WORK 04 / THE SELF / EMOTIONS

EMOTIONS 01/12 Every morning I register the emotional level of the previous day using a scale of 8 values. Every month, the result is a panel of 36 by 75 centimeters with perforations ranging from 1 to 8 centimeters representing respectively a very dreadful and a very cheerful state experienced during a day. This project have not only made me highly aware of my emotions but also, in turn, very emotional. In this respect, I have learned to moderate the rise of excessive emotions. I have also learned to consider the fact that if I feel very much down there will be soon days in which I will feel much more joyful. On the contrary I am not either so positive about feeling too joyful either as I now know as a given that such extreme moments of happiness are followed by an equal dose of unhappiness. Possibly the best scenario I am pursuing when it comes to my emotional state is a moderate level which I would certainly be able to maintain if it wasn't for outside circumstances affecting me at all times (Fig. Screenshot of a month of perforations going left to right from top to down in chronological sequence. This month was particularly happy with several large perforations. Here however we can see how often large perforations may be followed by small ones and vice-versa).

EMOTIONS 02/12 The measuring adopted in this work, as the measuring adopted in my other works do not occur “scientifically”. It is me who assigns a grade not so much as a school teacher assessing the work of her students but as a shaman reading his own chakras. This subjective grading might be criticized and not taken in any serious consideration. In the long run however it does provide accurate patterns. As a matter of fact with time I started retaining this grading system in my subconscious without thinking about it nor caring about what other people may think. As in other parts of the project then I became a sensing actuator. Rather then than wearing all sort of devices to attempt to measure my emotions I myself matured a strong awareness of them and in this respect also I developed an understanding of the very factors why my mood is high or low. I am my own analyst and do not require any external psychological consultancy. In my rather stoic practice I believe that psychology becomes obsolete and that I am able not so much to control but to perceive and predict my own emotional cycles beyond actual social circumstances (Fig. Screenshot of me on my first holiday alone after divorcing from my wife. While the separation from my oldest son was particularly painful, I was able to emotionally deal with it thanks to my project).

EMOTIONS 03/12 Interestingly, left for many years without a job, any reputation, any health-insurance, any future pension and undocumented in a foreign country taking care of my kids, I can still work towards having a pretty decent daily emotional state. What may really affect my moods is not so much the lack of social capital but by the lack of time to fully take care of all the 36 works of my project. In other words I am very keen to serve others and take no credits for it but I do need my moment in the day in which I can reinforce myself via my project. In Stoic terms I need my moment for self renewal. Perhaps then the highest sense of satisfaction, a long lasting satisfaction I can obtain is literally the being able to fully fulfill my project on a daily basis. With this principle in mind, the apparently dreadful circumstances that no other social member would desire, have turned out to be most favorable. Jobless and with no expectations I can dedicate myself to a life in full accordance with nature, aware of reality and of the universal becoming that my very project have disclosed (Fig. Screenshot of me creating a prototype of one month panel of emotions. The panel was later installed in the showroom I created in my one room Swedish apartment in 2013 after being kicked out by my wife. Having to live in a most alienating immigrant suburb my room became a sort of a healing shrine).

EMOTIONS 04/12 The recording of my daily emotional state is one of the simplest works of the project; it only requires me to assign a diameter to a circle so as to label every morning the kind of emotional state I perceived the previous day. Generally speaking I evaluate the emotional state as it unfolds throughout the day and come to grade mostly how I feel towards the end of it, whether the day made me spontaneous and happy or bitter and frustrated. This grading process is very straightforward. The actual execution of resulting panels is however one of the most difficult; the panels are meant to be installed in a cupola so that the actual perforations can function as a giant filter of the outer atmosphere, a flute of some sort constraining the wind through its perforations and eventually producing sound. The panels then become some sort of perforated sheet music to be played by not a street organ but the wind, as somewhat of a metaphor to human emotions also played out by outside circumstances no matter how solid we oppose or compel to them (Fig. A tentative rendering of the cupola where the 432 panels should be positioned. A sequence of panels placed behind it also shows how the light in the atmosphere would penetrate the cupola. Other elements would also make it through such as rain but also birds with swallows using the hollow space within it to fly around).

EMOTIONS 05/12 While I generally prefer a rather stable emotional state, often times I am most affected by the emotional level of other people such as for example the emotional state of my girlfriend. Thanks to my project my life then has become rather frugal and I have no exception to control what it is not in my power to control. I have distanced myself from any form of worldly ambition and find a long-lasting joy in pursuing my project. Yet I am sharing my life with my family. My kids can benefit from my engagement and care, I can turn them most happy and alive. My girlfriend however might have spent a whole a day at work and might come home very stressed and worried. She would then also need my assistance to discuss certain issues and be able to release herself from the work burden. By assisting her also my mood might shift. (Fig. Screenshot of Inkscape, the vector graphic free-ware software I use every morning to set a diameter of a circle to correspond to the emotional level of the previous day. To begin with a file have all of the circles set to 8 centimeters diameter. Every day then I open the file to resize one circle. If one day is in fact a very joyous one and should stay 8 centimeters, I make a mark next to it so that I know that I should not resize it the next day).

EMOTIONS 07/12 In addition to the wind, the perforated cupola is meant to also filter the outside light creating somewhat of a celestial vault as seen from within, with the various dots of light appearing as a constellation. While in essence the cupola is reminiscent of a pagoda which might have to do with my experience of traditional Asian architecture during my time I lived in China, the actual passage of light through the perforations might in fact cast several rays of light in the interior architecture. Such rays of light are reminiscent of other rays of light piercing through ancient architectures. More than in Indian temples, these rays of light are reminiscent of the Roman Pantheon. The ray of light coming from the perforation on its top, can be compared to Marcus Aurelius definition of a rational mind, a mind that ought to pose itself on the object of inquiry like a ray of the sun. In this respect also the installation of the panels create a shower of rays scanning like a search within an ideal exhibition hall and in particular in the concentric floor below it where my thoughts can be recollected (Fig. Screenshot of a video showing me in my tiny room in my former Swedish apartment executing the mathematical calculation to distribute the perforated panels in the concentric hexagons of the cupola).

EMOTIONS 08/12 Throughout the years in which the project was executed I found out that my most natural role and social contribution was that of taking care of my family and the household. In my first marriage all the conditions were rather perfect but my German Italian mother as well as my Swedish father-in-law could not tolerate a man like me living as a housewife. A man at home was not accepted despite recognizing my full effort to be one, always engaged with the kids and doing all the jobs no one any longer wanted to do such as pruning apple trees and making jams with the forest berries. After many a violent confrontations at last I was forced to apply for a regular job. It was unnecessary since the art courses I was occasionally teaching brought enough money. As a result all the many applications procedures and the actual jobs that I was able to get turned me most depressed until I broke free from any form of patriarchy and matriarchy (Fig. Screenshot from a video I shot with my girlfriend. While the years of distance relationship was at time hard, fully investing in one another and fully allowing one another to express themselves prove to be a good recipe for an emotionally stable life without any need of therapy and all the props that modern couples need).

EMOTIONS 09/12 Since the age of 6 I was not allowed to see my father and the mentioning of the latter became prohibited by my mother and her new husband. As I was contacted by my father for the birth of my first son, we began getting in touch again and eventually reunited in Canada after 25 years. The event was significant for me but also quite traumatic; it turned out that my father was in fact a white supremacist with extreme political views. Beside some possible psychological problems due to his alcohol abuse my father suffered rheumatisms and other physical issues which deeply affected me from the start. In the long run I was able to cope with all of my father invasive issues finding a more stable emotional balance. Possibly the project I started also due to the trauma of being without a father helped me to overcome the traumas he has developed partly for having being left without a son (Fig. Screenshot of an example of my father white supremacist activism. He would gain thousands of followers with native Americans illustrations to at last claim that native Europeans will be taken over by Arabs the same way that Europeans have exterminated native Americans. The image only show what remains of his activism after all his social media accounts were all resolutely closed).

EMOTIONS 10/12 A most saddening and depressing period in my life was once again related to my will to communicate my project to others and being hindered to do so by the supposed guardians of a particular social domain. In this case as an appointed researcher from 2012 to 2017 I attempted to present my project in scientific writings but was immediately confronted with the dogmatic obstinacy of professors who denigrated my work as being merely artistic. While I fought hard throughout my time as a researcher in the apparently liberal Swedish humanities to be allowed to position my practice in an academic context, in the end I was very much obliged to comply with the contemporary humanistic notions much affecting me with their often negative connotation and criticism (Fig. Screenshot of Hans Ruin profile page. The Swedish-Finnish philosophy professor was particularly disappointed with my associative, southern European and eclectic thinking. After Ruin gave me a hard time, unwilling to exchange my practice-based-research for a politicized ideology I terminated my academic career for good. While this have been the destiny of many foreign intellectuals leaving Scandinavian mediocrity, I did find my few but vital supporters such as the Swedish Academy permanent secretary Sara Danius and the media scholar Joahn Fornas).

EMOTIONS 11/12 Throughout the years I have learned to live without expectation. I have learned to be independent from any vane dream but my very reality. I have simply focus on the joy I gather by observing this reality, disclosing all its richnesses and taking care of them. Having perceived that the doors that I have crossed during my youth were suddenly closing, I ultimately decided to deposit my work back in my native alps. Here my ultimate wish was to dedicate much of my love in the communication of my project through the construction of a pavilion. As I was most sadden by the fact that I was not able to do so in Sweden in the giant and over exploited property of my father-in-law, I then purchased a small farm thinking I would not suffer any form of discrimination being in my native country and in my property. Nonetheless the local far-right representatives set up a revolt to block the construction of the pavilion. While this aggressive event turned me most disillusioned about humans as a whole, I have placed more emphasis on the virtual side of my project, the data I so meticulously cultivate every day (Fig. Screenshot showing the start of the construction of my pavilion. Later I was forced to dismantle and destroy everything to cover up the local authorities formerly supporting the project. At last my battle was one and a year later I was able to resume the construction).

EMOTIONS 11/12 Ideally I have found my happiness in being able to train my mind through the execution of my project and by training my body through the taking care of a natural environment where to deposit it. When events such as bad weather might prevent me from for example take my daily walks, I might feel unhappy. Bad weather could be a great opportunity to write an essay or edit this very thesis, works that makes me happy yet works that I can not do when for example my girlfriend is working and I have to take care of our kids and keep indoor. Generally I can finds my happiness by roaming outdoor with them in total serendipity, discovering new paths or small beaches along the river. Particular moment of happiness are also related to being in a crowd. While I do not drink nor I have consumed any kind of drugs I might in fact get particularly out of control creating quite eccentric situations singing, dancing and generally acting like the crazy instigator of the group. In this respect what I am in fact after is a moment of catharsis in which all the accumulated traumas of a repetitive and redundant existence can be healed and forgotten. Also the fact that I spend much time alone or just with my kids, makes me quite juvenile when I can spend some time with friends (Fig. Screenshot showing me with my Polish friends in Krakow letting myself go singing karaoke).

EMOTIONS 12/12 In an exhibition setting the resulting panels make up an hexagonal cupola through which not only the light, but also the wind penetrates. The idea is that the wind blowing inside the various perforations of the cupola would at last generate different sounds also based on its intensity and direction. The actual wind that in the ideal exhibition scenario could filter through the cupola comes to directly interfere with the artificial wind generated by the fan hanging down the cupola reproducing the wind intensities I experience. The resulting cupola partitions the 432 resulting month panels in three hexagonal collars, the bottom one containing 192 panels and with each side thus containing 32 panels and being 11,52 meters long, the second collar containing a total of 144 panels with 24 panels per side and a length of 8,64 meters, while the top collar contains the remaining 96 panels with 16 panels on each side and a length of 5,76 meters. Possibly visitors would be even able to walk all the way up to the cupola experiencing more closely as in the Filippo Brunelleschi dome of the Santa Maria del Fiore Cathedral in Florence. As daring was the dome of the latter, so I believe it is the concept of this ideal exhibition which is however very unlikely taking place (Fig. Rendering of the hypothetical cupola seeing from below right after the entrance as in more Scandinavian type of churches).