Interview #61

Flavio Scutti

* The following text is an excerpt from an interview made in 2016. The original version is published in PANORAMA (DIORAMA editions).

Flavio Scutti (Atessa, 1978) studied at Accademia di Belle Arti di Roma (Rome). He exhibited his work at Digital Sweat Gallery, Hypermedia Dreams, Société Perrier, Superscope and The Wrong (online); Tate Britain (London); Kalpany Artspace and Viafarini (Milan); #6PM (Milan and online); CUPCAKE (New York and online); Zentrifuge (Nürnberg); VISIONS DU REEL (Nyon); Biennale Spazio Pubblico, Casa dell’Architettura, MACRO and Palazzo delle Esposizioni (Rome); Lawrence Loft (Seattle); Gallery 1965 (Vancouver).

Your production comprises visual art, photography and music, and generally speaking one could say that the common denominator is electronic experimentation. Where does this interest spring from?

Having had the opportunity to confront myself with a computer since I was two years old, electronics for me is part of the knowledge that I have of the world. I witnessed the transition from Olivetti’s industrial information systems to personal computers and later the advent of the internet. At ten I wanted the Commodore Amiga as a present with which I then approached for the first time digital drawing and music. Now it such an experience would be indicated as a feature of the ‘digital natives’, but a few years ago it was not so widespread.

Besides, your training started at the theatre.

During the course of Stage Design at the Academy, I had the opportunity to study and practice theatre very much, also from a theoretical point of view, and perhaps that was the time when I read more paper books than ever. I met artists who are still part of my artistic practice.

How do you relate with the research and the aesthetics linked with digital and glitch art?

I created the first glitch image in 2002, in an atmosphere of complete conceptual research. At that time I also experienced the inconvenience of a hard disk break which interrupted that experience. The loss of almost all the work took the peak of what I was creating, by addressing the subsequent problem of preserving digital data. Ten years later I was able to retrieve the data of the HD and to deal again with the material turned out to be paradoxical experience. Over the years this type of aesthetics has also entered the academic world, so much that when it was able to prevail by generating infinite sharing groups in social networks, for me this experience was already archived.

Besides taking part in projects like 6 PM Your Local Time or The Wrong – New Digital Art Biennale, you have also been on the other side of the barricade. You have also curated online events and exhibitions…

I curated an online exhibition which is called Revelation Group (Cableway), in which I asked the participants to create a work with the bizarre theme of the cable car. With this project I wanted to emphasize the mechanism in which people, united by a similar artistic research, organize themselves automatically in groups, thus outlining the contents of most online galleries. After this experience, the phenomenon has increasingly gathered awareness and it was possible to manage some more comprehensive events as The Wrong in which I participated as an artist and as a creator of events in physical places and WOWA which is a collaboration with Annalisa Trapani and Laura Nomisake of Vieni Verso Il Municipio. Also for 6pm we needed a physical space and so we decided with Marco Cadioli, who wanted to form a real group of digital artists in the Milan area, together with Alessandro Capozzo, Matteo Cremonesi, Kamilia Kard and Marco Mendeni, to organize an exhibition in a place which is unusual for art, such as WeMake.

How you relate to the local music circuit?

In Milan there are several circuits, you can listen to music from a dimension near to silence to one constipated in discomfort. I can say that over the years I have met some people with whom I share not only a musical taste, but also projectualities, such as Andrea Guidi. With Antonio Cavadini I played in the first events, as we were both part of the Micromusic circuit. We played from social centres to the events of the Fuorisalone together with Martino Nencioni. We met Marco Dolera and Francesco Bertocco who had come to an Otolab workshop at the Medionauta. Other contacts matured while frequenting Spazio O’, Unza, and Moonshine where we organized events over two years in which we proposed artists who were at their first public experiments such as Laura Migliano and Giorgia Petri. Also meeting the 51beats has been crucial. There have been many collaborations with other entities: Rexistenz, Casa Strasse, Router Radio, Womade, Sangue Disken, Neoma, Opposticoncordi, Diorama Magazine, etc…

Staying on the subject, I know you have sonorized videos for Francesco Bertocco, Dafne Boggeri and others. How do these collaborations come up?

As to Francesco, after the events we had created together in the city, it came natural to work also in his films and we made two: Onde and Allegoria. With Dafne things came up more spontaneously as she exhibited some of her work for the GAM in Turin at the Casa della Resistenza di Verbania and on that occasion there was the screening of BOSCOH, the shootings of which, edited by Alice Daneluzzo, were soundtracked live by Adele Pappalardo, Daniella Andrea Isamit Morales and me.