WORK 30 / CONTEXT / LECTURES

LECTURES 01/12 Originally I was only recording the lectures and presentations I would give to an actual public. Being these presentations too sporadic and anyway too formal, I began recording myself talking about my progress in my project as well as relating to the meaning I was able to make about it by reading a new book or watching a movie or getting to know the work of a different artist or retrieving other cultural analogies. Moreover in this video-recorded work I draw analogies with my artist friends but also folk who have attempted to obstruct me such as the Italian fascist politicians who have set up a campaign to attempt to sabotage the building of the project museum in the alps. On average the videos are 30 minutes long. There is no formal presentation prepared but I simply share my own desktop and use both my project as well as the Internet to discuss (Fig. Screenshot of a video-lecture I recorded in the little spare time I have left after updating my project and prior looking after my family. The software utilized is OBS, a popular screen capture adopted by video-gamers to show their gaming sections on Youtube captivating millions of teenagers including my oldest son. Differently from these Youtubers I discuss actual cultural content and the videos are never shared but in very intimate settings).

LECTURES 02/12 Whenever possible I video-recorded my public lectures. The lectures relates mostly to my project and tended to be rather repetitive, not offering any possibility to further progress in the monologue-like discussion later developed in the more private lectures. The audience of these more public lectures used to vary; from an art audience, to an on-line audience, to students or politicians assessing my work. For each lecture a new presentation with updated slides was used, quickly showing the overall progress of my works through the years. Lectures were give in Italian as well as English to venues such as the Pistoletto Foundation, the Cini Foundation, Codarts University for the Arts, Valand Academy but also more techie environments such as the Quantified self conference. After I retired from the academic scene I fully concentrated myself in giving these more private type of lectures to possibly an unknown audience or literally no formal audience but some folk accidentally stumbling in one of the lecture while exploring the project (Fig. Picture shwoing me presenting my work as part of seminars on surveillance promoted by the Hasselblad foundation. In my lectures I have been often provocative and certainly too weird for an audience expecting a certain kind of lecture with certain references and certain topics being discussed).

LECTURES 03/12 Rarely I have attempted to record a lecture without the screen-sharing set up I had established as some sort of a support to my discussion. At times the urge to share news was so compelling that I simply used my phone to record my face talking about recent events. These news particularly concerned the aggressive attacks I have received in my native alps by folk who did not want their land to be “raped” by the building of the project museum. These folk were mostly lowlanders unaware that in fact I belong to the Cimbrian minority group who has for a thousand years inhabited this land and in fact this land is my own private property. This situation anyway gave me a lot of room for thoughts. In my lecture I openly reflect on the events relating to the execution of the project museum as they unfolded (Fig. Screenshot of a rare lecture I recorded from the very site where I ultimately built my museum. At this point of time I had spent a whole year working with my own hands to accommodate my museum and the political litigations of which I was a victim forced me to keep on moving and modifying things around. While I never dared to complain, such a political malleability and intrusion became a way to go more in depth into the matter. Rather than using social media to make inflammatory statements and become also a raging politician I recorded lectures).

LECTURES 04/12 At the beginning of the project I worked in main art academies across Sweden mostly teaching international students. I tried my best to inspire and stimulate them in their creative process particularly in relation to new technologies. After the neoliberal Swedish government put a halt to international students setting outrageous entry fees, I got a chance to teach abroad such as in Poland and Russia but also later in China were I got to teach highly talented design students for a semester. After a period in the United States mostly working on other projects, upon returning to Sweden, I taught at a more formal Swedish university and immediately came to clash with the conservative environment. With time however I adapted giving exactly the same bunch of lectures for over ten semesters and fully according to the readings set by my department. I fully removed any sort of creative insight or inspiration; lecturing was only meant for students to learn a few notions and pass their final exam (Fig. Screenshot showing me in one of my many identical lectures I had to perform while at Sodertorn University. The work was highly easy and I was at last offered a contract but I refused to move on with my project. From then on the possibility to give lectures completely vanished yet I managed from there to develop and pursue my own more philosophical and insightful style).

LECTURES 05/12 After years that I was giving lectures in front of the screen, interestingly with the 2020 pandemic forcing everyone at home, this way of lecturing became more the norm. In this respect also my girlfriend, an official teacher had to keep in the attic I had built in her house as my office to do her lecturing. Only at this point I understood the pressure that contemporary teachers have, never finding the time nor being paid to prepare their lectures, always under the threat of students who are fully inquisitory and live great identity crisis and can inflame as soon as certain topic on race and gender are touched upon without the up-to-date correctness that is in fashion. While suffering from being unable to pursue my teaching, gradually I felt liberated from academics environments getting increasingly more dogmatic and conservative, where no teacher can truly express his or herself (Fig. Screenshot of Ernesto Luciano Francalanci, my contemporary art history professor who inspired me both in pursuing my life performance work as well as embracing Stoicism. Professor Francalanci was known in the Venice Art Academy for jumping on hisy desk and make his students dare beyond academic conventions. He inspired many as well as upsetted a few, and right these few in today's setting make teachers like Francalanci impossible to perform).

LECTURES 06/12 While my mother side of the family has always being quite illiterate and bigot, my father side of the family, the one who kept in my native highland even after the destructive World War I, has always been quite intellectual. My paternal grandparents worked as teachers and my highly read aunts and uncles who have matured their incredible culture as autodidact. As an example, while I as young boy was prohibited to be in contact with my father side of the family, my father in Canada lived in several Indian reserves learning to speak fluently two native Indian languages. He also made their modern drama his own and eventually ended up living in the cold streets of Montreal. Only much later when I got in contact with my lost part of the family I was able to see their positive side and to understand that perhaps because they are all so intelligent that none of them has ever succeeded in any career (Fig. Picture of my great grandmother Caterina Rigoni Stern. After being left by her husband she made a living walking over 30 kilometers across the mountains to a village on the other side of the highland where she was appointed as a teacher. Being left to no one to teach I was able to fully focus on the education of my own children, at first by roaming in nature and later by keeping up more intellectual type of discussions critical of the fashionable ideologies enforced by the school system).

LECTURES 07/12 Often I have a lot of inspirations and thoughts for things I would wish to discuss in my lectures. I then annotate on some paper or on my phone what this topic could be but when the time comes to discuss these separate topic, likely after I have given an update on my recent project improvements, the inspiration I felt to discuss it has somewhat tamed. In some occasions however I am still quite inspired and can smoothly cover all the listed topics making connections between them as in one big orations. At times however I make the mistake to lecture when I am too tired and have slept too little. In these occasions the energy and inspiration is far less but always some sort of new meaning is delivered. As for other parts of my project I can also use an oratorical trick to keep the memory of what I want to speak about vivid: I create a mental image with a combination of visual elements reminding me of the various topics I want to address during my lecture (Fig. Picture of one of my many booklets where various types of notes are taken mostly in preparation of something I wish to execute digitally such as my lectures. Often it is also the case that only right after I recorded a lecture I realize that I should have said something more about a certain thing or I did not make a straight enough point as I had wished. The viewing of several lectures then are needed to fully understand my points).

LECTURES 08/12 In between each lecture I photograph certain progress I wish to discuss. While in the small documentaries I only present these progress visually, right in the lectures I can give the audience an update of how for example I was able to figure out a way to produce the textures of the project museum in my girlfriend backyard in the Netherlands and all the various vicissitudes that came with it like neighbours complaining about the noise and me having to build a noise reducing booth around the machinery and so forth. I may here also discuss the pictures and news I get from friends about the museum back in Italy like after a snowfall or after being attacked once again by the populist politicians campaigning against it (Fig. Screenshot of the actual folder I keep in my desktop computer to collect the images I later discuss as part of my next lecture. Also the very image in the desktop becomes iconic throughout the lectures as well as all the various updates and ways of interacting with my website. As a matter of fact if I am just talking for a long time without showing any new images I then use my desktop or my website as a background. If I need to search for an image to support my speech I either have it already opened in a tab of a browser or I have to conduct an instant search preferably not using the highly marketing oriented browsers like Google).

LECTURES 09/12 My lecturing often times has been an attempt to make meaning while the house I am seating in is on fire. I have been trying to make use of a small amount of time with my kids asleep or with my girlfriend briefly taking them to the Tuesday market before having to rush back in a meeting. In this respect I had to always be aware of the actual possibility to start a lecture often taking a risk, of being interrupted by one of my kids waking up any time. Most importantly I have realized that in order to find the right and sincere tone of my lecturing I have to make sure no one is possibly listening to me. If I know for example that my girlfriend could be listening then I feel I cannot be as sincere. I worry that I might make a reflection that could upset her, even though it never occurred. The same happens during my recording of thoughts. Similarly I would be particularly embarrassed to be present when people watch through my lectures (Fig. Screenshot showing me giving a lecture just outside my tiny apartment in my native mountains. Once again I am giving the lecture holding my youngest son but I am not afraid of talking out loud as no one in the village speaks any English. In this respect also very few of the visitors of my museum there might ever get any point from all I have said and written using this language. For some time the impossibility to access English content might be a good thing).

LECTURES 10/12 As in other parts of my project also in my lecturing I am not so cautious at pointing fingers at actual individuals, mostly professors or politicians I find so hypocritical. I do however use as “virtuous” examples the works carried out by outsiders, people who like me were able to create meaningful and quite authentic projects just because they set out to fulfill their own intuitions eradicating themselves from any cultural convention and social establishment. In this respect in my total 216 recorded hours of lectures I have been most cynic about more or less powerful authorities elevating the work of those who are generally disregarded and kept aside for their strong personalities endangering the general social as well as cultural conformism. The very lecturing then can as other works be yet another medium for my political enemies to try to hit me once more (Fig. Screenshot showing me giving a lecture while with my youngest son in the living room of our Dutch house, likely waiting for my daughter to wake up from the afternoon nap. In the screenshot the work of Tehching Hsieh is visible. While extending the five years long work of the outsider performance artist, I also embarked in his same sensitivity to become somewhat of a social hermit trying not to contribute to the cultural noise but leaving a vacuum with my absence).

LECTURES 11/12 To some extent I often referred myself as an Anne Frank, the famous Jewish girl writing her diary while hiding from the Nazis in the near city of Amsterdam. In a way the setting of my lectures are slightly similar, myself being also located mostly in the Netherlands and mostly keeping in the attic where the great majority of the lectures have been recorded. The attic and myself video-recording become almost the account of a Noah at sea in my one window ark, waiting and waiting to reach a sort of a promised land or literally the mountain where I have been depositing my work. Interestingly the one window wooden attic is located at sea level just at the same height of a dike which might in fact break, with the very river that brings the water from the alps unable to go at sea especially with the increasing rise of its level. There is then a form of precarity in this lecturing and that is not only the very situation concerning a person, myself who has invested the whole of himself in the attempt to reach with the whole of his project the small valley where his ark is already awaiting for its content (Fig. Picture of my installation in the alps as seen from afar. Philosophically speaking in my rather domestic life it is this more Dionysian type of aspiration that so much nourish the inspiration that I am able to deliver throughout my lecture, the poetic love I can transmit).

LECTURES 12/12 In an ideal exhibition the lectures should be presented in one of the side rooms to the main hall. The setting should be comfortable with three desks along the dedicated wall. Each desk should have two chairs, two headphones, a monitor reproducing twelve years of my lecturing and some printed material as reference as well as paper and pencils to take notes. It would take a viewer about two weeks to go over the lecture screening of each desk and over a month to go over all the lecturing. The partition could also show me in different stages like a first stage trying to build my museum and a last stage in which I am white haired and possibly wiser (Fig. Rendering of the ideal exhibition with the wall where the lectures should be screened highlighted in red. As for many other works presented in this ideal setting, also the lectures would offer a possibility for visitors to get always new insights. They would at all times face new content also in relation to the other content being streamed elsewhere in the exhibition. The latter then would offer always new hints to reflect upon human nature at large especially in relation to the frequent use throughout the lectures of the work of ancient philosophers like Seneca, concerned more about how we should live rather than wasting time with academic quibbles or vulgar passions).