Traffic Gallery hosted the exhibit “op7”, by the Milan-based collective otolab, curated by Marco Mancuso and Claudia D’Alonzo for Digicult: a catalogue was printed with texts by Marco Mancuso and Claudia Attimonelli.
The exhibit at Traffic Gallery wants to document and reinterpret one of otolab’s most recent live performance works, “op7”. Conceived in 2006 for the Mixed Media festival which took place at the Hangar Bicocca in Milan, it was presented with a video installation of the work, a tryptich and seven photographic prints taken from the original video material.
Otolab was born in 2001 as an identity grouping musicians, djs, vjs, videoartists, videomakers, web designers, graphic designers and architects who share the will to research the interweavings between sound and image. Through a laboratorial practice focused on the sharing of experience and knowledge, otolab has produced collective and individual projects that range from livemedia performances to installations, from experimental electronic music to techno, thus featuring different approaches to experiment hybrid perceptions of synthetic sounds and visions.
“op7” was a site-specific commission by Marco Mancuso/Digicult within the curatorial work for the Mixed Media 2006 festival, with the aim of inviting the Milan-based collective to dialogue with the “I sette palazzi celesti” (The seven heavenly buildings) of Belgian artist Anselm Kiefer, seven post-industrial towers that are permanently located in the Hangar Bicocca in Milano. Thanks to a five-screen projection, Otolab set up an optical path through seven tunnels of minimal black and white.
The sounds generate bidimensional shapes organized around a horizon, the only fulcrum in the emptiness, an axis around which “op7” plays with the spectator’s eyes, deceiving the retina while generating illusory three-dimensional environments born off an inlay of flat geometry. Each of the seven tunnels is introduced by a moment of sensorial suspension that invites the spectator to abandon the former and prepare for the next voyage: six peripherical zones characterized by pulviscular sounds and pictorial visions created by the Pepposcope, an optical tool projected by the collective and here exhibited.
Otolab has set up self-organized cultural initiatives and organized seminars and workshops. The first retrospective on the collective’s work dates back in 2004, curated by Lucrezia Cippitelli, at MLAC, Museo Laboratorio di Arte Contemporanea di Roma. The group has taken part with livesets and installations in national and international exhibits and events, such as:
– Dissonanze ‘06, Roma
– Clubtransmediale ‘05, Berlin
– Arte Nuevo Interactiva ’05, Bienal Internacional de Merida, Mexico
– Istanbul Contemporary Art Museum, Turkey
– Gallery Noass, Art and Culture Project Noass, Riga, Latvia