Daniele Spanò

Daniele Spanò

Interview

Why did you decide to apply for Re-Humanism Art Prize?

For money.
I want to clarify that this is not a provocative answer; not at all. Digital art experimentation is usually very expensive: hardware, software, etc… Therefore I consider virtuous a prize that help artists by supporting artwork’s production.

“Urge oggi”, Is it urgent today? Rhetorical or real question? Judgment or invitation to reflect?

Is it urgent today is a question that I first ask to myself. Every time I produce and artwork I ponder if it needs to be done. Sometimes the answer it’s no, thereby I go out for a walk. But it’s also an invitation to reflect. I feel like technological development often goes in not so interesting directions or that divert in dead ends.
If I think of the past, it makes me smile to remember for example Second Life and the consequent birth of the idea of avatars. The rise of a virtual life in a parallel world seemed like a road with no return that would have upset society as we know it. It didn’t happen, I don’t think teenagers nowadays even know what we’re talking about.
I am waiting to see if artificial intelligence development leads to something more interesting than machines or algorithms that help us satisfy our needs. This seems to me to be the point, the change in direction to pursue, compared to the obsessive search for need’s satisfaction, it seems to me more necessary the search for the desire’s reappropriation.

Your investigation is a hymn to the game as a bastion of humanity that is not (yet) replicable by an algorithm. Quoting our jury: “The playful element is an element of the humanness, built on the presence’s heat, on extralinguistic, psychological and semi-irrational elements”. What is the work, among your many, witch which you had more fun?

I can’t help playing, for that I am an artist. The game for me is a gym for creation, a daily practice that I share with friends artists of Studio54 in Rome. I remember that, when I told the idea of Urge Oggi to Nicola Rotiroti, we got a huge laugh. I have known Nicola for a long time and when we laugh so much, without saying anything else, it means that the idea is good. After that the game becomes serious, building the work was complex both from an IT and a formal point of view, it is a sculpture and there was not much to laugh about, the form had to be found. As often happens I was late for deliveries and from the laughter on the first days I passed to the curses on the last!
Urge Today is a work that means a lot to me, the first one that explains so radically my love for the game and the conviction that this practice will never be reproducible, at least in an amusing way, by an algorithm.

We admired “Orbis”, the installation with which you illuminated Yerevan Cascade. “Armenia, in a sense, is everyone’s home,” says someone, do you agree? What did the Armenian experience leave you?

I do not know who this “someone” is and in what context this sentence has been said.
What I learned in Armenia is how much the Armenians love their home.
A people that has suffered the violence of genocide, which still struggles for the historical recognition of these atrocities, and that lives the reality of the diaspora, today communicates an exciting desire to be at the center of contemporary research, from music to visual arts to cinema. During my stay I was lucky enough to relate to institutions, individuals and non-profit organizations, it was exciting to feel this drive and desire to live.
It was a great joy for me to be able to work on the monument symbol of their capital.

Your sets are linked to iconic clubs such as Sonar (Barcelona), DC10 (Ibiza) and Brancaleone (Rome) just to mention some names from your past, at the end of August your vj set accompanied the performers Salvo Lombardo and Daria Greco in “ Outdoor Dance Floor ”. Can you say goodbye by telling us your personal top 5 choosing among the pieces that have accompanied your videos over the time?

5 – Beep Street – Squarepusher
4 – Smack – Plastikman – Ritchie Hawtin
3 – Vaporware – Donato Dozzy
2 – The bells – Jeff Mills
1 – Windowlicker – Aphex Twin

Daniele Spanò - Urge oggi - ReHumanism Art Prize

Biography

Daniele Spanò (Roma 1979), after a set designing, begins the work of director and visual artist. His video installations, commissioned by institutions and individuals, bring him to the most beautiful squares in Italy. Among the most important interventions: The realization of the multimedia shows to present the Gucci autumn / winter 16/17 collection in collaboration with Luca Brinchi. “Linea di Fuga” multimedia installation annexed to the MAP collection (agro museum pontino – Pontina 2016) “Pneuma” site specific installation presented on the occasion of the 56th edition of the Festival dei Due Mondi (Spoleto 2016) “Atto Primo” Church of the Artists (Piazza del Popolo in Rome 2103), “Permanent refractions” of 2011 in Piazza Colonna, also in Rome, promoted by the Presidency of the Council, Ministry of Tourism and MiBAC. In February 2011 it was selected by the famous director and artist Takeshi Kitano, to represent the artistic ferment of the city of Rome. Since 2009 he has worked as a set designer with the Piazza Vittorio Orchestra, and in 2014 he is assistant director for “Carmen” for the opening of the summer season of the Teatro dell’Opera di Roma “. Also in 2014, with Luca Brinchi and Roberta Zanardo he designed the videos for the scenes of “Hamlet” by Andrea Baracco and the set design for “Ritratto di una capitale” directed by Fabrizio Arcuri. As a visual artist he exhibited in museums such as The National Gallery of Umbria, the Central Monte Martini in Rome, or the MAP of Pontinia, as well as for individuals and non-profit associations. From 2012 to 2015 he is an artistic consultant for the Romaeuropa Foundation. Together with Luca Brinchi from 2015 to 2018 he signs the videos for numerous theatrical performances like Ragazzi di Vita by Massimo Popolizio, Freud and Antigone by Federico Tiezzi, Copenhagen by Mauro Avogadro and many others

Website: danielespano.com

Description of the work

Daniele-Spanò---Urge-Oggi

"Urge Oggi"

Two 16/9 size monitors are positioned side by side. A hardware consisting of a micro pc, an audio controller and a light controller is connected to the monitors and is placed on a 40 cm x 40 cm white plane placed underneath them. The software written randomly launches one of the three videos on the two devices loaded beforehand in memory. The three videos show the gestures of a hand that performs the action of the game of Chinese morra. Video 01 “Sasso” – clenched fist, video 02 “Paper” – open hand, video 03 Scissors – closed hand with the exclusion of the index and the middle. The computer then plays with itself an endless game of Chinese morra, a digital counter updates the score, while an RGB led signals which of the two monitors won the single hand; green / win, red / loss, orange / tie. Two speakers reproduce a sound that emphasizes the winner of the hand.The rules are simple: card wins on stone, stone wins on scissors, scissors wins on paper.Chinese morra is one of the The most popular hand games in the world, it’s a random game: at every turn the odds of succeeding with respect to the opponent are eliminated. A random game conducted by one or more artificial intelligences is simply boring. A random game played between two human beings , it can be fun, competitive, violent and establish rivalries in rivals through the use of strategies deriving from the psychological analysis of the adversary. In the nature of the game there is this, the interpretation of the game of others. Today it is a reflection on the relationship between art and play, art and technology, A.I. and play. Is a machine capable of playing? And the human being? An A.I. Can you have fun? can you interpret? In a random game the perception of victory (ie, one of the competitors wins three consecutive hands) remains however such, should not therefore influence the expectations of the player but, between two human beings, this does not happen and thus establishing strategic dynamics. These consequences generate the dynamics of the game.A A.I. it limits itself to generating random possibilities, eliminating the playful factor. And this what “Urge oggi”?

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