WORK 29 / CONTEXT / PALACE

PALACE 01/12 Since the beginning of the project I have designed a 54,75 meters long, 46,80 meters wide and 36 meters high virtual palace to be able to host by 2040 all of my works. The palace was inspired by the memory buildings utilized in the past to both store and generate knowledge, a topic I explored prior the commencement of the project through the writings of Francis Yates and later of Paolo Rossi. In this respect, rather than utilizing a familiar architecture, I created one from scratch and became mentally familiar with it. The actual building has inspired my early exhibitions. Presenting some of my works I in fact realized that they could be fitting within a cathedral-like building and with this in mind I was able to think of all the different works in relation to the various architectural elements this building offered such as the floor, the columns, the roof and so forth. Each month production of this work correspond to one frame of a second of a total 432 seconds virtual walk through the palace (Fig. Rendering of the palace to host my life project. While disassociating from any religious institution, early on I just wanted to pursue something spiritual not only for myself the maker but particularly for the visitors. I wanted to impress them with how much proliferation a single human being can generate, all spatially arranged in front of their eyes and senses).

PALACE 02/12 In the first place the palace was conceived after the shape of a cathedral as the latter offers a long perspective suitable to host my videos of public places. I did not wish to conceive a new institution for power. I despise power and have given it up every time it was offered to me by my family and by society. As a matter of fact I have been inspired by the work of outsider artists such as Justo Gallego Martinez and Chalermchai Kosipipat. With no worldly purpose in mind and using their own hands they erected their own sanctuaries. These sanctuaries represent a most pure and sincere sacrifice without the evil mediation of any institution. More specifically the design of the palace resembles the religious buildings I experienced while living in Scandinavia. It was here that I first conceived the plan to realize such work. Needless to say I was obstructed by my wife's family. They did not want to open up for anything artistic keeping their 34 hectares farm unused and eventually subject to fires, storms and diseases (Fig. Picture of the village church in the near of the Swedish farm where I spent my 20s. While learning to become self-sustainable I dreamed to deposit my life project in the Nordic nature. My former wife along with her father scorned such plane. They did not see any potential in a cultural intervention which could have in fact enriched the place for generations to come).

PALACE 03/12 In 2007 I started freeing the highest summit of my Swedish family forest. I wanted to one day at least build there the wall to host the photographic panels of my right hand project. I used to take my small son in a chart with an ax, a bow saw and some sausages and water and push it through a path in the forest where I manually started the clearing keeping a fire always on to burn the residual branches, cook and keep me and my son warm. As my father-in-law's mother died, the latter immediately decided to clear cut the ancient forest. I was much against his decision but having no voice in the matter at last I decided to give up my plan and abandon Sweden all together moving first to China and then to United States. Upon returning to Europe I bought a land in my native alps and began discussing with the authorities there on how to go about the realization of my plan. I soon realized that these mountains became highly protected only so as to allow more building speculation in the plateau right below it. Not even allowed to place any foundations I developed the idea of a cube to be placed in the landscape as a black-box where the stow all my project, almost going from a Christian like structure to a Muslim one (Fig. Screenshot of showing me secretly visiting my oldest son after the latter decided to go an live in his ancestors farm. Together we returned to the site where the palace was planned).

PALACE 04/12 The palace is accessible through a 432 steps staircase, 432 being the total amount of months in 36 years. The front of the building is characterized by a 36 meters high tower on which a clock reproduces my heart beats. The cupola of the tower is perforated based on my daily emotions. Over the door, an engraving presents the visitors with the 18 rules utilized to generate the content of the palace they are about to enter. Upon entering he or she is to hear a sound of a fan hanging from below the cupola. This fan operates according to the different wind intensities I daily experience. Just above the main entrance visitors are also to hear an organ playing samples of the songs I have heard and recognized throughout the duration of my project (Fig. Picture of the valley I was able to acquire after much negotiation with a local salami producer who took the most advantage of the situation. The valley leads to the field where I have installed the project museum. The valley used to be a pasture and as all other pastures in the area it got abandoned. I was able to restore the valley into its original form so that visitors can ascend to the museum making an effort as much as I made the effort to create it and its content. Also the elevation correspond to 1000 meters above the sea level like the elevation of the hospital where I was born. I calculated about 432 to reach the top).

PALACE 05/12 A series of concentric hexagonal square invites the visitor to descend to three large squares containing audio-guides in which the thoughts I had every month walking alone have been recorded. At this point the visitor can listen to one of them by simply walking around the hexagons or keep exploring the museum while bringing it along as a museum guide. A long central corridor extends the perspective view of all the videos I took of the public spaces where I sat. The corridor extends the view since the center of these videos displayed by a large monitor at the end of it, is the vanishing point of these public spaces. The actual corridor comprises of ceramic tiles where the collages of the trash I picked from sidewalks around the world have been printed. The visitor can kneel down to better observe them or simply contemplate high up the projection of virtual shapes I created based on what I saw looking at clouds (Fig. Rendering of an initial concept drawing I made to display the palace in the landscape. At this stage I only wanted to set up a grid where to display the pictures of the right hand while visitors could have used augmented reality to explore and reconstruct the other elements of the palace. At first I only wanted to build the palace as if it was already in ruins and later I also thought of building it using trees as columns, an idea that was soon disregarded given the 2018 hurricane).

PALACE 06/12 At the very end of the palace is the square wall hosting like a calender all the month panels in which the photos of the objects I have used with my right hand since 2004 are displayed. The wall can be consulted by the visitor as some kind of a record of a human activities throughout the core of a lifetime. Below it and above the monitor displaying the videos of public spaces, the visitor to the museum can also read a book of all my dreams, about 100 every month. From this position, the visitor can observe a mist filling the interior of the museum. This mist corresponds to the air quality I have recorded every day. Above it an RGB laser displays as a light tower the weather conditions I have recorded every day by mapping it to a scale of colours (Fig. Picture of an exhibition I had set up in the barn I had to buy together with the field where I planned the realization of my palace. Here a smaller version of the palace was created using only one year of data from all the project works. The exhibition was used to conduct a series of interviews with the audience. These interviews proved that indeed the reception of my work brought a sense of unity and syncretism of reality. While initially meant to stay the exhibition was later destroyed to make space for the materials I needed to build my final museum in the open).

PALACE 07/12 From the outside, the corridors surrounding the main space have curtains embroiled with the paintings I have executed every month. Below them there are LED screens displaying the fables I have improvised at night time and across them high columns with portraits of my new acquaintances. Inside the corridors, attached to the walls, there are small screens displaying my drawings of ideas. Opposite to them, as some sort of hand rails in the dark, there are Braille embossed plaques of all the casualties I have read on the news. Walking through the corridor to the end of the palace, the visitor can now look through several glasses, a reproduction of the trajectories of the walks I took every months. These glasses are superimposed on the surrounding landscape on which the museum is ideally located (Fig. Screenshot showing me and my girlfriend discovering an old radio station in the middle of a Dutch desert. Like this building, the location of the palace in the landscape was crucial. The glasses in the back interfaces the architecture with the landscape. Also the positioning of the palace with the glasses facing the sunset was important. It retains the opposite orientation of a Christian church with its back facing the sunrise. Most importantly the landscape I imagined was more complete, with the windows facing a powerful ocean like that over an Icelandic cliff).

PALACE 08/12 Having visited several of these corridors and having walked up several stairs visitors can visit the two smaller buildings on each side. These buildings are dedicated to the presentation of last 18 works of the project. The one to the south presents the works that contextualize it and the one facing to the north shares its outcomes. Each of these 2 buildings comprise of 3 7,2 by 7,2 rooms. As each of these rooms have an individual door, each of the 3 remaining walls are dedicated to the presentation of a work. For example upon entering the first room a visitor can view the project accounts on my left, the insights straight ahead and my essays on the right. If the palace has been inspired by medieval Art of memory and Combinatorial Art practices it has not been created to facilitate my memory. It is a building that like a Rosetta stone should allow others to actively interpret and misinterpret the various media languages of time displayed so as to regenerate their preconceived perception of reality. In this sense I think that the function of this palace is to create unity and syncretism of a reality otherwise dangerously polarized by mass media (Fig. Screenshot showing me using an old software from my university period in the 1990s. Having properly learned all the drawing commands I was able to use the same software to design the palace).

PALACE 09/12 This palace has been so far created using Autocad R14, a dated CAD program from the 1990s. After having lost any hope to realize it physically for a time, living in a one room apartment in the ugly Stockholm suburbs I began to actually design a video-game through which people could virtually explore it. Using Unity 3D I created a virtual that was rather acceptable yet it could not handle all the textures corresponding to the month productions of my other works. Also users like in video-games would rush through the content, especially the written one, taking a bit more time absorbing audio-visuals. I then understood how volatile and not appropriate this interactive way of navigating through the palace was. Perhaps some tweaks might have given a different virtual experience yet I decided I would better wait for more computational power and a more versatile video-game engine to perhaps one day attempt this task again (Fig. Screenshot showing my oldest son testing out an early version of the video-game I had created. He was a great inspiration for me especially after he got into playing video-games. Playing absorbed most of his late childhood given that in the early childhood he had to mostly comply to my policy of keeping outdoor and on the move as much as possible, a type of education my wife did not pursue after the divorce).

PALACE 10/12 If I would have been allowed, I would have had both the physical and mental energy to devote my entire life to the construction of such a palace. If this would have happened however I wouldn't have had any more time to actually generate the content which should have fitted within it. In this respect I kept the building of this palace virtual and it has been replaced by a more enigmatic work, a box that if unlocked can in fact guide the archaeologists of the future to set up the actual palace and experience the actual magic that perhaps the iron cube that was built instead of it does not really provide (Fig. Screenshot of an early prototype I had developed with the same idea of just positioning it in the landscape rather than enforcing my palace on it. I thought of some kind of a seed which could have potentially disclose into a flower. This prototype was actually conceived for a terrain in the island of Monte Isola where I thought of locating it as some sort of showroom and time capsule of my life project. The hexagonal shape within the capsule offered six different triangular sections in which six different projects could be viewed. The idea of a vehicle without any actual link to the ground was not only a way to build in whatever terrain but also reflected my idea of my life-stowing work as some sort of an ark facing catastrophic changes ahead).

PALACE 11/12 By fleeing Scandinavia to attempt to construct my palace back in Italy I was sure to be at home and less under attack by secular and dry academics despising any form of spirituality yet themselves representing the new priesthood with their canons, dogmas and imposed ethics. The result was however quite different than expected and even in my homeland folk started despising my idea. At this point I considered moving with my family in one of the many empty churches for sale in the Netherlands and to decorate these churches with adapting my works to them. This was however not possible given that these churches are considered monuments and have to be kept as such. My bitter experience with the Italian fascist representatives trying to sabotage my plan later turned me against any form of conformism both academic and religious. I started seeking for a more Stoic kind of spirituality adhering to the building of the cube as a geometric perfection that can cut through adversities (Fig. Screenshot of one of the many abandoned churches for sale in the Netherlands. The very one I was looking at with my girlfriend was located in the very dynamic and culturally vivid city of Arnhem where perhaps my life project would have received a better reception than the violent attempt of sabotage I received in Italy after fully agreeing with the authorities on how to go about).

PALACE 12/12 In an ideal exhibition which is actually inspired by the palace itself, the palace should be presented as a video-game projected in one of the side rooms to the main hall. The setting should be that of typical gamer, with perhaps a comfortable office table and all the props to play such as headphones and a computer mouse but even potentially some virtual reality glasses and gloves that could enable the viewer to virtually explore the palace in its entirety. Several VR headset in this respect could be hanging on the dedicated wall and the space in front could be utilized to access the virtual palace as much as I can access it in my brain (Fig. Rendering of the ideal exhibition with the wall where the video-game of the palace should be projected, highlighted in red. This wall would reproduce the already existing reproduction of the exhibition. By entering the virtual room corresponding to the room where the gamer is exploring the virtual world, he or she would see his or herself. Several users could also use the environments to play out many of the works that ought to be played within it such as the organ with the musical sheet or the dreams that can be recited from the altar. Beside this performative aspect the times I showed the video-games to others they thought they were indeed entering someone's brain, exploring the different sections and becoming neurons going from one memory type to another).