On a theoretical layer: How the publishing process, (as a means to unfold and re-tell the reality) could create new, cultural roots for social and micro-territorial developments? What kind of infrastructures a residency and collective workshop would need in order to facilitate the sharing of processes and knowledge? And how they could be used to re-think the future we live in? Could a constellation of smaller eco-systems be the way to decentralize political and monetary power, recalibrating our lives based on urgent and real needs? What could we learn from smaller realities such as rural villages in order to build new, modern and almost self-reliant communities?
How the circulation of knowledge, processes and results achieved during the residency could be turned into concrete actions which could help both the local community and the artists' development?
How the set of traditions and local heritage could be used as a set of tools for better understanding the present?
On a practical layer: How to amplify territorial-based narrations? How to approach local archives? And how to create new, vernacular imaginaries? A journey into the building up of a new, ultra-territorial community-based model aiming to re-create the ideal environments for a participative, cultural development - where participants become transmitters and amplifiers of the mediated reality.
+---------------+ /-| Fantasy |-\ +----------------+ /- +---------------+ -\ +-----------------+ | | +---------------+ +---------------+ /- +---------------+ -\ | | | External World |-------| Understanding |-------| Memory --------| Invention |-------| Imagination | | | +---------------+ +---------------+ \- +---------------+ -/ | | +----------------+ \- +---------------+ -/ +-----------------+ | \-| Creativity |-/ | | +---------------+ | | | | +-------------------------+ | |----------------------------------| Production |------------------------------------- +-------------------------+
I want to write this text to:
- 1) Unfold the specific local dimension, going through the territorial specificities in order to map the actual state of cultural and social related issues in the interested area.
- 2) Narrate the processes and reflections which drove me to the development of a community-based ultra-territorial residency and workshop, as a proposition to respond to the need for cultural revitalisation in remote, rural areas.
- 3) Explain the tools/infrastructures which could facilitate the circulation of knowledge within the local scale, while bridging them with the outside world >>> Ultra-territoriality
- 4) Valuing the actual vulnerability of human coexistence with urban environments; emphasizing participation, challenging capitalist-driven individualism, spanning disciplines grounded into a proximity-based model. Provoke modifications of the space of everyday life, giving rise to new forms of relations.
- 5) Reflect on potential applications of the built model on a wider scale. The future as a constellation of small ecosystems.
Outline of Methodology
The first layer of the thesis is based on the research and documentation I processed from January 2021, when I started to outline Habitat as a project, going through the territorial specificities, other residency models and aligning the considerations with the growing tendency of moving back to the countryside. On a second layer, the analysis and organization of all the contents, processes and actions that took place in August 2021- in the occasion of the pilot edition of Habitat- will advance and structure new reflections and possibilities for a long-term based application.
In December 2020 I've been reached by the Vice-major of Tredozio, a village on the edges of Appennines between Emilia Romagna and Tuscany (Italy) - away from industrial flatlands and congested urban agglomerations, where the hills and the cultivated fields start to leave space in favour of (still) not urbanised lands and resilient eco-systems. The purpose of our meeting was to brainstorm ideas and possibilities for a cultural-rooted programme to start there. From that moment, I've been constantly busy thinking about a small-scale approach for publishing, which emerges from the local specificity trying to resonate with the actual ultra-territorial potential. This chapter will introduce the overall framework of my research, by locating it in a specific time and space condition.
✐ Mapping the Present, Understanding the local conditions
The places we inhabit correspond to a specific stratification of social, cultural, economic and natural layers, which outline the ever-going process of building, destroying and modifying the space we live, translating it into different systems shaping our cities. According to Ugo La Pietra in "LIVING IN THE CITY", the commercial, the streams (viability, urbanism), the ludic, the cultural, the informative and the "decompression" one are the main systems that define our ways of living and related behaviours. I would refer to this structure to unfold the local context and analyze the actual, local conditions in which my project is going to be rooted.
✐ The potential relevance of Habitat in that specific context
Departing from the previous analysis, I'll bring some questions and reflections around the contextualization of my project within the local boundaries.
✐The first contact with the community
After understanding the context and starting to map out the different possibilities offered by this environment and the support of the three municipalities, my intention is to show up and describe the first edition of Habitat by providing an overall map of the participants, approaches, methodologies, interventions sites, projects and prototypes, emphasizing the process rather than the end result, "based on, or inspired by, human relations and their social context", also known as Relational Aesthetics.
> Affordance as a target. The aesthetic's not as a purpose.
✐ Mapping the first edition' outcomes
The pilot edition already offered a wide range of opportunities to live, understand, create and publish within the small-scale reality. The process moves forward by collecting, analyzing, and then re-elaborating all the material that's been initiated during the first month of residency (August 2021). Several podcasts have been recorded and broadcasted, hundreds of pictures realized, while just a few video cameras have been documenting, some wood-cut sculptures yet inhabited our small village. The seeds for a long-term action have been planted, but the processes need to be narrated.
✐ Possibilities for a partecipative action
What was missing in the first edition, due to an often recurrent lack of time, was the active participation of the local community in the making. Apart from the workshops, in which the local community had the opportunity to take part as participants, most of the projects, prototypes and actions sprung spontaneously from the building up of relations between the residents and the accessibility-proximity of local resources. The local community has taken part of the publishing process only as a "spectator", creating a possible distance between the artists and themself. How the local community could be actively involved in the process of collecting, shaping and publishing knowledge, while aiming to restore a communal collective space of social, shared engagement? How to encourage horizontal, local circulations of knowledge (and why not, essential goods), while building bridges with the world?
✐ Tooling the local bubble: Local circulation and ultra-territorial bridges
This chapter is dedicated to the prototypes developed together with Federico Poni, which will serve the residency with a collective set of tools and infrastructures for a social, shared engagement.
✐ A local implicancy or a bootstrappable model?
Could the impact of different ultra-territorial publishing practices-departing from remote, small-scaled areas- become a bootstrappable model? A model that could be applied outside that specific local bubble; in order to create new, resilient forms of living that activate communities and advance awareness on urgent, global needs.
- GLOBAL TOOLS 1973 – 1975, Valerio Borgonuovo e Silvia Franceschini
- Living As Form. Socially engaged art from 1991-2011, Nato Thompson, Creative Time Books
- How Do We Make Art Of Databases? Making art of databases - Anne Nigten, p.8
- Metadating the Image – Making art of databases – Lev Manovich, p.14
- You Need Art When You Build a City, Hanne Hagenaars, https://laps-rietveld.nl/?p=552
- New Creative Community, The Art of Cultural Development – Arlene Goldbard
- One Year In The Wild, Jeroen Boomgaard – Gerry Rietveld Academy
- Aesthetic Separation, Aesthetic Community: Scenes from the Aesthetic Regime of Art, Jacques Rancière
drifting memories laying on the stones of present
time dripping inside wild cave in Vercors mountains
voice of a soul processing being caught in a cloud on a hill
enormous space we can free inside and outside for selves
moment becomes present
resonating with a mood at the door to a new year of life
water giving and washes away
everything is already there