Bete, 2011 oil on canvas on board 5 pieces 25cm x 15cm
What do you feel is revealed in your utilization of rigid digital pixelated form in the medium of painting?
A constant in my oeuvre is my attempt to create works that have several layers of meaning, most of my choices are open to multiple interpretation and I think none of them are wrong. My paintings want to be the starting point for a thought rather than the embodiment of a thought. First of all, rigid digital pixelated forms attempt to create an order, give meaning to chaos, bring clarity and simplification. It is a tribute to the wonder of color, too, its power, its importance in our life. My colors in a pixelated grid most of the time represent objects, but only if you look at them from the right distance, as you move closer to them the only thing they portray are colors: how they work together and how they react between themselves, how they affect us and how we react with them. But those forms are also something that carries us back to the most synthetic, most artificial part of out lives. I refer, no matter how obsolete the definition, to the virtual sphere of our experience, a part of out lives now merged. It seemed like something I had to talk about.
You've stated that "Consoles, joysticks, cables and wires that litter the desks as a contemporary reinterpretation of the genre scene, aiming to capture the climax of the information society, to consider a digital alternative point of view and tell what lies behind his cold surface, because if you stop to it what we expect is just a miserable future." I wonder if you can talk a little bit about this miserable future, and your work as a kind of precautionary measure against it.
A miserable future is a cold one. A future without the warmth of human contact is a place whee we don't recognize each other. Is the future without trust? In the present we are loosing out human nature, becoming a human-machine hybrid with the devices we interact with. All our experiences are moving from the real life to the virtual life, starting from simple things like shopping or watching movies to friendships and love. Through our monitor we live a lot of life experiences but all of them are filtered by cold glass. While I talk about technology and try to capture the climax of our society, I also talk about memories too: I saw people in front of Nintendos or Panasonic tape recorders smiling in a sweet way, remembering when their experiences with the machines and reconnecting with their childhood. Maybe it doesn't seem like this is related to your question, because memories can be a meeting point where we recognize ourselves in others, and that way we don't loose our humanity. So technology in this case is just an excuse for us to talk about what we remember we wanted, what we lost or what we dreamed.
You discuss the glitch as an unpredictable technical error, something left up to chance. Do you think there's something favorable about a chance-glitch as opposed to one that is created? What is the specific role of chance in this technological format?
Our history is full of accidental discoveries, steps forward propelled by error. The evolution of every species is a result of chance. I think a chance-glitch as opposed to one that is created can open out mind to a possibility that offers an escape-route from our strict way of thinking. Most of the glitch used in the artistic field, as Iman Moradi said, are impure representations of glitch used for their visual qualities, used for what they remind us of. Errors are what make us grow up. Our biggest and strongest life experiences can be generated by our own errors. Maybe this is what influences my choice to use glitches. Maybe a lot of the time I feel like a glitching computer. Probably I fell in love with how a computer error can generate something beautiful like a glitch image. I think a glitching computer can be a perfect metaphor for how we do it.
In relation to my work, I think chance has a big role but not the leading role. Everything I choose to paint is sought first within me and then on the web, stolen images from other memories made mine through a process of destruction-processing on my mac. But I control my glitches, I generate them for every subject I choose to paint until I find the one that does a better job of describing what I want to say in a painting.
Your work combines the very modern with an older form of artistic representation unironically. How has living and working in Rome—the Eternal City—characterized your approach to contemporary technological culture?
In Rome you feel history all around you. My studio is on the opposite side of town from my home, so as I cross the city on my moto I see all around me the most spectacular demonstration of how we can create something so big and pure, something of such good quality, that remains subject to time. Something that speaks a universal language, something so full of harmony. I believe living in Rome influenced me in my attempt to create a common thread that brings us back to the masters of classical painting. I think it made me continue using paint, to try and renew the medium of painting, to try and prove that my paintings are not all that different from a still frame, a video screen, an image enlarged and spread out in pixels on our devices and monitors. Here the contemporary art scene is rather backwards and rules out few really good art galleries like the T293, Monitor, 1/9 unosunove, and it is is hard to find innovative proposals or places to propose something different or new. In this sense too I think Rome characterized my approach to technological culture by pushing me into the net to confront contemporary artists and audiences.
Simone in his studio in front of a work in progress
How long have you been working creatively with technology? How did you start?
About 6-7 years. I started working on computers to speed up my work with paint, to prepare drawings, retouch photos, assemble more elements or make chromatic tests. But my feeling with it was born earlier on a Commodore64.
Describe your experience with the tools you use. How did you start using them?
I use many tools, technological and traditional. My paintings are born on my Mac, images are processed through Photoshop, Illustrator, datamoshed in video and then extracted and transformed in a .jpg file, projected on a canvas and painted with oils. Lately I have been enjoying working with video composition and video mapping performance..
Where did you go to school? What did you study?
I studied at and graduated from the Accademia delle Belle Arti di Roma.
What traditional media do you use, if any? Do you think your work with traditional media relates to your work with technology?
I don't make a distinction between traditional and technological media, in my creative process they fuse together into a "metamedium."
Sometimes the arrival point is a painting, sometimes a video, sometimes both.
Are you involved in other creative or social activities (i.e. music, writing, activism, community organizing)?
I am working with my brother Matteo Giordano, who is an artist too based in Berlin, as making videos for a few fashion brands and independent projects.
What do you do for a living or what occupations have you held previously? Do you think this work relates to your art practice in a significant way?
I had many jobs while I was studying. For few years I found myself managing a small restaurant. I think this helped me understand people.
Who are your key artistic influences?
There are so many, certainly: Bruce Nauman, Gerhard Richter, Milos Manetas, Pino Pascali, Francis Bacon, Sol LeWitt. And many many others.
Have you collaborated with anyone in the art community on a project? With whom, and on what?
I had a residence and a working space at the "Ice Badile Studio," a 12 year old art studio founded by Emilio Leofreddi, Ivan Barlafante, Claudio di Carlo, Claire Longo, Daniela Papadia, and the designer Andrea Orsini in Rome. We had many shows and projects involving many artists, musicians, and performers. We closed it, and created a new one with Emilio Leofreddi, designer Andrea Orsini, Element design Studio, Andrea Moscianese aka Mughen, myself and many others artists gravitating to the studio.
Do you actively study art history?
I studied it at university and I keep doing it by myself.
Do you read art criticism, philosophy, or critical theory? If so, which authors inspire you?
Yes I do. On the internet, recently Nicolas Bourriaud, Domenico
Quaranta, Lev Manovich.
Are there any issues around the production of, or the display/exhibition of new media art that you are concerned about?
Honestly, not in my personal experience. Technology runs
so fast. We are going through epochal changes. I think today's problems will be tomorrow's memories.