible.

Visit Benton’s website and Instagram

 

REFERENCES

Aciman, A., ‘Meet the Unassuming Drum Machine that Changed Music Forever’, Vox, Apr 16 2018, https://www.vox.com/culture/2018/4/16/16615352/akai-mpc-music-history-impact, (accessed 2 September 2018).

Alubafi Fubah, M., ‘The Secret Art of the Bambui Royal Treasury, Western Grassfields, Cameroon’, in M. Brusius & K. Singh (eds), Museum Storage and Meaning: Tales From the Crypt, London, Routledge, 2018.

Arcand, R., ‘Is Lo-fi House the First Genre of the Algorithm Age?’, Thump, Mar 31 2017, https://thump.vice.com/en_uk/article/yp9e5j/is-lo-fi-house-the-first-genre-of-the-algorithm-age, (accessed 4 September 2018).

Baudrillard, J., Simulation and Simulacra, Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press, 1994. Blom, P., To Have and to Hold, St. Ives, Allen Lane, 2002.

Bodleian Digital Library Twitter [Website], https://twitter.com/bdlss?lang=en, (accessed 9 September 2018).

Brusius, M. & Singh, K., ‘Introduction’ in M. Brusius & K. Singh (eds), Museum Storage and Meaning: Tales From the Crypt, London, Routledge, 2018.

Clayton, J., Uproot: Travels in 21st-Century Music and Digital Culture, New York, Farrar, Straur and Giroux, 2013.

Collections Trust, Introduction to SPECTRUM 5.0 [Website], https://collectionstrust.org.uk/spectrum/spectrum-5/, (accessed 12 June 2018).

Disegno, No. 7, 2014.

Groys, B., On the New, United Kingdom, Verso, 2014.

Gursky, A., Panel at the Artist’s exhibition at the Hayward Gallery, 2018.

IK Prize 2016: Recognition [Website], https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/ik-prize-2016-recognition, (accessed 12 August 2018).

Lemaitre, C., The Life and Death of the Work of Art, Tombolo Presses, 2016.

Museums Journal, September 2018.

Nayeri, F., ‘Andreas Gursky Is Taking Photos of Things That Do Not Exist’, The New York Times, Jan 29 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/29/arts/andreas-gursky-is-taking-photos-of-things-that-do-not-exist.html, (accessed 12 August 2018).

Noble, S., Algorithms of Oppression, United States, NYU Press, 2018.

Noyzelab: Aphex Twin SYROBONKERS! Interview [Website], https://web.archive.org/web/20141103131334/ http://noyzelab.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/syrobonkers-part1.html, (accessed 10 September 2018).

Schwartz, H., The Culture of the Copy, New York, Zone Books, 1996.

Sterne, J., Mp3: The Meaning of a Format, Durham, Duke University Press, 2013.

Steryl, H., In Defense of the Poor Image, e-flux (10), 2009.

The Institute for Digital Archaeology [Website], http://digitalarchaeology.org.uk/, (accessed 3 September 2018).

Woza Taxi – Gqom Secret Stash Out Of The Locations [online video], 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgHxtE4uzdY, (accessed 12 September 2018).

Zeki, S., ‘Art and the Brain’, Daedelus, 127, no.2, 1998.

Non spaventatevi! Avvisiamo i nostri gentili lettori che le traduzioni sono state fatte dalla team di sink perció scusate le imperfezioni.

La collezione digitale:
compressione, democrazia e diffusione

di Benton Ching

Sono le sei meno un quarto di martedì pomeriggio, e Geoff (non è il suo vero nome) si sta preparando per la fine del suo turno. Stiamo parlando della sua esperienza al Victoria & Albert Museum, del suo lavoro decennale nel dipartimento dell’esperienza museale e della sua prospettiva sul valore sociale dei musei. “Ho comperato un libro per mia nipote per natale – lo ha guardato in un attimo e ha strisciato il dito su quel cavolo di oggetto!” ride, mentre imita il gesto usando il suo dito sopra la sua altra mano per imitare un touchscreen. Prima di salutarci, glorifica l’importanza del ruolo del museo nel preservare importanti conoscenze culturali (come l’uso dei libri e pergamene), mentre si lamenta di certe sfide che il museo ha dovuto affrontare nell’integrazione di nuove tecnologie alle sue pratiche.

A cosa assomiglierà il museo del futuro? Per la nipote di Geoff, la digitalizzazione avrà di sicuro un ruolo importante nella sua futura esperienza del museo. In quanto designer con una formazione in filosofia e teoria politica, con un forte interesse nell’impatto nella tecnologia nella società, la mia ricerca sui musei gira attorno a domande su come i processi digitali possono migliorare accessi alle collezioni, e facilitare il processo della creazione di significato nel musei. In Art and the Brain, il neuroscienziato Semir Zeki sostiene che la funzione dell’arte è un’estensione della funzione del cervello, cerncando conoscenze in un mondo in cambiamento continuo.1 La collezione digitale può avere un ruolo significante oltre a quello di registro, e facilitare questo processo di creazione di significato? La nozione di creare significato attraverso collezioni non è nuova. Collezionisti nell’era dell’illuminismo si impegnarono con quello che Philip Blom chiama “l’alchimia pratica” {practical alchemy},2 tentativi di nascondere una verità divina nel collezionare meraviglie del mondo che li circondava. Gli oggetti delle loro collezioni erano pensati come trascendenti lo status di cosa, ed erano visti come importanti pezzi di un puzzle nella ricerca di un significato universale. La collezione moderna non condivide la stessa intenzione si scoprire segreti dell’universo, ma continua ad avere un ruolo importante nella preservazione e disseminazione della conoscenza culturale. Nei due casi, il collezionista privato eccentrico e il museo moderno devono giudicare cosa appartiene al regno della collezione. Nel primo caso, la domando potrebbe essere quali artefatti rappresentano al meglio un’importante verità dell’universo. Mentre nel secondo, il giudizio potrebbe riguardare quali oggetti sono di maggiore importanza storica o culturale.

Si potrebbe pensare a questo come una forma quotidiana di compressione dei dati. Quando la compressione di musica si fa in un formato .mp3, i bits del suono al di fuori del campo udibile vengono rimossi per ottimizzare la dimensione del file audio. Per analogia, quando le collezioni decidono cosa collezionare o mostrare, i pezzi ritenuti inaudibili o irrilevanti sono inevitabilmente esclusi. Questo saggio usa la tecnologia dell’informazione di compressione digitale come una struttura per affrontare le ampie sfide nell’accesso e nella creazione di significato nelle pratiche di display e di collezioni nell’era digitale.3

IL MUSEO COME SITO DI COMPRESSIONE

Nel corso della mia ricerca , ho parlato con Christopher Marsden, il maggiore archivista del Dipartimento “Word and Image” negli archivi del Victoria & Albert Museum, a Blythe House, per capire come funzionano gli archivi museali e quali siano le difficoltà poste dalla digitalizzazione. Secondo Christopher, una delle maggiori sfide sia per i musei che per gli archivisti è come gestire il materiale “nato-digitale” {born-digital}, un patrimonio che esiste solo in forma digitale. Questo materiale diventa sempre più diffuso man mano che i processi digitali si integrano sempre più nella vita quotidiana. Per gli archivi del V&A in particolare, questo aspetto include dai file CAD (Computer Aided Design) 2D e 3D utilizzati da architetti e designer, alle registrazioni sul campo utilizzate da artisti, fino ai video digitali che catturano immagini in movimento. Tali files potrebbero sembrare i migliori amici dell’archivista. In fin dei conti, è facile salvare un documento con un clic sul proprio computer e trasferirlo su un altro utilizzando una chiavetta USB, un’e-mail o un servizio di cloud storage. Tuttavia, come vedrete in questo testo, le sfide significative derivano dall’estensione della pratica archivistica alla sfera virtuale.

Il mio interesse per la digitalizzazione dei musei è stato stimolato da una domanda ingenua ma (credo) ancora attuale: cosa ci fanno i musei con tutto ciò che non espongono in mostra? Se accettiamo il fatto che i musei siano limitati in ciò che possono permettersi di esporre in qualsiasi momento, idealmente quale sarebbe la miglior alternativa a tutto questo? Queste discussioni spesso considerano in maniera affrettata la digitalizzazione4 come soluzione per rivelare ciò che si trova sotto la punta dell’iceberg.La digitalizzazione gioca oggi un ruolo importante per i musei e gli archivi, ed è considerata una buona pratica per la gestione delle collezioni secondo lo Spectrum 5.0, lo standard di gestione delle collezioni dell’UK Collections Trust.5 Nel Museums Journal (la rivista cartacea della Museums Association) c’è anche una sezione dedicata alla revisione dei siti web e dei cataloghi online di gallerie e musei.6 Basta pensare al progetto di archivio digitale Your Uncertain Archive di Olafur Eliasson, che ha abbellito le copertine della rivista di design Disegno nel 2014.7 Anche le biblioteche si stanno mobilitando, con l’account Twitter della biblioteca Bodleian che tiene i bibliofili aggiornati sulle sue pratiche di digitalizzazione e conservazione.8 Al di là della dimensione pratica della digitalizzazione, sembra esserci una forte tendenza a favore del fatto che la collezione digitale stia diventando un’esperienza a sé stante.

Your Uncertain Archive Covers, Disegno → Vedi riferimento

Boris Groys, attingendo alla dicotomia sacro-profana di Durkheim, discute il ruolo della collezione nel perpetuare ciò che è considerato culturalmente prezioso facendo una distinzione tra l’Archivio Culturale e il Regno Profano.9 Il secondo si riferisce all’insieme sempre crescente di oggetti e idee quotidiane che sono considerati superflui, mentre il primo si riferisce agli oggetti e ai pensieri che la società prende dal regno del profano, ed eleva su un piedistallo. Attraverso la selezione di ciò che viene considerato culturalmente significativo, le collezioni attuano una forma di compressione storica: vengono presentate al visitatore solo le parti di conoscenza culturale ritenute essenziali o degne di trasmissione. Nell’esercizio del potere attraverso l’esposizione; nascondendo e rivelando, i musei provocano l’apoteosi delle sante reliquie e dei santi patroni dei nostri giorni. La digitalizzazione potrebbe essere vista come un modo per migliorare questo racconto compresso della storia culturale, permettendo al museo di mostrare in uno spazio virtuale ciò che normalmente non sarebbe in grado di mostrare nello spazio fisico. La controparte digitale del museo serve a rendere visibili gli artefatti normalmente nascosti nei depositi o negli archivi, rivelando così al nuovo pubblico on-line, parti della collezione precedentemente sconosciute o inaccessibili.

Una delle sfide etiche che emerge insieme alla capacità del museo digitale di rivelare, è il modo in cui si trattano le concezioni alternative di valore riguardanti la visualizzazione. Nel regno dei Bambui nel Camerun nord-occidentale, ad esempio, le nozioni di sacro e profano sono invertite rispetto al modello proposto da Groys. Mathias Alubafi Fubah scrive che nella cultura Bambui, le nozioni locali di sacralità e segretezza impongono che i manufatti più importanti, come le tazze ancestrali per bere, le statue, le maschere e gli abiti siano tenuti nascosti in un luogo a parte. Questi oggetti traggono il loro valore dal loro “occultamento piuttosto che dalla rivelazione” {concealment rather than revelation}.10 Questo metodo di determinazione del valore è diametralmente opposto al modo in cui la maggior parte dei musei occidentali tratta i manufatti culturali di valore. Qui si trova una tensione significativa: la digitalizzazione cerca di garantire una maggiore accessibilità e democratizzazione degli archivi e delle collezioni di riserva del museo. Tuttavia, secondo la tradizione locale, rivelare alcuni manufatti culturali si traduce in una diminuzione del loro status. Una prima sfida significativa emerge per chi opera nel campo della digitalizzazione: l’esercizio in se stesso  perpetua una sorta di omogeneizzazione culturale radicata nei principi della ragione illuministica?

Di certo, la digitalizzazione consente una maggiore democratizzazione e accessibilità a una collezione, rispetto a quanto avverrebbe se non lo fosse. Tuttavia, un’ulteriore sfida che riguarda l’apertura alla collezione museale in seguito alla digitalizzazione è il modo in cui imbattersi in artefatti rilevanti.11 In che modo le bande di informazione diventano disponibili per la consultazione? In un mare di milioni di oggetti digitali, la barra di ricerca vuota diventa una prospettiva intimidatoria. I musei potrebbero tentare di reintrodurre la serendipidità della scoperta, utilizzando l’uso di un algoritmo di raccomandazione per suggerire opere rilevanti. Tuttavia, questo percorso è di per sé carico di risultati sospetti nel raggiungere fini a proprio vantaggio.12 Un progetto che (a mio parere) introduce con successo la serendipità all’esperienza museale digitale, utilizzando algoritmi, è Recognition di Fabrica e JoliBrain, vincitori del premio IK 2016 della Tate (Museo di Londra). Il progetto consisteva in una galleria online che utilizzava un algoritmo di apprendimento automatico per confrontare nuove immagini della Reuters con immagini composte in modo simile all’interno delle collezioni d’arte e d’archivio della Tate.13

Recognition, Fabrica & Jolibrain → Vedi riferimento

Inoltre, c’è un costo significativo sia per la digitalizzazione di una collezione esistente, sia per le sfide che comportano la manutenzione dell’architettura del software e la garanzia che questa collezione digitale sopravviva al processo di obsolescenza tecnologica. Ciò significa che solo i musei con maggiori finanziamenti da destinare al processo di digitalizzazione possono permettersi di raccogliere i benefici della visibilità offerta da essa. In questo modo, le istituzioni con più sostegno economico esercitano una maggiore influenza su ciò che è a norma, all’interno di un canone, ma in questo modo forniscono una nuova sfida per la democratizzazione del processo di digitalizzazione.14

Nonostante la percezione dell’effervescenza della sfera virtuale, una sfida associata che impedisce di considerare la raccolta digitale come una soluzione di conservazione finale o un processo di immortalità dell’oggetto, è il materiale fisico vulnerabile associato ai dati. I possibili problemi che si presenteranno in un orizzonte di medio-lungo termine includono la vulnerabilità dei siti in cui i dati sono fisicamente immagazzinati, la corruttibilità dell’informazione digitale e, come accennato in precedenza, la probabile possibilità di obsolescenza tecnologica. L’accumulo da parte dei musei di dati digitali non è così immateriale come si potrebbe supporre. In una delle sue interviste più esaurienti, il noto ed elusivo musicista Aphex Twin parla di come un formato analogico come il disco in vinile, nonostante sia più vecchio, potrebbe sopravvivere ai nuovi formati digitali presenti su USB, su hard disk e persino sui servizi di cloud streaming online, il che lo rende il suo metodo preferito per archiviare il suo lavoro. Ironia della sorte, l’intervista è stata inizialmente trovata su Soundcloud ma successivamente cancellata, e ora è accessibile solo attraverso la Wayback Machine, un archivio di internet. 15

Finora ho considerato le prove istituzionali causate dalla digitalizzazione, per la politica della visualizzazione e della “canonizzazione” di un processo di democraticità. Ora rivolgo lo sguardo sugli oggetti stessi e a come la digitalizzazione influisce sui cambiamenti nella rappresentazione e nella diffusione.

OCCUPARSI DEGLI OGGETTI STESSI

Quando un visitatore entra ed esce da Blythe House, viene accolto da Luci di Nara di Igor Mitoraj – un’imponente scultura dal volto frammentato. Non posso fare a meno di pensare che la scultura rappresenti lo spirito dell’atto effimero di collezionare a cui si dedicano archivisti come Christopher. I frammenti di materiale di scarto; il contenuto del cassetto dello studio di Lucienne Day, un polveroso modellino di un treno d’altri tempi, una collezione personale di copertine di romanzi Penguin. L’archivista mette insieme queste copertine, cercando di imporre il minimo significato necessario per consentire ai visitatori di ricostruire le proprie narrazioni e i profili delle persone, i cui effetti sono conservati al loro interno.

Una seconda area di contesa, che emerge dalla digitalizzazione, è la rappresentazione di oggetti all’interno dello spazio virtuale. Armati della prospettiva di un’estetica dell’oggetto simulato e della convinzione ottimistica della possibilità di una maggiore verosimiglianza nel processo di digitalizzazione, si potrebbe considerare la digitalizzazione come una forma di immortalità dell’oggetto museale. Infatti, il processo di digitalizzazione ci permette di congelare nel tempo un oggetto, o addirittura un intero sito, consentendoci, in futuro, di rivisitarlo nel suo stato odierno. Un progetto che tenta di farlo è NewPalmyra, un tentativo di ripristinare l’Arco di Palmyra, distrutto dall’ISIS in Siria nell’ottobre 2015. Questo progetto ha prodotto una replica in scala ridotta stampata in 3D dell’arco, che è stata portata in tour in diverse parti del  mondo.16 Attualmente si trova a Dubai, in testimonianza della nostra capacità tecnica di rivivere e immortalare ciò che è andato perduto. Analogamente, l’ala Arts and Culture di Google gestisce il progetto OpenHeritage, che permette agli utenti online di esplorare le ricreazioni virtuali di siti storici. La sfida è decidere quando e cosa in un oggetto o sito di valore dovrebbe essere registrato.

Quando un oggetto (ad esempio un antico strumento musicale) viene digitalizzato, sia attraverso l’acquisizione di un’immagine, che con la scansione 3D o la registrazione del suono che produce, spetta alle istituzioni decidere la migliore forma di rappresentazione. Dopotutto, è praticamente impossibile catturare l’oggetto, in quanto noumeno, nella sua piena funzionalità e incarnazione. Questa scelta pragmatica si traduce nella compressione del significato di un oggetto: alcuni elementi d’informazione legati alla fisicità vengono rimossi nella sua trasmissione al virtuale. Questo aspetto è motivo di preoccupazione per coloro che sono coinvolti nello studio del materiale d’archivio, soprattutto perché i musei digitali sostituiscono le sale di studio “fisiche” nei musei.17 I surrogati digitali vengono visti come l’alternativa più economica e sicura alla manipolazione dell’oggetto fisico, il che rende i custodi delle collezioni più riluttanti a consentire l’accesso agli originali.18 Con un accesso ridotto agli oggetti stessi, la rappresentazione e il significato si limitano ai soli elementi ritenuti rilevanti nella creazione della copia digitale.

Potremmo aspettarci che questo sia un problema tecnico, che la nostra crescente abilità tecnologica risolverà un giorno: ottenendo la simulazione completa della forma, della funzione e del significato di un oggetto. Si tratta di un fenomeno che Jonathan Sterne chiama “il sogno della verosimiglianza”: la ricerca di una rappresentazione sempre più realistica o di una corrispondenza con la “realtà” attraverso i nostri media, spesso indicativa del progresso tecnologico. Sorge tuttavia una complicazione, che riguarda il piacere estetico, l’immersione e la definizione, che non hanno alcun rapporto necessario l’uno con l’altro.19 Spesso, perché la rappresentazione rispecchi la realtà, deve essere aumentata – ritoccata. Un concetto esemplificato nelle parole di Robert J. Flaherty, che ha diretto Moana, una controversa docufiction sulla vita polinesiana:

“A volte bisogna mentire… Spesso si deve distorcere una cosa per cogliere il suo vero spirito.” {Sometimes you have to lie… One often has to distort a thing to catch its true spirit.}20

Questa, insieme ad altre pratiche di realtà amplificata, sono esempi dell’iperrealtà di Baudrillard: una simulazione distorta del reale, che appare più realistica della realtà stessa.21 La creazione dell’iperreale pervade la pratica mediatica. Nell’ambito sonoro, l’attuale pratica di registrazione impone che i suoni debbano avere più frequenze alte rispetto al reale.22 Nel cinema documentario, è uso comune ricorrere alla ricostruzione degli eventi invece di utilizzare il materiale d’archivio.23  Secondo Schwarz, la cultura moderna della copia tende verso ogni riproduzione e simulazione trascendendo l’originale. Nel racconto satirico Pierre Menard, Author of the Quixote, Borges scrive di Pierre Menard, un autore fittizio che, essendosi così immerso nel Don Chisciotte di Cervantes, scrive una copia del romanzo parola per parola, in spagnolo originale del XVII secolo. La storia descrive una recensione sulla riproduzione del Chisciotte di Menard, che sostiene che la copia sia di fatto migliore all’originale di Cervantes, grazie ai livelli di immersione di cui Menard avrebbe avuto bisogno per poter ricreare il Chisciotte con la precisione esatta del suo contesto novecentesco.

La creazione dell’immagine iperreale indistinguibile dalla realtà è un tema che caratterizza Rhein II, il recente lavoro del fotografo Andreas Gursky, modificato digitalmente, che è stato venduto per un valore di 4,3 milioni di dollari nel 2011, la somma più alta mai registrata per la vendita di una fotografia.24 La cosa interessante dell’immagine è che si tratta di una stampa digitale. Non c’è alcuna restrizione sul numero di copie che questo lavoro potrebbe avere, se Gursky decidesse di stamparne di più. Questo aspetto cambia per una fotografia su pellicola, la cui fisicità ne limita la riproduzione. Riflettendo sul proprio lavoro, Gursky descrive il suo progetto come tale:

“Mi interessa l’approssimazione ideale tipica dei fenomeni quotidiani – nel creare l’essenza della realtà”. {I am interested in the ideal typical approximation of everyday phenomena – in creating the essence of reality.}25

Rhine II, Andreas Gursky → Vedi riferimento

Il sogno di verosimiglianza e le immagini iperreali esemplificate dal Rhein II di Gursky contrastano con quella che Hito Steryl chiama “l’immagine povera”, che si riferisce al mare di immagini a bassa risoluzione compresse, rielaborate, scaricate e nuovamente caricate. Nel suo articolo In Defense of the Poor Image, l’autrice sostiene il riposizionamento di queste immagini all’interno della gerarchia dei valori. Piuttosto che rappresentare l’accuratezza del soggetto stesso, tali immagini presentano uno “snapshot” delle persone coinvolte mentre se ne riappropriano. I segni di queste immagini rivelano una molteplicità d’uso da rispettare, o almeno indagare.26 Per Steryl, dovrebbe emergere una nuova metrica di apprezzamento per la valutazione di immagini povere, un valore che non è determinato dalla risoluzione o dalla scarsità, ma piuttosto dalla velocità, dall’intensità e dall’estensione della diffusione. L’immagine povera non indica la fonte originale da cui proviene, ma piuttosto le condizioni di vita che portano alla sua dispersione digitale. E’ per questo motivo che Steryl sostiene che queste immagini ci parlano più della realtà rispetto alle immagini ad alta definizione, che la società tende tradizionalmente a valorizzare.27

I temi di Steryl possono essere estesi anche alla materialità di altri media digitali come il suono. Nonostante l’equivalenza percepita tra i nuovi file audio digitali e i formati analogici, il suono differisce nel modo in cui si decompone. Un DJ che rallenta un disco in vinile produce un insieme distinto di basse frequenze, così come avviene per i file .wav e .mp3.28 Quando un .mp3 viene compresso più di una volta, si crea un equivalente musicale alla “pixelizzazione” in immagini note come “artefatto di compressione” {compression artefact}.29 La chiamata di Steryl verso una nuova estetica per l’immagine compressa, è qualcosa che esiste già nel regno della musica. In particolare nel successo della fiorente cultura del suono campionato, derivante dall’uso della “drum machine” e del “sample AKAI MPC” negli anni ’9030, e di generi musicali emergenti come il “lo-fi house”31 e il “Gqom” – un genere di musica house sudafricana di Durban, reso popolare attraverso gli altoparlanti rumorosi della moltitudine di minibus taxi, in viaggio tra le township di tutto il paese.32

Possiamo considerare i modelli 3D delle collezioni digitali nella stessa ottica? Christophe Lemaitre suggerisce che qualsiasi tentativo di restauro di un’opera d’arte non deve mai regredire nel tempo, o cercare di fissare il significato dell’opera. Essere coinvolti nel restauro significa invece essere nel business della riproduzione: per la continuazione e l’estensione di un’opera d’arte.33 Ciò è esemplificato, in effetti, nel restauro di affreschi con la tecnica del tratteggio. Secondo questa pratica, le modifiche sono rese chiaramente visibili quando si è vicini all’opera, ma sono indistinguibili da lontano.34 Potremmo dire lo stesso per le nostre pratiche di conservazione digitale?

Un’estetica del simulato e iperreale comporterebbe il rifiuto dell’idea che il simulato e il compresso siano una mera ombra o apparizione della verità. Piuttosto, le surrogate digitali diventano riproduzioni nel senso di Lemaitre. In questo caso, la realtà funziona come la Nave di Teseo, le cui parti non rimangono mai costanti e vengono continuamente sostituite e aumentate. Rimangono unite in virtù dell’essere parte della stessa catena di continuità causale. In questo senso, le copie digitali continuano ad aggiungere significato all’originale, assumendo contemporaneamente significati nuovi di per sé, con particolare attenzione alla loro materialità come oggetti digitali.

Come possiamo fare i conti con i meccanismi di compressione che si verificano all’interno delle collezioni nell’era digitale? Mentre le concezioni sociali del valore passano dalla valorizzazione dell’originale immutabile all’apprezzamento della copia ampiamente diffusa, la consapevolezza che ciò che le collezioni rappresentano attualmente non è che un modo per comprimere o formattare ciò che dovremmo considerare culturalmente saliente. Questo apre lo spazio necessario per la creazione di nuove interpretazioni e contro-narrazioni che offrono forti alternative alle nostre attuali pratiche di diffusione e conservazione. In questo modo, possiamo sfidare le voci dominanti che guidano le nostre istituzioni culturali, e le voci convenzionalmente considerate al di fuori del campo metaforico dell’udito potrebbero essere rese udibili.

 

RIFERIMENTI

Aciman, A., ‘Meet the Unassuming Drum Machine that Changed Music Forever’, Vox, 16 aprile 2018. Disponibile 2 settembre 2018, da  https://www.vox.com/culture/2018/4/16/16615352/akai-mpc-music-history-impact.

Alubafi Fubah, M., ‘The Secret Art of the Bambui Royal Treasury, Western Grassfields, Cameroon’, da M. Brusius & K. Singh (edi), Museum Storage and Meaning: Tales From the Crypt, Londra, Routledge, 2018.

Arcand, R., ‘Is Lo-fi House the First Genre of the Algorithm Age?’, Thump, 31 marzo 2017. Disponibile 4 settembre 2018, da https://thump.vice.com/en_uk/article/yp9e5j/is-lo-fi-house-the-first-genre-of-the-algorithm-age.

Baudrillard, J., Simulation and Simulacra, Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press, 1994.

Blom, P., To Have and to Hold, St. Ives, Allen Lane, 2002.

Twitter della Bodleian Digital Library [Sito Web]. Disponibile 9 settembre 2018, da https://twitter.com/bdlss?lang=en.

Brusius, M. & Singh, K., ‘Introduction’ in da M. Brusius & K. Singh (edi), Museum Storage and Meaning: Tales From the Crypt, Londra, Routledge, 2018.

Clayton, J., Uproot: Travels in 21st-Century Music and Digital Culture, New York, Farrar, Straur and Giroux, 2013.

Collections Trust, Introduction to SPECTRUM 5.0 [Sito Web]. Disponibile 12 giugno 2018, da https://collectionstrust.org.uk/spectrum/spectrum-5/.

Disegno, No. 7, 2014.

Groys, B., On the New, United Kingdom, Verso, 2014.

Gursky, A., Conversazione alla mostra dell’artista alla Hayward Gallery, 2018.

IK Prize 2016: Recognition [Sito Web]. Disponibile 12 agosto 2018, da https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/ik-prize-2016-recognition.

Lemaitre, C., The Life and Death of the Work of Art, Tombolo Presses, 2016.

Museums Journal, settembre 2018.

Nayeri, F., ‘Andreas Gursky Is Taking Photos of Things That Do Not Exist’, The New York Times, 29 gennaio 2018. Disponibile 12 agosto 2018, da https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/29/arts/andreas-gursky-is-taking-photos-of-things-that-do-not-exist.html.

Noble, S., Algorithms of Oppression, Stati Uniti, NYU Press, 2018.

Noyzelab: Aphex Twin SYROBONKERS! Interview [Sito Web]. Disponibile 10 settembre 2018, da https://web.archive.org/web/20141103131334/ http://noyzelab.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/syrobonkers-part1.html.

Schwartz, H., The Culture of the Copy, New York, Zone Books, 1996.

Sterne, J., Mp3: The Meaning of a Format, Durham, Duke University Press, 2013.

Steryl, H., In Defense of the Poor Image, e-flux (10), 2009.

The Institute for Digital Archaeology [Sito Web]. Disponibile 3 settembre 2018, da http://digitalarchaeology.org.uk/.

Woza Taxi – Gqom Secret Stash Out Of The Locations [Video Online], 2016. Disponibile 12 settembre 2018, da https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgHxtE4uzdY.

Zeki, S., ‘Art and the Brain’, Daedelus, 127, no.2, 1998.

Non spaventatevi! Avvisiamo i nostri gentili lettori che le traduzioni sono state fatte dalla team di sink perció scusate le imperfezioni.

Notes

Note

1S. Zeki, ‘Art and the Brain’, Daedelus, 127, no.2, 1998, p. 75.S. Zeki, ‘Art and the Brain’, Daedelus, 127, no.2, 1998, p. 75.

2P. Blom, To Have and to Hold, St. Ives, Allen Lane, 2002, pp. 44-5.P. Blom, To Have and to Hold, St. Ives, Allen Lane, 2002, pagg. 44-5.

3Here I use collections to encompass institutions involved in the business of collecting broadly, such as archives, libraries and museums. There are however, obvious differences between these. For example, Museums are held accountable to public pressures of display.Qui uso la parola collezione per intendere istituzioni che si occupano di collezionismo in senso largo, come archivi, biblioteche e musei. Tuttavia, ci sono ovvie differenze tra di esse. Ad esempio, i musei sono tenuti a rispondere alle pressioni del pubblico.

4Other proposed methods of dealing with the glut of objects facing many museums include inter-museum loans and deaccessioning. These however, raise their own set of legal and museological challenges which are beyond the scope of this essay to address.Altri metodi proposti per affrontare la sovrabbondanza di oggetti di fronte a molti musei sono il prestito intermuseale e il deaccessioning (rimozione di opere dalla collezione). Questi, tuttavia, sollevano una serie di sfide legali e museologiche che escono dallo scopo di questo saggio.

5Collections Trust, Introduction to SPECTRUM 5.0 [Website], https://collectionstrust.org.uk/spectrum/spectrum-5/, (accessed 12 June 2018).Collections Trust, Introduction to SPECTRUM 5.0 [Sito Web]. Disponibile 12 giugno 2018, da https://collectionstrust.org.uk/spectrum/spectrum-5/.

6Museums Journal, September 2018, p. 59.Museums Journal, settembre 2018, p. 59.

7Disegno, No. 7, 2014.Disegno, No. 7, 2014.

8Bodleian Digital Library Twitter [Website], https://twitter.com/bdlss?lang=en, (accessed 9 September 2018).Twitter della Bodleian Digital Library [Sito Web]. Disponibile 9 settembre 2018, da https://twitter.com/bdlss?lang=en.

9B. Groys, On the New, United Kingdom, Verso, 2014, pp. 63-70.B. Groys, On the New, Regno Unito, Verso, 2014, pagg. 63-70.

10M. Alubafi Fubah, ‘The Secret Art of the Bambui Royal Treasury, Western Grassfields, Cameroon’, in M. Brusius & K. Singh (eds), Museum Storage and Meaning: Tales From the Crypt , London, Routledge, 2018, pp. 264-265.M. Alubafi Fubah, ‘The Secret Art of the Bambui Royal Treasury, Western Grassfields, Cameroon’, da M. Brusius & K. Singh (edi), Museum Storage and Meaning: Tales From the Crypt, Londra, Routledge, 2018, pagg. 264-265.

11Tackling the more practical question of how one would navigate this (digital museum) space, John Stack of the Science Museum writes this excellent blog post: https://lab.sciencemuseum.org.uk/exploring-museum-collections-online-some-background-reading-da5a3 32fa2fAffrontando la questione più pratica di come si potrebbe navigare in questo spazio (museo digitale), John Stack del Museo della Scienza di Londra scrive questo eccellente post sul blog del museo: https://lab.sciencemuseum.org.uk/exploring-museum-collections-online-some-background-reading-da5a3 32fa2f

12C.f. S. Noble, Algorithms of Oppression, United States, NYU Press, 2018.C.f. S. Noble, Algorithms of Oppression, Stati Uniti, NYU Press, 2018.

13IK Prize 2016: Recognition [Website], https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/ik-prize-2016-recognition, (accessed 12 August 2018).IK Prize 2016: Recognition [Sito Web]. Disponibile 12 agosto 2018, da https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/ik-prize-2016-recognition.

14M. Brusius & K. Singh, ‘Introduction’ in M. Brusius & K. Singh (eds), Museum Storage and Meaning: Tales From the Crypt, London, Routledge, 2018, p. 19.M. Brusius & K. Singh, ‘Introduction’ da M. Brusius & K. Singh (edi), Museum Storage and Meaning: Tales From the Crypt, Londra, Routledge, 2018, p. 19.

15Noyzelab: Aphex Twin SYROBONKERS! Interview [Website],
https://web.archive.org/web/20141103131334/http://noyzelab.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/syrobonkers-part1.html, (accessed 10 September 2018).
Noyzelab: Aphex Twin SYROBONKERS! Interview [Sito Web]. Disponibile 10 settembre 2018, da
https://web.archive.org/web/20141103131334/http://noyzelab.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/syrobonkers-part1.html.

16The Institute for Digital Archaeology [Website], http://digitalarchaeology.org.uk/, (accessed 3 September 2018).The Institute for Digital Archaeology [Sito Web]. Disponibile 3 settembre 2018, da http://digitalarchaeology.org.uk/.

17M. Brusius & K. Singh, ‘Introduction’ in M. Brusius & K. Singh (eds), Museum Storage and Meaning: Tales From the Crypt, London, Routledge, 2018, p. 3.M. Brusius & K. Singh, ‘Introduction’ da M. Brusius & K. Singh (edi), Museum Storage and Meaning: Tales From the Crypt, Londra, Routledge, 2018, p. 3.

18Ibid, p 18.Ibid, p 18.

19J. Sterne, Mp3: The Meaning of a Format, Durham, Duke University Press, 2013, p. 4.J. Sterne, Mp3: The Meaning of a Format, Durham, Duke University Press, 2013, p. 4.

20H. Schwartz, The Culture of the Copy, New York, Zone Books, 1996, p. 283.H. Schwartz, The Culture of the Copy, New York, Zone Books, 1996, p. 283.

21J. Baudrillard, Simulation and Simulacra, Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press, 1994.J. Baudrillard, Simulation and Simulacra, Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press, 1994.

22J. Sterne, Mp3: The Meaning of a Format, Durham, Duke University Press, 2013.J. Sterne, Mp3: The Meaning of a Format, Durham, Duke University Press, 2013.

23H. Schwartz, The Culture of the Copy, New York, Zone Books, 1996, pp. 283-90.H. Schwartz, The Culture of the Copy, New York, Zone Books, 1996, ppgg. 283-90.

24F. Nayeri, ‘Andreas Gursky Is Taking Photos of Things That Do Not Exist’, The New York Times, Jan 29 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/29/arts/andreas-gursky-is-taking-photos-of-things-that-do-not-exist.html, (accessed 12 August 2018).F. Nayeri, ‘Andreas Gursky Is Taking Photos of Things That Do Not Exist’, The New York Times, 29 gennaio 2018. Disponibile 12 agosto 2018, da https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/29/arts/andreas-gursky-is-taking-photos-of-things-that-do-not-exist.html.

25A. Gursky, Panel at the artist’s exhibition at the Hayward Gallery, 2018.A. Gursky, Conversazione alla mostra dell'artista alla Hayward Gallery, 2018.

26H. Steryl, 'In Defense of the Poor Image', e-flux (10), 2009, p. 6.H. Steryl, 'In Defense of the Poor Image', e-flux (10), 2009, p. 6.

27Ibid, p. 9.Ibid, p. 9.

28J. Sterne, Mp3: The Meaning of a Format, Durham, Duke University Press, 2013, p. 235.J. Sterne, Mp3: The Meaning of a Format, D urham, Duke University Press, 2013, p. 235.

29J. Clayton, Uproot: Travels in 21st-Century Music and Digital Culture, New York, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013, p. 61.J. Clayton, Uproot: Travels in 21st-Century Music and Digital Culture, New York, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013, p. 61.

30A. Aciman, ‘Meet the Unassuming Drum Machine that Changed Music Forever’, Vox, Apr 16 2018, https://www.vox.com/culture/2018/4/16/16615352/akai-mpc-music-history-impact, (accessed 2 September 2018)A. Aciman, ‘Meet the Unassuming Drum Machine that Changed Music Forever’, Vox, 16 aprile 2018. Disponibile 2 settembre 2018, da https://www.vox.com/culture/2018/4/16/16615352/akai-mpc-music-history-impact.

31R. Arcand, ‘Is Lo-fi House the First Genre of the Algorithm Age?’, Thump, Mar 31 2017, https://thump.vice.com/en_uk/article/yp9e5j/is-lo-fi-house-the-first-genre-of-the-algorithm-age , (accessed 4 September 2018)R. Arcand, ‘Is Lo-fi House the First Genre of the Algorithm Age?’, Thump, 31 marzo 2017. Disponibile 4 settembre 2018, da https://thump.vice.com/en_uk/article/yp9e5j/is-lo-fi-house-the-first-genre-of-the-algorithm-age.

32Woza Taxi - Gqom Secret Stash Out Of The Locations [online video], 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgHxtE4uzdY, (accessed 12 September 2018)Woza Taxi - Gqom Secret Stash Out Of The Locations [video online], 2016. Disponibile 12 settembre 2018, da https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgHxtE4uzdY.

33C. Lemaitre, The Life and Death of the Work of Art, Tombolo Presses, 2016, pp. 17-18.C. Lemaitre, The Life and Death of the Work of Art, Tombolo Presses, 2016, ppgg. 17-18.

34Ibid.Ibid.

Notes

Note

Close

1N. Land, ‘The Lure of the Void’, 2014, p. 4, https://themigrationperiod.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/
nicklandlureofvoid.pdf, (accessed 10 December 2018).
N. Land, ‘The Lure of the Void’, 2014, p. 4. Disponibile 10 dicembre 2018, da https://themigrationperiod.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/
nicklandlureofvoid.pdf.

2B. H. Bratton, The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty, Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press, 2015, p. 86.B. H. Bratton, The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty, Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT Press, 2015, p. 86.

3N. Land, ‘The Lure of the Void’, 2014, p. 3.N. Land, ‘The Lure of the Void’, 2014, p. 3.

4Ibid, p.11.Ibid, p. 11.

5B. H. Bratton, The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty, Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press, 2015, p. 124.B. H. Bratton, The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty, Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT Press, 2015, p. 124.

6E. Wolfgang, Digital Memory and the Archive, Minneapolis, Minn., University of Minnesota Press, 2013, p. 133.E. Wolfgang, Digital Memory and the Archive, Minneapolis, Minnesota, University of Minnesota Press, 2013, p. 133.

7B. H. Bratton, The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty, Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press, 2015, p. 79.B. H. Bratton, The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty, Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT Press, 2015, p. 79.

8W. H. K. Chun, Programmed Visions: Software and Memory, Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press, 2011, pp. 57, 74.W. H. K. Chun, Programmed Visions: Software and Memory, Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT Press, 2011, pagg. 57, 74.

9B. H. Bratton, The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty, Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press, 2015, p. 50.B. H. Bratton, The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty, Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT Press, 2015, p. 50.

10Ibid.Ibid.

11W. H. K. Chun, Programmed Visions: Software and Memory, Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press, 2011, p. 179.W. H. K. Chun, Programmed Visions: Software and Memory, Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT Press, 2011, p. 179.

12Ibid, p. 69.Ibid, p. 69.

13Ibid, pp. 9, 59.Ibid, pagg. 9, 59.

14H. Steyerl, ‘In Free Fall: A Thought Experiment on Vertical Perspective’, e-flux journal, no. 24, 2011, https://www.e-
flux.com/journal/24/67860/in-free-fall-a-thought-experiment-on-vertical-perspective/, (accessed 14 November 2018).
H. Steyerl, ‘In Free Fall: A Thought Experiment on Vertical Perspective’, e-flux journal, no. 24, 2011. Disponibile 14 novembre 2018, da https://www.e- flux.com/journal/24/67860/in-free-fall-a-thought-experiment-on-vertical-perspective/.

15B. H. Bratton, The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty, Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press, 2015, pp. xviii, 119.B. H. Bratton, The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty, Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT Press, 2015, pagg. xviii, 119.

16M. Heidegger, History of the Concept of Time: Prolegomena, Bloomington, Ind.: Indiana University Press, 1985, p. 56.M. Heidegger, History of the Concept of Time: Prolegomena, Bloomington, Indiana, Indiana University Press, 1985, p. 56.

17W. H. K. Chun, Programmed Visions: Software and Memory, Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press, 2011, pp. 49-53.
W. H. K. Chun, Programmed Visions: Software and Memory, Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT Press, 2011, pagg. 49-53.

18K. Crawford, ‘Asking the Oracle’, 2016, pp. 137-138, http://www.katecrawford.net/docs/AskingTheOracle-
printedition.pdf, (accessed 10 December 2018).
18 K. Crawford, ‘Asking the Oracle’, 2016, pagg. 137-138. Disponibile 10 dicembre 2018, da 2018http://www.katecrawford.net/docs/AskingTheOracle-
printedition.pdf.

19D. Mende, (2018) ‘The Undutiful Daughter’s Concept of Archival Metabolism’, e-flux journal, no. 93, 2018, p. 8, https:// www.e-flux.com/journal/93/215339/the-undutiful-daughter-s-concept-of-archival-metabolism/, (accessed 10 December 2018).D. Mende, (2018) ‘The Undutiful Daughter’s Concept of Archival Metabolism’, e-flux journal, no. 93, 2018, p. 8. Disponibile 10 dicembre 2018, da https:// www.e-flux.com/journal/93/215339/the-undutiful-daughter-s-concept-of-archival-metabolism/.

20B. H. Bratton, The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty, Cambridge, Mass., MIT Press, 2015, p. 85.B. H. Bratton, The Stack: On Software and Sovereignty, Cambridge, Massachusetts, MIT Press, 2015, p. 85.

21A. Galloway, ‘What Can a Network Do?’, Spike Magazine, no. 39, 2014, p. 69.A. Galloway, ‘What Can a Network Do?’, Spike Magazine, no. 39, 2014, p. 69.

1S. Zeki, ‘Art and the Brain’, Daedelus, 127, no.2, 1998, p. 75.S. Zeki, ‘Art and the Brain’, Daedelus, 127, no.2, 1998, p. 75.

2P. Blom, To Have and to Hold, St. Ives, Allen Lane, 2002, pp. 44-5.P. Blom, To Have and to Hold, St. Ives, Allen Lane, 2002, pagg. 44-5.

3Here I use collections to encompass institutions involved in the business of collecting broadly, such as archives, libraries and museums. There are however, obvious differences between these. For example, Museums are held accountable to public pressures of display.Qui uso la parola collezione per intendere istituzioni che si occupano di collezionismo in senso largo, come archivi, biblioteche e musei. Tuttavia, ci sono ovvie differenze tra di esse. Ad esempio, i musei sono tenuti a rispondere alle pressioni del pubblico.

4Other proposed methods of dealing with the glut of objects facing many museums include inter-museum loans and deaccessioning. These however, raise their own set of legal and museological challenges which are beyond the scope of this essay to address.Altri metodi proposti per affrontare la sovrabbondanza di oggetti di fronte a molti musei sono il prestito intermuseale e il deaccessioning (rimozione di opere dalla collezione). Questi, tuttavia, sollevano una serie di sfide legali e museologiche che escono dallo scopo di questo saggio.

5Collections Trust, Introduction to SPECTRUM 5.0 [Website], https://collectionstrust.org.uk/spectrum/spectrum-5/, (accessed 12 June 2018).Collections Trust, Introduction to SPECTRUM 5.0 [Sito Web]. Disponibile 12 giugno 2018, da https://collectionstrust.org.uk/spectrum/spectrum-5/.

6Museums Journal, September 2018, p. 59.Museums Journal, settembre 2018, p. 59.

7Disegno, No. 7, 2014.Disegno, No. 7, 2014.

8Bodleian Digital Library Twitter [Website], https://twitter.com/bdlss?lang=en, (accessed 9 September 2018).Twitter della Bodleian Digital Library [Sito Web]. Disponibile 9 settembre 2018, da https://twitter.com/bdlss?lang=en.

9B. Groys, On the New, United Kingdom, Verso, 2014, pp. 63-70.B. Groys, On the New, Regno Unito, Verso, 2014, pagg. 63-70.

10M. Alubafi Fubah, ‘The Secret Art of the Bambui Royal Treasury, Western Grassfields, Cameroon’, in M. Brusius & K. Singh (eds), Museum Storage and Meaning: Tales From the Crypt , London, Routledge, 2018, pp. 264-265.M. Alubafi Fubah, ‘The Secret Art of the Bambui Royal Treasury, Western Grassfields, Cameroon’, da M. Brusius & K. Singh (edi), Museum Storage and Meaning: Tales From the Crypt, Londra, Routledge, 2018, pagg. 264-265.

11Tackling the more practical question of how one would navigate this (digital museum) space, John Stack of the Science Museum writes this excellent blog post: https://lab.sciencemuseum.org.uk/exploring-museum-collections-online-some-background-reading-da5a3 32fa2fAffrontando la questione più pratica di come si potrebbe navigare in questo spazio (museo digitale), John Stack del Museo della Scienza di Londra scrive questo eccellente post sul blog del museo: https://lab.sciencemuseum.org.uk/exploring-museum-collections-online-some-background-reading-da5a3 32fa2f

12C.f. S. Noble, Algorithms of Oppression, United States, NYU Press, 2018.C.f. S. Noble, Algorithms of Oppression, Stati Uniti, NYU Press, 2018.

13IK Prize 2016: Recognition [Website], https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/ik-prize-2016-recognition, (accessed 12 August 2018).IK Prize 2016: Recognition [Sito Web]. Disponibile 12 agosto 2018, da https://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-britain/exhibition/ik-prize-2016-recognition.

14M. Brusius & K. Singh, ‘Introduction’ in M. Brusius & K. Singh (eds), Museum Storage and Meaning: Tales From the Crypt, London, Routledge, 2018, p. 19.M. Brusius & K. Singh, ‘Introduction’ da M. Brusius & K. Singh (edi), Museum Storage and Meaning: Tales From the Crypt, Londra, Routledge, 2018, p. 19.

15Noyzelab: Aphex Twin SYROBONKERS! Interview [Website],
https://web.archive.org/web/20141103131334/http://noyzelab.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/syrobonkers-part1.html, (accessed 10 September 2018).
Noyzelab: Aphex Twin SYROBONKERS! Interview [Sito Web]. Disponibile 10 settembre 2018, da
https://web.archive.org/web/20141103131334/http://noyzelab.blogspot.co.uk/2014/11/syrobonkers-part1.html.

16The Institute for Digital Archaeology [Website], http://digitalarchaeology.org.uk/, (accessed 3 September 2018).The Institute for Digital Archaeology [Sito Web]. Disponibile 3 settembre 2018, da http://digitalarchaeology.org.uk/.

17M. Brusius & K. Singh, ‘Introduction’ in M. Brusius & K. Singh (eds), Museum Storage and Meaning: Tales From the Crypt, London, Routledge, 2018, p. 3.M. Brusius & K. Singh, ‘Introduction’ da M. Brusius & K. Singh (edi), Museum Storage and Meaning: Tales From the Crypt, Londra, Routledge, 2018, p. 3.

18Ibid, p 18.Ibid, p 18.

19J. Sterne, Mp3: The Meaning of a Format, Durham, Duke University Press, 2013, p. 4.J. Sterne, Mp3: The Meaning of a Format, Durham, Duke University Press, 2013, p. 4.

20H. Schwartz, The Culture of the Copy, New York, Zone Books, 1996, p. 283.H. Schwartz, The Culture of the Copy, New York, Zone Books, 1996, p. 283.

21J. Baudrillard, Simulation and Simulacra, Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press, 1994.J. Baudrillard, Simulation and Simulacra, Ann Arbor, University of Michigan Press, 1994.

22J. Sterne, Mp3: The Meaning of a Format, Durham, Duke University Press, 2013.J. Sterne, Mp3: The Meaning of a Format, Durham, Duke University Press, 2013.

23H. Schwartz, The Culture of the Copy, New York, Zone Books, 1996, pp. 283-90.H. Schwartz, The Culture of the Copy, New York, Zone Books, 1996, ppgg. 283-90.

24F. Nayeri, ‘Andreas Gursky Is Taking Photos of Things That Do Not Exist’, The New York Times, Jan 29 2018, https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/29/arts/andreas-gursky-is-taking-photos-of-things-that-do-not-exist.html, (accessed 12 August 2018).F. Nayeri, ‘Andreas Gursky Is Taking Photos of Things That Do Not Exist’, The New York Times, 29 gennaio 2018. Disponibile 12 agosto 2018, da https://www.nytimes.com/2018/01/29/arts/andreas-gursky-is-taking-photos-of-things-that-do-not-exist.html.

25A. Gursky, Panel at the artist’s exhibition at the Hayward Gallery, 2018.A. Gursky, Conversazione alla mostra dell'artista alla Hayward Gallery, 2018.

26H. Steryl, 'In Defense of the Poor Image', e-flux (10), 2009, p. 6.H. Steryl, 'In Defense of the Poor Image', e-flux (10), 2009, p. 6.

27Ibid, p. 9.Ibid, p. 9.

28J. Sterne, Mp3: The Meaning of a Format, Durham, Duke University Press, 2013, p. 235.J. Sterne, Mp3: The Meaning of a Format, D urham, Duke University Press, 2013, p. 235.

29J. Clayton, Uproot: Travels in 21st-Century Music and Digital Culture, New York, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013, p. 61.J. Clayton, Uproot: Travels in 21st-Century Music and Digital Culture, New York, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2013, p. 61.

30A. Aciman, ‘Meet the Unassuming Drum Machine that Changed Music Forever’, Vox, Apr 16 2018, https://www.vox.com/culture/2018/4/16/16615352/akai-mpc-music-history-impact, (accessed 2 September 2018)A. Aciman, ‘Meet the Unassuming Drum Machine that Changed Music Forever’, Vox, 16 aprile 2018. Disponibile 2 settembre 2018, da https://www.vox.com/culture/2018/4/16/16615352/akai-mpc-music-history-impact.

31R. Arcand, ‘Is Lo-fi House the First Genre of the Algorithm Age?’, Thump, Mar 31 2017, https://thump.vice.com/en_uk/article/yp9e5j/is-lo-fi-house-the-first-genre-of-the-algorithm-age , (accessed 4 September 2018)R. Arcand, ‘Is Lo-fi House the First Genre of the Algorithm Age?’, Thump, 31 marzo 2017. Disponibile 4 settembre 2018, da https://thump.vice.com/en_uk/article/yp9e5j/is-lo-fi-house-the-first-genre-of-the-algorithm-age.

32Woza Taxi - Gqom Secret Stash Out Of The Locations [online video], 2016, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgHxtE4uzdY, (accessed 12 September 2018)Woza Taxi - Gqom Secret Stash Out Of The Locations [video online], 2016. Disponibile 12 settembre 2018, da https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xgHxtE4uzdY.

33C. Lemaitre, The Life and Death of the Work of Art, Tombolo Presses, 2016, pp. 17-18.C. Lemaitre, The Life and Death of the Work of Art, Tombolo Presses, 2016, ppgg. 17-18.

34Ibid.Ibid.

Volume II

Sink is an online platform that hosts a monthly residency program working with artists of all shapes and sizes. We invite artists to inhabit a webpage for a month: making use of this space to explore ideas, conduct experiments, have fun, present content as they wish and develop a chosen research. Sink also holds short interviews and will publish commissioned pieces of writing throughout the year. 

 

This is the second volume of sink running from September 2018 to August 2019, with residencies split over a period of 12 months. In this second volume, as a springboard for their research, artists are invited to work from a selection of 3D models of artefacts held in various national collections around the world and gathered through websites such as Sketchfab and Scan the World. Resident artists are then asked to construct a web page where they can digest, destroy, enhance or simply re-propose a research from the selected objects. The progress of their page and research will be available at all times and its final iteration will then be viewable through our archive. 

Sink è una piattaforma online che presenta un programma di residenze mensili ospitando artisti di tutte forme e dimensioni. Sink invita artisti ad abitare una pagina web per un mese, usando questo spazio per esplorare idee, condurre esperimenti, divertirsi, presentare contenuti come vogliono e sviluppare una ricerca scelta. Sink presenta anche brevi interviste e pubblicherà testi commissionati attraverso l’anno.

 

Questo è il secondo volume di sink che durerà da luglio 2018 a giugno 2019, con le residenze suddivise su un periodo di 12 mesi. In questo secondo volume, come punto di partenza per la loro ricerca, gli artisti sono invitati a lavorare da una selezione di modelli 3D di artefatti presenti in collezioni nazionali in tutto il mondo e raccolti attraverso siti web come Sketchfab e Scan the World. Agli artisti residenti viene chiesto di costruire una pagina web in cui possono digerire, distruggere, migliorare o semplicemente riproporre una ricerca stimolata dagli oggetti selezionati. Il progresso delle loro pagine e ricerche sarà disponibile ad ogni momento e la loro versione finale sarà visibile attraverso il nostro archivio.


Read More Leggi

Volume I

Sink started in June 2017 after much discussion between us around the idea of creating room online for the dissemination of the process and work-in-progress of artistic practice. Sink’s interest does not lie in presenting finalised works and projects but rather in the possibility of giving space for experimentation to favor artistic research and its divulgation.

 

In its first year → vol1.sink.sexy ← sink hosted 12 artists for consecutive one-month-long residencies resulting in a fierce year-long and perpetually renewing programme. Each artist was invited to present a research they wished to explore further on their personal webpage. They also redesigned the sink logo which became the platform’s official logo during their residency. Resident artists were invited to consider the webpage as a space for experimentation and encounter with a public, thinking through the quirks and possibilities of the online realm as a way to interact with the viewer. The construction of the pages was either done by the artists themselves or by sink in an attempt to translate artists’ requests at best (some of content still isn’t in mint condition, sorry). We also spoke to a number of brilliant artists and got plenty of news, tips and curious links through our interviews published twice a month.

 

Sink started from informal conversations and light-hearted dialogues and its heart still rests on these pillars.

 

Sink è iniziato a giugno 2017 dopo lunghe discussioni attorno alla possibilità di creare spazio online per la disseminazione del processo della creazione artistica. L’interesse di Sink non risiede nel presentare opere e progetti finalizzati, ma nella volontà di dare spazio alla sperimentazione per favorire la ricerca artistica e la sua divulgazione.

 

Nel suo primo anno → vol1.sink.sexy ←  sink ha ospitato 12 artisti per residenze consecutive di un mese, con un feroce programma in continuo rinnovo per un anno. Ogni artista è stato invitato a presentare una ricerca che desiderava esplorare ulteriormente sulla sua pagina web personale. Gli artisti hanno anche ridisegnato il logo di sink che è diventato il logo ufficiale della piattaforma durante la loro residenza. Gli artisti residenti erano invitati a considerare la pagina web della residenza come uno spazio per la sperimentazione e l’incontro con un pubblico, pensando alle le stranezze e le possibilità dello spazio web come modalità per interagire con lo spettatore. La costruzione delle pagine è stata fatta dagli artisti o da noi stesse in un tentativo di tradurre al meglio le richieste dei residenti (alcuni dei contenuti non sono ancora ottimizzati, scusateci). Abbiamo anche parlato con un numero di artisti brillanti e abbiamo ricevuto numerose notizie, suggerimenti e link curiosi attraverso le nostre interviste pubblicate due volte al mese.

 

Sink è nato da conversazioni informali e dialoghi spensierati e il suo cuore poggia ancora su questi pilastri.

 

Sink is run by Alice Ongaro and Mati Jhurry.
Do write to us if you fancy.

 

info@sink.sexy
Facebook
Instagram

 

 

Sponsors

Fondazione Pini (or The Pini Foundation) lies at the heart of Brera in Milan, Italy. It was created in 1991 as per the will of Adolfo Pini (1899-1970) to promote the art of his uncle Renzo Bongiovanni Radice. Aside from keeping alive the art of both Pini and Radice, the foundation carries out cultural activities and offers scholarships to support young artists practicing in various disciplines across the arts. The foundation hosts contemporary art exhibitions with Italian and international artists. It set up and curates “Storie Milanesi”, a website dedicated to telling the story of Milan through 15 figures, their museum-homes, artist studios, architect and designer firms which today have become museums.

 

Fondazione Pini is sink’s first sponsor and we’re incredibly thankful for their generosity!

 

 

 

Graphic Design: Studio FAX

 

Thank you to: Luisa Innocenti, Delia Vago, Franco Ongaro, Ye Jhurry, Janis Lejins, Océane Juvin, Adrian Paci, Aldo D’Angelo, Dario Gracceva, Felix Steindl, Natalija Paunić, Silvia Bolamperti, and everyone who supported us along the way, through our ups and downs. 

Sink è gestito da Alice Ongaro e Mati Jhurry.
Scriveteci se volete.

 

info@sink.sexy
Facebook
Instagram

 

 

Sponsors

La Fondazione Pini si trova nel cuore di Brera a Milano. Fu creata nel 1991 per volontà di Adolfo Pini (1899-1970) per promuovere l’opera di suo zio Renzo Bongiovanni Radice. Oltre a mantenere viva l’arte di Bongiovanni Radice, la Fondazione svolge attività culturali, sostiene giovani artisti attivi in tutte le arti, attraverso borse di studio. La Fondazione presenta mostre temporanee di arte contemporanea con artisti del panorama nazionale e internazionale.

Ha inoltre ideato e curato il progetto “Storie Milanesi”, un sito che racconta Milano attraverso 15 personaggi, le loro case museo, studi d’artista, studi di architetti e designer, oggi musei.

 

La Fondazione Pini è stata il primo sponsor di sink e siamo incredibilmente grate della loro generosità!

 

 

 

 

 

Disegno grafico: Studio FAX

 

Grazie a: Luisa Innocenti, Delia Vago, Franco Ongaro, Ye Jhurry, Janis Lejins, Océane Juvin, Adrian Paci, Aldo D’Angelo, Dario Gracceva, Felix Steindl, Natalija Paunić, Silvia Bolamperti, e tutti quelli che ci hanno sostenuto attraverso i nostri alti e bassi. 


CLOSE

The following text introduces Volume II and why we chose to center the program around the use of 3D models of artifacts held in various national collections around the world and gathered through websites such as Sketchfab and Scan the World.

 

As we were nearing the end of the first year of sink being live, we decided that we wanted to close the first year as one Volume and focus on developing a second one. Volume II, also lasting one year, will follow the same format as the previous one, but work as a separate entity centered around a clearer cut thread. Every volume nonetheless responds to a specific research linked to pop or internet culture inherent in the platform. The monthly residencies and bi-monthly interviews are what makes the identity of sink and will therefore continue in every volume, whereas other content is developed with a format in direct response to the theme. For Volume II, we have decided to commission texts to be published on the website throughout the year. Written by artists, curators, designers and writers, the texts will introduce you to the theatre of 3D models, explore digital archives and take you on journeys to reinterpret specks of the platform.

 

It’s challenging to write about sink as only one thing and to find enough distance to write about it somewhat objectively or categorically. It’s been part of our lives for the past year and a half, it’s had us Skype during our lunch breaks or relaxing beach-times, attempting to find wifi in the awkwardest positions and conversing in the most unique locations (… under the hairdryer at the threshold of the bathroom or the entrance outside of the Goldsmiths library) yet sink has always taken us a step closer to meeting and collaborating with artists whose practice we admire. It’s been both fun and challenging, we expect this new volume to be in no way different if not only exponentially worse and better at the same time. We have deeply enjoyed preparing and developing Volume II and hope you get as much out of it as we have.

Since the beginning of sink (Volume I) our primary activity has revolved around the online residency: sink resident artists are hosted on an assigned URL for one month, during this time, they are invited to approach the web page as they would any physical space within which they are hosted. They are asked to present research by updating the page with chosen content throughout the residency, experiencing how their research evolves, often in response to the specificities of the space. The progress of their page and research is available at all times, and its final iteration is viewable through our archive. The residency is thought of as a place for experimentation that isn’t focused on the production of a finished artwork but on thinking of how to use the web space to develop the ways in which the content is encountered by viewers. Artists are invited to exploit all aspects of the web page to best present and develop their research, this often includes distorting modes of browsing which usually go unnoticed to have them become noticeable, for example, the direction in which you scroll through a webpage, unwanted pop-ups and text inserted within the code which becomes visible only if one goes looking for it. The page becomes a medium that is full of quirks and peculiarities which artists can work with or against in the presentation of the images, texts, videos, audio files or any other digital format they have developed for the residency. Compressing, uploading, downloading, as integral parts of any experience with the digital, are ingrained in the residency process.

 

In Volume II, as a springboard for their research, artists are invited to work from a selection of three-dimensional models of artefacts held in various national collections around the world. They are then asked to develop their web page where they can digest, destroy, enhance or simply re-propose a specific research from the selected objects. These models are available on various platforms, which, for optimal use, require browsing, signing up, logging in and downloading; the resident having to go through these steps is immediately immersed in the user behavior of the platform. And by using the models, the artists are introduced into the modes of distribution that have been developed for these 3D models to be produced in institutions around the world, made available online and at times downloadable as .obj or .stl. These interactions with the platforms and the models will then be reflected on their personal residency pages. As a platform that tries to address artistic practice at an intersection with pop and internet culture, it also felt necessary for sink to discuss processes of 3D digitization as it’s slowly making its way from a niche sector, usually hidden from view and kept in the stores of major collections, to a widely spread phenomenon which allows anyone with internet-access to download and potentially print these 3D models in order to keep a colorful version of an artifact forever.

 

The models used by the sink platform and residents are sourced through the Sketchfab website and the open-source platform Scan the World, having been uploaded either by the institutions themselves or by users. 3D digitization was developed to support museums in their focus on collection conservation and display. Digital 3D models are created to document, not only museum artifacts but also heritage sites and archaeological finds. The technology allows for the study of the materials without the need for access, which often comes in handy in the case of heritage sites. The models are also used to simulate scenarios to examine the decay of the artifacts in time and test the outcomes of a potential restoration of the objects. More recently, digital reconstruction has been used for the ‘restoration’ of lost heritage from photographic data with the digital objects being conceived as tools for looking at our own history.

 

The models are shells of existing objects; when viewed in 3D, the objects are hollow inside. As indicative as they can be of the original they cannot represent its material, color, weight or texture faithfully. After being scanned, they are continuously edited. The models are constituted of ones and zeros and stored in bits. They lack meaning until they are read and interpreted by a machine capable of turning the information it receives into visual material. These models are perceived “in an unreal, virtual space that opens up behind the surface of the computer screen”.[1] We might tend to think of these 3D models as the perfect replica of the original, but they are the product of interpretation and ultimately are the result of hypotheses of space and material.

 

When displayed on these various platforms, the models are often represented in front of a black background or one featuring the institution’s logo. The models are floating in digital space and are too flattened to resemble anything graspable, yet not flat enough to be considered a photograph. If one starts scrolling through a grid of various objects fast enough, without paying close attention, they start looking alike and blending into one another as disembodied objects. The models are removed from the knowledge and contextual material that give them meaning within a gallery or exhibition space where they are displayed in a context that has been developed specifically for each object in all of its aspects. On these platforms, they are pasted on unwavering dark backgrounds as data files being interpreted by computers. They lack the “original object’s material conditions and the contemplative possibilities offered by the heterotopia of a gallery space.”[2]

 

When museums publish these lacking copies through online platforms, they make copies that are ripe to be stolen, retranslated, redigested and reproposed. They have produced images that have more value in the process of distribution they are reflective of that in the quality of the image itself. sink is asking resident artists to visit these various websites whilst being mindful of their licenses in the way they are using the objects, leaving freedom for the rules to be broken. Artists are invited to explore these platforms, taking advantage of them, replicating them, changing them and remashing them. Questioning how the objects ended up in the hands of the specific institutions, then on these platforms and finally on everyone’s hard disks, downloads folders, desktops or even physically sitting on one’s desk as a 3D printed sculpture. Understanding how the objects are packaged and presented in this “unruly archive” that Seth Price calls the internet:

“with more and more media readily available through this unruly archive, the task becomes one of packaging, producing, reframing, and distributing; a mode of production analogous not to the creation of material goods, but to the production of social contexts, using existing material. What a time you chose to be born!”.[3]

 

sink resident artists are invited to define one collection they would like to explore and from it chose an open number of 3D models to be listed in the residency presentation page which will have to feature in some way in their residency. The residency can take multiple forms, it doesn’t need to be focused on the use three-dimensional technology. The only requirement that is placed on the artist is to create something that can be downloaded by the end of the residency month. The process of the residency starting with the artist choosing 3D models from one specific collection and closing with a downloadable piece reflects and distorts the user’s experience of the Sketchfab or Scan the World websites. As with any sink residency, it places the artists in direct contact with the action of downloading which is intrinsic to any interaction with the www.

 

Maybe, when we look back in a few year’s time, this second volume of sink will be completely outdated both aesthetically and in the research it addresses, and we don’t particularly mind. We are focusing on a precise moment in time when we are still unsure of whether digitization is a trend that is indicative of museum’s rush to digital innovation and will soon meet its end, or if processes of 3D digitization will, as is probable, have a fundamental impact on how cultural institutions work. And at a time when 3D objects seem to be widespread in contemporary art and permeating pop culture, it feels especially relevant to attempt to understand and challenge the framework within which these models are produced and presented through the program developed on the sink platform, that will bring together diverse voices and interpretations of the same material.

 

01.09.2018

 

 

[1] M. Foucault, and J. Miskowiec, ‘Of Other Spaces’, Diacritics, vol. 16, no. 1, 1986, pp. 22–27.
[2] D. Palmer, ‘Share and Share Alike: Museums and the Digital Image Explosion’, The Exhibitionist, January 6, 2014, p.5. http://the-exhibitionist.com/share-and-share-alike-part1.
[3] S. Price, Dispersion, 2016, p. 13. http://www.distributedhistory.com/Dispersion2016.pdf.

Il seguente testo introduce il Volume II e la nostra decisione di focalizzare il programma sull’uso di modelli 3D di artefatti conservati in collezioni nazionali di tutto il mondo e raccolti attraverso siti web come Sketchfab e Scan the World.

 

All’avvicinarsi della fine del primo anno di esistenza di sink, abbiamo deciso che volevamo chiudere il primo anno come un unico volume e concentrarci sullo sviluppo di un secondo volume. Anch’esso della durata di un anno, il Volume II segue lo stesso formato del precedente, ma funziona come un’entità separata centrata attorno a un filo conduttore predefinito. Le residenze mensili e le interviste bimestrali costituiscono l’identità di sink e quindi continueranno in ogni volume, mentre altri contenuti verranno sviluppati con un formato in risposta diretta al tema centrale. Per il Volume II abbiamo deciso di commissionare dei testi che saranno pubblicati sul sito durante l’anno. Scritti da artisti, curatori, designer e scrittori, i testi vi introdurranno al teatro dei modelli 3D, esploreranno archivi digitali e vi condurranno in viaggi di reinterpretazione dei vari angoli della piattaforma.

 

E ‘ impegnativo scrivere a proposito di sink come una cosa unica e trovare la distanza sufficiente per parlarne in modo obiettivo o categorico. sink fa parte della nostra vita da un anno e mezzo, ci ha viste fare chiamate su Skype durante le pause pranzo, in momenti di relax in spiaggia, provando a trovare il wifi nelle posizioni più scomode e dialogando in luoghi relativamente unici (…sotto l’asciugamani alle soglie del bagno o all’ingresso della biblioteca dell’università) ma con la soddisfazione di collaborare con artisti di cui ammiriamo il lavoro. E’ stato divertente e stimolante e ci aspettiamo che questo nuovo volume non sia in alcun modo diverso se non esponenzialmente peggiore e migliore allo stesso tempo . Ci siamo divertite molto nella preparazione e lo sviluppo del Volume II e ci auguriamo che anche voi possiate apprezzarlo come noi.

 

Fin dall’inizio di sink (Volume I) la nostra attività principale è stata incentrata sulla residenza online: gli artisti residenti di sink sono ospitati su un URL assegnato per un mese. Durante questo periodo, sono invitati ad affrontare la pagina web come se fosse uno spazio fisico all’interno del quale sono ospitati . Agli artisti residenti viene chiesto di presentare una ricerca aggiornando la propria pagina con il contenuto da loro scelto e scoprendo come evolve la loro ricerca durante il periodo di residenza, spesso in risposta alle specificità dello spazio. Il progresso della loro pagina è visibile in qualsiasi momento e la sua versione finale diventa parte del nostro archivio. La residenza è pensata come un luogo di sperimentazione che non si concentra sulla produzione di un’opera d’arte finita ma sul pensare a come utilizzare lo spazio web per sviluppare i modi in cui il contenuto viene percepito dagli spettatori. Per presentare e sviluppare al meglio la loro ricerca, gli artisti sono invitati a sfruttare tutti gli aspetti della pagina web, il che può includere la distorsione di modalità di navigazione che passano inosservate per farle diventare evidenti . Ad esempio, la direzione in cui si scorre attraverso una pagina web, pop-up indesiderati e testo inserito all’interno del codice che diventa visibile solo se si va a cercarlo. La pagina diventa un mezzo pieno di stranezze e peculiarità con cui gli artisti possono lavorare nella presentazione di immagini, testi, video, file audio o qualsiasi altro formato digitale sviluppato per la residenza. La compressione, il caricamento, il download sono aspetti radicati nel processo di residenza in quanto componenti integranti di qualsiasi esperienza con il digitale.

 

Nel Volume II, come punto di partenza della loro ricerca, gli artisti sono invitati a lavorare da una selezione di modelli tridimensionali di artefatti mantenuti in diversi musei in tutto il mondo. In seguito, gli viene chiesto di sviluppare la loro pagina web dove possono digerire, distruggere, migliorare o semplicemente riproporre una ricerca specifica dagli oggetti selezionati. Questi modelli sono disponibili su diverse piattaforme che, per un uso ottimale, richiedono la navigazione, l’iscrizione, l’accesso e il download; il residente che deve seguire questi passaggi viene immediatamente immerso nel comportamento dell’utente di una piattaforma. Utilizzando i modelli, gli artisti vengono introdotti nelle modalità di distribuzione sviluppate per permettere che questi modelli 3D prodotti in istituzioni di tutto il mondo, possano essere resi disponibili online e talvolta scaricati come .obj o .stl. Queste interazioni con le piattaforme e gli oggetti saranno poi riflesse sulle pagine dei residenti. In quanto piattaforma che cerca di affrontare la pratica artistica all’incrocio con la cultura pop e internet, abbiamo anche sentito il bisogno di affrontare i processi di digitalizzazione 3D in quanto stanno lentamente passando da un settore di nicchia, di solito nascosto alla vista e tenuto nei magazzini delle collezioni più importanti, ad un fenomeno ampiamente diffuso che permette a chiunque con accesso a internet di scaricare e potenzialmente stampare questi modelli 3D al fine di mantenere una versione colorata di un artefatto per sempre.

 

I modelli utilizzati da sink e dai residenti sono raccolti attraverso il sito Sketchfab e la piattaforma open source Scan the World e sono stati caricati dalle istituzioni stesse o dagli utenti. La digitalizzazione 3D è stata sviluppata per supportare i musei nelle loro attività di conservazione ed esposizione delle collezioni. Modelli digitali vengono creati per documentare non solo reperti museali, ma anche siti del patrimonio e reperti archeologici. La tecnologia consente di studiare i materiali senza la necessità di accedervi, cosa che spesso si rivela utile nel caso dei siti di patrimonio culturale. I modelli sono utilizzati anche per simulare scenari per esaminare il decadimento degli artefatti nel tempo e esaminare i risultati di un potenziale restauro degli oggetti. Di recente, la ricostruzione digitale è stata utilizzata per “ricostruire” il patrimonio perduto grazie a dati fotografici.

 

I modelli sono gusci di oggetti esistenti; se visti in 3D, sono spesso vuoti. Per quanto indicativi possono essere dell’originale, non possono rappresentarne fedelmente il materiale, il colore, il peso o la struttura. Dopo essere stati sottoposti a scansione, vengono continuamente modificati. I modelli sono costituiti da sequenze di bit (uno o zero) e memorizzati. Sono senza significato finché non vengono letti e interpretati da una macchina in grado di trasformare le informazioni che riceve in materiale visivo. Questi modelli sono percepiti “in uno spazio virtuale, irreale, che si apre dietro la superficie dello schermo del computer” (in an unreal, virtual space that opens up behind the surface of the computer screen).[1] Potremmo tendere a pensarli come la replica perfetta dell’originale, ma sono il prodotto di interpretazione e il risultato di ipotesi di spazio e materiale.

 

Quando sono esposti su queste diverse piattaforme, i modelli sono spesso rappresentati davanti a uno sfondo nero o il logo dell’istituzione, galleggiano nello spazio digitale e sono troppo appiattiti per assomigliare a qualcosa di afferrabile, ma non abbastanza piatti per essere considerati una fotografia. Se si inizia a scorrere attraverso una griglia di vari oggetti abbastanza velocemente, senza prestare molta attenzione, cominciano a sembrare simili e si fondono l’uno nell’altro come oggetti disincarnati. I modelli sono rimossi dalla conoscenza e dal materiale che dà loro significato all’interno di una galleria o di uno spazio espositivo dove sono piazzati in un contesto che è stato sviluppato per ogni oggetto in tutti i suoi aspetti. Su queste piattaforme, vengono incollati su sfondi scuri fissi come file di dati interpretati dai computer, mancano “le condizioni materiali dell’oggetto originale e le possibilità contemplative offerte dall’eterotopia di uno spazio espositivo” (original object’s material conditions and the contemplative possibilities offered by the heterotopia of a gallery space).[2]

 

Quando i musei pubblicano queste copie carenti attraverso le piattaforme online, le rendono oggetti che sembrano chiedere di essere rubati, ritradotti, riscritti e riproposti. Le istituzioni producono immagini che hanno più valore nel processo di distribuzione che rispecchiano piuttosto che nella qualità dell’immagine stessa. Gli artisti residenti sono invitati ad esplorare le piattaforme che presentano i modelli, sfruttandole, replicandole, cambiandole e rimescolandole. Interrogandosi su come gli oggetti siano finiti nelle mani delle istituzioni specifiche, poi su queste piattaforme e infine su hard disk, in cartelle di download, su desktop o anche posti sulla propria scrivania come sculture stampate in 3D. Gli artisti sono possono vedere come gli oggetti sono presentati in questo “archivio insubordinato” che Seth Price chiama l’internet:

 

“Con sempre più supporti facilmente disponibili, tramite un simile archivio insubordinato, il compito diventa quello di impacchettare, produrre, ricalibrare e distribuire; un modo di produzione analogo, più che alla creazione di beni materiali, alla produzione di contesti sociali che impiegano materiali esistenti. Che momento avete scelto per nascere!”.[3]

 

Gli artisti residenti di sink sono invitati a definire una collezione che vorrebbero esplorare e da essa scelgono liberamente un numero di modelli 3D – da elencare nella pagina di presentazione della residenza – che dovranno in qualche modo essere presenti nella loro residenza. Questa può assumere molteplici forme, non ha bisogno di essere focalizzata sull’uso della tecnologia tridimensionale. L’unico requisito che viene posto all’artista è quello di creare qualcosa che possa essere scaricato entro la fine del mese di residenza. Il processo della residenza, che inizia con la scelta da parte dell’artista dei modelli 3D e si conclude con un pezzo scaricabile, riflette e distorce l’esperienza dell’utente sui siti web di Sketchfab o Scan the World. Come in ogni residenza di sink, mette gli artisti a diretto contatto con un’azione che è intrinseca a ogni interazione con il www, quella del download.

 

Tra qualche anno, quando guarderemo indietro nel tempo, questo secondo volume di sink potrà essere completamente superato sia esteticamente che nella ricerca che affronta, e questo non ci preoccupa. Ci stiamo concentrando su un momento preciso in cui non siamo ancora sicuri se la digitalizzazione è una tendenza che indica la corsa dei musei verso l’innovazione digitale che presto arriverà al termine, o se i processi di digitalizzazione 3D avranno, come è probabile, un impatto fondamentale sul funzionamento delle istituzioni culturali. In un momento in cui gli oggetti 3D sembrano essere diffusi nell’arte contemporanea e permeano la cultura pop, è particolarmente importante cercare di capire e sfidare il contesto in cui questi modelli sono prodotti e presentati attraverso il programma sviluppato sulla piattaforma di sink, che riunirà diverse voci e interpretazioni dello stesso materiale.

 

 

01.09.2018

 

________

 

[1] M. Foucault, and J. Miskowiec, ‘Of Other Spaces’, Diacritics, vol. 16, no. 1, 1986, pp. 22–27.
[2] D. Palmer, ‘Share and Share Alike: Museums and the Digital Image Explosion’, The Exhibitionist, January 6, 2014, p.5. http://the-exhibitionist.com/share-and-share-alike-part1.
[3] S. Price, Dispersion, 2008, p. 14. http://www.distributedhistory.com/Dispersion2016.pdf.

close
Newsletter Sign Up