STILL WALKING — Showcase (BOTH Industries)
STILL WALKING — Showcase
Ambulacri is an art project consisting of a series of audiovisual works and multimedia installative performances. With an ironic and surreal touch, Ambulacri captures fictional snapshots of the contemporary digital world, where social dynamics are steered by algorithms of control in a state of frenetic immobility.
Ambulacri goes live under the title Still Walking. Arising from the intersection and integration of all spheres of BOTH Industries’ artistic research, the live performance expands the digital scenario of the videos out of the screens. The show reveals to the audience a sample of the working methods developed by the association in the green screen studio for their video production. As if they were demonstrating the functionality of a product during a corporate presentation, the two performers take turns on the treadmill assuming the different roles of the characters that populate the digital environments of the video artworks. Two treadmills and tanning lamps, videos, vitamin drinks and the uncanny atmosphere of a fishy wellness center define the workspace. Live electronic music modulates the sonic environment of the performance by fluctuating between ominous beats and polyrhythms, playful melodies and earworms, sonic cues and metronomes. In both videos and live performances, the loopy narrative structures and the repetition of gestural, visual and rhythmic patterns reveal the principles that govern the scenes little by little. Gradually, the details unfold and the polyvalent iconographic code imprints its meaning on the viewers’ mind. Thus, even brief scenes of a playful and apparently superficial nature, when obsessively repeated, suck the audience into them, suggesting the hidden code guiding their inner dynamics.
Ambulacri’s allegorical apparatus orbits around the phenomenon of Echo Chambers, which are closed virtual environments where lines of thought tend to radicalize due to the repetition of communicative patterns within a homogeneous community. Echo Chambers represent exemplary places to observe a cross-section of contemporary humankind, both in its intimate and social dimensions.
The video series is composed of several audiovisual loops with a modular character, as it consists of potentially independent videos that complement each other and acquire multiple interpretational layers when juxtaposed. All videos present isolated clusters of people on perpetual walk, where human figures are multiplied on the screen with video collage techniques. The plethora of users that inhabit BOTH Industries’ scenarios are all played by two naked performers, who act as normalized human models in a digital simulation. Their main distinguishable feature is defined by the tan lines and sun burns that break down the apparent neutrality of the bodies, by dressing them in a vague sense of (dis)comfort. Their bodies are the founding element for the general visual composition: the represented environment is empty and its traits emerge just through the juxtaposition of the individuals interacting in it. The human figures become wandering carriers of information, messages and energy. They are in constant exchange with their neighbors, influencing, directing and sometimes hindering the formation of an overall picture. A horde of nude walkers appears as a dichotomous organism: internally unstable and in turmoil, it is yet unable to consciously move forward, as its general structure remains still on the canvas.
BOTH Industries is an art association that explores the emerging patterns of friction and hybridization between the physical and digital spheres. With a transdisciplinary artistic practice, they translate their reflections over this phenomenon and its repercussions on contemporary society in an aesthetical and speculative dimension, while developing new creative formats and methodologies that intertwine audiovisual experimentation, live performance and space design.
Matteo Taramelli, creative director visual artist
Valentin Markus Oppermann, performance artist
Stella Elena Höttler, performance artist
Jacopo Biffi, sound artist