Introduction

It is a few years I cooperate with an artist and friend, Lorenzo Merlo, creating digital events and art installations. But there is a more, more strange coincidence that pushed me to enroll this challenge. Save the date: April 5,  2019. That day, around 7 P.M. I and Lorenzo inaugurate the "Art-a-Tronic" exhibition in Ghent, Belgium (where I live by past June). It is an interactive installation of operas created by us both.

The exhibition includes some interactive projects I have created in the recent past, refactored and optimized to interact with the visitors and some new ones created and showcased to the public for the first time.

Through the posts you can follow in this section I plan to update both the exhibition preparation, set up and making-of as well as the PI-Casso challenge project in the attempt to depict the complete scenario and tell almost real-time an interesting story.

The PI-Casso project

Following the philosophy of the Art-a-Tronic project the top-piece I will expose is a vintage mannequin that will be the main character of the exhibition. It will be powered by the Raspberry PI technology with motion and environment reaction but its behavior will be integrated into the show context.

Ready for Hacking

The image below shows the starting point of the project. The general idea is to make it able to move, accordingly with the already existing joints, include a Raspberry PI with the camera giving the ability to "see" the around environment and interact with some of the other operas with the ability to connect to the Internet.

Notes on the Exhibition

Interactive technological cages by Enrico Miglino among the "Gods" by Lorenzo P. Merlo

This is the main theme of the Art-a-Tronic metaphor, an interactive exhibition result of the collaboration between me and Lorenzo P. Merlo, a digital artist whose works are known throughout Europe. The exhibition is a real place where visitors can control technology: a dystopian world where the human has already won. The digital experience will remain open to the public from Friday to Monday from 11:00 am to 6 pm until the end of May.

 

The Caged Technologies

Seen from an individual point of view, these works have their own connotation, they seem a series of disconnected acts in the construction of a bridge between expression and fantasy and technology.

In my personal vision, each of these projects is part of art free to be enjoyed, but also manipulated, “hacked” and revisited endless times; precisely for this reason, the projects - from sketches to software to circuits - are freely usable with Open Source and Creative Commons licenses.

In the Art-a-Tronic exhibition, the works, or projects if you prefer, have been "caged", in the true sense of the word, contained in a series of cages hanging from the ceiling to interrupt the path of Lorenzo's "Gods" and to be observed from an unconventional perspective that reminds the "humans" that, as far as the whole show represents a dystopian and surreal world, the day when machines can take over is still far away.

 

The Gods of Lorenzo

Gods is a series of photographs printed on transparent tissue that the artist created by deconstructing and bringing to light the most essential and truthful image of the subject, just as an archaeologist brings to light the findings that history and time transmit to us. Findings that the passing of time has changed, erasing their most superficial traces. If the photographic medium, by its nature, is able to create that short-circuit between past, present and future, trapping a moment that, by attaching to cellulose, becomes eternal, by digitally re-working the image the artist removes the colors and, bit by bit, the deceptive details contained into the image, extrapolating the works from this temporal lapse and charging them with the value of archaeological finding: it is no longer the family detail, the self of the photographed subject, but its ideal, its archetype that remains imprinted, like a long forgotten memory.

To use the artist's words, The Gods look down at the men wagging their tail.

Work in Progress

As mentioned above, my aim is blogging on PI-Casso challenge area the progress of the entire exhibition before and after the opening, as well as the project itself in a sort of logbook. Starting by past March, 15 I have also started the installation of the operas in the exhibition room, hosted by Depot09 in Ghent, Belgium. The video below is the short report on the first day of installation. The video below is the report of the first day of installation.

 

 

About the Sponsors

All of this has not been possible without the enthusiastic sponsoring we received when started seeing the possible interest in this project. First of all, I should thank the gold sponsors Element14 and Hackster.io for supporting the initiative in countless ways.

As well as them the other sponsor covered a fundamental role to go-on: Elegoo industries that provided their brand new MARS LCD 3D resin printer and Neptune filament 3D printer, PTRON company that provided the great audio quality speakers system to give the sound and voice to the cages.be that

And why the Cenciurio Italian Wines sponsor? We love him too! He gently provided 48 bottles in a great selection of Italian wines; if you want to enjoy the taste, come to the inauguration of Art-a-Tronic in Gent, next April 5

Last but not least, Depot09 in Gent not only hosts the exhibition but also provided the mannequin for this PI-Casso project.

 

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