Systems of Systems, Paolo Cirio's solo show at Persano Gallery, 2019.
Paolo Cirio solo exhibition at Giorgio Persano Gallery in Turin, Italy.
May 24 - July 26, 2019.

Paolo Cirio’s solo show Systems of Systems reflects on his informational artworks in relation to the ontologies of conceptual art.

In this survey exhibition, Cirio presents new and former artworks addressing current socio-economic information systems. Through analytical, interventionist, or utopian models, Cirio reformulates information theory rooted in early conceptual art and introduces the flowchart as an artistic medium, a visual form and concept for contemporary art. Cirio’s works in the age of algorithms, big data, and ubiquitous networks addresses the aesthetics, politics, and philosophy of information technology impacting all aspects of our society on a global scale.

Beyond examining existing systems, Cirio’s creations are further systems inserted into the networks forming society today. The flowcharts of Cirio’s systems depict the power of creation, knowledge, and agency in the information society. Cirio’s flowcharts became aesthetic objects, images of operations within networks of technological, financial, cultural, and social systems.

The schematic, instrumental, and functional character of the flowchart is the quintessential portrayal of the inexorable technocratic order encircling contemporaneity. The visual language of the flowchart circumnavigates the pictorial image and becomes the relevant iconographic imagery of the information age.

Cirio’s work continues the trajectory of conceptual art that considers systems of information for aesthetic and social inquiries. In particular, Cirio refers to the fifty years after the coining of Systems Aesthetics in 1968, and the following exhibitions Information at MoMA and Software at Jewish Museum in 1970. With the new artwork Foundations in the central space of the gallery, Paolo Cirio identifies an aesthetics and history related to information systems increasingly interrelating with social fields. Giorgio Persano Gallery offers the ideal venue for Cirio’s mid-career survey, given the gallery’s decades-long involvement in conceptual art as well as showcasing the work of the seminal artists who were featured in the Information and Software exhibitions.

Read Cirio’s statements on Systems of Systems and The Flowchart.

The artworks and the installations on display
With prints and artifacts utilizing the diagrammatic language of the flowchart, the exhibition premieres two new works, Meaning and the large-scale installation Foundations. Former works by Paolo Cirio include Sociality, Global Direct, Gift Finance, World Currency, Hacking Monopolism Trilogy, and Open Society Structures.

The monograph
In conjunction with the Systems of Systems exhibition, the new publication Flowcharts features Paolo Cirio’s most crucial artworks utilizing flowcharts as meta-medium. This monograph documents Cirio’s art through hacking, activism, and intellectual engagement from his early work in 2002 to new works produced for this solo exhibition.

Artworks presented in Systems of Systems

New artworks:
Foundations, 2019
Meaning, 2019

Former artworks:
Sociality, 2018
Global Direct, 2014
World Currency, 2014
Gift Finance , 2010
Open Society Structures, 2009
Hacking Monopolism Trilogy Flowcharts, 2005-2011
Artworks in the monograph:
The artworks in display at the exhibition Systems of Systems and the following artworks:

Daily Paywall, 2014
Loophole for All, 2013
Art Commodities, 2013
Flowcharts sketches, 2004-2002

Captions of the artworks:

2019. Inkjet on clear film.
This artwork reflects on the aesthetics and ontologies of conceptual art concerning social processes.

2019. Acrylic on engraved mirror glass.
This series of flowcharts outlines Cirio’s theory of Internet semiotics forming social meaning online.

2018. Digital laser prints on paper.
This artwork documents over twenty-thousand patents exposing socially hazardous information technology.

Global Direct
2014. Digital print on dibond.
This artwork outlines the idea of worldwide democracy as a utopia for the global information society.

Open Society Structures

2010. Serigraph on plexiglass.
This artwork is a triptych of flowcharts introducing the idea of algorithm drawing for outlining social values.

Gift Finance
2009. Digital print on plexiglass and embossed plastic card.
This artwork is a utopian monetary policy counterfeiting virtual money by issuing illicit Visa credit cards.

World Currency
2014. Digital print on plexiglass.
This artwork outlines a global currency through the formulation of an equation and trading algorithm.

Hacking Monopolism Trilogy Flowcharts
2005-2011. Digital print on plexiglass.
This trilogy of algorithms exploited the technical and economic vulnerabilities of three major Internet companies, Facebook, Amazon, and Google, reconfiguring the way they concentrate, misappropriate, and monetize large quantities of information and user interactions.

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