lone swimmers in the surges grey[...]
2024, ongoing
'lone swimmers in the surges grey[...]' is an installation work that explores iconography and cultural apocalypses. The work relates to an ongoing exploration of cultural apocalypses, a term used to describe a moment in time when the value system upon which a particular society is based begins to crumble. In this context, I am exploring the narrative and visual legacies that are held in our collective imagination during and after an apocalypse, and how these can serve as powerful intergenerational memories.
The installation currently takes the form of a sculptural element, a custom-built projector and a shadow image device. The projector, built from salvaged components from old beamers and electronic devices, creates an image from a single frame. The frame is made from a 3D-printed resin slide created by scanning a clay sculptural element. Another light device casts the shadow of another object, while a repetitive pattern animates the lights of both devices.
Focusing on the use of light, opacity and absence, the installation uses a combination of 3D modeling and DIY prototyping to investigate our magical relationship with images and the stories they carry with them.
Ovunque e sempre proteggimi
2023, ongoing
'Ovunque e sempre proteggimi' is an installation work resulting from an ongoing research focused on folk religious worship and its imagery. The work starts as an exploration on the catholic symbolism of holy cards and Ex votos, a kind of votive artefact crafted to thank a holy subject for granting a grace to a devotee. In North-west Italy, Ex votos often take the shape of paintings representing the subjects during a traumatic event (like natural calamities, work accidents and woundings) and its resolution by intercession of divine forces.  Unlike the majority of Cristian artifacts that were typically commissioned by the clergy or by wealthy devotees, Ex votos were crafted by not professional artists on makeshift supports. In opposition to official iconography, these devotional objects usually put the unlucky subjects at the centre of the work, leaving the divine force only a marginal role in the image. The focus remains on the pain and struggle that affected the devotees. 
The work uses imagery and symbolisms coming from this tradition while playing with visions coming from contemporary digital culture. By focusing on the depiction of grace and disgrace, the work reveals the fetishism for suffering present in catholic folk imaginary as well as elements of contemporary internet culture like self-hate memes and pain disclosure on social media.
The work is made of a series of 3d-printed shrines made of a PLA, plexiglass and Liquid Cristal displays showcasing different animations. A series of BLB lamps triggers the glowing property of the UV sensitive PLA.
3D printing: Nicolas Garin Odriozola
May 2023
(chance) is part of an installation work resulting from an ongoing research focusing on religious worship and its relationship to contemporary visual and online culture. The work is part of a wider exploration starting from the Catholic tradition of Ex votos, a kind of votive artefact made to thank a holy subject for granting a grace to the devotee after a positive resolution of a traumatic event. In this context, the work plays with ideas of chance and fatalism from Christian culture and the contemporary sense of lack of agency as a result of environmental, economic and political crises.
The work consists of an interactive game using a computer monitor with a custom-made controller attached. The audience is invited to play with the controller and interact with the work. The player can choose their avatar, move around the space until they are confronted with the only possible option: to press the chance button and see what luck brings.
Macht van wie!!
According to Amnesty International, “Demonstrations are important for healthy democratic, economic, and social development. Therefore, the right to demonstrate is enshrined in human rights treaties and Dutch constitutional law.” Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Unfirtunately, we are suffering an increase in violent police interventions in recent years.The number of protest movements worldwide has more than tripled in less than 15 years, and they are not always peaceful.
In 2012, Game Developer and Director Leonard Menchiari found himself caught between protesters and the police in Italy’s Susa Valley. The demonstration was protesting the construction of a high-speed railway line that the local population also strongly opposed. The EU had issued the Italian government an injunction a year earlier to complete the work, leading to an increased police presence and more brutal measures to prevent protesters from reaching the site. To better understand the relationships between protesters and police, Menchiari has developed RIOT: Civil Unrest, a real-time strategy game that simulates demonstrations.
The exhibition Macht van wie!! - Power of who!! explores how games can be a mirror image of society and a means to demonstrate. To this end, Curator Sebastiaan Hoogstraten initiated a dialogue with various parties involved and activists present at the Woonopstand (Residential Revolt) demonstration in Rotterdam on 17 October 2021 to gain insight into the event’s proceedings and atmosphere. He was particularly interested in understanding how the situation escalated despite its peaceful start. Under the initiative the curator I joined the creation of a new “Residential Revolt” level in RIOT: Civil Unrest based on the Rotterdam events. The level was developed and showcased in the showroom, where visitors could play it.
Curation and level design: Sebastiaan Hoogstraten
Pixel art, level design and poster design: Anna Sandri
Exhibition mural: Guido de Boer
Pictures: Lotte Stekelenburg
Special thanks to Leonard Menchiari, Actiecoalitie Woonopstand and the MaMA staff
When you might go astray
When you might go astray is a research project dealing with conspiracy theories, fictional narratives, and how their narrative patterns shape the stories of their believers. The research starts from the following questions: how much of the pervasiveness of conspiracy theories is generated by their compliance to certain narrative schemes? What happens when the legitimate need to generate counter-storytellings gets trapped in other kinds of narrative templates? When you might go astray deals with these questions by exploring the dangers of conspiracy theories and their entanglement with narrative schemes transforming their believers into heroes on a quest.
When you might go astray is divided into two parts: a game designed for the browser where the player is asked to undertake a journey, and an essay examining conspiratorial narratives through the lenses of the mono-myth. The game employs a fictional lens to ultimately unravel the links and sources to real events and anecdotes related to the conspiracy theories universe. In parallel with the theoretical inquiry, I conducted a research into gaming workframes, ending up crafting a game engine of its own, following the storytelling needs. This results in a combination of a game, interactive fiction, digital book and theoretical essay.
This project has been initiated in the context of the graduation research conducted during the Experimental Publishing Master course at Piet Zwart Institute.
Thanks to Aymeric Mansoux, Michael Murtaugh and Marloes de Valk.
We have secrets to tell
April 2020
A project realized during a trimester at Piet Zwart Institute focused on archival practices and publishing techniques in times of political urgency and repression. The outcome of the project was the creation of two web publications. The first one contains a collection of precious documents regarding a past dictatorship from the other side of the world: this online archive has been published anonymously and for safety reasons is not sharable in this context. The second publication concerned the creation of a publicly accessible website that documents the process we underwent while working with the collection that was given to us. Tools, methods, and experiences can be useful If the political situation sharpens and censorship and repression endanger our beings. This website offers a web to print function that enables the user to select the content they might find valuable and print it in a customizable zine format.
Project developed in collaboration with Avital Barkai, Damlanur Bilgin, Sandra Golubjevaite, Tisa Neža Herlec, Mark van den Heuvel, Max Lehmann, Mika Motskobili, Clara Noseda and Ioana Tomici.
Input Output: Tales from another module
December 2019
A project realized during a trimester at Piet Zwart Institute focused on sound, language, and interfaces. The objective of the publication was the creation of a common organism —a modular synthesizer. The outcome of the project is a publication containing a printed circuit board including all the modules produced by all the 10 participants and a booklet that acts as an operative and conceptual manual for each module.
My contribution consisted in the creation of a module, performing animations and phonetic translations when triggered by the user’s interactions and by inputs received by other modules. The module was the result of research into phonetic alphabets and human-machine translations.
The publication has been launched during an event hosted by Deplayer (Rotterdam) where the participants had the occasion to play and interact with the modules. The mudules have been displayed again in occasion of the exhibition 'Wrong Side Out' at Roodkapje (Rotterdam) in December 2020. The publication’s website is accessible here .
Project developed at in collaboration with Avital Barkai, Damlanur Bilgin, Sandra Golubjevaite, Tisa Neža Herlec, Mark van den Heuvel, Max Lehmann, Mika Motskobili, Clara Noseda and Ioana Tomici.
Thanks to Dennis de Bel, Andre Castro and Michael Murtaugh.
A series of illustrated publication and games.
'Venster zien', a publication inspired by the Dutch tradition of raamdecoratie, it consists of a series of riso-printed posters for the neighbors to customize and publish in their windows. The publication was created during the first months of the Covid-19 pandemic. I contributed by designing one of the posters, Dreaming of a busy living room, a reminder to not forget how to dance wildly while waiting for better times. The work has been published by PrintRoom Rotterdam.
'Lemon Porn', an illustrated zine inspired by seventies’ erotic magazines designed for LemonPrint Italy in collaboration with Carneplastico collettivo (Anna Sandri and Claudia Bernardi).
'Il gioco dell’oca', a board game inspired by classing goose games created in collaboration with Carneplastico collettivo (Anna Sandri and Claudia Bernardi). The game’s slots reinterpret the traditional ones by adding elements of contemporary popular culture.