Paolo Cirio. Artist's statement. 2022.
Through creative forms of journalism and activism for public policies, Paolo Cirio investigates and intervenes into the social, economic, and cultural issues of contemporary society. His work researches the social fields impacted by technology, geopolitics, and economics in order to address human rights, inequality, justice, and democracy.
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Cirio's art embodies the ethics, conflicts, and potentials inherent to the social complexity of global society through a critical and proactive approach. Utilizing a range of formats and strategies, including hacking, public interventions, institutional critique, activism, utopia, essay, documentary, and appropriation, Cirio’s works foster public engagement, collective action, and critical thinking.
His art making and writing integrates aesthetics with political theory, media ecology, cultural politics, knowledge economy, legal studies, financial analysis, and technological scrutiny. In particular, Cirio researched on Internet privacy and surveillance, artificial intelligence, climate change, high finance, intellectual property, and militarism.
Aiming at creating and inspiring changes, responses, and inquiries through engaging, subversive, and informative art, Cirio’s artworks are social agents probing and interacting with the subject matters and their systems. His works often embody agency that extends from mere representation for social constructivism or critique.
His work elicits social innovation through the creative proposals and campaigns for regulations and public policies in the specific fields he inquiries. With a journalistic approach Cirio investigates and exposes data, systems, facts, and documents about contemporary urgent issues. These evidence that he finds, assembles, and exposes are integral part of his artworks and the basis for his creative regulatory solutions in which he invites everyone to be part, aiming to foster citizens’ agency.
Paolo Cirio employs investigation of evidence and sensitive information with his techniques of exposure, appropriation, and recontextualization in order to debunk perceptions of social and cognitive systems though art. Cirio uses appealing language, visuals, irony, interventions, and concepts to engage a wide public in works of art that aim to make contradictions visible, expose mechanisms, and dispute their processes.
Paolo Cirio artworks are often confrontational action - they elicit reactions from the subjects of the works and participation from the audience. The interactions and processes from his interventions generate online art performances. These socially engaged performances involve the public in critical debates for change driven directly by his artistic concepts and creations, which often embody personal risks and challenges.
His artistic research strives to expand contemporary art into unconventional practices, inquiries, and public. His aesthetic compositions are highly conceptual with layered and interconnected meanings, functions, and agents presented as a whole closed referential system of interrelated ideas and actions.
Paolo Cirio shows his research and intervention-based works through installations, photography, and public art both offline and online.
Cirio's art installations translate the gathering, processing, and dissemination of sensitive information into visual forms for the exhibition setting. Within the space of an art exhibition, Cirio's work shows and documents multilayered concepts, public art interventions, or ethereal time-based online performances. With prints, videos, and custom artifacts, the installations crystallize ideas, reactions, and contexts of the works taken from its original setting to a formal mode of presentation.
Cirio's art renders critiques of information systems into artifacts to visually illustrate and document social structures and aesthetic relations embedded in his work. Cirio's installation art combines images, photographs, diagrams, texts, documents, artifacts, and videos to engage the general audience in experiencing and discovering the subjects, outcomes, and significance of his interventions and concepts.