COLLABORATIVE ARTISTIC INTERVENTIONS
Fourteen collaborative interdisciplinary artistic projects (artist/philosopher, artist/architect, artist/urban planner etc.) will take place leading to fourteen artistic productions (UGM, FLP, ER, CUT, VM, NAFTA, NAHR) presented by each partner as individual events. A discussion between the collaborators will take place at the opening of the presentation of each of the productions.
The collaborative projects facilitate the interdisciplinary nature of the project, and it tackles the need for creative exchange between artists and sustainability-related experts.
Fondazione Lamberto Puggelli (FLP) – Collaborative Artistic Intervention 1 & 2
Title #1: The art of thinking like a mountain
27 June – 04 July 2023
The result of the project “L’invasione delle aliene/ Alla luce del sole sono di un nero brillante” was an intense one-week experience involving a dancer (Annamaria Ajmone), a visual artist (Natalia Trejbalova) and a botanist (Manlio Speciale, from the Botanical Garden of Palermo) into an interdisciplinary dialogue “guided” by the suggestions coming from their experience within the island of Salina environment: surrounded by the island landscapes and vegetation, by the sea and the other Aeolian archipelago islands.
They explored Salina and some of the other islands nearby, with the assistance of local guides and the islands’ people. An exchange of knowledge, reflections and feelings was established day after day; in the evening, every day was resumed with a sort of game called “I remember (Io mi ricordo)” during which each person’s memories and impressions started conveying into a collective memory and feeling.
The artists realized how far from understanding plants (as other non-human living beings) our common (and “human”) concept of “nature” is. The botanist deeply empathic perspective and knowledge of plants transmitted to the artists a new experience: in their own description, it has been like “meeting” the plants in the same way you encounter new people. They were impressed by the plants’ capacity to co-exist and cooperate, in a surprisingly “inclusive” way.
The botanist realized once again how deep his connection with plants is, as this experience reminded him of those days when he left his performative arts studies to start botany studies: therefore, as he wrote in his contribution, this project made clear that human and non-human forms of life not only coexist, they co-evolve together and arts and nature can converge, representing this co-evolution.
This exploration focused mainly on the typical vegetation of the Aeolian islands but also of this part of the Mediterranean: la “Macchia Mediterranea”, which is particularly rich of biodiversity. A similar ecosystem exists in other part of the world: it is called ‘Chaparral’ in California, ‘Matorral’ in Chile, ‘Mallee’ in Australia, ‘Fynbos’ in South Africa. What it is important to remember is that these ecosystems typically do not include trees in their vegetation and they are made of plants adapting to water scarcity: the next step, would this water scarcity turn into drought, would be for the Macchia to turn into a steppe and then into a desert. These plants adaptation strategies, therefore, are also a warning for us humans about the risks connected to our exploitation of Earth’s natural resources.
These reflections and collaborative activities then led to new artworks concepts and two public events: a live talk with Manlio Speciale (“L’invasione delle Aliene” on June 29th), focusing on plants’ life and habitat, and a performative project (“Alla luce del sole sono di un nero brillante”) mixing dance, music, narration and visual art led by Annamaria Ajmone and Natalia Trejbalova (live display on July 3rd).
Annamaria Ajmone is a dancer and choreographer. At the centre of her research is the body understood as malleable matter, transforming spaces into places. She shares the creative process with collaborators, thus involving different imaginaries and visions. She presents her works in numerous dance, theatre and performing arts festivals, museums, art galleries and atypical spaces including: FOG Triennale Milan, Santarcangelo Festival, La Biennale Danza Venice, Public Fiction/Night Gallery LA, PalaIs de Tokyo Paris, brut Vienna. In 2015 she won the Danza&Danza 2015 award as “best emerging contemporary performer”. She co- organises Nobody’s Indiscipline, a platform for the exchange of practices between artists. She is associate artist of the Triennale Milano Teatro (IT) 2021- 2024.
Natália Trejbalová is visual artist based in Italy. In her latest films Trejbalová explores through the possibilities of science fiction and speculative world-making our individual perception of global scale transformations, possible future interspecies relations and changes in the planetary environment. She participated in various solo and group exhibitions and her films were screened in different institutions and spaces such as Palais de Tokyo, MUDAM Luxembourg, Power Station of Arts in Shanghai, Fotomuseum Winterthur, La Quadriennale di Roma, Gossamer Fog, MAGA, L’Esprit Nouveau, Fondazione Pini, Regional Art Gallery Liberec and others. Trejbalová was also artist in residence at Schafhof – Europaisches Kunstlerhaus Oberbayern; Kunststiftung Baden-Wurttemberg; AIR Futura Prague and others. Manlio Speciale.
Title #2: The art of thinking like a mountain
25 – 30 September 2023
This interdisciplinary project involved music and geology. The aim was to foster intellectual cooperation between artists and scientists to share their knowledge and practice to produce original artworks and performances inspired by environmental Sustainability and Empathy.
Giovanni Di Domenico
Giovanni Di Domenico, pianist and composer, born in Rome currently lives and works in Brussels. Following his father’s assignments as a civil engineer, he lived his first ten years of life in Africa: until age five in Libya, until age eight in Cameroon, and until age 10 in Algeria. Musically self-taught until the age of 24, when he enrolled at the Royal Conservatory in Den Haag, Netherlands (Koninklijke Conservatorium), specializing in “jazz piano.” He aspires to develop an encyclopedic technique, with rhythm, harmony and tone informed by non-Western traditions, but equally sensitive to Debussy’s Préludes, Luciano Berio’s Sequences, the ambi-ideation heard in Borah Bergman’s Soul Note recordings, Cecil Taylor’s polysemic density, Paul Bley’s livid transparency and, of course, the more radical manifestations stemming from the underworld of pop music, invariably linked by original praxis.
Marco Viccaro is a professor of geochemistry, volcanology and geothermal resources at the University of Catania and a research associate at INGV – Osservatorio Etneo. Since January 2021, he is the current president of the Italian Association of Volcanology. His research mainly aims at defining the nature and timescales of magma storage, transfer and degassing processes in active volcanic systems worldwide. In recent years, he has been working on technology development for the capture of geothermal resources and their sustainable use. He has organized and participated in numerous conferences of national and international significance, as well as coordinated and actively participated in various ministerial research projects. To date, he has authored more than 250 publications, including articles in international journals, book chapters, articles in popular science magazines and conference proceedings
Gaetano Ortolano is associate professor of petrology and petrography at the University of Catania. Since 2017, he has been treasurer of the International Association in Rheology and Tectonics (DRT). His research is particularly based on the study of the behavior of rocks subjected to deformation due to plate tectonics-induced phenomena, measuring their changes in temperature and pressure. Over the past two decades he has become one of the most highly regarded experts in Italy and abroad in the rheological and thermodynamic study of the rocks of all Calabria and the northeastern part of Sicily, an area known as Calabrian-Peloritani Arc or Orogen. An area among the most geologically and geodynamically complex of our entire national territory. To date, he has authored more than 150 publications, including articles in international journals, book chapters, articles in popular science magazines and conference proceedings.
Cyprus University of Technology (CUT) – Collaborative Artistic Intervention
Title: Participatory Community Mural: Migration, Empathy, Nature, Sustainability
22 – 23 September 2023
This interdisciplinary project was the result of the collaboration between the architect and Lecturer at the University of Cyprus Konstantinos Avramidis and the street artist Vasilis Vasiliou (aka Twenty-Three) in the production of a socially-engaged mural and an associated workshop. The workshop took the form of a walk that seeks to map urban elements and imprints of local hidden histories in the neighborhood. These were transferred in the mural by the individuals who tracked them. Members of the community were engaged in the activities which aimed at exploring shared experiences and understanding different perspectives. The mural itself presented a collaborative effort, representing the collective aspirations of the participants towards a more empathetic and inclusive society. The theme and iconography of the mural addressed issues of social and environmental sustainability in the divided city of Nicosia. They focus on promoting interspecies inclusivity as well as undermining the notion of borders on the island. They take migratory birds that call Cyprus home as a starting point, symbolizing the interconnectedness of all beings whilst challenging the conceptual and physical existence of borders. This inclusion signified the importance of extending empathy beyond human boundaries and fostering compassion towards all living beings.
Konstantinos Avramidis is a Lecturer in Architecture and Landscapes at the University of Cyprus. He holds a DipArch from the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, an MSc in Architecture and Spatial Design from the National Technical University of Athens with distinction, and a PhD in Architecture by Design from the University of Edinburgh. He has taught extensively at various institutions in Greece and the UK, most recently at Drury University and the University of Portsmouth. His designs have been awarded and exhibited internationally, including the 8th and 10th Biennale of Young Greek Architects. Konstantinos cofounded the architectural design research journal Drawing On and coedited Graffiti and Street Art: Reading, Writing and Representing the City (Routledge, 2017).
Vasilis Vasileiou (aka Twenty Three)
Twenty Three is an international street artist born and based in Cyprus. Active in the streets from 2012, he has reinforced his interest not only in stencil technique but also in producing participatory art projects, illustrations, interactive installations and experimentation with cyanotype printing process. The most recurring element in his work concerns the question of transformative identities at a local and global level and the constant negotiation between tradition and modernity. Twenty Three left his mark in Madrid, La Coruña, Brighton, Rome, Calabria, Puglia, Mexico City, Oaxaca, Chiapas and Palermo.
Nature, Art & Habitat Residency (NAHR) – Collaborative Artistic Interventions 1 & 2
Title #1: Lì by Francesco Pedrini and Leonardo Caffo
23 October 2023
Francesco Pedrini and Leonardo Caffo’s project Lì which original idea came from the thought of intercepting the wind. The project consisted of a discreet hut that is intended to be mounted in the forest, out of which a number of anemometers emerge. The hut served as a mimetic observation point that represents a metaphor for being receptive to our surroundings. It is possible for a person to hide oneself in the hut and leave traces of one’s presence on its walls in the form of drawings. However, the project can also work without being inhabited. Throughout the project process, Pedrini and Caffo took turns, mostly from a distance, in writing a common notebook. The pages were filled with personal reflections, words, drawings, and quotations. The notebook became a catalyst place of experiences, thoughts, and feelings. In the second phase of the project, the hut housed on its walls, in addition to the drawings already made, other signs and phrases taken from the notebook, and a video where the wind and the words from the notebook read by Leonardo Caffo will be fused. The title of the project, Lì (word which means <<there>> in Italian) refers to a phrase that Gilles Deleuze attributes to Proust in his Alphabet book under the letter V for voyage: Deleuze argues that traveling is useless except if, as Proust does, one considers the traveler in the same way as the dreamer: “the true dreamer is the one who goes to verify that the colour he has dreamt really exists, there”.
Leonardo Caffo is a Professor of Aesthetics of Fashion, Media and Design and Semiotics of Art at NABA and Aesthetics at IULM in Milan. He is a prolific writer, is director of the magazine “Parola” and has curated an extended number of exhibitions.
Francesco Pedrini is an artist holding the position of Deputy Director of the Bergamo Polytechnic School of Arts, with responsibility for the Bergamo Academy of Fine Arts G. Carrara, where he is also a drawing and painting professor. His research focuses on themes such as astronomy, vision, wind, and practices for crossing the landscape.
Title #2: I Am In Between Forces and I Am Gravity by Elena Nemkova and Petra Gruber
23 October 2023
I Am In Between Forces and I Am Gravity is an interdisciplinary project that stands between art and science. The project was based on architect and biodesign expert Petra Gruber’s research into the structure and function of natural elements. Artist Elèna Nemkova, who has always been close to scientific research and interested in the internal structure of natural elements and their capacity to change, was inspired by Gruber’s texts on the connection between the morphology of leaves and their thermoregulatory capacity. She emphasized the analytical and poetic dimensions of these phenomena. Gruber and Nemkova’s joint exploration took the form of an experience: a performative walk in the woods in which the architect, the artist, and an ethologist, Enrico Bassi, took turns in highlighting the relationship existing in nature between function, context, and the formal principles of the elements that make up an ecosystem. On the path of this walk were a number of panels painted with different types of leaves, in which Nemkova gave visual form to the thought process resulting from the collaboration. The walk was followed by a workshop session that involved all of the participants. The project resulted in an invitation to exercise active observation and listening. The converging gazes showed how enriching the interdisciplinary approach can be when paired with an empathic disposition which can have unpredictable and happy consequences.
Dr. Petra Gruber
Dr. Petra Gruber is an architect with a passion for biology and biomimetic design. She holds a PhD in Biomimetics in Architecture from the Vienna University of Technology in Austria and worked internationally in inter- and transdisciplinary design and education, at the intersection of biology, architecture and art.
Eléna Nemkova is an artist based in Milan. Her work is a continuous observation of the evolution of science which translates into an attempt to bring it into the sphere of intimacy, humanity and the primordial. Her drawings, sculptures and performances measure the differences and possible convergences between seemingly unassimilable dimensions.
Vorres Museum – Collaborative Artistic Interventions 1 & 2
Title #1: “Concealment of memory”
July to September 2023
The first collaborative interdisciplinary project took place from July to September 2023. It involved an artist/archaeologist collaboration between Dimitris Alithinos, an Honorary Doctor of the Department of Fine Arts of A.P.Th., and Stavros Vlizos, an Archaeologist and Associate Professor at the Ionian University. This collaborative art emphasized the interdisciplinary aspect of the project and addressed the necessity for creative dialogue between artists and experts focused on sustainability.
Held at the Vorres Museum in 2023, the project featured a significant event on September 18. Dimitris Alithinos conducted his 230th Concealment ritual on the museum grounds in Paiania, Attica, symbolically hiding one of his works within the earth, embodying a “Concealment of memory” for the future. The concept originated in 1981 from Alithinos’ concerns about the potential annihilation of humanity, a theme still relevant today, driving the ongoing work-in-progress called “Katakrypsis,” which has evolved over the years.
The collaboration unfolded within a structured framework, encompassing a series of online preparatory meetings between the artists and the expert to exchange knowledge and perspectives. Additionally, a workshop at the Vorres Museum commenced from the project’s inception in June, running through September 2023, engaging both the artist and the expert. This workshop was open to the public and culminated in the creation of a collaborative artwork. Recognizing the project’s intended impact on audiences, the artist and expert shared their research and knowledge with the participating public during the workshop.
A discussion during this collaboration shed light on the unique aspect of concealing artworks within a museum setting. Dimitris Alithinos reflected on the humbling experience of working in a museum, surrounded by the imprints and history of past painters. He emphasized the importance of remaining humble and learning from the timeless artifacts present in a muse.
Dimitris Alithinos is counted among those who continue, from the 70s to the present day, to shape the history of modern Greek art with the dialogue of their work. He is a pioneer who works productively and unceasingly, firmly focused on the social concerns of our time, on the research of the visual language and on the questions raised, at an international level. Alongside his important visual work, in 1981 he created Concealments, an international work offering to the future, which warns of the danger of environmental destruction and the extinction of the human species. Occultations are developing all over the planet and to date 214 have taken place from the North Pole to the South and from the East to the West. A little later in 1985, as an act of reaction to the invasion of globalization, he created the actions “Defending the Cultures of the World” and “Offers”, giving priority to the rescue of cultural pluralism.
He has many solo and group exhibitions in Greece and abroad and represented our country in a series of Biennales, including the Venice Biennale in 1997. In 2013, he held a large retrospective exhibition at EMST and was awarded by the Union of Technocritics AICA Hellas for the contribution of his entire artistic work to the history of contemporary Greek art.
Stavros Vlizos graduated from the University of Ioannina/Greece and conducted my postgraduate studies at the Ludwig-Maximilians University of Munich/Germany, and was awarded the Ph.D. dissertation. After joining the Greek Archaeological Service, He was appointed as Senior Researcher and Assistant to the Director of the Benaki Museum, Prof. Angelos Delivorrias. He has served as adjunct lecturer at the Hellenic Open University and at the Department of Archives Library Studies and Museology of the Ionian University in Corfu, and has been an academic staff from 2010. Stavros research interests and publications are focused on Archaeology and Museology, as well as on subjects concerning the configuration and management of archaeological goods. He serves as the Director of the “Amykles Research Project”, Director of the Museum Collections of the Ionian University, associate of the archaeological society in Athens, representative member of the German Archaeological Institute, member of the ICOM, Coordinator of the Ionian Islands Museum Network, and funding member and member of the scientific committee of the Athens based “Roman Seminar”.
Title #2: “Solar System/Resilience of Perception for the Wonder of Nature” and “The Role of Shadow in the Synesthesia of Environmental Space Perception.”
July to October 2023
The second collaborative interdisciplinary project took place from July to October 2023. It featured the collaboration between two individuals: Pantelis Chandris, an Associate Professor at the Athens School of Fine Arts and an Artist, and Pavlina Kirkou, a Philosopher-Historian. This collaborative art emphasized the interdisciplinary aspect of the project and addressed the necessity for creative dialogue between artists and experts focused on sustainability.
The theme of this project was centered around “Solar System/Resilience of Perception for the Wonder of Nature” and “The Role of Shadow in the Synesthesia of Environmental Space Perception.” The creation of the artwork titled ‘Orbital Objects‘ involved an exploration of painting, focusing on understanding the role of shadow in the works of artists like Giorgio Morandi, Francis Bacon, and Edvard Munch.
The artist delved into the concept of expressing presence through the absence of the object being referred to. They envisioned a ‘peculiar planetary garden‘ where sculptures and paintings functioned as rotating objects orbiting around a central sculpture: a white, frozen, and motionless flame reminiscent of eternal yet silent flames seen in monuments and statues. Additionally, the creation included references to flames forming a connecting web to other works, symbolizing ‘pyres’ conveying messages inspired by ancient beacons.
The artist’s themes explored pairs and oppositions, such as Shadow and Light, Pictorial Representation and Sculptural Form, Fragmentation and Reassembly, White-Black, and Soft-Hard, showcasing a rich tapestry of artistic exploration and expression.
Born in Athens in 1963, Pantelis studied Painting at the Athens School of Fine Arts (1982-1987) under Dimitris Mytaras. Since 2007 he is a Lecturer at the Athens School of Fine Arts. In 1992 he won the first prize of the Jannis and Zoe Spyropoulos Foundation and in 2010 he was awarded by AICA-Hellas for his work “Ens Solum”. Since 2008 he has been appointed Assistant Professor at the Athens School of Fine Arts and teaches at undergraduate and postgraduate level. His works can be found in National Sculpture Gallery, the National Gallery – Alexandros Soutsos Museum and in private collections.
National Academy for Theatre and Film Arts “Kr. Sarafov” (NATFA) – Collaborative Artistic Interventions 1 & 2
Title #1: MUSEUM OF EMOTIONS by Aleksander Mandzhukov’s idea Inspired by a conversation with Vanya Todorova (Equestrian base “Achilles”)
27 October 2023
The focus of the presented artistic project was an intervention between an artist and a professional from another field, on one of the main themes of the project – Empathy. As a professional artist in the field of dance theater, Aleksander finds the connection between the language of corporeality and the empathetic impact through the body to construct a performance. Artistic performance through the body and the relationship with the audience makes a specific impact on the viewer through an invisible connection and considers the relationship as a projection of a human problem. We focused this creative project on the understanding of empathy as a formula that represents it as a passive-contemplative attitude to the experiences of another – empathy or sympathy, but without active intervention to change through actions (Psihologiceskii slovar, 1983: 413).
Participants: Students from NATFIZ major Theater movement.
Title #2: “Brain Waves Art”
27 October 2023
On the basis of the collaborative work between an artist and a professional, the artists studied the connectivity between and focus the research on Empathy. As a professional actor I find an interesting opportunity to find the language of the concrete performing act through scientifically exploring the Empathy that brings the human brain. This performance was instigated by the reflections that nature and arts bring to the brain waves and how they reflect.
Nature and its sounds and visions can bring us to places that we remember or dream to be. It can make us smile or feel peaceful. This reflection of the brain can make a positive impact on human behavior. It can be referred to as a process that can help realize the importance of nature to society.
With this project, we analysed the meeting points between the performing arts and microbiology. It was produced by the usage of information from electroencephalography and creating it into an art form. Music was created from the waves of the brain and performed at the performance as well as the actions (the dialogue) from which the waves were gathered. This was essentially micro-biology information translated into the language of art. Basically, it can be an endless circulating process that can never stop creating art through Empathy.
The creative process was led by Jordan Varbanov (actor), with the collaboration of Spas Kerimov (entrepreneur and microbiologist).
Jordan Varbanov, Actor.
Spas Kerimov, Entrepreneur and Microbiologist.
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