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AMAZON'S CABINET OF CURIOSITIES

After receiving a commission for a new art project I asked Alexa Voice Shopping, Amazon’s artificial intelligence, this question: ‘Alexa, can you suggest a product for a new artwork?’. I then followed and acquired every single suggested product, until my entire budget was spent on its recommendations. The result is Amazon’s Cabinet of Curiosities (2019), an installation optimized by algorithms for mass consumption. 

the other shape of things - 2. datamorphosis

The Other Shape of Things – 2. Datamorphosis (2019-ongoing) consists of 15 series of sculptures, called Libri (Books), based on the 15 books that comprise Ovid’s poem The Metamorphoses.  It explores the possibility of interpreting Latin poems about metamorphosis as coding instructions and spatial coordinates for the production of new sculptural forms.

the other shape of things - 1. fAILED OBJECTS

The Other Shape of Things – 1. Failed Objects (2017-ongoing) focuses on a collection of hundreds of ‘failed objects’: 3D prints that I collected before they were destroyed by 3D printing labs all over the world. This project tackles the concept of ‘failure’ within technological mediations and technical reproductions.

animal cinema

Animal Cinema (2017) is a film composed of fragments of videos of animals operating cameras. All cameras were stolen by animals who acted autonomously. These video materials, downloaded from YouTube between 2012 and 2017, have been reorganized in Animal Cinema as a constant unfolding of non-human modes of being.

RE: Animation

In 2016 I received an email from a fictitious Hollywood studio interested in buying my “face-image-personality” to create an animated character for an upcoming movie. The offer was clearly a scam, but it seemed to follow the script of a movie I had watched. I decided to respond pretending to fall for the scam, while blurring the boundary between fiction and reality. RE: Animation (2017) documents and complicates this process.

DREAMSCAPES Analytica®

DREAMSCAPES Analytica® (2017) is a fragmented installation that connects the body of the artist with an assemblage of devices, software, networks and systems of analysis and economization of his sleep; and that investigates the relationship between productivity, rest and the data economy. 

Do You like cyber?

Do You Like Cyber? (2017) is a robotic immersive sound installation that broadcasts a series of short audio messages that were used by bots on the dating website Ashley Madison, which I retrieved after the site was hacked. My work focuses on a series of insubordinate bots that displayed anarchic and unpredictable behaviors, such as chatting with each other for no apparent reason and contacting female users even if they were programmed to only interact with users of the opposite sex. 

MNEMOGRAFO

MNEMOGRAFO (2016) is inspired by the seismograph, but instead of measuring new earthquakes it tracks memories of old ones when they resurface online. This project, a special commission for Villa Manin, merges collective and personal memories from the past and the present, bridging physical and virtual realities.

THE DIGITAL SKIN SERIES

The Digital Skin Series (2016) is composed of self-portraits in which I pose “under the digital skin” of strangers I’ve crossed paths with in the past. To create this series, I first used a 3D scanner to obtain an accurate tridimensional model of my face. Then I used a camera-prototype to acquire HD portraits of strangers. Finally, I applied their portraits to my digital skull as if they were simply an additional layer. The result is a series of photographs where bidimensionality and tridimensionality collide in an intimate and unpredictable way.

MNEMODRONE

MNEMODRONE (2014-in progress) is an ongoing transmedia memory-collecting project divided in several chapters and developed in collaboration with Daniel Belquer. It is based on drone technology and investigates the social and philosophical issues of coexistence between humans and artificial intelligences

the captcha project

THE CAPTCHA PROJECT (2014) aims to highlight the undefined boundaries between humans and machines, originals and copies. The project  takes the form of a series of paintings created by Chinese painters from the village of Dafen. Despite the fact that their work consists of a mechanical reproduction of preexisting images for the Western market, Dafen painters consider themselves artists and value their work. I signed an agreement with them, splitting the costs and profits of this project in half and sent them screenshots of CAPTCHA codes, which they transformed into precise oil reproductions.

THE ITALIAN JOB | Job n.2, an-archiving game

An-Archiving Game (2014) is the second work in a series focused on the hidden structures behind themes such as originality, legality, artistic legitimization, collective processes, digital labor and the relationship between artists and curators in the age of the Internet. Using alternative platforms and methods, and with the help of two curators/partners in crime, I reproduced and sold photographs that had been stolen and are currently researched by the FBI.

the ITALIAN JOB | JOB N.1, embarrassment party

In 2014 I was selected for a digital artist residency program on the topic of cloud computing called embarrassment party. My contributed inaugurated a new series of works entitled “The Italian Job”. With the help of  curator/partner in crime, my first job consisted of stealing the entire residency program and all the artworks  created for it. 

MEMORYSCAPES

MEMORYSCAPES (2013-2016) investigates how memory and reality affect one another, through notions of architecture and related mental images, resulting in a complex body of work that includes immersive audio installations, multimedia documentation, and cutting-edge holographic technology.

transiconmorphosis

TRANSICONMORPHOSIS (2013) is an interactive artwork developed in collaboration with Fito Segrera that proposes an ambiguous and experimental communication system for the near future. The system focuses on facial expressions, and translates the emoticons received through a videochat into electrical impulses that force the artist’s facial features to mimic the expression of each emoticon.

THE GOOGLE TRILOGY - 3. THE DRIVER AND THE CAMERAS

THE GOOGLE TRILOGY ends with The Driver and the Cameras (2012). To create this work I went looking for faces that had escaped Google Street View’s algorithm. The eleven portraits I isolated immortalize the driver of the Google car. The driver is a sort of phantom power; he appears where he shouldn’t be and his presence has escaped censure.

THE GOOGLE TRILOGY - 2. MICHELE'S STORY

The second part of THE GOOGLE TRILOGY, entitled Michele’s Story  (2012), is a collection of 100 photographs, the result of my collaboration with a man who became almost completely paralyzed. The project is composed of details taken from Google Street View and attempts to precariously reconstruct a single human journey by recovering snippets of stolen and dehumanized life.

THE GOOGLE TRILOGY - 1. REPORT A PROBLEM

THE GOOGLE TRILOGY (2012) is a three-part project about the relationship between humans, power, and technological errors. To create the first part, Report a Problem, I traveled on Google Street View photographing all the “wrong landscapes” I encountered before others could report the problems and prompt the company to adjust the images.

DIGITAL PAREIDOLIA: A PERSONAL INDEX OF FACEBOOK'S ERRONEOUS PORTRAITS

In 2012 I uploaded all of my personal photos to my Facebook profile and I went through each suggested ‘tag,’ looking for possible errors occurring during the use of its facial recognition technology. Facebook recognized the face of a person where one did not exist 193 times. The by-product of its failures was a series of erroneous portraits featuring pieces of fabric, hands, rocks, plants, and a lot more.

DIGITAL PAREIDOLIA – A Personal Index Of Facebook's Erroneous Portraits by Emilio Vavarella

THE SICILIAN FAMILY

The Sicilian Family (2012) is composed of digital elaborations of vintage analog photographs that belonged to my relatives. I modified each picture by writing my memories within its ASCII code.  This alteration corrupts the file but forces my memories to coexist with the photo in an unforeseeable new way.