WORK 24 / CONTEXT / JOURNAL

JOURNAL 01/12 Daily I write an account of my day. A journal entry is written most of the time on a text file and the following morning, it is copied and pasted in chronological order on a 36 by 75 cm page using Times New Roman font size 12 with a 1.5 centimeters margin. Each page hosts approximately the entries of a whole month and contains approximately 4.000 words. By the end of the project the estimated amount of words in my journal will be 1.800.000, which can contained in 240 meters long scroll of about 12.000 entries. If we are only to count the words of this diary it is by far not the longest one ever written. If along with it we are to sum all the other works I have kept in a diary like fashion using other media it can certainly compete with Robert Shield's 37.500.000 words diary (Fig. Screenhot of the journal entries written approximately throughout a month time. In some occasions the entries can be short when the day was rather tedious and nothing really occurred such as spending the day indoor writing or at the airport waiting to fly somewhere. In some occasions however a journal entry can be very long with many different facts to detail about or at least an unexpected occurrence such as an accident or a fight. It could be also something more beautiful like the birth of one of my kids or simply a sunny day spent with them doing a small adventure outside the usual daily routine).

JOURNAL 02/12 I kept a journal already from the age of 16 describing my day-to-day attending a high-school in the American Midwest. The old journals are stored in my archival boxes. Later on my journals became more dense with also accounts of dreams and of ideas and with many small sketches of thing I would see during my solitary trips around the world. At this time however my journals were made with paper and poster I found in trash bins and as a result of it my early writings have almost completely faded. As at the age of 20 I undertook a long road trip across the Americas to find the right peace and quiet to go through my journals and edit them for publication. Hosted by a Ticos family at the tip of the Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica I soon realized the impossible task to retroactively go through my writings. Back in the civilized world I began using the newly available digital equipment with the idea to document both my conscious and my subconscious while on the move (Fig. Picture taken by my flatmate in Vancouver upon my arrival back in Canada after making a 18.000 kilometers road trip to Central America and back. I traveled with almost no money and a poncho/hammock containing my journals. From that moment onward I attempted to learn how to use computers and document my life pro-actively thus eliminating the frustration of post-editing).

JOURNAL 03/12 The following entry presents the sort of structure I use to relate on a rather ordinary day: "Yesterday I updated my project then walked in the cold and cloudy weather to the station to reach Myrthe in Amsterdam but all the trains were canceled. I then walked home and tried to use my phone to navigate the virtual presentation of my project. For lunch I ate some leftover potatoes and then plastered the walls of the attic. Myrthe came home in the afternoon and I started painting over the new plaster and installed a light. In the evening Myrthe and I rearranged the living room and then ate a vegetable soup she made. I later drew in front of a documentary showing the wildlife in the Galapagos." (Fig. Screenshot showing my oldest son during our many excursions. With time I have learned to keep a rather somber tone in my journal writings. I barely reveal my emotions which are anyway portrayed in other parts of the project. The volume of journal entries however do present some tragedies. The most painful one is the separation from my oldest son which I would have never foreseen. Later on another tragedy emerging from the journal is that of my voluntary exile from my native alps; I gave the whole of me an my resources to build the project museum there and locals instigated by the Italian far right representatives did all they could to block me).

JOURNAL 04/12 Only at the beginning of my journal I did at times lost the reins and wrote some comments about certain events or people. Also the beginning of the journal can be a little too vague. With time the entries became more of a proper account of my daily life. These accounts in fact almost testify my almost monastic virtue, waking up in the middle of the night or anyway very early in the morning to update my project and then devoting myself either to my family. If I am free from any obligations I most likely work on the executions of one of the project outcomes as a painter such as Fra' Angelico would devote himself to a divine and enigmatic fresco. In a way the journal becomes somewhat necessary to testify also the mission I undertook to continuously document life. It is not then the journal of a general like Julius Cesar invading the Celtic territory. It is rather in line with Jacopo Pontormo's diary while painting his last church and parallel to that leaving a side testimony of himself though writings (Fig. Picture of the attic in my girlfriend Dutch house. Being the house filled with kids and toys, I was able to set up a studio right under the roof just like that of Pontormo. It is here that mostly my early nights and early mornings are spent and it is here that the journal entries are written, more specifically in the higher table by the wall, using the lower one under the window to draw).

JOURNAL 05/12 Over the years my journaling practice became more fact based. It got in line with Stoic principles as reflected in Marco Aurelio daily accounts to his wife. In my journal entries a reader can perceive an attempt to take care of the family and the children yet always under the dark cloud of social, political end economic turmoil. If on one hand then my journal is like that of Tolstojan character Princess Marya Bolkonsky centering her love in the family, on the other is like that of Boris Pasternak's Doctor Zhivago, a temporary appreciation of everyday life in the mist of human generated catastrophes (Fig. Picture of my daughter and youngest son. After fleeing Scandinavia mostly traumatized by its political climax, I did not want to live in any other country than in my native alps. Unable to find any possibility to work there I eventually decided to settle in a small village in the Netherlands where my main occupation became that of taking care of my children. Also to them I attempted to communicate all my love for nature. I attempted to give them an education outside the box before they got drafted by the mandatory school system. The usual journal entry in this period is then about my child care roaming the countryside and slowly providing them with physical and intellectual autonomy and a fresh soul distant from any bourgeois type of numbness and oppression).

JOURNAL 06/12 Initially I would write in my journal in a rather traditional way at the end of a day. This approach however did not really suit me as mostly in the evening I do not want to have anything to do with screens which might in fact diminish my ability to remember my dreams. Writing in the evening could be a good way to analyze the day and try to improve oneself. However having pretty much settle myself in a quite disciplined routine, I began writing my journal in the early morning. Therefore the entries usually start with “Yesterday”. Most likely also the very first thing I mention is “Yesterday I woke up very early and updated my project”. In some occasions however I cannot write my journal in the morning and have to even wait two day before doing so. I then uses “The day before yesterday”. In this respect it could be a hard task for me to remember what happened since the days spent taking care of my children can be rather similar to each other. In a few occasions then I made use of the photos of the objects I used to recall what I did (Fig. Closeup of a month of journal entries. With only one small child to take care of there was still some variety in my life. With the coming of a second small child in combination with several lock-downs to curb the 2020 pandemic the entries became rather monotonous and similar to one another).

JOURNAL 07/12 The only times I have shown to others my journal was in very intimate settings such as in the show-room I set up in my one room apartment of an immigrant suburb in Stockholm or in my barn in the alps. In the latter setting I invited some friends to go through my work. As it happened Brett Ascarelli, a well educated Jewish American friend working at the Swedish radio opened the journal right where I made a comment calling her a princess. Ascarelli then pointed out that if on one hand some of my works are playful, the journal was judgmental. This was certainly true in the first part but later judgments became rare. Other works of the project like my lectures became the place for a more or less constructive criticism on other people and their work. In one occasion I also experimented with presenting the journal at Dapiran, a small Dutch gallery of a friend of my girlfriend. At this point I used an old computer running a simple script to let it type out the journal. This feature fascinated many of the visitors who stood reading the journal as it was typed out (Fig. Picture of the wall I had set up in my Swedish one room apartment. A print of the journal can be seen in the very middle of it. At this point I was still experimenting with ways of presenting the journal. I attempted to have it more in a continuous roll of paper and only in the end I opted to stick to the current month partition).

JOURNAL 08/12 Possibly the superimposition of a journal entry on the other kind of material that I document in a day could provide a great guidance to the viewer. I have however opted not to do so and keep the various flows with which I depict life separate from one another. By doing so I want to enable some random overlapping of the digital material of the various works. I especially wish this to happen in the brain of the viewer who is supposed to get alone a sense of how to orient his or herself in the various curated media environments I generated. The only hint I in fact provide are the accounts I write for each month-production which is also in a way a form of journaling (Fig. Screenshot of a possible meaningful superimposition of the journal on top of the photographic record of daily activities based on the objects used by my right hand. More specifically the screenshot shows two entries written in the text document I use to draft my journal and the folder where one day of unedited photos are stored. Interestingly a lot of the elements emerging from a journal entry do not show up in the actual photographic record and vice-versa. Some things however do emerge yet I am not interested in providing minute details of my life but in broadening people's perception of life in general showing the many ways it can proliferate and the many ways people can interpret it in a more holistic manner).

JOURNAL 09/12 The time I have spent living as a foreigner in other countries has been of particular importance to develop within me the need to keep a journal. In a way perhaps right the living abroad brought in some experiences and adventures I thought important not to be forgotten. Living in Wisconsin first and later in Massachusetts also brought me more in touch with the English language and a tradition of writing journals. Later I became fascinated with the reading of memoirs, finding this genre the most valuable way to learn about human nature no matter who author it (Fig. Picture of my archived journals from the time I was 16 and lived in Fort Atkinson Wisconsin. In this small village where I came in contact with many foreign exchange students but also the plain American students who kept on bullying me. In my teenager journals I was rather naive and expected a bright future also in foreign countries. Only later I began to understand the sort of prejudices with which immigrants are treated. In this respect my later journal writings are mostly an acceptance to be living in a foreign country without any expectation. I simply relate about my life there as some kind of an ethnographer keeping my tent pitched next to the village. I have no intention to alter the life of any tribe but my very own in the mountains back in Italy where the making of the project museum caused quite a stir).

JOURNAL 10/12 While during my academic training I was particularly told off not to pursue any type journaling like writings, keeping it up over the years made me acquainted with the style. I became rather fast in trying to account on my day leaving certain details aside and following a certain trajectory to come straight to the point. Additionally I understood that the writing of memoirs is very typical of my native alps. Not only my father's father and the latter cousin, the writer Mario Rigoni Stern pursued this style in accounting on their experience of the war and the life on their native highland but also the main figures in the alpine region have pursued such a style such as Luigi Meneghello, Beppe Fenoglio and more recently Mauro Corona. In this respect the folk that have accused me of self-celebrating my own persona by “depositing” my artwork in a pavilion in my native alps did not at all understand the spirit and culture of highlanders, folk who tries to hold on to a natural living put in turmoil by actual megalomaniac fanatics riding the waves of new ideologies (Fig. Screenshot of some posting of my work in my native mountains by far right representatives attempting everything to sabotage it. While my intention in such a forgotten and remote corner of the alps were merely poetics, the fight with the far right became just another account of my life as a partisan).

JOURNAL 11/12 To some extent my daily routine has reached some sort of perfection. A quick look in the thousands of entries might suggest that the journal is boring. Another conclusion could be in fact that with time and with being persistent in my practice, I have in fact reached an inner stability. It shows that the caring of the self is indeed a way for individuals to set out roots which in turn also provide more sturdy branches. In this respect there is nothing introspective even in my writing. It is rather the account of a rock with its firm will in times of agitate sea or in times of dead calm. This rock will be pulled out eventually. Up to that moment I have reached a state of inner solidity which does not drag me into any drama; it finds a solid ground in the very self-contentment that my practice have developed within me. I keep firm expecting nothing from others, even those Iso much gave my love to (Fig. Screenshot showing me while writing in my journal. The journal gives an overview on how I was able to detach from expecting anything back from others. While the joy I find in pursuing my project has irradiated back to the people around me, I do not impose anything back. What still can hurt me however is anything directed against my very practice as the attempt to sabotage it from those patriarchs and matriarchs not approving on it, making them my main ideological target).

JOURNAL 12/12 In an ideal exhibition the journal should be presented in one of the side rooms of the main hall. Given the length of the paper in which the journal entries of one month are printed onto, the resulting 432 pages could be rolled up and inserted in 432 perforations of 6 centimeters of diameters. The 432 perforations should be distributed in 12 rows and 36 columns with a distance of 12 centimeters between them thus making also an annual subdivision with each row representing a year. As in a Jewish religious library then the scrolls of the journals could be extracted, unscrolled and read on the spot before being rolled back and placed in the perforation (Fig. Rendering of the ideal exhibition with the wall where the perforations to host the scrolls of the various journal pages is red highlighted. The dry detailing of my days have almost become like a user manual on how to replay my everyday life. If will be ever affected by memory disabling diseases an interesting experiment would be to feed me with aspects of my project and particularly with my journal entries. This is especially the case if whatever level of dementia will only allow me to remember my life before the commencement of the project but not after it. Similarly the journal entries would be quite interesting for my children. When they are adults they can recollect their early childhood, an age in which very little memories are retained).