SAVE THE DATE – The Other Shapes of Art at Harvard

The Other Shapes of Art is a roundtable to be held at Harvard University on the 24th-25th April 2020, hosted by the Film Study Center and Critical Media Practice (CMP) – Harvard University, produced by Ramdom* and it is a fundamental moment of a new ambitious work of art by artist Emilio Vavarella entitled rs548049170_1_69869_TT (The Other Shapes of Me).

This project is one of the winners of the VI edition of Italian Council (2019), program to promote Italian contemporary art in the world by the Directorate-General for Contemporary Creativity of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage and Activities and Tourism. The work of art will become part of the permanent collection of MAMbo – Museum of Modern Art in Bologna (Italy).

The work of art that represents the genome of the artist will be the result of a performative process and consists of three elements: a large fabric, a Jacquard loom and a video of the production process of the fabric. The fabric, which represents the artist’s own genetic code point by point, is made with a 19th century Jacquard loom (the first industrial binary technology). The final fabric translates visually the genetic code that “gives shape” to the artist.

The work begins with a very intimate approach in a very specific context, such as Southern Italy and the Mediterranean area, in order to raise more general issues, such as the digitalization of DNA and life, the relationship between machines and labor, the computer as an engineering object and the computer as a tool for craftsmanship, automation, weaving as a computing technique, the female condition in Southern Italy and in relation to computational technologies.

These themes will be explored in a collegial manner and from different vantage points during the roundtable at Harvard, bringing together artists, curators, researchers and thinkers from different contexts and countries.

This will be a fundamental moment in the project’s development.

Guests and speakers will include:

Julie Mallozzi, Administrative Director of The Film Study Center, Harvard (USA)

Emilio Vavarella, Artist and Researcher, PhD candidate, Film and Visual Studies + Critical Media Practice, Teaching Fellow, Harvard University (Italy, USA)

Paolo Mele, Director of Ramdom, Gagliano del Capo (Italy)

Claudio Zecchi, Curator of Ramdom, Gagliano del Capo (Italy)

Lorenzo Balbi, Director of MAMbo – Museum of Modern Art, Bologna (Italy)

Davide Quadrio, Director of Arthub Asia and curator at Aurora Museum, Shanghai (China)

Ellen Harlizius-Klück, ERC Grant PENELOPE, Research Institute for the History of Technology and Science, Deutsches Museum, München (Germany)

Federico Campagna, Philosopher and writer, Ph.D. candidate at the Royal College of Art (London) and head of rights at Verso Books (Italy)

Ursula Wolz, Lecturer and Ph.D. studies Educational Informatics at Eugene Lang College, The New School (USA)

Stephen Monteiro, Assistant Professor of Communication Studies at Concordia University (Canada)

Sabine Himmelsbach, Director of the HeK – House of Electronic Arts, Basel (Switzerland)

George Church, Professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School, Founding Member of the Wyss Institute, Director of – world’s only open-access information on human genomic, environmental, and trait data (USA)

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