Caretto | Spagna

Torino /Rivoli, 1970

Low Energy Transformations - Practices of experimentation on the origin of forms | 2010

Low Energy Transformations - Practices of experimentation on the origin of forms, 2010
variable dimensions
Courtesy: MUDAM, Musée d'Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg


For Sketches of Space, Raffaella Spagna and Andrea Caretto present an installation conceived as a network of "islands", mainly concerning morphogenesis. They create a link between the protected space of the museum and the exterior environment exposed to the elements, by bringing rainwater from the roof to the level of the “islands”, little installations that provide shelter for living organisms. The installation is a complex water system, suspended in the air, that feeds several interconnected «islands» containing various natural elements belonging to the mineral, vegetal and animal Kindom. A pump dipped in a water basin (an iron drinking trough for animals) pumps water to each island through transparent pipes and micro-irrigation drippers. The water is then conveyed by funnels into a suspended discharge open channel and return back by gravity to the main water basin. Even if it seems to be an high-tech system, actually it’s created assembling very common and poor materials. The whole installation constitutes a kind of hypertextual narration which talks about phenomena of growth and transformation of the matter, from inorganic to organic and viceversa. All the elements of the installation are in relationship to each other in a very complex, delicate and precarious equilibrium; anyway all this complexity seems ridiculous and almost grotesque if compared with a real natural ecosystem.
Here are duckweeds, which are equally well able to prevent the growth of other organisms while covering the entire pond surface, and are also useful as fodder. Further on, a revitalised cabbage evidences the astonishing ability of some plants to “re-establish themselves” entirely after being cut back to the “heart”. However, the new growth more closely resembles the original plant than a standardised product of the food industry. Elsewhere, freshwater molluscs demonstrate their ecological function of filtering water, while taking from it their own food and the materials that construct their bivalve cabin. The growth of salt crystals is one example of inorganic morphogenesis, and their regular forms seem to have been produced by an artisan’s dexterity, while the transformation of a rock of gypsum into a more voluminous block witnesses the direct intervention of the two artists.

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