Bianco Shock & Rolenzo
SoCoD-19 is an artistic project created by Biancoshock and Rolenzo.
The two artists, using the Databending technique, tell about this particular historical moment through a flow of thoughts and emotions that give life to what they define an ‘emotional blackout’.
The global system has fallen ill, drastically slowing down its rhythms and giving back to people the time to stop and listen to themselves. In a social system based on frenzy emotional states are inevitably repressed. The social distancing imposed to limit the viral contagion becomes a vehicle to unleash an equally contagious emotional blackout.
SoCoD-19 is an open story of people who are experiencing a common but intimately different blackout, which awakens oppressed emotions such as fear, loneliness, anxiety, regrets, and which leads to think about the need of change and a new scale of values.
Through the Databending technique, the algorithm manipulates photography, processing the alphanumeric code that composes it and inserts the user’s emotional blackout into this source code. The result is a digital blackout that alters the image by creating a personal portrait digitally disturbed by one’s emotional state.
The STREAM webpage shows on one hand a flow of portraits ‘infected’ by this historical period, on the other the source codes of photos containing the emotional blackouts that flow incessantly. We obtain a flow of emotional experiences, which will remain in the future to witness an emotional pandemic that has democratically broken the balance of the world and its inhabitants.
Finding meaning in the artwork
SoCoD-19 是一个艺术项目，其创作是由两位意大利艺术家 Biancoshock 和 Rolenzo 合作完成的。正如标题所明确表明的，该项目是对 covid-19 疫情爆发的一种反馈。当人们被困在家里或被限制在封闭的空间里时，人们的情感也被封锁和压抑起来。这个项目旨在为观众提供一个宣泄情绪的出口。
可以说，这个项目偏概念性而非美学性的。作为一件数字艺术作品，它的虚拟成分是实现它的必要步骤。Rolenzo 把数字制作作为自己作品的核心部分，他认为编码和编程是“创造新事物”的强大工具。在某种程度上，数字技术允许艺术家创造新的形式的同时，去重新诠释我们的文化。在 HTML METAPHYSICAL 这个作品中，Rolenzo 再现了康定斯基（Kandinsky）的《点、线和面》(点、线和面)中的某种情感，并加入了马格利特（Magritte）在其超现实主义绘画中的一些主题风格。康定斯基能够通过绘画中最简单的元素来表达不同的情感，而马格利特的超现实主义则触及了潜意识和梦幻的内容。Rolenzo把他的艺术视为个人观念，尽管这方面并不意味着他所寻找的纯粹是个人的，没有社会意义的:这是完全相反的，正如 SoCoD-19 所清楚地显示的那样。在他的作品中，Biancoshock用创造性的方式来解决社会问题并提出批评，特别是他以一种容易理解和有趣的方式，将街道的使用作为他的主要媒介选择。例如，在《V.I.P| VERY IMPORTANT POVERTY》中，他通过描述一个睡在红地毯上的无家可归的人，创造了一个狂欢式的倒装——就好像我们是从一个豪华派对上看到的场景。尽管路人经常停下来讨论、欣赏和拍照，但实际上并没有人试图去帮助这个人。在这里，Biancoshock 将观众置于一面镜子前，展示了我们在选择完全忽视这个需要帮助的人面前的虚伪。
当数字访客单击 SoCoD-19 页面中的“加入”按钮时，他们被要求自拍并自由编写一些文本。接着通过数据弯曲技术对图片进行“处理和再创造”，然后将其包含并显示在“流”页面中。数据弯曲通过以 Rolenzo 通常设计的特定方式操纵图像的源代码来扭曲图像。“我唯一的选择是”，Rolenzo 说，“防止人们使用摆拍（抓拍/自拍）和精修的照片，迫使观看者实时使用设备的相机。”这种无法控制的条件为访客表达真实感受打开了一扇门。 甚至是在疫情期间，尽管社会规范发现了无法接受的恐惧或不确定性表达，但 Rolenzo 和 Biancoshock 的最终目标是帮助观众克服这种情绪低落并释放情绪。
对情感表达的强调将 SoCod-19 与希腊化雕塑联系在一起，这是西方艺术史上最早开始将注意力集中在情感及其表达上。在《拉奥孔》中，神话人物和他的儿子完全被蛇缠绕着：雕塑中通过夸张的面部表情和身体动作来强调疼痛、绝望、恐惧和悲伤。或许数字艺术并不是一种全新的东西，而是一种新的工具，它让艺术家们在现代世界里做一些传统上被视为某些历史轨迹重要方面的事情。
就像现代的《拉奥孔》一样，在疫情期间，我们发现自己被蛇包裹着：我们面临死亡，目睹了许多人丧生，我们处于不知所措的时刻。通过存储我们的实时化身， SoCoD-19 达到了亚里士多德传统上讨论的悲剧效果：宣泄。在寻找被压抑的情绪时，我们净化并治愈了我们的灵魂。
By Lin Yixian and Zhong Jiachen
SoCoD-19 is an art project whose creation is a function of joining forces of two Italian artists: Biancoshock and Rolenzo. As the title clearly suggests, this project is a response to the rise of the pandemic of Covid-19. When people were stuck at home, confined in enclosed spaces because of lockdowns, also their feelings were somewhat blocked and repressed. This project aims at providing viewers with an emotional outlet as to vent their emotions.
“Digital technologies allow artists to create new forms while reinterpreting our culture”
The project, one can say, is more conceptual in its nature rather than aesthetic. As a work of digital art, its virtual component constitutes a necessary step toward its realization. Rolenzo, who places digital production at the core of his practice, considers coding and programming as powerful tools to “create new things.” In a way, digital technologies allow artists to create new forms while reinterpreting our culture. In HTML METAPHYSICAL, Rolenzo recaptures a certain sensibility that we can find in Kandinsky’s Dots, Lines and Planes, enriched with some of the themes addressed by Magritte in his surrealist paintings. Kandinsky was capable of expressing different emotions through the use of the simplest elements of painting, while Magritte’s surrealism touched upon subliminal and dreamy content. Rolenzo sees his art as distinctly conceptual, though this aspect does not imply that what he’s searching for is purely personal and without social significance: It is quite the opposite, as SoCoD-19 clearly shows. In his work, Biancoshock uses creativity to address social concerns and raise criticism, in ways that are accessible and playful in particular thanks to the use of the street as his primary medium of choice. For example, in VIP | VERY IMPORTANT POVERTY, he creates a carnivalesque inversion by presenting a homeless person sleeping on the street though on a red carpet – as if we’re looking at the scene from a fancy party. Though passersby often stopped by the piece to discuss, appreciate, and take photos, virtually no one has tried to help this person. Biancoshock here puts viewers in front of a mirror, showing our hypocrisy in choosing to completely ignore an individual in need.
When the digital visitors click the “join” button in SoCoD-19’s page, they are required to take a selfie and to freely write some text. Then, the picture is “processed and recreated” through the technique of databending, and then included and displayed in the “stream” page. Databending distorts the image by manipulating the source code of the image in particular ways that Rolenzo has generally designed. “The only choice I had,” Rolenzo says, “to prevent people from using staged and photoshopped photos was to force viewers to use the device’s camera in real time.” This impossibility of control opens up the door to the expression of true feelings, in spite of social norms that find unacceptable expressions of fear or uncertainty, even at the time of the pandemic. Rolenzo’s and Biancoshock’s final goal is to help viewers overcome such an emotional blackout and release their emotions.
The emphasis on emotional expression connects SoCod-19 with Hellenistic sculpture, which first in the history of western art started to focus on emotions and their expression. In Laocoön, the mythological character and his sons are completely wrapped in snakes: Pain, despair, fear, and sadness are emphasized in the sculpture through exaggerated facial expressions and bodily movements. Perhaps, rather than something radically new, digital art is in effect a new tool that allows artists to do, in the modern world, something that has been traditionally an important aspect of certain historical trajectories.
“In looking for our repressed emotions, we purify and heal our souls”
Just like modern Laoöcons, during the pandemic, we have found ourselves wrapped in snakes: We have faced death, we have witnessed the loss of many lives, we have found ourselves in a moment where we did not know what to do. By storing our real-time avatar, SoCoD-19 reaches the effect of tragedy as traditionally discussed by Aristotle: catharsis. In looking for our repressed emotions, we purify and heal our souls.
The bond between human and digital: this is the starting point of my works. I have always been passionate about programming since I was a teenager, and my interpretation of the word “language” as a code, has always been quite literal : a language is used to share, communicate, transmit experiences, and this is what I try to do through my works.
Biancoshock is an Italian public artist.
His artistic project began in 2004 after a previous ten-year experience in the Graffiti world. This background spontaneously led him to live the city as a stage for his artistic actions.
From the beginning, the artist expresses himself mainly through independent urban installations, different from each other in terms of technique, materials and subjects, but united by the same intent: to offer a starting point for reflection – sometimes ironically, other times provocatively – to the passer-by, trying to emotionally disturb his daily routine.