An interactive boiled sugar sculpture that represents the four elements of nature: water, fire, earth and air.
The four elements stay dormant until the audience approaches the artwork. This is a metaphor for nature's reactions to human actions. The contrast between the organic nature of the sculpture and its inner electronic components is a reflection of the current race to model nature's behaviour and replicating it artificially.
Within us is the first of a series of interactive artworks between the researcher and Digital Artist Balandino Di Donato and the Mixed Media Artist Victoria Curtin Rivera that uses biodegradable materials for sculpting and low energy electronics. These artworks are a reflection of the climate crisis and environmental challenges.
Nature is in danger: wildfires, deforestation, extinction of species, and air and water pollution. We, humans, are responsible for it. With the idea of preserving Nature we have mistakenly fenced and caged it, creating an ambiguous combination of actions: we buy organic products wrapped in plastic, we travel by plane when we can do it by train, or we buy more eco-friendly technology but we cannot properly dispose the old one. This sculpture is the representation of the idea that we have trapped Nature in order to save it.
The cage and the pot, made of sugar, symbolise humans and our duality towards nature: we take care of it but we also confine it. The plant is a literal representation of nature, that with time might grow out or around the cage; or because of the small pot, it will stay trapped forever or until it perishes. Whatever is the result, as long as we take care of it, its roots will always be trapped.
I’ve been seeing much nonsense on media during the Covid-19 lockdown. People ignoring social distancing rules, not wearing masks nor gloves, and going out as frequent as before. These thoughts motivated the realisation of a totem made of three black pawns or fools inspired by the iconic representation of the three wise monkeys. They symbolise my feelings upon reading the news: incredulity towards people´s ignorance, carelessness, and selfishness in fighting the spreading of the pandemic.
Each of the pawns depicts the people´s behaviour: the two at the extremes refer to the fact that we should not touch our mouth and eyes, and to wash our hands. The close distance between them represents the breaking of social distancing rules.
The two pawns on the sides, covering the ears of the middle one, is a reflection on the big impact of social media and the misinformation spread during the pandemic.
This work is a reflection on what we could expect from our dying planet. Technologies drive most of the capitalist world we live in, at the same time we rely on them to sustain ourselves. This created a continuous growing consumer society that doesn´t resonate with our love for Nature. We try to preserve what’s left of Nature and recuperate the one that is lost, but it is not enough as we don’t want to give up technology and our privileges.
The pale yellow hands, made of sugar and slightly touching each other, are the ones of those that care about Nature; the suited metallic one, made of clay, are the hands of those on top of the capitalist pyramid, pulling the strings of the technological economy.
These hands are strong and fragile. The contradicting nature of used materials completes the metaphor of the artwork: the capitalist hand overcomes ours –we are disfigured, cracked, and weak, and will eventually drop or break our planet. Would we ever be strong enough to catch what is left?
An interactive sculpture that encourages the audience in reflecting on its own body awareness and the research of our identity, our inner self. Trough touching heart rate sensors (the green small lights), the audience imprints its own inner self on the musical structure and light variations. The music makes the sculpture and its different materials resonate giving it a new identity. Synesthetic lighting underlines the organic, constructive and deconstructive characteristics of the sculpture.
This installation is inspired by the junction of the research conducted by Balandino at Goldsmiths, University of London focused on prototyping new bio-musical instruments, and my artistic work on abstract forms.
Inner was premiered at the Salerno’s Biennale of Contemporary of Art 2018; where was awarded with the Steinberg and ArteScienza prices as best Interactive musical Installation. In July 2019, it was exhibited at the international festival ArteScienza 2019 - Interattivo Adattivo. Inner was selected as Best Musical Installation and received the Steinberg and ArteScienza prize.
Chibimonsters are fun and endearing character figures dressed as colorful and speckled dinosaurs. They are totems of happiness, designed to remind you that it is good to hug your inner child, read that book you always wanted or take a step back and relax. Chibimonsters are part of the Chibinendo Art brand and can be purchased here.