Once again Netmage is drawing near and the communities involved in electronic arts have the usual expectations and doubts. There are the accustomed solid group of participants and among them there are some prodigies ( Arto Lindsay, Carlsten Nicolai, Kurt Hentschlager and @C-Lia) and some artists who are not well known to the Italian audience yet.

Among participants there are also three “historical” realities involved in an experimentation which can’t be defined electronic: Sinistri++ (former-Starfuckers), Zu and With Love . The reason why enthusiasts of glitch and drones probably don’t know them is scenes and genres remain worryingly distant in spite of parallel researches; aficionados of free-post twisted guitars know they will have overdoses of noise and improbable metrics. The question is interesting: how do these music players – who are linked to a stage free-form live ness – will relate to a live video narration? Will there be a visual commentary to the sound or a sound commentary to the video? Or maybe will there be more integration with a unique project of audio performers and integrated videos?


Despites many European festivals (from Transmediale to Ars Electronica), which are focused on a unique concept, Netmage setting out is to offer a panoramic of the most interesting things you can see/hear at the moment. Italian audience is often excluded from the big new media circuits so Netmage is one of the most important events of the year in this sense.

As we often point out on Digimag, one of the most ghastly default of many Italian organisers is to concentrate their efforts on the participation of well-known international artists only, because of reasons that have nothing to do with art – mostly economic reasons (in other words, if I see Rechenzentrum one more time – even if they’re not bad – I think I’d puke). This year Netmage has chosen to produce audio-visual collaborations among Italian artists in prevalence ( Carola Spadoni_Zu; Port Royal_Andrea Dojmi; Nicola Vascellari_With Love, Pierpaolo Leo_Claudio Sinatti e Sinistri++_Donnachie/Simionato ). Not to forget the participation of some of the most interesting artists of this period such as Zimmerfrei and Simone Tosca . It would be strange if this led to an immediate economic response (I don’t know how much money performers take but I don’t think it’s a great amount of) but it could be useful to introduce some Italian artists in relationship and interchange mechanisms among festivals. But I have to say many of these artists don’t need it, for instance Zus are always on tour and I heard Sinistri++ and Port Royal have a lot of good opportunities.


The festival scenario is a very important factor, which determines the festival success. In the creation of mix-media performances the result depends on the building up of immersive environments. During these years, Netmage has experimented various solutions: 5 screens on 5 sides, a big central cube, various screens on a frontal stage. It will be interesting to discover the location they have chosen this year. From this point of view the Castello Re Enzo is a bet. The 2004 edition suffered from the excessive personality of Sala Borsa. I wonder the effect of halls and staircases of this year location.

What do I expect from this year Netmage? I’d like to visit more alien worlds than refined landscapes. I’d like impact performances which are radical and experimental in their project and not in their aesthetics only. In a word, I don’t want to be flattered I hope my convictions will be put to the test.

Otherwise what would be the sense of our presence here?


CHILDHOOD DOCUMENTARIES – interview to Andrea Dojmi by Silvia Bianchi

Education and protection of our children #2 will be officially presented at Netmage 06. The work was born from the collaboration of Port-Royals and the artist Andrea Dojmi. Andrea lives between Rome and Milan and his research is characterized from the use of various media (photography, super-eight films, video, music, installation, painting) and is focalized on the tension among childhood, nature, education, experimental dimension and relationship with the environment.

Silvia Bianchi: My first question is on the relationship between ” Education and protection of our children #2 ” and your previous work ” AimReady “. In your last work is there a different point of view as regards the theme of childhood compared to” Education and protection of our children”?

Andrea Dojmi: The work I’m presenting at Netmage respects the continuity of my working process and it forms part of the series of documentaries which aren’t documentaries like the first seven videos of AimReady. My research is focused on the action of seeing and perceiving the world during childhood and on the building up of a scientific research method, which is mathematic but unpredictable. I’d say my entire work is based on the elaboration of re-applicable instruments to see reality in a certain way. So the point of view remains the sensitive research, the recover of sensorial world. In this sense childhood is not remembrance or melancholy but it’s conceived as a space-time where perception goes beyond good and evil because of the absence of culturally acquired instruments.


Education and protection of our children #2 is part of my work, which is a sole developmental process. I like to talk about childhood in terms of micro and macro landscapes. Aimready is the enunciation of a childhood micro-passage from the very first childhood phase to the second one, where external inputs come into play.

This is the phase the child starts to deal with educational and religious schemes. The work puts together naturalistic, scholastic and religious documentaries and it’s focalized on religious sects and religious communities bearers of salvific messages. The stylistic choice of the non documentary-documentary derives from my passion for industrial naturalistic scholastic film documentaries. In Education and protection of our children #2 , which is a documentary on documentaries, technology, progress, educational system and salvific messages interlace. This is a very specific work, the using of film is linear, sometimes redeeming but at the same time it’s absolutely indefinable, everything is shown through the irrational eyes of children’s perception.


Silvia Bianchi: My second question is on the live character of your performance. I’d like to know how you develop your live work and how this is connected to Port Royals’ work.

Andrea Dojmi: Netscape gave us the opportunity to start this collaboration, which will go on after the festival. We started exchanging some material and then we felt at our ease together. I’d say it was like an encounter of sound and images. At Netmage 06 Port Royals are presenting two new bits based on colour and image. They’ll show live for 40 minutes and I’ll intervene with a series of micro-projections. I want my work to keep its comprehensiveness in live performance.

Silvia Bianchi: Is this the first time your work is accompanied by a group live performance?

Andrea Dojmi: Since now, I’ve always created by myself the audio part of my works, for instance for Aimready I created the audio live set. I work using different supports in a continuative way so the work on audio was a natural consequence of it. Therefore, I think the collaboration with Port Royal represents a bonus in my work.


PORTRAIT, THICKNESS PERMANENCE – interview to Zimmerfrei by Silvia Bianchi

Zimmer Frei was created in 1999 and it’s a Bolognese collective formed by the video artist and performer Anna de Manicor , Anna Rispoli (stage-manager and performer) and Massimo Carozzi (sound designer). It produces works of art of various formats: sound environments, video installations, performances, and multimedia shows and it collaborates with galleries of art, theatres, video art festivals and hybrid environments. Every ZimmerFrei’s project redefines a language and needs a peculiar fruition device. The project Netmage commissioned ZimmerFrei Study for a portrait is a form of dwelling-place which will be daily opened to the audience.

Silvia Bianchi: what’s the place of Study for a portrait in your artistic course and how will you incorporate it in your works to come?

ZimmerFrei: After the Panorama series, whose subject was a square (a Rome ‘s, Bologna ‘s and Venice ‘s square) we filmed speeding up the time, we are now starting a project on the human shape: the portrait. We will develop it during a year in various steps: Netmage, Bologna; MAN – Museo Provinciale in Nuoro, Civic Art Gallery of contemporary art in Trento and Monitor art gallery in Roma. They are video portraits, so we work in suspense between time, light, and sound.

At Netmage every portrait is composed by different video layers of the same fixed shot: the person stay still while the time goes by and his shape remains insistently the same photographically engraving the same space at different thicknesses. Portrait always likes permanence.


Silvia Bianchi: Study for a portrait installation has an interactive nature, I’d like to understand better the relationship this work of art should create with its users and how it will be incorporated with the festival space.

ZimmerFrei: We’ll work on it during Netmage, Study for a portrait is a completely extroversive work process. Daniele Gasparinetti calls it set-formance . We’ll directly work at the festival spaces, everybody will see us. They will have to stop us to close Palazzo Re Enzo. The photographic set, built up by the photography director Fabrizio La Palombara is set up at a garret of the Palace; we’ll portray there our subjects: the actor Vincenzo Bonaffini , the actress and music player Angela Baraldi , and the artist John Duncan . Some of the participants or users will have the possibility to spontaneously participate. Near the set there will be the post-production studio where the editor Silvia Oliva will work. The editing and sound result will be projected day by day on the garret set. The architecture the subject is inserted in is also the frame and it contains the video projection like a Chinese box.


Silvia Bianchi: One more question. I’d like to know how this work is connected to its sound and how the sound interacts with the space and the audience.

Zimmerfrei: Massimo Carozzi and the guitar player Stefano Pilia will play while we’ll filming from the same cameras position. The sound will be recorded from the person portrayed through two binaural microphones that reproduce the exact stereophonic sensation of our ears and you could wear them as headphones. So recording will be a sound subjective of the person portrayed. After the recorded sound will be diffused on the environment and music players will play according to this new sound environment.

The final video will be the result of the superimposition of visual and sound layers. Each one of these moments (clapper boards, post-production and projection) will be at audience disposal and the presence of the audience will influence Study for a portrait for direct contrast, contrast, resonance and instant inspiration.

SINISTER NOISES FROM NETMAGE – interview to Manuele Giannini by Elena Vairani

Sinistri++ was born from the collaboration among Manuele Giannini , Roberto Bertacchini , Alessandro Bocci and Dino Bramanti and it’s one of the “special events” of Thursday 26 January at Netmage 2006 Live Media Floor.

The forty-year-old man from Tuscany Manuele Giannini – the brain of this project – is an eclectic figure: he’s a composer, a guitar player, a speaker, a theatrical technician and founder-member of Sinistri++, ex Starfuckers and Sinistri . At Netmage 2006 Manuele Giannini and his group will live set the music of “The single Unit of Beauty” a film in four acts directed by the Aussie duo Donnachie/Simionato editors of the web magazine Thisisamagazine.

Elena Vairani: Why did you choose the name Sinistri? What does it mean?

Manuele Giannini: Sinistri is the title of one of ours old records (1994) when we were called Starfuckers. So it represents a sort of auto-reference. Obviously this terms recalls a lot of semantic values in the Italian language. The original idea derives from a German text of the 50s which pointed the finger at the arising electronic music, criticized for “substituting sinister noises to sound”.


Elena Vairani: You define your work as “non music” because your aim is to achieve a “natural objectivity”. Do you think it’s possible to achieve objectivity in something which is so personal like art?

Manuele Giannini: First of all I don’t know if we really make “art”, but anyway the music doesn’t express anything and it doesn’t mean anything. But the absence of a meaning doesn’t prejudice its possibilities of emotional modulation.

Elena Vairani: In your manifesto you write: “sound as condition of silent and silent as condition of time”.

Manuele Giannini: I believe time is the most important element of music… not sound.


Elena Vairani: What’s the role of video in your performance?

Manuele Giannini: I think in a musically analphabetic culture image – as a parasite – embezzles, exploits and consequently limits sound so we refuse to put our music at image disposal. For “The Single Unit of Beauty” we tried to establish an organic relationship between music and images and we found a system of common rules to develop them.

Elena Vairani: In your opinion what’s improvisation importance?

Manuele Giannini: Improvisation is everything, but this word is not really correct, our music is very “intuitive”. Everyone of us is in agreement with others because of a discipline we adopted that have little to do with music. There are some rules – better limitations – you must respect because they make the starting musical material grow but we completely metabolized these rules. Besides we consider listeners of our music and the environment our music is produced as an integral part of the musical process.


EAR: EYES SHUT PERCEPTION – interview to Simone Tosca by Elena Vairani

Tra i nomi che spiccano sul programma dell’edizione 2006 del Netmage, compare quello dell’artista visivo Simone Tosca, trentaduenne piacentino, molto attivo tra Bologna e Milano. Dopo alcuni anni di formazione come batterista punk, dal 2002 si dedica propriamente a quella che lui stesso definisce arte sonora digitale. Vincitore del Premio Iceberg 2005 e autore dell’immagine coordinata di Netmage 2005, torna quest’anno al festival con EAR, uno studio sulla percezione retinica, basato sulla sinestesia.

Elena Vairani: At the 2006 Netmage edition you’ll present your project EAR you defined as a “glowing environment”. It’s based on a research on eyes shut visual perception. Would you like to talk us about it?

Simone Tosca: As a visual artist I’ve always applied myself to painting. With EAR I wanted to approach the tradition of drawing because I think retina perception of reality is very close to the concept of painting. Nothing is better than cones and poles to paint!

Anyway I actually didn’t make a “research”; my relationship with work is empirical and it is based on the specific way I see things; this time I simply passed a lot of time watching direct light sources estimating its aesthetics outputs, but the result it’s not imitative nor scientifically reliable. I take what I’m interested in from what I see. I put aside the remainder.


Elena Vairani: How did you start collaborating with the light design leader venture viaBizzuno, which participated at the set-up of your work? What’s the relationship in your opinion between art and industry? Does it exist a “contemporary Maecenatism”?

Simone Tosca: Daniele Gasparetti introduced me to Mr Mario nanni and the viaBizzuno staff. Daniele is a unique person, I’d say he’s the personification of link ! viaBizzuno venture is out of the ordinary too. The ventures that can realize these kind of collaborations from a technological, economical and even sensitive point of view are very few: viaBizzuno perfectly understood what I wanted to make and it actively participated to its production also. Industry could give support to the world of contemporary art and art could help industry to achieve the “deepness” it doesn’t have, but this is not happening. Maybe the fashion environment is now the most receptive.

Elena Vairani: Your last work is in a sense the continuance of a project you started with your previous works, a project to create a “possible system of acoustic reading” of works through an “imagining and human sounds sampling”?

Simone Tosca: The sampling is the starting point of everything I made by now. My sampling is not Bourriand’s style. I’m involved both in the production and the post-production, my method is to take what I want – images or sounds – where I find it. Acoustic reading is not strictly connected to sampling, it was a method of working I used in the past and it provided for a correspondence between chromatic recognizing of images and sound. Everything was based on a direct relationship between what people heard and what people saw. Now I’ve gone beyond and the relationship between the two elements is less meticulous and less schematic. Now I have more fun.


Elena Vairani: Esiste una gerarchia tra i diversi elementi che danno vita alle tue performance? cioè il punto di partenza è sempre l’elemento visivo o capita che sia il sonoro?

Simone Tosca: Parto sempre dalle immagini. In futuro però mi piacerebbe fare il contrario, ma occorre che ne abbia il motivo e attualmente non ce l’ho. Dovrò perdere un po’ di tempo a riguardo.

Elena Vairani: last year you participated at Netmage as the author of the coordinated image of the festival; in your opinion is there something that differentiates this year’s edition from last year’s one?

Simone Tosca: who knows! Maybe organizers can have a more precise idea about it, but the high range of experimentation make these considerations very difficult to make. For instance I didn’t know very well Antiopic’s production and last year, after I met the very quiet owners of the label I didn’t expect they’d broke my tympani with their 180 decibel session!.