In the current uncertain climate of physical disconnection, hyper digital connection and distortion of life as we know it, I wanted to express that humanity is still at the very core of our increasingly technological experience on earth. The chosen artists bring about an examination of reality and the need to cherish our humanity through various digital media, such as artificial intelligence, 3D scanning, 3D gaming software, generative 360 WebXR animation, drones, and techno.
Postmasters presents Nicola Verlato, Donato Piccolo and Kristin Lucas
Donato Piccolo lets us observe, hear and discover earth from space by sending a drone probe into the stratosphere. Kristin Lucas juxtaposes quarantiners‘ food obsessions with the constant energy flows of the natural world. And the final reconciliation of art and science, the intuitive and rational mind by Nicola Verlato.
Project Credits / Acknowledgements
Postmasters Gallery/PostmastersROMA, Eat Me by Kristin Lucas was commissioned as part of the ENTER program by the Onassis Foundation. Donato Piccolo’s StratospherEffect is made with the scientific support of the Abachos group of A. Lepore and the technical support of the INFN (Italian Institute of Nuclear Physics).
Nicola Verlato (IT)
Nicola Verlato’s project is a discovery journey through the inside space of his magnum opus, The Merging in order to reunite through technology the intuitive and rational mind, science and art. The painting was created with a multi-step process, starting with 3D scanning real people, transforming them in Z-Brush, then rearranging the composition with Autodesk Maya software and finally resulting in a physical painting; hand of the artist, paint brush, oil on canvas. By insisting on painting as the ultimate manifestation Verlato provokes an emotional reaction which bringing back the idea of humanity to the viewers.
An app for Android and iPhone exists so every viewer can make their own individual journey through the spaces visible and covert inside the painting. The journey can be had during Nicola Verlato’s solo exhibition at Postmasters Gallery in NYC in September 2020. Check out www.postmastersart.com for visitor hours and watch the video to see what the journey could look like.
Kristin Lucas (US)
Eat Me—an “in-your-face” confounding retort laced with innuendo and sarcasm—gains currency during the COVID-19 pandemic as we are stuck at home, frustratedly figuring out how to eat, what to eat, and who to eat. Meanwhile outdoors, animal species are happily eating and thriving in formerly people-occupied spaces. Eat Me indulges in nature’s insatiable appetites as a generative 360 WebXR animation punctuated by sounds of the artist eating. Designed to play on desktop, tablet and phone browsers.
Eat Me was developed with the support of the ENTER program created by Onassis USA.
Kristin Lucas – concept, creative direction, character design, motion design, p5.js developer
Joe McKay – lead p5.js developer
Visit Online Exhibition
Open Mozilla Hub
StratospherEffect beyond the clouds
Donato Piccolo (IT)
StratospherEffect beyond the clouds – in September 2020 from the top of Etna, Donato Piccolo and a group of scientists will launch into the stratosphere (~50 km from Earth) a probe made with a custom drone aerostat balloon equipped with sensors and cameras collecting data, showing visual horizons outside the Earth’s orbit. A software placed on the balloon will capture the movement waves in space, translating them into sounds that will be “sampled” and “composed” by custom-made AI software. All this will be recorded and streamed on StratospherEffect website. Donato Piccolo’s exhibition will open the season at PostmastersROMA in Rome in October 2020.
Nicola Verlato (IT) – Nicola Verlato is known for his socially engaged paintings and sculptures which uses the strength and ability of figurative art to emotionally involve the viewer. In order to further empower his images, he uses an articulated process that combines classical painting techniques in a neorealist style evocative of Old Master painting as well as modern technologies such as 3D Modeling programs like Maya and Zbrush. His solo exhibition featuring „the Merging“ will be on view at Postmasters Gallery in New York City in September 2020.
Kristin Lucas (US) – Kristin Lucas intervenes in systems and paradigms to explore new ways of being in a technologized world. Her circuitous works resonate with humor, play and philosophical ponderings. Lucas has been featured in Art in America, Engadget, and Hyperallergic. She has presented her work nationally and internationally at venues including Artists Space, FACT Liverpool, Haus der Kunst, HeK Basel, ICA Philadelphia, MoMA, Nam June Paik Art Center, OK Center for Contemporary Art, New Museum, Pioneer Works, Whitney Museum of American Art, and ZKM; and at events and festivals including BAM Teknopolis, Cinekid, EarthXR, Engadget Alternate Realities, ISEA, Print Screen, TIFF, Transmediale, and WSJ Future of Everything.
Donato Piccolo (IT) – is one of the most remarkable artists of his generation, both in Italy and on the international scene. It is in a very special context where art, science and philosophy are considered so inseparable that the artist unveils to us all his works. Mist, clouds, vapor, whirlwinds constitute some on the visual signatures of the artist, whose personality is reminiscent of the ancient figure of Empedocles, at the same time poet, engineer, philosopher and thaumaturge; a hero, who according to the legend was driven to disappear in the gloomy clouds of Etna by his quest for an ultimate truth. Indeed a number of sculptures / installations by the artist seem to invite us to penetrate with our sight at the heart of a thick fog, in view of an experience at once spellbinding and silent: a kind of art that seeks, according to him, not to replicate a potentially lethal phenomenon, but to transmute a „physical process“ into a „mental state.“ The cloud is the constant figure starting from which everything appears, happens, and then disappears again. It is the cradle of all things. It is also the veil that envelops physical phenomena and hides from our eyes their origin as their ultimate foundation.
Postmasters Gallery / PostmastersROMA
Paulina Bebecka is a gallerist, curator and director of PostmastersROMA, which she opened with the gallery in 2019, after more than 14 years of working with Postmasters Gallery in New York (est. 1984). Postmasters actively seeks new forms of creative expression that are relevant and representative of our time. The aim of the offshoot gallery in Rome is to continue the Postmasters’ mission in tandem with the mothership gallery in NYC of bringing cutting edge art and to create a bridge between the two cities/countries/continents both galleries occupy.
This program is part of 2020 – finally digital?!
The year 2020 began with a Big Bang, one that demanded the art industry pivot away from its established codes of conduct, immediately, as a matter of sheer survival. From the exchange of courtesies, to remote work structures, and to the reorganization of public and private spaces – old customs required immediate redesign in response to the crisis. As a result, the online space gained even more significance as the only platform for business and commercial transactions, affecting even the art industry and its age-old reliance on in-person interaction. However, across the art industry’s network of galleries, artists, institutions, auction houses, and biennials, the speed of adaptation, the ability to process the ongoing iterations and to find a customized response has varied dramatically.
2020 – finally digital?! is composed of three sections: a conference, invited curatorial projects, and digital gallery showcases. The conference will feature notable members of the art industry and their assessments of the art world’s digitization progress over the past year. The second section invites curators to report back from their communities on emerging positions that are acute right now. The third section amplifies galleries, which are the backbone of the art industry.
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