Paolo Cirio. Artist's statement. 2014.
My art practice considers how society is impacted by the distribution, organization and control of information. It seeks to embody both the conflicts and potentials inherent in the social complexity of information society.
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I work with flows of social, economic, and cognitive structures in communication networks, literally using these networks as material to create my artworks.
When working with cognitive structures, I use visual language and recontextualize information to reconfigure and reveal how we construct and perceive reality. This practice examines the management of knowledge, as well as the production of meaning and cultural values.
With economic structures, I investigate and propose economic models that challenge the creation of monetary value and its distribution. Through the creation of economic systems I focus on creative possibilities to address both the misuses and opportunities of financial instruments.
When engaging with social structures, I explore the organization of political, collective, and legal orders and attempt to create new ones. I anatomize and design protocols and policies about transparency, public participation, and forms of oppression and alienation that affect democracy.
Each critique in these three areas comprises ephemeral structures of complex materials that I assemble and perform to unveil and manipulate the flow of power dynamics among individuals, society, governments, and corporations.
In my artworks I explore the creative process of rearranging the attributes of those flows and structures, a practice that eventually affects the agents involved in these social contracts and transactions directly. As such, my work is meant to be an active social agent that generates responses and inspiration, serving as a catalyst for reflection and change among the social actors that constitute the formation of society.
Reformulations of contemporary socio-economic conditions and conflicts become my actual work. For instance, finance or mass surveillance are two such complex structures that create social conflicts globally, which can potentially be steered aesthetically through visual exposure or unconventional settings.
I often present social contradictions or constructive concepts through provocations, with subtle ironies woven throughout, that are meant to undermine conventions and hidden systems of control for proposing alternatives within accessible and seductive languages. To these ends, morality, legality, and sustainability may be sacrificed and challenged in favor of activating ethical, philosophical, and social revelations. Some artworks have featured interventions in technical and legal vulnerabilities within the as-yet uncharted boundaries of the social, legal and technological complexity of our globalized world, revealing the manifestation of power in the struggle over the control of information and its significance.
I use different methodologies to mold, stage, and illustrate informational structures and flow. My art practice can take the form of drawing Social Algorithms, the staging of Media Performances like Anti-Social Sculptures or Recombinant Fictions, as well as interventions in public space with conceptual street art.
I draw algorithms to illustrate how I created a process of intervention in the structures and how the flow of information and its dynamic has been reorganized to execute the artworks. Some of my drawings of algorithms aren't implemented, yet allude to a potential social reality that can be made possible by considering the algorithm on a large scale, therefore indicating a utopian scenario and referring to new modes of conceptualism.
I orchestrate performances through several types of informational bodies, enabling participation through global and personal media. These performances are often created through sculptures made of randomly selected individuals or sensitive information, I compose them in an unconventional manner to elicit participation from a targeted audience. These media experiments serve as a form of artistic research, through which I explore current attention economies and semiological strategies of interventions, referring to the new solutions of interventionism in media art.
Photography and painting are employed to explore the allure of visual language in campaigns that reframe and attract attention towards specific structures and topics I want to tackle. These practices and mediums refer to my belief in the power of traditional visual arts.
My art installations display my research on social, economic, and cognitive paradigms in fine art works. Within the space of an art gallery, these offline installations materially translate and document sophisticated concepts and performances. These installations capture critiques on contemporary issues in archival artifacts made with stable mediums.
Ultimately, I consider art's capacity to further public discourse on the pervasiveness of informational realities and to explore new possibilities in contemporary art.