2015 Impermanenza Video



The Impermanenza (“Impermanence”) video work is based on a previous work by the artist – an installation of the same title from 2013, comprised of three towers built with hundreds of tree sticks of decreasing sizes.[read]Again here, the video takes the original work out of its inherent stillness, lending it a new life and voice – in this case, the voice of the tree sticks, whose varying weight, density, and fall on the ground serve as the raw material of the sound score, a crucial aspect of this work.[/read]

Impermanence and around: Elena Scardanelli interviews Ferruccio Ascari[read]

Inside Restless Matter, in a process of continuous transmutation I think is very consistent with the meaning I see in the whole project, Impermanenza is transformed into a video, or actually something more: a video that is also a game, a basic but not superficial game, transforming viewers into players by stimulating them to make the towers collapse by moving the mouse: what is at stake here?
I’d rather talk about the video game later, I’m still working on it. But I can tell you something about the video. Impermanenza-video starts with a temptation, that of getting away from the fixity of the environmental installation to enter a reality of images that is totally different, that of cinema. Though starting with an identical subject, the two paths diverge, speaking different languages. The installation with all its precariousness evokes an invisible time, that of the construction and the collapses of the towers in the past, made visible by the wood scattered on the ground; and the same time it conveys the anxiety of the “not yet,” of a possible ulterior collapse, an imminent ruin. It is as if the environmental installation were suspended between a past and a future, both invisible and yet precisely for this reason capable of being “’present.” The film, instead, displays a continuous present, utterly illusory but continuously reproducible. Let me explain: Impermanenza-video is composed of a number of photographs equal to the number of the sticks that make up the towers; each photograph records the gradual construction of the towers, piece by piece; the hands that place the sticks, however, as in all stop motion films, are never seen. Perhaps it is the animation of the photographs that gives the towers an independence they would never otherwise have attained: in the film the towers grow (and un-grow) as if driven by their own volition. I think the environmental installation, presenting itself in all its precarious balance, manages to suggest the illusory character of what we call “real,” while the film, announcing its deception from the first frame, invents – precisely through the illusion of movement – its own “reality” and asks the viewer for the complicity necessary to enter that second-degree illusion that is cinema. Personally I think of the animated film as the form most at the origin of cinema, the form that proves most able to represent what I care about. I am getting very interested in the language of video games because it raises illusion and complicity to the highest levels. You ask me what is at stake: if the film illusion is at the second degree with respect to what we call “life” and if the illusion of “life” in the interaction of the video game is even higher than that of the illusion of cinema, then the video game player paradoxically risks more than life.
Sound is another important feature of this video. It is not something extraneous to the nature of the elements that make up the towers. In fact, precisely their voice provides the material for the composition: it is the voice of the individual pieces of wood, with their different weights, their different densities and the different impact on the ground when they fall. Would you tell me something about this?
As you know, from my earliest works sound has been one of the most important elements in my research. In this work, Nicola Ratti helped me to sample the “voice” of each single stick. Nicola made these recordings with the sensitivity only a musician of his caliber can have. Once each frame had been associated with the corresponding sound of each stick, editing the film was like playing an instrument, like composing sounds through the progressive composition of the visual sequences: a very captivating game I will show in an upcoming video, La freccia che colpisce il bersaglio vola per sempre (The Arrow That Hits the Target Flies Forever).[/read]

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Impermanenza. teaser, 2015

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Click here for the full video

Impermanenza, Backstage, 01’25”, 2015
This video presents, in a sequence of very short scenes, the consecutive development stages of Impermanenza (“Impermanence”), from its conception in Ferruccio Ascari’s countryside house and the installation at Museo Tornielli – where a first video was shot documenting the collapse of the three towers; up to the stop-motion shooting in the artist’s studio.

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