MY BLOG JOURNAL ON TUMBLR
POST n 57 |RESUME SEPTEMBER - NOVEMBER 2022
Published on Saturday 26th November 2022
This is a resume of the last weeks of learning and research practice.
I am facing a very strong and distressful form of anxiety which is linked to some very personal circumstances and as main effect is that I feel paralysed and stuck in some aspects of my work, such as comunicate with people and especially ask for help.
Despite that I have been able to plan activities and some small projects, attend online courses, have several session at my local printmaking studio (I am now a member of the Kew Studios) and commit to my research practice.
I will summarise what happened in each of the months.
I have visited few exhibitions in person [ Baroness at Mimosa House (Baroness Elsa von Freitag-Loringhoven, see Post n __); after my research on the monumental installation The Hive at Kew Garden I have visited the exhibition Back to Nature at the Serpentine Gallery] and researched online the photographic archive of Monte Verita’, known as“Il fondo Harald Szeemann” (which is a never-ending series of numbers and codes meant to organise all the photos and references regarding M.V.) and the whole collection of works on paper of Joseph Beuys (Thinking is form : the drawings of Joseph Beuys, published by the MoMa).
I started an ongoing work on a drypoint representing the anatomy of a bee: I was very frustrated to see some of my previous prints as not much more that a copy of old etchings of bees [Post n 52 - 5th session]. I decided to use my home made organic pigments to complete the drypoint. This is basically a replica, but in bigger scale, of the work I have already done during Term 1 [Post n 31 ]. I have mixed a pigment I produced by reducing beetroot juice and mixed with coconut oil to print the drypoint (page 1). Then I haverubbed some petals of different plants to color the different body parts. In other areas I have used some other pigments previously reduced from vegetables, flowers, fruits and local plants. I’m using only materials that I have grown by myself of found during my walks. I don’t want to use materials bought from shops.
This month has been incredibly prolific in terms of printmaking production.
I had several sessions, often in the evening / late night, because it was better suited to manage the schedule of the trial.
An ongoing hexagon series. This is a collection of images representing different interpretations and representations of the hexagon. I have started it after watching the documentary Gia suggested me during one of the Fictional Summer Sessions. The topic is how mathematic is used and expressed in and by nature - of course the relationship between the hexagon and bees is relevant for me. The series includes also microscope images of Aspergillus star and also hexagon snow crystals from two old etchings (late XIX century) I bought in a shop. I have already produced* a new work “Saknussemm”based on the hexagon and focused on marbles in relationship with the colonialism for the virtual exhibition “Romancing the stone” as part of 2022exhibited for the DigiFest 2022. I started a new work with bee wax and based on the same principle I have used to produce Saknussemm.
* During the summer break I have also started to collect old pieces of marbled papers, which I have used for Saknussemm and other works which are still in progress (there is a corner of my at-home-studio full of materials and packs of papers. A lot of frustration and discomfort to walk around there).
Three very powerful sessions (break out rooms with very deep connection with my colleagues for which I will publish a dedicated Post soon).
A lot of drypoint sessions and I have finally exhibited the four works produced for the series New Observations of the History of Bees.
Because I’m using all my free time to work on both the research Paper the assessment of the UNIT 2, I’m constantly reflecting of who I am, what I have done before the MA and what I have been doing since I started the MA.
I believe what it will be the next step of my research is to cross my previous works (2007 - 2020) basically focused on community oriented projects, performance and public art with a multidisciplinary research focused on the impact of chemicals on the cognitive system.
Post n 56 | Printmaking - 4 Drypoint Plates
Published on Tuesday August 30
This was my first session at the Printmaking Studio since Covid.
I have finally printed few plates I've produced in the last months.
The library in Granary Square is still closed so I can't scan the prints.
Link to images here
Post n 55 | Unexpected fungus cultivation
Published on Wednesday August 24th
This never happened before. I’ve always managed to produce my pigments without any problem with fungus. I didn’t changed nothing in the procedure but I believe the different level of humidity in the room may have affected this sample. I have boiled for a hour a selection of chestnut flowers; while the pollen is so beautifully yellow, the pigment obtained was dark red/brownish. I didn’t disliked it but I wasn't also crazy of it.
Today I was shocked to see what it was growing on the surface. I believe the pigment is gone so I decided to enjoy observing the different shapes of those fungus. I was very attracted by the rainbow effect produced by a hard biological film that appeared on the surface of the liquid.
Link to images here
Post n 54 | 6th Fictional Summer Session / Part 1, 2 & 3
Published on Sunday August 21st 2022
Today, while I was boiling some pollens extracted by Oak to produced a yellow pigment, I have also worked on an interview that I was asked by Artsted.
Part 1 It is always challenging & stimulating to expose myself in an interview. In a way I feel that is moment of truth-telling rather than to raise my profile. I will publish it when it will be out.
So I have used Jonathan’s method of writing (we used during two sessions on the last term - I will add this information later). I planned six sessions, 15 minutes each. Six sessions of writing for six questions for the interview.
I used the six row pieces of writing as drafts, that I then copied and edited several times. I was very happy with the results.
Summer's heatwave could have been bad for British bumblebees
"When conditions were warm and relatively wet, stress was higher," Dr Richard Gill, Imperial College London
Climate change has an impact on the geographical distribution of some bumblebees. New analysis of ancient stresses have studied long-dead collections of bees held in museums.
Research Team from Imperial College London, the Natural History Museum and four other Scottish and English museums to analyse their bumblebee collections to look for variations in body shape.
Bumblebees have endured nearly a century of stress, (due to hotter / wetter conditions) but new DNA techniques may help focus future conservation efforts.
"When bumblebees are stressed, it has an impact on their developing offspring. Their bodies - wings in particular - become asymmetrical. By correlating the level of asymmetry in four species of bumblebee to climate records over the last 120 years, the researchers discovered stress appears linked to climatic conditions."*
Stress levels were lowest around 1925. Since then, there's been a general increase in stress levels - with higher levels found in years that were both wetter and warmer than average.
Things started to change around 1925, one possibility is that it's linked to changes in agricultural practices and the use of pesticides which are known to have led to insect declines in the later part of the 20th Century.
"One genome constitutes such a vast amount of information about a past situation," says Prof Barnes. Taking just a single leg from around 100 bee specimens his team was able to reconstruct genomes from long-dead bees - a hugely valuable tool when compared to the genetic code of bees living today.
By matching historical data on things like climate, pesticide use and changes in land use with the genetics of bees at the time, the researchers can see how the bee populations responded, or identify whether particular species were more vulnerable to changes than others.
"We can look for changes in diversity or signals of adaptation," says Dr Gill. "It might reveal things we can't see on the outside of a bee".
Can gut microbes influence the way animals organise their societies?
Honeybees represent a fascinating model to investigate how the gut microbiota affects social behaviour at both the individual- and the societal-level.
The gut microbes affect the neurophysiology and consequent behaviour of their animal hosts, including the host’s social behavior. Recent studies have found gut microbiota composition to associate with multiple neurological diseases and behavioural dysfunctions.
Evidence from mammalian model systems has accumulated most rapidly. However, little is known about how the ‘gut microbiota – brain axis’ varies across the tree of life.
Bacterial symbionts have been present since the first neural systems evolved and may have been important in the evolution of neural function and behaviour.
If microbe-brain interactions are ancient, to what extent do they influence animal cognition and (social) behaviour? And how similar/ different are the proximate mechanisms regulating these interactions across animal lineages? This could lead us to understand how animal behavior evolves at the individual-level, and how individual-level effects build up to shape animal societies and their cultures.
Could the microbiome influence the organization of animal societies?
To properly understand evolutionary convergences in microbiome-gut-brain axes, researchers will need to provide mechanistic characterizations of this axis in different species. Some species may be challenging because the microbiome is very complex, unstable, yet to be characterized or cultured, or not manipulable.
This investigation was focused on the gut microbiota – brain axis in the honeybee. Social insects like honeybees offer a unique opportunity to unravel the contribution of symbiotic microorganisms to complex social traits.
A decade of previous research into the honeybee gut microbiota had laid a fantastic foundation for this study - i.e. The University of Lausanne - Prof. Philipp Engel at the Department of Fundamental Microbiology on the honeybee gut microbiota.
At the Department of Ecology and Evolution, Prof. Laurent Keller developed an automated behavioural tracking system, and uses it to decipher the collective behavioural dynamics of social insects at unprecedented scales and resolutions. With this sophisticated setup it seemed feasible to study the effects of the gut microbiota on the social (group-level) behaviour of the honeybee and associated individual brain physiology.
These experiments are lthe result of nine replicates in series (to produce gnotobiotic adults, first there is the collection of pupae). Each experimental replicate lasted 13 days. Starting on a Friday. 200 adult bees for each experimental replicate so extracted ca. 400 pupae to give a comfortable margin for development failure.
The pupae were placed in sterile cages inside an incubator, and they would emerge as adults over the weekend.
Naturally, these emerging adults would rapidly acquire a standard gut microbiota, but in the absence of contact with older nestmates or nest material they remain ‘microbiota-depleted’.
On the Monday, the bees were transferred into new sterile cages and manually glue QR-codes (which can be scanned multiple times per second by the tracking system) to their thoraces. The same day some were inoculated (but not others) of the tagged bees with gut microbiota.
Observations occurred until Wednesday, when the tracking procedure started, by which time the microbiota should have fully established within the guts of the colonized bees. While these methods are generally highly effective, the risk of contamination is non-zero so it wasn't sure that microbiota-depleted bees were truly sterile until the experiments were long-finished and the bacterial DNA from their guts was sequenced.
On the Wednesday, two groups of 100 bees (one microbiota-depleted and one colonized subcolony) were moved into the tracking systems.
Each 100-individual subcolony could freely move between two identical plexiglass arenas covered with transparent lids and connected by a plastic tube.
One arena was kept at 30 ºC in the dark (to mimic in-hive conditions), while the other was exposed to cycles of light, temperature and humidity mirroring what bees would experience when foraging outdoors. The bees were able to acclimatize for several hours and then began recording their positions and orientations multiple times per second.
After one week of tracking the bees were collected, scan their tags (to determine their identities) and stored them [Tear!] at -80 ºC for molecular analyses.
This process was repeated for nine times.
Result: bees that had been inoculated with gut microbes engaged in more social interactions than their microbiota-depleted sisters. This pattern was consistent with findings from other model organisms, where the gut microbiota is known to promote host social responsiveness.
Furthermore, individual-level change influenced group-level organization: bees with a gut microbiota tended to form stronger social ties with specific nestmates, while microbiota-depleted bees interacted more randomly. This would likely impact nutrient and information flow within colonies, meaning that the gut microbiota may be vital in allowing bees to be so well organized and efficient at extracting, processing and storing resources from their environment.
Is known that pollinators are declining at an alarming rate and have inestimable value to maintaining ecological balance via their ecosystem services.
If we can understand how symbiotic bacteria enhance their pollinator hosts’ cognitive performances and social organization we may be able to design ‘psychobiotic’ treatments to improve health and manage (collective) behaviour.
The research team suggest to consider this inestigation as a starting point for an opposite reasoning, which could be applied to insect pests and invasive species. Those are responsible for some of the most serious ecological disturbance and disease spread dynamics.
Original publication: Liberti, J., Kay, T., Quinn, A., Kesner, L., Frank, E. T., Cabriol, A., Richardson, T. O., Engel, P. & Keller, L. The gut microbiota affects the social network of honeybees. Nature Ecology & Evolution (2022) https://www.nature.com/articles/s41559-022-01840-w
Read the press release (French/English) from the University of Lausanne
FROM SOCIAL SCULPTURE AND INTERNET HIVE
The following text is a contribution by Jody L. Stokes-Casey and I believe it is underlining the file rouge between individual human being and communities / honey bee and hive. This relationship seems to me much deeper than an allegory; it is suggesting us how relevant is the well beings of individual in order to have an healthy and resilience community (read hive too) because individuals can rely on their communities to make, collaboratively, the most complicate choices.
"The colony of honeybees provides a model to understanding interactions between groups of individuals in person and online. Honeybees live and work within a group called a hive. While their eforts as a collective are vital, their individual actions also play a part in the cohesive whole. The hive itself frames the interactions between the bees much as difering groups/organizations in person or on the Internet frame interactions between people. Thomas Seely, a biologist specialising in bees, compared the insects’ plight to that of the human stating: ‘Living in groups, there’s a wisdom to finding a way for members to make better decisions collectively than as individuals.’ This system of individuals participating in the group to produce and share ideas for the greater good of the group is often referred to as ‘hive mind’." [x Research Paper]
*Search Thomas Seely's work
Post n 53 | Magic Lantern Slide
Published on Sunday August 21st 2022
This is a late Victorian slide for "magic lantern". The mouth of the honey bee is so incredibly detailed. I will use it for the drypoint series. It is fascinating to use this antique material even if the purpose of those who used it in the past is so different from mine. They were probably successful students or professionals and needed to understand bees to produce more and better honey or for pure scientific and academic understanding, while I'm more on the desperate side. I'd like to imagine what bees are feeling when poisoned by the chemical we are exposing them with. I feel fascinated by this object but scared to imagine that one day, maybe soon we will talk about bees as something that is from the past.
Link to the image here
Post n 52 | 3/4/5 Fictional Summer Sessions
Published on August 4rd 2022
Third Fictional Summer Session / July 22nd
Brian Cox, who is Gia’s partner, made a brilliant short documentary for BBC on Bees and why do they make hexagonal cells. There is maths model that seems to justify this choice, it is called the Honeycomb Conjecture.
From Wikipedia: “The honeycomb conjecture states that a regular hexagonal grid or honeycomb has the least total perimeter of any subdivision of the plane into regions of equal area. The conjecture was proven in 1999 by mathematician Thomas C. Hales.” I have done some digging on him, he seems to work on a field of mathematics called “discreet geometry”, I’m not sure to understand what that means but I like the sound of it. His long term research includes both Kepler & Honeycomb conjectures.
After watching the documentary and reading (and struggling to understand the maths) of the Honeycomb Conjecture I came out of it with a question, quite simple I guess.
So, are bees able to calculate angles? Do they use their body to build
How is it possible that they just know that?
Of course it is something that someone else already investigated. So honey Bees dance to communicate where to find food or the new hive. From the experimen called the “Schafberg Experiment”:
The only source of food for a colony was placed on the far side of the mountain and the bees could not fly over the mountain. When they communicated where the food was to be found, they communicated this angle exactly across the mountain, relative to themselves, even though it was an angle they had never flown to the food source.
Food finding dances: a Honey Bees will dance on a comb surface and consists of the bee turning in circles; on each revolution the bee will bisect the circle at an angle; the angle with respect to the 12 o’clock represents the angle to fly with respect to the sun. If the bee ran from 6 to 12 o’clock, this would mean fly straight forward towards the sun; 7 to 1 o’clock would mean fly just to the right of the sun; 12 to 6 o’clock, fly directly away from the sun.
Because these little dances can take a really long time, the angle of the sun will have changed in the meantime. So while doing the dance, the bee actually calculates the change in angle based on where the sun is right now with respect to the hive. So if it’s at night when they are doing the dance, they calibrate the angles to associate with where the sun is right in the moment, even if it is on the other side of the World. Likewise, when the bees are following the instructions and flying towards the food, they calibrate what they learned based on where the sun is right now vs when the instructions were given.
[book to read: The Dance Language and Orientation of Bees https://www.hup.harvard.edu/catalog.php?isbn=9780674418776&content=toc | I really need help to understand what I need to read from this book]
I believe we had very quality time, we also discussed about identity/representation/recognition (Gia) and time (George)
George also mentioned Power of Ten & Mandelbrot set
Fourth Fictional Summer Session / July 29th
I have spent two hours at Kew Botanical Garden, in the area where is
Wolfgang Buttress’s installation Hive. Well, there is so much to say about this work.
First, what could I do more on this topic after a monumental and popular art installation? I could criticise it and pretend that I could do better, different etc. The only comment that I feel to make is that after three decades since it was made, seems to underline the impact of antropocene in nature but Kew Garden, despite how it looks it is not nature but still a human shaped environment. So it is already antropocene and the art installation is an interpretation of nature in a human made creation.
Observing the whole area I really value the presence of wild herbs and flowers to feed pollinators. I’ve spent half hour to observe a relatively small spot to see how many of those insects and I was very pleased to see so many overflies. They were so beautiful and fun to see.
The installation itself creates two or three areas of interest and engagement. The most obvious is the internal space of the structure but people seem to enjoy also a quick check on the ground area and of course the two paths that surround the installation.
The work represent the activities of a bee colony so people experience visual and sound stimulations and this gives an accurate / spectacular idea of the complexity of a bee hive.
Do I feel an empathetic connection with the bee of the colony that is connected to the installation? (I have loved the hoverflies the most!)
It doesn’t explain much the relationship between the activity of bees and its environment, the importance of biodiversity and the threaten the bees are experiencing.
How can I bring in my research this *entertainment factor and coniugate it to an empathetic and experimental investigation?
Until now my research on bees was meant to inform myself with what’s going on with the pesticides, the impact on biodiversity and what we don’t largely know about those amazing animals.
My drypoint series has been so far mainly preparatory to something else to come. Again, more experimental, more engaging and successfully loud.
UPDATE from Friday 30th
If I wasn't feeling lost enough at The Hive I have visited "Back To Earth" at the Serpentine Gallery. The exhibition includes "Pollinator Pathmaker", an outdoor art installation by Alexandra Daisy Ginsberg.
This is the sentence that introduces her environmental site specific installation “Pollinator Pathmaker”: “I want to make an artwork for pollinators, not about them”. Seems very radical, definitive to me. Like if everyone else before have just made artworks to the art system or just for human beings. I’m not against what she claims. I perceive challenging that she is using artificial intelligence to address the topic I feel so close to me at the moment.
Her installation consists of a field in which the artificial intelligence designed the scheme in which the plant and the flours meant to attract and feed pollinators. It doesn’t lookalike much different from the field of wild herbs and flowers surrounding The Hive in Kew Garden.
I believe the difference between the two in the methodology that the two artists have used to conceive and realise their works. A side from the massive and articulate (very anthropoce style) structure of The Hive, the fields around are impressively full of all kind of pollinators, not only bees! I have been able to observe hoverflies, hundreds of them but I’m not good / fast enough to take photos of them (they fly much faster than bees and also the way they catch the nectar is very different because hoverflies have a very short tongue compared to bees and buterflies - this is why you can see them only on flat flowers).
So I believe Ginsberg is aimed to cross the platforms of art and design not to produce something beautiful on the eyes of the public, instead she seems to be interested on bringing people together on the campaign behind the production of the environmental installation.
In other words, the installation is for the pollinators and not for us, while we are potentially a community of creators and activists and together, through this initiative we have the opportunity of thinking collaboratively on the change that may occur. This sounds very Joseph Beuys to me!
Fifth Fictional Summer Session /August 4rd
Today I have worked with some late victorian microscope and magic lantern slides concerning bee anatomy, especially mouth and tongue. I’m making a good use of the information I’m getting from them. I have collected tens of digital pictures, some even HD images but nothing is compared to have those pieces in my hand. Especially the Magic Lantern glass slide is so incredibly detailed. They were all produced by a company established in the XIX century. I have now three more drypoint in progress.
My current reflexion (i.e frustration)is: after reading F. Huber’s book and other classical researches on bees I’m wondering what is point for me to observe bees and produce a body of work on anatomical details of all those pollinators? I mean this has been already done two century ago. On one hand I need it for myself; while drawing this details or observing bees or hoverflies seem that I understand deeply and I get more compassionate to them. On the other hand I fear that I’m losing time because I don’t have years to complete this research, in few moths I should have finished something which seems still far to be. So I need part of this but also I don’t want to replicate the XVIII / XXcenturies approach to insects and I don’t want to produce another series of engravings representing bees, hoverflies or details of them. I’d like to push it further. ++I’ll back on this soon++
W. Watson and Son was an optical instrument maker. In 1837, the William Watson business was established in London for the manufacture of optical instruments. By the 1840s, the company moved into lanterns, slides and associated equipment. In 1868, the name was changed to W. Watson & Son and by this time were located at 313 High Holborn, London. On 9 January 1881 William Watson died. In 1883, the name of the company was changed to W. Watson & Sons as the son, Charles Henry Watson joined the business. In 1908, the firm became W. Watson & Sons Ltd.
So my Magic Lantern slide, has the label W. Watson and Sons, which means that was produced between 1883 and 1908.
Post n 51 |Second Fictional Summer Session
Published on Thursday 14th July 2022
Today I will start the session with some considerations: first I didn’t plan nothing to do specifically for the session. I understand now that it could make the difference to have something planned ahead to do for a couple of hours. I’m also wondering to invite some of the MA mates to join it.
I’m observing the wings of this beautiful Hover fly* fossil which is included in Baltic amber and is more than 40.000.000 years old.
I really love to see those hover flies, they are very hard to catch on photos because they fly very fast and they tend of hiding and disappear in few seconds. Despite their camouflage they are very different from bees and wasp so they also behave differently.
You can feel they are less confident, seems they know that a side of that camouflage they are harmless.
It is disappointing that all the campaigns are focused only on bees (most of the time even only on honeybees). So why about other pollinators? I don’t think they are less important*” and definitely not less exposed to risk of extinction. They are just less pop and more difficult to monitorate. Maybe no one would give fund to protect them. I’m thinking about this since weeks if not months.
Emotionaly I’m going through a very rough moment of my life. I’m asking often myself: what’s the point than of life? When I look at Raj I just see how easy is to lose everything we believe to have built.
We spend most of the time to learn, to practice to establish our position in a world that is quite tough and then something appear to our life to remind us that nothing of this is really real. Nothing really matter because what we build is subject of this mysterious force of the universe that is the impermanence. I understand that eventually everything is fine. Is fine to create and see your creation to be destroyed. To love and then to be so compassionate to be able to let it go.
Sometimes I feel that I’ve wasted so much time in my life waiting. Waiting for something to happen or to back to me. I think it is mainly an illusion. This idea to optimise the time, to professionalise every moment of our life is such a toxic narrative. In a way or another I believe that everything I’ve lived until now has helped me to be here and maybe is true that everything comes at the time that is meant to be. I struggle so much with the concept of “the right time” to be.
It is completely different when I draw, especially when I work on my drypoint series. I feel that I’m exactly in that “right time”. The challenge with the drypoint series now is what to do with them. What do I really want from these pieces? They really helped me a lot to understand bees, bee hive and especially their anatomy - i.e. wings, mouth and tongue. The question now is if I’m just happy with it. Do I want to use a technique meant to represent just to represent? Can’t I go a bit further??
Now I’ll work on a drypoint for the next 45 minutes, which is the rest of the session.
*Hover flies, flower flies or syrphid flies, are part of Syrphidae
*” From Wikipedia: Hover flies are important pollinators of flowering plants in many ecosystems worldwide.Syrphid flies are frequent flower visitors to a wide range of wild plants, as well as agricultural crops, and are often considered the second-most important group of pollinators after wild bees. However, relatively little research into fly pollinators has been conducted compared with bee species. Bees are thought to be able to carry a greater volume of pollen on their bodies, but flies may be able to compensate for this by making a greater number of flower visits.
Like many pollinator groups, syrphid flies range from species that take a generalist approach to foraging by visiting a wide range of plant species through those that specialize in a narrow range of plants. Although hover flies are often considered mainly nonselective pollinators, some hover flies species are highly selective and carry pollen from one plant species. Cheilosia albitarsis is thought to only visit Ranunculus repens.
Specific flower preferences differ among species, but syrphid fly species have repeatedly been shown to prefer white- and yellow-coloured flowers. Nonvisual flower cues such as olfactory cues also help these flies to find flowers, especially those that are not yellow. Many syrphid fly species have short, unspecialized mouth parts and tend to feed on flowers that are more open as the nectar and pollen can be easily accessed.
Also, a number of fascinating interactions occur between orchids and hover flies. The orchid species Epipactis veratrifolia mimics alarm pheromones of aphids which attracts pollinating hover flies . Another plant, the slipper orchid in southwest China, also achieves pollination by deceit by exploiting the innate yellow color preference of syrphids.
Post n 50 | Hoverfly included in Amber Fossil
Published on Thursday 14 July 2022 at 00 18
I have recently bought few samples of fossils of wild pollinators included in amber. The quality of the details of eyes, legs and wings is unbelievable.
I have hunted and collected fossils since I was kid but I’ve never saw nothing like this.
Link to pictures here
Post n 49 | Fictional Summer Session n 1
Published on Thursday 7th July 2022 at 14 49
First Fictional Summer Session
I will undertake during the summer break the time and space of the MA Thursday sessions, from 1 to 3 PM (UK time).
I’d like to start today catching up with some of the most inspiring sessions 2021 / 2022.
I was very touched by the last three of the last Term but I would like to back also to sessions n 10 and 11 (?) from the first Term.
I really enjoyed lectures with David Cross (Cornford & Cross) & Llloyd Corporation and collaborative sessions with Matt Fratson, Ameet Hindocha*’ & Josef Konczak*”.
Where am I at the moment after all those stimulations?
I haven’t been able to upload systematically my research and my research practice results, so this means that I will plan a weekly route. I find much easier to follow a scheduled commitment.
I will probably publish a weekly post soon after each Fictional Summer Session every Thursday but I believe it could help to share also at least one other time p. week.
I have presented my research on the public space during the conference Public!
Organised by Citta’ dell’Arte - Fondazione Pistoletto. My research paper was interesting but my speech was terrible, I didn’t felt comfortable at all. First I don’t feel to use Italian anymore as a language to describe my work and my research. It just doesn’t work anymore for me. Second I have catched a vibe that I didn’t like but this was also the feedback from a friend who have worked there for years. There is something deeply wrong in the croospath of academic and art system in Italy. There was a lot of investigations about illegal lobbing behaviour from academics from different universities and art centres. I can’t help.
For the rest of the week I will concentrate on unfinished sessions, exercises or stuff I haven’t published before.
*’ Ameet suggested a video tutorial on youtube on how to build on the hexagon and I have been working a lot on it. I really need to dedicate a Post of these works.
*” Josef Konczak’s practice basically brought me back to my childhood. My first memory ever is me running into my mum’s harms in the huge dark room department of the publish company where she worked all her life. I remember clearly the most beautiful projector I’ve seen in my entire life: it was tall ‘till the roof and it was entirely made in brass and able to blow up images to very large sizes.
In 2020 I have also delivered a public art project totally in distance because of the lockdown. The book has been just recently published and I didn’t get my copy yet! Btw the whole project was based on alternative methods of representation of memories and I have used a lot different kind of non chemical based photographic paper. I will back to it soon (promised!!)
Post n 48 | DWV
Published on Tuesday 14 June 2022 at 08 11 PM
I have selected those 6 pictures. They show the how honey bee catch the varroa mites in the flowers and how they then attack the hive from inside until the bee wings are dried and devastated by the impact of the mites.
Link to pictures here
POST n 48 | Deformed wing virus
Published on Tuesday June 14 2022 at 18 17 PM
Deformed wing virus (DWV) was first detected 40 years ago, but a new strain that emerged in the Netherlands in 2001 and is on the rise.
Honeybees seem to be the most afflicted by the virus, which is transmitted by a parasitic mite: the Varroa (Varroa destructor and Varroa jacobsoni), an external parasite which kills bee colonies.
Varroa mites are oval, reddish to dark brown and around 1.1mm long and 1.5mm wide. They complete their life cycle in both drone and worker bee brood.
The varroa mite is considered the greatest threat to honey bees and beekeeping in most of the world, while only about 1/16” wide, these parasites are very large in proportion to the body size of their host, and can have a severe impact on honey bee health.
Synthetic miticides such as pyrethroids and organophosphates act on the central nervous system of the mites. They were formulated for hive use by impregnating plastic strips with pesticides.
The virus eats away at their wings.
"These mites not only transmit viruses between honeybees, they also eat the bees' tissues" explains Professor Robert Paxton, a zoologist from Germany’s Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg (MLU).
The western honey bee (Apis mellifera) is experiencing an elevated rates of colony losses in temperate regions over the last two decades. It is thought to be largely caused by the exotic ectoparasitic mite Varroa destructor and deformed wing virus (DWV), which the mite transmits.
Two main genotypes: the formerly widespread DWV-A and the more recently described and rapidly expanding DWV-B. I
The research was focused on the distribution and prevalence of DWV-A and -B over the period 2008–2021 and present novel data for Germany, Italy and the UK to suggest that DWV-B has rapidly expanded worldwide since its first description in 2004 and that it is potentially replacing DWV-A.
I'm very keen to find the consequences of genotype replacement for wild pollinator species, which I will report in a dedicated post.
DWV is only one of the combined contributing factors that are causing the Colony Collapse Disorder.
Other factors are:
Climate Change (a chain reaction through the ecosystem: erratic weather patterns lead to unusually warm winters, drought, and floods, all of which affect flowering plants. Plants may blossom early, before honeybees can fly, or may not produce flowers at all),
Electromagnetic Radiation (I haven’t found yet nothing relevant)
Toxins in the Environment (water sources may be treated to control other insects, or contain chemical residues from runoff. Foraging bees might be impacted by household or industrial chemicals, through contact or inhalation.),
Beekeeping Practices (splitting or combining hives, applying chemical miticides, or administering antibiotics)
Lack of Genetic Biodiversity,
Migratory Beekeeping (beekeepers rent their hives to farmers to pollinate almonds, blueberries, or cherries and being relocated every few months must be stressful)
Genetically Modified Crops (already mentioned during my research in Unit 1)
Pesticides (the neonicotinoids, such as imidacloprid, mentioned during my research on Unit 1),
Malnutrition (Wild honeybees forage on the diversity of flowers in their habitat which is impacted by pesticides, colonies kept in suburban and urban neighborhoods offer limited plant diversity, the resulting nutritional deficiencies reduces their immune systems)
Post n 47 | An Interview with Joseph Beuys - Artforum International December 1969
Published on Saturday 4rd June 2022 at 06 17 PM
“To be a teacher is my greatest work of art. The rest is the waste product, a demonstration. If you want to explain yourself you must present something tangible. But after a while this has only the function of a historic document. Objects aren’t very important for Me anymore. I want to get to the origin of matter, to the thought behind it.
Thought, speech, communication — and not only in the socialist sense of the word — are all expressions of the free human being”.
Link to pictures here
Post n 46 |Overcome Party Dictatorship Now
Published on wednesday 1st June 2022 at 11 53 PM
Overcome Party Dictatorship Now, Grafenberger Wald,December 1971
With fifty students, sweeps out the Grafenberger Wald, a wooded area near Dusseldorf
Link to pictures here
Post n 45 | Otto Gross + Lotte at Monte Verita'
Published on Wednesday June 1 2022
1) Otto Gross
2) Lotte Hattemer
3) Monte Verità
4) Monte Verità
5) Monte Verità
Link to pictures here
Post n 44 | Another wild pollinator
Published on 31st May 2022
There are so many pollinator insects that are less known and visible of bees.
Honeybees are the most popular. Even Green Peace seem to adv only them, which is good but they have already economic support through honey maker and the agricolture industry at large. Wild pollinators are not getting the attention they deserve. There are so many species and is much harder to monitorate how they are doing with pesticides because there isn’t a control on their colonies and so many species don’t even make colonies which results in a lack of data.
Btw this guy here was so beautiful to watch
Link to pictures here
Post 43 | Dr Noever on Araneus Diadematus, 1995
Published on 31st May 2022
This experiment, shows the effect of caffeine on spiders and how it messes their abilities to build a net. So far seems the most disruptive of the four elements.
Link to pictures here
Post n 42 | Tutorial session with Jonathan Kearney of May 25 2022
Published on Thursday 26th May 2022
My interests is to investigate the ethics of a particular segment of the socially engaged art practice, which involves the human being operating in the space where nature and the public realm meet and influence each other.
Monte Verita is one of the most fascinating experience of socially engaged practice in which the arts and the social forms flowed with the rhythm of nature through a core believe based on a pre-modern sense on continuity between the members of the group and the surrounding environment.
This a spontaneous community composed by a heterogeneous range of individuals who consciously and independently from each other joined Monte Verita between the two world wars.
From veganism to gender, matriarchal to naturism.
Radical Ecology : Joseph Beuys reframed his ecological concern. For him ecology is not relegated to the natural environment but includes also the articulate system of how western societies are managing natural resources to support the capitalism. This system includes also: social forms, economical theories and political control of communication.
Beuys envisages a practice focused on ecology and based on communitarian participation - art & political activism.
Example: Action on December 1971, Overcome Party Dictatorship Now at the Grafenberger Wald in Dufferdorf, which was a forest threatened by the expansion of the Rochus Club (I believe it was a golf or a tennis private club).
Jaider Esbell: social engagement; performance and activism involving members of his village.
I will investigate this earlier series of work.
Suggestions from Jonathan:
It is very easy to get lost in a net of linked between different topics and contexts
Keep focused on what it is relevant for me and my practice
Only one aspect or work for each of the three contexts I will investigate: Monte Verita, Beuys, Esbell
*This is the first draft from my notes. I’m publishing it now but I’ve wrote it yesterday eve.
Post 41 | History of bees
Published on Wednesday March 9th 2022
Some pictures from the series The History of Bees I have recently exhibited at Trinity Buoy Wharf in London in the group show “ This Is Not A Party” curated by Central St Martins as part of the Interim Show program.
Link to pictures here
Post n 40 | Feb 27th - Mar 8th
Published on Wednesday March 9th
The resume of the period Fen 27 - Mar 8:
Around me: 2 major public transport strike (Milan & London) + more than 90% of BA flights canceled because of IT problems.
Installing the Interim Show - This Is Not A Party has been much more intense and busy that I supposed. Three full days of debates and chat but also getting know students from other courses - my favorite are those from MA Art & Science.
Pair collaboration: is in distance, we both very busy (catching up with life & work after the Unit 1 Assessment deadline). Is revealing of deeper connections between us! Give it more time
Ekart Tolle. His work is keep coming back to my work or my personal life - I depended from time to time. I will go through the 7 hours of audio recording of The Power of Now.
To investigate: Post Covid / Long Covid loss of smell and taste. There is a guided program to re-learn to associate aroma and taste to food and objects.
I have found a lot of books, the main topic is the ethic in the relationship human-animal.
Post n 39 | History speaks to artists
Published on Saturday February 26th 2022 at 5 01 PM
"History speaks to artists. It changes the artist's thinking and is constantly reshaping it into different and unexpected images."
Post n 38 | To walk at the perimeter of a geoglyph
Published on Sunday February 20 2022 at 11 03 PM
I’d like to walk for miles until I feel exhausted.
I will carefully follow the perimeter of this beautiful geoglyph.
Even if from my point of view I will never see the picture of it.
Walking is an aesthetic act.
Walking closely following someone else's aesthetic act changes completely the meaning of both of our actions.
I don’t see it entirely and the geoglyph is too big and complex to relate to the presence of one individual. I can’t see it and it is definitely unable to see me.
My action is definitely going to cross its path.
A geoglyph is meant to be seen entirely, from a certain distance.
Walking as an aesthetic act exists only in my memory or on the memories of those who will join me.
The documentation is something else. Is a report, a mediated representation of it.
I’d like to be a geoglyph myself.
An ongoing connection with the landscape and to be part of nature.
This is also the aim of land artists, not only to speak with the earth language and its vocabulary.
To be part of it.
To be the stone, the mud, the soil or the wood.
I’m deeply connected with those who lived and existed in Monte Verita’.
I wish I could say the same who created the geoglyph we are finally watching since we learnt how to fly. Honestly I just don’t.
I’m there, with my mind and with my heart in Monte Verita’: is political, is social and is spiritual.
I wish I could dig into my understanding with geoglyphs too but I can’t.
Intellectually I can put together notions and knowledge we have been developing to these symbols and to those civilisations who create them. Is fantastic and very interesting. I wouldn’t replicate anything like that. Ethically would be a cultural appropriation; another western artist meant to steal the magic from them. This is why I could follow its perimeter and walk by its side.
On the other hand, I can bring people together. Spend time together.
Deep our connection with nature. Listen to it.
Respond to it. I could bring back, even temporarily, the experience of Monte Verita’. Wherever it will be / I will be.
(I have worked on this piece for few days; watching the work, among others, of Hamilton, Liuming and delayed to publish it until today)
Post 37 | Exhausting pollination
Published on Saturday February 20 2022 at 10 44 PM
I will focus on this topic for few days. Bees, especially honeybees, are very busy pollinators aimed to bring back to the nectar needed to feed their hive.
Bees often die in flight, when the wings are worn out by the exhausting work they are no longer able to bear the weight of the body and the nectar.
See pictures here
Post n 36 | Bee Hive
Published on Friday February 18 2022
1 François Huber - Nouvelles observations sur les abeilles (engraving by Pierre Huber), 1814
2 "Musgu" Bee-hive Clay Huts, Cameroon
3 Bee Hive Art Deco texture
4 My drawing as part of the research on the hive structure. Mixed media on paper, clay, natural pigments
See pictures here
Post n 35 | Wax shapes
Published on Monday February 14 2022 at 1 57 PM
I’m now working with some artisanal human made shapes of bee wax.
This product is meant for bee keeping. I’m not very sure about its use and how it is collocated in the hive.
Is beautiful to watch, its transparency. It also spread an amazing aroma.
It is hypnotic and I could watch it for hours and getting lost in the texture.
It looks a landscape but at the same time is suggesting me that is predictable and reliable, an archetype of what pushed human being to evolve its society.
Link to pictures
Post n 34 | More than bees
Published on Monday February 14 2022 at 1 47 PM
Some frames from “More than bess”.
Link to pictures
Post n 33 | Monte Verità, art & life in a Bio-region
Published on Monday February 14 2022 at 1 43 PM
I’ve heard about this experience at the beginning of the XX century and saw some documents in 2017 while I was working at Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich for my performance for Manifesta.
The history or Cabaret Voltaire & Monte Verità are connected through the cordon of Dada. The experience of Monte Verità was total considering the overlapping of private and public life in the time & space of the community.
Currently at Museo del Novecento in Firenze there is the exhibition “MONTE VERITÀ. BACK TO NATURE”, I had a quick chat with one of the three curators and I hope I will attend the presentation of the catalogue in March.
In 1978, Harald Szeemann produced the itinerant exhibition “Monte Verità: the breasts of truth”. He collected most of the photographic documentation available and are now part of the museum dedicated to Monte Verità in Ascona (in the Italian canton in Switzerland). The museum is very pricy so it will take few weeks to me to save the money to go.
In nearly impossible to find old and original documentation of Szeemann’s exhibition so I relay on the upcoming publication from Museo del Novecento.
For me this is a unique opportunity to discover values and experiences of an expanded art practice in the context of an original Bio-region. This is probably one of the most genuine European experience in which the art practice, permaculture and social engagement encounter and influence each other.
The second experience (which is cronocoligally antecedent) I will soon research is also The Guild of St George, started by Ruskin.
Link to picture
Post n 32 | Bees in Agricolture & Ecology
Published on Saturday February 12 2022 at 11 44 PM
Honeybee was domesticated by humans thousands of years ago.
Honeybees plays an important role in the world economy as a pollinator of crops.
Western honeybee have been rising slowly in recent years; despite beekeepers reporting losses exceeding 40 percent of hives, beekeepers are becoming better at compensating for losses.
The decline of native bee species, such as bumblebees, will have negative impacts, ecologically and socially.
I’m researching on the multidisciplinary approach of BEE COLOGY
Worcester Polytechnic Institute's Department of Biology and Biotechnology, Massachusetts
Prof. Robert Gegear
Pollinator decline is a problem in two very different but equally important contexts.
On Agriculture (managed bees) we've got honeybees and the loss of hives.
On the Ecological context (wild bees), we have many native pollinator species that are in rapid decline.
Out of the thousands of wild pollinator species that we have, only two are economically important.
The vast majority of pollinators don't care about crop plants.
Conservation*’ strategies are completely neglecting native bees.
In the agricultural context, you need enough pollinators to get the pollinating done*”. Conservation in this context, care to have one pollinator species to replace honeybee losses, but they don't care about diversity - ie wild bees / bumblebees.
In the ecological context, the honeybee haven’t a role. The loss of honeybees would probably have a positive ecological impact because they are competitors for limited resources—pollen and nectar.
One hive of honeybees has 10,000 individuals and can pull in 150 pounds' worth of honey. That's 150 pounds of nectar that could go to native pollinators.
A very good bumblebee hive may have 1,000 to 2,000 individuals.
The proportion is individuals competing with thousands.
“Now, if we start removing our native bees, we have a problem because they have a unique relationship with native flowering plants that is holding up ecosystems. It's keeping ecosystems healthy, it's maintaining diversity.
The bees visit the plants; the seeds and fruit feed birds; they feed small mammals, and so on. Then you've got things at the next trophic level eating those things. When we start to lose species in that context, we're talking about extinction and the loss of components which will eventually lead to ecosystem collapse.”
What is at risk is the natural chain of ecosystem services like water purification, decomposition, and pollination.
We don't know enough about the ecology of individual species and their relationship with flowering plants, and the relationship of those plants with animals at the next trophic level. Each species of insect pollinator has a special role to play in the ecosystem. But we don't know how important each of their roles actually is.
Managed bees of course have a place to live.
Wild bees have to find a place to overwinter, the queens have to find a place to nest in the spring, they have to find resources to produce male and queen bees that will mate and keep that population going. So there are all these points of vulnerability that you see in the wild side.
All the concern, unpredictability of weather conditions etc is also what made human being move from wild nature to more organised settlements. I can see the privilege of a safer life for honeybees compared to the uncertain in which wild bees are left.
One of the misconceptions about bee decline is that all bees are declining.
Some bees are doing better than they have done historically, they're expanding their geographic ranges.
The competition with bees that are doing better is also contributing to the decline of many other species.
In urban and agricultural areas, the use of pesticides clearly negatively affect the health of wild bees and other insect pollinators.
pathogen spilloveris a kind of decease coming from areas of managed bees and spread to wild pollinators too, with evidence that infections are moving from honeybees to bumblebees.
Habitat loss from the wild bee side: such as nest site availability, overwintering availability and nectar and pollen sources.
+ cascading negative effect of pollinator decline throughout the ecosystem and biodiversity.
*’ Conservation Biology is a multidisciplinary science that has developed to address the loss of biological diversity https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/cobi.12839
*” From what I found in Maja Lunde’s book there is a method to define a good pollination campaign: two people watch two random spots of field with crop, which should be about 1 mt x 1 mt each, if they see see more than 2 bees each flying from flowers and pollinating, than they get the rate of 2,5 and more which is a good indicator.
POST n 31 | mixed media painting on drypoint
Published on Sat February 12th 2022 at 7 31 PM
I was bored to producing more drypoint and being unable to print it and see the final work and at the same time find it very hard to take pictures, post them and monitoring the production - ie are pieces of transparent perspex from a pack of shits I found in my Italian storage, are probably 6 / 7 years old. I can still use them. I feel also guilty for having contributed to the oil based products market.
I started to paint the drypoint about a week / ten days ago. It reminds me the E 6 film colour (especially the 120 mm) which gives the positive of the image and keeps the white areas completely transparent.
I’m finally using some of the pigments I’ve been making for weeks now. The more are sugary the better! Otherwise I have to add glue - ie I found a producer of organic vinavil.
This is giving me the motivation to keep producing more drypoint. I can see a final work, I can use it to archive and I can progress.
At the moment most of them are about the anatomy of bees, natural hives, chemical structures of neonicotinoids pesticides.
There is a deep connection between the geometrical shapes of the hives and the chemical structure of those pesticide; the hexagon is present in the bees eyes, the hive, the chemicals.
I’m using a lot the engravings produced by Francois Huber’s son (he was nearly blind) published in his books. I just bought New Observations on the Natural History of Bees - didn’t arrived yet!
Btw, I find myself grounded in this research practice method, which for me is based on reading, looking for further multidisciplinary informations/connections/experiences and then drawing the resume of it in drypoint.
Note: I need to make bigger drypoint because I’m driving mad to stay into the traces made. At least it should be A3 or +
Link to pictures
POST n 30 | On Jainer Esbell’s Kanaimés
Published on Wednesday February 9th 2022 at 10 37 PM
“When invited by the Bienal [Bienal of Sao Paulo], I saw this issue of conflict in the form of the current policy, that subjects us to external forces and values, which are egemonic. There is a War of the Worlds for territories[ ie Amazonia], for ways of thinking and for resources”.
A Guerra dos Kanaimés (2019 - 2020)
In the MAKUKI cosmogony, the KANAIMÉS is a being linked to metamorphosis; which speaks with the immaterial magical world.
When embodied in a person, he becomes another creature: predator or protector.
It’s directly linked to SOCIAL JUSTICE, it is justified do it with violence if is what the context requests.
In indigenous cosmogonies, there is no separation between the individual and the collective, the spiritual and the material. *Reminds me of Naples and the South of Italy in general.
Post n 29 | Curating notes & sketches
Published on Tuesday February 8th 2022 at 5 02 PM
SL | Sketchbook with notes from sessions & lectures (A4 Portrait)
BS | Black Sketchbook (A3 Landscape)
PFA | Plastic folder with articles (A4 Portrait)
PFD | Plastic folder with drypoint (A4 Portrait)
OE | On Esbell (A4 Portrait)
BE | Sketchbook Watercolour on Bees (A4 Portrait)
VN | Notebook with various notes (A4 Portrait)
BI | Notebook with bibliographic notes (A4 Portrait)
Post n 28 | Ruskin - Huber - Swammerdam
Published on Tuesday February 8th 2022 at 4 58 PM
There is an element that connect them. As probably many others, they were at the same time into their time and further; they embraced some opportunity their time gave them while being aware and very critical of the political and social challenges.
Ruskin and Swammerdam, despite their opposite belief, both lived their very personal view: the first very political, a pronto-socialist and the second very spiritual. Which means that both very critical of the capitalist / liberalist culture.
Ruskin and Huber, both expressed concern for nature, despite the predominant culture was mainly focused on careers and establish a social recognition in the cities. Ruskin was concern of environment while Huber worked hard to create a hive that was careful of the bees and their wellbeing, in opposite with previous human made hive which killed bees and their babies to collect the honey.
Ruskin, Huber and Swammerdam had a pantheistic view on life and on nature. For different reasons and beliefs, their researchers were an expression of their time and also a reaction against its philosophy. I see how the reaction to a historical process end to reaffirm some of the principals of that process itself.
Ruskin’s project was basically a Bio-region, a criticism of the industrial revolution - ie London as a Techno-regiion.
Post n 27 | 2nd Tutorial with Jonathan Kearney _ January 27th
Publish on Wednesday February 2nd 2022 at 3 47 PM
Since I started the Master I’m expanding my research on what is the Public Space means in this context. Both the Climate & Biodiversity Crisis have inspired me to look at Nature and how is connected to the main topic of my research. This conducted me to reflect on the impact of art my practice to the environment and how to make it ecological and accessible.
My interests to wild nature and permaculture have been increasing considerably.
The session of January 26th ’22 was incredibly helpful for me to see that is ok to be where I am with my art practice and my research:
I NEED TO UNDERSTAND —> I READ MORE —> I NEED TO PROCESS THOSE INFORMATIONS/VISIONS —> SO I DRAW —> DRYPOINT IS MY FAVORITE ATM
I DON’T WANT TO RUSH MY RESEARCH
IT IS OK TO NEED TIME AND IF IS NECESSARY I’LL START AGAIN FROM ZERO OR I’LL WATCH IT FROM A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE
MY WORK IN ZIMBABWE WAS IN THE CONTEXT OF A BIO-REGION
MY WORK IN PARIS (BANLIEUE NORD) WAS IN THE CONTEXT OF A TECHNO-REGION
MY WORK IN BOLOGNA NORD WAS IN THE CONTEXT OF A BIO-REGION CONVERTED IN A TECHNO-REGION IN THE ’70S OF XX CENTURY
MY WORK IN SICILY WAS IN THE CONTEXT OF A BIO-REGION
MY WORK IN SPAIN WAS IN THE CONTEXT OF A BIO-REGION
I’M RESPONDING TO PLACES SINCE I STARTED TO TAKE RESPONSIBILITY OF SOCIAL ENGAGEMENT
MY RESEARCH ON CLIMATE & BIODIVERSITY CRISIS BROUGH ME TO FACE THE IMPACT OF COLONIALISM AND INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
EXTRACTIVISM ————> MAGIC (ETHICAL PROBLEM INSIDE THE ART COMMUNITY TOO!)*
————> DATA (FROM BORDERS CONTROL TO DNA MAPPING, LINA WOLFF)
————> HUMAN CAPITAL
Further posts will come on those topics ]
The antagonistic relationship Techno-region and Bio-regions is central of both my research and my art practice.
I felt the need to back to the origin of this phenomenon. If the historical frame is the European Colonialism and the beginning of the Industrial Revolution. The upcoming Modern Rationalism chanted the connection of people to their ancenstry; slowly communities lost their connection and cultural sense of belonging to the territories they were originally from and living. Then it was much easier for them to move to places in proximity of the factories; this is the beginning of life in urban and sub-urban settlements. People use their work in manufactures to make the money to buy their food and pay their bills. In other words, the labour is separating them from the land, which until now provided them a direct source of food. This in politically and economically the end of Feudalism and the raising of Capitalism. Most of those cities, needed resources and materials to transform and to produce in good to sell to the market and export.
Between 1980 / 1890 Colonialism (ie the system of Techno-regions) adopted an #intensive strategy of extraction of resources from remote, un-militarised, un-weaponised colonies (Bio-regions). #extractivism
Furthermore, more Techo-regions was established between the XIX and the first decades of the XX centuries, from Sao Paulo to Kolkata, new centres was following the model of Western European cities such as London, Paris, Turin, Essen etc
I’m very fascinated about DADA. Most recently I came across Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven's utilization of street debris/found objects in her own artworks.
Her “KIND OF LIVING COLLAGE” has been incredibly influential for generation of artists - ie new-dada / new-realism of the ‘60s & ‘70s, from Raushemberg to Fluxus.
Her practice is an investigation of the possibilities of a “Irrational Modernism”, which is opposing to the mainstream Rational Modernism. I love the fact that the first was born and grown as a contradiction inside of the second.
Jonathan suggested me also to look at some similarities between today and when DADA appeared in the scenery - ie political instability and the “Spanish flue” vs Covid 19.
++ PILLAGINS OF LANDS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLE LAID FOUNDATION TO CLIMATE EMERGENCY ++
I had the opportunity to chat privately with a Brazilian artist and curator who works at MASP is Sao Paulo (I have to ask his permission to quote his name!) who have met #JainerEsbell after he presented his body of work at the Sao Paulo Bienniale & he curated in the same context the group exhibition presenting indigenous contemporary artists.
I will dedicate a whole post on the Cosmovision behind his series “A Guerra dos Kanaimes“.
++ Example of a combination of Climate Crisis and extractives from a Techno-region to generate an ecological crisis. On early 2000’s the Sundarbans archipelago in Gange Delta - in the Bay of Bengal - was the largest Mangrove Forest.
The inhabitants of the area were experiencing the disappearing of their home because of sea level rising and salt water erosion. Sunderbans are a vulnerable areas to climate crisis.
Rising sea level + extreme weather events = decline of the ecology of the area. The land is salty and arid. The population are also drilling for groundwater which is causing the islands to sink faster.
BEFORE XVI/XVII CENTURIES EARTH WASN’T SEEN AS AN OBJECT THAT HUMAN BEING WAS ALLOWED TO DISRESPECT
++ RESEARCH IN PROGRESS | THE ARKETYPE OF UNION BETWEEN HUMAN BEING AND EARTH:
IN SOUTH AMERICA —> Pachamama (Earth Mother)
IN THE EARLY JEWS —>
IN THE INDU —>
IN ETRUSCAN —>
IN GREEK —>
From Maya Lunde’s book BIENES HISTORE (the history of bees - I’m reading the Italian version Un mondo senz’api) I get the inspiration to look at the case of bees losing their abilities to feed.
I’m reading the dedicated report from European Commission on Food Safety, fully dedicated on Neonicotinoids.
Furthermore I have some other articles of the legal cases lost by Bayer on this pesticide.
Post n 26 | Colonialism - Climate Crisis
Published on Wednesday January 26th 2022 at
[The Nutmeg's Curse: The work is about the origin of the climate crisis identified with the moment where total exploitation – of both lands and people – became the methodology of growth in the Global economy. The Climate Crisis didn't started with the widespread use of coal at the beginning of the Industrial Age in the 18th century and worsened with the mass adoption of oil and natural gas in the 20th. Started at least three centuries back, to the start of European colonialism in the 15th century. (1621 massacre by Dutch invaders determined to impose a monopoly on nutmeg cultivation and trade in the Banda islands in today’s Indonesia. Not only do the Dutch systematically depopulate the islands through genocide, they also try their best to bring nutmeg cultivation into plantation mode. Joydeep Gupta)
The "target" of colonial europeans wasn't the population but their understanding of Earth and their sense of belonging with it - which continues to the present day by looking at nature as a ‘resource’ to exploit.
Expansion through deforestation, dam building, canal cutting – in short, terraforming, has brought us repeated disasters, of which Covid-19 is only the latest manifestation. The origin of the problem is looking at Earth as an inert object to be exploited to the maximum.
There have always been challenges to the way European colonialists looked at other civilisations and at Earth. The invaders and their myriad backers in the fields of economics, politics, anthropology, philosophy, literature, technology, physics, chemistry, biology have dominated global intellectual discourse.
Other points of view: Pachamama (Earth Mother) Current problem: developing world are following the same extractive model as the European colonisers.]
PLANET IN CRISIS
PILLAGINS OF LANDS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLE LAID FOUNDATION TO CLIMATE CRISIS
In early 2000s he was in the Sunderbans - archipelago in Gange's Delta - in the Bay of Bengal. Largest Mangrove forest. The inhabitants of the area were experiencing the diseappering of their homes because of both sea level rising and salt water erosion. Which maakes Suderbans one of the most vulnerable area to climate crisis. Rising sea levels are eating the islands & the extreme weather events are also destroing the biodiversity and the ecology, becaose the land is getting more and more salty & arid. Drilling for growndwater is accelerating the process of sinking of the islands.
The work is about the origin of the climate crisis identified with the moment where total exploitation – of both lands and people – became the methodology of growth in the Global economy.
PS I'd like to understand more what is the impact also of the pollution in the Gange river to this area. I'd like to see the incidents of cancer in the population anf if data about the presence of microplastic are available.
Post n 25 | Three cases of Bioregions becoming Techno-region between XVI and XVIII centuries
Published on Saturday January 22nd 2022 at 12 50 PM
Post n 24 | A new Techno-region
Published on Friday January 21st 2022 at 7 52 PM
Indonesia will build a new capital which will be called Nusantara - translates as 'archipelago' - to replace its former capital Jakarta, because it’s sinking.
The rising of sea level as Jakarta sinks at an average of about 7.5 centimeters per year.
Nusantara will be build in East Kalimantan, on the island of Borneo, where the tropical forests of Borneo are currently found, home to rare species such as orangutan, Malayan bear and nasica.
This new Techno-region due to deforestation will drive in danger the biodiversity of the whole region.
Post 23 | Unconditional Liberated Handwriting
Published on Friday January 21st 2022 at 6 18 PM
"I’m checking my ability to write for 5 minutes. Being able to write is what I really found difficult in the last few years and also what I needed the most. My intuition, my sharp inner imagination felt trapped by the need of communicating what I’m doing. I have to let people know what I have in my mind, , I have to find a vocabulary to reduce my imagination and my vision in words. There is something that alway get lost in this translation. I find hard to see colors and shapes in the words I’m using. What about those specific emotions I’m feeling? Why they look so different from my own words? My words look so cold."
Post n 22 | Drypoint series as a storyboard of my research
Published on Thursday January 20th 2022 at 12 49 PM
Looking back at the last weeks - I’d say so far since I’ve started the MA - I found my practice has changed deeply. This method of an art practice linked with a research let emerge in me the inner need to understand phenomenon. I’m not happy with a superficial knowledge with what I deal. I drive mad until I get in touch with the meaning or what are the implications or why.
So far I’m impressed to see that drawing and especially etching and drypoint have replaced sculpture or some king of spacial installation based intervention. I’m finding myself incredibly satisfied by drawing some elements or details linked with my current readings. I like that through this practice my mind can see, digest and metabolise those very complex and multidisciplinary topics.
I know that sculpture will be the next steep but at the moment - being unable to experiment in the context of the public space - I need to understand things and make them mine before letting them go again.
I believe that drawing, despite the challenge of its bi-dimensional limitation, is enabling my research to progress. Is becoming the storyboard of what I will do next.
Post n 21 | On Jaider Esbell
Published on Wednesday January 19th 2022 at 11 24 PM
During the last 4 weeks, in parallel with my aborted project in East London, I progressed with my research on the life & work of Jaider Esbell. I’ve been in touch with artists & curators from Brazil who interviewed and met him recently before he died. Btw his death is still a mystery but as far I understood he was travelling from Sao Paulo to another place (not sure if it was his village).
Some of the following reflections are the results of readings and chats with people he knew & met. Some are in English and some are in Italian. I will translate all of them in one more organised statement.
1) C’e’ un dialogo profondo anche se antagonistico tra la sua origine indigena e la volontà di appartenere alla contemporaneità del Mondo, che passa attraverso il confronto con l’occidente e la storia dell’arte Europea.
La pittura su tela (e non su materiali e oggetti di uso comene) ci indica una precisa dialettica con ciò che l’oggetto d’arte significa nelle civiltà occidentali. I suoi soggetti ci guardano, cosi come ci guardano i ritratti nella pittura dal Rinascimento in poi. Sembrano quindi aver abbandonato la ieratica “presenza” pur nell’astrazione della figurazione indigena.
2) To understand his last series of work is necessary to read a specific cosmology. This is what I’m allowed to share.
La guerra di Kanaimés (2020) è la serie di dipinti realizzati da Esbell per il contesto della 34a Biennale. In un susseguirsi di scene allegoriche, evoca l’idea dei Kanaimés – solitamente descritti come spiriti fatali che provocano la morte di chi li incontra – e la proietta sui conflitti contemporanei vissuti dal popolo Macuxi e dai suoi parenti, che sono costantemente attaccati da offensive, ufficiali e non ufficiali che mirano allo sfruttamento predatorio delle loro terre.
A seconda delle loro alleanze, i Kanaimé possono essere intesi come protettori o predatori. In un contesto segnato da minacce dirette e velate, in cui ciò che uccide viene spesso presentato come un rimedio, Esbell ripensa alla concreta presenza di questi spiriti nella vita e nella lotta del popolo Macuxi.
The elders of the Makuxi people tell that, in ancient times, Surarî’ was abandoned in the bush by a hunter. Missing him, Surarî’ became a person and decided to ascend to the skies after his master. For that, he asked for help from a small hawk who took him on his back. When he got there, Surarî ’transformed again, gaining a star body. He became responsible for bringing the rains and remembering that, after the dry season, there will still be another possible time, that of water.
Surarî’ is the word in the Makuxi language for moquém, a jirau used to dehydrate and smoke meat. The technique of roasting, a way of conserving food and facilitating its transport from hunting and fishing places to villages, is good for thinking about the transit of supplies and knowledge that crosses not only different spaces, but also different worlds. It is transits like these that constitute the movements of contemporary indigenous art. The rain caused by Surarî’ is a way of conceiving the actions of indigenous artists as a vehicle between different temporalities and a way of producing and updating relationships.
3) Moquém_Surarî: contemporary indigenous art presents works by 34 indigenous artists who embody transformations, visual translations of their cosmologies and narratives, making present the temporal depth that underlies their practices. The works attest that the time of contemporary indigenous art is not hostage to the past. Ancestry is mobilized in the now, reconfiguring enunciative positions and power relations to produce other forms of encounter between worlds not based on colonial extractivisms.
4) Combinando pittura, scrittura, disegno, installazione e performance, il suo lavoro intreccia miti indigeni, critiche alla cultura egemonica e preoccupazioni socio-ambientali, a volte derivanti da uno scopo poetico, a volte da una posizione più chiaramente politica e attivista. Nella performance Letter of Indigenous Peoples to Capitalism (2019), tenutasi a Ginevra, Esbell ha consegnato ai rappresentanti della banca UBS una lettera in difesa del diritto a una vita dignitosa per tutti gli esseri che abitano il pianeta. Il tono profetico della lettera riprende il pensiero dello sciamano Davi Kopenawa, che profetizza che il cielo crollerà sulle nostre teste. Per Esbell, la natura ci sta avvertendo della catastrofe e dovremmo ascoltare con più attenzione. La performance è un gesto per la giustizia sociale e per la visibilità dei popoli della foresta.
Post n 20 |NEW START
Wednesday 19 January 2022 at 10 49 PM
I have worked very hard between December and early January for a commissioned project based on social engagement in East London. We had several conversation and videochats following weeks of research. Despite all the energy I had to cancel my participation for personal reasons. I've been very sad for the outcome of this experience. I've been doubting myself a lot. I have improved my research forthe MA but I didn't updated my blog so is time for doing it.
Post n 19 | ISN'T THE WAY IT IS
Thursday 16 December 2021 at 4 04 PM
***This is the transcription from the 12 hours happening / Digital Open Studio as part of GIORNATA DEL CONTEMPORANEO 2021 - AMACI ***
December 11th 2021
h. 10.00 AM - 10.00 PM
In the context of “Giornata del Contemporaneo”, promoted by AMACI, Andrea Abbatangelo is thrilled to present some passages of his current research at Central St Martins in London.
Andrea Abbatangelo is the recipient of the UAL Scholarship 2021 and works with public art and take an expanded definition that involves also spatial installation, performance and sculpture.
Since his first solo exhibition W.A.Y. - What About You (2007) at CAOS in Terni (Italy) up to the most recent Project RadioLondon _ Harare (2018), Percorso Pubblico (2019), and Prosperttive (2020), expressed a natural ability to transform tensions into artistic energy.
In recent months, his reflection on public space includes, among other topics, the de-colonial of environmentalism.
By following the link you will access a dedicated web page, so can participate in a digital interaction which will start at 10.00 AM and will end at 10.00 PM CET. New content will be released every hour and followed by a chat. A login link will also be present in the Bio of his Instagram.
Who is J.E.?
This is Jaider Esbell
he is an Artist, he was born in Roraima (Brazil)
and he is originary from the indigenous group Macuxi
As an Indigenous Contemporary Artist
he crossed platforms of what is political or belong to his cosmovision of the spirituality
or doing something in and for the art system
He moved fluently from one another
doing this he fought back the meaning of colonialism
Framing the indigeous culture in the context of contemporary art
to preserve it from modern colonialism
to protect its sacred cosmology and environmental communion
This is the role of Indigenous Contemporary Artists
To show it and to protect its mystery from us
From western art market and from western artists
He died a month ago in Sao Paulo at the age of 42
he will never die, a generation of indigeous artist will raise
Jaider Esbell’s legacy is represented
by his last public contribution in life:
a group exhibition he curated at MAM Museum in Sao Paulo
the project is in the context of Sao Paulo Biennial
Esbell paid most of the expenses of the project
Moquém_Surarî: arte indígena contemporânea
34 indigenous contemporary artists
who embody visual translations of their cosmologies and narratives,
making present the temporal depth that underlies their practices.
Contemporary indigenous art is not hostage to the past.
Ancestry is mobilised in the now, reconfiguring enunciative positions
and power relations to produce other forms of encounter between worlds not based on colonial extractivisms.
To understand the complicate and antagonistic relationship
between colonialism and indigenous culture
Sao Paulo Bienniale is an event that take place in
what was Guarani territory
Guarani were one of the first populations to be contacted by Europeans when they arrived in South America some 500 years ago.
Today, about 51,000 Guarani live in Brazil, in seven different states.
They are the largest indigenous people in the country. Other groups live in neighboring countries: Paraguay, Bolivia and Argentina.
Sugar cane plantations that have occupied much of their ancestral lands are employing
Guarani, adults and kids.
They are deeply spiritual people. Many communities have a house of prayer and a religious leader, the pajé, whose authority depends only on its prestige and authority.
Guarani have always been looking for a land without pain, or "Land without Demon", where souls can rest in peace after death.
For hundreds of years the Guarani have traveled vast distances in search of this land.
In the 16th century, a chronicler noted their "constant desire to find new lands, in which they believe they will find immortality and infinite rest."
Deeply touched by the loss of almost all of their territory in the last century, the Guarani suffer a suicide rate that is unmatched in South America.
The problems are particularly acute in Mato Grosso do Sul, where the Guarani once occupied some 350,000 square kilometers of forest and plains.
Guarani cosmovision, language and history is actively erased by a colonial education curriculum. In São Paulo, Brazil’s biggest city, descendants of the original inhabitants live in invisibility and struggle to keep their traditions, despite São Paulo’s celebrated cultural diversity.
This is the implication of over-consumption of resources.
It started a long time ago.
“Entrepreneurial capital historically emerged in the modern bourgeois city, transforming the economic and social relations of agrarian economies. As its markets penetrated
the people's living place and working place, the city came to invade the countryside, the market to dominate the farm, the mind worker to control the hand worker, and the capitalist
metropole to imperialize the pre-capitalist periphery.” T.W. Luke
Hyper-regions originated in sites where industrial revolution settled and established the “ephermaculture” (opposite of “permaculture”), with its dependence on constantly increasing, wasteful mass consumption.
Between 1880’s and 1890’s Europeans and Northern Americans entrepreneurs found fewer and fewer pre-capitalist eco-regions to penetrate commercially.
Every eco-region (from the Antarctic to Africa to the Arctic to Asia to the Antipodes) soon was mapped to its fullest extent for any economic utility or “ecological possibility”, which means resources.
Funding archaeology, geography, anthropology and palaeontology campaigns, Entrepreneurial Capital gradually rewrote the borders and political / economical competences on the surface of the planet. The modern system of European Nations extended outward from the original Eurocentric orbit of commercial exchange and captured the inhabitants of numerous non-European zones.
Until every frontier was closed and all unexplored territories were mapped.
For a moment, let's focus on what it means “to map”.
Forget for a second that we aim to research, to preserve, to collect.
forget we purely aim to research, identify and catalogue.
A map tells us what/who/whom is there and what/who/whom isn't.
The focus is generally on what/who/whom IS
not on what/who/whom ISN'T
A map doesn't gives us a how/why this or those what/who/whom ISN'T there
This is an evidence
A map is factual
is also elusive
Imagine a question which embrace also part of the answer
Is that genuine or manipulative?
Can we see now a Map and what they show us (or erase) differently?
What is outside our maps?
Here there are two examples that, among others
could help us to understand what is on a daily base
excluded or ignored
For example, QTBIPOC is the acronimous of Queer and Transgender People of Color. Is “an intentional space to build community, envision and work toward our liberation, and have a chance to decompress and enjoy creative expression. This space exists as a disruption to the White classist hetero-normative standards of the institutions we are engaging with and part of and creates a means of coalition building between QTBIPOC on campus and in community”.
Global South*, is meant to refer to:
1 an alternative to the term “Third World", meaning to economically disadvantaged nation-states and as a post-cold war.
Btw, most recently this term is also employed in a post-national sense to address spaces and peoples negatively impacted by contemporary capitalist globalization.
2 captures a deterritorialized geography of capitalism’s externalities and means to account for subjugated peoples within the borders of wealthier countries.
There are economic Souths in the geographic North and Norths in the geographic South.
3 it refers to a transnational political subject that results from a shared experience of subjugation under contemporary global capitalism.
The use of the Global South to refer to a political subjectivity draws from the rhetoric of the so-called Third World Project, or the non-aligned and radical internationalist discourses of the cold war. In this sense, the Global South may productively be considered a direct response to the category of postcoloniality in that it captures both a political collectivity and ideological formulation that arises from lateral solidarities among the world’s multiple Souths and moves beyond the analysis of the operation of power through colonial difference towards networked theories of power within contemporary global capitalism.
Source: Virginia University
By the way
I could include the term
Global Majority to this note too
Agnes Denes, among tens of very inspiring works
She also addressed the topic of mapping and its implications.
This is from the series of studies "Map Projections", in which topography interacts with isometric projection, (a method of visually representing three-dimensional objects in the two-dimensional format) of a technical sketch.
Here, she projects an accurate geographical rendering of the globe onto an unexpected structure—the form of a snail. This and other works from the series are aimed
to reimagine to earth and the place of humans on it.
As she remarked, “longitude and latitude lines were unravelled, points of intersection cut, continents allowed to drift, gravity tampered with [and] earth mass altered.”
The art system is an entity aimed to map and lead the arts
this map includes also the makers and those whom collaborate in the making
And again this map excludes. To fit “in” is one of the main struggle of contemporary artists
I’m personally very comfortable (and versatile) on working inside or outside this map
I’m enjoying myself a lot in the context of public art for example
I’ve been very privileged to work in some periferic places
where art really matter for their communities
There to make art is something more than being in a map
Because the map wouldn’t include them in any case.
It was relevant to me as it was for them.
We were the art system even if there wasn’t wifi
Even if we was outside the frame; the big lens of the art system
For Jaider Esbell
to curate an exhibition at the MAM Museum,
in São Paulo (former Guarani territory),
in the context of Sao Paulo Biennial
meant to give international recognition to
Indigenous Contemporary Art
and the belonging of indigenous people to contemporary World
Inscribing Indigenous Contemporary Art in the maps
means at the same time to show to the World their Cosmovisions
and to protect them from cultural appropriation.
Despite he died, his legacy will stay with us
34 indigenous contemporary artists had the occasion
to exhibit their works and present / preserve
their identity and all their ancestry brought them
We can expand the meaning of mapping
we can engage that what/who/whom have been previously cut out from the map
We can’t dictate the terms of it
we don’t rule there
As a form of Art that embrace also Activism
Differently from propaganda which is based on opinions
Artivism means to take time to understand the dynamics of every action.
Let's start with Nature and Environmentalism
The perpetual destruction of nature originated with human desire to control the environment. The failure of controlling or predicting the future needed the development of infrastructures capable of protecting the inhabitants, their memories but also their accumulated treasury.
This greed for power developed, the commercialization of art in the design salons and artistic studios of every individual imagination mobilised by the market constantly, so stimulated individuals to desire more. The revolutionary development of the commercial arts over the past century parallels in lockstep the emergence of the hyper-regions.
Commercial art and commercialised artists are simply one of the professional / technical expressions of the aestheticized commerce that rests at the core of late capitalism, and that liberates new wants and mobilises fresh desires in order to justify corporate capital- ism's wasteful consumption of natural resources
Without arts and design, epherma-culture will be an intolerable environment to live in.
As artists we can choose the level of collusion with epherma-culture in the hyper-regions.
Through our choices and actions we can establish spots of eco-regions inside hyper-regions.
This space, for example, is aimed to promote awareness on choices of other artists.
This is a detail from my work “Forms & Objects for a Post-Kingdom”
I’ve started the production of the four elements days after the Brexit Referendum
It was June 2016
I was also working on my solo performance at Cabaret Voltaire in Zurich
for Manifesta 11
The burn of watching nationalism raising and hitting so hard was consuming me
Being an european citizen in a post-brexit UK wasn’t easy at all
It was personal and political at the same time
I thought there was communities historically impacted
by nationalisms, structural racism or colonial espoliations
This is how I started my work on this topic
This is how I imagined a “Post-Kingdom”; the life after the hyper-region’s culture.
Now you tell me
here in DM
follow the link in Bio
Thank you all
Link to AMACI website
Post n 18 | YELLOW PIGMENT
December 7th 2021 at 6 28 PM
I found this amazing yellow polline, realised by an evergreen three (I’ll find the name), its spread everywhere, also the rain helped. I see now if I can extract the polline and fix & stabilise it as a natural pigment. Fingers crossed! Note: I remember an artist made a huge installation / durational performance using a yellow pigment or a yellow polline, I can’t remember his name
Post n 17 | WHY AM I HERE?
Monday 7 December 2021 at 6 24 PM
When I applied to this MA I had several questions I couldn’t answer myself.
I’ve joined so many platforms, peers and 121 zoom sessions but nothing.
What is my place, as an artist, in this world?
What is my context?
What is the role of art? What is its relation with the art system?
Will the arts survive the Contemporary art system?
What about the digital then?
Is it sustainable? It will last? Is it democratic?
I’m concern of its collusion with new power / new mafia? ie Brexit - Cambridge Analytica or Twitter - Trump or Snapchat & Whatsapp - Bolzonaro. Ok, social media is not the entire digital. This is a wake up call: we all (I) need to be digitally literate.
Is it my “ethical commitment” enough or do I need to get out of my bubble and do myself a lot of the “dirty job*” needed for the systemic change I’m looking for? *Define “dirty job”: speak openly and act in society about what is my place about climate crisi/social injustice/systemic racism or homophobia etc
What is the difference between being political and just making echo to “political propaganda” in art?
As far as I am understanding these days, I don’t have answer but even more questions. Is both frustrating and vital atm.
My ongoing questions are: what is the public space? Is it nature (wild nature, no parks or human conducted “nature’) included in the public realm? If wild nature is also a public space, what is the role of digital (& digital arts) in this context? Would digital art interacts consciously in nature?
Will digital art help me to recover some hidden memories of Bioregion?
How can I collect community memories from bio-regions that are already deeply transformed/affected/erased by techno-regions?
My practice will investigate what the public space meant in Bio-regions and what means now in Techno-regions and how it would be translated in the perspective of Eco-regions.
Am I still focused on trying to “fix” the present or already envisioning some possibilities for the future?
Post n 16 | FROM EXTENSIVE TO INTENSIVE CAPITALISM
Monday 1 December 2021 at 10 50 AM
In 1980s and 1980s capitalist entrepreneurs found fewer and fewer pre-capitalist bioregions to penetrate commercially. Capitalism could no longer expand extensively. It therefore made a decisive shift to intensive expansion.
Comment: “positivism” is in the air, so the two guys there are so proud of what they’ve just done. I’m aware to be very judgemental atm
Post n 15 | RESUME OF THE WEEK 21 - 27 November
Monday 1 December 2021 at 10 50 AM
Monday 22 to Wednesday 24 _ Research on T.W. Luke’s definitions of Bioregions and Technoregions.
Bioregions are the complex sets of social and ecological connections that cultures have to particular lands, waters, plants, animals, peoples, and climates.
Technoregions ignore almost all concrete cultural ties to local land, water, plants, animals, climate, and peoples in order to respecify social space techno-economically according to the demands of global capitalist exchange.
Thursday 25 _ MA session with Julia Flood: the library is a very articulated system! A couple of hours after the session I had a zoom as a Whitechapel member with Emma Talbot. I really loved to see Rome (where she’s been in residency for the last six months); Reggio Emilia (Fondazione Maramarotti); my beloved Sicily etc.
Friday 26 to Sunday 28 _ David Graeber / Decolonizing Environmentalism; Baumann; Pareto; Natural Pigments; my personal reflection on both Graeber & Pareto; a lot of studio practice experiments - very fun time!
D Graeber: the life in Bioregions is simple, joyful and worthy; colonialism created bias of being silly, worthless, lazy & fat (much more to come from his conversations and books)
Z Baumann always been very nostalgic of “modernism” and its solidity & predictability too. Departing from Joseph Beuys’s “Kapital = Kunst”, Baumann describes how advanced capitalism is based on duality of culture & social enjeneering.
Pareto is a son of french “positivism” and also a real liberalist (an early fascist too?). The society will be always lead by elitee; a very early (pre-Thatcher “there is no alternative”). In his view there will be always a balance between progress and conservatism. A society in which the “instinct of combinations” prevails is succeeded by a society in which the “persistence of aggregates” prevails. The social system fluctuates, the fluctuations vary. Societies change very slowly as residues change very slowly. His economic based education and his “positivist” background merge in how he perceives humanity as a physico-chemical system, in which the molecules are represented by individual humans with their particularities interacting at the moment of "social mixing".
What I find horrible in his view is exactly what capitalist entrepreneurs found exciting in him: the idea that each individual is just a molecule so it doesn’t matter which is your ancestry or what you really care about in this world: you have a function for the system ‘till you don’t. It is where the XX centrury really hit! Eurocentric technoregions piece by piece, one by one, slowly disconnected individuals from their communities and then from where they belonged and what they were part of.
I disagree with Graeber on his view that non-violent movement is the failing point and the best allied of Governments - really can’t take it even if intellectually I respect his point of view. I really don’t like Pareto’s liberalist philosophy. I remember I read that members of the French government in power before the invasion of Hitler were more likely to welcome Hitler than a woman nominated by the Prime Minister in the Cabinet. On the other hand Pareto seems more likely to welcome Mussolini’s fascist party than to risk disorder for an eventual socialist revolution. Even if the Italian Socialist Party was more moderate and distant from the Italian Communist Party (PCI)which was deeply connected to Moscow. Also for Pareto, people like me, who are empathetic and use the logo-pathic intelligence are weak.
As I said, a lot of studio practice! A new series of works based on Art Deco (national based style of technoregions) texture & sysmbols. Following some examples I re-made them with natural elements. Only natural elements I selected and processed.
Post n 14 | RESUME OF THE WEEK 15-21 November
Published on November 22nd 2021 4 41 PM
- On Monday 15th I had a 1-2-1 Zoom Tutorial session with Jonathan Kearney. It was a very revealing and insightful conversation. I was so agitated and felt lost or unproductive the days before that. I realised that I've collected more than 25 articles, started few books and expanded my practice since the beginning of this Master. Even putting in pause some sculptures or other activities I was working on has been both frustrating and difference-making.
- I've fallen in love with feminists cosmologists Monica Sjöö e Barbara Mor. We are in the season when the days are getting shorter and the nights are getting longer, so their work is very relevant to me right now: "for the ancients the night was not only the absence of negative light and darkness, but a powerful source of energy and inspiration. At night the cosmos reveals itself in all its vastness, the Earth is ready to sprout, and the sinuous magnetic current stirs in the groundwater. "
Again: "the great cosmic dance: the movement of celestial bodies, the rhythm of the tides, the circulation of blood and lymph in animals and plants"
- An amazing exhibition "State and Nature" at the Staatliche Kunsthalle Baden-Baden. I din't know Devlet ve Tabiat before.
- I've made a little research on an essay by Timothy W. Luke published on Arts Journal in 1992 on "Art & Environmental Crisis - From Commodity Aesthetics to Ecology Aesthetics”. There is so much to unpack from this work and the following posts will probably be focused on the topics of "Bioregions" and "Technoregions".
- I have presented my research on Timothy W. Luke’s articled in the break out room during the session with Justin and Lucci. I wasn’t happy with my presentation (I was also driving crazy because neighbours were drilling since the last 10 days and during the zoom too!) but I really enjoyed the challenge and I’ve learnt from both of them: from Justin about Deridda (I remember he was very popular with artists from Arte Povera - ie Mario Merz, Giuseppe Uncini, Michelangelo Pistoletto etc) and from Lucci about Synesthesia.
- Further research on life & work of Jaider Esbell. His work is linked with Bioregions so it is mine too!
Post n 13 | TUTORIAL RECORDS
November 15th 2021 11.31 PM
In the last days I was confused and concerned that I wasn't doing enough. My mind was telling me: too much materials, too many articles; just too much!
Today I had an amazing and revealing chat with Jonathan Kearney.
The key word to describe the whole experience so far has been "Expanding". It came clear and unexpected. But is the very true feeling I'm going through: I'm expanding my conscious sensorial participation in the group. I'm not accumulating informations or data but I'm experiencing them. I let them cross my body. My mind and my consciousness. I'm letting it happen! I've learnt how to avoid to resist and instead let singular input or whole experiences passing through.
I envisage a multi-sensorial and heterogeneous investigation which is currently structured as an archipelago. There are so many under-explored context and identities to engage and get to know deeply.
Very relevant for my practice was to listen to David Cross's Lecture. There are several point of connection between Cornford & Cross's project and some of my works - ie W.A.Y. - What About You (2007); Project RadioLondon _ Harare (2018); Percorso Pubblico (2019). I really resonate to the topic "I'll be your mirror", we can see each other on one another experiences. I understand myself on listening someone else!
Since 2015 and especially after the residency in Sicily, where I produced and fired natural terracotta, I felt the necessity to produce my own materials, this has notably slowed down my process but also gave me the sense of doing the right thing. From clay to pigments and to photography. I was very focused on HOW. In the last weeks I've been asking myself mainly WHY. It is because I want to subvert the industrial culture of manufacturing natural materials and resources. While in nature all the process of transformation are collaboratives and reversible [bringing elements together, atom by atom], since the industrial revolution we learnt how to convert natural resources but those products will never return part of nature. It is an irreversible process.
My favorite moment to create, reflect and expose myself to the danger of all kind of thinking is the evening \ night \ very early morning. Once again I'm finding vibrant the moments in which my mind is not caught by someone else attention. We are also in the season when the days get shorter and the nights get longer. [the great cosmic dance: the movement of celestial bodies, the rhythm of the tides, the circulation of blood and lymph in animals and plants - Monica Sjöö e Barbara Mor]
When Jonathan asked me what is the first steep of any art project of mine I immediately said: listening. It is so true, it doesn't matter if we are talking about materials or places or people. I have the urge to listen it first and then let go this first impression. Despite create and being stuck with one opinion I prefer to know more.
Other thoughts and insights from today's conversation with Jonathan may come in the next few days' posts.
#tutorial #expanding #conford&cross #MAsession #MondayLecture #Esbell
Post n 12 |DON’T TRUST ORGANIC MATERIALS
Published on Monday 8 November 2021 at 12 21 PM
Despite the experience with the Parthenocissus quinquefolia Planch (btw I got a beautiful red) was incredibly successful, I’m failing with others leafs. They smell like the poo of my tortoise and the colours I’m getting are not interesting at all! I can’t get the yellow or the green that I was expecting. I guess is better to investigate not organic materials - ie minerals or oxidations.
My goal is to produce my own pigments to produce a series of drypoint (and etching) and sculptures in clay.
Post n 11 | JAIDER ESBELL (1979–2021)
Published on Sunday 7 November 2021 at 10 08 PM
I’m still shoked by the news of Esbell passing. Originally from “Raposa Serra do Sol Indigenous reserve” he was an artivist - promoting political fight for Indigenous rights, land, and cultural recognition through art. I will keep his work in my mind.
I will dedicate my MA to him.
Post n 10 | NATURAL PIGMENTS#1
Published on Wednesday 3rd November 2021 at 5 51 PM
I started to produce my own natural materials in 2015/2016, mainly clay. I'm starting now with pigments and the first will be a red, which I aim to estract from the leafs of "Parthenocissus quinquefolia Planch". That means that the pigment will be from a biological surce so I don't know if it will be stable.
300 gr of leafs, boiled in two stages (I started three days ago) for about 1 - 1/2 hours each time [smells like broccoli]
The liquid is full of pigment and has reduced from 500 ml to about 15 ml. The colour is a deep red / rubin. I will check if is stable on paper, used as watercolour; taking pictures every 48 hours for two weeks, then montly for 6; 12; 18; 24 months. This is the problem of using pigments soursed from organic / biological materials. Should I with not organic materials, such as stones, minerals, oxidations? [the pigment dried completely on Sunday 7 october afternoon]
Post n 9 | ONGOING SERIES OF BROKEN PICT.
“But where the danger is, also growing the saving power ”
- Friederich Hölderlin .
Published on Wednesday 3rd November 2021 at 4 15 PM
Post n 8 | FROM BROOK & BLACK LECTURE:
“Bagatelle Parallel”* at The Wallace Collection, London.
Published on Sunday 31 October 2021 at 9 17 PM
I was captured by a sequence from Last Year in Marienbad (1960), which reminds me of another movie, the ambiguos Federico Fellini’s “I Vitelloni” (1953). As also Martin Scorsese mentioned in his documentary “My Voyage to Italy” (1999), in I Vitelloni there is an innovative moving of camera (https://youtu.be/I_vbmK75STg) which describes the feeling of Moraldo. While Moraldo he is taking the train to leave behind him the loved/hated hometown, his family and friends, the camera catch all of them in their bed while sleeping and with a beautiful movement takes distance from them as Moraldo is going away with the train.
For everyone like me that comes from a small city in province this moment of the movie is very relevant. I still resonate with those emotions.
*By the way, the whole Brook & Black projects “Bagatelle Parallel” seems to me to be a Fellini’s dream!
#MAsession #Mondaylecture #brook&black #fellini #cinema #installation #time
Post n 7 | IT IS (BROKEN) WHAT IT IS (BROKEN)
Published on Wednesday 27 October 2021 at 11 44 PM
Working on failure 4/5
There was an incredible coincidence on the day of the first lesson (Sept 30 '21). Earlier in the morning my coach* and I we discussed on the differences between being empathetic or compassionate. In the health care, for example, being empathetic means more likely to burn out. On the contrary being compassionate seems to be more successful for both the quality of healthcare provided and for resilience of the professionals themselfs. It was very important for me to address this topic because I'm an empathetic person. Less than an hour later, during our first lession we was talking about compassion and team groups in the Silicon Valley. I just had an internal laugh and drop it as an unusual coincidence.
Strange enough few weeks later I'm here to finally connecting the dots and those different part of my life and work are merging together. As I supposed days ago, the pieces of clay (too tick!) finally broken.
When I work in one of my community project I don't need to switch in a "compassionate mood" because is just there. Is part of me and I didn't learn it at school is more likely that people such as my granpa, my mum and my dog tough me. Being empathetic is deep rooted in my consciousness and during the years I've practiced to be compassionate.
Now I have my broken sculpture. The clay broken while it was drying but I don't feel guilty - which is unusual!
I allowed myself to make a mistake; I let myself to push too much the material. I did't felt idiot or responsible at all. Instead I've been kind and compassionate to myself for the whole time.
I generally don't like to look naive but I've been incredibly naive on modelling the clay such way. And it's ok!
I’ve read about kintsukuroi (or kintsugi) to understand that is not what I’m talking about. My aim is to be comfortable with have broken and respect it for what it is: is dignity to stay broken.
I generally work the clay that I find in nature, in the countryside. In this perspective, if a piece of clay breaks during the process is just getting back to its origin. What is “broken” to my eyes is actually an evolution for the material itself and despite it is going on the opposite direction of my will (which is to obtain an object), it is just following its nature. This assignment is giving me the opportunity to reflect on the fact that me and the materials I use ( funny that I call them “my materials”) might have different aims. Isn’t very easy to accept.
#error #failure #clay #compassion #kintsukuroi
Post n 6 | TRUST, BUT ALSO ENJOY THE PROCESS
Published on Monday 25 October 2021 at 8 04 PM
On Oct 21st ‘21 I had a revealing Zoom - Breakout Room session with three other peers from the course: Gia, Tim and Xinyue. During our Gia mentioned two relevant things and both resonated very much to me. First of all: the anxiety to publish posts on my blog about topics or experiments that are still ongoing, not refined and unfinished. She mentioned the possibility that I am myself the most critical judge of those posts. That actually makes much more sense, because the moment that I publish each post my anxiety declines as I don’t feel “responsible” anymore for what I’m realising.
Again, am I allowed to make mistakes during the process of researching?
Do I allow myself to enjoy the process?
#MAsession #anxiety #expectations
Post n 5 | IT IS GETTING LATE
Published on Tuesday 19 October 2021 at 12 16 AM
Working on failure 3/5
I've been quite brutal on modelling the clay. Considering my boundaries and the respect I used to pay to such material. I could saythat I'm doing what I generally hate to do: rushing the process and working without an established plan.
I'm making very and "heavy" pieces - they will break for sure! I'm merging those each other without any sense of grace or respect for the final composition. This piece seems stressed and I look impatient.
I finally touched the painful nerve of failing through the wrong path.
Note: I'm very late. I'm still working on the assignment of Oct 7th, which was meant to be done during the week of Oct 8 - 14. I'm very slow on connecting the dots of the different topics.
#error #failure #clay #boundaries
Post n 4 | THE ERROR AND THE HIDDEN FEAR
Published on Thursday 14 October 2021 at 12 06 PM
Working on failure 2/5
I know that seems awkward of me to say that I understand Hegel. But finally I do.
I didn't spend too much time on his work - even during my BA in visual sociology. His aim to piss on us is so clear reading his intriduction on "Phenomenology of Spirit" as it is clear his own pleasure on playing with his use of language.
Btw I've loved G. Simmel so I'm used to philosophers playing with the german language to express their understanding. With vorstellung (the german for "presentation") Hegel means the natural represen-tation, the "very real reaility" and in his view is the fear of this "truth" that generates the fear of error itself. That is revolutionary but also extremely simple.
Did I finally understood Hegel?
Long time ago I've studied both the "anthropology of error" (as part of antropology of teathre) and what the error and the failure meant for writers and directors such as Pier Paolo Pasolini and Bernardo Bertolucci. Again, the so-called fear of error turns out to be fear of the truth and its hydden nature.
I can finally answer myself why I fear so much the error in my own practice, even if is an assignment. In my mind means to fail in the projection or in the interpretation. Even worst, means to fail in the intentions behind the action.
#error #failure #hegel #pasolini #bertolucci #sociology #anthropology #sociology
Post n 3 | THE BLIND MEN AND THE ELEPHANT
Published on Tuesday 12 October 2021 at 7 24 PM
Working on failure 1/5
It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
(Though all of them were blind),
That each by observation Might satisfy his mind.
The First approached the Elephant,
And happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
"God bless me! but the Elephant
Is very like a wall!"
The Second, feeling of the tusk
Cried, "Ho! what have we here, So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me ‘tis mighty clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!"
The Third approached the animal,
And happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up and spake:
"I see," quoth he, "the Elephant
Is very like a snake!"
The Fourth reached out an eager hand,
And felt about the knee:
"What most this wondrous beast is like
Is mighty plain," quoth he;
"’Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree!"
The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear, added:
"E’en the blindest man can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can,
This marvel of an Elephant
Is very like a fan!"
The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope,
Than, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope.
"I see," quoth he, "the Elephant
Is very like a rope!"
And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong,
Though each was partly in the right,
And all were in the wrong!
POST n 2 | A GARDEN
Published on Friday 8 October 2021 at 7 14 PM
Today I was imagining this blog to be my garden.
Gardens really mean a lot to me; they have the ability to host, to show off and share but also to open and close. I really like this dynamism.
In 2007 I was commissioned to produce a site-specific installation for the second edition of the festival Es.Terni (the festival was permanently suspended after its edition of 2018 called The End of Now).
It was a very challenging commission because I was the only artist with a background in visual art whilst the context was predominantly oriented to performance and theatre. I decided to explore something completely different of what was my practice. So I created a series of indoor gardens as places where both the visitors and the other artists participants were able to rest, to meet and to relax. Until then I was so focused to entertain “my public” and my collectors and supporters with artworks full of contents and meaning while now I was just offering an empty space to chill!
I hope to bring that ease and conscious relaxation to this space too.
By the way, one of my favorite albums at that time was Ende Neu from Einsturzende Neubauten so I guess I was influenced by one of their song: The Garden. Funny enough, today making a little research I found out that apparently Blixa Bargel (frontman and composer of E.N.) in 1996 was in the Prado Museumshop, when suddenly he heard an elderly English woman next to him saying to her companion: “You will find me if you want me in the garden, unless it’s pouring down with rain”. This is the only phrase he repeats and repeats in the song.
#installation #art #publicspace #einsturzendeneubauten #experimental #garden
POST n 1 | ABOUT A BLOG
Published on Friday 1 October 2021 at 7 42 PM
I will use this blog as a research oriented space.
My first blog was in Myspace. In the years before Facebook, Twitter, Myspace was an authentic place to meet other artists, show your work and share interests and experiences. A real community. Then sadly, both Zuckerberg and Murdoch removed the empathy and created the second generation of social media, aiming to connect people and to sell (to) them.
So I moved to Tumblr but didn’t last for long too.
I was frightened to start this new blog, not because I fear the adventure or to be exposed but I was worried to not to have enough to say.
But here I am with a completely different task. New eyes and new shoes.
#myspace #tumblr #blog #digital