On the occasion of the exhibition FANTOMOLOGIA. From micro to macro to the phenomena of reality - a project within ART CITY Bologna 2019 and Artefiera - for the second edition of das - dialoghi artistici sperimentali [experimental artistic dialogues] (link to the exhibition), CUBO has supported the production of the work STANZA "The Nemesis Machine" 2019, one of the most iconic works of the British artist, pioneer and experimenter since the mid-80s of the complex relationship between man, technology and space outlined in its different forms: personal, relational and architectural.
The work is a complex and surprising scale representation of a virtual city, whose formal elements are composed of circuits and electronic components and the lighting consists of LEDs and lights, able to monitor the flows of information, connections and public data networks of the real city around it in real time. A synecdoche capable of restoring, in a small way, the dynamics that characterise our daily lives, for better or for worse.
A transparent membrane that connects CUBO with the entire city of Bologna living and breathing outside, beyond the large window which the installation is directed towards and from which it attracts the attention of the visitor, who in turn becomes part of the work when his movements in the exhibition space are monitored and reproduced by a system of sensors on a series of small screens. To remind us, at every moment, of what Michel Foucault said according to which "a policy of coercion takes shape, which is a work on the body, a calculated manipulation of its elements, its gestures, its behaviours" as well as the now-evident implications on privacy by those same surveillance technologies and "intelligent automation" to which we have delegated our anxieties of the "protection" of space, from what is "different" and "unknown", because as Étienne de La Boétie reminds us, "he who most dominates you has only two eyes, two hands, a body, has nothing less important than the man of the immense and infinite number of our cities, if not the superiority that you attribute to him to destroy you. Where did he get so many eyes, with which he spies on you, if not offered to him by you?"(From the catalogue text by Marco Mancuso).
The artistic research of STANZA focuses on the critical and social analysis of the vital participatory systems that characterise contemporary cities, formalising his work in a series of projects that are balanced between adjacent disciplinary areas such as Net Art and Interactive Art, aiming to give rise to dialogues and conversations on the policies of urban, technological and social space.
In his actions and installations, STANZA proposes the classic archetype of the metropolis to the public as an organism which is simultaneously technological and biological, based in both cases on a system of constant and frantic relationships that constitute our lifeblood, marking the risk of an excessive trivialisation or a distorted interpretation of his work thanks to the rigorous visual lexicon and the surprising ability to trigger a dialogue between work and public based on curiosity, exploration.
With his installation, the artist has depicted the complexity of a city; reproducing a mini mechanical metropolis that monitors the changing behaviours, activities and information of the world around us using networked devices and information from Bologna transmitted electronically through the internet in real time.