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Emilio Vavarella solo show “rs548049170_1_69869_TT (The Other Shapes of Me): Sourcecode” marks the conclusive act in a trilogy of exhibitions based on Vavarella’s project “rs548049170_1_69869_TT” (The Other Shapes of Me) and curated by the cultural organization Ramdom. The idea of the source code permeates the body of works exhibited in the gallery, and forms the basis of the conceptual and technical infrastructure of the exhibition. A source code is simultaneously an origin and an elaboration, a source of life and the effect of life’s digital processing. The show is the result of Vavarella’s research into the origin and current applications of binary technology: from weaving to programming, algorithms, software, and automation processes, up to the complete computerization of the human being.
The exhibition opened at GALLLERIAPIÙ in Bologna last May and will close on September 8th. It follows the exhibitions “Ideas, Hypotheses, Assumptions and Objects” (July-September 2020, Gagliano del Capo), and “Errors, Limits and Malfunctions” (January-February 2021, Shanghai). Whereas the previous two exhibitions in this series were focused respectively on Vavarella’s research process and on his work methodology, the current show will unveil Vavarella’s new project in its entirety. The fulcrum of the show is the installation “rs548049170_1_69869_TT” (The Other Shapes of Me). The title refers to the first line of text resulting from the genotyping of Vavarella’s DNA. This piece is based on the translation of his genetic code into a large fabric, through the labour of his mother, using one of the first modern computational machines from the late nineteenth century: the Jacquard loom. The result is a monumental work composed of a grayscale fabric, a loom, and a video. The use of the nineteenth-century loom led to the production of a grayscale textile sixty centimeters wide and eighty-two meters long, thus pushing the technical possibilities of this early computational machine to their furthest limits. This work has become part of the permanent collection of MAMbo – Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna.
The show also includes a new series of works entitled “Sections (The Other Shapes of Me):” medium- and large-scale tapestries, eight of which are on view, that explore the weaving possibilities of contemporary digital looms. Every single piece corresponds to a section of Vavarella’s DNA. Pushing the technical possibilities of these more modern machines, Vavarella has produced polychrome tapestries whose vertical dimension corresponds to his own height.
The exhibition is closed by the series “Samples (The Other Shapes of Me):” nine small- and medium-sized tapestries that correspond to a DNA sample of the artist, woven through heterogeneous digital processes.
Finally, the show is accompanied by the artist book “rs548049170_1_69869_TT” published by MOUSSE and edited by Emilio Vavarella, Claudio Zecchi, and Paolo Mele. This publication highlights and extends the aim of Vavarella’s project through the contributions of other fourteen 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 and Claudio Zecchi.
More info on the project here: https://emiliovavarella.com/othershapes/