We had a lot of marvelous content to include in our November Alumni Newsletter – too much, in fact – and we couldn’t bear to resign any of it the cutting room floor. Here’s everything, including a beautiful quote by Valerio.

Valerio’s “second wave” of isolation art is now ready and mounted in a gallery in downtown Terni, and has been selected to represent Terni and Umbria in the gigantic annual festival, “Lucca Comics & Games” in Lucca, Tuscany. Lucca Comix is a convention of comics, graphic arts, and gaming, traditionally held at the end of October in conjunction with All Saints’ Day and Halloween. It is the largest festival of narrative visual arts in Europe, and the second biggest in the world after the Comiket in Japan. There are usually close to 300,000 attendees, but this year, because of COVID, the locations will be virtual and from every region of Italy.

Valerio’s Casco

The story of Casco is a story made of sounds and images but without a linear narrative.  Valerio has composed music for each of his ten pieces in the show, and visitors to the gallery can run their phones through keys embedded in the artworks which enable them to listen to the music. His work represents a set of moods dictated by loneliness and isolation and expressed through small trajectories between the sounds and the forms of this new daily reality. The new reality is made up of journeys imagined while observing everyday household objects or while listening to sounds that we would normally have absent-mindedly ignored.  But today, in the reality of isolation, the sounds and objects appear as springboards for the imagination and produce new, and sometimes unpredictable sensibilities. The images of Casco and the accompanying sound compositions are representations of these new sensibilities towards our everyday lives.

“Casco is the spirit of solitude, imaginary companion of the Hikikomori (the isolated) of the whole world, a metropolitan ghost who listens to the background noise of acoustic pollution and transforms it into a delusional counterpoint of out-of-sync loops and unreal urban phonographs. The story of Casco is an illustrated and sonified story.  Each drawing has its own soundtrack that refers to other drawings and other songs according to different trajectories each time. Since Casco never removes his helmet, his hallucinations are amplified by a lack of oxygen.  His reality has become an indoor tableau of insanity. The madness of isolation deforms his reality into a dazed hypnotic state where the objects of the house become scenes of his cerebral adventures or elements of his acoustic hallucinations. Dissemination of the moods derived from isolation through sounds and images is an artistic challenge that mixes the applications of theoretical and transdisciplinary practices of the mixing of genres, media and inputs. All the pieces of Casco’s journey move between different areas of knowledge and fabricated emotional responses, developing hybrid modes of thought and representation for a chaotic assemblage of heterogeneity. In this sense, this is a nomadic cartography through the manifestation of a specific tendency: the tendency toward an acceptance of the isolation forced upon us by the modern world.”

At our free aperitivo on Wednesday November 4th, we will offer a video and sound presentation of Valerio’s musical drawings, followed by a chance to talk with the artist.  Valerio and I have been talking (sometimes arguing) about these points of art philosophy for years.  Plato thought of art as an imitation of an imitation and therefore three times removed from the truth, while Aristotle came a little closer to taking art seriously…at least poetry and theater.  His famous example argues that history is only concerned with some moments with some people, while poetry deals with “basic human, and therefore universal, experience.”  Most people who practice any of the arts will probably agree to have, at some point in the act of creation, touched or felt or imagined something universal. 

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