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rs548049170_1_69869_TT (The Other Shapes of Me)


rs548049170_1_69869_TT (The Other Shapes of Me), 2020-in progress. Installation composed of a modified Jacquard loom, a textile, a video. Variable dimensions, sound.

rs548049170_1_69869_TT is a large installation based on the translation of my genetic code into a fabric, through the labour of my mother, using one of the first modern computational machines: the 19th century Jacquard loom. The title refers to the first line of text resulting from the genotyping of my DNA. The final work takes the form of a modified Jacquard loom that incorporates a video of the entire production process and the monumental textile resulting from it. This project is the result of a layered research into the origin and current applications of binary technology: from weaving to programming, algorithms, software, automation processes, up to the complete computerization of a human being.


1. For thousands of years we have thought our thoughts—and thought our world—on the basis of a model derived from the ancient art of weaving.

2. At the beginning of the 20th century, computer science and weaving shared the same programming techniques.

3. A series of historical parallels underscores the history of domestic weaving and the role of women as the first programmers and operators of computational machines.

4. The first automated loom of modernity, the Jacquard loom, is often considered the first modern computer.

5. The genetic code is nothing more than the encoding, carried out by binary technologies, of the information contained within our cells.

6. DNA and textiles don’t represent or support information: their material structure presents and embodies information in a perfect homology of form and content.

7. Biotechnologies and artificially generated life have subsumed any supposed distinction between the traditional concepts of biological life and artificial technology.

8. The “thread of life” of the ancient Greeks has lost its privileged place in our imagination and has been supplanted by the “code of life:” a genetic code, potentially decipherable in its entirety, of which our biological life is a direct expression.




PROJECT PREVIEW: Ideas, Hypotheses, Assumptions and Objects



An artist book, produced with MOUSSE Publishing, highlights and extends the scope of my project. It includes a photographic documentation of the work, along with other visual materials and the contributions of fifteen thinkers and practitioners from the fields of art, philosophy, bioengineering, media theory, and the history of science and technology: Lorenzo Balbi, George M. Church, Francesco Giaquinto, Ellen Harlizius-Klück, Sabine Himmelsbach, Paolo Mele, Stephen Monteiro, Carla Petrocelli, Davide Quadrio, Eugene Thacker, Ed Regis, Devin Wangert, Ursula Wolz, Claudio Zecchi and myself.








  • (Upcoming Solo Exhibition) Art City: Chanakia. rs548049170_1_69869_TT , curated by Ramdom and Manuela Valentini in collaboration with MAMbo – Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna, Bologna, Italy
  • (Solo Exhibitionrs548049170_1_69869_TT (The Other Shapes of Me): “Ideas, hypotheses, assumptions and objects”, curated by Ramdom, Gagliano del Capo, Italy


  • This work, curated and produced by Ramdom, has been awarded the VI Italian Council grant promoted by the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities.
  • Project partners: MAMbo – Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna (Italy), Arthub Asia (Shanghai, China), Film Study Center – Critical Media Practice, Harvard University (Cambridge, USA), Gallleriapiù (Bologna, Italy), Istituto Italiano di Cultura (New Delhi, India), Istituto Italiano di Cultura (New York, USA).
  • Technical partner: Tessitura Giaquinto.
  • Photo documentation production process © Alessia Rollo and Emilio Vavarella.
  • Photo documentation of the exhibition © Sergio de Riccardis and Emilio Vavarella
  • Publication: MOUSSE Publishing. 
  • Media partner: ATP Diary.
  • Special thanks to: Nick Briz, Antonio Castiglioni (Antonluigi Castiglioni SAS – Jacquard Center), Studio Co-Co, Sara Fumagalli, Famiglia Giaquinto, Famiglia Ganley-Roper, Giovanna Manzotti, MUUD Film, Gabriele Panico (alias Larseen), Corrado Punzi, Marinella Raffo, Elizabeth Vavarella, Vincenzo Vavarella, and the Ramdom team.
  • This project includes a vast series of collateral events, talks, presentations and activities. Additional info can be found on the project’s blog:
  • This work is part of the permanent collection of MAMbo – Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna (Italy).



Artslife – Fotoromanzo
“Emilio Vavarella: arte, errori e tecnologia. Una costante messa in discussione”
by Andrea Tinterri, May 2020 (ita)



ATP Diary
“Nuove ipotesi di realtà. Intervista con Emilio Vavarella (New hypotheses of reality: interview with Emilio Vavarella)”
Interview by Elena Bordignon, January 2020. (ita-eng)



CMP – Blog
“Emilio Vavarella awarded prestigious Italian Council award”
July 2019. (eng)



ATP Diary
“Ramdom a Gagliano del Capo, Lecce: fare e vivere di cultura e arte”
Interview by Elena Bordignon. 21 November 2019. (ita-eng)



Il Manifesto – Alias
“Emilio Vavarella”
Print edition, 9 November 2019. (ita)

Il Sole 24 Ore
“Per il secondo bando Italian Council 1,9 milioni di euro”
by Marilena Pirrelli, July 2019. (ita) [SOURCE]


Edited by Vavarella, Emilio, Mele, Paolo and Claudio Zecchi.
MOUSSE Publishing: Milan, 2020. (ita-eng)



ATP Diary
“rs548049170_1_69869_TT (The Other Shapes of Me) | Un progetto di Emilio Vavarella”
by Elena Bordignon, 10 July 2020. (ita-eng)



“Thought is my Main Medium. Interview with Emilio Vavarella | Il pensiero è il mio medium principale. Intervista con Emilio Vavarella”
by Giada Totaro, July 2020. (ita-eng)

[SOURCE (ita) | SOURCE (eng) | ARCHIVED]


“Emilio Vavarella in mostra nel Salento estremo”
by Lorenzo Madaro, August 2020. (eng)

[SOURCE (ita)]



Nuovo Quotidiano di Puglia
“Jacquard, storia e segreti del tessuto tecnologico”
by Marinilde Giannandrea, August 2020. (ita)



ATP Diary
“Dall’identità alle geografie artigianali: un progetto di Emilio Vavarella a Gagliano del Capo”
by Lorenzo Madaro, August 2020. (eng)



Gli Stati Generali
“The Other Shapes of Me di Emilio Vavarella. Tecnologia e tradizione in Puglia”
by Zara Audiello, Septembre 2020. (ita)



“Tessitura, memoria e tecnologia. Intervista a Emilio Vavarella”
by Cecilia Pavone, September 2020. (ita)



Arte e tecnologia del terzo millennio. Scenari e protagonisti [Art and Technology in the Third Millennium: Landscapes and Protagonists]
Catricalà, Valentino and Cesare Biasini Selvaggi, I Quaderni della Collezione Farnesina, Vol. II, Milan: Mondadori Electa, 2020. (ita-eng)

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