Marco Barotti’s art practice is a poetic and visual sonification of our daily habitat. His kinetic sound sculptures steer the focus on ecological issues.
Since the onset of the pandemic, concentrations of nitrogen oxides have been reduced to 50% in many industrial parts of the world. Air pollution is plummeting as governments are shutting down traffic and manufacturing activities followed by people staying at home to slow the spread of Covid-19. We are witnessing an unprecedented time in terms of reduction of industrial emissions and carbon footprint.
Inspired by this incentive Marco Barotti is working on a new project that tackles the issue of air pollution. The Plant is a kinetic sound sculpture that reveals the impact of air pollution on our environment and living organisms. Driven by real-time data generated by the World Air Quality Index, (https://waqi.info) the sculpture constantly reacts changing its shape and soundscape.
Today we recognise that the world can change on a dime. We are accidentally conducting the largest scale experiment ever seen. Are we looking at what we might see in the future if we can move to a low carbon economy? In spite of all the misery in this crisis, is there also hope for a better world?
We took our planet and life for granted, until a virus caused unimaginable devastation and hardship. The outbreak will have profound and lasting economic and social consequences in every corner of the globe. Covid-19 is a wake-up call that amplifies all the failures and cracks of our foundations. We need to embrace change, reinvent ourselves and move towards a new sustainable future.
世界空气质量指数网站 (https://waqi.info) 将实时数据输送到一系列电脑应用程序，这些程序将数据转换成高频和低频音频。这些音频频率传送给“植物”，高频率则产生随之变化的音响范围，低频率则引起“植物”雕塑的运动。
The world air quality index web site streams real-time data to a chain of computer applications that convert the data into high and low audio frequencies. These frequencies are sent to the plant. While the high ones produce the evolving soundscape, the low frequencies generate the kinetic movements of the plant sculpture.
马可巴罗蒂（Marco Barotti）的艺术通过自然和城市环境中的动态声音干预来表达一个虚构的后未来主义时期的形成。“我试图在我们的生态系统中，重现动物的虚构生物学和功能性。我试图去创造技术性的装置，灵感就来源于自然生态系统和生存其间的动物。” Barotti 之前的作品的灵感大多来源于动物的形象，比如蛤蜊、天鹅、啄木鸟，等等，而这次的作品是第一个关于植物的。维维安·索布恰克（Vivian Sobchack）首次使用后未来主义这个词，用它来形容十九世纪七十年代末八十年代初的某些科幻电影。在艺术领域，这个术语被一小群艺术家和学者用来描述基于计算机技术进行创作的艺术、诗歌和写作。Barotti 就像是这样后一种描述的“后未来主义者”。
佛朗哥·贝拉迪（Franco Berardi ）在他的后未来主义宣言中说：“我们呼吁艺术成为改变生活的力量”。马可巴罗蒂 Marco Barotti 的艺术作品不再作为仅供观览的展品出现在博物馆或画廊中，而是被融入城市环境和生态系统：只要通过与观众互动的实时变化，他们就”活着”。他的媒介艺术把生态系统中其他组成部分之间无形的关系视觉性得呈现在我们面前。技术正在改变我们的生活，也同时产生大量的科技浪费; 它在塑造我们的未来，也带来关于机器的预言式恐慌。就像 Barotti 的作品一样，它们让人感觉很熟悉，但也让人毛骨悚然，因为它们可能是我们未来的一部分。
By Yang Xinyun and Song Yu
The Plant is a kinetic sound sculpture. Imitating the shape of a leafy plant, it possesses the capacity of tracking air pollution. It was designed by Italian media artist Marco Barotti to reveal the impact of particulate on our environment and its living organisms. The sounding element of the sculpture is primarily determined by real time data generated by the World Air Quality Index website. The website streams the real-time data to a chain of computer applications that convert the data into high and low frequency sounds. The frequencies are then sent to the plant where the sculpture produces the evolving soundscape while generating the kinetic movements of the mechanical structure. The technique involved here has broken the boundary between subjects by blending ecological studies with multimedia art. The sculpture aims to engage the audience in a cross-perceptual modality, by targeting primarily vision and hearing. The sculpture’s imitative shape creates in viewers the feeling that this object could replace real plants in the future. By creating such an imaginative landscape, the sculpture also evokes a sense of fear and vigilance with the respect to the unknown consequences of man-made changes in the ecological environment.
Barotti created The Plant during and in response to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, where human activities at a global level have been minimized to contain the spread of the virus. The Italian artist noticed that concentrations of nitrogen oxides in the atmosphere has been reduced up to 50% in many industrially developed parts of the world during that time. Starting from this unprecedented reduction of industrial emissions, the sculpture is a reflection on the relationship between humans and their environment. Its goal is to raise awareness about ecological issues through the emotional experience of art. It challenges people to think outside their limited and most immediate horizon of experience to feel the implications at a larger level.
“I tried to create tech machines which are inspired by our ecosystem and the animals that live within it”
In Marco Barotti’s art, a fictional post-futurist world takes shapes through kinetic sound interventions in natural and urban environments. “I tried to recreate the fictional biology and functionality of the animals within our ecosystem. I tried to create tech machines which are inspired by our ecosystem and the animals that live within it.” Barotti’s previous artworks took inspiration from animal such as clams, swans, and woodpeckers. This is the first one to draw on the flora. Vivian Sobchack coined the term post-futurism to describe certain science fiction films from the late 1970s and early 1980s. In art, the term is used by a small collective of artists and academics to describe projects of computer based art, poetry and writing. Barotti appears to be this latter variety of post-Futurist.
In his “Post-Futurist Manifesto,” Franco Berardi writes: “We demand that art turns into a life-changing force.” The works of Marco Barotti are no longer exhibited in museums or galleries only, but are integrated into the urban environment and ecosystem: They are “alive” insofar as they change in real time by interacting also with the audience. His media art makes visible the invisible relationships with the other parts of the ecosystem . Technology is changing our lives, while at the same time generating vast amounts of tech waste; it is shaping our future, but at the same time is creating prophecies of mechanical fears. Just like Barotti’s works, those fears are familiar and frightening, because they could be part of our future.
马可巴罗蒂（Marco Barotti）是居住在柏林的意大利媒体艺术家。在锡耶纳爵士学院（Siena Jazz Academy）学习音乐后，他专注于将声音与视觉艺术相结合。他正在研究如何将声音制作和塑造成不同的设计实体，以及哪些带有含义的声音具有更广泛的环境意义。
Marco Barotti is an Italian media artist based in Berlin. After music studies at the Siena Jazz Academy, he focused on merging sound with visual art. He is investigating how sound waves can be crafted and molded into multiple designed entities and which implication sound has in a wider environmental sense.
His art practice is a poetic and visual sonification of our daily habitat and an innovatively designed sounding board for the ecological questions ahead. His work is driven by the desire to invent an artistic language in which a fictional post-futurist era is expressed through kinetic sound interventions in nature and urban environments.
His creations put the invisible relationships with other components in the ecosystem to the front and arouse our senses and abilities to listen and feel where we are and what is at stake. In his striking visual designed minimalistic bodies, data surpass the boundaries of data channels and manifest materially into ubiquitous estrange yet familiar kinetic beings.