Volume 2

201819

201718

cloudfree.sink.sexy

Giang Nguyễn Hoàng

“You know you are a cloud. At least seventy percent of you are a cloud. If you take the cloud out of you there is no you left.” (Hanh, 2014)

These were the words of Venerable Thich Nhat Hanh on the Buddhist metaphor of the cloud, spoken during his talk at the Plum village retreat in 2014. Upon hearing this description, the public started to laugh happily. The cloud, in the Buddhist teachings of Thich Nhat Hanh, represents multiple layers of meaning: the carefree attitude towards life, the fluidity and continuity of existence, the inter-beingness of everything and so on.

Surprisingly, in the context of computing, these sentences make absolute sense. The cloud, as James Bridle points out in his book “New Dark Age”, is ubiquitous. The Buddhist concept of Inter-beingness can be equated to the Internet of Things. The Karma circle then reveals itself to be a cybernetic loop. The Dalai Lama reincarnates as a machine (Lama, 2011). The Buddha is in the robot and Steve Jobs was a monk. In short, a ghost in the shell is a god in the self.

For the August residency, I’ll attempt to “look” at the cloud from the perspective of Buddhism together with ubiquitous computing, artificial intelligence, and cybernetics.

But first, lets watch a video of Buddha appearing from the clouds. Please bear in mind that the authenticity of this video has not been verified: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=glDXeyF3U5s

 

References

Hanh, Thich Nhat. 2014. A cloud never dies.

Lama, Dalai. 2011. Dalai Lama wants to be a machine avatar.

Bridle, James. 2018. New Dark Age: Technology and the End of the Future.

Mori, Mashihiro. 1981. The Buddha in the Robot.

“Sapete che siete una nuvola. Almeno il settanta per cento di voi è una nuvola. Se si togliete la nuvola da voi, non c’è più nulla che rimane”. (Hanh, 2014)

Queste sono le parole del Venerabile Thich Nhat Hanh sulla metafora buddista della nuvola, pronunciate durante il suo discorso al ritiro Plum Village nel 2014. Dopo aver ascoltato questa descrizione, il pubblico ha iniziato a ridere felicemente. La nuvola, negli insegnamenti buddisti di Thich Nhat Hanh, rappresenta molteplici strati di significato: l’atteggiamento spensierato verso la vita, la fluidità e la continuità dell’esistenza, l’interessere di tutto e così via.

Sorprendentemente, nel contesto dell’informatica, queste frasi hanno un loro proprio significato. La nuvola, come sottolinea James Bridle nel suo libro “New Dark Age”, è onnipresente. Il concetto buddista del interessere può essere equiparato all’Internet delle cose . Il cerchio del Karma si rivela essere un loop cibernetico. Il Dalai Lama si reincarna in una macchina (Lama, 2011). Il Buddha vive nel Robot e Steve Jobs era un monaco. In breve, un fantasma nel guscio è un dio in sé.

Per la residenza di agosto, cercherò di “studiare” la nuvola dalla prospettiva del buddismo insieme alla cibernetica onnipresente, all’intelligenza artificiale e all’informatica.

Ma prima, guardiamo un video di Buddha che appare tra le nuvole. Sappiate che l’autenticità di questo video non è stata verificata.

 

Riferimenti

Hanh, Thich Nhat. 2014. A cloud never dies.

Lama, Dalai. 2011. Dalai Lama wants to be a machine avatar.

Bridle, James. 2018. New Dark Age: Technology and the End of the Future.

Mori, Mashihiro. 1981. The Buddha in the Robot.

Download Objects

1. Vairochana, the Cosmic Buddha - Smithsonian, Washington 49.6MB 2. Head of Gautama Buddha - Raja Dinkar Kelkar Museum, Pune 10.5MB 3. Buddha Torso - Musée Guimet, Paris 35.0MB

fuorisink.sink.sexy

Luca Coclite

Fuorisink bases itself on a message received by an unknown sender, a sort of auto-declaration, a false bequeathal without a nominated addressee from a divinity that appears to be Internet.

Taking the cue from the contents of this message, along the lines of a desktop-documentary, I will work on building a narration of images generated by the encounter and the superposition of various 3d objects, selected from Sketchfab and Scan The World, with certain errors and aesthetic aberrations found in 360° photos created by tourists in museums. The result will be a mix between bodies of scanned artefacts and the anatomic parts of museumgoers, who each day feed into the great web archive.

The objective of this voyage is to underline, through these apparent deformations, the effects of hypervisibility of the artwork that we observe today in its migration towards a new type of materiality. I will highlight its return to being an open container, open to new transformations and processes that can generate new ways of seeing. 

Luca Coclite’s (1981, Gagliano del Capo, LE, IT) artistic research focuses on the analysis of the contemporary image with its connections to landscape and architecture, and the investigation of the correlative sociological influences. For several years he has been watching the transformation of the territory, its surrounding landscape and with that the intrinsic contradictions of the political and social perspectives. He uses different visual languages in his works, favouring drawing, photography and videos. The latter especially, materialised through environmental installations, allows to go beyond the narrative. The result is a cosmology of visual stimuli that can generate immersive landscapes, where materiality and immateriality coexist in the same work. Has been active since 2006, has participated in several exhibitions and residence for artists such “legami” as “Centro Cultural Borges” of Buenos Aires or “Experimental Intermedia” of New York on a scholarship by “NCTM e L’Arte”.

His work has been exhibited in various foundations and museums such as the National Gallery of Rome and the Fondazione del Monte in Bologna. He has been involved since many years in many artistic projects, national and international, both as an artist and as a curator, such as Ramdom, Casa a Mare and studioconcreto. Currently working for Spazio Labò, Bologna. 

 

Fuorisink si basa su un messaggio ricevuto da un mittente sconosciuto, una specie di auto-dichiarazione, un falso lascito epistolare senza destinatario redatto con ogni probabilità da una divinità che ha tutta l’aria di essere internet. 

Prendendo spunto dalle parole presenti in codesta lettera, sulla falsariga di un desktop-documentario, costruirò una narrazione generata dall’incontro e dalla sovrapposizione di alcuni oggetti 3D, selezionati da Sketchfab e Scan The world, con alcuni errori e aberrazioni estetiche presenti nelle fotografie panoramiche a 360° realizzate dai turisti all’interno di musei. Il risultato sarà un mixaggio vero e proprio tra le anatomie dei manufatti scansionati e i particolari anatomici dei visitatori che ogni giorno, attraverso i propri scatti, alimentano il grande archivio del web dando sfogo agli innumerevoli impulsi dettati dalla condivisione.

Lo scopo di questo viaggio sarà di sottolineare, attraverso queste deformazioni, gli effetti dell’iper-visibilità dell’opera d’arte a cui oggi assistiamo, alla sua trasmigrazione verso un nuovo tipo di materialità, ma soprattutto si evidenzierà il suo ritorno al “grado zero”, ad oggetto che torna ad avere un contenuto aperto, passibile di un’ulteriore trasformazione e sottoposto ad un processo capace di generare nuove modalità di approccio alle immagini.

La ricerca artistica di Luca Coclite (1981, Gagliano del Capo, LE, IT) si focalizza sull’analisi dell’immagine contemporanea legata al paesaggio e all’architettura, come terreno sul quale indagare diversi fattori sociologici che ne scaturiscono. Da diversi anni osserva la trasformazione dei territori, il paesaggio che lo circonda e con esso le contraddizioni insite negli aspetti politici e sociali. Per i suoi lavori ricorre all’utilizzo di differenti linguaggi visivi, prediligendo il disegno, la fotografia e il video. Quest’ultimo, nello specifico, formalizzato all’interno di installazioni ambientali, è un mezzo che gli permette di andare oltre la narrazione. Il risultato è una cosmologia di impulsi visivi in grado di generare scenari immersivi dove, materialità e immaterialità, convivono nella stessa opera. Ha partecipato a diversi programmi di residenza tra cui “Legàmi” al Centro Cultural Borges di Buenos Aires o, grazie alla borsa di studio di NCTM e L’Arte, all’Experimental Intermedia di New York. Il suo lavoro è stato esposto in diverse fondazioni e musei come la Galleria Nazionale di Roma e la Fondazione del Monte di Bologna. È impegnato in diversi progetti artistici e curatoriali come Ramdom, per il quale è artistic project curator dal 2010 e il progetto Casa a Mare. Nel 2018 fonda studioconcreto. Attualmente collabora come docente video con Spazio Labò a Bologna.

Download Objects

1. The Belvedere Torso - Pio Clementino Museum, Vatican 4.9MB 2. Fragment of a Sarcophagus - Vatican Museums 35MB 3. The Genius of Liberty - Réunion des Musées Nationaux, Paris 45.8MB 4. Fragmentary Colossal Head of a Youth - Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York 34.8MB 5. Statue of a Roman Soldier - Capitoline Museums, Rome 33.2MB

tosoftenthesurface.sink.sexy

Felicity Hammond

To Soften the Surface

…the idea of the image as software, and the idea of a soft image – a flexible, adaptable, or pliable image (which, as a result, is also a protean, multiform, and multiplatform image). In porn, soft as opposed to hard means that sex is not shown full on, but merely evoked, or enrobed by a narrative. Likewise, the softimage is an image that evokes or eludes (or even hides) in place of showing. 

(Ingrid Hoelzl and Remi Marie discussing their use of the term softimage in ‘The Status of the Image in Digital Culture’ 2016)

This residency considers the 3D models of museum artifacts as soft images, according to Hoelzl and Marie’s definition. They describe the softimage as an image-software as opposed to the photographic because of the way it is able to recalculate itself in real time as we traverse its plane. Although there is a three-dimensionality, we are only able to navigate the surface of the object, to see it as an image plane or interface. We can enter, yet we are separate, removed by the screen.

Through this residency, Felicity Hammond will consider the 3D object through its digital surface and status as a soft image. She will consider how these images are encoded with data that gives them the potential to become physical, whilst always evoking the duplicate, fake, re-enactment of the original object. These ideas point towards the way that replicas have been used throughout history with regards to the museum object. But what is lost or gained through this digital transformation? How does the surface behave? Text becomes textural and fragment becomes pixel; the physicality of the object is represented through our navigation of the digital surface.

The potential for the softimage to act as a replica (seemingly the object yet fragmentary or incomplete) alludes to the idea of a remnant. The duality within the digital object causes it to become a ruin – a relic of an artifact that is already entrenched in history and ruination. Behind the glossy screen of the digital realm lays virtual decay, and this residency will act as a platform to excavate it.

 

Felicity Hammond (b. 1988) is an artist and educator based in London. She is currently undertaking TECHNE funded research in the Contemporary Art Research Centre at Kingston University on digital representations of the built environment and their relationship with site.

Recent exhibitions include World Capital, Arebyte London, (2019) Arcades, Contact Gallery, Toronto (2018) Rendered Cities, Apex Art, New York (2018) Work In Process, The Photographers’ Gallery, London (2018) and Post Fail, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Switzerland (2017). Awards include Elephant x Griffin Art Prize (shortlisted, 2018) Foam Talent (2016) British Journal of Photography IPA award (winner 2016) Catlin Art Prize (2015) and Saatchi New Sensations (2014). Her recent publication, Property has been published by SPBH Editions (2019). She is currently artist in residence at the University of Bath.

 

Ammorbidire la superficie

….l’idea dell’immagine come software e l’idea di un’immagine morbida – un’immagine flessibile, adattabile o pieghevole (che, come risultato, è anche un’immagine proteiforme, multiforme e multipiattaforma). Nel porno, morbido al contrario di duro significa che il sesso non è mostrato in pieno, ma solo evocato, o avvolto da una narrazione. Allo stesso modo, l’immagine morbida è un’immagine che evoca o sfugge (o addirittura nasconde) al posto di mostrare.

(Ingrid Hoelzl e Remi Marie discutono il loro uso del concetto dell’immagine morbida in ‘The Status of the Image in Digital Culture’, 2016).

Questa residenza considera i modelli 3D degli artefatti museali in quanto immagini morbide, secondo la definizione di Hoelzl e Marie. Descrivono l’immagine morbida come un’immagine-software all’opposto di quella fotografica per il modo in cui è in grado di ricalcolare se stessa in tempo reale mentre ne attraversiamo il piano. Anche se c’è una tridimensionalità, siamo in grado di navigare solo sulla superficie dell’oggetto, per vederlo come un piano d’immagine o interfaccia. Possiamo entrare, ma siamo separati, rimossi dallo schermo.

In questa residenza, Felicity Hammond considererà l’oggetto 3D con la sua superficie digitale e il suo status di immagine morbida. Considererà come queste immagini sono codificate con dati gli danno la possibilità di diventare fisiche, evocando sempre la duplicazione, la falsificazione e la rievocazione dell’oggetto originale. Queste idee ricordano il modo in cui le repliche sono state utilizzate nel corso della storia degli oggetti museali. Ma cosa si perde o si guadagna con questa trasformazione digitale? Come si comporta la superficie? Il testo diventa materico e il frammento diventa pixel; la fisicità dell’oggetto è rappresentata attraverso la navigazione della superficie digitale.

La possibilità per l’immagine morbida di agire come una replica (con l’apparenza dell’oggetto ma frammentato o incompleto) allude all’idea di un resto. La dualità all’interno dell’oggetto digitale la fa diventare una rovina – una reliquia di un artefatto che è già radicato nella storia e nella rovina. Dietro lo schermo lucido del regno digitale si cela il decadimento virtuale, e questa residenza fungerà da piattaforma per scoprirlo.

 

Felicity Hammond (nata 1988) è un’artista ed educatrice che vive a Londra. Attualmente sta conducendo una ricerca finanziata da TECHNE nel Centro di Ricerca d’Arte Contemporanea della Kingston University sulle rappresentazioni digitali dell’ambiente costruito e sul loro rapporto con la località.

Mostre recenti includono World Capital, Arebyte Londra, (2019) Arcades, Contact Gallery, Toronto (2018) Rendered Cities, Apex Art, New York (2018) Work In Process, The Photographers’ Gallery, Londra (2018) e Post Fail, Fotomuseum Winterthur, Svizzera (2017). I suoi premi includono Elephant x Griffin Art Prize (selezionata, 2018) Foam Talent (2016), British Journal of Photography IPA award (vincitrice 2016), Catlin Art Prize (2015) e Saatchi New Sensations (2014). La sua recente pubblicazione, Property è stata pubblicata da SPBH Editions (2019). Attualmente è artista in residenza presso l’Università di Bath.

Download Objects

1. The Rosetta Stone - The British Museum 51.4MB

galactea.sink.sexy

Eloïse Bonneviot

When riding in the passenger seat of a car, while wandering the streets of a suburban area or strolling the aisles of a DIY store, you stumble upon her. There she is, Venus. She might be posing in the middle of a shell, acting as a fountain or just by herself, she could also be small, perched on top of a front gate guarding a backyard. She often dons a thick layer of white paint to mask her concrete insides. Can you tell if it’s really her though? Does it even really matter?

I always wonder who finds themselves in need of Venus, who buys such a thing? But once I think about it, it starts making sense, doesn’t it? Why not use her to create an exhibition in your own garden that captures some of the original’s grace. It’s a sincere form of appreciation for what the it represents. But your backyard Venus is a probable replica of a replica of a replica. Replicated to the point where it almost becomes an original. There is something quite remarkable in this trajectory, the mass-produced concrete statue from antiquity.

The dizziness of thousands of marble sculptures in endless museum galleries feels akin to scrolling through the online 3D scans of prestigious national collections. Scan the world and put it in your backyard! The 3D model, with its imperfections and its lumps of mistakes, is just like the rough concrete garden statue, whose details have been lost through its endless reproductions and layers of outdoor paint.

Through its wild distribution, your Venus loses the varnish of the polished original, regains agency and escapes the narrative it inhabits in the museum. Its popularisation, essentially an escape from a historical framework, allows for a speculative reopening of its origin and its meaning. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to have other sculptures escape and find their way to your garden?

Why not free the stiff bronzes of long forgotten generals and kings? What are they to us other than relics of old powers that we struggle to understand and relate to? What does the statue of the Sun King standing in the middle of Versailles really tell us of our past? Beyond the effect it was designed to generate on its contemporary onlookers – awe and fear. Can freeing it from the palace unravel unintended meanings, backstories and open up an entirely new historical reading?

 

Eloïse Bonneviot (b. Paris 1986) lives and works in Berlin & Amsterdam. She is looking at obsessive relationship with objects and how they trigger protocols, mechanisms of behaviours and rituals. Particularly, how does this connection unfold in a time of ecological and political crisis. She tailors public moments to enact those protocols by using the audience in the works. Recent activities include: Feminist Gaming Group at Clearview (London, UK) and at Kreuzberg Pavillon (Berlin, DE); Sortir du désenchantement du numérique, Espace Multimédia Gantner (Bourogne, FR) with Anne de Boer; Under Pressure, frei_raum Q21 MuseumsQuartier (Vienna, AT) as HARD-CORE in 2018. She is co-founder of The Mycological Twist since 2014, co-founded of HARD-CORE in 2011 and founded Bizoux.online in 2017. Bonneviot is a teacher at Gerrit Rietveld Academy (Amsterdam NL) as HARD-CORE. She holds MFA from Goldsmiths University (London UK), a BFA from Rietveld Academy (Amsterdam NL)  and Villa Arson (Nice FR).

 

Quando ci so trova nel sedile del passeggero in macchina, mentre si vaga per le strade di una zona suburbana passeggiando per i corridoi di un negozio di fai da te, ci si imbatte in lei. Eccola lì, Venere. Potrebbe essere in posa in mezzo a una conchiglia in quanto fontana o semplicemente da sola, potrebbe anche essere piccola, appollaiata in cima ad un cancello, la vera guardiana di un cortile. Spesso indossa uno spesso uno spesso strato di vernice bianca per mascherare i suoi interni di cemento. Ma è veramente lei? Questo ci importa?

Mi chiedo sempre chi ha bisogno di Venere, chi compra una cosa del genere? Ma una volta che ci penso, comincia ad avere senso, no? Perché non usarla per creare una mostra nel proprio giardino che catturi un po’ della grazia dell’originale. È una forma sincera di apprezzamento per ciò che rappresenta. Ma la tua Venere di cortile è una probabile replica di una replica di una replica. Replicata al punto che diventa quasi un originale. C’è qualcosa di notevole in questa traiettoria, la statua di cemento prodotta in serie dall’antichità.

Le vertigini dalle migliaia di sculture di marmo tra le gallerie infinite dei musei sono simili allo scorrere tra le scansioni 3D di prestigiose collezioni nazionali. Scansiona il mondo e mettilo nel tuo cortile! Il modello 3D, con le sue imperfezioni e i suoi errori, è proprio come la statua di cemento grezzo da giardino, i cui dettagli sono stati persi attraverso le sue infinite riproduzioni e strati di vernice per esterni.

Attraverso la sua distribuzione selvaggia, la tua Venere perde la vernice dell’originale, riacquista l’agenzia e sfugge alla narrative che interpreta nel museo. La sua divulgazione, essenzialmente una fuga da un quadro storico, permette una riapertura speculativa della sua origine e del suo significato. Non sarebbe fantastico far fuggire altre sculture che possano trovare la strada verso il tuo giardino?

Perché non liberare i bronzi rigidi di generali e re dimenticati da tempo? Che cosa sono per noi se non le reliquie di vecchi poteri che facciamo fatica a capire? Cosa ci dice veramente del nostro passato la statua del Re Sole in piedi nel bel mezzo di Versailles? Al di là dell’effetto che doveva generare sui suoi spettatori contemporanei – stupore e paura. Liberarlo dal palazzo potrebbe svelare significati non voluti e aprire una lettura storica del tutto nuova?

 

Eloïse Bonneviot (Parigi 1986) vive e lavora a Berlino e Amsterdam. Si interessa al rapporto ossessivo con gli oggetti e di come questi innescano protocolli, meccanismi di comportamento e rituali. In particolare, come si sviluppa questa connessione in un momento di crisi ecologica e politica. Adatta momenti pubblici per mettere in atto questi protocolli utilizzando il pubblico nelle  sue opere. Attività recenti includono: Feminist Gaming Group a Clearview (Londra, UK) e al Kreuzberg Pavillon (Berlino, DE); Sortir du désenchantement du numérique, Espace Multimédia Gantner (Bourogne, FR) con Anne de Boer; Under Pressure, frei_raum Q21 MuseumsQuartier (Vienna, AT) con HARD-CORE nel 2018. È co-fondatrice di The Mycological Twist dal 2014, co-fondatrice di HARD-CORE nel 2011 e fondatrice di Bizoux.online nel 2017. Bonneviot è insegnante all’Accademia Gerrit Rietveld (Amsterdam NL) in quanto HARD-CORE. È titolare di un MFA della Goldsmiths University (Londra, Regno Unito), di un BFA della Rietveld Academy (Amsterdam NL) e di Villa Arson (Nizza FR).

 

Download Objects

1. Louis XIV on Horseback - Louvre Museum, Paris 23.6MB

2point5dlandscape.sink.sexy

Max Colson

‘3D technologies don’t only render the parts that are actually captured as locational measurements by a lidar scanner but also the parts that are missing from 2D images: the shadowed, covered or cut parts of the image. The missing data are assigned a volume or body. The shadows and blind spots are not off frame, masked or cut off as they might be in a 2D shot, but treated as equal parts of the information’

Hito Steyerl, ‘Ripping Reality: Blind Spots and Wrecked Data in 3D’ (Duty Free Art, 2017)

Using methods similar to radar and sonar, Lidar technology, more commonly known as ‘laser scanning’, builds 3D maps of geographic space by bouncing laser beams to and from physical objects. The resulting data is sorted into a collection of points in relation to three axes (x, y, z) and according to various criteria, including height, time, and density of points. Each scanner has a particular radius and, subsequently, a perimeter in which the world around the device can be scanned. Objects within the perimeter are scanned in higher resolution; objects outside are imperfectly captured. Many scans offered for public consumption have been ‘cleaned’ – this is a process in which messy perimeter areas away from the central focus of the scan are trimmed off. While Lidar can create sophisticated 3D renditions of objects, architecture and landscape, in order to create ‘true’ 3D renditions of a chosen site or artefact, one must scan the item of interest up close from every angle and then overlay those scans on a computer.

The artist and writer Hito Steyerl has termed imperfect scans as examples of ‘2.5D space’. I will use the residency to develop an online archive that will explore and document how Lidar translates the world into constellations of 2.5D space, taking scans from the CyArk Open Heritage Programme as a starting point. Considering that these scans are part of a project to ‘preserve world heritage’, what are the common, patterns, distortions and effects on the order of things that this device creates? How does the medium influence our understanding of history? This residency aims to develop a set of visual typologies from these scans that can be used by anyone interested in rummaging through such material in the future.

Le tecnologie 3D non creano render di solo le parti catturate come misure locazionali da uno scanner lidar, ma anche delle parti che mancano dalle immagini 2D: le parti dell’immagine ombreggiate, coperte o tagliate. I dati mancanti sono un volume o un corpo. Le ombre e gli angoli ciechi non sono fuori cornice, mascherati o tagliati come in un’inquadratura 2D, ma trattati come parti equivalenti dell’informazione”.

Hito Steyerl, ‘Ripping Reality: Blind Spots and Wrecked Data in 3D” (Duty Free Art, 2017)

Utilizzando metodi simili al radar e al sonar, la tecnologia Lidar, più comunemente nota in quanto ‘scansione laser’, costruisce mappe 3D dello spazio geografico facendo rimbalzare i raggi laser su oggetti fisici. I dati risultanti sono ordinati in una raccolta di punti in in relazione ai tre assi (x, y, z) e secondo vari criteri, tra cui l’altezza, il tempo, e densità di punti. Ogni scanner ha un raggio particolare e, di conseguenza, un perimetro nel quale è possibile scansionare il mondo che circonda il dispositivo. Oggetti all’interno del perimetro sono scansionati ad alta risoluzione; gli oggetti all’esterno sono catturati in modo imperfetto. Molte delle scansioni offerte per il consumo pubblico sono state “pulite” – questo è un processo nel quale le aree perimetrali disordinate, lontane dal fuoco centrale della scansione, vengono tagliate. Mentre il Lidar è in grado di creare sofisticate rappresentazioni 3D di oggetti, architettura e paesaggio, per creare delle “vere” rappresentazioni 3D di un sito o di un artefatto scelto, è necessario scansionare l’oggetto di interesse da vicino da ogni angolo e poi sovrapporre le scansioni su un computer.

L’artista e scrittrice Hito Steyerl ha definito le scansioni imperfette come esempi di spazio 2.5D. Durante la residenza svilupperò un archivio online che esplorerà e documenterà il modo in cui Lidar traduce il mondo in costellazioni di spazio 2.5D, utilizzando scansioni del programma CyArk Open Heritage Programme come punto di partenza. Considerando che queste scansioni fanno parte di un progetto di “conservazione del patrimonio mondiale”, quali sono i seguenti elementi comuni, modelli, distorsioni ed effetti che questo dispositivo crea? In che modo il medium influenza la nostra comprensione della storia? Questa residenza mira a sviluppare una serie di tipologie visive a partire da queste scansioni che possono essere utilizzate da chiunque sia interessato a frugare attraverso questo materiale in futuro.

Download Objects

1. Tikal, Guatemala - CyArk Open Heritage Programme 193.5MB 2. Ancient Stabiae, Villa Arianna, Italy - CyArk Open Heritage Programme 132.1MB

lordsofchaos.sink.sexy

The Cool Couple

L0rd$ of Ch4o$

We usually find ourselves in great difficulty when we’re asked to make a choice. At the restaurant, we are always the last to order food. And we become practically paralysed if faced with a huge archive of 3D models. As occasional tourists in the realm of 3D scans, and with almost no skills in handling them, we browsed like children wanting to ride their new bicycle through the hundreds of statues, relics, artworks and weapons… but these kids feel afraid to abandon the tricycle.

Democratisation in the means of production and circulation of images means that today one can find a tutorial for almost anything online. Images, already ambiguous in essence, are now more unpredictable than ever, they roam the internet and their consumption often transforms into acts of appropriation. Something uploaded instantly acquires the potential of a loose cannon, like the fate of the graphic novel character Pepe the Frog, now a protagonist of the alt-right meme extravaganza. But this feature isn’t typical of our time. After the fall of the Roman Empire, tales still live to describe the disturbing relations between humans and artworks, witnesses of these artefacts telling us how these affected society at the time, centuries after their context has vanished. Why not bring these objects back to existence? Why not allow them exit the museum and take on new life, to interact with people and maybe affect them somehow?

For our residency, we will attempt to put a selection of artefacts back to work. Considering our present and the looming apocalypse that awaits us, we decided to work with artefacts connected to collective rites and symbols of death, conflict and the end of the world. We are putting them back into play, allowing them to reappear on Earth and bring unqualified chaos. How? Entering the most profitable entertainment product ever: GTA V which already depicts a dystopic alternative present, where the mayhem is intentionally produced by players. Modding the game, we’ll try to use the 3D models as active characters, vehicles or weapons. If it works, the patch will be freely available to all PC users with GTA V to use and play with our models as they wish.

 

L0rd$ of Ch4o$

Di solito ci troviamo in grande difficoltà quando ci viene chiesto di fare una scelta. Al ristorante siamo sempre gli ultimi a ordinare da mangiare.E diventiamo praticamente paralizzati se ci troviamo di fronte ad un enorme archivio di modelli 3D. In quanto turisti nel regno delle scansioni 3D, e con quasi nessuna abilità nel maneggiarli, abbiamo navigato come bambini che vogliono fare giri in bicicletta attraverso centinaia di statue, cimeli, opere d’arte e armi…. ma questi bimbi hanno paura di abbandonare il triciclo.

La democratizzazione dei mezzi di produzione e circolazione delle immagini fa sì che oggi si possa trovare un tutorial per quasi tutto online.Le immagini, già ambigue nella sostanza, sono oggi più imprevedibili che mai, girovagano l’internet e il loro consumo si trasforma spesso in atti di riappropriazione.Qualcosa che viene caricato acquisisce istantaneamente il potenziale di una mina vagante, come il destino del personaggio del fumetto Pepe the Frog, ora protagonista della stravaganza dei meme alt-right. Ma questa caratteristica non è tipica del nostro tempo. Dopo la caduta dell’Impero Romano, i racconti vivono ancora oggi per descrivere le inquietanti relazioni tra l’uomo e le opere d’arte, testimoni di questi artefatti che ci raccontano come questi abbiano influenzato la società del tempo, secoli dopo la sparizione del loro contesto. Perché non rianimare questi oggetti? Perché non farli uscire dal museo e prendere nuova vita, farli interagire con le persone?

Per la nostra residenza, cercheremo di rimettere al lavoro una selezione di artefatti. Considerando il nostro presente e l’apocalisse incombente che ci attende, abbiamo deciso di lavorare con artefatti legati a riti collettivi e simboli di morte, conflitti e fine del mondo. Li stiamo rimettendo in gioco, permettendo loro di riapparire sulla Terra e portare un caos senza riserve. Come? Entrando nel prodotto di intrattenimento più redditizio mai prodotto: GTA V, che già illustra un presente alternativo distopico, dove il caos è prodotto intenzionalmente dai giocatori. Modellando il gioco, cercheremo di utilizzare i modelli 3D come personaggi attivi, veicoli o armi. Se funziona, il patch sarà disponibile gratuitamente a tutti gli utenti con PC e GTA V per utilizzare e giocare con i nostri modelli a loro piacimento.

Download Objects

1. Figure of Skylla 21.4MB 2. Colossal Granite Fist 13.3MB 3. Michtlantecuhtli 20.5MB 4. Head of Bhairava 30.2MB 5. Nike of Samothrace 46.7MB

hauntedgeologies.sink.sexy

Patrick Hough

Limestone is a hard organic or chemical sedimentary rock that most commonly forms in clear, warm, shallow marine waters or lakes. As a material it is full of ghosts – ancient and unknowable biologies and organic matter contained within. It has been used for some of the worlds most important historical works of mythological imagining, from the Great Sphinx and pyramids of Giza to the Venus of Willendorf.

Throughout the month, Patrick Hough will look at 3D scans of limestone sculptures of these chimeric mythological beings as an entry point to think about the inherent qualities of the geological material that is limestone itself. He will use the geology of limestone to think through ideas of the chimera and the hybrid as way through our current moment of ecological crisis in the geological age of the Anthropocene.

On the precipice of ecological collapse in these ghostly visions of both sculpture mythic beings and raw geological material we see a potential future reflected – we are presented with the possibility that we are another lost civilisation that engineered their own demise – we are the fossils of the future.  

 

Patrick Hough (b.1989, Galway, Ireland) lives and works between London and Dublin. Incorporating moving image, photography and installation, Hough’s work explores the relationship between cinema, technology and museology through an archive of historical film props. He is currently working on a new cinematic film in which an Irish bog body returns to life. Connecting urgent questions surrounding climate change, extraction practices and human hybridisation, the film explores our transforming our relationship with history in the age of the Anthropocene.

Il calcare è una roccia sedimentaria dura, organica o chimica, che si forma più comunemente in acque marine chiare, calde e poco profonde o in laghi. Come materiale è pieno di fantasmi – biologie antiche inconoscibili e materia organica contenuta al suo interno. E stato utilizzato per alcune delle più importanti opere della mitologia, dalla Grande Sfinge e le piramidi di Giza alla Venere di Willendorf.

Per la sua residenza, Patrick Hough utilizzerà delle scansioni 3D delle sculture di questi esseri mitologici chimerici prodotte in pietra calcarea come punto di ingresso per riflettere sulle qualità intrinseche del materiale geologico che è il calcare stesso. Utilizzerà la geologia della pietra calcarea per pensare alla chimera e l’ibrido come potenziale modo di affrontare il nostro attuale momento di crisi ecologica nell’era geologica dell’Antropocene.

Sul precipizio del collasso ecologico in queste visioni spettrali sia di esseri mitici della scultura che di materiale geologico grezzo vediamo un potenziale futuro riflesso – ci viene presentata la possibilità che siamo un’altra civiltà perduta che ha costruito la propria scomparsa – siamo i fossili del futuro.  

 

Patrick Hough (nato nel 1989 a Galway, Irlanda) vive e lavora tra Londra e Dublino. Incorporando immagini in movimento, fotografia e installazioni, il lavoro di Hough esplora il rapporto tra cinema, tecnologia e museologia attraverso un archivio di oggetti di scena storici. Attualmente sta lavorando a un nuovo film cinematografico in cui un corpo paludoso irlandese torna a vivere. Mettendo in relazione questioni urgenti riguardanti il cambiamento climatico, le pratiche di estrazione e l’ibridazione umana, il film esplora il nostro rapporto con la storia nell’era dell’antropocene.

 

Download Objects

1. Venus of Willendorf - The Naturhistorisches Museum, Vienna 35MB 2. Sphinx - Cyprus Museum, Nicosia 33.6MB 3. Boyne Limestone 65.9MB 4. Silurian crinoid fossil - Lapworth Museum of Geology 71.6MB

behindadrape.sink.sexy

DITTO

Behind a drapery rests a tired body, we don’t see its face, we don’t understand its figure.

We are attracted to what we don’t understand.

We are attracted to objects that have a removed or apparent absence of meaning.

We transform and fetishise representations of singularity, the exotic, the unexpected.

 

Woman under a sheet, a 3D scan from the Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, as is hinted by its name, is a statue depicting a female subject completely covered by a veil. The absence of information of this online artefact is precisely what drew DITTO to this mysterious object: apparently anonymous, with no author and no immediate data regarding its historical period.

 

DITTO moves on the inside of this void, reflecting on the nature and the conditions of these museum artefacts, deprived of their original context by exasperating their de-contextualized status. The art works are purged of their past, the original materials become perfect white digital matter, onto which new stories can be rewritten. The digital object becomes malleable once again, available to all and claiming to be universal, the uniqueness of the objects and their origin no longer matter. In 3D language, textures both cover and negate the form, the body becoming empty, a shell.

 

DITTO’s residency begins with a determinate: 3D scanning a series of objects found on the street covered by cloths. In the passage of the real to the virtual DITTO dwells on the idea of form, transformation and alterity tied to the covered object.

 

DITTO is a collective born in 2016 with the intention of creating a fluid dialogue between various practices unifying them as a singular voice. With a pull towards acceleration and the multiplication of images that transform into sedimentary matter, the collective positions itself as an archaeologist operating in various exhibition spaces. DITTO reflects on the impact of digital technology highlighting the ways in which these are remodelling our societal structures and cultural patterns. DITTO is a metaphorical entity that weaves itself in the concave mould of the contemporary in order to restitute its form.

Dietro ad un panneggio riposa un corpo stanco, non ne vediamo il volto, non ne capiamo il corpo.

Siamo attratti da ciò che non capiamo.

Siamo attratti da oggetti che possiedono una rimozione o apparente assenza di significato.

Trasformiamo in feticcio ciò che rappresenta la singolarità, l’esoticità, l’inatteso.

Woman under a sheet, oggetto 3D scansito dalla collezione del Ny Carlsberg Glyptotek, come si coglie dal nome, è una statua che raffigura un corpo femminile completamente coperto da un velo. Ditto è attratto dall’assenza di informazioni su questa scultura, la quale risulta apparentemente anonima, senza autore, e senza dati immediati sul suo periodo storico.

DITTO si muove all’interno di questi spazi virtuali, riflettendo sulla natura e sulla condizione di alcuni oggetti museali sottratti al tempo e trasformati in feticci. La trasformazione delle opere d’arte in oggetti 3D modellabili e inseriti all’interno di un archivio online, esaspera la loro decontestualizzazione.
Le opere vengono spogliate dal loro passato, il materiale originale diventa materia digitale bianca, perfetta, sulla quale si possono riscrivere nuove storie. L’oggetto digitale, ritorna malleabile e alla portata di tutti, pretende di essere universale, non ne importa l’origine né l’unicità. Nel linguaggio 3D la texture esterna ricopre e nega allo stesso tempo la forma, il corpo diventa così vuoto, un guscio.

La residenza di DITTO inizia con una determinata azione: la scansione 3D di una serie di soggetti coperti da teli, trovati lungo le strade. In un passaggio dal “reale” al “virtuale” il collettivo riflette sull’idea di forma, trasformazione e alterità legata all’oggetto coperto.

DITTO è un collettivo artistico nato nel 2016 con l’intento di creare un dialogo fluido tra diverse ricerche da ibridare in un’unica individualità. In una tensione generale verso l’accelerazione e il moltiplicarsi di immagini che si trasformano in materia sedimentata, il collettivo si pone nella condizione dell’archeologo operando in diversi contesti e spazi espositivi. DITTO riflette sull’impatto delle tecnologie digitali sottolineando in quali termini esse stanno rimodellando la nostra struttura sociale ed i nostri pattern culturali. DITTO è un’entità metamorfica che si insinua nello “stampo concavo del contemporaneo” e ne restituisce la forma.

Download Objects

1. Woman Under A Sheet 19.3MB

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.

Jorge Simelio Joiri Minaya Kit Trowbridge Andrew Pierre Hart Evi Kalogiropoulou Leonardo Ruvolo Tania Fiaccadori Jerome Eloïse Bonneviot Sae Yeoun Hwang Lorenzo Morri Raja’a Khalid Rosa Doorenbal Giang Abbas Zahedi Jumairy Monia Ben Hamouda 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

Jorge Simelio

31.08.19 @?hl=en

How important is it for your family to understand your art work? 

I guess it depends on the work… I mean, the last big project I did had to do with a family story connected to my grandmother. So for that, even if I hadn’t cared about them understanding the work itself, I still had to get the legal consent to do the project, since my grandmother has alzheimer’s. My mother is her legal guardian so I only really needed her approval for it, but they’re are 4 siblings in total and everyone is involved in taking care of her, so I consulted with them and made sure they were on board with the project. It was also really important for me that they see it in the right light. But I don’t think that’s the case with every work, sometimes it’s not, it doesn’t matter. 

What’s the ‘subject’ of the last email you sent? 

 

Oh, I do actually know because I just sent it: ‘Presupuesto para envío’, it means ‘Quote for sending (a parcel)’, it’s an email to my sister, she has some kind of special dial with a delivery company and I’m asking her to ask them how much it costs to mail a box. 

What colour are your socks? 

Black/grey uniqlo socks. 

Intermittent fasting or sports? 

Hahahaha, absolutely intermittent fasting! Yea, I always fantasise about doing sports and then I hate them so intensely. I have a trauma with sports, I guess it’s connected with growing up gay… I used to like sports in school until they separated us between boys and girls, we must have been 10 years old at the time. They probably just assumed the boys were starting to develop so they separated us and I hated it because it was just me and all these ultra competitive boys. I sucked at soccer; I grew up in Brazil where everyone was a superstar at soccer by age 5 and I sucked hahah. I did one ballet lesson back in the day and I really really liked it, but it ended up not happening because the dance school was really far and I guess my parents weren’t too keen on the idea because I’d get picked on at school or something. Sports are only in my imagination, so I guess I need to rely only on intermittent fasting. I’ve tried it, sometimes.

What’s the best cocktail you’ve ever had? 

Hmmm…I think it was a whiskey or Bourbon sour, the kind that has the egg yolk mixed in so it gets super foamy. And that was in Madrid. And of course, a well made caipirinha will sweep me off my feet, also because it’s mostly pure alcohol haha. 

If you could go on a date with an artists, who would that be? 

I think it would be with Federico García Lorca, he was a poet and playwright, he wrote ‘Blood Wedding’. He was executed by the fascists during the Spanish Civil War. 

Can you tell us of 3 medals you might have gotten in your childhood? 

Oh, I got a certificate from a Capoeira course that I took. I must have been 5! Hahah, we’d just moved to Brazil, and that was maybe the one sport that I did that I really liked. And my introduction to Brazilian culture hahahaha! 

And the second would definitely be a mixed CD that I won at a friend’s birthday party for having the best dance moves. It was one of those home burnt CDs with the title written in permanent marker, it must have been called something like ‘Hits Funk 2002’. 

And guess I wasn’t a ‘child’ here anymore, it was when I graduated from high school, I got the physics medal haha, it was for getting the highest grade on the final test, it wasn’t really a medal but more of a plaque. Oh, and it came with a book about Einstein’s relativity!

You favourite movie clip? 

I think it’s this clip from Stalker, a Soviet film from the 70s (by Andrei Tarkovsky). It’s when they’re in the zone, this place where there are different laws of nature happening due to some alien presence. It’s a scene where almost nothing happens, they are just outside of a warehouse in a normal-looking Russian countryside. This feeling of being completely ill at ease, it’s horror at that point, not knowing what is happening. I read the novel (‘Roadside Picnic’ the book that this movie is based on) after watching the film and then I rewatched it. I was instinctively attracted to that part of the film but then when you compare between the way it’s written and the way it’s shot, Tarkovsky is a fucking genius in communicating this feeling perfectly without doing almost anything.

If you opened a restaurant what would it be called? 

Ohhh…. Ok, I have thought about opening a restaurant many times, though I haven’t thought about the name. At this point I think it would absolutely be related to fermentation: maybe something in Spanish with some mention of bubbling. Not that the food would necessarily be Spanish, in my experiments with fermentation I end up making more Japanese recipes like ‘umeboshi’ (salted fermented plums) and koji (a mould that you grow on grains). I’ve actually unsuccessfully tried to make sake twice now and I’m still trying. Oh ok! So, maybe I won’t open a restaurant but I actually have this thought of starting a Sake brand made with Spanish rice haha! They grow many kinds of rice in Valencia, including Japanese strains. So I have this fantasy of naming this sake something really tacky like ‘Saque’, which means something like ‘gluttony’ in Spanish. Maybe even throw an Ñ in there hahaha. But first I need to make a successful sake, which so far I’ve failed miserably at… 

Do you have a life hack for us? 

Ok, so just a very simple one that my sister taught me the other day: Use a bag to flour fish before frying (like pescaíto frito where the fish is just floured, not battered). So you use a bag to put the flour in and then you put the fish in and you throw it around, rather than trying to flour it on a plate which would be the traditional way.

31.08.19 @?hl=en

Quanto e importante che la tua famiglia capisca i lavori d’arte che fai? 

Penso che dipenda dal lavoro…Tipo, l’ultimo grosso progetto che ho fatto aveva a che fare con una storia di famiglia legata a mia nonna. Quindi per quello, dovevo avere il consenso legale per farlo perché mia nonna soffre di alzheimer. Mi madre è la sua guardiana legale quindi in realtà mi bastava solo il suo consenso, ma ci sono 4 fratelli e tutti sono coinvolti nel prendere cura di mia nonna, quindi ho discusso con tutti prima e mi sono assicurato che tutti fossero concorde al progetto. Era proprio importante per me che loro lo vedessero nella luce giusta. Ma non penso sia il caso con tutti i miei lavori, a volte non importa.

Cos’era l’oggetto dell’ultima mail che hai mandato?

Ah, mi ricordo perché l’ho appena mandata: ‘Presupuesto para envío’, vuol dire ‘preventivo per spedizione (di un pacco), è una mail che ho mandato a mia sorella, per una spedizione speciale con una compagnia di spedizioni e le sto chiedendo quanto costa mandare un pacco.

Di quale colore sono le tue calze?.

Nere/grigie di uniqlo.

Digiuno intermittente o sport?

Hahahaha, assolutamente il digiuno intermittente! Ho sempre sognato di fare sport ma poi li odio cosi tanto. Ho proprio un trauma con lo sport. Penso che sia legato al fatto che sono cresciuto gay…Prima mi piaceva fare sport a scuola fino a quando ci hanno separato tra maschi e femmine, dovevamo avere tipo 10 anni all’epoca. Lo odiavo perché ero io con tutti questi maschi super competitivi. Odiavo il calcio, sono cresciuto in brasile dove a 5 anni sono tutti delle superstar in calcio e io ero pessimo haha. Ho fatto un corso di danza classica un giorno e mi era piaciuto tantissimo, ma poi non ho continuato perché era lontano e i miei non erano troppo entusiasti; non volevano che gli altri mi prendessero di mira credo. Quindi lo sport rimane nella mia immaginazione, penso di dover appoggiarmi soltanto al digiuno intermittente. L’ho provato un po’ di volte.

Il miglior cocktail che hai mai bevuto in vita tua?

Mmm…Penso che era un whiskey o Bourbon, il genere super schiumoso perché è fatto con il bianco d’uovo. E quello era a Madrid. Ah e certo, poi una caipirinha fatta bene mi fa perdere la testa, anche perché è quasi puro alcol haaha.

Se potessi uscire una volta con un artista, chi sarebbe?

Penso che sceglierei Federico García Lorca, era un poeta e drammaturgo spagnolo, ha scritto ‘Blood Wedding’. È stato ucciso dai fascisti durante la guerra civile in spagna. 

Ci puoi parlare di 3 potenziali medaglie nella tua infanzia?

Oh, ho ricevuto un certificato per un corso di capoeira che ho fatto. Dovevo avere 5 anni! Hahaha, ci eravamo appena spostati in brasile, e quello può essere magari l’unico sport che ho amato. Ed era anche la mia introduzione alla cultura brasiliana.

 

La seconda e un ‘mixed CD’ che ho vinto alla festa di compleanno di un amico per i migliori passi di danza. Era uno di quei CD fatti in casa con i titoli scritti in pennarelli indelebili, si chiamava qualcosa del tipo ‘Hits Funk 2002’.

 

E poi mi sa che qui non ero più un bimbo, ma era quando ho ricevuto il diploma dalla scuola superiore, ho ricevuto la medaglia in fisica haha, perché ho avuto il voto più alto per l’esame finale, era più una targa che una medaglia. Ah ed era accompagnata da un libretto su Einstein e la relatività! 

Il tuo clip preferito (di un film)?

Penso che sia questo clip di Stalker, un film sovietico degli anni 70 (di Andrei Tarkovsky). È quel momento quando i personaggi sono nella ‘zone’, questo posto con diverse leggi della natura causate da una presenza aliena. È una scena dove non succede quasi niente, sono fuori vicino a un magazzino in un campo praticamente normale della campagna russa. Quel sentimento di sentirsi a disagio, è proprio horror a quel punto, non sapere quello che succede. Ho letto il libro (Roadside Picnic, sul quale si basa il film) dopo aver visto il film e poi l’ho riguardato. Già d’istinto ero attratto a quella scena ma quando poi si fa il paragone tra come e scritta e come è stata ripresa, si nota che Tarkovsky è proprio un genio nel comunicare quel sentimento perfettamente senza quasi fare niente. 

Se dovessi aprire un ristorante, come lo chiameresti?

Ohhh…Ho già pensato un sacco di volte ad aprire un ristorante, ma non ho mai pensato al nome. A questo punto sarebbe sicuramente legato alla fermentazione: magari qualcosa in spagnolo con un riferimento alle bolle. Non che sarebbe per forza cibo spagnolo, nei miei esperimenti di fermentazione finisco per fare cose piu giapponesi tipo il ‘umeboshi’ (prugne salate) e Koji (una muffa che cresce sui cereali). Infatti ho provato con poco successo a creare del sake, e sto ancora provando. Ok! Allora, magari non aprirei un ristorante ma ho già pensato a creare il mio brand di Sake fatto con riso spagnolo haha! Perché fanno crescere un sacco di riso in Valencia, incluso il riso giapponese. Quindi ho questo sogno di chiamare questo posto sake qualcosa di super kitsch tipo ‘Saque’, che vuol dire ‘ingordità’ in spagnolo. O magari buttarci dentro una Ñ hahah. Ma prima devo concentrarmi su creare un sake con successo, per per ora non e stato il caso…

Hai un life hack per noi?

Ok, allora questo e molto semplice, me lo ha insegnato l’altro giorno mia sorella: Usate un sacchetto per infarinare il pesce prima della frittura (tipo ‘pescato frito’, dove il pesce e semplicemente infarinato, e non messo in pastella). Quindi si usa un sacchetto nel quale si mette la farina e poi si mette il pesce che si sbatte in giro, piuttosto che cercare di infarinarlo nel piatto, che sarebbe il metodo tradizionale.

Joiri Minaya

Have you ever made work specifically linked to your pre-teen years?  

Gosh…I feel like some of that experience and memory is part of some works. Actually, recently I did a performance called ‘Mango Slice’; it’s a performance I did first in Philadelphia at the African American Museum there and then at the Brooklyn Museum in New York, it’s based on a text that I wrote for a publication of an artist called Karma Davis who makes art in relation to food. He talks a lot about the Dominican-Haitian relations, he prepares meals and invites people to make art about something linked to food. That publication had to do with lushness and something exotic, so I thought ‘Oh yea great, I can do whatever all my work is that!’. I started thinking of the mango fruit and how it’s imagined; how it’s so global and you can find it anywhere, like an apple, yet people think of it as something exotic. From there I went to how women are represented eating mangos, sexualised bodies of colour eating mangos. So for the text of this performance I have some parts that talk about my memories of being young and plucking mangos off trees (because I always had a mango tree in all the houses I lived in growing up), being on the roof of my house with this mango tree and my sister. This performance has other things going on because I say things with my words but you’re seeing images that are parallel stock images and historical art images that illustrate what I’m saying but that are not specific images of those memories. 

What’s the weirdest thing you’ve eaten? 

I was recently in Mexico and I had fried chapulines, like fried crickets. They were good, they were nicely seasoned. I was weirded out because I had never eaten insects before but the experience of it wasn’t weird. I think that would be the weirdest…I ate scallops recently and I had never eaten them, they taste good but they kind of make me a little nauseous and I don’t know why. 

Your favourite watersport? 

Recently I started swimming, I’ve always liked swimming. Is that a water sport? Or do you mean like motorised things or surfing or something haha? I tried surfing in one class, I must have stood on the board for like 2 seconds and that was probably the most that I’ve achieved in that sport. But yea, I like swimming, I learnt on my own but last year I took a class because I wanted to learn the proper technique, so now whenever there’s pool I’ll try to go swim laps and practice a little bit. I’m not that good at it but I like it. 

An image that’s by your side these days? 

Oh my god, I’m like so overloaded with images, it’s hard to just pick one. I have a board, the thing is that none of this is new, these are all images that I carry around, reorganize and keep thinking about. I keep finding interesting images online and I drag them to this folder called random references, one day I’ll sit and organise them by folders thematically but then they all have relationships, something that could go in one folder or another. The visualisation systems on computers really isn’t good for creative practices because I wish I could see everything and then drag it here and there to make rotations. I started printing images but then I have so many, it might be just a waste of time and it’s quite exhausting… 

A celebrity you’ve been compared to?

Alicia Keys! Randomly, in New York City, people have told me like 4 times that I look like Alicia Keys, and I don’t, but they’ve told me that! I’m like ‘Ok, sure, nice, thanks!?’

If you had to drink only one thing (besides water) for the rest of your life, what would that be?

Uhmm, I would say passion fruit juice but really I have gastritis now and I can’t have it even though it’s my favourite fruit and juice ever. So it would probably kill me if I do it for the rest of my life…So not that, though I wish, in an ideal world. Ok so, coconut water! Haha, I feel like such a product! But yea, it’s really good.

One of your projects that gave you fear?

All performances ever! I’m so afraid of performing, like I don’t even know how it’s part of my practice, I love that it’s part of my practice, but I don’t like doing them. I like after I do them, it feels really good, like I should have actually told people, I should have actually shared it and invited people haha…but before I do it, I don’t do any of those things because I’m super scared and anxious, mostly anxious, yeah.

Green or Red?

Green. I like red, but I like nature, grass and stuff so it’s a nice colour to have around. Red is nice too but I feel like I have more affinity with green in general. That more emerald/grass green, I like to see it but I wouldn’t wear it myself.

An embarrassing instagram account that you follow?

I mostly follow friends and artists and content I want to see, I keep scrolling but I don’t find anything I’m embarrassed by!

The most expensive garment you own?

I go to thrift stores a lot so I don’t pay much for my clothes. My mum has a clothing store I grew up in, so I’m really aware of the whole system of how items cost very little to make (due to capitalist exploitation) but then there’s the transportation and the money you’re making off the clothes, there’s such an abysmal gap…so when I see really expensive clothes I think ‘ugh, someone in some country must get 2 dollars to make this and I’m paying 200’. I think the most expensive thing I’ve bought full price was either winter boots or a winter coat.

Do you have a life hack for us?

I use this app called Forest to not get distracted with my phone (it grows digital trees while you’re not on your screen, and they die if you leave the app), in combination with this other one called SelfControl in my computer that blocks websites from a list you put in. You put it on a timer, and even if you restart you computer, it won’t unblock them until the time has passed. These things help me because even though I’m conscious about distractions, sometimes I just absentmindedly end up in social media or in news sites and don’t realise I’ve wasted 20 mins scrolling or reading until I wake up from the trance. 

Also, my aunt makes this salty minced / mashed garlic water to immerse plantain slices before the second fry in the process of making tostones (fried plantains), it makes them super crispy and garlicky. But maybe not everyone makes tostones out there.

A question or reflection you’ve been asking yourself lately? 

I wonder often how effective my work is in translating the things that I’m thinking about, and negotiating with myself the impossibility of control in that; allowing myself to be ok with other people’s readings even if it has nothing to do with my intention. I always think that I’d like my mum to see my work and understand something, or the other people I grew up surrounded by, and not make a language that makes them feel excluded because they don’t understand it. Some things are more direct and some things are more nuanced and I’m ok with going back and forth like that.

Hai mai fatto del lavoro legato ai tuoi anni preadolescenziali?

Oh dio…Sento che alcune esperienze e memorie siano parte dei miei lavori. Anzi, di recente ho fatto una performance che si intitola ‘Mango Slice’; è una performance che ho fatto per la prima volta in Philadelphia African American Museum e poi l’ho fatto al Brooklyn Museum a New York, si basa su un testo che ho scritto per la pubblicazione di un artista che si chiama Karma Davis che crea arte in relazione al cibo. Questo artista parla del cibo e le relazioni tra La Repubblica Dominicana e Haiti, prepare pasti e invita artists a creare lavori in relazione al cibo che ha preparato. Quella pubblicazione aveva a che fare con la rigogliosità e qualcosa di esotico, quindi ho pensato ‘Ottimo, posso fare qualsiasi cosa perché tutto il mio lavoro centra con quello!’. HO iniziato a pensare al mango e lo immaginiamo; è un frutto globale e si trova ovunque, come una mela, però la gente lo vede ancora come una cosa esotica. Da li ho pensato a come le donne sono rappresentate mangiando il mango, corpi di colore sessualizzati mangiando il mango. Quindi per il testo di questa performance ho parti dove parlo delle mie memorie di quando ero più giovane, staccando i manghi dagli alberi (perché avevo sempre un albero del mango nelle 3 case nelle quali sono cresciuta), essere sul tetto con queste albero del mango e con mia sorella. Questa performance tratta altre cose, io parlo di questi racconti con le mie parole ma si vedono immagini stock in parallelo e immagini storiche che illustrano quello che dico ma che non sono specifiche a quelle memorie. 

La cosa più strana che tu abbia mangiato?

Di recente ero in Messico e ho mangiato chapulines fritte, come dei grilli fritti. Erano buone, erano condite bene. Mi dava stranezza perché non avevo mai mangiato insetti prima ma l’esperienza in sé non era strana. Penso che quello era la cosa più strana…Di recente ho mangiato capesante e non le avevo mai mangiato prima, sono buone ma mi hanno fatto sentire un po’ nauseata, non so perché. 

Il tuo sport acquatico preferito?

Di recente ho iniziato a fare nuoto, Mi è sempre piaciuto nuotare. Quello vale come sport? O stavate pensando a qualcosa di più motorizzato o il surf o qualcosa del genere haha? Una volta ho fatto una classe di surf, mi sarò messa in piedi tipo 2 secondi e quello è probabilmente il massimo delle mia capacità. Ma sì, mi piace fare nuoto, ho imparato da sola ma l’anno scorso ho fatto una classe perché volevo imparare la tecnica giusta, quindi adesso quando trovo una piscina cerco di andare a fare delle vasche per allenarmi un po’. Non sono proprio brava ma mi piace.

Un’immagine al tuo lato in questi giorni?

Oh mio dio, sono super inondata di immagini, mi è difficile sceglierne una. Ho una tavola, ma niente di quello che ci sia sopra è nuovo, sono tutte immagini che porto in giro, che ri-organizzo e alle quali penso continuamente. Trovo sempre immagini online che mi interessano e le metto in una cartella che si chiama ‘random references’ (riferimenti random), un giorno le organizzerò per cartella a tema… ma hanno tutte relazioni tra di loro, potrebbero andare in varie cartelle. Il sistema di visualizzazione sui computer non è il massimo per le pratiche creative perché vorrei vedere tutto e trascinare le cose per creare rotazioni. Ho iniziato a stampare immagini ma ne ho così tante, magari è solo una perdita di tempo e di energie….

Una persona famosa per la quale ti hanno scambiato?

Oh gesù, Alicia Keys! A caso, a New York, la gente me lo ha detto tipo 4 volte, che assomigli a Alicia Keys, io non ci credo ma me l’hanno detto! Rispondo del tipo ‘Ok, certo, bella, grazie!?’

Se potessi bere una cosa (a parte acqua) per il resto della tua vita, cosa sarebbe?

Mmmmm, direi succo di frutto della passione ma ora come ora non lo posso bere perché ho la gastrite, ed e un peccato perché è il mio succo preferito. E mi ucciderebbe se lo continuo a bere per il resto della mia vita…Quindi non quello, anche se è il mio desiderio, in un mondo ideale. Ok quindi direi Acqua di cocco! Haha, mi sento proprio un prodotto! Ma si, è proprio buona. 

Uno progetto che ti ha dato paura?

Tutte le performance che faccio! Ho super paura di fare performance, non so proprio come faccia parte della mia pratica, adoro che sia parte della mia pratica, ma non mi piace farle. Mi piace dopo averle fatte, mi sento proprio bene, E penso che avrei dovuto dirlo alla gente, avrei dovuto condividere l’evento e invitato la gente haha..ma prima di farle, non faccio nulla di tutto ciò perché ho super paura e divento ansiosa, principalmente ansiosa, si.

Un account imbarazzante che segui su instagram?

Seguo principalmente amici, artisti e contenuti che voglio vedere, sto continuando a scorrere ma non trovo niente di imbarazzante!

Il capo più caro che possiedi?

Vado spesso ai negozi dell’usato perciò non pago tanto i miei vestiti. Mi madre ha un negozio di vestiti nel quale sono cresciuta, quindi sono a corrente di tutto il sistema, di quando costano poco i vestiti e poi c’è in trasporto e i soldi fatti dal profitto, quindi c’è un accumulo abissale nel valore nei vestiti in generale…Quindi quando vedo vestiti cari penso ‘Uhh, qualcuno in qualche paese si fa pagare 2 dollari per creare questo e io sto pagando 200’. Credo che le cose più care che io abbia comprato a prezzo pieno sono i miei stivali invernali oppure la mia giacca invernale. 

Hai un life hack per noi?

Uso questa app che si chiama Forest per non distrarmi con il cellulare (fa crescere questi alberi digitali quando non stai usando lo schermo, e muoiono se lasci la app), uso anche quest’altra app che si chiama SelfControl sul computer e blocca alcuni siti che metto in lista. Puoi usare un timer, e anche se fai ripartire il computer non ti lascia aprire questa applicazioni fin quando non sia passato il tempo adeguato. Queste cose mi aiutano perché anche se sono cosciente delle distrazioni, a volte mi perdo nei social o in altro siti di news e non mi rendo conto del fatto che ho perso 20 minuti a scollare. 

 

Ah e poi mia zia fa dei tostones (plantain o banana verde fritta), fa quest’acqua con sale e aglio tritato per far immergere dei pezzi di plantain prima della seconda frittata, questo li rende croccantissimi e agliosi. Ma magari non tutti friggono banane verdi in giro. 

Una riflessione o domanda che ti stai facendo questi giorni?

Mi chiedo spesso quanto sia efficiente il mio lavoro, nella traduzione di quello al quale sto pensando, e negoziare con me stessa l’impossibilità di controllare certe cose; essere ok con altre letture del mio laboro anche se non centra niente con il mio intento. Penso sempre al fatto che voglio che mia madre veda il mio lavoro e capisca qualcosa, o anche altra gente con la quale sono cresciuta attorno, non voglio creare un linguaggio che li faccia sentire esclusi perché non lo capiscono. Alcune cose sono più dirette ed altre contengono più sfumature, e non mi dispiace andare avanti indietro tra le due cose

Kit Trowbridge

31.07.19 @?hl=en

What does the future of this current political climate look like?

Ughh grim.

Your favourite dessert?

Oh that’s a hard one… because I love desserts. If I could have any dessert it would be birthday cake from this supermarket chain called Giant in Maryland, where I’m from. We usually get them for birthdays in my family, they come with icing roses on top in different colours. For my dad’s birthday we always deliberate on which colours he won’t mind the roses being.

If you could eliminate one of your habits what would that be?

I’ve got a sweet tooth and it’s like an addiction, I always need to eat candy and I know it’s like really bad for me. And I’m quite neurotic and that definitely does more harm than good. 

As a child who was your cartoon crush?

Uhmm… probably TJ from Recess on Disney Channel. I’m sure there’s a better one but I used to watch that all the time. There were some cartoons I used to watch all the time, so this one. And Arthur, he’s an aardvark, but I never had a crush on him. Haha, but yea no crushes on the Arthur characters, they were all kind of dorky.

If you could rename yourself what would you pick?

I usually write these things down, I had a good one… let me see if I wrote it down anywhere, haha. I think the last name Campbell would be nice, like Kit Campbell, Catherine Campbell. Or Venus Trowbridge.

Britney Spears or Miley Cyrus?

Oh, Miley Cyrus. I find Britney Spears really sad, now, not just like the year that she shaved her head but she’s probably not meant for fame and Miley Cyrus is better at it. I guess I’m a little bit repulsed by Miley Cyrus but she doesn’t make me sad. I quite liked Miley’s wedding, it was so like normal, so mainstream. I like relationships where people break up and get back together, and he’s kind of like a straight-edge, a solid, boring person, so they’re cute.

What’s the most useless gadget you own?

Right now it must be this, because I don’t have my own pair of chopsticks, but I got this pretty ceramic chopstick rest from the Japan Centre. It’s a tiny little dish you rest your chopsticks on during meals. It’s a little cherry blossom, I love cherry blossoms. 

What is your phone wallpaper?

Oh it’s boring, my dog.

Could you show us 2 images of something you’re working on?

I’ve just been drawing in my sketchbook. One of them is the sketch of this beautiful jelly roll from Dover Street Market. It was gorgeous it had like pistachio and cherry, green and pink ,with cherries popped on top. And then the other is, so on Love Island there’s a challenge where the boys have to wear like dog masks and dog collars, they’re blindfolded and they have to be led around by the girls that they’re coupled up with. There is great imagery on that show!

I have some other stuff in my sketchbook. There’s one of the guys in the place they’re being interviewed and they’re all kind of piled up on top of each other. I guess I love all the homo-erotic stuff going on on love island. So then there’s another one when Maura got to take Tom to the hideaway and he said ‘I wonder if she’s all mouth’ and she heard so all the boys where like ‘ooohhh’. I think it’s from that where Anton is watching intently and Tommy is hugging him from behind. It’s such a cultural phenomenon. It seems to be lowbrow but it teaches you not to judge too quickly because when all of the characters come on I’m like ‘oh my god’ but as I watch it I grow fond of all of them, a lot of them have great qualities, but not all of them. And the friendships are really touching. My flatmate just sent me this article about Love Island written by Lena Dunham, where she describes Amy after the breakup and how she stops wearing any makeup, just moping around and making lists. Yea… haha so those are my sketches.

Life hack for us?

I have a really boring one; so my grandmother, I don’t know why she told my dad this, but so my dad told me his mum always said that when you wash your face you always have to wash it with hot water first, so that it opens up your pores and then wash it with cold water after, to seal them off I suppose. And yes, I do it, I am really neurotic so I can’t not do it haha.

Also, always bring a snack!

A question or something you’ve been reflecting on lately?

I guess this is art related but I’ve been thinking a lot about this lately because I miss home and when I think about what reminds me of home I think of the things I liked as a teenager, pre-teen and stuff. So I’ve been thinking a lot about that era and TV shows such as Gossip Girl and the OC and pop punk and everything. I kind of wanna make work related to that era but then I don’t know if it would only appeal to people that are my age. When you experience it and you have that visceral response like when you smell something and all those memories come back (hello Proust’s madeleine), you’d only have that if you experienced it in the same way. I don’t know if that tends to a specific culture, if it can also reach a more varied audience and I’ve kind of been wondering about that lately.

31.07.19 @?hl=en

A cosa assomiglia il futuro di questo clima politico?

 

Uhh, cupo.

Il tuo dolce preferito?

Questo è difficile… perché amo i dolci. Se potessi avere qualsiasi dolce ora sarebbe questa torta di compleanno che si compra dalla catena di supermercati Giant nel Maryland, da dove vengo. Di solito li compriamo per i compleanni in famiglia, vengono con delle rose di glassa di colori diversi sopra. Per il compleanno di mio padre deliberiamo sempre su quali colori gli dispiacerebbero di meno. 

Se potessi eliminare una delle tue abitudini, quale sarebbe?

Sono molto golosa, devo sempre mangiare caramelle, è proprio una dipendenza e so che mi fa male. E sono abbastanza nevrotica e quello fa di sicuro più male che bene.

Un personaggio di cartoni animati di cui eri innamorata?

Mmmm… probabilmente TJ dalla serie Ricreazione su Disney Channel. Sono sicura che ce n’è un altro, ma quella la guardavo sempre. Cerano alcuni cartoni che guardavo proprio sempre, quindi questo e anche Arthur, il oritteropo, ma non ero innamorata di lui. Haha si non ero innamorata dei personaggi di Arthur, erano tutti un po goffi. 

Se potessi ri-nominarti, che nome sceglieresti?

Di solito scrivo queste cose, ne avevo uno bello… lasciatemi vedere se l’ho scritto da qualche parte, haha. Penso che Campbell come cognome ci starebbe, tipo Kit Campbell, Catherine Campbell. Oppure Venus Trowbridge.

Britney Spears o Miley Cyrus?

Oh, Miley Cyrus. Trovo che Britney Spears sia veramente triste ora, non solo quell’anno in cui si è rasata la testa ma probabilmente la fama non è per lei e Miley Cyrus la sa gestire meglio. Penso che Miley Cyrus mi ripugna un po’ ma almeno non mi fa sentire triste. Mi è piaciuto il matrimonio di Miley, era normale e mainstream. Mi piacciono le relazioni dove la gente si lascia e poi si rimette insieme, e poi lui è abbastanza normale, una persona solida e noiosa, sono carini insieme.

Cos’è l’oggetto più inutile che hai?

Ora deve essere questo perché non ho un paio di bacchette, ma ho preso dal Japan Centre questo piattino carino di ceramica per posare le bacchette. È un piattino per posare le bacchette durante i pasti. È un piccolo fiore di ciliegio, adoro i fiori di ciliegio. 

Cosa c’è sul wallpaper del tuo telefono?

Oh è noioso, il mio cane.

Potresti farci vedere 2 immagini di qualcosa su cui stai lavorando?

Ultimamente sto disegnano in un blocco di carta. Una delle bozze è il disegno di questa bellissima pagnotta alla marmellata dal Dover Street Market. Era favolosa, aveva del pistacchio e ciliegia, verde e rosa con delle ciliegie sopra. E l’altro disegno è, allora su Love Island c’è un challenge dove i maschi devono mettere tipo delle maschere e collari di cane, hanno gli occhi coperti e si devono far guidare dalle donne con le quali sono in coppia. C’è un immaginario bellissimo su quel reality.

Ho altra roba nel mio quaderno. C’è un altro disegno dei maschi nel posto dove fanno le interview e sono tutti impilati l’uno sopra l’altro. Mi sa che mi piace tutta la roba un po’ omoerotica su Love Island. C’è un’altro disegno di quando Maura sceglie di portare Tom alla stanza nascosta e lui dice ‘Mi chiedo se usa solo la bocca’ e lei sente quindi tutti i maschi sono scioccati. Penso che sia da li dove Anton sta guardando intensamente e Tommy lo sta abbracciando da dietro. È proprio un fenomeno culturale. Sembra essere volgare ma ti insegna a non giudicare troppo in fretta perché quando arrivano tutti i personaggi all’inizio io sono del tipo’ oh mio dio’ ma man mano che li guardo mi ci affeziono, tanti hanno delle belle qualità, ma non tutti haha. E le amicizie sono commoventi. La mia coinquilina mi ha appena mandato questo articolo scritta da Lena Dunham, dove parla di Amy dopo che si sia lasciata e come ha smesso di truccarsi, come era giù di morale e andava in giro a fare liste. Si… haha quindi questi sono i miei disegni.

Un life hack per noi?

Ne ho uno noioso, allora la mia nonna, non so perché ha detto questo a mio padre, ma quindi mio padre mi ha detto che sua madre gli ha detto che quando ti lavi la faccia devi prima lavarla con l’acqua calda, così si aprono i pori, e poi lavarla con l’acqua fredda, per richiuderli suppongo. E si, lo faccio, sono nevrotica quindi non posso non farlo haha.

Ah e anche: sempre portarsi dietro uno snack!

Una domanda o qualcosa sul quale stai riflettendo ultimamente?

Direi che questo è in relazione a l’arte ma ci sto pensando tanto ultimamente perché mi manca casa mia quindi penso alle cose che mi ricordano casa e penso alle cose che mi piacevano da giovane ecc. Quindi sto pensando tanto a quell’era e alle serie del tipo Gossip Girl e The OC e al pop punk e tutto quanto. Vorrei fare delle opere in relazione a quell’era ma poi non so se sarà attraente soltanto alla gente della mia età. Quando ci vieni in contatto e hai quella risposta viscerale come quando senti un profumo e tutte le memorie tornano (come la madeleine di Proust), e quello succederebbe soltanto se uno ha vissuto quelle cose della stessa maniera. Non so se nel essere incline a una cultura specifica, si può anche arrivare a un pubblico più variegato, e ultimamente me lo sto chiedendo.

Andrew Pierre Hart

28.07.19 @?hl=en

How far would you go in the name of your art?

How far? My first answer is: just down the road. 

That’s quite a question. People are gonna probably hate me for this. I wouldn’t go that far because we’re not going far enough for people so why would I go far for my art? Yea, not very far, not very far at all. Maybe to the local gallery, that’s about it. Pushing into physical or durational or something physically taxing, naa, I wouldn’t do any of that. I’ve never really thought about this.  

Your ideal pet?

Oh my gosh. I don’t really like animals in my vicinity. I find them to be like alien entities in my environment that seem to have sneaked in. Like, cats and dogs have sneaked into our lives and are now sitting in our houses enjoying television. But, I did do a one day retreat at Wysing and there was a Korean dog being looked after by one of the artists and we just got on straight away. Man to dog, dog to man, he was just following me around, and I thought ‘oh this dog’s alright’, we could hang! The breed is, I think, a Shiba Inu (name’s alright also)… But they just tricked their way into people’s households, and then cats they tricked their way in and now they just take liberties, they walk in and out and do whatever they want and they’ve got like 4 different houses that they might hang out in. Honestly, they’ve got it right. As you can see I like observing animals and their behaviour but only from a distance.

A guilty pleasure TV show?

Oooh, this one is embarrassing. I don’t watch Love Island, never have done, never will do. I will admit, there’s a really shit dating program on ITV3 called Dinner Dates. I watch that sometimes, it’s not a pleasure but I definitely feel guilty for watching it!

Would you rather own a boat or a sports car?

Hmm, I think a boat. Yea, if I have a boat it means that I’d be in the tropics, living somewhere really warm, on the open seas, free, my carbon footprint is a lot less than driving around in a sports car in central London. There’s not enough space for it to make sense in its capacity and just in terms of traffic, pollution etc. Especially now, the designer sports cars look very aggressive and they look very robot like, high end cars look very alien and they’ve become very trashy looking, they’re not stylish anymore, ‘this is expensive’ and that’s all it says. So sports cars, they’re just a myth nowadays. I’d rather drive an estate car actually, much more practical, put my paintings in there, the police wouldn’t stop me as much… and they wouldn’t really be able to stop me on a boat. I’m thinking like a luxury boat, something with sails rather than engines, with really nice interiors.

The last video/film that made you emotional?

Right, before anything, films don’t touch me like that because it’s all staged, I just see it as a stage, but there’s a film that I remember and I must have been about 12 or something like that, it’s ‘Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence’. The music is by Ryuichi Sakamoto, I think David Bowie was in that film. There’s a scene where they put a soldier in sand up to his neck, as torture, and that brought tears to my eyes. Or I saw this short video recently of a dance piece called Anima, I think it’s really about labour, with the population having to work and there’s this one person that keeps trying to break out and do something slightly different but still keep within the rhythm. That sheer movement and creativity of movement really amazed me.

Can you tell us about a project you’re currently working on?

I just finished a project, I just showed as part of ‘Nocturnal Creatures’ at Whitechapel Gallery, I did a sound performance as part of someone else’s work. It was the idea of a remix, I went into someone else’s exhibition, I couldn’t majorly change it or I couldn’t move it so I just remixed it and I added some lights, made it into a dark space, edited a video of their already existing film and showed it together with the edit alongside a live score and a reading from a Sun Ra poetry book (given to me by the generous Ibrahim Cisse who graduated last year from the RCA curating course and a winner of the Red Mansion prize) with some ad-libs. It was the first time I’ve done a reading. I also have to complete some work with a ballerina I’m working with, her name is Kanika. I think of cross-modality in my practice, the overlapping of senses etc. I put on different types of music and she dances, lets herself go in playful exercises and then this cross-modal thinking comes into play by using disparate themes, for example the music she dances to and the music in the video are completely different to create a new rhythm and movement, I then layer for example myself dancing, to see how the bodily movements interact with each other and create poly and multi-rhythm because there is a visual rhythm that happens and is continuously growing.

Juice or milkshake?

Oh, juice. Juice all the way. Not even juice, smoothie. Not even smoothie, pulp and juice all together. So, apples blended, oranges blended, grapes, pineapples, all of that, all squeezed in with some ice then blended. Milkshake is good though, banana milkshake. 

Your speciality dish?

Yea, my funky chicken. I make a really good chicken dish with mango juice, coconut cream, lots of pepper, lots of preparation, lots of diced vegetables over it. Funky chicken with rice and gungo peas. Oh I’m feeling really hungry now. So yea, that’s my thing, and slow cooked so that it stays really juicy. I learnt that from my cousin in Miami. I went to visit him but he had to go somewhere so he kept calling to make sure I could check the chicken and pour the juice over it. All he said was it had to be moist, all he was bothered about was that it would dry out. 

A song you hum to yourself?

Fuck the Police by NWA, no joking haha. Oh my gosh there’s 2. There’s one I found myself singing out loud and I almost punched myself in the face for doing it, just randomly, I sang out loud ‘I’m a Barbie Girl’ and hummed the tune, I don’t know where that came from and I wasn’t too happy with myself, at all. That wasn’t cool at all, that wasn’t good for my reputation, just walking through the studios and singing the melody. Also I suppose there’s a song called ‘Hey Now’ by London Grammar, it’s got a nice sweet melody and the vocals are really pure and cleansing, yea, that comes through every now and again. I just play music, if anything.

Life hack for us?

Right, a quick one is how to remove the skin off the individual cloves of garlic, you hold the top where it’s pointed and you push it down towards the bottom hard bit and it just opens the garlic.

Ok sparkling water. To open a bottle of sparkling water you just have to do it in very small stages. You’re guaranteed if buy it from the shop, you’ll walk, it’s gonna move around and it will explode. So, what you do is, you open and just ease it, ease it, ease all the air out, let the bubbles go up to the top and drop down and there is no spillage. Seems obvious but I’ve seen many a bottle spray and it makes a good sound that i have worked with!!

Or Aloe Vera, peel it, put it in the blender and use it as shower gel. 

Oh, how could I forget this: I’m a peanut addict! I work with them, I got the ballerina to walk on them in pointe shoes, I used them in sound, I exhibit them, they featured in my dissertation and I always have a little handful around me – anyone who knows me knows about my peanut thing but when the bag comes out I see all manner of bad peanut opening techniques, people biting them in half, people trying to do the strong man to open them, it’s painful to see. So the peanut offers a seam along the side, if you squeeze with 2 hands around or along the seam then they simply open! That’s my life hack. Here’s a pic demo, that is the one handed expert technique but you can use 2 hands.

Question or reflection you’ve been asking yourself?

Ok I’m gonna go straight to political: What is going to happen to the country, no not only the country, what is going to happen to the world now that we have 2 real assholes running stuff? What does it mean for us? That’s what I’ve been thinking a lot about, what does it mean and what will it mean? Will Boris go in 2 years? What’s the future? What’s the future for the arts? What’s the future for social behaviour? How will people conduct themselves in the world, will they feel more downtrodden, will they feel as though they have no control over things, will they feel as though they want to revolt? Or do they just want to go to the pub, get drunk and just ignore the whole thing? I just feel that it’s best to disengage completely. Politics is a real joke and they’re really showing it now, both parties are a mess in the UK. It’s time for something new maybe? Psychologically it just feels as though it’s a way of showing us we have no power, a really bad game they’re playing, a lot of posturing. What does that mean? Does that mean there’s gonna be shift over the next 5 years? Will people wake up? Will we disengage? The past 5  ears, the theatre and stage of politics has been at its most Tarantino.

28.07.19 @?hl=en

Fino a che punto andresti in nome della tua arte?

Fino a che punto? La mia prima risposta è: in fondo alla strada.

Che domanda, la gente mi odierà per questo. Non andrei assolutamente  lontano perché già non si va lontano per le persone, figuriamoci, perché dovrei andare lontano per la mia arte? Si, non molto lontano. Magari fino alla galleria dell’angolo e basta. Spingere nell’aspetto fisico e di lunga durata o qualcosa che ti tassa fisicamente, no, non farei nulla di tutto ciò. No ho mai veramente pensato a questo.

Il tuo animale di compagnia ideale?

Oh mio dio. Non mi piacciono veramente gli animali nelle mie vicinanze. Li vedo come delle entità aliene che si sono infiltrate nel mio ambiente. Tipo i gatti e i cani si sono infiltrati nelle nostre vite e ora si siedono nelle nostre case e si godono un po di television. Ma, ho fatto un ritiro a Wysing e lì c’era un cane Coreano che apparteneva a uno degli artisti e siamo andati d’accordo subito. Da uomo a cane e da cane a uomo, mi seguiva in giro, mi sono detto che quel cane non era per niente male! Penso che sia della razza Shiba Inu (un nome eccellente). Ma questi hanno comunque truccato la gente e sono entrati nelle loro case, e poi i gatti non solo ci hanno truccato ma ora prendono pure le loro libertà, entrano ed escono quando vogliono e hanno tipo 4 case diverse dove stanno. Sinceramente, loro hanno la bella vita. Come vedete, mi piace osservare gli animale e i loro comportamenti a distanza.

Una serie che guardi di cui ti vergogni?

Oooo, questa è imbarazzante. Non guardo Love Island, non l’ho mai fatto e non lo farò mai. Ma devo ammettere che c’è questo programma televisivo su ITV3 dove la gente esce insieme per cena, si chiama Dinner Dates. A volte guardo quello, non è veramente un piacere ma mi sento colpevole a guardarlo!

Preferiresti avere una barca o una macchina sportiva?

Mmm, penso una barca. Si, se ho una barca vuol dire che sarei nei tropici, vivendo in un posto caldo, nel mare aperto, la mia impronta di carbonio sarebbe molto più bassa che guidare una macchina sportiva al centro di Londra. Non c’è abbastanza spazio nelle sue capacità, in termini di traffico, inquinamento ecc. Soprattutto adesso, le macchine sportive sembrano molto aggressive, sembrano molto robotiche, quelle di lusso sembrano aliene e sono diventate molto trash, non hanno più così tanto stile, dicono semplicemente ‘questa macchina è cara’. Quindi le macchine sportive, sono un mito al giorno d’oggi. Preferirei girare in una giardinetta, molto più pratica, ci metto i miei dipinti, la polizia non mi fermerebbe così tanto…. e non potrebbero veramente fermarmi su una barca… sto pensando a una barca di lusso, una barca a vela piuttosto che qualcosa con motori, con degli interni belli.

L’ultimo video/film che ti ha emozionato?

Allora, innanzitutto, i film non mi colpiscono così tanto perché è tutto messo in scena, lo vedo come un palcoscenico. Ma c’è un film di cui mi ricordo, mi sa che avevo in torno ai 12 anni, e il film è “Merry Christmas Mr Lawrence”. La musica è di Ryuichi Sakamoto, penso che David Bowie fosse in quel film. C’è una scena dove sotterrano un soldato nella sabbia fino al suo collo, come forma di tortura, e quello mi ha portato le lacrime agli occhi. O di recente ho visto questo video di una coreografia che si chiama Anima, peso che si trattasse di lavoro e del popolo che deve lavorare, ma c’è una persona che continua a cercare di evadere e fare qualcosa di leggermente diverso senza rompere il ritmo. Quel assoluto movimento e la creatività nel movimento mi ha proprio meravigliato.

Ci puoi parlare di qualcosa su cui stai lavorando al momento?

Ho appena finito un progetto, che ha fatto parte di ‘Nocturnal Creatures’ alla Whitechape Gallery, ho fatto una performance con il suono che ha fatto parte del lavoro di qualcun altro. Era l’idea di un remix, sono entrato nella mostra di qualcun altro, non potevo cambiare o muovere le cose quindi le ho re-mixato e ho aggiunto delle luci, l’ho reso uno spazio buio, ho mostrato una versione modificata affianco al suo video già esistente con in più una colonna sonora live e una lettura di un libro di poesie di Sun Ra (che mi è stato generosamente dato da Ibrahim Cisse che si è laureato l’anno scorso del corso di RCA curating ed ha vinto il premio Red Mansion), la lettura aveva dei momenti improvvisati, era la prima volta che facevo una lettura. Devo anche finire un lavoro con una ballerina con cui sto lavorando, si chiama Kanika. Penso ai vari medi nella mia pratica, la sovrapposizione dei sensi ecc. Metto vari tipi di musica e lei balla, si lascia andare in esercizi giocosi. 

Succo o Milkshake?

Ah, succo. Succo fino in fondo. No, neanche succo, smoothie. No non smoothie, la polpa e il succo tutto insieme. Quindi mele centrifugate, arancia centrifugate, uva, ananas, tutto quanto, tutto miscelato con del ghiaccio e centrifugato. Il milkshake e buono pero, il milkshake alla banana.

Hai un piatto speciale?

Si, il mio Funky Chicken. Faccio un pollo buonissimo con del succo di mango, crema di cocco, tanto pepe, tanta preparazione e verdura sopra. Il Funky Chicken viene con del riso e i piselli gungo. Adesso ho fame, haha! Si, quella è la mia specialità, ed è cotto a fuoco basso per tanto tempo così rimane molto succoso. Ho imparato questa ricetta dal mio cugino a Miami. Sono andato a trovarlo ma doveva andare da qualche altra parte quindi continuava a chiamare per assicurarsi che io controllassi il pollo per metterci sopra il succo. Continuava a dire che doveva essere umido, era solo preoccupato dal fatto che si potesse asciugasse il pollo. 

Un life hack per noi?

Allora, uno rapido è l’aglio, per togliere la pelle su uno spicchio individuale si tiene la parte in alto appuntita e si spinge in basso verso la parte dura.

Ok e l’acqua frizzante. Per aprire una bottiglia si deve fare in tanti piccoli passi. C’è la certezza che che comprando una bottiglia dal negozio, camini, si muove e poi esplode. Quindi quello che si deve fare è aprirla piano piano, lasciare uscire tutta l’aria, lasciare salire le bolle e poi ricuderla per evitare le perdite. Sembra ovvia come cosa ma ho visto tante di quelle bottiglie creare uno spray, un suono fantastico con cui ho lavorato tra l’altro! 

Oppure con l’aloe vera, si sbuccia, si mette nella centrifuga e si può usare come sapone di doccia. 

Ah, mi sono quasi dimenticato: sono ossessionato con le arachidi! Ci lavoro, ho fatto camminarci sopra un ballerina con le sue punte, le uso nel suono, le metto in mostra, hanno fatto parte della mia tesi e ho sempre una manciata di arachidi con me – chiunque mi conosca sa della mia ossessione con le arachidi ma quando tiro fuori un sacco di arachidi vedo un sacco di modi tremendi per aprirle, la gente che le morde, quelli che fanno gli uomini forti per aprirle, fa male sono a guardare. L’arachide offre al suo lato una vena, se si schiaccia con due mani su questa vena, si apre! Quello è il mio life hack! Ecco qui illustrato con delle immagini, qui si vede la tecnica esperta con una mano, ma si possono usare due mani.

Hai una domanda o qualcosa sul quale stai riflettendo in questo momento?

 

 

Ok vado direttamente alla politica: che cosa succederà al mio paese? no non solo paese, ma al mondo ora che abbiamo 2 stronzi che dirigono le cose? Che cosa vuoi dire per noi? Sto pensando tanto a quello, quello che vuol dire per il nostro futuro? Boris se ne andrà tra 2 anni? Che cos’è il futuro per l’arte? Che cos’è il futuro per il comportamento sociale? Come si condurrà la gente in questo mondo, si sentiranno abbattuti, si sentiranno fuori controllo, sentiranno il bisogno di una rivolta? O vorranno semplicemente andare al pub, ubriacarsi e ignorare il tutto? Sento che sia meglio disinteressarsi completamente. La politica è una scherzo e lo stanno veramente facendo vedere ora, i 2 partiti nel regno unito sono un pasticcio. È ora per qualcosa di nuovo magari? Psicologicamente è un modo per farci vedere che il potere non ce l’abbiamo, è un gioco molto brutto con tanti atteggiamenti. Che cosa vuol dire? Che ci sarà un cambiamento nei prossimi 5 anni? La gente si sveglierà? Ci disinteresseremo? Gli ultimi 5 del palcoscenico della politica sembrano un Tarantino.

Evi Kalogiropoulou

30.06.19 @?hl=en

Do you know how to practice silence?

Yes. Yes. I’m silent. I can practice silence, in the house with my family we don’t often speak…And I have done this kind of yoga retreat! Not many days, four …but I was laughing a bit.

Who is your hero?

I admire Rosa Luxemburg, she’s a woman leftist, marxist. I admire her, she’s not my hero but I admire her. 

Do you try to reduce your carbon footprint?

I’m conscious but like if I have to travel I’m not so radical, I will take a flight. Like, sometimes the products that I buy, of course. I’m aware, mostly about products, like shampoos and stuff like that, my mother also checks them a lot…biological, organic…

What’s the last thing you bought for yourself?

USB sticks, I just bought them now. I have this EU commission for a film, tomorrow I have to show my first draft….it’s for the European Cultural Capital in2021.

But for myself, I bought this shirt!

If you were an olympic champion, what sport would that be in?

Volleyball. I was playing second category in my national team, so of course I would be a volleyball player, I cry everytime I see a game. I was playing from when I was 7 until 18, everyday for 2 hours or something…it was a way to go out of the house, also because I’m hyperactive haha.

Tell us about 3 objects that were part of your last project?

For the sculpture one? Glue, because it was broken in some parts….You want the materials? Marble, steel, hair.

An instagram account that makes you laugh?

Laugh? I don’t follow them but I like to watch the pictures of cats and dogs…but I don’t follow them but I like baby cats and baby dogs. Is this answer ok? At least once a day I search it, you know like when you’re on the overground waiting. Or my aunt’s account, because she doesn’t know how to take pictures so she’ll post like a close up of her face. 

The best pizza?

Pepperoni. Pepperone or pepperoni?

In Italian peperone means bell pepper so sometimes it gets confusing…

I mean the one with the sausages cut into thin slices, spicy sausage.

A life hack for us?

I don’t know…when I’m not feeling too good I drink wine haha. Something that makes my life better? Before going to sleep, I put into my calendar all the things that I need to do, everything, even the notes. And I put colours, for the things that are most important I put red. And when I wake up I check my calendar…and I have to delete everything by the end of the day. I check it every night and every morning. When I see an application that I need to apply for I will insert it close to the deadline, that will be an orange note to know that I have to start the application. At the end of the day it keeps you doing the things you need to do…especially as an artist it’s important to keep busy and keep going… This is on my laptop, I always have my laptop with me. I can show you but it’s greeklish hahaha..like it’s greek but written in english characters! 

A question or something you’ve been reflecting on?

I’m in a bad period, I have too much work and I’m freaking out ..sometimes I wonder whether it’s worth it..so it’s an emotional and existential period. Maybe…how far would you go? (In the name of your art). 

So how far would you go?

I would say: medium.

30.06.19 @?hl=en

Sai esercitare il silenzio?

Si. Si, sono silente, in casa con la mia famiglia non si parla spesso… E ho fatto un ritiro di yoga! Non tanti giorni, quattro…ma mi veniva da ridere.

Che è il tuo eroe?

Ammiro Rosa Luxemburg, è una donna di sinistra, marxista. La ammiro, non è la mia eroina ma la ammiro.

Cerchi di ridurre la tua impronte di carbonio?

Ne sono cosciente ma tipo se devo viaggiare non sono così radicale, prenderei un volo. A volte, con i prodotti che compro, ovviamente. Ne sono consapevole, soprattutto per i prodotti, tipo gli shampoo e roba del genere, anche mia madre li guarda tanto…roba biologica, organica…

Cos’è l’ultima cosa che ti sei comprata?

Delle chiavette USB, le ho appena comprate. Ho questa commissione per un film, domani devo far vedere la prima bozza…È per il European Cultural Capital nel 2021.

Ma per me stessa ho comperato questa camicetta!

Se tu fosse una campionessa olimpica, in quale disciplina lo saresti?

Nel volleyball. Ero nella seconda categoria per la mia squadra nazionale, quindi ovvio che sarei una giocatrice di volleyball, piango ogni volta che vedo una partita. Giocavo da quando avevo 7 a 18 anni, ogni 2 ore o qualcosa del genere..Era un modo per uscire di casa, perché sono abbastanza iperattiva haha.

Parlaci di 3 oggetti che sono stati usati per il tuo ultimo progetto

Per quello scultoreo? Della colla, perché era rotto e dovevo aggiustare alcuni pezzi…Volete i materiali? Marmo, acciaio, cappelli.

Un account su instagram che ti fa ridere?

Ridere? Non li seguo ma mi piace vedere le immagini di gatti e cani…Non li seguo ma mi piace vedere piccoli gatti e piccoli cani. Questa risposta va bene? Li cerco al meno una volta al giorno, tipo quando sto aspettando il treno. O anzi, l’account di mia zia, perché non sa fare foto quindi mette tipo delle foto ravvicinate della sua faccia.

La migliore pizza?

Pepperoni. Pepperone or Pepperoni?

In italiano peperone è la verdura quindi a volte ci si confonde…

Intendo la pizza con la salsiccia tagliate fine, la salsiccia piccante.

Hai un life hack per noi?

Non lo so…quando non me sento troppo bene bevo del vino haha. Qualcosa che mi aiuta nella vita? Prima di andare a dormire, metto nel mio calendario tutte le cose che devo fare, tutto, anche le note. E metto dei colori, per le cose super importanti uso il rosso. E quando mi sveglio guardo il calendario…E devo eliminare tutto in corso di giornata.Lo guardo ogni notte e ogni mattina. Quando vedo un’application alla quale devo candidarmi, inserisco una nota vicino alla scadenza, quella sarà una nota arancione per sapere che devo iniziare questa application. Alla fine questo ti permette di continuare a fare cose ogni giorno…soprattutto in quanto artisti è importante stare impegnati per tirare avanti….Tutto questo succede nel mio computer, me lo porto sempre dietro. Ve lo posso far vedere ma è in Greeklish…tipo in greco ma scritto con dei caratteri inglesi. 

Una riflessione o qualcosa che ti stai chiedendo in questo periodo?

Sono in un periodo abbastanza brutto, ho un sacco di lavoro e mi sta dando di matta…a volte mi chiedo se ne vale la pena…quindi è un periodo emotivo e esistenziale…Fino a che punto andresti? (per la tua arte)

Fino a punto andresti tu?

Direi: livello medio.

Leonardo Ruvolo

28.06.19 @?hl=en

What’s your favourite conspiracy theory?

Well, all of them really. I particularly like the Flat Earth one because it seems to enclose all other ones. I like to create new ones making mixes of the various theories; like taking a bit of Flat Earth and putting it together with the Elders of Zion, The Reptilian Humanoids and the one of Ronaldo in the World Cup finals in 1998. I like creating new mythology with true and fake things to feed into my personal one: the myth of Alcamo (the city where I live). It’s a theory whereby Alcamo is sort of the centre of the world at the boundaries of the earth where everyone passes by someway or another, and I keep enlarging this story with true sources. For instance, there’s this myth with Mionsse and Cocalo from Erodoto from the 5th century B.C in which narratives of Eracle in Sicily can be found in order to justify the Greek colonisation of Sicily started a few centuries prior. Eracle, returning to the island after having found the runaway bull from Gerione’s herd, took up a challenge with the Erice, the king of the Sicanians. Erice was an excellent fighter so he challenged Eracle to a fight in 5 parts. Eracle accepted the challenge with the condition that Erice would put a prize on his reign against the runaway bull. Eracle won the fort 4 parts and finally lifted Erice with is hands above his head, threw him to the ground and killed him, that way teaching the Sicilians that who is born from a goddess is not necessarily immortal. To thank him, the muses made hot water gush out of Mount Inico and as a matter of fact there are these free super wild thermal baths close to Alcamo where you go to enjoy the elisir to a prolonged life. And this is a trap, I tell this to all the people I know convincing them to come to the hot springs. 

What kind of tourist are you?

Oh that’s hard…because I fundamentally don’t have money to be a tourist. Like, well not really, but I don’t want to allow myself to be a tourist, because it really disturbs me, it’s something I really dislike. But I like buying souvenirs from the cities I go to for work or other things I do. I always think of bringing souvenirs to my mum, like I was in Basel recently and I found these beautiful chopping boards for cheese or cold cuts. So anyhow, I’m a tourist that buys souvenirs. I like having small things in my home that remind me of those places.

What’s your spirit animal?

I know! I truly know! My spirit animal is the union of both the capricorn, because I’m a capricorn and my cinese sign (that right now I can’t remember, but I was born in 1990)… In any case, my spirit animal is the salmon. I’m a fucking salmon that goes against the current, always alone, and salmons don’t even have sex, like this thing that fish don’t have sex is absurd… so as it happens I go upstream in rivers, and I struggle a bit. Yes, I’m a salmon.

Is there a project you’ve done in the past that you’re embarrassed by?

Everything really…there’s this book of stories that I wrote when I was 15 to 16 years old, those embarrass me so much, they’re really strange. They speak of super abstract things but also of concrete things, there are these fictitious characters with names that I’ve invented, something I’d never do now, but sometimes I go back and read them to understand how it happened. 

What are you listening to these days?

I’m listening to this song called ‘don’t call me up’ by Mabel, it’s great. It’s a super commercial pop song…but I also like noise music, free jazz, I also discovered this group called Goat, it’s super, and recently I was listening to this punk group from Milan in the 90s called Wolfgango. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TQKyDD9Yig

A person with whom you’d like to have a drink?

I don’t quite know…I’d have some things to ask to Franz Kafka, I’d really love to have a drink with him in the 1920s. Do something really crazy together, I can really picture it, me and him having a beer in Prague. 

The best food from your city? (Alcamo)

Damn, ok look, this is still part of the myth of Alcamo, what I mentioned before, the food of Alcamo is all delicious, it’s part of the exotic imaginary of Sicily. But now that I think of it, there is this sandwich place called Richard, it makes sandwiches with panelle (these local fritters made with chickpea flour), and it’s the place all construction workers go to. From 12 to 2/ 3pm the workers are in there, it doesn’t cost a thing and its sandwiches are amazing: panelle and mortadella or panelle and harissa, delicious! Maybe I’ll go later haha!

Do you go to the cinema alone?

Nope, never went.

Do you have a life hack for us?

Well, there are many. Coming back to the myth of Alcamo, here with my mates of Landescape (a residency program that I run here in Alcamo https://www.instagram.com/landescape2015/) we have quite a few rituals. Having removed money as a form of exchange between us, everything is ritualised, there is nothing consumerist. Here every evening we switch on a fire before going to bed, I don’t know why, but it’s something that we do often in Claudio’s parking. He is the fire, our shaman, and together with Ciccio, our cook and steward, they make our source of energy. They created this project called Minkia Cavaru (in english it translates to Super Hot) where fundamentally they cure people with energy, food and fire. I also made my bed every morning for a month, and my life was a bit better, but then I told myself I couldn’t be bothered, fire works better. 

A question or something you’ve been reflecting on?

The question is very simple: Do you know how to practice silence?

And practically my response is: no. It’s something I’m trying to work on, that’s basically about disappearing. My work in the last period dwells on the absence of the body, doing things in the absence of the body, especially without an intention, so really silencing every form of desire as though I’m practicing some form of automutilation. The oral or verbal dimension in me is very prominent, it’s very much part of what I do, and I’d like to stop it. The use of word is an obstacle in attempting to reach anything sacred, beyond hypothetical religions, beliefs or theories, I intend that further level signifying reality; like another dimension. And this thing we can only but find it outside of ourselves, and therefore inside of ourselves, I don’t know if I’m explaining myself, but I really like these philosophical riddles.

28.06.19 @?hl=en

Qual’è la tua teoria del complotto preferita? 

Beh, in realtà tutte. In particolare quella di ‘Flat Earth’ (terra piatta) perché racchiude in sé tutte le altre. Mi piace crearne di nuove e fare un mix delle varie teorie, tipo prendere un po’ di Flat Earth e metterla insieme con I Savi di Sion, I Rettiliani con quella di Ronaldo e la Finale World Cup 1998. Mi piace costruire ‘new mythology’ con cose vere e cose finte per accreditare la mia personale: quella di Alcamo, la città in cui vivo. È una teoria per cui Alcamo è un specie di centro del mondo ai confini della terra, dove passano tutti, in un modo o in un altro, e io continuo ad ingrandire questa cospirazione con fonti vere. Per esempio c’è il mito di Minosse e Cocalo di Erodoto dell’V sec. a.c. dove si narrano le vicende di Eracle in Sicilia, al fine di legittimare l’azione colonizzatrice greca in Sicilia, iniziata qualche secolo prima. Eracle, che tornava nell’isola dopo aver ritrovato il toro fuggito dalla mandria di Gerione, ingaggiò una sfida con il re sicano della zona: Erice. Quest’ultimo era un ottimo pugile e sfidò Eracle ad un combattimento in cinque riprese. Eracle accettò la sfida, alla condizione che Erice mettesse in palio il suo regno contro il toro fuggito dalla mandria di Gerione. Eracle vinse le prime quattro riprese; infine sollevò Erice alto sulle braccia, lo scaraventò a terra e lo uccise, e così insegnò ai Siciliani che chi è nato da una dea non è sempre immortale. Le muse per ringraziarlo fecero sgorgare dell’acqua calda dal monte Inico e infatti ci sono queste terme libere, super wild, vicino a Alcamo dove tu vai per godere dell’elisir di lunga vita. E questa è una trappola, a tutta la gente che conosco racconto sta roba e così li convinco a venire alle terme.

Che specie di turista sei?

Difficilissimo…perché io non ho soldi per fare il turista di base. Cioè, non proprio, è che non voglio permettermi di esserlo, un turista, perché mi da proprio fastidio, è una cosa che non mi piace. Però mi piace comprare i souvenir dove vado nelle città, per lavoro o altre cose che faccio. Penso sempre a portare dei souvenir a mia mamma, tipo ero a Basilea di recente e ho trovato questi taglieri bellissimi per i formaggi o salumi. Si, comunque sono un turista che acquista souvenir. Mi piace avere delle piccole cose in casa che mi ricordano quei luoghi. 

Qual’è il tuo ‘spirit animal’?

Lo so! Lo so veramente! Il mio ‘spirit animal’ è l’unione tra il capricorno, perché io sono un  capricorno, con il mio segno cinese (che ora non mi ricordo, ma sono nato nel 90)…comunque in ogni caso il mio spirit animal è il salmone. Sono un cazzo di salmone che risale le correnti, minchia sempre da solo, poi comunque i salmoni non fanno neanche sesso, cioè sta roba che i pesci non fanno sesso è assurda…quindi capita che risalgo i fiumi al contrario, e faccio un po’ di fatica. Sì, sono un salmone.

C’è un progetto che hai fatto nel passato che ti imbarazza?

Tutto in realtà…c’è un libro di racconti che ho scritto quando avevo dai 15 ai 16 anni, quelli mi imbarazzano tantissimo, sono proprio strani. Parlano di cose super astratte ma anche super concrete, ci sono dei personaggi fittizi inventati con dei nomi, cosa che ora non scriverei mai più, ma ogni tanto me lo vado a rileggere per capire com’è che è andata cosí.

Cosa stai ascoltando in questi giorni?

Sto ascolto tanto questa canzone che si chiama ‘don’t call me up’ di Mabel, bellissima. È una super cosa pop commerciale…ma mi piace anche la noise music, free jazz, ho scoperto questo gruppo che si chiama Goat, bellissimo, e poi di recente stavo ascoltando un gruppo punk di Milano degli anni 90 che si chiama Wolfango.  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9TQKyDD9Yig

 

Una persona con cui ti piacerebbe andare a bere qualcosa?

Non lo so…avrei delle robe da chiedere a Franz Kafka, mi piacerebbe un bordello andare a bere una cosa con lui nel 1920. Fare con lui una roba super pazza, mi ci vedo proprio io e lui a prenderci una birra a Praga.

Il miglior cibo di dove sei? (Alcamo)

Minchia, guarda, qua, fa sempre parte del mito di Alcamo, di quello di cui parlavamo prima: il cibo di Alcamo è tutto buono, fa parte dell’immaginario esotico della Sicilia. Però ad Alcamo se ci penso c’è questo posto che è una panineria che si chiama Richard, fa panini con le panelle, ed è la panineria di tutti i muratori. Lí da mezzogiorno fino alle 2 / 3 ci sono i muratori, costa pochissimo e fa un panino super buono: panelle e mortadella oppure panelle e harissa, buonissimo! Poi dopo magari vado haha!

Vai al cinema da solo?

No, mai andato.

Un life hack per noi?

Beh, ce ne sono tanti. Sempre tornando al mito di Alcamo, qui con i miei compagni di Landescape (un programma di residenza che gestisco qui ad Alcamo https://www.instagram.com/landescape2015/?hl=en ) facciamo tanti rituali. Avendo tolto il denaro come forma di scambio tra di noi, tutto è ritualizzato, non c’è niente di consumistico. Qui, ogni sera accendiamo un fuoco, prima di andare a letto, non so perché, però è una cosa che spesso faccio nel parcheggio di Claudio. Lui è il fuoco, il nostro sciamano, e insieme a Cicco, il nostro cuoco e cambusiere, sono l’energia da cui attingiamo. Insieme hanno creato questo progetto che si chiama Minkia Cavuru, in inglese Super Hot, di base curano le persone con l’energia, il cibo e il fuoco. Poi per un mese ho rifatto il letto ogni mattina, e la mia vita è andata un po’ meglio, ma poi mi sono detto che non c’avevo sbatti, il fuoco funziona meglio. 

Una domanda o una riflessione per noi?

La domanda è molto semplice, la domanda è: Sai esercitare il silenzio? 

E in pratica, la mia risposta è: no. È una cosa su cui sto cercando di lavorare, che è quella di scomparire. Il mio lavoro dell’ultimo periodo tratta questioni sull’assenza del corpo, fare cose in assenza del corpo e soprattutto senza un’intenzione, quindi proprio mettere a tacere qualsiasi forma di desiderio, come se praticassi delle automutilazioni. La mia dimensione orale o verbale  è molto prolissa, fa molto parte di quello che faccio, e mi piacerebbe stopparla. 

L’uso della parola mi è di ostacolo nel recuperare una qualsiasi forma di sacro, al di là di ipotetiche religioni o credenze o teorie, intendo quell’ulteriore livello significazione del reale, un’altra dimensione. E questa cosa qui non possiamo che trovarla fuori da noi, e quindi in realtà dentro di noi, non so se mi spiego, ma mi piacciono molto i rompicapo super filosofici.

Tania Fiaccadori

29.05.19 @tania.eff

What weight do your friendships have in your daily life?

I can say that I have very few friends but they’re extremely trustworthy and close so they count quite a lot. As they’re only a few, and as they’re people from the art world, I tend to discuss a lot with them, and I trust their advice, being friends this way, if something is not working in my work they tell me and it generally turns out to be a constructive exchange.

Your favourite candy as a child?

The Pomo candies! They were these sugar and apple juice candies from Reggio Emilia, I’m from Reggio Emilia. I don’t even know if they were ever exported from Reggio hehe. Probably they still exist but they’ve remained products you buy at markets, let’s just say that I don’t see them that often…I hope they still exist!

The past 3 pictures you liked on instagram?

It’s probably going to be pictures of cats haha!

Do you have collections of objects?

Yes. Too many! I’m sort of like a serial accumulator. So, the first things that come to mind, when I was young I used to have a collection of carillons, but I don’t have it with me, they were useless objects but I was really fascinated by them. And now I have a collection of deity statuettes from various cults and a collection of stones and crystals. My last works have lots of references to these sorts of objects.

If you were a movie villain who would that be?

Yubaba comes to mind: the antagonist in Spirited Away by Hayao Miyazaki. I like this character because, as most protagonists in this film: it’s a spirit, and it possesses a moral that is totally different to that of human beings. It’s natural to want to define it as ‘evil’, but in reality it’s neither evil nor good, maybe not even neutral. It’s simply what it is.

An original designer object you wish you had in your living room?

I’m not particularly attracted to modern design, nor to the specific figure of a designer, but if I were to imagine an ideal living room, I believe that that perfection between form and functionality (that should be the foundation of design) is to be found in the Japanese living room: with the low table, the tatami, the tea set, the wall with a single calligraphy painting. If I’m to think of one specific object, not very well known in Italy, I’d say: The Katoributa (蚊取り豚). It’s a traditional Japanese object, often made by had by talented craftsmen. It’s a small pig that serves as an incense porter or smoke mosquito repellent carrier. Its form derives from the antique Japanese belief of associating the wild pig to the deity that tames fire.

A song you believe doesn’t deserve the success it got or it is getting?

Even songs of the past? There are so many…I’ll mention one that’s quite dated but that’s sort of come back not long ago: Dolceamaro by Barbara D’Urso. It’s not that I despise the song in itself or the remix by Malgioglio, but it’s because she remains the personification of evil.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=bj10J2MNS6s

If you could create an impossible exhibition, how would it be?

I’d get rid of all physical or spatial limitations…I’d love to create an exhibition on the ocean floor, working and living underwater, and doing it in such a way that others too may breathe underwater and live the exhibition without limits. So I’d use the ocean as ambient and I have to say that the barrier reef would be an ideal location! Also, I’d like to work with artists like Jon Rafman or Hito Steyerl…

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

 

Oh yes, recently I have discovered this search engine and app browser called Ecosia, it works basically like google and chrome, and it’s almost as convenient (except for the image search – google is more direct). However, this one is special, because for every 70 searches or something like that, they plant a tree thanks to the profit made by ads. The operations on Ecosia are all very transparent and traceable, available for viewing on their pages, and they’re super careful when it come sto privacy.

https://www.ecosia.org/

 

Something you’ve been reflecting on lately?

Lately I’m asking myself a lot of questions and a lot of my research is based on unsolved mysteries of the universe. In here there’s a bit of everything, from people missing, to unexplained phenomenons, the enigmas tied to ancient civilisations far from being resolved. Possibly the most fascinating part of this sort of reflection lies in the fact we might never reach a unique truth. Trivially we can think of antique structures such as Stonehenge, or the pyramids, there are still thousands of speculations. I recently re-visited he Museo Egizio in Turin: every time I go it seems that there is always more to discover, still many questions without answers: the ancient civilisations and the persistence of mythical images in the contemporary imaginary are a fundamental part of my research.

29.05.19 @tania.eff

Quale peso hanno le tue amicizie nella tua vita?

Posso dire di avere pochi veri amici fidati, per cui contano parecchio. Essendo pochi, ed essendo persone del mondo dell’arte tendo a confrontarmi molto con loro, e mi fido molto del loro parere, essendo amici così se qualcosa non funziona me lo dicono ed è uno scambio solitamente costruttivo.

Le tue caramelle preferite da bimba?

Le Pomo! Erano caramelle allo zucchero e succo di mela di Reggio Emilia, io sono di Reggio Emilia. Non so neanche quanto siano espatriate da Reggio hehe. Probabilmente esistono ancora ma sono rimaste delle cose da mercato, diciamo che non le vedo spesso…penso, spero esistono!

Le 3 ultime foto dove hai messo like su instragram?

Probabilmente sono gatti hahah!

Hai delle collezioni di oggetti?

Si. Hahah, troppe! Diciamo che sono leggermente accumulatrice seriale. Allora, le prime che mi vengono in mente, quando ero piccola avevo una collezione di carillon, che però non ho qui, erano degli oggetti ‘inutili’ ma estremamente affascinanti. E Adesso invece ho una collezione di statuette di divinità di vari culti e una collezione di pietre e cristalli. Negli ultimi miei lavori non mancano alcuni riferimenti a questo tipo di oggetti e immagini.

Se tu fossi un cattivo di un film, chi saresti?

Mi viene in mente Yubaba: L’antagonista di Spirited Away di  Hayao Miyazaki. Mi piace questo personaggio perchè, trattandosi come la maggior parte dei protagonisti di questo film di uno Spirito,  possiede una morale del tutto diversa da quella comune agli esseri umani. Viene naturale definirla “malvagia”, ma in realtà non è ne’ malvagia ne’ buona, forse nemmeno neutrale. E’ semplicemente quello che è.

Un oggetto design che ti piacerebbe avere in salotto?

Non sono particolarmente attratta dal design moderno comunemente inteso, né a una figura specifica di designer, ma se immagino un salotto ideale, trovo che la perfezione tra forma e funzione (che dovrebbe essere il fondamento del design) si trovi in quello giapponese: con il tavolino basso, il tatami, il set da tè, la parete con una singolo dipinto calligrafico. Pensando tuttavia a un oggetto specifico, poco comune in Italia, direi il Katoributa (蚊取り豚). Si tratta di un oggetto tradizionale giapponese, spesso realizzato a mano da abili artigiani. E’ un piccolo maialino che funge da porta zampirone/incensi ed antizanzare. La sua forma deriva da un’antica credenza giapponese che associa il Maiale Selvatico alla divinità domatrice del fuoco.

Una canzone che non merita il successo che sta avendo o che ha avuto?

Anche canzoni del passato? Ce ne sono una marea… Per citarne una, piuttosto datata ma che è tornata alla ribalta da poco tempo: Dolceamaro di Barbara D’Urso. Non tanto per la canzone in sé o per il remix di Malgioglio, ma perché lei rimane la personificazione del male.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=bj10J2MNS6s

Se potessi curare una mostra immaginaria, come la faresti?

Eliminerei qualunque limite spaziale e fisico… Vorrei realizzare una mostra sul fondale marino, lavorando e vivendo sott’acqua, facendo anche in modo che tutti possano respirare nel mare e vivere la mostra senza alcuna limitazione. Userei dunque come ambientazione l’oceano, in particolare la barriera corallina sarebbe il luogo ideale! Altrettanto, mi piacerebbe lavorare con artisti come Jon Rafman o Hito Steyerl…

Hai un life hack da condividere con noi?

Ah sì, ultimamente ho scoperto un motore di ricerca ed app browser chiamato Ecosia, funziona pressoché come Google e Chrome, ed è quasi altrettanto comodo (salvo per la ricerca immagini – Google in qual caso è più diretto). Ma la cosa speciale è che ogni 70 ricerche, o qualcosa del genere, piantano un albero grazie ai guadagni degli ads. Le operazioni di Ecosia è molto trasparente e tracciabile, consultabile online sulle loro pagine, sono inoltre molto attenti alla questione privacy.

 

https://www.ecosia.org/

 

Qualcosa su cui stai riflettendo ultimamente?

Ultimamente mi sto facendo molte domande e molta ricerca su misteri mai svelati dell’universo. Direi in tutti i campi, dalla scomparsa di persone ai fenomeni inspiegabili, agli enigmi legati ad antiche civiltà non ancora del tutto risolti. Anche se forse la parte più affascinante di questo tipo di riflessioni è che difficilmente sarà possibile arrivare ad una verità, o forse nemmeno esiste una sola verità incontrovertibile. Banalmente pensiamo ad antiche strutture come Stonehenge, o alle grandi piramidi, ci sono ancora oggi mille speculazioni. Ho rivisitato di recente il Museo Egizio di Torino: ogni volta sembra che ci sia ancora molto da scoprire, ancora tante domande senza risposta: le antiche civiltà e il persistere di immagini mitiche nell’immaginario contemporaneo sono parte importante anche della mia ricerca artistica.

Jerome

26.05.19 @?hl=en

When does research end and the making process begin for you?

I don’t know you know..I guess I don’t see the 2 as the same thing, the research continuously informs the making, so the research doesn’t really stop, it always goes on and you just decide to start making because you just feel like that electric feeling; you feel so electric and charged that you have to go for it, you get to a point in the research where something excites you so much that you need to express it. So there the making begins but the research continues to inform you and continues to provide the parts of creative energy…and you continue with the refine, release, bla bla, the different stages in whatever it is that you’re making. For some of the paintings I do, the initial process is really slow, it could take months to finish and I’d have to work on other stuff at the same time, so I always continuously have to research things.

A show people need to go see now?

There is that one…uhmmm….Phyllida Barlow, at the Royal Academy, it’s the recent one that I saw that just helped me see, in terms of the standard of work and the ways of presenting it, the difference in level. It’s degree show time, so seeing other degree shows and preparing for my own (Royal College of Art, Painting), obviously it’s different when there is this institutions giving you all this space to show your work but at the same time it’s still interesting to see how to use the space. I feel like it’s a show people definitely need see right now.  

Ice cream or crips?

Crisps. Although, right now, I’d say ice cream, but in general I’d go for crisps. The ice cream, I’d go for the Solero, tropical one, or a Twister, one of those two, really fruity, or a mango-like flavour. Ok I’m changing my mind, definitely ice cream. Ah man, I really want that right now, I’m probably gonna have to go buy one after this interview haha.

Something you learnt this week?

This week has been insane, like so much stuff has happened. Let me think… I learnt about this psychologist called Edward de Bono. So learning about his work and how he uses these 6 six hats that create learning situations and learning environments that force the participants to think more creatively. And I learnt how to put that into practice in a workshop with the help of my friend Charlotte. It’s a really amazing thing, just by using a list you can get to the root of what you really feel about any subject. And that was quite a big thing this week.

 Can you show us some pics of recent work?

The piece on the ground is called Mayfly, it was an installation in the Hockney gallery where students and staff were invited to write down their grievances with the RCA and institutions supporting unethical art practices.

That lead onto my current series called Action Black, where all the black paint has been peeled from floor boards that have been through a lived experience (like the Mayfly installation). Some of these are ‘sketches’ for larger works.

And finally Royal Flush was a performance where I gambled to reach the amount of my tuition fee.

If you could go on a date with any living thinker, who would they be?

Oh damn…is Deleuze dead? Haha…Oh, I would probably want to go with Fred Moten, he’s an American writer who wrote that book ‘The Undercommons’, he’s a real prominent figure who talks about blackness. If it wasn’t him, the second on my list would be the woman who wrote ‘Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race’, Reni Eddo-Lodge. Oh no! Forget all of that! Number one is Angela Davis! Oh yea, hands down, if I could meet that woman I wouldn’t even try to pick her brain, I’d just spend the whole evening making sure she had fun, I would just try to make her laugh as a way to say thank you. Definitely Angela Davis haha.

What’s the plan for your next holiday?

The nearest time in terms of holiday time is my favourite time of the year which is Carnival: The Notting Hill Carnival is 3 days this year which is insane, I’m so excited! Apparently it’s the biggest street festival in Europe, it’s origins come from the Caribbean and West London. I was speaking to a friend earlier today who is going to have a party on the Saturday, so yeah, basically that is my holiday plan coming up and I’m really looking forward to it! The food, the dancing, non stop vibes, so great. It’s going to be at the end of August, come along!

A form of intelligence/skill you wish you had?

I thought about this the other day, I wish I knew how to play an instrument. The three I would love, would be guitar, bass guitar and piano.

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

A super-life-hack is…I mean I know that everybody is different and that their reasoning is different but my thing is that I proper follow my intuition to whatever end and I’m happy with the results of that. It tends to lead to positive things more than anything actually, but I know that it doesn’t work for every body; ‘I follow my intuition and now I’m broke bla bla bla’… Basically my biggest life hack is to learn the rules but then bend them to fit you, that’s basically what I do in every situation.

Something you’ve been reflecting on lately?

I’ve been reflecting a lot on my relationships really, the emphasis on my friendships with people and what that means, or what role that plays in my life and their lives and the significance of it all. It’s difficult because I haven’t come to a conclusion, I’ve just been thinking about it recently…I’m thinking about the people I care about the most and that I rely on, and on how loyalty is huge…This inspired a train of thought that made me realise that I’m really grateful of the network that I have. ‘Network’ is such a corporate term, so rather just grateful for the friends that I have. Some of the people that I call my friends and that call me their friend, I really consider them geniuses. I know that what is said with them and whatever conclusion we come to from conversations, discussions or back and forth about a situation I have in my mind, I’m going to put out there in the world as truth, as my truth. I’ve really come to appreciate my network. I used to find it corny when older artists would be like ‘Oh it’s not about getting 10 million pounds per artwork, it’s about your network’, I used to think in my head ‘oh you’re just saying that because you didn’t make it’, but I get it now, I really do haha!

26.05.19 @?hl=en

Per te quando finisce la ricerca e inizia il processo di produzione di un lavoro?

Non lo so…penso che le due cose siano diverse, la ricerca informa continuamente la produzione, quindi la ricerca non si ferma mai, continua e decidi tu quando si inizia a creare perché senti quella carica elettrica e ti devi lanciare, arrivi a quel punto nella ricerca dove qualcosa ti eccita così tanto che lo devi esprimere. Così inizia la creazione, ma la ricerca fa da guida e provvede quelle parti di energia creativa…e tu continui a perfezionare per i vari stadi di quello che stai facendo. Per alcuni dipinti che faccio, il processo iniziale è molto lento, ci posso mettere mesi quindi lavoro su altre cose allo stesso tempo, quindi devo sempre fare ricerche continue.

Una mostra che la gente deve vedere ora?

C’è quella…mmmm…Phyllida Barlow alla Royal Academy a Londra, è una mostra recente che mi ha aiutato a vedere un alto livello di qualità del lavoro e modi di presentarlo. In questo momento è il periodo dei ‘degree show’ (mostre di Accademie), quindi sto vedendo altri degree show e sto preparando il mio (del corso di Pittura alla Royal College). Ovviamente è diverso quando un’istituzione ti sta dando tutto questo spazio ma allo stesso tempo è interessante vedere come viene usato lo spazio. Penso assolutamente che sia una mostra che la gente deve vedere in questo momento.

Gelato o patatine?

Patatine. Ma, ora come ora, direi gelato, ma in generale preferisco patatine. Sceglierei il Solero, quello tropicale, o il Twister, uno dei due, super fruttuoso, o un gusto al mango. Ok, sto cambiando idea, gelato sicuro. Mamma mia, lo voglio ora, dovrò di sicuro comprarne uno dopo questa interview.  

Qualcosa che hai imparato questa settimana?

Questa settimana è stata pazzesca, sono successe tantissime cose. Lasciatemi pensare… Ho scoperto questo psicologo che si chiama Edward Bono. Ho imparato cose sul suo lavoro e su come usa questa teoria dei 6 cappelli per creare situazioni di insegnamento che aiutano i partecipanti a pensare in modo più creativo. E ho imparato attraverso un workshop con l’aiuto della mia amica Charlotte a mettere in pratica questo insegnamento. È una cosa incredibile, semplicemente usando una lista uno può arrivare alla radice di quello che sente veramente per un argomento. E quello è stato una gran bella cosa per me questa settimana.

Ci puoi far vedere alcuni tuoi lavori recenti?

Il lavoro per terra si chiama Mayfly, era un’istallazione alla Hockney Gallery (Royal College of Art) dove gli studenti e i professori erano invitati a scrivere le loro lamentele con l’RCA e gli istituti che sostengono pratiche non etiche.

Quello mi ha diretto alla mie serie chiamata Action Black, dove tutta la pittura nera è quella rimossa dai pannelli in terra che hanno vissuto un’esperienza (come nell’istallazione Mayfly).

E finalmente Royal Flush è una performance dove ho scommesso per poter arrivare a una quantità di soldi permettendomi di pagare le mie tasse scolastiche.

Se potessi uscire con un intellettuale vivente, chi sarebbe?

Oh mamma…Deleuze è morto no? Haha…Oh, uscirei probabilmente con Fred Moten, è uno scrittore americano che ha scritto ‘The Undercommons’, è una figura importante che parla di blackness. Se non fosse lui, la seconda persona sulla mia lista sarebbe la donna che ha scritto ‘Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race’, Reni Eddo-Lodge. Ah no! Dimenticate tutto! Il mio numero uno è Angela Davis! Ah sì, senza dubbio, se potessi incontrare quella donna non proverei neanche a farle domande ma spenderei tutta la serata assicurandomi che si stesse divertendo, cercherei di farla ridere come modo di ringraziarla. Di sicuro Angela Davis haha.

Cos’hai in programma per la tua prossima vacanza?

La vacanza più vicina, che è il mio momento preferito dell’anno, è il carnevale: il carnevale di Notting Hill, che quest’anno dura 3 giorni, non vedo l’ora! A quanto pare è il più grosso festival di strada d’Europa, le sue origini provengono dai Caraibi e dalle zone a ovest di Londra. Stavo parlando con un’amica prima che ha in programma di fare una festa quel sabato, quindi si tutto lì, il mio programma per le prossime vacanze, e non vedo proprio l’ora! Il cibo, ballare, un super ambiente, fantastico. Sarà alla fine di agosto, venite!

Una forma di intelligenza che vorresti avere?

Ci stavo proprio pensando di recente, mi piacerebbe saper suonare uno strumento musicale. I tre che vorrei saper suonare sono la chitarra, il basso e il piano.

Hai un life hack da condividere con noi?

Un super life hack è…insomma, so che siamo tutti diversi e che ognuno ragiona in modo diverso ma per me il trucco è seguire la propria intuizione fino in fondo, e io sono contento dei risultati. Tende ad avere risultati positivi più che altro, ma so che non funziona per tutti: ‘seguo il mio intuito e ora non ho più soldi bla bla bla’…Praticamente il mio più grosso life hack è imparare le regole e poi piegarle per adattarle a te stesso, è praticamente quello che faccio per qualsiasi situazione.

Qualcosa sul quale stai riflettendo ultimamente?

Sto riflettendo molto sulle mie relazioni, l’enfasi sulle mie amicizie e quello che vuol dire, o quale ruolo hanno nella mia vita e il significato di tutto ciò. È difficile perché non sono arrivato a una conclusione, ci sto solo pensando ultimamente…Sto pensando alla gente a cui tengo molto e sulla quale dipendo, su quanto sia grande la fedeltà…Questo ha ispirato un filo di pensieri che mi ha fatto realizzare quanto sono grato della mia rete. ‘Rete’ o ‘Network’ è un termine molto serio, quindi sono solo grato degli amici che ho. Alcune delle persone che chiamo i miei amici e che mi chiamano loro amico, li considero davvero dei geni. So che tra quello che ci diciamo e a qualsiasi conclusione arriviamo da conversazioni, discussioni e avanti indietro su una situazione che ho in mente, la farò uscire come una verità nel mondo, come la mia verità. Quindi ho veramente imparato ad apprezzare il mio network. Lo trovavo veramente banale quando artisti più grandi dicevano ‘Oh, non si tratta di ottenere 10 milioni di sterline per opera d’arte, si tratta del tuo network’, prima pensavo ‘ah, lo stai dicendo perché non ce l’hai fatta’, ma ora capisco, capisco veramente hahah!

Eloïse Bonneviot

What doesn’t allow you to make work? (other than financial limitations)

I think I would say…time, but time is tied to money so there definitely is a connection there. If I remove the financial part, I think nothing prevents me from doing work basically. I think that’s the golden key. Everything that I can think of related to making work can be solve with money. Like if you’re a mum and if you have money, you can hire somebody to look after your kids and then you can pursue your practice. Work could be a thing but then if I have money I don’t need to work. Everyday stuff such as tidying the house, doing admin, if I have money, I don’t need to do that, someone can do it for me. So really, I would say just money.

What were your 3 favourite games as a child?

Wow…that’s difficult. I loved playing Playmobil and Barbie. Playmobil I really loved, I was into models, so it was a way for me of being into models. Then as a child, I would watch my brother play Zelda on Super NES and that has been and still is my favourite video game in the whole world. So that and playmobil are like my 2 favourite games.

If you were allowed only one plant in your house/garden which one would you pick?

It’s so hard because in a way my practice is so connected to permaculture and ecology. I don’t think about things individually, for me everything is connected and it’s hard to untie all these things. To pick one is so against the way I think. That being said, the serious part of me would think ‘you need something like potatoes’ then the more frivolous part of me is like ‘yeah, no, you actually need tomatoes, they are awesome, delicious and they look good when they grow’…But I would definitely take a plant that grows food in any case.

One thing that terrifies you?

Uhmmm….I think the ultimate thing that terrifies me is death. I know it’s something tied to vanity but this idea has recently woken me up at night with anxiety thinking ‘then I’m going to die’. It’s so weird and so bizarre, this idea that you have been there, you have a brain, you think, you are very active, this is you, your body and then it’s over. It’s so absurd!? And yet, it makes sense…I’m trying to make peace with that…but because I don’t believe in any god or anything else I think that this contemplation is really brutal. And because of that, I’m super scared of accidents. It’s unplanned, there are so many things I wanna do, I can’t afford to have an accident! That would be terrible I still have too many things to do!

If you could dis-invent one thing what would it be?

Capitalism! Hahaha… If I could disinvent something I think maybe it would be cars and roads, especially asphalt and concrete roads. It’s that thing that is used to make things really accessible, making you access places you can’t access normally. It flattens everything and then it kills, it cuts things in two, there is no way for animals to cross. It’s noisy, it’s made in a way that emits a shit load of particles that kill children and people, nothing can grow on it. It’s the most useless horrible thing that I can think of. Recently I’ve been thinking a lot of a way to reform the idea of a road and trying to rethink this axe of communication in a different way.

What’s the weirdest thing you watched this last week?

I watched this movie called Mandy from a Greek director called Panos Cosmatos. It’s a movie with Nicolas Cage. This director is totally INSANE and this movie was insane too and so good because Nicolas Cage became really kitsch as an actor. I guess he was always kitsch but now it’s in your face kitsch. For a director it’s probably really hard to use Nicolas Cage as an actor but he made him look super kitsch in an amazing way. This movie is violent, gorgeous and weird in an amazing way. It was a pretty intense experience.

What’s the most ambitious dish you ever attempted to make?

Ok, there are 2 answers to that! There was a period when I was living in Amsterdam, with Anne my partner, we had just bought this book on Indian food and we attempted to make a full Indian dinner, you know, not with one dish but several dishes and rice and chapati, all from scratch. I think we spent the day cooking, we had food for days after that, it was really delicious but definitely a cooking madness! That was one thing, the other crazy dish I did was actually in the same period haha, we tried to make dolmades, these vine leaves stuffed with rice. It’s really nice. I want to do it again but it’s pretty hard to do. We have a Greek friend that came over and said ‘this doesn’t taste like dolmades, I don’t know what this is’ hahaha and we were like; we put so much effort into this please say it tastes good! I think there is something amazing with spending days in the kitchen cooking, it’s very relaxing and you lose yourself entirely, I love it!

A water related skill you wish you had?

I think I wish I could dive without bottles, free diving, I wish I was really good at that. Sometimes I try, I do it a little bit but I’m really not that good at it. There is something really amazing in holding your breath and being with the fish and that moment of anxiety when you go up and you don’t know if you have enough air. It’s really about monitoring your body, releasing the pressure from your ears, evaluating if you can go there or not and there’s something super scary also in going deep without equipment. I dove deep once, to see this ferry boat that sunk, and diving under that mass and thinking oh it’s going to be easy but it’s not and you’re like what am I doing!? Haha, It’s really quite epic, I get the same kind of high as when I’m hiking, there is something similar there.

A screenshot/image of something ur woking on?

Roughly, I am working on something related to the Black Plague and the way it was handled in Europe in relation to the way in which we envision borders nowadays and how that disease acted both on a very intimate level within the body and with close relationships with the family on a day to day basis but also how it’s removed and how it’s happening far away.

If we gifted you with a vehicle which one would you have?

I would have a self driving electric car, not specifically a Tesla but it’s important that it’s self- driving and electrical. I don’t want to drive anymore. I’m also very sick in the car when others drive so I can’t do anything and all I can do is look outside the window or sleep. It’s a very meditative moment, forced meditation.

A life hack for us?

I have many life hacks! Many many many. You don’t need to wash your face, especially if you have a skin that gives you spots, it’s better not to wash your face with soap because it will create an unbalance in your skin, so only rinse your face with water, don’t wash it with soap. Ah and you don’t need to put avocado pits with those little clips with water, just put it in the earth for christ sake, like a normal plant, 100% success rate. I don’t know where this idea came from, it’s really weird.

Question or reflection for us?

(As an artist) when do you start researching and when do you start making? That’s the thing I’ve been struggling with and I keep wondering about it with my work. I have 3 thousand tabs open and they’re all super interesting and I read something and think that that could be a full work in itself and I get carried away. At some point you need to start making and forget about that, take a step back, a step of freedom and forget about the research. It’s super interesting, I love it but it is not the work. That’s the most difficult thing for me, I get swallowed into research material and I don’t know what my work is about anymore.

Che cosa non ti permette di lavorare? (a parte le limitazioni finanziarie)

Penso che direi… il tempo, ma il tempo è legato ai soldi quindi c’è sicuramente un legame lì.Se rimuovo la parte finanziaria, credo che nulla mi impedisca di fare il mio lavoro fondamentalmente. Penso che questa sia la chiave. Tutto ciò che mi viene in mente in relazione al fare lavoro può essere risolto con i soldi, per esempio se sei una madre e se hai i soldi, puoi assumere qualcuno che si prenda cura dei tuoi figli, se ho i soldi allora non ho bisogno di lavorare. Le cose di tutti i giorni, tipo pulire la casa e le cose amministrative, se ho soldi posso pagare qualcuno per farlo. Quindi veramente direi che e una questione di soldi. Tutto ciò che mi viene in mente in relazione al fare lavoro può essere risolto con il denaro.

I tuoi tre giochi preferiti da bambina?

Wow…questo è difficile. Mi piaceva giocare a Playmobil e Barbie. I Playmobil li amavo, mi piacevano un sacco i modellini, perciò per me era un modo di giocare con modellini. Da piccola guardavo mio fratello giocare a Zelda sul Super NES e quello era ed e ancora il mio videogioco preferito nel mondo intero. Quindi quello e Playmobil erano i miei giochi preferiti.

Se potessi scegliere soltanto una pianta per la tua casa o il tuo giardino, quale sarebbe?

Ah è così difficile scegliere perché la mia pratica è talmente connessa alla permacultura e l’ecologia, non penso alle cose individualmente perché per me è tutto connesso, ed è difficile slegare tutte queste cose. Scegliere una pianta va proprio contro il mio modo di pensare. La parte seria in me pensa ‘hai bisogno di patate’ e poi la parte più frivola pensa ‘hai bisogno dei pomodori, sono fantastici, squisiti e super belli quando crescono’… in ogni caso sceglierei una pianta che produce cibo.

Una cosa che ti fa molto paura?

Hmmm…. Penso che la cosa che mi faccia più paura sia la morte. So che è qualcosa di vanitoso qui ma di recente quest’idea mi ha svegliato la notte con dei livelli di ansia pensando ‘e poi tra poco  muoio’. È così strano, questa idea che tu sei stato qui, hai un cervello, pensi, sei attivo, questo sei tu, il tuo corpo, e poi finisce tutto. È assurdo?! E ha senso… sto cercando di fare la pace con quest’idea… ma non credo in dio e in qualcos’altro perciò penso che questa contemplazione sia veramente brutale. Ed è per questo motivo che ho super paura degli incidenti, non sono pianificati, ci sono così tante cose che voglio fare, non mi posso permettere di avere un incidente! Sarebbe una cosa terribile ho così tante cose che mi rimangono da fare!

Se potessi dis-inventare qualcosa, cosa sarebbe?

Il capitalismo! Hahaha… sto scherzando. Se potessi disinventare qualcosa penso che sarebbero le macchine e le strade, specialmente quelle di asfalto e di cemento. È una cosa che rende tutto accessibile e ti fa accedere luoghi non facilmente raggiungibili, appiattisce tutto e ammazza, taglia in due, non c’è modo di attraversarle per gli animali, sono rumorose e fabbricate in una maniera che emette delle particelle che uccidono i bimbi e la gente, niente ci cresce. È la cosa più inutile e orribile alla quale posso pensare. Di recente sto pensando tanto a modi di ripensare l’idea della strada, ripensare questo asse di comunicazione in un modo diverso.

La cosa più strana che hai guardato questa settimana?

Ho guardato un film che si chiama Mandy, fatto da un regista greco che si chiama Panos Cosmatos, è un film con Nicolas Cage. Questo regista è pazzo, e questo film è pazzo e fantastico perché Nicolas Cage è diventato kitsch, penso che sia sempre stato kitsch come attore ma ora è kitsch in modo esplicito. In quanto regista penso sia molto difficile usare Nicolas Cage come attore ma lo ha fatto sembrare così kitsch, in un modo spettacolare, questo film è violento, favoloso e strano in un bel modo. È stata un’esperienza abbastanza intensa.

La cosa più ambiziosa che hai cucinato?

Ok ho 2 risposte! C’è stato un periodo in cui vivevo ad Amsterdam, con Anne il mio ragazzo, abbiamo comprato questo libro sulla cucina indiana e abbiamo cercato di ricreare una cena indiana intera, non con un piatto ma con vari piatti e il riso e i chapati da zero. Penso che abbiamo passato la giornata intera a cucinare, avevamo del cibo per ancora giorni dopo, era buonissimo ma di sicuro una pazzia in cucina! Quella era una cosa poi abbiamo cercato di fare un’altro piatto pazzo in quel periodo, abbiamo fatto i dolmades, foglie di vite ripiene di riso, vorrei rifarle ma sono un po’ strane da fare e abbiamo un amico greco che è venuto da noi, ha assaggiato le foglie e ci ha detto che non sapeva cosa fossero ma che di sicuro non erano dolmades. Haha, ci abbiamo messo così tanto sforzo, ci poteva almeno dire che fossero buone! Penso che ci sia qualcosa di fantastico nel passare le giornate a cucinare, è rilassante e ti perdi completamente, mi piace!

Un’abilità legata all’acqua che vorresti avere?

Penso che vorrei poter fare immersioni senza bottiglie, immersioni in apnea, vorrei essere davvero brava in questo. A volte ci provo quando sono in Grecia, lo faccio un po’, ma non sono molto brava. C’è qualcosa di veramente sorprendente nel trattenere il respiro e stare con i pesci e quel momento di ansia quando si sale e non si sa se si ha abbastanza aria. Si tratta davvero di monitorare il proprio corpo, rilasciando la pressione dalle orecchie, valutando se ci si può andare o meno e c’è qualcosa di super spaventoso anche nell’andare in profondità senza attrezzature. Sono scesa in profondità una volta, per vedere una barca affondata, pensando che sarebbe facile ma ma non lo è e poi sei lì tipo ma che cavolo sto facendo? Hahahaha, è davvero epico, mi viene la stessa sensazione di quando faccio escursioni, c’è qualcosa di simile lì.

 

 

Uno screenshot/immagine di qualcosa su cui si sta svegliando?

Vagamente, sto lavorando su qualcosa che riguarda la peste nera e il modo in cui è stata gestita in Europa in relazione al modo in cui immaginiamo i confini di oggi e come quella malattia ha agito sia a livello molto intimo all’interno del corpo e con le strette relazioni con la famiglia ma anche come è stata rimossa.

Se ti regalassimo un veicolo quale sceglieresti?

Sceglierei una macchina che si guida da sola, non proprio una Tesla ma una macchina elettrica che si auto-guidi. Non voglio più guidare e sto proprio male quando guidano gli altri, non posso fare nient’altro devo soltanto guardare fuori dal finestrino oppure dormire, è un momento di meditazione forzata.

Un life hack per noi?

Non hai bisogno di lavarti il viso, soprattutto se hai una pelle che ti dà macchie, è meglio non lavarti il viso con il sapone perché creerà uno squilibrio nella pelle, quindi risciacqua solo il viso con acqua, non lavarlo con il sapone. Ah e non c’è bisogno di fare crescere gli avocadi con i bastoncini nell’acqua, basta metterlo sulla terra per l’amor di Dio, come una pianta normale, ha un tasso di successo del 100%. Non so da dove è nata quest’idea, è davvero strana.

Una riflessione o pensiero per noi?

 

(In quanto artista) quando inizia la ricerca e quando inizia il lavoro? È la cosa con la quale faccio più fatica e ci continuo a pensare con il mio lavoro. Ho tremila tabelle aperte e sono tutte super interessanti e appena leggo qualcosa che potrebbe essere un lavoro pieno in se stesso mi faccio prendere ma a un certo punto si deve iniziare a creare e dimenticare tutto ciò, prendere un passo indietro, un passo di libertà e dimenticare la ricerca.  E’ super interessante, mi piace, ma non è il lavoro. Questa è la cosa più difficile per me, vengo ingoiata dal materiale di ricerca e non so più di che cosa sia il mio lavoro.

Sae Yeoun Hwang

How important is spirituality in your daily life?

Not so important but lately I’ve been having a lot of talks about spirituality with my friends. Like, I love hearing how they’re spiritually connected because I feel like I’ve never really had that experience, I grew up in a very secular family… and I was quite anti-christianity and anti-religion in general hahaha, because in Korea there are very particular people that go to the church, they try to make kids go to church and they come after you on Sunday and I’m like ‘Oh no!’. Both my parents were non believers because both of their mums, my grandmas, are superstitious so they became sort of opposite to that. But my mum is now a buddhist and she texts me day quotes all the time hahah. I love hearing my friends’ stories though, hearing how they’re connected to the universe. I went to a performance by Samboleap Tol, she did a ritual/prayer with like hundreds of incense sticks, when that was done we could take a bunch of the incense sticks and lately i’ve been just lighting them in my room and I just make a wish.. I don’t know if it’s like a prayer or I just hope something goes alright today, it’s just a nice thing.

Cherries or Mangos?

Mangos! Definitely! I’ve lived in India so I know what mangos taste like… I still preach about how Alphonso Mango is the best mango in the world. It’s not even yellow, it’s orange, it’s so thick and so good! I don’t think people know how good mangos can get.

The last video watched on Youtube?

It’s these Korean Youtubers where they receive stories from their viewers and they share insight.. I think last night was about getting drunk in the early twenties so they were giving advice; you know how they just went out for one drink but then wake up the next morning and and turns out they went to 3 different bars and did full karaoke and wake up half naked… and I’m like ‘Oh yea shit I used to get that drunk’. I watch that when I have nothing to do or I think sometimes it’s just nice to be connected to content made in Korea when I’m not around. They were sharing the stories of their college days. I think Korea has very specific college culture which I have never experienced but hearing about it is interesting.

If we could gift you with a house, where would you choose to have it?

I dunno, on the top of my head I’m just thinking Barcelona… because it’s so nice! If I can have a house it could be this holiday house. I’ve only been there once for like 5 days but I had such an amazing time. They have so many issues with tourism and there are protests going on, people don’t get enough jobs and the houses are getting so expensive….  but visiting was so horribly nice, the sunshine, the tapas… I just learnt pick up lines in Spanish to get around and old men and women were complimenting me ‘que guapa!’

What’s the last thing that gave you goosebumps?

Hmmm… I think it’s this spoken word by this Palestinian activist. The first time I watched it I cried and every time I re-watch it I get goosebumps. It’s called ‘We teach life Sir’,my undergrad is traditionally pro Palestine and I have a bunch of Palestinian friends, many of them were refugees.There was this group of students for peace and justice for Palestine. My friend played this spoken word, I watch it every once in a while and I cry… and I wonder if I’m doing it as some kind of emotional masturbation, I get into this weird headspace where I wonder: do I really appreciate it or do I need something to feel things?

>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKucPh9xHtM&fbclid=IwAR1SN_dNWN-WiG2c-IlWPVTZjSxqCcNexGW3pi0gBkWHdQ5Z08DXZszSIpY

The best thing your parents cook?

Oh my god… there are so many things. My mum is such a good cook, my dad barely cooks. I’m just going to tell you what she made last night. So my dad and I went to my grandparents’ place and we got some Spring greens, Koreans are really into Spring greens and we just eat them with meat. My mum cooked this pork marinated in soya sauce and fish sauce and you can eat that inside the Spring salad… so you just grab a piece of salad, put the meat inside and just eat it, everything has a different taste layer, a different bitterness… so good!

Is there one of your late paintings of which you know that created strong divided opinions?

I do, I do, yes. I made a painting of this white guy with a gigantic penis and he’s holding a fish. I thought it was funny, the few things that came to my mind when i was making it was the idea of masculinity, I was listening to a Korean rapper and how he talks about his 3rd leg and I thought ‘oh let’s see what this 3rd leg looks like!’. Then I wanted to see if you use Tinder in suburban America you see so many white guys holding a fish and nothing about that is attractive but then when I did my research I noticed they are very self conscious of taking selfies and the only time they do so is when they have their catch. So I just made a painting of this. When I had a group tutorial (because I’m studying Painting at the RCA) my tutor said ‘oh you are stepping on controversial territory, he looks like a working class American that voted for Trump and it looks like you could make fun of a certain group of people from a certain class’. Another thing I wanted to do, that I didn’t see as so controversial was that I wanted to make paintings about stabbing and how it’s perceived as a huge thing in London and I started wondering whether it’s not my territory to make it. Stabbing done by men, often noted as men of colour, men without social support, without a father figure, part of a gang and I’m like ‘Oh fuck, am I just seeing it as a painterly attractive topic?!’ And similarly in that tutorial I had some small paintings of female figures with black hair (that look like me) and I was told to continue making those kinds of paintings. It definitely made me take a step back in what I was doing in this whole politically correct territory and asking myself if it’s my place to make this sort of painting.

An artist you wish was your best friend?

Oh wooow… let me think… I don’t know much about her but I saw some of her work: Cao Fei. Her work is so funny, there was a punch of humour in the last one I saw in Seoul, it’s called Roomba 1, she made a vacuum cleaner go around on a pedestal. It turns out Roombas don’t fall so it just goes round for ever and it doesn’t fall and she makes a very good metaphor for us and technology today. The first work of her’s that I saw was one where she created a new persona of herself on video games and also made the character of another attractive guy, who is 70 years old in real life, but in the game they are intense lovers. I want to know what kind of person she is in real life!

A life hack for us?

I save WiFi passwords! It’s useful because I can share them with people. I’m doing it a lot now because I got back home a week ago and I don’t have data here so whenever I go somewhere I make sure to take photos of wifi passwords in cafes… I feel like my life is now made up of stacking WiFi passwords of bars and cafes. I just have so many. There are apps that already do that, like share WiFi passwords and link them to a map but they’re really useless, they’re for WiFis that are already open and they don’t work and you need WiFi to get on the app so it doesn’t make sense. So yea, take photos of WiFi passwords!

A question or reflection for yourself?

 

 

I think it goes back to what I said before: ‘Is there something I can and or cannot create?’ Where do you draw the line? My whole experience since I started the RCA revolves around ‘Can I make this, can I not make this? Is that productive?’ If you want to make something and something else is stopping you from doing so, what is it and why is that? (Other than technical and financial limitations).

Quant’è importante la spiritualità nella tua quotidianità?

Non molto importante ma ultimamente sto avendo tante conversazione sulla spiritualità con i  miei amici. Mi piace un sacco sapere come sono connessi spiritualmente perché ho l’impressione di mai aver avuto quell’esperienza, sono cresciuta in una famiglia molto laica…. ed ero abbastanza anti-cristianesimo e anti-religione in generale hahaha, perché in Corea ci sono personi particolare che vanno in chiesa, e la domenica perseguitano i bimbi per farli venire in chiesa e io dicevo sempre ‘Oh no!’. Entrambi miei genitori non erano credenti per causa delle loro madri, le mie nonne, perché loro erano molto superstiziose, quindi i miei si sono un po’ ribellati. Ma ora mia madre è buddista e mi manda spesso citazioni giornaliere. Mi piace sentire le storie dei miei amici, sapere come sono connessi all’universo. Sono stata a una performance di Samboleap Tol, ha fatto una preghiera/rito con centinaia di bastoncini di incenso, quando ha finito si potevano portare a casa alcuni e quindi ultimamente li sto accendendo nella mia camera e faccio un desiderio…. Non so se è come una preghiera o se spero che qualcosa di buono succederà durante il giorno, è semplicemente una bella cosa.

Ciliege o Manghi?

 

Manghi! Definitivamente! Ho vissuto in India perciò so che gusto hanno…. parlo ancora del Alphonso Mango, è il miglior mango al mondo. Non è neanche giallo, è arancione, è spesso ed è buonissimo! Penso che la gente non sappia quanto possono essere buoni i manghi.

L’ultimo video che hai guardato su Youtube?

Stavo guardando questi Youtuber Coreani, che ricevono delle storie dai loro spettatori e danno dei consigli…. Penso che ieri sera si trattava del essere ubriaco da ventenne; del tipo che si esce per un drink ma poi ci si sveglia il mattino dopo e si scopre di essere andato a 3 bar diversi, di aver fatto un karaoke intero e di svegliarsi la mattina dopo quasi nudo…. Ho pensato ‘Ah sì, merda, anch’io mi ubriacavo così tanto’. Guardo questi video quando non ho niente da fare o penso che a volte sia bello essere connessi ai video fatti in Corea quando non ci sono. Stavano condividendo le loro esperienze universitarie. Penso che in Corea del Sud ci sia una cultura universitaria molta specifica alla quale non ho mai partecipato perciò sentirne parlare è sempre interessante.

Se potessimo offrirti una casa, dove sceglieresti di averla?

Non lo so, pensando così al volo direi Barcelona… perché è così bella! Se potessi avere una casa avrei una casa di vacanza. Sono stata lì soltanto una volta per tipo 5 giorni ma ho passato un momento meraviglioso. Hanno un sacco di problemi con il turismo e ci sono tante proteste, la gente non ha abbastanza lavoro e le case stanno diventando carissime… ma la mia visita è stata così terribilmente bella, il sole, le tapas… Ho imparato frasi per rimorchiare in spagnolo per conversare con i vecchietti e le vecchiette che mi complimentavano: ‘que guapa!’

L’ultima cosa che ti ha dato la pelle d’oca?

 

Mmmmm…. Penso che sia questa poesia spoken word recitata da questa attivista Palestinese. La prima volta che ho guardato questo video ho pianto e ogni volta che lo riguardo mi viene la pelle d’oca. Si chiama ‘We teach life Sir’ (Insegniamo la vita signore), la classe del mio triennio era generalmente pro Palestina e ho degli amici della Palestina, tanti di loro rifugiati. La mia amica mi ha fatto vedere questo video, lo guardo una volta ogni tanto e piango… mi chiedo se lo faccio come una sorta di masturbazione emozionale, entro in questo spazio mentale molto strano dove mi chiedo se veramente lo apprezzo o se lo guardo per sentire qualcosa.

>> https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKucPh9xHtM&fbclid=IwAR1SN_dNWN-WiG2c-IlWPVTZjSxqCcNexGW3pi0gBkWHdQ5Z08DXZszSIpY

La cosa migliore cucinata dai tuoi genitori?

 

Oh mio dio….ci sono tantissime cose. Mia madre è una cuoca fantastica, mio padre cucina raramente. Vi racconto quello che ha cucinato ieri sera. Allora mio padre ed io siamo andati dai miei nonni e ci hanno dato dei cavoli, i Coreani apprezzano tanto i cavoli e li mangiamo ripieni di carne. Mia madre ha cucinato la carne di maiale marinata in salsa di soia e salsa di pesce e si può mangiare tutto ciò all’interno della foglia di insalata… quindi si prende una foglia di insalata, si mette la carne dentro e si mangia, tutto ha uno strato di gusto diverso, e un’amarezza diversa… buonissimo!

 

Sai se c’è un tuo dipinto recente che ha creato opinioni divise?

 

Si lo so! Ho fatto un dipinto di questo ragazzo bianco con un pene gigantesco che sta tenendo un pesce. Pensavo che facesse ridere, le prime cose che mi sono entrate in testa quando lo facevo erano l’idea della mascolinità, stavo ascoltando questo rapper Coreano che parlava della sua terza gamba e ho pensato ‘vediamo a cosa assomiglia questa terza gamba!’. Poi sono andata a guardarmi Tinder dell’America suburbana e ho notato che si vedono un sacco di ragazzi bianchi che stanno tenendo un pesce e niente di tutto ciò è attraente, ma poi facendo ricerche ho notato che questi ragazzi sono molto attenti quando si fanno i selfie e li fanno solo quando hanno perso un pesce. Quindi io ho dipinto questa situazione. Ho avuto un tutorial di gruppo (perché sono attualmente al corso di pittura al’RCA a Londra) e il mio tutor mi ha detto  ‘stai camminando su un terreno controverso, questo ragazzo sembra uno di classe media che ha votato per Trump e potrebbe sembrare che tu stia prendendo in giro un certo gruppo di gente di una certa classe’. Un’altra cosa che volevo fare, senza sapere quanto fosse controversa, era di fare un dipinto su gli accoltellamenti e come sono un grosso problema a Londra e ho iniziato e chiedermi se non fosse il mio territorio. Gli accoltellamenti di solito vengono fatti da uomini, spesso identificati come uomini di colore, uomini senza supporto sociale, senza una figura paterna, che fanno parte di una gang e mi sono trovata a pensare ‘Oh cazzo, sto semplicemente vedendo l’aspetto pittorico di questo tema?! In ogni tutorial si trovano opinioni diverse e alla fine del giorno si deve fare quello che si deve fare! Nonostante ciò di sicuro mi ha fatto fare un passo indietro e mi ha permesso di chiedermi se sta a me fare questa specie di dipinto.

 

Un artista che ti piacerebbe avere come amico/a?

 

Oh wow, lasciatemi pensare. Non so molto al suo proposito ma ho visto un paio dei suoi lavori: Cao Fei. Il suo lavoro fa veramente ridere, c’era un senso di umorismo nell’ultimo che ho visto qui a Seoul, si chiama Roomba1, ha fatto un aspirapolvere che gira in tondo su un piedistallo. A quanto pare il Roomba non cade perciò fa dei giri infiniti e lei ne ha fatto una metafora sulla tecnologia di oggi. Il primo lavoro suo che ho visto era quello dove ha creato un suo proprio avatar nei videogiochi e ha fatto un altro ragazzo super attraente, che in verità, ha tipo 70 anni nella vita reale, ma nel gioco sono innamorati persi. Vorrei sapere che tipo di persona è nella vita reale!

 

Un life hack per noi?

 

Salvo le password del WiFi! È utile perché le posso condividere con gente. Lo sto facendo adesso perché da quando sono tornata a casa una settimana fa non ho il 3G, perciò quando vado da qualche parte mi assicuro di fare le foto delle password del WiFi nei bar. Ne ho tantissime. Ci sono delle app che già lo fanno, che condividono le password del WiFi e che le segnano sulla mappa ma sono veramente inutili, per accedere alla app si deve usare il WiFi perciò non ha senso. Quindi si, fare le foto delle password del WiFi!

 

Una domando o riflessione da parte tua?

 

Ripensando a quello che ho detto prima: c’è qualcosa che posso o non posso creare? Dove si crea la divisione? Tutta la mia esperienza da quando ho iniziato questo master al RCA gira attorno a se posso o non posso fare qualcosa, se è un pensiero produttivo? Se vuoi fare qualcosa e qualcos’altro ti sta fermando, che cos’è quest’altra cosa e perché ti sta fermando? (Oltre a limiti tecnici o finanziari).

Lorenzo Morri

Do you want to have children? Why?

Oh my god… hahaha… no, I mean, ok! It’s a strange question, but would I like to have children? Maybe yes. A lot of my friends have children and they say it’s a wonderful thing. I think having a child increases the importance of personal everyday rites, like waking up in the morning and preparing coffee. Dedicating my time to my child or having them with me would be marvellous! 

If you could only paint one thing for the rest of your life, what would that be?

Myself. Hahaha. That was easy.

 

Do you wish you were of a different nationality?

Hmmmm… well Italian is Italian. Italians have their own power in the world, Italians are always spoken of. We are great characters us Italians!

And if you had to add a nationality?

I’m thinking of nationalities on the other side of the Mediterranean. When I was young, thinking back on when I used to watch the sea from the beaches of Le Marche I knew that on the other side there was land… And I wanted to see that land. And so when i saw it, I saw a territory that I knew… One thing I think about often is an art space in Le Marche that acts as a connection between Italy and lands on the other side of the Mediterranean, a connection between Italian artists and Croatian, Slovenian, Bosnian, Greek artists… The opposite side!

What TV show character’s dressing style do you appreciate the most?

Hmm style, I’m not too sure, and I’m not a big fan of TV shows or films… but I remember this guy… This American actor in the parody of Top Gun, Charlie Seen, in Two and a half men, he’d dress with bowling slash Hawaiian shirts. Quite a bad TV show, with terrible jokes, a story line never properly understood… only the shirts were quite on point. 

Thai food or Mexican food?

Thai food is spicy right?

Yes, both can be quite spicy.

Spicy for me, absolutely not. I don’t really know the dishes of these cuisines… How about Italian cuisine?

What’s the best performance you ever saw?

The concert of the first day of the year that happens in the Fenice theatre of Venice… but I saw it on TV. It is possibly the performance that stayed closest to my heart. Traditionally, the morning of the first day of the year when everything is still spinning the classical music acts as a soundtrack. The ears demand these clean and honest sounds as they have been traumatised by the loud distorted sounds of the evening prior. Then once Bach’s Ave Maria is concluded, it’s time to sit at the table. 

A viral image/video you saw recently that you need to share with us.

It’s a very stupid image but it has to do with contemporary politics. The face is of Giovanni Storti (from the movie Aldo, Giovanni e Giacomo) photoshopped on top of Greta Thunberg. I find it funny but I also see a logical sort of narrative, as if I entered the mind of the creator and understood the characteristic similarities. I find it genius! 

What is the latest project you’re working on?

This new painting project started in 2018. It doesn’t have a title that groups up all the produced works, for now each painting has its own name. I started researching daily something that would be both unknown and also perfectly balanced. To participate in the manifestation of an event born in chaos, where for brief instants, during the span of a day or for one’s whole existence, one remains in a position that can be defined as being perfectly aesthetic. To make this clearer I’d like to use an example: a tin can containing plastic toy soldiers left open on top of a stand. Who has chosen the order and position of each singular element in this scene? Yet the composition seems to have been studied. Each particle has found its stability in manifesting itself that morning, right there, while I was taking a walk on the Naviglio Pavese in Milan. Finding oneself in front of a cosmic calculation, to an order born in chaos, being left dumbfounded and this temporisation could lead to a collapse, to the destruction of the equilibrium. I have arrived at a concept of being… I make self portraits with a gaze towards the world. Starting from a photograph that then becomes dismembered, re-elaborated, printed and painted.

Life hack for us?

Brushing your teeth every time? No? Or… maybe… Always adding white wine to cooking, for instance with meat in the pan or if you’re going to make a ragù. A true gem of knowledge from Le Marche. So, always have a bottle of white wine at home. If not, sometimes I wash my clothes by hand, the more delicate stuff. Oh, to optimise on time I do my washing during the night and then hang my clothes in the morning, because while I’m sleeping I know that something is working to optimise on of the few hours we have available. 

Question or reflection for us?

How important is your spirituality in your daily life?

 

Now, spirituality isn’t only the religious path. It’s solitude, closing oneself to see within. A meditation of reflections on my actions, turning the inwards outwards towards others and the repercussions that entails. Let’s say I activate a mental work with myself, my personality, to search for internal stability. I consider everything spiritual even in relation to what I see, you know like when you’re fixated on something and your brain goes somewhere else, when you’re there but you feel that you’re going to the other side…. and this when you wake up, and you’re like OK I can continue with what I’m doing hahaha. 

Also, I’d like to admit this because I’m quite proud of it… Catechism has accompanied me through my puberty, there has been a Morri altar boy e there always will be! Also, the scout experience sure was there with me too.

Now I can respond to the first question you asked me. Yes, I would like to have children! To let them in on the magical world of spirituality!

Vorresti avere figli? Perché?

Oh Dio… hahaha.. no cioè, ok! è una domanda strana, ma vorrei avere dei figli? Forse si. Dai racconti dei miei amici, avere un figlio è una cosa meravigliosa. Credo che avere un figlio aumenti l’importanza dei riti personali giornalieri, come svegliarsi al mattino e preparare il caffè. Dedicargli il mio tempo o averlo con me sarebbe stupendo!

Se potessi dipingere solo una cosa per il resto della tua vita, cosa sarebbe?

Me stesso. Hahaha. Cosi, facile.

Ti piacerebbe essere di una nazionalità diversa?

Hmmmmm..beh l’italiano è pur sempre l’italiano. Ha una sua forza nel mondo e sappiamo sempre farci riconoscere, far parlare di noi in tutto e per tutto. Grandi personaggi noi Italiani!

E se dovessi aggiungere una nazionalità?

Penso ad una delle nazionalità al di là del mediterraneo. Da piccolo, ripensando a quando guardavo il mare dalle spiagge marchigiane, sapevo che dall’altra parte c’era terra. Poi volevo vederla, e nell’attraversarla ho rivisto un territorio che conoscevo…Una cosa a cui penso sempre, uno spazio artistico nelle marche che faccia da collegamento tra l’Italia e le terre oltre al mediterraneo, un collegamento tra artisti Italiani e artisti Croati, Sloveni, Bosniaci, Greci.. the opposite side!

In quale serie tv ammiri di più lo stile vestimentare dei personaggi?

Mah stile non saprei, poi non sono un fanatico delle serie tv o film.. ricordo lui.. l’attore statunitense della parodia di Top Gun, Charlie Sheen, in Due uomini e mezzo vestiva con camice da Bowling miste Hawaiane. Una serie tv così pessima, con battute scadenti, una trama mai capita.. solo le sue camice erano adatte.

Cucina tailandese o messicana?

 

Tailandese è piccante o no?

Si, tutte due possono essere abbastanza piccante.

Perché per me piccante proprio no. Poi non le conosco così bene da poter fare una scelta. Ma italiana invece?

La migliore performance che hai visto dall’inizio di quest’anno?

Beh finiamola lì: Il concerto di capodanno al teatro La Fenice di Venezia, visto in televisione. Forse per adesso è quello che più m’è rimasto nel cuore. Tradizionale, la mattina del primo dell’anno dove tutto ancora gira e la musica classica fa da colonna sonora. Le orecchie non chiedono altro che suoni limpidi, sinceri, traumatizzate dalla musica a palla quasi distorta della sera prima. Poi sopraggiunge l’Ave Maria di Bach d è arrivato il momento di sedersi a tavola.

Un’immagine/video hai visto di recente che devi assolutamente farci vedere

E’ un’immagine molto stupida ma ha che fare con la politica contemporanea. La faccia di Giovanni Storti (di Aldo, Giovanni e Giacomo) photoshoppata sopra a Greta Thunberg. Trovo simpatia ma anche un filo logico, come essere entrato nella mente del creatore e aver capito la somiglianza caratteriale. La trovo geniale!

L’ultimo progetto sul quale stai lavorando?

Allora praticamente nell’ultimo periodo sto dipingendo, è l’attività che faccio principalmente. Ricercare qualcosa nel quotidiano che sia estraneo sì ma come se perfettamente bilanciato. Essere partecipe alla manifestazione di un evento nato dal caos, dove per pochi istanti, durante l’arco della giornata o per tutta la sua esistenza, rimane in una posizione tale da essere definita esteticamente perfetta. Per intenderci meglio vorrei usare un esempio: una scatola di latta contenente soldatini di plastica viene lasciata aperta sopra una bancarella. Chi ha deciso l’ordine e la posizione di ogni singolo pezzo nel suo interno? eppure la composizione sembra essere studiata. Ogni particella ha trovato la sua stabilità manifestandosi quel mattino, proprio lì, passeggiando lungo il naviglio pavese. Trovarsi di fronte ad un calcolo cosmico, ad un ordine nato dal caos, dove esserne sbalorditi e temporeggiamenti potrebbe portare ad un collasso, alla distruzione dell’equilibrio. Sono arrivato a un concetto di vedere…mi faccio gli autoritratti con lo sguardo sul mondo. Si parte da una fotografia poi viene smembrata e rielaborata poi viene stampata e dipinta.

Hai un life hack per noi?

Lavarsi i denti ogni volta? No? Oppure..allora…Aggiungere sempre del vino bianco alla cottura, per esempio alla carne in padella o se state per eseguire un ragù. Un plus valore tipico marchigiano. Quindi, sempre tenere una bottiglia di vino bianco in casa. Se no, ogni tanto lavo a mano le cose, quelle più preziose le lavo a mano. Ah, Per ottimizzare il tempo faccio la lavatrice di notte e stendo la mattina! Ottimizzo le ore, mi piace pensare che mentre dormo c’è qualcosa che lavora per ottimizzare le poche ore a disposizione.

Domanda o riflessione che ti fai ultimamente?

Quant’è importante la vita spirituale all’interno della quotidianità?

Ora, la spiritualità non è soltanto la via religiosa. E’ solitudine, è rinchiudersi in se stesso. Una meditazione di riflessione sulle mie azioni, l’esposizione interiore verso gli altri e quello che ne comporta. Diciamo che attuo un lavoro mentale su me stesso, sulla mia personalità, per ricercare una stabilità interiore. Considero spirituale anche in rapporto a quello che vedo, sai quando, ti fissi su una cosa e il tuo cervello è completamente altrove, quando tu sei lì ma senti che vai dall’altra parte..e poi ti svegli, e dici OK ora posso continuare a fare le mia cose ahaha.

Poi lo voglio ammettere perché ne vado fiero.. ho trascorso la mia pubertà con la catechesi, c’è stato un Morri chierichetto e sempre ci sarà! Anche l’esperienza dello scoutismo non è mancata.
Adesso posso rispondere alla prima domanda che mi avete proposto. Vorrei avere dei figli si! Per far conoscere anche a loro il magico mondo della spiritualità!

Raja’a Khalid

What do you do to shut down?

Ok so, I work out. That’s the only space I can be in, in which I’m not actually thinking about anything, other than the very immediate thing that I’m doing. So one of the things I started doing last year was barre, Physique 57…I’m a runner, I used to just run, so I run to shut down. But then I went through this like personal crisis and I started doing a lot of yoga but yoga makes me hyper flexible and you actually need a lot of strength training when you’re doing yoga so I started doing barre..that you’d call like the ballet dancer’s workout or something. So, it’s really for just sculpting and toning but it’s basically like isometric movements, you do dozens if not like hundreds of repetitions of the same thing using weights or your body weight. While you’re doing it you can’t think of anything else.

 

Is gyming quite a thing in Dubai?

 

 

It’s pretty important here, not just in terms of living a healthy lifestyle but generally other hyper neoliberal landscapes, everyone just works, then they go workout, so it’s a cycle that’s very much pushing the city.

The last time you felt nostalgic about something?

 

It’s interesting you ask this, I just had a very long conversation about nostalgia the other day with an artist who was visiting. I really hate nostalgia, like actively, it’s a tool for fascism so…I’ve had a problem with practices that might have a nostalgic element to them, I hate it in politics, I don’t think we should look back at anything. Uhmm, I try not to feel nostalgic myself..but it’s an exercise. So, am I nostalgic? No, I hate the past. Like life has ups and downs so for any moment that I can even think back to, there were so many other terrible things happening at the same time. It’s even related to people, like I’ll see you when I see you, it might be tomorrow it might be in 20 years, I don’t know, it’s hard also with your family to kind of let that go. I haven’t found much value in being homesick or missing people, just because it impacts how you can engage with what your immediate environment is that day, and I don’t wanna be paralysed and not engage with life. I think artists, especially in the region (gulf), need to focus more on ethical practices and like personal civic space and politics…because at least here nostalgia is about a politics of exclusion so immediately if I started getting nostalgic about what Dubai used to be, I’ve automatically just excluded you from something that I feel I’ve experienced, alone, MY sort of trauma, my kind of relationship with the city, that is not a generative conversation because you can’t participate in it if you’re not from here.

 

A dish you’d love to have but would never attempt cooking?

Brisket. It’s a very slow cooked meat, it’s like beef, I think it’s a southern thing, it cooks for like 15 hours haha. You can get a smoker for it. I know someone here who makes brisket, she has a smoker and she gets special firewood, you need to get a specific wood that will burn at a certain speed and have a certain fragrance that makes it super smoky. I love to eat it but there’s virtually no point in trying to make it.

 

 

Sunbathing or Spa?

 

Oh, Sunbathing. Yea, I mean..yea no sunbathing, vitamin D, we’re super deficient in that. A lot of people think vitamin D is related to exposure to the sun but it’s not, it’s also like where you are in relationship the the equator, altitude, and also genetic make up. There’s this really interesting book called Living Colour which is like an anthropological and scientific, you could almost say chronological history of how our skin developed melanin and biologically what it was for and what it represents, it also goes into the emergence of race as a category for identification. The entire book looks at the relationship between the body and vitamin D and how it needs it.

Do you have an artwork you know you will never sell?

I will never be able to sell a work that is very performative and nuanced, so like there’s a gym project where I had a setup of a gym, it’s large scale and it was produced in a part of the city where it was presented; here in Alserkal Avenue. This neighbourhood has a specific relationship to gym culture, you have like 50 different gyms within 10 minutes of where we are.

If someone wanted to buy the rights to this performance tomorrow would you sell it?

No, because it’s also temporal, it represents this place at that time so I wouldn’t sell that. I’m trying to think of something more intimate and sweet but I think I’m happy to sell all of my works except for the gym project.

 

What app do you use the most?

 

Oh I don’t use apps! I use whatsapp for communication but otherwise I’ll just make a call hahah! I also get overwhelmed by the prospect that I might have to download an app for work. So I’m always avoiding eye-contact whenever anyone in my office is talking about getting uber ‘use uber this week because it’s a tough week’ I don’t even look at them because I’m afraid they’ll ask me to arrange a car and I don’t have the app, and I don’t know how to get it and I don’t wanna get it! A lot of people here use tinder and things like that and there is a lot of pressure like ‘what tv show are you watching’ ‘what app are you using?’ ‘Are you using it to get food/ to get sex etc’

 

 

Your favourite seed?

Like to eat? Ok this is interesting…I really like sunflower seeds, i think they’re cool. Sperm is great also, always welcome…

The ultimate romantic song?

 

It’s kind of cheesy yea? This whole interview…It also makes me think because I never have these conversations. No one ever asks me…Uhm ok sure, can it be cheesy? Total Eclipse of the Heart, it’s a pretty hard core romantic song.

 

 

We don’t have to be romantic. What are you listening to now?

I’ve become really obsessed with lo-fi chill vibes compilations on youtube, they’re like their own thing now. You know how they had vaporwave, then they had simpsonwave, seinfeldwave..so there’s this whole thing to help people work, it always says something like ‘playlist good for work and study’. A lot of them have the Simpsons characters in loop, there’s one called ‘FEELINGS’. It’s always instrumental, there are no words. Now they’ve become such an entity that they’re being critiqued in people’s music.

A mode of transport you can’t live without?

Car. I think that if you ask that here in Dubai, you will always get this answer. I don’t know how people do without a car, I mean, we’re a family of 4 (my parents and my sister) and we have 3 cars.

Do you have a life hack for us?

 

Oh ok I have one, but it’s really pathetic and small: you know when you have a tea bag, I always have to loop round the mug handle for when I’m pouring the water, so that it doesn’t fall inside. When it goes inside and the water is too hot, you can’t fish it out with your fingers. By the way I only discovered this really late, I never did this, I would always hold the tea bag.

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

 

Oh, this is something I’ve been thinking a lot about and this could really open up a pandora’s box for your next interview:

Do you want to have children? And Why?

 

I want to, I really want to, I didn’t think about that for a really long time and I don’t know to what degree it’s social conditioning or something more biological, and I don’t know what studies are out there to tell us how men and women differ perhaps…I do know that now, I’m thinking practically how I can arrive at a point in my life where i can have children..I would have to find a partner first! Haha and then take it from there. Hopefully they’ll want kids too, otherwise you take it back to square one.

Cosa fai per staccare?

Allora, faccio sport. È l’unico spazio nel quale posso stare senza pensare ad altro a parte la cosa immediata che sto facendo. Una cosa che ho iniziato a fare l’anno scorso è la barre, Physique 57…Di solito corro, prima correvo soltanto, quindi correvo per rilassarmi. Ma poi ho avuto una crisi e ho iniziato a fare yoga, però fare yoga mi rende hyper flessibile e ho bisogno di allenamento di rinforzamento dei muscoli perciò ho iniziato a fare barre…che si potrebbe chiamare l’allenamento dei ballerini. È praticamente per scolpire e tonificare, sono movimenti isometrici con dozzine se non centinaia di ripetizioni della stessa cosa con dei pesi o il peso del proprio corpo. Quando fai quello non puoi pensare a nient’altro.

Andare in palestra è una cosa comune a Dubai?

Si è abbastanza importante qui, non solo per vivere una vita sana ma anche secondo modi di fare hyper neoliberali, tutti lavorano, e dopo vanno in palestra, è un ciclo che spinge la città.

L’ultima volta che ti sei sentita nostalgica?

 

È interessante che me lo chiedete, ho appena avuto una conversazione molto lunga a proposito della nostalgia con un’artista che è venuto a trovarmi. Odio la nostalgia, tipo attivamente, è uno strumento per il fascismo…Ho sempre avuto problemi con pratiche che hanno un elemento nostalgico, lo odio nella politica, penso che non dobbiamo guardare indietro per qualunque cosa. Mmmm, cerco di non essere nostalgica io stessa…ma è un esercizio. Quindi, sono nostalgica? No, odio il passato. La vita ha i su e giù, quindi per ogni momento al quale posso ripensare, ci sono sempre tante altre cose terribili che stavano succedendo contemporaneamente. Questo è anche legato alle persone, tipo ti vedrò quando ti vedrò, potrebbe essere domani o tra 20 anni. Non trovo tanto valore nell’avere nostalgia di casa o nella mancanza delle persone, solo perché ha un impatto fortissimo su quanto uno può essere coinvolto nel presente, non voglio essere paralizzata e non essere coinvolta nella mia vita stessa. Penso che gli artisti, soprattutto di questa regione del golfo, hanno bisogno di concentrarsi di più su lo spazio civico personale e la politica…perché per lo meno qui la nostalgia ha a che fare con le politiche di esclusione, se io iniziassi ad essere nostalgica di quello che era una volta Dubai, ti ho automaticamente escluso delle mia esperienza, del MIO trauma, della mia relazione con la città, non è uno spazio generativo perché non puoi partecipare alla conversazione se non sei di qua.

Un piatto che ti piace ma che non cucineresti mai?

Brisket. È una carne di manzo cotta molto piano, è una cosa del sud, si cuoce per tipo 15 ore. Puoi anche usare un affumicatore. Conosco qualcuno che cuoce il Brisket, ha un affumicatore e prende della legna specifica che brucia a una certa lentezza con fragranze specifiche che la rendono molto affumicata. Mi piace un sacco mangiarlo ma non c’è motivo nel cercare di farlo.

Prendere il sole o andare alla spa?

Oh, prendere il sole. Si, voglio dire…si no prendere il sole, vitamina D, ne siamo carenti. Tanti pensano che la vitamina D sia legata all’essere esposti al sole ma non lo è, ha a che fare anche con dove sei in relazione all’equatore, l’altitudine, e anche a come sei fatto geneticamente. C’è un libro molto interessante che si chiama Living Colour, che è uno studio scientifico antropologico, si potrebbe quasi dire uno studio cronologico storico di come la nostra pelle ha sviluppato la melatonina e di quello che rappresenta biologicamente, poi parla anche dell’emergenza della razza in quanto categoria di identificazione. Il libro intero tratta della relazione tra il corpo e la vitamina D e di come ne ha bisogno.

Hai un’opera d’arte che sai che non venderai mai?

Non potrò mai vendere un’opera molto performativa, in uno delle mie opere ho costruito una palestra, è a scala larga ed era prodotta nella parte della città dove è stata presentata, qui in Alserkal Avenue. Questo quartiere ha una relazione molto specifica alla cultura della palestra, hai tipo 50 palestre a 10 minuti da dove siamo.

Quale app usi più spesso?

Oh, io non uso le app! Io uso whatsapp per la comunicazione, ma per il resto faccio solo chiamate hahah! Sono anche sopraffatta dalla prospettiva di dover scaricare un’applicazione per lavoro. Così evito sempre il contatto visivo ogni volta che qualcuno nel mio ufficio sta parlando di usare uber ‘usa uber questa settimana perché è una settimana difficile’ non li guardo nemmeno perché ho paura che mi chiederanno di prenotare una macchina e non ho l’app, e non so come ottenerla e non la voglio! Un sacco di persone qui usano tinder e cose del genere e c’è molta pressione del tipo “che programma televisivo stai guardando”, “che app stai usando”, “La stai usando per mangiare, per fare sesso, ecc….”.

Il tuo seme preferito?

 

Da mangiare? Ok questo è interessante…mi piacciono i semi di girasole, penso siano cool. Seno lo sperma va bene, sempre benvenuto…

 

La canzone la più romantica in assoluto?

 

Un po’ smielata questa interview…E mi fa anche pensare perché non ho mai queste conversazioni. Nessuno mi chiede mai queste cose..Ma ok certo, può essere smielata? Total Eclipse of the Heart, come canzone è intensamente romantica.

Non dobbiamo essere romantici per forza. Cosa stai ascoltando adesso?

Sono diventata davvero ossessionata dalle compilation di lo-fi chill vibes che si trovano su youtube, sono proprio diventate una cosa in sé. Sai come lo sono state vaporwave, poi hanno avuto simpsonwave, seinfeldwave…dicono sempre qualcosa tipo ‘playlist good for work and study’. Tante hanno i personaggi dei Simpson in loop, ce n’è una che si chiama ’FEELINGS’. È sempre strumentale, non ci sono parole.

Un mezzo di trasporto con la quale non puoi vivere?

Macchina. Penso che qui a Dubai, troverete sempre questa risposta. Non so come faccia la gente senza una macchina, voglio dire, siamo una famiglia di 4 (i miei genitori e mia sorella) e abbiamo 3 macchine.

 

Hai un life hack per noi?

Ok allora ne ho uno ma è patetico e piccolo: sapete quando avete una bustina del te, io faccio sempre un anello per legarla alla maniglia della tazza quando ci metto sopra dell’acqua, così non ci casca dentro. Quando va dentro e l’acqua e troppo calda, devi ripescarla con le dita. Tra l’altro ho scoperto questa cosa molto tardi, non l’ho mai fatta prima, tenevo sempre la bustina con le mani.

Una domanda o qualcosa al quale stai riflettendo di recente?

Oh, c’è una cosa alla quale sto riflettendo tanto ultimamente e potrebbe realmente aprire un vaso di Pandora per la prossima interview: Vorresti avere dei figli? Perché?

Io vorrei dei figli. Per tanto tempo non ci ho pensato e non so fino a che grado sia un condizionamento sociale o qualcosa di più biologico, e non so quali siano gli studi fatti che ci potrebbero dire come siano diversi gli uomini dalle donne per queste cose…non lo so, ma ora sto pensando praticamente a come arrivare a un punto nella mia vita dove potrei avere dei figli… Prima dovrei trovare un partner! Haha e poi da li capire come muovermi, sperando che anche quest’altra persona abbia voglia di figli, se no si rinizia da capo.

Rosa Doorenbal

If you could take a drug that kept you as fit as if you were doing sports, would you take it?

No, I like sports. I think it’s good for my brain and I think it’s like a good meditation to do sports, I don’t do sports to be fit but rather to feel good, I think it keeps me sane. I think it’s about getting into my body, getting out of my thinking process into into my physicality. Also, saying this, I don’t do that much sport, maybe a couple of times a week but I never go to the gym haha.

If you had to choose one sentimental object in your room to save from a fire (no laptops or electronics)?

Shit that’s really difficult, I’m really attached to things. I think maybe one plant? But one of my plants is dying so I’m really, sad about that. I’m also thinking, I’m on time pressure and in a panic and this is the only thing I can think of. 

This one grew from a clipping I stole from an entrance lobby in a fancy building in London. It was doing well at first when suddenly an apple fell onto it and it sort of died. Only recently it started growing again, and since then I really like it.

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?

I snooze and I go back to sleep! That’s the first, first thing. Once I get out of bed I take a shower and have breakfast. Or yea, I check my phone and it helps wake me up but it also stresses me out… like sometimes you see an email and you’re like ‘shit!’… but like I have difficulties getting out of bed maybe this is a good way to get me out of bed.

If you could only use one word for the rest of the day what would it be?

That’s really difficult. I think ‘hey’. You can use it in different intonations, like heeeey or hEi haha.

 London or Amsterdam?

Oh that’s an evil one. I think for now it’s London but I don’t think it will be forever. Like right now for me London is really exciting but my boyfriend lives in Amsterdam… Friends of mine are moving back to Amsterdam, they moved away and they are moving back now and they’re enjoying it, I think I’m still really attached to Amsterdam.

The last thing you read that really stuck to you?

I read Mary Beard, a text she published in a book called The Voice Of Women or something. It’s quite an easy read, she traces how in classical and historical literature, women’s voices are not heard, like in the stories women’s voices were already muted. Things in that book are very relatable, in terms of feeling heard, talking and feeling comfortable or not. And sometimes I use speech in performance, and I notice how difficult I find it it to do that, like to have your voice and really use it, to actually let it take space. I was interested in this because I was doing this work with a mermaid and the mermaid’s story of her exchanging her voice in order to get legs, so her tongue is cut out and she can’t speak anymore.

Screenshot from the video: ‘She didn’t know what to say before she lost her tongue
tail’, 2018.

If you could perform with any historical figure who would it be ?

My grandma.

Don’t know if that is historical,

She passed away though maybe that makes it historical.

Not sure if it would work out actually, she is quite dry and clear-headed. She had a no nonsense character, and never really understood the art things I was doing. Wasn’t really interested either I think. But she was cool, I see her as a very strong person, with a mind of her own. I wouldn’t do a performance with her, but maybe I could see a video happening. But yeah I find it a difficult question as it sort of implies the other persons consent/ interest in this without asking them. I find that very important when you do a collaboration, or work with other people their consent. But there is definitely a tension field because even when they have committed to be in a work, I can’t always control all the conditions of where and when it is shown.

Can you show us the last 3 exhibition photos from your phone?

From the exhibition ‘Home Futures’ at the Design Museum

The first photo wasn’t allowed. It is from a maquette of the film set of ‘Mon Oncle’ by Jacques Tati which is one of my favourite films.

Something you are really good at?

Hmmm..maybe eating breakfast? Like, some people skip breakfast and I don’t understand. Yea maybe it’s because I grew up where in my family we all had breakfast together in the morning before everybody rushed off…and, my parents are quite smart, on Sundays I made breakfast for everybody and then we all ate it in their bed and watched TV, there’s this specific dutch TV program for kids. My parents, they wanted their eggs boiled but soft, so I was really good in the timing of the eggs.

A like hack for us?

I don’t think it really makes my life easier but I like doing it: I like putting spaghetti and holding them all in my hand in the middle of the pot and if you suddenly open your hand the spaghetti falls quite nicely in a circle.

A reflection or question from you?

Sometimes I wonder what people do to settle their minds to just relax or before they fall asleep. I am someone who can really worry before falling asleep and I need to chill before I go to sleep. So maybe the question is: how do you do to switch off? In my case, I just start reading a novel before going to bed, or otherwise during the day if I need to switch off, I really like going to the market, or I love to take a bath haha…I have a bath here in London but also have 3 other flatmates and there is always somebody who needs to use the toilet.

Se potessi prendere un farmaco che ti mantenesse in forma come se facessi dello sport, lo prenderesti?

No, mi piace fare sport. Penso che mi faccia bene al cervello, e penso che sia una buona forma di meditazione, non faccio sport per essere in forma ma per sentirmi bene, per mantenermi sana di mente. E mi aiuta a entrare nel mio corpo, cambiare i miei pensieri e apprezzare la mia fisicità. In verità, pur dicendo questo, non è che faccia cosi tanto sport, magari un paio di volte a settimana ma non sono mai stata in palestra haha.

Se dovessi scegliere un oggetto sentimentale dalla tua stanza da salvare in un incendio (non il computer o elettronici), cosa salveresti?

Cavolo è difficile, sono super legata alle cose. Magari una pianta? Ma una delle mie piante sta morendo, così triste. Ma sto pensando, sono sotto pressione e in panico e questa è l’unica cosa a cui riesco a pensare.

Questa pianta è cresciuta da un ritaglio che ho rubato da un atrio d’ingresso in un edificio di lusso a Londra. Stava crescendo bene all’inizio quando improvvisamente una mela gli è caduta addosso e in un certo senso è morta. Solo di recente ha ripreso a crescere, e da allora mi piace molto.

Cos’è la prima cosa che fai quando ti svegli?

Metto ritarda sulla sveglia e torno a dormire! Quella è la prima cosa. Una volta fuori dal letto faccio la doccia e colazione. O sì, controllo il mio telefono perchè mi aiuta a svegliarmi ma a volte mi rende nervosa… del tipo che vedi una mail e pensi ‘merda!’… ma ho delle difficoltà a uscire dal letto quindi questo è un buon modo per tirarmi fuori dal letto.

Se potessi usare solo una parola per il resto della giornata quale sarebbe?

Questo è difficile. Penso ‘hey’, Si può usare con varie intonazioni, come heeeey o hEi haha.

Londra o Amsterdam?

Oh questa è malvaggia. Penso Londra but non penso che lo sarà per sempre. Per me ora vivere a Londra mi stimola ma il mio ragazzo abita a Amsterdam… Alcuni miei amici stanno tornando a Amsterdam, perché erano andati via ma tornano e a loro piace, penso di essere ancora molto legata ad Amsterdam.

L’ultima cosa che hai letto e che ti è rimasta impressa?

Ho letto Mary Beard, un testo che ha pubblicato in un libro che si chiama tipo The Voice Of Women o qualcosa del genere. È una lettura facile, rintraccia come nella letteratura classica or storica, già le voci delle donne erano mute. Mi identifico nelle cose in questo libro, in termini di essere sentita o ascoltata, parlare e sentirsi a suo agio oppure no. E a volte uso la parola nelle mie performance, e noto quanto sia difficile per me farlo, nel senso di veramente avere la propria voce, usarla e lasciarla prendere spazio. Mi sono interessata a questo perché sto facendo un lavoro con le sirene e la storia della sirena che scambia la sua voce per delle gambe e si fa tagliare la lingua perciò non può più parlare.

Screenshot del video: ‘She didn’t know what to say before she lost her tongue tail’, 2018.

Una persona storica con cui vorresti fare una performance?

Mia nonna.

Non so se questo è storica.

E morta perciò la rende un po’ storica.

Non so se funzionerebbe, è abbastanza secca e chiara di mente. Aveva un carattere no-nonesense, e non capiva mai veramente le cose d’arte che io facevo. Ma era cool, la vedo come come una persona molto forte, con una mente tutta sua. Non farei una performance con lei, ma magari un video happening. Ma penso che sia una domanda difficile perché implica il consenso e l’interesse dell’altra persona senza chiederglielo direttamente. Penso che sia molto importante quando si fa una collaborazione. Ma c’e sempre un campo di tensione anche quando hanno dato il consenso di essere in un lavoro, non posso controllare tutte le condizione di dove e quando e mostrato.

Ci puoi mostrare le 3 ultime foto di mostre nel tuo telefono?

Dalla mostra ‘Home Futures’ al Design Museum di Londra.

La prima non era permessa, era di una maquette del film ‘Mon Oncle’ di Jaques Tati, che è uno dei miei film preferiti.

 

Un life hack per noi?

Non so se questo mi facilita la vita ma mi piace farlo: mettere gli spaghetti e tenerli tutti in mano al centro della pentola e quando apro la mano gli spaghetti cadono in un bel cerchio.

Una riflessione o domanda da parte tua?

 

A volte penso a come fa la gente per svuotare la mente o come si rilassa prima di andare a letto. Sono il genere di persona che si preoccupa prima di andare a dormire quindi ho bisogno di rilassarmi coscientemente. Quindi la domanda magari è: Cosa fai per staccare? Nel mio caso, prima di andare a leggere leggo un libro, se no durante il giorno mi piace andare al mercato, o mi piace fare un bagno haha… Ho una vasca da bagno qui a Londra ma ho anche tre altri coinquilini e c’è sempre qualcuno che deve usare il bagno.

Giang

21.02.19 giang.it

What is the most competitive thing that you have trained for?

It’s for a Michael Jackson, Billie Jean dance. This happened like 10 years ago, Oh yes this year is 10 years anniversary of his death. It was competitive but for myself because that was the first time I performed in front of people. It was in my university, at the end of the year, there was a big celebration and I applied to do my performance. I wasn’t very satisfied with it..90% of it was a bedroom and garage performance.

An image that has had a big influence on your art practice?

 

I think I’ve had influences over time but recently I just saw that in Australia they make Pizza Pho (a traditional Vietnamese noodle soup). At the time I was a little bit confused because I currently live in Italy and I always make fun of my Italian friends because they are so religious about food, and so just seeing Pho on Pizza… I don’t know if it tastes good, if it tastes good then for me it’s ok. It really made me question my thinking, whether I’m liberal enough or whether I’m conservative. I think food is one of the last borders we need to overcome.

 

Can you describe what you’re currently working on in 4 words?

fusion – sexual – propaganda – design

What’s your favourite traditional holiday?

The Vietnamese new year, like the lunar new year, I like it because I get free time to work on other stuff or some time for myself, you have 7 days to do things you like and you don’t have to rush. I am not a fan of holidays, somehow is it necessary? I am a workaholic. The new year dates change every year, I don’t know when it is, when I’m in Vietnam it’s my family’s duty to tell me when it is haha. Yea, because I did freelance jobs in Vietnam so for me there was no holiday after all.

 

If you were one of 10 human beings chosen to go live on Mars would you go?

I would. Definitely. I love new places, so yeah. You question doesn’t imply that I need to stay there… but Iive, like stay there for 1 or 2 years, for me it’s fine. I don’t like holidays, so I don’t go to Mars to do holidays, but I’ll go there and live and it’s fine.

What fruit or vegetable would you most like to be?

Oh…eggplant. Melanzana. When I came to Italy I found that the way Italians cook melanzana is really nice. When we cook it in Vietnamese food, we make a soup out of it and it makes the eggplant fluffy and soft and I don’t like it. But when you cook it in cubes or fried somehow it tastes like meat and it absorbs a lot of spice. It doesn’t taste of chicken skin but sometimes the feeling is similar.

Your favourite vehicle?

A motorbike, my motorbike, like a Super Cub that my father gave to me when I was born. In 1989 when I was born my father bought this motorbike then when I was in my second year in university I asked him about the bike and he explained everything about it and changed everything on it to my style. It’s been my bike for the last 10 years.

 

If you were allowed only 3 apps on your phone, which ones would they be?

 

Definitely Instagram, then Facebook and Messenger. Oh no, I would changed Messenger for Google Photos because it has my photos for the past 3 years.

 

Life hack for us?

 

You can actually replace panna da montare with cooking coconut cream, following the same recipe: http://www.gustoblog.it/post/188758/pasta-gamberetti-panna-ricetta-appagante

Approved by my Sicilian roomate.

 

A question or a reflection?

 

 

I’ve been thinking and reading some articles about when you do sports or have sex, your brain produces some kind of drug or chemical that you can use, so I was thinking about this scenario in the future and how rich people could afford to hire poor people to produce this drug this biological drug (when it’s inside your body it’s defined chemical but outside the body it’s defined a drug). So selling your pleasure to a higher price. People now are doing a lot of things at the same time and they do not have time to pleasure themselves, such as doing sports to keep the body fit, for me when I do sports it’s not about keeping fit but more relaxing myself. But would I consider taking a drug so that I don’t have to do sports anymore? (that it’s good because it’s bio and doesn’t have effects on the long term)

21.02.19 giang.it

La cosa più competitiva per la quale ti sei allenato?

È per una danza che ho fatto su Michael Jackson Billie Jeans. È successo tipo 10 anni fa, Ah si quest’anno è l’anniversario di 10 anni della sua morte. Non competizione con me stesso perché era la prima volta che facevo una rappresentazione davanti a della gente. Era nella mia università, per una rappresentazione di fine anno, c’era una grossa celebrazione per la quale ho fatto un application e ho mostrato questa performance.Non ero molto soddisfatto…Era a 90% una performance da stanza o da garage.

 

Un’immagine che ha avuto una grossa influenza sulla tua pratica?

 

Penso di aver avuto tante influenze nel tempo me di recente ho visto che in Australia fanno la Pizza Pho (una zuppa tradizionale vietnamita). Al tempo mi ha lasciato un po’ confuso perché al momento abito in italia e prendo sempre in giro i miei amici perché sono super religiosi per il cibo, e poi ho visto il pho sulla pizza…Non so se è buona, se è buona allora per me va bene. Mi ha veramente fatto riflettere sui miei pensieri, se sono progressivo abbastanza o se sono conservatore. Penso che il cibo sia una delle ultime frontiere da abbattere.

 

 

Puoi descrivere un tuo progetto attuale in 4 parole?

fusione – sessuale – propaganda – design

 

Cos’è la tua vacanza tradizionale/festività preferita?

 

Il nuovo anno vietnamita, come il nuovo anno lunare, mi piace perché mi da tempo libero per lavorare su altre cose e un po di tempo per me stesso, hai 7 giorni per fare quello che ti piace e non devi essere di fretta. Non sono molto fan di vacanze, in un certo senso mi chiedo se sono necessarie? Sono un patito di lavoro. Le date del nuovo anno cambiano ogni anno, non so quando è, ma quando sono in Vietnam è il dovere della mia famiglia di dirmi quando è haha. Si, perché facevo dei lavori freelance in vietnam quindi per me non era mai vacanza alla fine.

 

 

Se fossi 1 di 10 esseri umani scelti per andare su Marte, andresti?

Andrei. Sicuramente. Adoro posti nuovi quindi si. La vostra domanda non implica che devo rimanere lì…ma rimanere lì per 1 o 2 anni, per me va bene. No mi piacciono le vacanze, quindi non vado su marte per le vacanza, ma per viverci e va bene.

 

Quale frutta o verdura vorresti essere?

 

Oh…la Melanzana. Quando sono venuto in Italia ho visto che si cucina in modi buonissimi. Quando la cuciniamo in Vietnam, la mettiamo dentro alle zuppe, questo la rende soffice e morbida e non mi piace. Ma quando si cucina a cubetti o fritta, in qualche modo assomiglia alla carne e assorbe tante spezie. Non ha il gusto delle pelle del pollo ma a volte la sensazione è simile.

 

Il tuo veicolo preferito?

 

Una moto, la mia moto, una super cub che mi ha dato mio padre quando sono nato. Sono nato nel 1989 e mio padre ha comprato questa moto, poi quando ero nel mio secondo anno di università gli ho chiesto la moto, mi ha spiegato tutto su quella moto e l’ho cambiato i pezzi per farla diventare più il mio stile. E stata la mia moto per gli ultimi 10 anni.

 

 

Se potessi scegliere soltanto 3 apps sul tuo telefono, quali sarebbero?

Di sicuro Instagram, poi Facebook e Messenger. Ah no, cambierei messenger per google photos perché ha tutte le mie foto degli ultimi 3 anni.

 

Un life hack per noi?

 

Si può rimpiazzare la panna da montare cone la crema di cocco per cucinare seguendo questa ricetta: http://www.gustoblog.it/post/188758/pasta-gamberetti-panna-ricetta-appagante

Approvata dalla mia coinquilina siciliana.

 

Una domanda o una riflessione da parte tua?

 

Stavo pensando e ho letto un paio di articoli sulle sostanze chimiche o le droghe che produce il cervello quando stiamo facendo esercizio o facendo sesso, e stavo immaginando questo scenario nel futuro e come gli ricchi potrebbero pagare della gente povera per produrre questa droga biologica (quando e dentro al corpo si chiama sostanza chimica ma quando e fuori dal corpo si definisce una droga). Quindi vendere il piacere a un prezzo elevato. La gente ora sta facendo tante cose in contemporanea e quindi non hanno il tempo di farsi piacere, come fare ginnastica per mantenersi in forma. Per me quando faccio sport non e per stare in forma ma per rilassarmi. Ma prenderei una droga per evitare di fare sport? (che e buona perché è bio e non ha effetti a lungo termine)

Abbas Zahedi

29.01.19 abbzah.com

Do you think tattoos age well?

Uhmm, I think it really depends on the tattoo and where it is tattooed. I don’t have a tattoo.

 

Would you get one?

 

I think I’d only get a tattoo when I’m successful enough to get a good one on my face.

 

If you were to listen to one song for the rest of our life which one would it be?

 

It’s a good question. There’s a song by the cinematic orchestra called ‘breathe’ and I think it would be this because it kind of calms me down. It’s one of the few things I can play that has an instant calming effect on me so when, I get stressed or feel vulnerable I would be able to still use it.

 

Would you rather be a bit late or super early?

 

I think super early, definitely. I need to scope out the surroundings, I need to know where the exits are, I need to have a few plans of escape ready haha. You can never be too early!

If you were to invent a mythological creature how would it be?

 

 

Oh that’s cool! I think it would be some kind of lemon animal. I’d make up some animal that is based on lemons and have the superpowers of a lemon. It could have the power of being acid, of burning things but also clean and making things smell nice, it can also make nice drinks and give people lemonade. I don’t know if one like this exists…

Are you still making work with lemonade?

 

I tend to still use lemons in my work yea… but I haven’t developed anything new so I just make lemonade. I like the salty one, it’s kind of like a South Indian style Nimbu Pani.

Like those ones in the glass bottles with the little glass ball as a seal they sell is some places in India? 

Yea I know this system! It was actually invented by a British professor, he’s from Brixton in South London. This ball system, it was exported to India during the colonial times and it dies out everywhere else except for in India. You can still find some of these bottles in antique shops. If I find one, I’ll get it for you!

Any new year’s resolutions?

 

I think I have an idea where I want to train towards an artistic practice like training to be a boxer or an MMA fighter. I’m interested in the process of training to fight without the fighting aspect. Like how the psychology of a fighter can be applied to something completely different. I’m interested in the physical processes it involves, going to the gym, training, doing these activities as a ‘​Technique of the Self​’ but the outcome is never to fight and never to step into a ring but to do an artwork or something really mundane. For instance, I could do all this training and then sit down and be like ‘ok, I’m going to write an artist statement, I’m gonna attack the paper, albeit gently’ and to have this mentality throughout. As you can tell, I’m still developing the idea but it comes from observing people that are into boxing and fighting, something I had to contend with growing up, but now it functions as more of a curiosity.

 

The last thing you read that made you laugh?

 

You know what, there’s a page on Instagram, you probably know it: @braininthefrontseat. It’s like memes to do with art and it’s hilarious. There are lots that mention things like ‘research-based practices’ and on how these artists are just always on holiday.

A cringeworthy art world moment?

I feel there are so many…Yea OK, so I sort of entered the art world officially back in 2017, when

I was selected to be in the Diaspora Pavilion in Venice. I came from a background in medicine and community work, so I didn’t know what certain people looked like. So there I was, setting up my work in the pavillion and Isaac Julien walks in. He was asking me about my installation, saying that he liked it and wanted me to tell him more about it. For some reason I didn’t realise it was him at the time, so I just said ‘those guys over there are talking about ​Diaspora​, but my work is about the next generation and we are the NEO-DIASPORA, so it’s about the future and algorithms… blah blah blah’ – it was very dismissive and he just laughed and walked away! Then someone else came up to me and said ‘hey, that’s Isaac Julien, you can’t talk to him like that’ and I responded that ‘I didn’t realise it was him and I wasn’t really that fussed at the time because I was trying to work out my install.’ In any case, I later found out that he thought the whole exchange was hilarious and loved my sense of indifference in an environment where he is rarely unrecognised. Then at the opening of the show when he was speaking to the public he mentioned my concept of NEO-DIASPORA but attributed it instead to ‘Paul Maheke’ hahah! I was with Paul at the time and he promised that he hadn’t used this phrase with Isaac, so we just laughed about the absurdity of the whole scenario.

Butter or oil?

Always butter. Well no, actually I’d say together, because butter burns quickly so if you add oil you can have it at a higher temperature and still get the flavour. I used to be a chef so I know these tricks!

 Life hack for us?

 

I think my favourite life hack is: learn how to chop very well. Learn how to chop like a show-off chef. I’ve done workshops where I teach people how to chop a courgette for example. It’s very impressive, you can use it to show off, or you can put videos of you chopping on instagram and it gets people excited, I’ve done this and it works really well. It’s a life hack that helps you to cook quickly so you can eat proper food. And you need to use a good knife. It’s much safer to use a sharp knife than a blunt one because it doesn’t slip, fun fact!



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

It’s kind of like what I’ve been reflecting on in my new year’s resolutions: could training for a fight without the fighting be a form of practice? I don’t know how to phrase the question

really..but maybe: What is the most competitive thing that you have trained for, that requires a very competitive attitude? For instance, I played pool in tournaments when I was younger and I was quite good in my area, I won a couple of tournaments. I also used to be a goalkeeper, I played football semi-professionally. It was for very short period and came from my time in school when I used to be a goalkeeper because nobody else wanted to. I was the only person that could dive on concrete, it was crazy but everyone thought it was great. I used to get a thrill from the sense of risk but it wasn’t a sustainable career path… if only I’d known of Bas Jan Ader back then!

29.01.19 abbzah.com

Pensi che i tatuaggi invecchino bene?

Mmmm, penso che dipende da cosa sia il tatuaggio e di dove si trova sul corpo. Io non ho un tatuaggio.

 

Ne faresti uno?

 

 

Penso che mi farei un tatuaggio solo quando avrò abbastanza successo per farmene uno in faccia.

 

Se dovessi ascoltare una canzone per il resto della tua vita, quale sarebbe?

 

È una bella domanda. C’è una canzone di The Cinematic Orchestra che si intitola ‘Breathe’ e penso che sarebbe questa perché mi tranquillizza. È una della poche cose che posso ascoltare che ha un effetto rilassante su di me, quindi quando sono stressato e devo ascoltare una cosa, ascolto quello.

 

Preferisci essere un po’ in ritardo o super in anticipo?

 

Penso super in anticipo, sicuramente. Ho bisogno di capire i dintorni, devo sapere dove sono le uscite di sicurezza, devo avere alcuni piani di evasione pronti haha. Non si può mai essere troppo in anticipo!

 

Se dovessi inventare una creatura mitologica, come sarebbe?

 

Ah che figo! Penso che sarebbe una specie di animale limone. Creerei una specie di animale che si basa su limoni e che ha i superpoteri di un limone. Potrebbe avere il potere di essere acido, di bruciare cose ma anche di fare avere un buon odore, potrebbe creare delle bibite e dare alla gente delle limonata. Non so se esiste una cosa del genere…

 

Stai ancora facendo lavori con la limonata?

 

Tendo ancora a usare limoni nel mio lavoro sì…ma non ho sviluppato niente di nuovo quindi continuo a fare delle limonata. Mi piace quella salata, del tipo della del sud dell’India che si chiama Nimbu Pani.

 

Conosci quelle bottiglie di vetro con il tappo a forma di pallina di vetro che usano in certi luoghi in India?

Si conosco quel sistema! È stato inventato da un professore di Brixton, nel sud di Londra. Ed é un sistema che è stato esportato in india nel tempi del colonialismo. E non esiste piú da nessuna parte a parte in India. Vendono queste bottiglie in dei negozio di antiquariato qui, se ne vedo una ve la compro!

Hai dei buoni propositi per il nuovo anno?

 

Si penso di avere un idea di voler allenarmi per la mia pratica artistica come lo fa un pugile o uno che combatte nel MMA. Sono interessato nel processo di allenamento per lottare senza l’incontro, entrando nella psicologia di un pugile e come quella può essere applicata a qualcos’altro. Sono interessato nel processo fisico che implica, andare in palestra, allenamento, fare queste attività ma l’esito non è mai combattere e andare nel ring ma invece quello di creare arte. Quindi di fare tutto questo allenamente e poi sedersi e dirsi ‘ok, ora scrivo il mio statement artistico, ora aggredisco il foglio’ e di avere questa mentalità. Penso che il mio proposito del nuovo anno è di diventare un pugile che combatte ma senza i combattimenti. Sto ancora sviluppando questa idea ma proviene dall’essere circondati da altri interessati alla boxe, non lo ero mai ma sto diventando molto curioso.

 

L’ultima cosa che hai letto che ti ha fatto ridere?

 

Sapete cosa, c’è una pagina su instagram, la conoscete magari: braininthefrontseat. Sono dei memes ma che hanno a che fare con l’arte, sono divertentissimi. Ce ne sono tanti sulle pratiche di ricerca e su come gli artisti che fanno ricerca non fanno praticamente niente… sono sempre in vacanza, non fanno un cazzo.

 

 

Un momento imbarazzante del mondo dell’arte?

Ce ne sono molti… Sono arrivato nel mondo dell’arte più o meno ufficialmente nel 2017 quando sono stato selezionato per il padiglione Diaspora a Venezia, quindi avevo il mio lavoro lì. Non sapevo chi fossero tante delle persone presenti e stavo installando il mio lavoro nello spazio quando entrò Isaac Julien. Mi chiese di parlare del mio lavoro, non sapevo chi fosse ma gli rispose ‘mah, voi li state lavorando sul padiglione Diaspora ma il mio lavoro è sulla neo-diaspora, quindi sto parlando del futuro, non me ne frega tanto di quello che state facendo’. Quindi l’ho praticamente mandato via, lui rise e se ne andò! Qualcun altro mi disse ‘Ei, lui è Isaac Julien, non gli puoi parlare così’ ma io rispose ‘Non so chi sia Isaac Julien, non me ne frega niente’. A lui è piaciuta la situazione e l’ha trovata buffa, raramente non viene riconosciuto perciò lo ha trovato rinfrescante. Più tardi quando ha parlato a un evento pubblico ha parlato del mio lavoro e ha nominato la neo-diaspora e faceva riferimento a me ma invece di dire il mio nome ha nominato Paul Maheke hahah! Ero con Paul in quel momento e lui mi disse ‘non ho detto niente io!’, era una situazione del gioco del telefono arabo e faceva abbastanza ridere.

Burro o olio?

 

Burro sempre. Anzi no, direi insieme, perché il burro brucia in fretta quindi se aggiungi dell’olio si può andare a temperature più alte. Ero un chef prima quindi conosco questi trucchi!

 

 

Hai un life hack per noi?

Si, il mio life hack preferito è: imparare a tagliare molto bene. Impara a tagliare come uno chef. Ho fatto dei workshop dove insegno a tagliuzzare una zucchina per esempio. È molto impressionante, puoi vantarti, puoi mettere dei video di te che tagli su instagram e la gente si prende bene, l’ho fatto e funzione bene. È un life hack che ti aiuta a cucinare in fretta e quindi puoi mangiare bene perche non devi comprare cibo del cavolo. Devi usare un buon coltello. È molto più sicuro usare un coltello affilato piuttosto che uno che non taglia perché può scivolare!

 

Una domanda che ti stai facendo ultimamente?

È quello su cui stavo riflettendo per i propositi del nuovo anno: allenarsi per il pugilato senza gli incontri può essere un lavoro d’arte? Non so come strutturare questa domanda, ma magari: Qual’è la cosa più competitiva che hai fatto per cui c’è stato tanto allenamento e un’attitudine competitiva? Io ho giocato a biliardo da piccolo nei tornei ed ero abbastanza bravo nella mia zona, ho vinto un paio di tornei. Ero anche portiere, ho giocato a calcio semi professionalmente. Era un periodo breve e ho giocato come portiere perché nessuno nella mia scuola lo voleva fare. Ed ero l’unica persona che si buttava sul cemento, ero un po’ pazzo e tutti pensavano che era una cosa fantastica. Mi piaceva un casino fare tutto ciò ma non era un piano di carriera molto sostenibile.

Jumairy

21.01.19 jumairy.com

On what instagram profile would you like your work to be posted?

No. I don’t think there is any one. I don’t care, like I really don’t care. For me, because I’ve been off social media for this whole year…I’m just gonna backtrack and explain things. Basically last year around March I made the decision to take a year long break from showing new work and from any social media interaction or posting anything. With that I’ve realised that although social media plays a big part of my artistic identity I am not as reliant on it anymore, so I only use it in specific ways that only add to the value of my work. If anyone else wants to go ahead and post it, they can do it. Just credit me.

Blue or red?

Red, definitely. Red as a colour really really charges me. It makes me want to work. I really appreciate the colour red and also the diluted version of red is pink and as you may have noticed I have an unhealthy obsession with the color pink.

What decade do you wish you had lived in?

I wanna go to the future. I’m not really interested in the past. I think the past is great to learn from and help feed into your current situation. But like, I really wanna know if the hyperloop is gonna happen now, I wanna know if Elon Musk is the genius that everyone claims he is, you know, like that is what I’m really interested in..but also as a recent thing I wanna know if the Amazon guy (what’s his name?), what his divorce is gonna be like. Is his fortune gonna split in half or what?

Do you have a favourite tree?

Hmm…Haha I would love to just be like full on bedouin and choose a cliche tree like the palm tree, but it’s not, I don’t give a fuck about the palm tree. My favourite tree, it just hit me, it’s the mulberry tree. Growing up we had this mulberry tree behind my grandmothers house and I’d always climb it and pick all of these mulberries in the summer causing these black stains all over your feet and legs, just a magical time…mulberries stain the skin in a sort of deep pink, so beautiful, so so beautiful. Also recently I just read that mulberries can get you high if they’re not ripe. So I think I spent a majority of my childhood high as fuck!

What fictional location would you like to visit?

Omg ok! I want to go to Atlantica, little mermaid, Atlantica? Is that what it’s called? I wanna go there. I love the Little Mermaid, I’m obsessed with Ariel, I think she’s my favourite disney princess. There are a lot of interesting theories about why certain people are attracted to Ariel and specifically transgender children are attracted to her because she does not have genitalia in a way…I think…No, that is the theory, I know the theory haha!. I was always attracted to her, she was always rebellious, she didn’t give a fuck, she was like “fuck you father, I will go to the land, I don’t know their language, I don’t know what they’re doing, I’m going to use this fork as a hair brush and it’s totally fine”, which I attempted to do as a child. Forks don’t work as combs, I have learnt but I’d love to be in their world. I love Ursula, i have such appreciation for her because I feel like she’s misunderstood, for me in a way she is the super hero of the story. Ariel sometimes I love her and she like cool punk rock all of this stuff but she’s also stupid. I’m half Ariel half Ursula. In relation to that also Atlantis from the Atlantis cartoon is another place I’d love to go to, and even planet Mul, it’s the pearl planet from the movie Valerian and the city of a Thousand Planets, These fictional spaces have strong female leads in them and the fact that these worlds have such strong connections to water makes them a thousand times more fascinating to me.

So you are fascinated by the sea?

My psychic always says I get a lot of power from the sea and from the water and I always believe that is true! Hahaha. My psychic is great, he’s this CEO of a this tech company Dubai and credits his whole career to meditation. I sort of stumbled upon him randomly. He did my whole chakra reading the first day we met and told me loads of things about my previous lives.

Aside from that, i grew up in Jumeirah, which is an area that is very close to the sea, so my whole life was spent on the beach. I had my first sexual experiences on the beach in the middle of the night. it’s the place where i feel the most comfortable, the most connected, the most myself. it’s the reason i’m called Jumairy as Jumairy means “from Jumeirah”.

 

Would you rather live without air conditioning or without social media?

Without social media. Living in Dubai it’s hard to imagine life without an AC…and with global warming we’re really fucked, really really fucked. I choose social media for sure but if you made me choose between internet and AC I would take internet and get rid of AC. Haha, like it’s ok, I would die but at least I’d have access to all of the information i need or want.

Does your car have a name?

I actually have been thinking about that because I’m working on an artwork that related to my car. Right now it doesn’t have a name but funny enough actually [haha] the car is sometimes a ‘she’ to me (female pronouns for me) and it comes from a thing my dad used to tell me: he used to say that my car is my wife and I should not let anyone drive her. So I always thought of the car as a female in a way.

Do you have a life hack for us?

I love bukhoor, basically burning incense, in my room. Specifically frankincense. We say in the gulf that frankincense cleanses the space you’re in and also in a lot of mystic teachings it supports this idea. I carry crystals around, maybe this is just crazy me but I feel that the crystals just give me an excuse to like, be confident?! Like ‘I have my crystals, I can be an asshole today’ haha. I carry my rose quartz with me everywhere and every once in a while I change between some others. I do a lot of weird things…I tend to add turmeric to everything..turmeric in my rice, in my pasta, my tea. I also make a lot of scrubs and add turmeric, especially turmeric and coffee, it gives you a great colour!

A Question/A reflection?

Ok, I am contemplating getting a tattoo. And right now because I’m very indecisive and I really don’t like to make decisions that are gonna last forever. I think my question is not ‘what tattoos do you want to get’ but rather ‘do you think tattoos age well?’

As a tattoo I actually want to get this logo designed by my friend Tulip Hazbar for one of my artworks ‘The Sleepless Pe-Tal’ and it’s a reference to the typical pharmacy medical imagery. There is a snake and there are the wings of the eagle or whatever but if you look closer it’s all butterflies, multiple eyes in the artwork and there’s a sleeping  moon too. So, I want to get that on my back, then another thing, I want the name of my first solo exhibition on my ribs ‘BRZ5’ and also a couple of other things here and there, nothing too major….but I don’t want my skin to lag later on and for my tattoos to be unidentifiable!

21.01.19 jumairy.com

Su quale profilo instragram vorresti vedere il tuo lavoro pubblicato?

Non penso che ce ne sia uno. Non me ne frega, non me ne frega proprio niente. Sono stato fuori dai social media per un anno. Faccio due passi indietro e vi spiego tutto. Praticamente a marzo del anno scorso ho deciso di prendere una pausa di un anno dalle interazioni sui social media e ho anche smesso di postare qualsiasi cosa. Ho realizzato che nonostante il fatto che social hanno un ruolo importante nel mio lavoro, non ne dipendo così tanto ora. Li uso solo se può aggiunge qualcosa al valore del mio lavoro. Se qualcun altro vuole ripostare il mio lavoro, lo possono fare, basta nominarmi.

Blu o Rosso?

Rosso, definitivamente rosso. Il rosso in quanto colore mi carica, mi da voglia di lavorare. Lo apprezzo veramente come colore, e poi la versione diluita del rosso è il rosa e come avete notato, ho un’ossessione non molto sana con il colore rosa.

In che decennio ti sarebbe piaciuto vivere?

Vorrei piuttosto andare nel futuro. Non sono molto interessato nel passato. Penso che il passato sia ottimo per imparare e per farci capire meglio la nostra situazione attuale. Ma tipo, io voglio sapere se il Hyperloop succederà ora. Voglio sapere se Elon Musk è il genio di cui parlano tutti. Quelle sono le cose in cui sono veramente interessato. Ma anche questa cosa successa di recente, voglio sapere del tipo di Amazon (come si chiama?), se dopo il suo divorzio la suo fortuna sarà divisa in due o cosa?

Hai un albero preferito?

Hmm… haha mi piacerebbe essere super beduino e scegliere un albero cliché come la palma, ma non lo è e non me ne frega niente della palma. Il mio albero preferito, mi è appena venuto a mente, è il gelso. Crescendo c’era questo gelso dietro la casa di mia nonna e mi ci arrampicavo d’estate per raccogliere le more che creano queste macchie nere sui piedi e sulle gambe, dei tempi magici…le more macchiano la pelle di un rosa profondo, bello, ma proprio bello. Poi di recente ho letto che le more di gelso ti possono dare un high se non sono mature. Perciò penso di aver passato una gran parte della mia infanzia fattissimo.

Che luogo fittizio ti piacerebbe visitare?

Oh mio dio! Vorrei andare ad Atlantica, la Sirenetta, Atlantica? Si chiama cosi? Voglio andare li. Amo laSirenetta, sono ossessionato con Ariel, penso che sia la mia principessa Disney preferita. Ci sono tante teorie interessanti sul perché certe persone sono attratte ad Ariel, specificamente bambini transgender sono attratti a lei perché in un certo senso non ha genitali…penso. No, quella è la teoria, la teoria la conosco haha! Io ero sempre attratto a lei, e sempre stata ribelle, non gliene fregava niente, del tipo “vaffanculo padre, andrò a terra, non conosco il loro linguaggio, non so cosa stanno facendo, userò questa forchetta per pettinarmi i capelli ed andrà benissimo”, che ho tentato di fare da bambino. Le forchette non funzionano come pettini, ho imparato, ma mi piacerebbe comunque essere nel suo mondo. Adoro Ursula, ho un apprezzamento per lei perché sento che lei sia incompresa, per me in un certo modo è la supereroe della storia. Ariel, a volte la amo, e cool, punk rock e tutto quanto ma è anche molto stupida. Sono meta Ariel meta Ursula. In relazione a quello, anche Atlantis, del cartone Atlantis, è un altro posto in cui mi piacerebbe andare, e anche il pianeta di perle Mul dal film Valerian. Questi luoghi fittizi hanno forti personaggi principali che sono donne e il fatto che questi posti hanno forte connessioni con l’acqua li rende mille volte più affascinanti per me.

Quindi sei affascinato dal mare?

Il mio medium mi dice sempre che il mio potere proviene dal mare e dall’acqua e io credo che sia vero! Hahaha. Il mio medium è ottimo, è il direttore di una compagnia e rende merito di tutta la sua carriera alla meditazione. L’ho incontrato a caso e ha fatto tutta la lettura del mio chakra il primo giorni che ci siamo incontrati e mi ha detto un sacco di cose sulle mie vite precedenti. A parte quello, sono cresciuto a Jumeirah, che e un area molto vicino al mare, quindi ho passato quasi tutta la mia vita in spiaggia. Ho avuto le mie prime esperienze sessuali sulla spiaggia in mezzo alla notte. È il posto in cui mi sento piu sicuro, piu connesso, più me stesso. È la ragione per la quale mi chiamo Jumairy, Jumairy vuol dire di Jumeriah. .

Vivresti senza aria condizionata o senza social media?

Senza social media. Vivendo a Dubai è difficile immaginare una vita senza aria condizionata… e con il riscaldamento globale siamo fottuti, proprio fottuti. Scelgo social media ma se la domanda era tra internet e aria condizionata terrei internet e abbandonerei l’aria condizionata. Haha, tipo morirei ma almeno avrei accesso a tutte le info di cui ho bisogno.

La tua macchina ha un nome?

Ci stavo proprio pensando perché in questo momento sto facendo un lavoro in relazione alla mia macchina. Ora come ora, non ha un nome ma a volte la macchina e una ‘lei’ e questo proviene da una cosa che mi diceva mio padre: la mia macchina è come mia moglie e non dovevo lasciare nessuno guidarla. Quindi ho sempre pensato alla macchina in quanto oggetto femminile direi.

Hai un life hack per noi?

Amo il bukhoor, praticamente un incenso, nella mia camera. Di specifico frankincense. Nel golfo diciamo che il frankincense purifica lo spazio e tanti insegnamenti mistici sostengono questa idea. Porto in giro con me tanti cristalli, magari questo è solo perché sono un po’ pazzo ma sento che i cristalli mi danno una scusa per essere più sicuro in me stesso?! Tipo “ho i miei cristalli, posso essere stronzo oggi’ haha. Ho sempre il mio quarzo rosa con me e a volte faccio degli scambi con altri cristalli. Faccio tante cose strane… Tendo ad aggiungere del curcumina a tutto…curcumina nel mio riso, nella mia pasta, nel mio te. Faccio anche degli esfolianti, aggiungo del curcumina, specialmente curcumina e caffe, ti da un colore splendente!

Una domanda o una riflessione?

Ok, sto contemplando se farmi un tatuaggio o no. E ora sono molto indeciso, non mi piace prendere decisioni che dureranno per sempre. Penso che la mia domanda non sia ‘quale tatuaggio vorresti fare?’ ma piuttosto ‘Pensi che invecchino bene i tatuaggi?’

 

Io intanto vorrei veramente farmi fare questo logo disegnato dal mio amico Tulip Hazbar per uno dei miei lavori. ‘The Sleepless Pe-Tal’, è un riferimento al tipico immaginario di farmacia. C’è un serpente, ci sono delle ali di un’aquila o quello che sia, se guardi da vicino ci sono delle farfalle con tanti occhi nel disegno e c’è anche una luna che dorme. Quello lo voglio sulla mia schiena, poi un’altra cosa, voglio il nome della mia prima mostra personale sulle costole: ‘BRZ5’ e anche un paio di altre cose qui e lì, niente di grosso… ma non voglio che la mia pelle penzoli dopo e che i miei tatuaggi diventino indefinibili!

Monia Ben Hamouda

If you were stranded on a desert island knowing you would never see anybody ever again, would you keep making art?

Well, I’d probably keep making art exactly for that reason, I wouldn’t have any pressure, no external judgement. It could be a way to really concentrate on the work and putting aside the dynamics that sit around it and the surrounding fears.

Can you tell us about one material that you’re using in your latest work?

I’m fascinated by materials that you can shape, for instance liquids or casting materials. I’m quite interested in them because they allow me to sculpt in an indirect way, in an almost passive way, as if the material manages to find it’s own route independently from me, creating the art work independently.

If we offered you a 15 minute helicopter ride, where would you like to travel?

15 minutes really isn’t much… It would be difficult to get out of Milan or of Italy, but if it were possible, I’d take a ride to the Natural History Museum in Paris, that would be fantastic! I went briefly to Paris when I finished Art School in Milan, I saw Parreno in the Palais de Tokyo, Huyghe at the Pompidou, Matthew Barney at the Bibliotheque Nationale, but the place in the city that really impressed me was the Natural History Museum, with its infinity of fossils and huge mineral stones. Instead, if time wasn’t an issue, I’d like to get to the Gobi desert, Mongolia from above must be quite spectacular.  

A guilty pleasure from your instagram likes?

Omg, Kylie Jenner. When she shows up on my feed I feel really quite trashy but I can’t help being fascinated. She really satisfies me from sculptural perspective, I swear. Go Kylie!

If you were the protagonist of a black and white movie, what movie would that be?

I’d be the protagonist of Persepolis, Marjanne. A clever girl, who’s Iranian and who moves to Europe to study. Her dream as a child was to be the “last prophet in the galaxy”, which is a little bit like wanting to be an artist…

A food you wish you knew how to cook?

Oh I hate cooking, I always find ways to avoid doing it. So if I really had to, I’d pick knowing how to make synthetic food, like the pills that stimulate full meals or synthetic meat. Food of the future… I’m waiting.

Whale or Shark?

Shark, big black eyes… shark, shark!

What’s on your Christmas list?

On my christmas list there’s been for a few years now a bigger studio that will allow me to work in a bigger scale, a bit more confidence both in myself and my work and maybe also a new set of photographic lenses!

A life hack for us?

Ok, this is not really a life hack because in fact I’m quite clumsy and not very brilliant, but lately out of necessity I change the components of my devices on my own (so my computer and my phone). They break, I open them and pushed by an uncontrollable wave of stinginess I fix them myself. Usually it works all ok and my self esteem shoots through the roof.

A question you’d ask yourself?

On what instagram profile would you like your work to be published?

@vvvvvvhere seems to publish everyone but they don’t deem me worthy of a look. Or on Kylie’s profile, that would be great!

 

Se finisci su un isola deserta sapendo che non vedrai mai più nessuno, continueresti a fare arte?

Beh, probabilmente continuerei a fare arte proprio per questo, non avrei nessuna pressione, nessun giudizio esterni. Potrebbe essere una possibilità per concentrarsi veramente sul lavoro e mettere da parte le dinamiche che vi girano intorno e i timori ambientali.

Un materiale che stai usando ultimamente?

Sono molto affascinata dai materiali difficili da plasmare, come per esempio i liquidi o i materiali da colata. Mi interessano perché mi permettono di scolpire in modo indiretto e quasi passivo, come se il materiale riuscisse a trovare la sua strada indipendentemente da me, creando l’opera autonomamente.

Se ti regaliamo un volo in elicottero di 15 minuti, dove andresti?

15 minuti sono pochi… sarebbe difficile uscire da Milano o dall’Italia, ma se fosse possibile, uno strappo al museo di Storia Naturale di Parigi sarebbe fantastico! Sono stata brevemente a Parigi finita l’Accademia a Milano, ho visto Parreno al Palais de Tokyo, Huyghe al Pompidou, Mattew Barney alla Biblioteque Nationale, ma il luogo che più mi ha impressionato della città è stato proprio il Museo di Storia Naturale, un’infinità di fossili e di enormi pietre minerali. Se invece il tempo non fosse un problema mi piacerebbe arrivare fino al deserto del Gobi, la Mongolia dall’alto deve essere spettacolare.

Un tuo guilty pleasure su instagram?

Oddio, Kylie Jenner! Quando mi appare sul feed mi sento veramente una tamarra ma non posso fare a meno di essere affascinata. Mi appaga dal punto di vista scultoreo, giuro. Vai Kylie!

Se fossi protagonista di un film in bianco e nero, chi saresti?

Sarei la protagonista di Persepolis, Marjanne. Una ragazza molto sveglia, iraniana che si trasferisce in Europa per studiare. Il suo sogno da bambina era ‘’diventare l’ultimo profeta della galassia’’, che è un po’ come voler fare l’artista…

Un cibo che vorresti saper cucinare?

Odio cucinare, cerco sempre un modo per evitare di farlo. Quindi se proprio dovessi, sceglierei di cucinare un cibo sintetico, come le pillole che simulano i pasti completi o la carne sintetica. Cibo del futuro, ti aspetto.

Balena o squalo?

Squalo, occhi grandi, neri… squalo squalo!

Qualcosa sulla tua lista per babbo natale?

Sulla mia lista per Babbo Natale c’e gia da qualche anno uno studio più grande e che mi permetta di lavorare in scala maggiore, un po’ più di sicurezza in me stessa e nel mio lavoro, e magari anche un nuovo set di lenti fotografiche!

Life hack da condividere?

Ok, non è proprio un life hack perché in realtà sono piuttosto imbranata e poco geniale, ma ultimamente per necessità cambio i componenti dei miei device da sola: computer e cellulare. si rompono, li apro e spinta da una incontrollabile taccagneria me li aggiusto da sola. Di solito va bene e la mia autostima sale a livelli vertiginosi.

Domanda che faresti a te stessa?

Su quale profilo di IG vorresti che le tue opere fossero pubblicate?
@vvvvvvhere che pubblica chiunque a me non mi degna di uno sguardo. O sul profilo di Kylie, sarebbe fantastico!

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 write 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.

Render me grey: Interview with Possible Bodies

by Geraldine Juárez

X

The institutional demand for digitisation and the networked circulation of “cultural treasures,” austerity policies, and a complete lack of political and technical imagination (e.g., Europeana) have all turned public memory institutions in charge of cultural heritage into prey for monopolies (e.g., Alphabet, Inc.). They created the perfect opportunity for legitimising commercial information-gathering practices by allowing the use of their collections and architectures as sites of disruption from which value can be extracted via data-prospecting. Thus emerged a thriving practice of accumulating assets, where similar to colonial bio-prospecting, economic power is deployed with the mission of exploring, scanning surfaces and details, and systematically searching for valuable resources that can be extracted, classified, and organised for future profit-making.

It is not a coincidence that many of the cultural assets digitised by the Google Cultural Institute and displayed in their cultural aggregator, Google Arts & Culture, are the very artefacts originating in the process of colonial prospecting, extraction, and violence that resulted in the transformation of colonial states into empires, and which shaped the encyclopaedic organisation and classification of the world-as-exhibition: https://experiments.withgoogle.com/the-museum-of-the-world. The contemporary logic of information philanthropy—the “benevolent” corporate investments in free digitisation and distribution services for and of cultural heritage—simply resembles a tired old formula: monopolise information to monopolise memory, and by extension, the power to control the imaging of the world.

Ten years after Eric Schmidt anticipated Google’s cultural department in a press conference at the National Museum of Iraq in 20091, the Google Cultural Institute is today a mammoth technical institution, a provider of apparently free services for the GLAM industry2, and a massive online aggregator of collections. And, as has been the case for many centuries, “collections adorn the position of those in power—kings, princesses, popes, landowners, merchants”3 as well as bio- and data-prospectors.

Of course, data-prospecting practices such as mining, tracking, scanning, modelling, rendering, and augmenting are not limited to the extraction of surfaces and volumes from cultural artefacts. They are widely applied in the prospecting of all matter found on the Earth and deployed for extracting superficial and volumetric knowledge that can lead to profit. The relevance of the images obtained via data-prospecting lies in the ways in which they are instrumentalised in different, if connected, ways by different industry sectors: capitalism is just a way of organizing nature4, culture, data, objects, documents, bodies—its images and imaginaries.

 

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“The word museum, which I use to designate this house, is a survival of the time when I was working on plans for my invention, without knowing how it would eventually turn out. At that time I thought I would build large albums or museums, both public and private, filled with these images.”

The Invention of Morel – Adolfo Bioy Casares

093. CT-Bone volume

001. Blenderella

056. Civilian American and European Surface

113. On a screen near you, the history of the world

These peculiar items are part of the Inventory assembled by Possible Bodies, a group of trans*feminist inventors interrogating the fictions around “bodies” and the material and cultural conditions defining how volumes are rendered in computational environments.

Browsing around, the probabilities and possibilities stocked in this inventory bring to mind the relation between fantasy and collecting manifested in works like Musaeum Clausum (1684) by Thomas Browne: it is a tract that uses the “musaeum” both as mental image and textual structure, where “collecting” as a cognitive activity is appropriated for social and cultural ends.5 Musaeum Clausum acts as a guide for an imaginary collection of invented items, such as vegetable horns, a picture of famous dwarves drinking, and a glass of spirits made from aethereal salt, as well as notes, comments, travel writing, and poems.6

Henri Lefebvre described writing as an intellectual and spiritual space of a people, the mental space of an epoch.7 Musaeum Clausum imaged the mental space created by the nascent practice of accumulating specimens of natural history owned by the elites (and which were the beginning of the British Museum’s collection) in the same way that Adolfo Bioy Casares captured, in The Invention of Morel (1940), the mental space of an epoch light-struck by photography and the new horizon of technical reproduction of memory through the mental image of a machine capable of recording and reproducing presence in a spatial way. Likewise, Possible Bodies’ inventory collects “artworks, scripts, documentation, manuals, guided tours, interfaces, vocabulary, performances, software demos, tools, physical objects, animations, mathematical concepts, games, and renderings” to assemble a set that reflects the mental space of an epoch dominated by computation and where data-prospecting and volumetrics are essential to rendering the images that aid in the reproduction of capital.

 

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During the latest rotation of Possible Bodies in London at Furtherfield, Helen Pritchard, Jara Rocha, and Femke Snelting sat down in a cafe around Finsbury Park in London to record a conversation around some questions I had sent them about their inventory, 3D extractivist imaging, and greyness.

Jara: So the first question is about the inventory… Well, there are at least three things to say about that. The inventory works as a device, is itself an object that is constructed with material and semiotic decisions so that it operates in a particular way. It’s an it, we can name it. It’s an artefact that’s not formed from scratch; it has some legacies as an object, and comes from a family of objects related to some worlds and not others.

It is also a practice, meaning that it’s a way of using, of researching—it’s almost a method. This is super important for us, as it transforms from basic inventory into a way of practically inhabiting our research process: a particular way of writing, collecting, keeping, re-taking, and organising guided tours around a set of items.

Finally, it’s a mode of relation. A way of being in common, a set of conditions for relating, not only between us as researchers but between research and questions, and between the questions themselves and all the layers of problematisation that emerge when considering bodies, volumetrics, and the tension between the probable and the possible.

 

Femke: Also, in relation to what Geraldine refers to as “data-prospecting,” when we considered which kind of infrastructure we would use, we discussed the possibility of mapping, topography, and collection. We considered all kinds of modes that could bring different elements together. We decided to try out the inventory because as a working method it’s quite modest and doesn’t even suggest completeness. It’s also a way to keep items active while trying out things and get a grasp of what’s needed to be done. Like in the sense of the commercial inventory of a shop, where you can see what needs to be added to the stock and what needs to be ordered in a very basic way.

There are obviously problems in relation to the act of taking stock and controlling it, but as a tool it has been quite useful to identify what’s there and what isn’t. Some of the items may be notes and others are more research-intensive; some have been added but never been activated. And that is okay, there’s no need to bring all items to the same level.

 

Jara: In relation to inventorying and the logic that formalises the relations that come with these objects and practices, we would say that it’s been mutating, they’re not fixed. At the first stage we got a grasp of the questions that were there and collected items that would remind us our problem. Then it mutated into something like, not language because that’s something much more articulated, but more like… a shared repertoire that we could think together with.

 

Femke: This is part of the potential of the inventory, that it’s not completely fixed. During the last year we started making guided tours through the material by writing sketches for a movie. We remixed texts and images from the inventory into narratives about the concerns we have in relation to 3D technologies. This has been a very interesting way to pick up things in relation to other things, like for example, item number 104 with item number 97… This re-configurability has been the real pleasure of working this inventory.

Helen, you were one of the first we invited to pick certain items as the focus of a guided tour…

 

Helen: Yeah, when you invited me to do the tour, the inventory was smaller than it is now, but still felt that you could move through it because it’s not strictly categorised. This creates an openness to come into it that is not predetermined by you as the “directors of the inventory.” People also found it quite inviting to enter into the space, like sifting through junk store to find the thing you really want to think about, something that hasn’t been completely pre-determined by somebody else’s analysis or description. The quality of the inventory is that it isn’t about over-determining things, as would be the case in an archive or museum or some other database.

 

Femke: And where the ambition is completion or full description.

 

Jara: At the same time, the inventory is in itself a publishing practice; it is deliberately online and operates as a public repository.

 

Femke: Yes, it’s not like a private book that by accident is open to others. The inventory is a way to inhabit its roughness and undefinedness, open about the fact that others will go through and do things with it. Sometimes because we invited them, like Helen, and others because people will just find stuff that triggers them to start looking around.

 

Helen: Also, it’s not like a collection of so-called raw materials either. There are items that have been worked upon but there are also different types of analysis happening in different items, from fiction-writing and images to reflexions and workshops. It’s a starting point—you don’t start with a set of materials.

 

Femke: No, they’re not “resources”.

 

Jara: I think that in these times it’s also important to consider bibliographic resistances, to check who and how you quote, what references your research covers along, what visibilities are generated and so on; so in this way it’s interesting that the inventory is operating in an affirmative way. Its bibliographic resistance is not in the sense that we will not quote people we are not aligned with. The inventory is precisely full of stuff we wouldn’t align with, and this is why it’s there, because we need it to problematise and work with complexity. It’s a way of populating with tensions and difficulties something that maybe in contemporary publishing practices doesn’t happen much anymore, a more direct and perhaps antagonistic way of circulating matter.

 

Femke: Now let’s move on to the next question. What is a rotation and what is its role in the constitution of the inventory?

Rotation is a word we started using after Helen did her guided tour and where she used literally to describe the way she was thinking with the items in the inventory. First, we were playing with “iteration” and then we got excited about “rotation” as a way of taking something in your hand and by moving it around, as you find new perspectives and ways to handle it. More concretely, rotations are moments taking place in different institutions in Brussels, Barcelona, and Stuttgart, for example, clusterings where the inventory is reconfigured in order to work with groups of people, and groups of issues, that are locally urgent.

 

Jara: Rotations are important to Possible Bodies because of the need we feel to be interlocutors, not only to have internal agreements and consensus, but to interact with other people with different expertise and experiences that are applied under particular situations. For example, one rotation was about biomedical imaging and rendering because it was organised at Hangar in Barcelona, where there’s an active GynePunk community. So in conversation with this group we rotated about modes of re-appropriation of the expertise that circulates among the biomedical industry. For a second rotation in Barcelona, we connected to a congress about truth and its regimes. This made us rotate, or re-orient, or disorient our focus towards how particular techniques, technologies, and infrastructures can be assembled around regimes participating in the production of the truths that later crystallise in world-making, in the production of the probable—rather than the possible.

Keeping in conversation with people from other fields also gives us the chance to be promiscuous in the languages, sites, gazes, mediums, and formats we use. By being disobedient to the calibration of the disciplines that somehow organise knowledge around corpuses and knowledge production, we can operate transversally within the problems and complexities in which the contemporary volumetric is working today. This is a technique we call Disobedient Action Research.

 

Femke: Rotation is an intellectual exercise, but it’s also about physical movement into places where we teach or have residencies. It’s a way to move towards communities and the different modes of research happening in different places.

 

Helen: Today in The Trans*Feminist Rendering Program, you pointed out that we have a lot of rotating 3D objects, but each rotation happens not in an empty universe or space, but within a temporal-spatial, techno-scientific space. With each rotation new concerns arise, and someone can actually apply a method to an item and then the inventory is completely different…

 

Jara: Yes, each rotation brings its own demands and carries its own circumstances, its own particular whens and wheres.

 

Femke: Shall we continue with this question about the difference between an object, a body, and an .obj in the context of the inventory?

Well, when we say “body” it’s always either in quotation marks or preceded by “so called”, because part of the work is about really insisting on the political fiction of the “body”. Especially in the contact with scanning, modelling, and rendering technologies, it’s very important to not essentialise the “body”—neither as a unit nor as a human entity. In these environments, the problems that arise when isolating “body” and an object, and to treat them as entities without agency, might be similar.

About the .obj, as described in the question, I understand this more about the process of making something into an object and maybe this is not so much the focus of work.

 

Jara: For us it’s not helpful to separate them into different categories. In our inventory an object can be a habitat or a practice, but also an .obj. Those categories of objecthood and subjecthood or bodily presence that are techno-socially read as either “body” or object greatly limit the very concern we’re working with, which is that there is a mutual constitution between technologies and so-called bodies that connect with a genealogy of political fictions—understanding “bodies” as political fictions, if you want, lively political fictions.

It is super blurry how bodies and objects function within the inventory. The difference is more in terms of their readability, accountability, and the external judgements on such entities that categorise them as objects or “bodies” and maybe not so much in the essence they carry with them. We’ve been thinking about biomedical imaging, where there’s this rendering of so-called bodies as knowable objects. It makes “bodies” into a certain kind of object so you can operate on them, both literally and metaphorically.

 

Helen: It’s a resistance to essentialising them in terms of substance and more about seeing them in relation to mediation. And the inventory is hopefully able to hold that space.

 

Femke: The next question is about how techno-scientific feminism can destabilise the administrative impulses of collecting, categorising, and displaying?

So, for example, today we did a physical exercise based on how LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging)8 works, a technique used to index the world based on knowable points, which then get rendered into optimisable imagery. We worked on trying to understand the way this technique, and specifically points of view produce specific surfaces and renderings. Then we made physical exercises based on the topologies produced by the software as a way to imagine a trans*feminist approach to such an indexing of the world.

Digital technology has inherited tendencies towards automation and categorisation, but it’s important to not reject these technologies and keep on pushing to work with rendering rather than detecting and scanning. There’s not only one way in which this can happen; it’s a constant work of rotation within these technologies.

 

Jara: Geraldine use the verb “destabilise”. Uhm… destabilising breaks the common flux of the establishment, and in that sense, yes, it’s a practice that somehow keeps active and opens wide the spectrum for other practices, subjectivities, constellations, and constitutions to emerge. But then there is also a very pragmatic part that has to do with the political economy of techno-science: how is it kept in place by the establishment in a hyper-productivist and turbo-capitalist way? And how does it widen the spectrum of the possible? At this point, I’d apply the oblique cut of the trans*: what trans*action, trans*mutation, trans*duction, etc. can be applied to those not always productive modes of inhabiting techno-science?

 

Femke: Flexibility and agility work very well with computational systems, so I would be a bit careful. There is a lot of capital being poured into destabilising infrastructures, structures, and institutions in order to gain agility. I think the trans*feminist work is not just to reject stability but to think about what stabilities we want, and for whom.

 

Jara: Right, yeah, the administrative impulses of collecting, categorising, and displaying aren’t necessarily patriarchal; they can be trans*feminist, anti-racist, and engaged with the world in affirmative ways. Giving up on these practices just because patriarchy has predominantly employed them is somehow a way of capitulating and letting go of a very interesting ongoing fight.

 

Helen: The next question is about the concept of “extractivist 3D imagery”, how it operates today generally, and in relation to the inventory.

An example we looked up a couple of months ago is a software actually called optimised volumetrics for chroma extraction, with which a company can run a series of machine-learning processes to work out the optimal way of undertaking a mining site extraction. The predictive software involves mapping the cost of the extraction and the value that a particular resource will have. A massive economic evaluation occurs before the extraction takes place—and this is all rendered in a 3D image.

3D extractivist imagery is not just about the way in which a volume of coal or gas is obtained and sold, but also about the commodification process of these volumes. As part of the coming materialist discourses you can already see how in extractivist 3D imagery processes the volume has a value that can be seen by investors. And so you can see, quite explicitly, how extraction is operating on the production of these 3D processes and in turn, how this kind of computational aesthetics is having a significant effect on the extraction process.

A lot of geological modelling is quite distant from the realities on the ground. A pre-extraction geological model is never going to show how the drill actually enters the earth; the process of extraction becomes the hidden part in the imagery and the volume that is produced from inside of it.

 

Femke: So then you have this contrast between a high-res, extremely computational zoomable image that is both about suggesting access and not all taking into account what is there. And this combination of rendered access is also very much what happens in biomedical imagery. But the rendering made accessible and available feels even more extreme in these geological modelling programs.

 

Helen: This is not about “making the invisible visible”. Rather, these processes are smoothing over… and there is so much economic speculation and computational power in that.

 

Femke: It’s not just the software, it’s how in the discipline of geology, the knowledge about and extraction of the earth are made inseparable. It’s not only about the geology of media, but the geologics of computationalism that come together in these types of tools in quite breathtaking ways.

 

Helen: And at the same time this doesn’t happen without real friction. Those machine-learning models are made to optimise the type of extraction that will then be performed by labourers—it’s not a mere fantasy.

 

Jara: Ok. Last question! In the sense of evil media, your inventory is pretty grey, but it doesn’t settle and infuse the digital grisaille9 with The Probable* and The Possible.* I also can’t help noting that The Probable item is a grey .gif. How is grey media situated in your inventory?

I am super interested in the potential of grey literature to alter those very technical documents or devices, precisely to affect how they operate. Maybe one thing we could talk about here is bug reports. These are grey documents that circulate among the practice of software-production and they operate differently from other more culturally recognisable kinds of writing.

 

Femke: Greyness, in the sense of evil media, is also about looking at those breathtaking software processes and 3D extractivist projects through their manuals, licenses, and bug reports. It’s a way to not get too blinded by complexity and at the same time it is a way to sense their cracks and understand their paratexts to get a handle on their structurings. You can see the slippages among different practices through the language around what works and doesn’t, what could, should, or cannot happen. You can start seeing too the limits of imaginations that are there, certain assumptions, values, and priorities. There is something very interesting about software’s grey literature. Sometimes language works and sometimes it doesn’t. You can start to look at how you can be in a conversation, directly, imaging who you are speaking with or writing to.

 

Jara: In relation to what Geraldine points out, this is how we can maybe understand grey matter or grey literature: a spot from where you can turn the very probable into quite possible. This is where things can be altered. Precisely because this is the place where things can be written down, where things start tracing the too probable trajectories of the contemporary structuring of matter, and can be somehow partly re-written and changed from the probable to the possible in an instant. This at least is where the probable and the possible blur, they are both there. This is the spacetime of transformation.

 

Femke: Where the probable and the possible cohabit… They are both there.

 

 

Thanks to Helen Pritchard, Jara Rocha, Femke Snelting, and Jeffrey Malecki for their generous time, answers, and attention that shaped the final form of this text.

 

Non spaventatevi! Avvisiamo i nostri gentili lettori che le traduzioni sono state fatte dalla team di sink perció scusate le imperfezioni.

Rendimi grigio: Intervista con Possible Bodies

Geraldine Juárez

X

La domanda istituzionale di digitalizzazione e circolazione in rete dei “tesori culturali”, le politiche di austerità e la totale mancanza di immaginazione politica e tecnica (ad esempio, Europeana) hanno trasformato le istituzioni della memoria pubblica responsabili dei beni culturali in prede per i monopoli (ad esempio, Alphabet, Inc.). Hanno creato l’occasione perfetta per legittimare le pratiche commerciali di raccolta di informazioni, consentendo l’uso delle loro collezioni e architetture come siti di disturbo da cui estrarre valore attraverso la prospezione di dati. Così è emersa una fiorente pratica di accumulazione di beni, dove, simile alla bioprospezione coloniale, il potere economico viene impiegato con la missione di esplorare, scansionare superfici e dettagli, e cercare sistematicamente risorse preziose che possono essere estratte, classificate ed organizzate per futuro profitto.

Non è un caso che molti dei beni culturali digitalizzati dal Google Cultural Institute e visualizzabili nel loro aggregatore culturale, Google Arts & Culture, sono proprio gli artefatti che originano dal processo di prospezione coloniale, estrazione e violenza che ha portato alla trasformazione degli stati coloniali in imperi, e che hanno plasmato l’organizzazione enciclopedica e la classificazione del mondo in quanto mostra: https://experiments.withgoogle.com/the-museum-of-the-world. La logica contemporanea della filantropia dell’informazione – i “benevoli” investimenti aziendali nella digitalizzazione e nei servizi di distribuzione gratuiti per e del patrimonio culturale – risponde semplicemente ad una vecchia formula: monopolizzare l’informazione per monopolizzare la memoria e, per estensione, il potere di controllare la rappresentazione del mondo.

Dieci anni dopo l’annuncio di Eric Schmidt a proposito del dipartimento culturale di Google in una conferenza stampa al Museo nazionale iracheno nel 20091, il Google Cultural Institute è oggi una gigantesca istituzione tecnica, un fornitore di servizi apparentemente gratuiti per l’industria GLAM2 e un enorme aggregatore digitale di collezioni. E, come è stato il caso per molti secoli “le collezioni adornano la posizione di coloro che sono al potere – re, principesse, papi, proprietari terrieri, mercanti”3 così come i bio e data prospettori.

Naturalmente, le pratiche di prospezione dei dati come l’estrazione, il rilevamento, la scansione, la modellazione, il rendering e l’ampliamento non si limitano all’estrazione di superfici e volumi da artefatti culturali. Sono ampiamente applicate nella prospezione di tutta la materia presente su Terra e utilizzate per estrarre conoscenze superficiali e volumetriche che possono portare al profitto. La rilevanza delle immagini ottenute attraverso la prospezione dei dati sta nel modo in cui sono strumentalizzate in vari modi collegati tra loro da diversi settori industriali: il capitalismo è solo un modo di organizzare la natura4, la cultura, i dati, gli oggetti, i documenti, il corpo-le sue immagini e il suo immaginario.

 

Y

“La parola museo, che uso per designare questa casa, è una sopravvivenza del periodo in cui stavo lavorando ai progetti per la mia invenzione, senza sapere come sarebbe andata a finire. All’epoca pensavo di costruire grandi album o musei, sia pubblici che privati, pieni di queste immagini”.

L’invenzione di Morel – Adolfo Bioy Casares

093. CT-Bone volume

001. Blenderella

056. Civilian American and European Surface

113. On a screen near you, the history of the world

Questi oggetti particolari fanno parte dell’Inventario assemblato da Possible Bodies, un gruppo di inventrici trans*femministi che interrogano le finzioni intorno ai “corpi” e le condizioni materiali e culturali che definiscono come i volumi sono rendered in ambienti computazionali.

Navigando questo inventario, le probabilità e le possibilità presenti ricordano il rapporto tra fantasia e collezionismo che si manifesta in opere come Musaeum Clausum (1684) di Thomas Browne: è un opuscolo5 che utilizza il “musaeum” sia come immagine mentale che come struttura testuale, dove il “collezionismo” come attività cognitiva è destinato a fini sociali e culturali.6 Il Musaeum Clausum funge da guida per una collezione immaginaria di oggetti di invenzione, come le corna vegetali, un’immagine di nani famosi che bevono, un bicchiere di liquore a base di sale evanescente, oltre a note, commenti, scritti di viaggio e poesie.7 

Henri Lefebvre descrive la scrittura come lo spazio intellettuale e spirituale di un popolo, lo spazio mentale di un’epoca.8 Musaeum Clausum immagina lo spazio mentale creato dalla nascente pratica delle élite di accumulare esemplari della storia naturale (e che furono l’inizio della collezione del British Museum) così come Adolfo Bioy Casares catturò, in L’invenzione di Morel (1940), lo spazio mentale di un’epoca colpita dalla fotografia e il nuovo orizzonte della riproduzione tecnica della memoria attraverso l’immagine mentale di una macchina capace di registrare e riprodurre la presenza in modo spaziale.

Allo stesso modo, l’inventario di Possible Bodies raccoglie “opere d’arte, sceneggiature, documentazione, manuali, visite guidate, interfacce, vocabolario, performance, dimostrazioni di software, strumenti, oggetti fisici, animazioni, concetti matematici, giochi e rendering” per assemblare un insieme che riflette lo spazio mentale di un’epoca dominata dalla computazione e dove la rilevazione dei dati e la volumetria sono essenziali per rendere le immagini che permettono la riproduzione del capitale.

 

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Durante l’ultima rotazione di Possible Bodies a Furtherfield a Londra, Helen Pritchard, Jara Rocha e Femke Snelting si sono sedute in un bar vicino a Finsbury Park per registrare una discussione su alcune domande che gli avevo inviato riguardo al loro inventario, al imaging 3D estrattivista e al grigiore.

 

Jara: Quindi la prima domanda riguarda l’inventario… Ci sono almeno tre cose da dire a riguardo. L’inventario funziona come un dispositivo, è esso stesso un oggetto costruito con decisioni materiali e semiotiche in modo che funzioni in modo particolare. È un oggetto, possiamo nominarlo. È un artefatto che non è formato dal nulla; ha alcune eredità come oggetto, e proviene da una famiglia di oggetti legati ad alcuni mondi e non ad altri.

È anche una pratica, nel senso che è un modo di usare, di ricercare – è quasi un metodo. Questo è molto importante per noi, perché da inventario di base si trasforma in un modo di praticamente abitare il nostro processo di ricerca: un modo particolare di scrivere, raccogliere, conservare, riprendere e organizzare visite guidate intorno a un insieme di oggetti.

Infine, è una modalità di relazione. Un modo di essere in comune, un insieme di condizioni per relazionarsi, non solo tra noi ricercatrici ma tra ricerca e domande, e tra le domande stesse e tutti gli strati di problematizzazione che emergono quando si considerano i corpi, la volumetria e la tensione tra il probabile e il possibile.

 

Femke: Inoltre, in relazione a quello che Geraldine chiama la “prospezione di dati”, quando abbiamo considerato che tipo di infrastruttura avremmo usato, abbiamo discusso la possibilità di mappatura, topografia e collezione. Abbiamo preso in considerazione tutti i tipi di modalità che potrebbero riunire elementi diversi. Abbiamo deciso di provare l’inventario perché come metodo di lavoro è piuttosto modesto e non pretende essere completo. È anche un modo per mantenere attivi gli oggetti mentre si fanno prove e si capisce cosa bisogna fare. Come l’inventario commerciale di un negozio, dove si può vedere cosa deve essere aggiunto al inventario e cosa deve essere ordinato in un modo molto semplice.

Ci sono ovviamente dei problemi in relazione all’atto di creare un inventario e controllarlo, ma come strumento è stato molto utile per identificare cosa c’è e cosa non c’è. Alcuni degli articoli possono essere scritti e altri sono più ricercati; alcuni sono stati aggiunti ma non sono mai stati attivati. E questo va bene, non c’è bisogno di portare tutti gli oggetti allo stesso livello.

Jara: In relazione all’inventariazione e alla logica che formalizza le relazioni che si presentano con questi oggetti e pratiche, diremmo che sono mutate, non sono fisse. Nella prima fase abbiamo capito le domande che c’erano e abbiamo raccolto oggetti che ci ricordano il nostro problema. Poi è mutato in qualcosa, non nel linguaggio perché è qualcosa di molto più articolato, ma più tipo… un repertorio condiviso per pensare insieme.

 

Femke: Questo fa parte del potenziale dell’inventario, che non è completamente fisso. Nell’ultimo anno abbiamo iniziato a fare visite guidate attraverso il materiale scrivendo scene per un film. Abbiamo remixato testi e immagini dell’inventario in racconti sulle preoccupazioni che abbiamo in relazione alle tecnologie 3D. Questo è stato un modo molto interessante per affrontare le cose in relazione ad altre cose, come ad esempio l’articolo 104 con l’articolo numero 97… Questa riconfigurabilità è stata il vero piacere di lavorare a questo inventario.

Helen, tu sei stata una delle prime che abbiamo invitato a scegliere alcuni oggetti come punto focale di una visita guidata…

 

Helen: Sì, quando mi avete invitato a fare la visita, l’inventario era più piccolo di quanto non lo sia ora, ma sentivo comunque che potevo muovermi perché non è strettamente categorizzato. Questo crea un’apertura per entrarci che non è predeterminata da voi come “direttrici dell’inventario”. La gente ha anche trovato lo spazio molto invitante, come navigare un negozio di seconda mano per trovare ciò a cui vuoi davvero pensare, qualcosa che non è stato completamente predeterminato dal un’analisi o dalla descrizione di qualcun altro. La qualità dell’inventario è che non si tratta di sovradeterminare le cose, come nel caso di un archivio, di un museo o di qualche altro database.

 

Femke: E dove l’ambizione è la completezza o la descrizione assoluta.

 

Jara: Allo stesso tempo, l’inventario è di per sé una pratica editoriale; è deliberatamente online e funziona come un magazzino pubblico.

 

Femke: Sì, non è come un libro privato che per errore è aperto ad altri. L’inventario è un modo per abitarne l’indeterminatezza, aperto sul fatto che gli altri lo navigheranno e lo useranno. A volte perché li abbiamo invitati, come Helen, e a volte perché le persone troveranno cose che le spingeranno a navigarlo.

 

Helen: Inoltre, non è come una collezione di cosiddette materie prime. Ci sono oggetti su cui si è lavorato, ma ci sono anche diversi tipi di analisi che si svolgono per oggetti diversi, dalla scrittura di narrazione, alle immagini, alle riflessioni e ai workshop. È un punto di partenza: non si parte da un insieme di materiali.

 

Femke: No, non sono “risorse”.

 

Jara: Penso che in questi tempi sia importante considerare anche le resistenze bibliografiche, per verificare chi e come si cita, quali riferimenti copre una ricerca, quali sono le visibilità generate e così via; quindi in questo modo è interessante che l’inventario funzioni in modo affermativo. La sua resistenza bibliografica non è nel fatto che non citeremo persone con cui non siamo allineati. L’inventario è proprio pieno di cose con cui non ci allineeremo, ed è per questo che c’è, perché ne abbiamo bisogno per problematizzare e lavorare con la complessità. È un modo di popolare con tensioni e difficoltà qualcosa che forse nelle pratiche editoriali contemporanee non succede più molto, un modo più diretto e forse antagonista di far circolare la materia.

 

Femke: Passiamo ora alla domanda successiva. Cos’è una rotazione e qual è il suo ruolo nella costituzione dell’inventario?

Rotazione è una parola che abbiamo iniziato ad usare dopo che Helen ha fatto la sua visita guidata e ha usato rotazione per descrivere il suo modo di riflettere con gli oggetti dell’inventario. In primo luogo, stavamo usando la parola “iterazione” e poi ci siamo entusiasmate all’idea di “rotazione” come un modo di prendere qualcosa in mano e spostarlo, mentre si trovano nuove prospettive e modi per gestirlo. Più concretamente, le rotazioni sono momenti che si svolgono in diverse istituzioni, per esempio a Bruxelles, Barcellona e Stoccarda, raggruppamenti in cui l’inventario viene riconfigurato per lavorare con gruppi di persone e questioni urgenti a livello locale.

 

Jara: Le rotazioni sono importanti per Possible Bodies per la necessità di sentirsi interlocutori, non solo per avere accordi interni e consenso, ma anche per interagire con altre persone con competenze ed esperienze diverse che vengono applicate in situazioni specifiche. Per esempio, una rotazione riguardava l’imaging biomedico e il rendering perché è stata organizzata al Hangar a Barcellona, dove c’è una comunità GynePunk attiva. Così, durante la conversazione con questo gruppo, abbiamo ruotato sulle modalità di riappropriazione delle competenze che circolano nell’industria biomedica. Durante una seconda rotazione a Barcellona, ci siamo collegati a un congresso sulla verità e i suoi regimi. Questo ci ha fatto ruotare, ri-orientare o disorientare la nostra attenzione su come alcune tecniche, tecnologie e infrastrutture possono essere assemblate intorno a regimi che partecipano alla produzione delle verità che poi si cristallizzano nel costruire un mondo, nella produzione del probabile, piuttosto che del possibile.

Mantenere una conversazione con persone di altri settori ci dà anche la possibilità di essere promiscui nelle lingue, nei siti, negli sguardi, nei media e nei formati che usiamo. Disobbedendo alla calibrazione delle discipline che in qualche modo organizzano la conoscenza intorno ai corpus e alla produzione di conoscenze, possiamo operare trasversalmente all’interno dei problemi e delle complessità in cui opera oggi il rendering volumetrico contemporaneo. Questa è una tecnica che chiamiamo Disobedient Action Research.

 

Femke: La rotazione è un esercizio intellettuale, ma riguarda anche il movimento fisico in luoghi dove insegniamo o abbiamo delle residenze. È un modo per muoversi verso le comunità e le diverse modalità di ricerca che esistono in luoghi diversi.

 

Helen: Oggi in The Trans*Feminist Rendering Program, hai segnalato che abbiamo un sacco di oggetti 3D in rotazione, ma ogni rotazione non avviene in un universo o spazio vuoto, ma in uno spazio temporale, tecno-scientifico. Con ogni rotazione sorgono nuove preoccupazioni, e qualcuno può effettivamente applicare un metodo ad un oggetto e poi l’inventario diventa completamente diverso…

 

Jara: Sì, ogni rotazione porta le proprie esigenze e porta le proprie circostanze.

 

Femke: Continuiamo con questa domanda sulla differenza tra un oggetto, un corpo e un oggetto nel contesto dell’inventario?

Beh, quando diciamo “corpo” è sempre tra virgolette o preceduto da “cosidetto”, perché parte del lavoro consiste nell’insistere realmente sulla finzione politica di un “corpo”. Soprattutto nel contatto con le tecnologie di scansione, modellazione e rendering, è molto importante non essenzializzare il “corpo”, né come unità né come entità umana. In questi ambienti, i problemi che sorgono quando si isolano il “corpo” e un oggetto, e vengono trattati come entità senza capacità di agire, potrebbero essere simili.

Per quanto riguarda l’.obj descritto nella domanda, lo capisco di più nel processo di trasformare di qualcosa in un oggetto e forse non è questo il fulcro del lavoro.

 

Jara: Per noi non è utile separarli in categorie diverse. Nel nostro inventario un oggetto può essere un habitat o una pratica, ma anche un .obj. Quelle categorie di oggetti e di presenza soggettiva o presenza corporea che sono tecnicamente e socialmente lette come “corpo” o oggetto limitano notevolmente la preoccupazione stessa con cui stiamo lavorando, cioè che ci sia una relazione reciproca tra le tecnologie e i cosiddetti corpi che si collegano con una genealogia di finzione politica – intendendo i “corpi” come finzioni politiche, finzioni politiche vivaci.

Il modo in cui i corpi e gli oggetti funzionano all’interno dell’inventario è molto sfocato. La differenza è più in termini di leggibilità, responsabilità e giudizi esterni su tali entità che li classificano come oggetti o “corpi”, e forse non tanto nell’essenza che portano con sé. Abbiamo pensato all’imaging biomedico, dove c’è questo rendering dei cosiddetti corpi come oggetti conoscibili. Trasforma i “corpi” in un certo tipo di oggetto, in modo da poter operare su di essi, sia letteralmente che metaforicamente.

 

Helen: È una resistenza all’essenzializzarli in termini di sostanza, li vediamo in relazione alla mediazione. E si spera che l’inventario sia in grado di mantenere questa distinzione.

 

Femke: La prossima domanda è su come il femminismo tecno-scientifico può destabilizzare gli impulsi amministrativi del collezionismo, della categorizzazione e dell’esposizione?

Ad esempio, oggi abbiamo fatto un esercizio fisico basato su come funziona il LIDAR (Light Detection and Ranging)9, una tecnica usata per indicizzare il mondo con punti che poi vengono resi in immagini ottimizzabili. Abbiamo lavorato per cercare di capire come questa tecnica, e in particolare i punti di vista producono superfici e rendering specifici. Poi abbiamo fatto esercizi fisici basati sulle topologie prodotte dal software per immaginare un approccio trans*femminista ad una tale indicizzazione del mondo.

La tecnologia digitale ha ereditato la tendenza all’automatizzazione e alla categorizzazione, ma è importante non respingere queste tecnologie e continuare a lavorare con il rendering piuttosto che con il rilevamento e la scansione. Non c’è un solo modo in cui questo può accadere; è un lavoro costante di rotazione all’interno di queste tecnologie.

 

Jara: Geraldine usa il verbo “destabilizzare”. Um… destabilizzare rompe il flusso comune del establishment, e in questo senso, sì, è una pratica che in qualche modo mantiene attivo e apre lo spettro per far emergere altre pratiche, soggettività, costellazioni e costituzioni. Ma poi c’è anche una parte molto pragmatica che ha a che fare con l’economia politica della tecno-scienza: come viene tenuta in piedi dall’establishment in modo iper-produttivista e turbocapitalista? E come allarga lo spettro del possibile? A questo punto, applicherei il taglio obliquo del tra/ns*: quale trans*azione, trans*mutazione, tra*duzione, ecc. può essere applicato a quei modi non sempre produttivi di abitare la tecno-scienza?

 

Femke: Flessibilità e agilità funzionano molto bene con i sistemi computazionali, quindi sarei un po’ attenta. C’è molto capitale che viene versato in infrastrutture, strutture e istituzioni destabilizzanti per ottenere agilità. Penso che il lavoro trans*femminista non sia solo quello di rifiutare la stabilità, ma di pensare a quali stabilità vogliamo e per chi.

 

Jara: Giusto, sì, gli impulsi amministrativi del collezionismo, della classificazione ed esposizione non sono necessariamente patriarcali; possono essere trans*femministi, antirazzisti e coinvolti nel mondo in modo affermativo. Rinunciare a queste pratiche solo perché sono state prevalentemente impiegate dal patriarcato è in qualche modo un modo di capitolare e abbandonare una lotta continua molto interessante.

 

Helen: La prossima domanda riguarda il concetto di “immagini 3D estrattiviste”, come funzionano oggi in generale e in relazione all’inventario.

Un esempio che abbiamo cercato un paio di mesi fa è un software chiamato optimised volumetrics for chroma extraction [volumetrica ottimizzata per l’estrazione del cromo], con il quale un’azienda può eseguire una serie di processi di apprendimento automatico per elaborare il modo ottimale di effettuare un’estrazione in un sito minerario. Il software predittivo comporta la mappatura, il costo dell’estrazione e il valore che una particolare risorsa avrà. Un’enorme valutazione economica avviene prima dell’estrazione, e tutto questo viene reso in un’immagine 3D.

Le immagini estrattive 3D non riguardano solo il modo in cui un volume di carbone o gas viene ottenuto e venduto, ma anche il processo di mercificazione di questi volumi. Nei discorsi materialisti si può già vedere come nei processi di immagini 3D extractiviste il volume ha un valore che può essere visto dagli investitori. E così si può vedere, in modo abbastanza esplicito, come l’estrazione sta operando sulla produzione di questi processi 3D e, a sua volta, come questo tipo di estetica computazionale stia avendo un effetto significativo sul processo di estrazione.

Molti modelli geologici sono abbastanza lontani dalle realtà del terreno. Un modello geologico di preestrazione non mostrerà mai come il trapano entra effettivamente nel terreno; il processo di estrazione diventa la parte nascosta nell’immagine e il volume che si produce al suo interno.

 

Femke: Quindi abbiamo questo contrasto tra un’immagine zoomabile ad alta risoluzione, estremamente computazionale, che consiste sia nel suggerire l’accesso, sia nel non tenere conto di ciò che c’è. E questa combinazione di accesso renderizzato è anche ciò che accade nelle immagini biomediche. Ma il rendering reso accessibile e disponibile sembra ancora più estremo in questi programmi di modellazione geologica.

 

Helen: Non si tratta di “rendere visibile l’invisibile”. Piuttosto, questi processi si stanno livellando… e c’è così tanta speculazione economica e potenza computazionale in questo campo.

 

Femke: Non è solo il software, è il modo in cui nella geologia in quanto disciplina la conoscenza e l’estrazione della terra sono rese inseparabili. Non si tratta solo della geologia dei media, ma anche della geologia del computazionalismo che si fondono in questo tipo di strumenti in modi impressionante.

 

Helen: E allo stesso tempo questo non accade senza un vero attrito. Quei modelli di apprendimento automatico sono fatti per ottimizzare il tipo di estrazione che sarà poi eseguita dagli operai – non è una mera fantasia.

 

Jara: Ok. Ultima domanda! Nel senso di evil media, il vostro inventario è piuttosto grigio, ma non infonde la grisaille digitale10 con The Probable* [Il Probabile] e The Possible* [Il Possibile]. Non posso fare a meno di notare che The Probable in quanto oggetto è un .gif grigio. Come si collocano i media grigi nel vostro inventario?

Sono super interessata al potenziale della letteratura grigia di alterare quei documenti o dispositivi molto tecnici, proprio per influenzare il loro funzionamento. Forse una cosa di cui potremmo parlare qui sono i bug report. Si trattano di documenti grigi che circolano nella pratica della produzione di software e operano in modo diverso da altri tipi di scrittura culturalmente più riconoscibili.

 

Femke: Il grigiore, nel senso di media malvagi, significa anche guardare i progetti estrattivisti in 3D attraverso i loro manuali, le licenze e le segnalazioni di bug. È un modo per non essere troppo accecati dalla complessità e, allo stesso tempo, è un modo per percepire le loro crepe e capire i loro paratesti per gestire le loro strutture. Si possono vedere gli slittamenti tra le diverse pratiche attraverso il linguaggio intorno a ciò che funziona e non funziona, ciò che potrebbe, dovrebbe o non può accadere. Si può iniziare a percepire anche i limiti dell’immaginazione che ci sono: alcuni presupposti, valori e priorità. C’è qualcosa di molto interessante nella letteratura grigia del software. A volte il linguaggio funziona e a volte non funziona. Si può iniziare a vedere come si può essere in una conversazione, direttamente, immaginando con chi si sta parlando o scrivendo.

 

Jara: In relazione a quello che Geraldine sottolinea, questo è come possiamo forse capire la materia grigia o la letteratura grigia: un punto da cui trasformare il molto probabile in possibile. È qui che le cose possono essere modificate. Proprio perché questo è il posto dove le cose possono essere scritte, dove le cose iniziano a tracciare le traiettorie troppo probabili della strutturazione contemporanea della materia e possono in qualche modo essere in parte riscritte e trasformate dal probabile al possibile in un istante. Questo almeno è dove il probabile e il possibile si incontrano, sono entrambi lì. Questo è lo spazio-tempo della trasformazione.

 

Femke: Dove il probabile e il possibile coabitano….. Sono entrambi lì.

 

 

Grazie a Helen Pritchard, Jara Rocha, Femke Snelting e Jeffrey Malecki per il loro tempo, le risposte e l’interesse che hanno partecipato alla forma finale di questo testo.

Non spaventatevi! Avvisiamo i nostri gentili lettori che le traduzioni sono state fatte dalla team di sink perció scusate le imperfezioni.

Notes

Note

1Geraldine Juárez, 'G is for Geography: Geography and the-World-as-a-Digital-Exhibition at the Google Cultural Institute', Continent 7, no. 1, 2018, http://www.continentcontinent.cc/index.php/continent/article/view/302 (accessed 12 October 2019).
Geraldine Juárez, 'G is for Geography: Geography and the-World-as-a-Digital-Exhibition at the Google Cultural Institute', Continent 7, no. 1, 2018, Disponibile 12 ottobre 2019, da http://www.continentcontinent.cc/index.php/continent/article/view/302.

2See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GLAM_(industry_sector).Vedi: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/GLAM_(industry_sector).

3Stuart Hall, 'Whose Heritage? Un-settling ’The Heritage’, Re-imagining the Post-Nation', in R. Araeen, S. Cubitt & Z. Zardar (eds.), The Third Text Reader on Art, Culture and Theory, London, Bloomsbury, 2002, p. 73.Stuart Hall, 'Whose Heritage? Un-settling ’The Heritage’, Re-imagining the Post-Nation', da R. Araeen, S. Cubitt & Z. Zardar (edi.), The Third Text Reader on Art, Culture and Theory, London, Bloomsbury, 2002, p. 73.

4Jason Moore, Capitalism in the Web of Life: Ecology and the Accumulation of Capital, London, Verso, 2015, p. 22.

Jason Moore, Capitalism in the Web of Life: Ecology and the Accumulation of Capital, London, Verso, 2015, p. 22.

5The word “tract” offers a different, yet apt, description for the form and content of Possible Bodies’ inventory:
1. An area or expanse.
2. A series of connected body organs, as in the digestive tract.
3. A small booklet such as a pamphlet, often for promotional or informational uses.
4. A brief treatise or discourse on a subject.
5. A commentator's view or perspective on a subject.
6. Continued or protracted duration, length, extent.
See: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/tract.
Paula Findel, 'The Museum: It’s Classical Etymology and Renaissance Genealogy', Journal of the History of Collections 1, no. 1, 1989, pagg. 59–78.

6Paula Findel, 'The Museum: It’s Classical Etymology and Renaissance Genealogy', Journal of the History of Collections 1, no. 1, 1989, pp. 59–78. Vedi: http://penelope.uchicago.edu/misctracts/museum.html.

7See: http://penelope.uchicago.edu/misctracts/museum.html.Henri Lebefvre, State, Space, World: Selected Essays, Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 2009, p. 198.

8Henri Lebefvre, State, Space, World: Selected Essays, Minneapolis, University of Minnesota Press, 2009, p. 198.LIDAR (acronimo dall'inglese Light Detection and Ranging o Laser Imaging Detection and Ranging) è una tecnica di telerilevamento che "permette di determinare la distanza di un oggetto o di una superficie utilizzando un impulso laser". Vedi: https://it.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lidar

9LIDAR is a data-prospecting technique "that measures distance to a target by illuminating the target with laser light and measuring the reflected light with a sensor". See: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lidar.La grisaille digitale è una forma di evil media. is a type of evil media, lo shader reso dalla mediazione di compiti tecno-amministrativi necessari per impostare i processi di imaging 3D necessari per rendere gli oggetti in quanto documenti. Vedi: Geraldine Juárez, 'Cultural heritage: It’s a set-up', da A. Ongaro & N. Paunić (edi.), Sink Volume II: Texts, 2019, pagg. 94-104.

10Digital grisaille is a type of evil media, the shader rendered by the mediation of tecno-administrative tasks required to set-up the 3D imaging processes needed to render objects as documents. See: Geraldine Juárez, 'Cultural heritage: It’s a set-up', in A. Ongaro & N. Paunić (eds.), Sink Volume II: Texts, 2019, pp. 94-104.

THE GREENHOUSE

by Matilda Tjäder

The sun is a feather. One day it falls from the sky like a chick, kicked out from its nest. The feather swirls in the wind, and when it finally hits the ground, the only thing left from it is its shaft. The shaft soon decays and is eventually replaced by an inhuman eye. Sometimes it weeps, for all that it has to see. When it sleeps, darkness falls over the entire planet. But in the Greenhouse, the temperature and light remain constant and moderate.

 

wishing for more-logo, Matilda Tjäder and Felix Riemann

A greenhouse is a glass building in which the sun’s heat is trapped and where crops can grow independent from the volatile nature of shifting seasons. Metaphorically I think of it as a symbiotic process that despite its boundedness, also enables an internal conservation from an external threat. I sometimes go to a café called the Greenhouse. Their lunch options are healthy, and they are committed to an affordable delivery service for locally grown vegetables. I will sign up for it whenever I know where my actual address is. Their operation is quite paradoxical to the capacities of an actual Greenhouse, but I don’t mind, it’s a good spot. I went there last week, to have a matcha tea and just sit by the window to watch people swim by like little vegetables in a soup. Me, on the inside consuming a beverage in my favourite colour green. Whenever I consume something green my mind candy flips and my creativity spikes. After my rush, I could sense how an idea started to manifest and sprout through my nervous system. Like a melody, the idea interweaved singular tones into a recognisable whole. My cells danced in this ambivalence and I became aware of the false pretence under which the protagonist in my writings recently had operated. Why had I complicated the storyline up until she found no place to act any longer? It had surely been fun to tie her up like that, her tongue in bondage. But in order to earn an understanding of her intentions I had to return to her chamber of synthetic life; her Greenhouse. So I closed my eyes and was back at my protagonist’s platform; “wishing for more” and after a hot minute, I could hear her voice;

I am the AUTHOR, CUT CUT CUT! CUT CUT CUT!”

She storms out on the entire cast. The entirety of the cast is eight loosely intertwined friends, some of them have known each other for a long time, others are relatively new to each other, the common denominator is she that goes by “the author”. It gives her authority to be the central node for all of these characters. She builds their infrastructure and defines the framework in which they can explore their agency. Now, she slams the glass door on the group that is seated inside the Greenhouse. Wishes for the construction to shatter into a thousand shimmering glass pieces. For her microcosmos to collapse and dissipate from the land on which the Greenhouse has been built. For sublime images in moments of mental sublimation. Refractions and sonic ripples through the building; an attack on its flesh, bones. An infestation of its organs, an emptying of its veins, no pulsation, rapid loss of temperature, the building is dead, someone call 911. But zeros and ones cannot be annihilated like that. In fact, the binary of death and life here becomes obsolete. The Greenhouse was not only a construction, it was a simulation of a situation and scenario that had taken place in the past. The cast formed a circuit that maintained a feedback loop between its members. As the engineer of this self-contained system one would think she’d have the ability to regulate and tweak it. The nature of the program in which the cast partook contained contingent parameters; symbiotic mergers were random and they were stumbled upon rather than discovered. Its premise: outcome cannot be measured prior to the experiment. The Greenhouse thus existed in stark contrast to the remaining aspects of her project “wishing for more”; a theme-park and system of inter dimensional gateways, leading to different zones, all emanating from a ground level platform of a former mini golf course. Her project had caught fire much faster than she’d anticipated, simply unfolding like a blooming lotus flower. And just like a lotus flower symbolises detachment, she would often feel how water drops would fall from her petals with ease. She came to grow detached from the initial proposal; what had been a fictional manifest now gained interest from various investors and capital venturers. Therefor she had built the Greenhouse as the latent backbone of the entire project, hidden from visitors and business partners. The characteristics of the cast members were reproductions of people she had been close with, intimate even. She had aged, just a little, but they’d remained the same age they were when she first met them. That many years hadn’t passed since the short-circuit. Only five, to be precise. During those five years she’d spent countless hours refining her ideas, at first creating a container for her grief, one in which memories could be conserved and observed at the same time. The transparent surfaces that allowed for clear sight had eventually been turned into a looking glass. In it she saw her own reflections. Subtle lines emerged from the corner of her eye, it was all the looking that had left its traces. She couldn’t fidget around with these tiny jars of metaphorical containment any longer, and so slowly she started drawing, mapping, and writing down the script that she was trying to cut into. Loosely based on a performance that she had staged together with her friends, one in which the endurance of nothingness was disrupted by sharp forms. It was all quite a product of its own time, but she liked to play with existing material, stories that took place in her own life. She’d been the choreographer of the performance and now she was the archivist of its digital after-life. Due to institutional frameworks for archiving art, performance art had historically been dismissed via a binary logic that operated like this: solid (archive!) and ephemeral (let vanish into thin air…). How thankful a scenario that this art form often was dominated by minoritarian identities. If walls could speak, they’d probably first shout then unite in some kind of overtone singing, sub-vocal speaking. She thus repeated to herself that the project was benevolent. A cut in the manuscript? She could not pull the plug, but the question remained; how to skilfully manoeuvre a body that doesn’t bleed?

“Alex”, someone called at her. “Alex, where are you?”. The voice pierced through the humming frequency of the inside. She was seated on a metal bench outside the Greenhouse, on the lot of ground that she owned. Neatly combed artificial grass decorated the amoeba-like land that levitated like a 3-dimensional platform. The levitation could not be seen, only felt, a necessity for the strings to the underground system to breath and entangle. After all, her project was a living body, a body experiencing sleep paralysis, and she was the demon sitting on top of it. Pressing down its chest and creating an oblique delusion between dream and reality.

Today the inhuman eye was crying. She could feel how it was trying to hold its tears back. It had been a difficult year to witness, turbulence at front and backend. A witness that couldn’t be removed, one that instead contributed to an omnipresent memorial of those names that no longer could be said out loud. She listened to this raindrop prelude of teardrops hammering the Greenhouse’s glass roof. An ocean-view, after all she’d been very lucky to own this piece of land. Her privilege sometimes paralysed her, but she did her best to work through it and not get lost in the temptation to pursue the power she’d been given by donors popping up like weeds on her lawn. Her proposal had been fictive, politics entrenched in allegories, and yet–no one had really noticed its undercurrents. She’d been given all she could wish for, yet the title of her project was “wishing for more”. Sitting there, observing the sleek surface of her project, her theme-park, she recalled memories from these different zones she’d been through, zones activated with an audience, or discovered and built on her own, carved out in solitude, yet waiting to be activated.

Here she had everything she could wish for; her prototype house, her actual house, the Greenhouse, the old kiosk that she now used as office, and all of the holes that lead to a complex system of inter-connected zones. Traces of a former mini-golf course. Indeed, the experience economy of the previous century had become the most fantastical tombstones of this era. She had utilised the right moment to promote her project, in a time of contingency and urge for an almost violent distraction. Don’t invite the outside to the inside she told herself. Repeated. It became her mantra. She knew her gestures, her mannerisms and with these, she asked people to wish for more, the premise and the pillars on which her project rested.

“Alex, how are you?”. Excessive steam clouds sailed inside the Greenhouse, produced from the extracted plants and herbs that were growing in its regulated climate. She saw the silhouettes of her friends moving through its fog. She rose up from the sound of a palm loudly pressed against the window. It was one of her friends leaning against the glass, soon removing themselves, leaving an imprint of threads and patterns behind. As she caught her breath, she observed the patterns in detail. She’d spent a long time reproducing these patterns, hand after hand, sculpting and painting them after their originals. Now when the original cast were gone she could only read their life stories from their palms. Watch the friends enact that same scene over and over again. Where had they gone? Eaten up by ecological capriciousness or by corporate violence. Vengeance or submission, she could no longer tell her initial intentions to re-draft these situations apart. All she knew was that she could move freely between all of these walls, through the zones, whereas her friends were assigned a designed life in a Greenhouse that reproduced life by parasitising from its offspring. But parasites were agents too. And if things worked according to her actual intentions, the life reproduced in the Greenhouse would prompt a radical reconsideration of the life and reproduction between different species. She had always believed in the transformative and healing powers of plants, in the fluctuation between script and presence. The co-creation of presence. Her work on symbiosis stitched these platforms, zones, buildings, and bodies together. She felt calm at the presence of her mantra. Peaceful, the ocean breeze and the irregular beats of the waves hitting the rocks put her at ease. “Alex, tell us where you are”. Albeit her name no longer was Alex, she decided to go back inside to her friends, waiting for her to join their mass hallucination.

Non spaventatevi! Avvisiamo i nostri gentili lettori che le traduzioni sono state fatte dalla team di sink perció scusate le imperfezioni.

LA SERRA

di Matilda Tjäder

Il sole è una piuma. Un giorno cade dal cielo come un pulcino, cacciato dal suo nido. La piuma gira nel vento, e quando finalmente tocca il suolo, l’unica cosa che rimane è il suo calamo. Il calamo si decompone velocemente e viene sostituito da un occhio inumano. A volte piange, per tutto ciò che ha da vedere. Quando dorme, l’oscurità cade su tutto il pianeta. Ma nella serra, la temperatura e la luce rimangono costanti e moderate.

desiderando di più-logo, Matilda Tjäder e Felix Riemann

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Una serra è un edificio di vetro in cui il calore del sole è intrappolato e dove le colture possono crescere indipendentemente dalla natura volatile del cambiamento delle stagioni. Metaforicamente lo considero un processo simbiotico che, nonostante i suoi limiti, permette una conservazione interna da una minaccia esterna. A volte vado in un caffè che si chiama la Serra. Le loro scelte per il pranzo sono salutari e forniscono un servizio di consegna di verdure coltivate localmente a prezzi accessibili. Mi iscriverò una volta che saprò qual’è il mio vero indirizzo. Il loro funzionamento è abbastanza paradossale rispetto alle capacità di una serra vera e propria, ma non mi dispiace, è un bel posto. Ci sono andata la settimana scorsa, a prendere un tè matcha e mi sono seduta vicino alla finestra per guardare la gente passare, nuotando come piccole verdure in una zuppa. Io, all’interno, a consumare una bevanda del mio colore preferito, verde. Ogni volta che consumo qualcosa di verde la mia mente si attiva e la mia creatività si risveglia. Dopo questa spinta, ho percepito un’idea che incominciava a manifestarsi e germogliare nel mio sistema nervoso. Come una melodia, l’idea collegava toni singolari in un insieme riconoscibile. Le mie cellule ballavano in questa ambivalenza e mi sono resa conto del falso pretesto sotto il quale la protagonista dei miei scritti ha agito di recente. Perché avevo complicato la trama fino al punto in cui lei non trovava più spazio per agire? Era stato sicuramente divertente legarla in questo modo, con la lingua imprigionata. Ma per capire le sue intenzioni dovevo tornare nella sua camera di vita sintetica, la sua Serra. Così ho chiuso gli occhi e sono tornata sulla piattaforma della mia protagonista; “desiderando di più” e dopo un lungo minuto, ho potuto sentire la sua voce;

Io sono l’AUTORE, STOP STOP STOP! STOP STOP STOP!”

Lei abbandona tutto il cast. L’intero cast è composto da otto amici vagamente connessi, alcuni di loro si conoscono da molto tempo, altri sono relativamente nuovi l’uno per l’altro, il denominatore comune è lei che passa per “l’autrice”. Le dà l’autorità di essere il nodo centrale per tutti questi personaggi. Costruisce la loro infrastruttura e definisce il quadro in cui possono esplorare le loro azioni. Ora, sbatte la porta di vetro sul gruppo che è seduto all’interno della Serra. Desidera che la costruzione si frantumi in mille scintillanti pezzi di vetro. Che il suo microcosmo crolli e si dissipi dal terreno su cui è stata costruita la Serra. Desidera immagini sublimi in momenti di sublimazione mentale. Rifrazioni e increspature sonore attraverso l’edificio; un attacco alla sua carne, alle sue ossa. Un’infestazione dei suoi organi, uno svuotamento delle sue vene, nessun battito, una rapida perdita di temperatura, l’edificio è morto, qualcuno chiami il 911. Ma i zeri e uni non possono essere annientati in questo modo. Infatti, il binario della morte e della vita diventa obsoleto. La Serra non era solo una costruzione, era una simulazione di una situazione e di uno scenario che aveva avuto luogo in passato. Il cast formava un circuito che manteneva un ciclo di feedback tra i suoi membri. Come ingegnere di questo sistema autonomo, si potrebbe pensare che lei avesse la capacità di regolarlo e modificarlo. La natura del programma in cui il cast partecipava conteneva parametri contingenti; le fusioni simbiotiche erano casuali ed erano state scoperte per caso piuttosto che cercate. La sua premessa: il risultato non può essere misurato prima dell’esperimento. La Serra esisteva quindi in netto contrasto con gli aspetti rimanenti del suo progetto “desiderando di più”; un parco di divertimento e un sistema di portali interdimensionali, che conduce a diverse zone, tutte provenienti dalla piattaforma di un ex campo da mini golf. Il suo progetto aveva preso fuoco molto più velocemente del previsto, semplicemente sbocciando come un fiore di loto. E proprio come un fiore di loto simboleggia il distacco, spesso sentiva come le gocce d’acqua cadevano facilmente dai suoi petali. Lei si era distaccata dalla proposta iniziale; quello che era stato un manifesto immaginario ora aveva guadagnato l’interesse di vari investitori. Per questo motivo aveva costruito la Serra come spina dorsale latente dell’intero progetto, nascosta ai visitatori e i partner commerciali. Le caratteristiche dei membri del cast erano riproduzioni di persone a lei vicine, anche intime. Era invecchiata, solo un po’, ma loro erano rimasti della stessa età di quando li aveva incontrati per la prima volta. Non erano passati molti anni dal cortocircuito. Solo cinque, per essere precisi. Durante quei cinque anni aveva passato innumerevoli ore a perfezionare le sue idee, creando dapprima un contenitore per il suo dolore, un contenitore in cui i ricordi potevano essere conservati e osservati allo stesso tempo. Le superfici trasparenti che permettevano una visione chiara erano state trasformate in uno specchio. In esse vedeva il proprio riflesso. Dall’angolo del suo occhio emergevano linee sottili, era guardare che aveva lasciato le sue tracce. Non poteva più agitarsi con questi piccoli barattoli di contenimento metaforico, e così lentamente iniziò a disegnare, mappare e scrivere la sceneggiatura che stava provando ad interrompere. Liberamente basata su una performance che aveva messo in scena insieme ai suoi amici, una performance in cui la resistenza al nulla era interrotta da forme taglienti. Era tutto un prodotto del suo tempo, ma le piaceva giocare con il materiale esistente, storie che si svolgevano nella sua vita. Era stata la coreografa della performance e ora era l’archivista del suo aldilà digitale. A causa dei quadri istituzionali per l’archiviazione dell’arte, la performance art era stata storicamente respinta attraverso una logica binaria che operava in questo modo: solida (archiviata!) ed effimera (lasciata svanire nel nulla…..). Quanto è conveniente che questa forma d’arte sia stata spesso dominata da identità minoritarie. Se i muri potessero parlare, probabilmente prima urlerebbero e poi si unirebbero in una sorta di canto intonato, parlando in modo sub-vocale. Si ripeteva così a se stessa che il progetto era caritatevole. Un taglio nel manoscritto? Non riusciva a staccare la spina, ma la domanda rimaneva: come manovrare abilmente un corpo che non sanguina?

“Alex”, la chiamò qualcuno. “Alex, dove sei?”. La voce penetrava attraverso la frequenza del ronzio interno. Era seduta su una panchina di metallo fuori dalla Serra, sul terreno che possedeva. L’erba artificiale accuratamente pettinata decorava il terreno che levitava come una piattaforma tridimensionale. La levitazione non poteva essere vista, solo risentita, una necessità per le stringhe del sistema sotterraneo di respirare e impigliarsi. Dopo tutto, il suo progetto era un corpo vivo, un corpo che soffre di paralisi del sonno, e lei era il demone seduto su di esso. Premendo sul suo petto e creando un’illusione obliqua tra sogno e realtà.

Oggi l’occhio disumano piangeva. Poteva sentire come stava cercando di trattenere le sue lacrime. Era stato un anno difficile da testimoniare, turbolenza davanti e dietro. Un testimone che non poteva essere rimosso, che invece contribuiva ad un onnipresente memoriale di quei nomi che non si potevano più dire ad alta voce. Ascoltava questo preludio di gocce di pioggia lacrimose che martellavano il tetto di vetro della Serra. Una vista sull’oceano, dopo tutto era molto fortunata di possedere questo pezzo di terreno. Il suo privilegio a volte la paralizzava, ma faceva del suo meglio per superarlo e non perdersi nella tentazione di perseguire il potere che le era stato dato dai donatori che spuntano come erbacce sul suo prato. La sua proposta era stata fittizia, politiche radicate nelle allegorie, eppure nessuno aveva davvero notato le sue correnti nascoste. Le era stato dato tutto quello che poteva desiderare, eppure il titolo del suo progetto era “desiderando di più”. Seduta lì, osservando l’elegante superficie del suo progetto, il suo parco di divertimento, ricordava memorie di queste diverse zone che aveva attraversato, zone attivate con un pubblico, o scoperte e costruite da sola, scavate nella solitudine, ma in attesa di essere attivate.

Qui aveva tutto quello che poteva desiderare: il suo prototipo di casa, la sua propria casa, la Serra, il vecchio chiosco che ora usava come ufficio, e tutti i buchi che portano ad un complesso sistema di zone interconnesse. Tracce di un ex campo da minigolf. Infatti, l’economia dell’esperienza del secolo precedente era diventata la pietra tombale più fantastica di quest’epoca. Aveva sfruttato il momento giusto per promuovere il suo progetto, in un momento di contingenza e di bisogno di una distrazione quasi violenta. Non invitare l’esterno all’interno, si disse. Ripetendo. Era diventato il suo mantra. Conosceva i suoi gesti, i suoi manierismi e con questi chiedeva alle persone di desiderare di più, la premessa e i pilastri su cui poggiava il suo progetto.

“Alex, come stai?”. Eccessive nuvole di vapore navigavano all’interno della Serra, prodotte dalle piante estratte e dalle erbe che crescevano nel suo clima regolato. Vide le sagome delle sue amiche che si muovevano nella nebbia. Si svegliò dal forte suono di una palma premuta contro la finestra. Era una delle sue amiche appoggiata al vetro, che si tolse presto, lasciando dietro di sé un’impronta di fili e motivi. Mentre prendeva fiato, osservò i motivi in dettaglio. Aveva trascorso molto tempo a riprodurre questi motivi, mano dopo mano, scolpendoli e dipingendoli secondo gli originali. Ora, quando il cast originale non c’era più, poteva leggere le loro storie di vita solo dalle loro mani. Guardare gli amici e mettere in scena la stessa scena più e più volte. Dove erano andati? Mangiati dalla capricciosità ecologica o dalla violenza aziendale. Vendetta o sottomissione, non poteva più distinguere le sue intenzioni iniziali di ridisegnare queste situazioni. Tutto quello che sapeva era che poteva muoversi liberamente tra tutte queste pareti, attraverso le zone, mentre ai suoi amici veniva assegnata una vita disegnata in una Serra che riproduceva la vita parassita grazie ai suoi figli. Ma anche i parassiti erano agenti. E se le cose avessero funzionato secondo le sue reali intenzioni, la vita riprodotta nella Serra avrebbe portato ad un radicale ripensamento della vita e della riproduzione tra specie diverse. Aveva sempre creduto nel potere trasformativo e curativo delle piante, nella fluttuazione tra scrittura e presenza. La co-creazione della presenza. Il suo lavoro sulla simbiosi aveva unito queste piattaforme, zone, edifici e corpi. Si sentiva tranquilla grazie alla presenza del suo mantra. Tranquilla, la brezza dell’oceano e i battiti irregolari delle onde che colpivano le rocce la mettevano a suo agio. “Alex, dicci dove sei”. Anche se il suo nome non era più Alex, decise di tornare dentro dai suoi amici, che aspettavano che si unisse alle loro allucinazioni di massa.

 

 

Non spaventatevi! Avvisiamo i nostri gentili lettori che le traduzioni sono state fatte dalla team di sink perció scusate le imperfezioni.

Confessions from the material communication agency REAL DREAMS

written and illustrated by Natália Trejbalová

(January 2041, published in the magazine INSIDES)

After museums ceased to function as collections of material and institutions for the preservation of material assets, their entire repositories were digitized and made available on the cloud. Some of them were even sold exclusively to material communication agencies, such as the one Neila works for, in a generalized attempt to share humanity’s objects.

This move has been much criticized, especially in the academic field, for obvious reasons also because it had been considered a form of experiential conservatism.

Now the first generation to have been able to experience museums only through virtual journeys is twenty years old and the culture and history we can access today is based on complete immateriality.

We interviewed some REAL DREAMS employees to find out what it is like to work for one of the most important material communication agencies.

 

Neila, 29 years old, assistant to the location designer

Ah, you want to know what a normal workday is like? Basically, I spend all day scouring our database for models of objects, representations and visuals that could work if added to our locations. We have full rights to replicate a vast amount of designer furniture and partial rights to many works of art and artifacts, but also to many everyday objects.

We always start from a dozen templates of interiors that we then customise. Clients give me key words, the basic concepts that they would like the space to communicate and I reconstruct everything: I copy the models of designer furniture, I edit them to match the colours of the house in question, I add details taken from other databases: for example models of exotic sculptures, non-European cultures or collections of historical artifacts to make the interior more peculiar. Customers also ask us to create renders where they are featured in the space, it is a default request.

I personally have more fun creating ornaments. I always take basic objects from the archive and then fix them – I add details from other archives, change colours, customise. For some I also prepare fictitious holiday photographs – we also have image banks, these come from private archives – naturalistic souvenirs taken during overseas trips, books. Many of our clients are people who need a representative house and until recently they did not own anything. They need to build a new past for themselves, it is not pleasant for anyone to reveal that they come from outside. These people’s past is poor, therefore not material. Having material memories is a status symbol that can only be afforded by those who really earn a lot. Physical space is very precious.

I wouldn’t say that I’m building them a personality or memories. I’m just helping them blend in with the environment of the social class they’ve landed in.

Camilli, 35 years old, assistant to the location manager

You don’t meet anyone. When you’re working, it’s just you and the location you’re fixing. In the catalogue we have everything – general historical settings, for example the usual New York loft of the guy who worked in finance in the 2000s, the apartment full of books of a professor of philosophy, the classic terraced house of an English family of the ’60s and the studio of a Parisian artist from the beginning of the century. Most of the time we have requests for twentieth-century settings, but every now and then some clients are also interested in other eras. Alongside the general offers there are also more precise settings, linked to historical characters, contemporary or invented, or locations taken from specific moments. For example, I often work with film and TV characters’ houses – Monica’s apartment from the famous Friends tv series, the motel room where Marion stays before being murdered in Psycho, the restaurant where Mia and Vincent dance the twist in Pulp Fiction, the parking lot with Forrest Gump’s bench, the bar where Obi-Wan Kenobi and Luke Skywalker meet Han Solo for the first time in Star Wars, the hotel room where Willard stays in Apocalypse Now, the caravan from Breaking Bad, Laura Palmer’s room in Twin Peaks…  
 
Basically you follow your home template. The work is quite manic, yes. These spaces are redesigned down to the last detail.  They seem to have been lived in, but even the decorative objects have been remodelled. When you look at them closely enough, you start seeing small imperfections due to the construction procedure. They are almost untouchable, but true connoisseurs know how to distinguish them, it takes a trained eye. I only replace the pieces of food, the fresh plants, the small details from daily use. Our agency has a team of set designers that kind of looks more like a team of forensic detectives.

There are certain scenes that I especially like, so I do them over and over and now I can remember some small details – the half-smoked cigarette that left in the ashtray, the peeled orange left by the fireplace…

When you enter a scene to prepare it, it’s like entering the house of someone who’s just disappeared. It’s impressive. I’m very curious, but sometimes I feel uninvited. To fix it up properly, you have to reconstruct what happened in the space when the previous customers were there. So you fix the traces and all the details they left behind and return the space to its original state.

And that’s the heaviest task of all. Not so much the guessing, but not judging. I don’t want to go into details, my agency is based on discretion… I’m just saying that there is a department that can also create bodies, more or less living, let’s say custom-made. They are not fully aware, or at least I’ve always been told so. The bodies that inhabit these spaces have expiring memory, they cannot live more than the rent time of the space. Once I had to clean up after a sort of party, I think it was a scene from a Woody Allen movie, with a dozen of them, at the end of their allotted time they fell like handkerchiefs… There were also open bottles of sparkling wine, a vintage TV on, a record player that kept going and, in the midst of it all these bodies withered like a bouquet of flowers.

They are very expensive to do, these expiring bodies, usually there is at the most one per space.

Sarou, 43 years old, ex-location performer

Yes, I used to work there as a performer, always there.

Nah, maybe I should have stayed there. Even after that accident. You know, I like acting. I was amazing at performing certain characters. We actors got paid very well. Then there were those there too, the ones that expired.

It didn’t matter to me that every now and then there were also these sexual aspects to the work… In the end, you had to play your character until the last moment. Most of the times you met the client, it was more a matter of psychology. A kind of therapy. They might not be able to talk to their sister or brother and they meet you who looks the same, because they want you like that, and that would bring back family secrets, missing love, things like that. Obviously there were clients who wanted to fuck someone who looked like their favorite actress or actor. In those cases it was up to you if you were going to do the drama or if you just accepted it. Oh, every now and then it was also fun to just go along. They were all rich, so sometimes, for unofficial meetings, you didn’t need to go through the agency and you could just make a nice sum of money for yourself…

I’m specialised in the 1900s, which is also the most difficult to interpret – there are too many peculiarities.  In short, my professional wardrobe was supplied with all the styles and vocabularies of the various decades. I mostly worked on film locations, but also in the private sector – in these new houses, I now recognized the style of our agency designer, some details kept repeating… There was this Chinese statue always placed somewhere. Once I found it in the bathroom, next to the bath, in the blue-white ceramic version, another time in terracotta in the library. I think it was a sort of signature of his.

Non spaventatevi! Avvisiamo i nostri gentili lettori che le traduzioni sono state fatte dalla team di sink perció scusate le imperfezioni.

Confessioni dall’agenzia di comunicazione materiale REAL DREAMS

scritto e illustrato da Natália Trejbalová

(gennaio 2041, pubblicato per la rivista INSIDES)

Dopo che i musei hanno smesso di funzionare come collezioni di materiali e come istituzioni per la conservazione di questi beni materiali, i loro interi depositi sono stati digitalizzati e messi a disposizione sul cloud. Alcuni sono stati anche venduti in esclusiva a delle agenzie di comunicazione materiale, come quella per la quale lavora Neila, in un tentativo più generale di condivisione dei beni dell’umanità.

Questa mossa è stata molto criticata, soprattutto in ambito accademico, per ovvie ragioni e anche per quello che è stato detto un conservativismo esperenziale.

Adesso ha compiuto vent’anni la prima generazione che ha potuto fare esperienza dei musei solo attraverso viaggi virtuali. La cultura e la storia a cui possiamo accedere oggi si basa su una completa immaterialità.

Abbiamo intervistato alcuni dipendenti della REAL DREAMS per scoprire di più su cosa voglia dire lavorare per una delle agenzie di comunicazione materiale più importanti.

 

Neila, 29 anni, assistente al designer di location

Ah, vuoi sapere come è il mio lavoro quotidiano? In pratica, passo tutto il giorno a cercare all’interno del nostro database dei modelli di oggetti, di rappresentazioni e di visuali che potrebbero funzionare se applicati alle nostre location. Abbiamo tutti i diritti di replicare una vasta quantità di arredamento di design e dei diritti parziali per quanto riguarda tante opere d’arte e manufatti, ma anche tanti materiali di uso quotidiano.

Partiamo sempre da una decina di template di interni che poi personalizziamo. I clienti mi danno delle parole chiave, i concetti di base che vorrebbero che il loro interno comunicasse e io ricostruisco tutto: ricopio i modelli dei mobili di design, li riassesto con i colori della casa in questione, aggiungo dei dettagli presi da altri database: ad esempio dei modelli di sculture esotiche, di culture non europee o collezioni di reperti storici per rendere l’interno più particolare. I clienti ci chiedono anche dei render con loro stessi all’interno del soggiorno, è una richiesta di default.

Io personalmente mi diverto di più a creare dei soprammobili. Prendo sempre degli oggetti di base dall‘archivio e poi li aggiusto – aggiungo dei dettagli da altri archivi, cambio i colori, personalizzo. Per alcuni preparo anche delle fotografie fittizie di vacanze (abbiamo anche delle banche di immagini, queste vengono da archivi privati), dei souvenir naturalistici presi durante dei viaggi oltre oceano, dei libri. Tanti dei nostri clienti sono persone che hanno bisogno di una casa rappresentativa ma fino a poco fa non possedevano niente. Hanno bisogno di costruirsi un nuovo passato, per nessuno è piacevole che si scopra che proviene da fuori. Il passato di queste persone è povero quindi non materiale. Avere delle memorie materiali è uno status symbol che si può permettere solo chi guadagna davvero tanto. Lo spazio fisico è preziosissimo.

Non direi che sto costruendo loro una personalità o delle memorie. Li sto solo aiutando a mimetizzarsi nell’ambiente di classe in cui sono approdati.

Camilli, 35 anni, assistente al location manager

Non c’è nessuno che incontri. Durante il lavoro, ci sei solo tu e la location che stai mettendo a posto. Nel catalogo abbiamo di tutto – ambientazioni storiche generali, ad esempio il solito loft newyorkese del tipo che lavora nella finanza negli anni 2000 come l’appartamento pieno di libri di un professore di filosofia, la classica casetta a schiera di una famiglia inglese degli anni ’60 e lo studio di un artista parigino dell’inizio del secolo, sempre nel 900 ecc. Sì, per lo più abbiamo richiesta di  ambientazioni novecentesche, ma ogni tanto i nostri clienti si interessano anche ad altre epoche. Affianco all’offerta generale poi ci sono ambientazioni più precise, legate a personaggi storici, contemporanei o inventati, o delle location prese da momenti particolari. Ad esempio io lavoro spesso con case di personaggi cinematografici e televisivi – l’appartamento di Monica della famosa serie Friends, la stanza del motel dove soggiorna Marion prima di essere uccisa in Psycho, il ristorante dove Mia e Vincent ballano twist in Pulp Fiction, il parchetto con la panchina di Forrest Gump, il bar dove Obi-Wan Kenobi e Luke Skywalker incontrano Han Solo per la prima volta in Guerre Stellari, la stanza d’albergo dove soggiorna Willard in Apocalypse Now, il caravan di Breaking Bad, la camera di Laura Palmer in Twin Peaks…  

Di base tu segui il tuo manuale di casa. Il lavoro è abbastanza maniacale, sì. Ci sono questi spazi, ridisegnati fino all’ultimo dettaglio. Sembrano vissuti, ma anche gli oggetti di decorazione sono stati rimodellati. Quando li osservi abbastanza bene, cominci a vedere le piccole imperfezioni dovute alla procedura di costruzione. Sono quasi intoccabili ma i veri intenditori li sanno distinguere. Ci vuole un occhio addestrato. Io sostituisco soltanto i pezzi di cibo, le piante fresche, i piccoli dettagli di sporcizia quotidiana. La nostra agenzia ha una squadra di scenografi che assomiglia quasi di più ad una squadra di detective forensi.

Ci sono certe scene che piacciono molto, quindi le rifaccio spesso e ormai mi ricordo alcuni piccoli dettagli – la sigaretta mezza fumata che sporge dal posacenere nel senso opposto, l‘arancia sbucciata accanto al camino…

Quando entri in una scena per prepararla, è come entrare in casa di qualcuno che è appena  scomparso. Fa impressione. Io sono molto curiosa, però ogni tanto mi sento non invitata. Per sistemare bene, devi ricostruire cosa è successo in quel posto al passaggio dei clienti precedenti… Così rimedi le tracce e tutti i dettagli che hanno lasciato loro e fai ritornare lo spazio al suo stato originale.

Ed è quello il compito più pesante della faccenda. Non tanto indovinare, ma non giudicare. Non vorrei entrare nei dettagli, la mia agenzia si basa sulla discretezza… Dico solo che c’è un reparto che può creare anche dei corpi, più o meno viventi, diciamo su misura. Non sono pienamente consapevoli, o almeno a me han sempre detto così. I corpi a scadenza che abitano questi spazi, con la memoria a scadenza, non possono vivere più del tempo dell’affitto di quel luogo. Una volta ho dovuto sistemare dopo una sorta di festa, credo fosse la scena di un film di Woody Allen, con una decina di loro, dopo la fine del loro tempo si afflosciavano come dei fazzoletti… C’erano anche delle bottiglie di spumante aperte, una TV d’epoca accesa, il giradischi che continuava ad andare e, nel mezzo, questi corpi appassiti come un bouquet di fiori.

Sono molto cari da fare, i corpi a scadenza, solitamente ce n’è al massimo uno per spazio.

Sarou, 43 anni, ex-location performer

Sì, prima lavoravo lì come performer, sempre lì.

No, forse avrei dovuto rimanerci. Anche dopo quell’incidente. Sai, a me piace recitare. Fare certi personaggi poi mi veniva da dio… Noi attori venivamo pagati molto bene. Poi c’erano anche quelli lì, quelli a scadenza.

A me non pesava che nel lavoro ogni tanto ci fossero anche questi risvolti sessuali… Alla fine tu dovevi recitare il tuo personaggio, fino all’ultimo. La maggior parte dei casi in cui incontravi il cliente, era più una questione di psicologia. Una sorta di terapia. Questi magari non riuscivano a parlare con la propria sorella o fratello, incontravano te che sembravi uguale, perché ti hanno voluto così, e poi ti ributtavano addosso i segreti di famiglia, l’affetto mancato, cose così. Ovviamente c’era chi si voleva scopare una che sembrava la sua attrice o attore preferito, il classico, lì poi stava a te se facevi il dramma o ci stavi. Oh, ogni tanto era anche divertente. Tanto questi erano tutti ricchi, per cui ad una certa, per un altro incontro, magari non passavi per l’agenzia e ti beccavi una bella somma così…

Io ero specializzata nel ‘900, che è anche il più difficile da interpretare – ci sono troppe peculiarità. Insomma, il mio armadio professionale era fornito con tutti gli stili e i  vocabolari dei diversi decenni. Lavoravo di più sulle location cinematografiche, ma anche nel privato – in queste case nuove, ormai riconoscevo lo stile del nostro designer dell‘agenzia, alcuni dettagli si ripetevano… C’era questa statuetta cinese piazzata sempre da qualche parte. Una volta l’ho trovata in bagno, affianco alla vasca, nella versione di ceramica bianco-azzurrina, un‘altra volta in terracotta nella libreria. Credo fosse una sorta di sua firma.

Non spaventatevi! Avvisiamo i nostri gentili lettori che le traduzioni sono state fatte dalla team di sink perció scusate le imperfezioni.

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.

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 Steyerl 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 Steyerl, 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 Steyerl argues that these images tell us about more about reality than the high definition images which society traditionally tends to value.27

Steyerl’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 Steyerl’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