Progetto Italia is an artistic project, directed by established choreographer Barbara Altissimo, that originated from the following natural question:
Why Italy, which lacks nothing, always limps and struggles instead of flying?
The entire project is divided in two parts: CantierItalia and Canto per l’Italia. In the first part the idea is to make a geographic and contextual journey all over Italy — all regions will be covered — giving away free theater workshops called Cantieri while receiving and collecting the Italian experience of places and people in the different regions. In the second stage, the collected human and artistic material will be transformed into a live show as well as a short movie entitled Canto per l’Italia. The project started in July 2021 and will last about two years. We are planning more than 20 workshops and expecting more than 200 participants all over Italy.
So far, we have completed the following Cantieri:
CANTIERE #1 — Udine (Friuli-Venezia-Giulia) — July 2021
CANTIERE #2 — Bassano del Grappa (Veneto) — July 2021
CANTIERE #3 — Massafra (Puglia) — September 2021
CANTIERE #4 — Saint Jean Cap Ferrat (France) — October 2021
CANTIERE #5 — Torino (Piemonte) — March 2022
CANTIERE #6 — Torino (Piemonte) — March 2022
CANTIERE #7 — Roma (Lazio) — March 2022
CANTIERE #8 — Torino (Piemonte) — May 2022
CANTIERE #9 — Salina (Sicilia) — June 2022
21gr is a digital spinoff of Progetto Italia. During each workshop, each participant will be asked to squeeze their thoughts about Italy into a single phrase of few words. Moreover, each participant will share a portrait photo of him or her. The text and the image will be injected into a generative code that I wrote that generates an abstract portrait of the participant.
The code implements a Perlin walk — a random walk that moves using Perlin noise — on the portrait image, and fills the gap between two consecutive points in the walk using either a line or a text string with the same colors of the underlying image. The generation is not fully automatic: during the execution the artist controls a keyboard dashboard and might alter the flow of painting. The outcome is hence a collaboration between the artist (who writes the code and controls the dashboard) and the machine (who decides the random jumps). Each portrait is then be minted as an NFT on an OpenSea collection and gifted to the participant.
The theme of the 21gr is evanescence, vaporousness, the progressive loss of consistency, the lightness of the soul that leaves the body unsustainable. I tried to inject an unsustainable lightness into all portraits. Will the weight of all the souls participating in this long project be the weight of the soul of Italy?