lunedì 20 febbraio 2012

108 Interviewed by

Read it with pictures here:

What is your best childhood memory?
Fantastic question to start with. Hum, I have many nice childhood memories, it’s not easy to remember and to decide. Surely I had my best times when I was a little child when I was with my grandfather. At the time houses were not so expensive and the houner of my grandparents house let my grandfather using a room and the first floor as laboratory. He was retired and he worked inside a metal factory for all his life so he was very good with hands… He built a lot of stuff, also small castles, houses, models for his small train system with woods. He also told me a lot of things about old times, old legends, war times… Untill when I was 6-7 I passed most of the times with him and these are my best memories.

When did you know you wanted to make things, how did it evolve?
I can’t remember. I think I never decided to make my things… I allways needed to do stuff. To draw or to make things in general. When I was a child I was living with my grandfather, he was a worker but he was very good with materials and he was a special person. I strated to make things with wood for example. Another important thing it was my primary school. I had the real bad luck to go on a old school with an old teacher… when I think about those days, It’s like I went to school during the 50′s… or something like this. This teacher never ler us drawing for example, but I was drawing all the times on my copybook. My fixations were trains and dinosaurs: when my teachers cought me drawing dinosours for example she was very angy… for her I was drawing monsters (I liked monsters so much too!). Maybe with a nicer teacher today art shouldn’t so important to me. Anyway, I never studied inside any artschool. My city have a military and industrial history… and my parents were normal workers, so I had to go to normal school. In my city there was some “primitive graffiti artists” but I wasn’t so much in to them at the time. I was more fascinated by some very old writings… for example fascist slogans in some old houses… strange slogans that I wasn’t hable to understand. Or most of all some very old writings made with white paint and a big brush on old farms from the 40′s and the 50′s: W COPPI. Fausto Coppi was the greates cyclist of all times and my grandfather sometimes told me about him… it was like if he was talking about a real hero (and he was a real hero). It was not only the ahesthetic… it was something deeper with these writings. I have a swiss uncles, so when I moved to Geneva in 1990 I saw the first real graffiti pieces and the first nice tags. I became crazy with that… and I started to make my first tags with a marker. I never stopped to make letters for all the 90′s… than I wanted to make something different and I changed my “tag” in to the number 108

Are you a future or past orientated person?
I think that I allways think about future project, but living here where I live today killed most of my hopes and made me very disenchanted. So I think that my thoughts about futrure are more like dreams than real projects. I’m really interested about the past. I mean, I use a lot of my times reading books of ancient history or anyway anthropology. I fascinated about old times, I allways think about how a place was maybe 2000 years ago… it’s not easy to explane, but I’m very fascinated by the past. Most of the times cemeteries are my favourite places inside the cities. Finding an old engraved stones in a forest or a old rails inside an abandoned factory open a new world in my mind. Also my vision of a “sci-fi” future is related to the past: I’m still dreaming about a 80′s-early 90′s cyber-punk / psychedelic future… so I think I’m a past oriented person.

Do you think the environment is important does it form you, keep you stuck or going in later years?
Environmet is very important to me. I was telling you about my city… and my area too. I think it’s very important for what I decided to do. I live in northern Italy, my city is in a hole between hills and mountains. People think that we have just the fog. I love the fog. There is this strange feeling here… expecially when I was younger. Most of the people feel guilty for their lands, because you are in Italy and you don’t have the sea or the sun… only warm and grey in summer, hahah. Anyway it’s the typical place where people want just to escape. Anyway… in the 80′s and in the 90′s there was a very interesting underground scene. So we didn’t had big rock festival or stuff like that, but I saw most of the best bands just taking my bike on saturnday night and going to one of the two local squats. That was my word during my youth. I found many books, records, vhs, zines about any underground movements. I’m telling you this because I think that’s very important for me and what I’m still doing. There wasn’t a real alternative scene here… like in Milano for example. Here there was the underground and the “normal people” with a wall between. This way of thinking it’s still inside me. I never wanted to be part of an “alternative” movement… I’m afraid of it. And probably it’s for that I’m doing black shapes on the walls and strange music. Something I want to change my mind… because I allways chosen the most difficult way, and many times I took the wrong way. I moved for some years to Milano and than I’m here again.

What is the best place for you to work? Phisically, mentally and spiritually.
It changed during the years. Years ago the best of the best it was working during the night on illegal walls out of the city. It was a real trip, I liked so much the situation, the air, the smell of the fields mixed with paint. Now I’m older and I’m also becoming lazy. Or better I think I like so much to be relaxed. Anyway it depends: sometimes I really need to work alone at home. I really likme when cats assist me, I don’t know why but they really like to see me drawing and painting. They help me to concentrate. In other moments I like to paint woth oter people… but not with anyone, some people makes me sick. It’s like they stole my energy… It’s fantastic when I travel to meet new inspiring people and to paint and talk with them for example. I think that art in general is a magical thing, it’s allways been like that since ancient times. I feel like a shaman, it’s not possible to do something nice or to find new ideas in some days. You know inspiration… hahaha. For me it’s not a mechanical thing. When I’m very ok, I mean happy, I cannot work. I don’t need it. When I’m too bad sometimes I found new ideas, but it’s better for the music I think, or maybe to go out and observe, taking pictures. I need to be in a strange mental way to find the best moment to work… and it’s not easy.

How does the making process unfold for you?
Hum… the making process for me is something very istinctive. I have so many influences that I take from evevrywhere and that I conserve inside my mind for months, sometimes for many years. Most of my ideas comes directly from my subconscius… for example through dreams or visions. This is true… most of my shapes comes from images that come to my mind withouth any reason. During the years I minimalized my work, because I think that I must find the final shape, maybe in future I’ll start again to make complcated stuff, or figurative stuff. For example in the last year I started again to use COlors, because I think that evevry color have a special meaning. And I’m experimenting a lot with the links between colors and shapes.

Do you ever feel blocked? If so how do you deal with that?
Yes, most of the times. It’s very hard to work with very simple things, in general. You cannot hide you work with any layers and you can’t find a new shape or a new sound, for example, everyday. This is something tecnical, I think. But anyway, the worst moment is when I loose the inspiration… you know, it’s typical for artists. You can sell your soul to satan maybe for that. For many people painting or playing or… producing art is something more mechanical, for me it’s not like that. Many times when I have no new ideas I paint again very similar stuff, so I can make it better. But in the end when it happens I’m very frustrated and to be honest I don’t know how to deal with that. I think I just can wait.

Do you need outside or inside inspiration?
I need both. I prefere inside inspiration, I mean I would like to express what’s inside me. This is something spiritual you know, I think that painting or playing is a magical discipline. It’s something very far from science for example. There are no laws for that. You must understand that you will never be able to understand what art is and why you need art. So… when I watch an art piece I try to see what really is inside it. Maybe the ideas, or I don’t know, the colors, it can be everything but when I watch it (or I listen to something) I want to enter inside the world of the artist. This is why I like some artists and I really can’t like some other stuff… I mean my tastes change a lot, but… Anyway I need outside inspiration too, because I need a tool to express what I want. Ok, I think that’s too complicated, this is a poor explanation.

What is most important to you? The idea? The actual making process? Bringing it out there? Recognition?
I think that I told you something on the replyes above. Anyway, I think that it’s all importnat, but the most important thing it’s the idea. If you don’t have an idea, you are doing nothing. The making process is important too, because, hum… if art is a magical thing the making process is like a ritual. For example, talking about visual arts: I made many big works, I mean very big wall, sometimes more than 10 m… stuff like that. But, I don’t like that… I like to experimenting with everything, but I think that the best size to work is when you have a phisical connection with my body and the surface, for example something like 3×3 meters… not more. I can’t understand artists that let other people make their works, and I’m not talking about helpes, this is meaningless to mee. Recognition is important too. I really don’t care about fame or stuff like that… but I must be sincere: recognition is important. Sometimes to be too much modest can be frustrating…

You also are involved with music? How did that happen?
Yes. I think it was natural because I allways liked music, some songs are part of my life and music allways influenced my mind. Anyway, I allways wanted to play something, but when I was a child I wasn’t able to play anything. You know you think that you must be a real musician to play… when I was 13-14 I was a skater and I went to some punk shows. In my town there is an old history about hardcore/punk/diy scene… so I just used few money I recived for christmass to buy a cheap second hand guitar and with some friend we started a band. I had many hc bands in the years. Anyway, with music it was the same as for the visual arts. I’m allways been curious and I allways like to experimenting. So… in the 90′s I was also very interested in many underground movements, and I saw many strange bands in the local squats. Probably the most important moment was when I saw DECODER by Klaus Maek. With einsturzende neubauten, genesis p.orridge, burroughs… I was very young so I wasn’t able to understand noise music very well, but that kind of movement was too interesting. In the same way of graffiti, in the last 90′s I started to use my first computer, and my friend Pira gave me Fastracker… a dos software that I started to use in the wrong way… I mean I started to use it as a sequencer for sample that I was recording with guitar or anything else and to add effects… so I made the forst drones and strange melodies.

In what medium can you express yourself best?
It depends: sometimes I prefere to paint. In these times I like expecially take some black paint, a small roll and my bike and to go on the countryside to find old walls. This is what I like more. So I tryed to make some videos to document it… because it’s something that really rapresent myself and that’s very different from painting a canvas for example. Sometimes I like also to paint a canvas or to draw on paper anyway. In some times I really cannot paint and I want to compose melodies…

What drives you to make art/music?
As I told you before it’s my research about making something that can communicate some ideas, but “ideas it’s not the right word… maybe some feelings, hum. It’s a problem of communication. Some artists (painters or musicians…) create works that open in my mind new doors. When I listen to some tracks for exaple I’m taken to another landscape and I’m trying to make something similar. In fact few years ago a friend told me that my shapes are someting like a black mandala… I think that’s true, I like to be lost in it and my music is the soundtrack for it.

What is it to you to be an artist? Can you define it?
I think that first of all, you cannot decide to be an artist. You are an artist. You can see it when you cannot do anything else… I mean it’s not a good thing. All the times that I met another artist (I have to be polemical I’m talking about real artist, not workers of art…) I met people that see things in another way. This is the most complicated question… I have my own idea about being an artist. You know, I think that all the art forms (visual arts, music, theater, dance…) are allways been magic disciplines. I see the artists as something like a shaman. In our society in the last thousands years we lost every direct contact with anything else than “real world” I mean monotheisms destroyed our spirituality, and capitalysm finally killed it, something survived maybe in the small villages in the countries but… You see that, if you try to explane why people today need art or music it’s very hard to be understood. Also big musicians are usally people that just sold records, and also artists. but you see that people need to go to dance or to see art exhibitions or to watch movies… We need it… we still need something to trascend everyday “reality”, a scientist can give you cures for many things, can give you machine, but they cannot give you something like a nice song.

Do you feel things are fated in life or can we control things?
I think that we cannot understad it. Religions try to explane thi skind of things but are just humans (very dangerous) ideas. Anyway I think that we can decide a lot of things… we can decide to kill someone, or what kind of food to eat today. But you see, we cannot decide a lot of things… I’m fascinated about the possibility of understanding some signals: for example numbers and coincidences.
Where would you like to see yourself in the future?
I allways thought: “I want to escape from here”, but anyway, something want me here I think. I think that I’m chronically dissatisfied, so… the best thing would be to have the possibility to travel most of the time. There are many places that I like. I must admit that I’m also very connected with the ground where I’m born. Not so much about the city, but about the hills and the mountains for example… I really don’t know. I’m not strong enough to decide and in my life I allways let fate decide for me… it’s not so good maybe but it’s easier.

What keeps the fire burning?
I need to do it. I’m 33 and I’m almost sure that I simply need it. When I have to work or anyway I cannot do my stuff, I start to be so distressed and dissatisfied that it’s simply the reason of my life. Maybe in future I’ll stop to make art and I’ll turn in to a witch… in fact what I do is simply witchcraft, and I cannot stop it!