Year: 2014

Length: 35 min.

Sound: Marco Basili

Originally sound: Adriano Lanzi (Conductor). Conduction concert played by Circuiterie Orchestra.

Performed at Retina festival.

What has happened to our signs?

In 2014 I published a post on FB including a link to an Italian newspaper’s article. That article talked about the existence of some bugs into the acquiring images program of Google Earth, and it also showed a hundred of high-resolution satellite images that presented some odd aspects.

I remember I felt impressed while I was looking at them: you could see city roads that seemed to fall into a black hole; strange superimpositions impressed on buildings that appeared like ghosts; weird color effects, similar to a nuclear explosion, covering countryside images.

My post on FB engaged such a lot comments and reactions that I decided to start a journey. I installed Google Earth program on my laptop, and I began my exploration.

As I later discovered talking with people I met, usually we start to use Google Earth principally to explore the streets around our neighborhood and not to reach some wild and far lands.

That is the reason because I chose to settle Abysses in Rome, the place where I live and work. My journey crossed the city, traveling inside and out it along the Tiber River.

In the end, losing myself into its countryside, I found out a sort of the “bug”, too. But it was bigger than a frame! It was as bigger as to a whole district.

With Abysses I wanted to raise different issues relating (graphic) representation of metropolis (throughout satellite images). The point is, if we only feel our city as a heap of digital data, the metropolis itself turns out to be just a “text” that contains everything, losing all its peculiar features.

But we usually don’t live our cities as if we are surfing on the web. We still recognize each significant experience that happens in our life because it left a bad taste in our mouths.

Today, the Internet seems to represent just a detached network of data that is leaving us with any real experiences. That means, we need to find out new reading tools to be able to interpret our contemporary world.