72 Hour Post Fight

«Our music celebrates the coefficient of randomness that is unleashed by uniting multiple minds.»

72 Hour Post Fight is an experimental project between two Milan-based producers and musicians. The group, whose debut eponymous album was released in 2019, exhibits a range of expertise and sounds; there’s guitarist Carlo Luciano Porrini (aka Fight Pausa) who was previously part of the emo band, LEUTE; Luca Bolognesi (aka producer, Palazzi D’Oriente); saxophonist Adalberto Valsecchi and drummer, Andrea Dissimile, who was also a part of LEUTE. It’s safe to say, then, that 72 Hour Post Fight have a pretty solid grasp of the music scene they’ve since (re)entered as a quartet. Their debut album introduced the music scape that has come to define their approach (an approach best described as just seeing where things end up going – as the band explain to NR below). Pairing ambience with moments that err towards the disconcerting, it’s an ode to the diverse background each band member brings – and their desire to see what they can create out of that. More than that though, their sound communicates the wide-ranging music each member grew up listening to – for example, friends since school, Carlo and Luca dreamed of forming a punk rock band – but be under no illusion that 72 Hour Post Fight are following in the footsteps of any one band or genre. The band released a remix version of the album also in 2019, which is a beautifully layered reinterpretation of what 72 Hour Post Fight first debuted. Their 2020 EP, NOT / UNGLUED, meanwhile, listens like a slick, tightened-up follow up to 72-HOUR POST FIGHT – a testament to the band’s hunch that working together might pay off. Now, they’re gearing up for the release of their latest single at the end of March. Made of Clay takes a slightly different direction to the album and EP, but it remains characteristic of their output so far. It’s a slow burner, with separate elements coming into focus over the course three minutes – 72 Hour Post Fight seem in no rush to hastily reach a crescendo, and their music is all the better for it. 

NR: There’s a lot of diverse sounds in your music, how do you coalesce elements of jazz, electronic, and so on?

72PHF: We actually don’t combine them at all! Our music certainly derives in large part from already existing music and genres, but every reference is purely coincidental and based on our musical backgrounds. On our first album the compositions were mostly based around sampling and saxophone, so this made our music easily comparable to jazz, hip hop and electronica. With this second [upcoming] album, the backbone of the songs is songwriting, and none of us are really purely jazz or hip hop musicians so other inspirations shine through as well. This choice of redirecting our writing approach made us stray even further away from a canonical classification of genres.

«If we had to express it in a word, we play non-background music – and in this container there is potentially room for everyone.»

NR: What can you share about your single, Made of Clay

72PHF: Made of Clay is a simple song. It’s very emotional and thrusting, and it has a certain decisiveness about it that we fell in love with. It started from a guitar riff that sounds taken straight out of our childhood’s CDs, and ended up being something new. Adalberto wrote this beautiful saxophone melody that narrates throughout the song, and Andrea came up with a simple and effective drum pattern for the last section while recording that really brought the song together (we actually had to cut our applause and cheering at the end of the take!) It’s not always this easy, but this time it was.

NR: Going back to the different elements in your music as well as references to indie and rock in Made of Clay. What do you think of categorising your music within a genre? Is that important, or not?

72PHF: The categorisation of our music is an external, ex-post fact that happens when we look at our music finished, with fresh eyes. We feel that trying to classify a song while it’s still being worked on could trap us in an uncomfortable comfort-zone, where we kind of know ahead of time the logical next steps to take to make it work.

«We are overthinkers by nature, so we tend to manufacture this randomness and chaos to give us the freedom to experiment and let our influences unravel, creating what we need to communicate, instead of what we should. Made of Clay was born exactly out of this need.»

NR: Besides 72 Hour Post Fight, you’ve all been part of other projects or played different kinds of music. How do you collaborate together as a band? 

72PHF: Coming from different backgrounds is a precious part of our creative journey. We all have different tastes in music, and it often happens to drive back home after rehearsals listening to some new music we recommended to each other. This is stimulating both our friendships and our creativity. Indeed, the writing of our last album has been a back and forth of ideas, constantly sending audio files and feedbacks, always trying to keep the desire to surprise each other.

NR: What does a 72 Hour Post Fight live show look like? (Or sound like!)

72PHF: Our shows are very energetic and improvisational. We have a lot of fun, but we also have to constantly be on the same page. Instruments take over. The songs we play are alive creatures that always change on stage, based on our feelings that night and our synergy. The show is very physical in that sense, we try to create an organic and lively experience alongside the audience. If you want to get us, you have to come and see us!

NR: Thinking about the album art for your music (especially the EP, NOT / UNGLUED), would you say that 72 Hour Post Fight has a certain aesthetic? If so, how would you define that? 

72PHF: We care a lot about the aesthetic of the project. We are lucky enough to work with amazing people that help us get our ideas from a crazy, abstract input to the real thing. During the NOT / UNGLUED EP release we started working with Giorgio Cassano and Nic Paranoia for the art direction of the project. They are young and talented creative minds, and they really helped us take the project to the next stages. We had this idea of a clear flexi-disc as a cover, and we wanted to incorporate our long-time friend Francesco Mastropietro’s drawing on it, and this slowly kickstarted the idea behind the whole album art. We even managed to turn the render into the real thing! For this new round of artworks, we decided to include in the project an incredible Portuguese-American visual artist, Bráulio Amado. This is the first time we worked with someone completely outside of our team, and we’re thrilled to experience the vision of another artist who doesn’t know us personally, but only through our music.

NR: As a final question, what would you say that your music, or your work together as a band, celebrates (the theme of the magazine)?

72PHF: Our music celebrates the coefficient of randomness that is unleashed by uniting multiple minds. We feel like this is the best way we found to let our music manifest. As authors and producers, we are always very strict about our solo works, but whenever we throw an idea at the band the result it comes back with is highly unpredictable. Even if we find ourselves far from where we thought we were going to end up compositionally, the song assumes its own independence and dignity that makes it perfect. Even now, listening back to our own discography, we wouldn’t change a thing, which is really shocking for control freaks like us.


Images · 72 Hour Post Fight


«I think that’s part of the magic of a show is like, not knowing what is gonna happen.»

With the release of her 2020 EP, Ache of Victory, the singer Zsela was able to satiate an audience who had been waiting for this moment. Her voice – deep, sultry, smooth – breezily carrying the introspective five-track record along, from start to finish. Ache of Victory was a while in the making, with the artist taking her time to make it. She collaborated with the producer Daniel Aged, who’s worked with the likes of Frank Ocean, FKA Twigs and Kelala – a strong indication of the kind of sound that shapes Zsela’s EP. But Zsela’s voice is distinctively its own. If Ache of Victory fits within the current realm of R&B, it’s worth noting that the singer has previously supported the likes of Angel Olsen and Cat Power – and Zsela’s voice exudes a real soulfulness. In 2020, she joined Porches for a cover of ‘Porcelain’ by Red Hot Chili Peppers as part of the synth-pop band’s virtual tour on Instagram. And as a native of New York, Zsela’s become something of a glittering presence in the city’s fashion and art circuits. She covered Madonna’s ‘Like A Prayer’ at MoMA PS1 for New York brand, Vaquera, at their “Vaqueraoke” in 2019, and performed Tim Buckley’s ‘Song To The Siren’ alongside tracks from Ache of Victory at the Whitney Museum’s 2020 annual Art Party. The cover of Buckley’s song appears on a three-track EP, Live! (2020), alongside a rendition of Nina Simone’s ‘Don’t Let Me Be Understood’ from a 2019 performance at Zebulon in Los Angeles, and a cover of Talk Talk’s ‘I Believe in You’ from Zsela’s performance at the iconic New York venue, Joe’s Pub (take a glance at the “Notable Performers” list on the venue’s Wikipedia page if you need confirmation).

More recently, Zsela sang at Marni’s S/S ‘22 show in Milan, as part of performance composed by singer-producer Dev Hynes. Dressed as a “Marni mermaid” (as per a post on Zsela’s Instagram), the singer was accompanied by a live orchestra as she performed the song ‘Guide You Home’. But what’s next for Zsela? When the pandemic started, she found herself in Los Angeles – where she continues to live for now. She’s got a string of tour dates in the United States this spring, and has also been working on her first full-length LP. Speaking to NR over email, Zsela explains that this album will be less a continuation of Ache of Victory than about “letting go”. And on a phone call from LA, Zsela discusses taking her time with the album, the joy of performing live and her excitement for sharing new music. 

NR: You’re currently working on your first full-length album, how’s that going? Over email, you mentioned that this is about ‘letting go’, rather than being a continuation of your EP, Ache of Victory

Z: Well, it’s been a slow process. It’s finally starting pick up and things are coming together. I guess it’s kind of my brand [to take] time. It’s intentional and not intentional, because, at the same time, I’m just trying to be okay, or be better with myself with my mind and my environment – to be healthier. And that’s a slow process. At the same time, I’m so excited about the songs and I feel like, if over time I still have that drive and momentum for what I’m making, then I guess that just proves that I like them still – so I want to put them into the world. Right now, I’m seeing the light a little bit – getting things done – and that feels really exciting.

In terms of “letting go” versus continuation – with the EP, I was on such a mission to get that done because I had been sitting on those songs for a long time. Me and Daniel came up with this world of sound that we really drew from, and everything fit into that. But recently, I’ve been letting go completely because I feel that I’m happy with that introduction to me – but [also], there’s so much more that I want to let people into, about myself. And for the first time, the songs that I’m writing right now are doing that – they’re letting more out and more in. I feel that I’m letting more out through a different tone; Ache of Victory was a very strong singular tone. And this now feels like there’s more freedom; I’ve been feeling freer and less worry. Ache of Victory was wrapped up in a lot of pain; pain that I felt. So, letting go is related to that because, especially this year, we’re not out of the pandemic, and there’s so much pain. I was watching an interview with Prince where he was like, “music should uplift, only”. And hearing that, I’m like, yeah, I want to do that. We need that; I need that. 

NR: As you say, you’re taking your time and seeing how things go, but do you have a sense of how this album will work and when it’ll come to light? 

Z: I think there will definitely be new music this year. How much of it, and in what shape, I don’t know. But, talking about the album versus the EP, I’m wanting more levity in my life.

«There’s so much you can’t control and there’s so much uncertainty, but I’m chasing levity.»

And I’m doing that in this new music too, in a new way that wasn’t a priority with Ache of Victory. When I said [over email] that “fun is a priority in my creation process”, it really is for me now because making something from nothing is a beautiful experience. And to have fun with that is something I want because there’s so much else that’s part of the process that can be painful. Or, obsessive, like – “Oh my voice makes it sounds like this.” But I’m having a lot of fun with songwriting and seeing where my voice can go physically.  

NR: The theme of the magazine if ‘celebration’ – so I wonder, does that apply here, especially as you’re talking about introducing levity to your new work?

Z: Yeah, I think it really does. I think it’s very in the realm of what I’m talking about, I’m very interested in anything that we can [try] or celebrate. 

NR: When it comes to performing live, does that give you an opportunity to test out new music or to experiment with something? 

Z: When I went on my first tour, my first and only tour, I was playing songs that were already recorded. And that’s pretty normal, but right now, I’m about to go on a tour again and I think I’m gonna do a lot of new songs. I’m really excited because I’m learning that it’s a rare opportunity to be able to sing something before you’ve recorded it. When I did my first tour, I realized how much you learn from singing them and you’re like, “Oh – I probably would have done it like this.” So I’m excited to be able to try things with these songs before they’re actually finished. Especially because, with what I’ve been saying about trying new things and sharing more of myself,

«with these songs, I feel like I want them to breathe a bit in a way that I can learn from.»

I’m really excited for them live; I can already feel them live. Before, with Ache of Victory, I wasn’t really thinking about that as much when I was making them. But with making these new songs, it’s been more like, “Oh my god, I’m really excited to play this one.” 

NR: How does performing at fashion shows, versus gallery spaces, or on tour compare? 

Z: I don’t know how to compare – like, playing at a church, versus a bar, versus a wedding I didn’t know was a wedding, the Whitney? I don’t know. There’s no real comparison. But I think that’s part of the magic of a show is like, not knowing what is gonna happen. And being in different environments and being able to shift the energy – that’s exciting to me. 

NR: So what is the joy, or pleasure, of performing live for you?

Z: Singing into people’s eyes.


Creative Direction · JADE REMOVILLE
Special Thanks to · MIGUEL AVALOS

Yis Kid


Photography · YIS KID
Photography Assistant · LARA METCALF
Fashion Assistant · ELIA RUIZ
Location · GAS STUDIO

Aytekin Yalcin

Sweet Dreams


Photography · AYTEKIN YALCIN
Make up · Assistant LORENZO RUSSO
Hair stylist · Assistant FLAVIO CHIVILÒ
Studio assistant · FEDERICO PAGANI

Alexandra Von Fuerst

«whenever there is a human, I approach them as if they were a sculpture. And whenever there is an object, I approach it as if it was living.»

For Alexandra Von Fuerst, photography is a way to explore the relationships between the human body and nature, and how the two are more inextricably bound than we may think. As she explains to NR, her work celebrates the ways in which nature communicates with us. And as the title of her series, Dialogue with Nature (2021) suggests, Von Fuerst uses her practice to share these conversations with her audience. But how does she define this voice that the natural world uses? It is fundamentally feminine, in the sense that it simultaneously conveys empathy and strength. The idea of femininity is another recurring theme in Von Fuerst’s work, but the ‘feminine’, it should be stated, does not necessarily imply gender. In Godification of Intimacy (2021) – Von Fuerst’s first foray into shooting male nudity – the photographer investigates how the body can be elevated beyond what we see anatomically. Von Fuerst explores this idea through the form of a triptych, where the same image is reproduced in different colours – the ‘real’ image positioned alongside two inverted interpretations. In this way, Von Fuerst shows the viewer the ethereal, otherworldly side of her subjects – literally, the ‘Godification’ of the body. 

In her work, the photographer’s vivid use of colour is not just an artistic device; it is a crucial element in her investigation into the human form and nature. Explaining below how she came to develop her practice, Von Fuerst speaks of the emotional qualities that colour can have. The photographer is interested in how colours can make her feel, and how the colours themselves feel; and this is a question that she extends to the viewer. Just as Von Fuerst’s work is a conversation with nature, colour, and form, it’s also about creating a dialogue with her audience.

Across her art series, personal and commissioned editorial work, Von Fuerst is not afraid to shy away from subjects and images that some might find difficult. The ‘taboo’, as she calls it, is another of Von Fuerst’s interests; crucially, how can we make the taboo beautiful, and will that allow us to confront and overcome unspoken fears? The photographer handles this with extreme delicacy (even if, as she says, she can be full-on), creating work that is gorgeously rich, without exploiting the difficult conversations that she hopes we can have. 

NR: First of all, how does the idea of ‘celebration’ tie into your work?

AVF: Honestly, all my work is about celebration because it’s about elevating everything that I shoot, that I see, and that I’m trying to empower. In particular, I want to celebrate the things that we don’t want to look at, like imperfections. Not only skin imperfections, but things that are much more deeply hidden that we don’t really want to look at because it’s a little bit uncomfortable. For example, this could be blood, or waste, or death. And I think, for me, this is very important, because celebrating and elevating something that feels taboo, or that you don’t feel comfortable about, is giving more meaning to live itself. At least, that’s how I see it. I think that, for me, this is my celebration: a celebration of the imperfections, of everything that is a little bit hidden, and it’s also a celebration of life.

«I think that’s what I care about, making the uncomfortable beautiful, so that it really elevates it to the same as everything else.»

NR: What really strikes me about your work is your distinctive use of colour, and the way you compose your work. How did you go about honing that style? 

AVF: I think in terms of the visual style, I knew I couldn’t do it any different. It’s funny, because when I started, I felt differently – I was trying to emulate the photographers I really liked. For example, I always had big respect for Mapplethorpe and his study of the body, or Guy Bourdin’s use of colour.  And the photographer duo, Hart Lëshkina, were working a lot while I was at university, so I was looking at them too. And I was trying to [recreate that] but it didn’t happen, and I was like, “goddammit, it doesn’t come out that way – it always comes out bright, pop, a lot of shapes.” So, I was like, “why isn’t it working out? Why isn’t it working that way? Why does it come out completely different from what I want?” And so, at that point, I wanted something else, but I decided to go with the things that actually came out which was very colourful and very bright. So, I learned how to convey that and dived more into shape and colour and tried to dig deeper into how to make it more honest to myself. From something that was initially very pop at the beginning, it became more grounded. Instead of being just colours, it became more about what colour could represent. If you use colour in a certain way, you can really feel it. And I like the idea that people can feel the colour and feel the image. Rather than just the form, I was really trying to feel that emotion, you know; colour for me is this emotional response about how I see reality, in a sense. So, it became a very instinctual, finding the emotional side of myself, which I would also say is a more feminine side.

«Instead of trying to give it a shape, I allowed the shape to show itself.»

NR: That’s really fascinating to hear. Actually, one of the series that I wanted to ask you about is Godification of Intimacy and the striking use of colour there. When you talk about how colour can capture emotion, is that what you’re talking about when you look at this series?

AVF: Yes. I think in general, I don’t say “this is going to be pink.” I really go with if it feels pink, or it feels another way. Godification of Intimacy was my first time shooting male nudity. It was just me and two models in an empty space, and I really wanted them to just interact and to move and to have that sensation of dancing and comfort. And it was something very new for me because it wasn’t how I would usually work, and so it was really about allowing it to grow and to move and it was such a beautiful experience; it was such an intense experience as well. There was a connection between the three of us and there was nothing else – it was just that moment and that sharing. So, I think the colours somehow are very elevated because that moment was also very elevating, which is what I wanted, in the sense that ‘Godification’ is about the higher state of ourselves, rather than just seeing the body. I’m not talking about the body, I’m talking what is behind the body, what is beyond the body. So, the colours are almost as if I’m diving into a spiritual expression of the body, depicting the energy around it, rather than just what I see. And the triptych, for example, is an evolution from how seeing it plainly to an expanded point of view where it’s not about the body anymore. It’s not about the nudity, it’s really about whatever comes beyond that.

NR: That’s really interesting, especially your point about moving beyond the body. Again, something I’d like to ask is that, as well as the body, objects with an anthropomorphic quality often feature in your work. Do you approach the body and objects differently as your subjects? 

AVF: Not really. I mean, whenever there is a human, I approach them as if they were a sculpture. And whenever there is an object, I approach it as if it was living. So, for me it’s kind of the same. It’s different in that you enter differently because you’re trying to give more movement to one and less to the other, right? And you want to bring them to being on the same level; I don’t want to give more, or less, life to one of them, I’m just trying to make them equal.

NR: Your work explores the notion of femininity in different ways. How does your use of the natural world allow you to convey a sense of femininity?

AVF: I’ve always felt that there was such a feminine voice within every aspect of reality; it’s the organic, nature, and the body. Even shooting male nudity, for more it’s about this female voice, or softer side. It’s not necessarily soft because being a woman can mean very strong and empowering. But it’s much more fluid, more empathic and understanding – but it’s also direct, too. A big part of what I’m trying to get into is really giving a voice to the organic because I feel like there is so much depth there. It’s just a different sort of communication in a way – that’s why A Dialogue with Nature (2021) was born. Because for me, it’s the natural, organic aspects of the everyday. Nature talks to us – it is trying to communicate something to us. It’s just that the way they do it is very different – but I find it very feminine. You can stand in front of a tree, a plant, a rock or a mineral and see how complex it is. When you look at how many shapes it has – you could stay there for a day just looking at it. And I think all of these aspects of this organic material, they are actually talking even though they’re not speaking; they don’t have a voice as we would perceive it. 

NR: In our correspondence, you mentioned that you prefer doing interviews over Zoom rather than email because it feels more personal. I read that during the [2020] lockdown you made yourself available for people, strangers, to call you. Why was that important for you? 

AVF: When lockdown came – I’m a person who is happy being alone, but I realised how even for me at that point, it was stressful. All of a sudden, nobody wanted to communicate with anybody else because there was so much fear. I think it became so important to just try to go the other way like, let’s keep it open, let’s keep a dialogue. I thought to do the best with what we have and stay in a more positive space. I said to myself, I have time I don’t have like any rush, and I can consecrate some time to someone who was having a bad day or is having a good day.

«I think communication enables you to let go of fear because all of a sudden, [you realise that] I’m not alone or, it wasn’t that hard to talk or, it wasn’t that scary. And it also brings a human perspective.»

NR: You mention there about how communication can allow you to let go of fear, and I wanted to tie that back in with what you said earlier about celebrating the taboo. Do you see your work as shining a light on things that people might fear in a beautiful way, so that we can breakdown the fear of the taboo?

AVF: I really hope so – that’s the sense of it, which is that I’d like people to try to look at fear and not reject it. To actually look at it with more love and more joy. I know that, sometimes, it’s very direct; as my mother would say, you need to be a little bit more delicate in the way you’re dealing with things. Sometimes, I’m being direct, but my intentions are to make [the taboo] more accessible and more discussed. I mean, my work is not just about the picture; it’s about being able to start a discussion or create dialogue, to create accessibility. I think, for now, I’m really just at the beginning of this process, but I’d really like it to become a window for people to really have a discussion to start seeing things with more acceptance. And I think the moment that discussions are open, the moment communication is open, ignorance [towards the taboo and fear] disappear because all of a sudden, you’re facing it. You’re talking about it, you’re solving it. So, I think communication is very, very important.


Images · Alexandra Von Fuerst



Speculating about reality while adding a dose of folklore and mythology

The skeletal remains of black pine trees stand like soldiers in command. Their charcoaled bodies remain rigid, stuck into the damaged soil, decomposing but not entirely disappearing. The installation looks as if a wildfire gorged its craftsmanship before the viewing, but every bit of it speaks intentionality. Every part of it defines the ethos of Superflux.

Founded by Anab Jain and Jon Ardern in 2009, Superflux calls itself a boundary-defying design and experiential futures company whose research and art practice range from climate change to algorithmic autonomy, from future of work to more-than-human politics. The installation above testifies to this statement. Its title, Invocation for Hope, overviews a slice of the bigger picture the practice paints. “How do we move forward in this shattered landscape?” they ask. Rather than just posing questions, they turn to art and philosophy to fuel the minds of their viewers, pulling them into their works to start acting.

Speculative realism has catered to the well of influences the practice draws from, but lately, they have been tapping into the mysticism of fantasy and folklore, the parallel universes that deflect the reflection of the present world. From here, the practice toys with less grounded ideas, but always instilling the plurality of futures – in the plural form to signal the abundance of what the future may be – and presenting the depth of the symbiosis of the beings, both living and non-living.

Invocation for Hope only identifies one of the myriads of thought-provoking works sculpted by Superflux. With NR, the practice opens up that while this piece may be an introduction to how they work, it only scratches the surface of what runs in the creative minds behind the project and the urgent calls towards the public to do something – more than nothing – to the present climate crisis.

NR: Part of your ethos lies in translating future uncertainty into present-day choices. Is it intentional to choose ‘choices’ over solid responses, answers, and actions towards the global questions and demands?

S: Yes, absolutely. The future is plural – there are many possible futures, and they are all unfolding right now, as we respond to your question. Each and every decision we make today affects our futures, and therefore we see them as choices we have today. For instance, politicians and big businesses can choose to stop coal mines but by choosing not to, they are directly affecting our collective futures and those of all of our future generations.

In our work, we scan large trends as well as weak signals to present the sheer breadth of the complex, interconnected uncertainties that lie ahead of us. By taking time to consider these complex uncertainties and how they might be, we invite decision-makers to consider the choices they have today. 

I would love to learn more about your first-ever solo exhibition, Subject to Change. The show “invites viewers to remain open to multiple possibilities and navigate the uncertainty caused by imminent climate catastrophe with active hope.” What multiple possibilities concerning the climate catastrophe are there for the viewers to pick up and use to take action?

Subject To Changeis a collection of Superflux’s four recent works – addressing a range of present-day challenges – from climate crisis to ambient technologies, political unrest, and culture wars. 

In Trigger Warning we attempt to surface the widespread civic unrest caused by algorithmically mediated networks, clashing culture wars, and warring ideologies. The fast-paced journey through a city of memes is a critical commentary on where our networked culture has brought us to.

Building on this, our more recent film The Intersection and its accompanying artifacts take us to the end where the seductive power of the metaverse, algorithmic journalism and greed lead to destruction. This time, we wanted to give a glimpse of the way forward, a future where we craft new, hopeful, and enduring relationships with our planet, with technology, with our land, and with one another. 

With our more immersive installation works Refuge for Resurgence and Invocation for Hope, we challenge long-standing histories of human exploitation and greed by reframing the human in direct interdependence with other species. In one room, visitors will encounter a majestic oak table inviting different species to dine together, thus acknowledging our shared purpose, our shared fates, a mythopoetic of our unison. 

In the film of our installation Invocation For Hope, visitors will journey across wildfire-destroyed monoculture forests to a space of multispecies hope, a chance to reflect on our ecological, economic, and emotional entanglement with all species on the planet. When we love our earth, rivers, rocks, mountains, birds, animals, plants, and fungi, we care for them. And what we care for, we protect. We believe this is a simple but powerful message for action, framed through a poignant, mythical story, folklore, and sensory immersion. 

We hope Subject to Change is timely and prescient.

«Our works are not solutions to our crisis, but perhaps more importantly, are beacons of hope, of reimagination, renewal, and precarious flourishing.»

How does poetic and immersive storytelling help you underline the urgent concerns to shift the way we live in the present for the future? 

As we mentioned earlier in our earlier works, we have adopted this approach of speculative realism. Recently, though, we have been inspired by other genres like mythology and fantasy to explore possible worlds that are not direct representations of our current world. We want to open up poetic aspects of other worlds that might feel enigmatic, exciting, or magical. We are reaching into a more archetypal space where there are less grounded ideas about the ways we might transform ourselves. We are tapping into deep history and a more primal space in our exploration of the ways we relate to what we perceive as ‘nature’.

Our two recent works have very different manifestations of such poetic and immersive mechanisms to explore more-than-human futures, ecological interdependence, and multispecies cohabitation. Both installations are exploring mythopoetic expressions that celebrate our reciprocal relationship with other species and entities living on the planet, as opposed to a hierarchical or extractive relationship.

With our Venice project Refuge for Resurgence, multiple species enjoy a banquet around a large oak table alongside humans. With Invocation for Hope in Vienna, we are looking at a resurgent forest to show that a truly biodiverse ecosystem will be one that celebrates ecological reciprocity. Two similar themes are explored in very different spatial and aesthetic forms, at very different scales.

Referring to your centerpiece for the show, Refuge for Resurgence, it shows the stories of 14 species who represent life on an ecologically just planet. Do you think human exploitation and extraction are wired psychologically? With that in mind, how can we rework our lifestyles?

Who we are, how we act, what we gather around, our collective agency, our hopeful futures are all deeply entangled with messy histories of mindless extraction, oppressive colonialism, social injustices, and climate apathy. The roots of today’s surveillance technologies, algorithmic culture wars, fractured post-truth narratives, climate crisis, and the pandemic are part of this continuous narrative. 

If we want to find hope amidst crisis, we must force a reckoning with such interconnected complexities, and imagine alternatives beyond our present limitations of reality. This is at the heart of our practice –  whether it is an immersive installation, a speculation object, or a film,

«we are interested in confronting some of the most complex challenges of our times, and exploring different worlds of possibility, care, and hope.»

Let us move on to Invocation for Hope. How did the research come about? What was the premise before materializing the installation?

We have done a lot of work in the last few years around the ecological and social aspects of climate change. Our project Mitigation of Shock has had different iterations in London, Singapore, and Germany.

For the project, we invited audiences into an apartment where we are living in a climate of the future. Inside, it becomes easy for people to suspend their disbelief because they see familiar settings and familiar objects, but the longer they spend here they begin to realize that they are actually in quite a different world, with unfamiliar and strange elements such as a radio playing a show called ‘Pets as Protein’, a newspaper that has been opened on a disturbing article, or a recipe book next to some foraging notes.

There are many stories about climate change and our responses in the public domain.  There is this ‘dig for victory’ narrative which argues that we can just grow food in new ways or create new technologies.  In Mitigation of Shock we said: “Okay, what would that future actually look like?”

We invited people to explore that world. With Invocation for Hope, we are reaching into a more archetypal space where there are less grounded ideas about the ways we might transform ourselves, a tap into deep history and a more primal space in our exploration of the ways we connect to what we have grown to learn and recognize as ‘nature’.

Through our projects around the climate crisis, we have become increasingly drawn to a more-than-human approach. Whilst working on Mitigation of Shock, we had the chance to closely observe and learn about our capricious food and agricultural systems. Through hands-on experiments in growing different prototypes of food computers, we became increasingly drawn to the importance of multispecies cohabitation.

Our work has begun to focus more on these conditions that we are generating in collaboration with other species.  A more-than-human perspective allows us to see how we are ecologically, economically, and emotionally entangled with all species on the planet.

That gives us a certain kind of humility, to be able to see our role not as individuals who harvest nature for what we call ‘natural resources’, but to take care of those who take care of us.  

That is at the heart of a lot of our recent work. 

«We want to foreground how we are a part of a larger ecology rather than the masters of nature. Within this complex ecosystem, we all play a part in mutual survival and evolution. Without it, we cease to exist.»

For this issue, we’re focusing on Celebration. How would you like to celebrate your boundary-defying studio and the themes and philosophies the team believes in?

There is no more discussion around the fact that we are causing a climate crisis. We are. Human beings are responsible for what is likely the Sixth Extinction. There is so much work around the climate crisis, real action-oriented work, but we feel that alongside that, we also need to nurture the public imagination with alternative narratives.

It is only when people, from within themselves, start to feel a sense of love and connection with the species around them, a love for the planet, that this action-oriented work will take off because everyone will truly feel the same sense of urgency.

If we believe other worlds are possible, we will want to do something about it. That is what we want to celebrate: the power of our collective imagination in making other worlds possible. 


Images · Superflux

Georgina Starr

«I rebought forty of my favourite destroyed singles and had them played simultaneously on forty record players.»

It’s difficult to summarise the art of Georgina Starr. Since the early 1990s, the artist has made use of the array of tools (video, sound, written word and live performance) at her disposal to create a rich and varied body of work. In early works, Starr engaged a cast of miniature paper figures as stand-ins for real life conversations the artist would covertly record in public spaces. Later, Starr appears in her work – though the extent to which she was performing as herself is itself part of her practice. In The Party (1995), a 25-minute video installation, Starr takes on the role of Liz (a character whose advances are rejected by another character in a previous film). As Starr tells NR below, though the role was fictional, the process of making the film instils it with autobiographic elements. Characters, motifs and themes recur throughout Starr’s work, which enable the artist to rework and reimagine earlier ideas. But it isn’t just Starr’s own oeuvre that she recreates, with much of her work taking inspiration from existing film and literature. The breadth of reference points throughout Starr’s work are demonstrative of the extent to which the artist employs a process of meticulous researching to inform her practice. 

Aspects of Starr’s work recall a childhood spent watching tv; the object in the corner of the living room which, she explains in The Voices of Quarantaine (2021), became her “gateway to another world”. Indeed, the blurring of reality and imagination, autobiography and fiction are common features of her work. Starr’s film, Quarantaine (2020), is not, as you might think, a response to the pandemic. Rather, the artist began working on Quarantaine before COVID; the film’s title referring to the French word for forty, historically also the term for a period of enforced isolation over forty days. The film tells the story of strangers who are transported to an alternative universe which the two women must navigate their way through. Across the breadth of Starr’s work, the body – the female body and feminine identity in particular – are (re)investigated. In her later works, including Quarantaine, Starr is no longer in front of the camera, with a cast of performers enabling the artist to realise her practice on a larger scale. Most recently, the artist orchestrated a live performance in collaboration with French fashion house, Hermès, which in true Starr style, is a dazzling display of colour – flawlessly synchronised and splendidly surreal. 

NR: What have you been working on recently?

GS: I have been working on a new performance artwork in collaboration with Hermès to showcase their SS22 collection designed by the brilliant Nadège Vanhée-Cybulski. We performed it on 3rd February at a one-off special event titled ‘Gelato!’ at Old Sessions House in Clerkenwell. It incorporates a large set—a huge pastel coloured mountain sculpture, a new musical score for percussion which I developed together with composer, Thomas Haines, and is performed by four female percussionists, nine dancers and eight models all wearing Nadège’s designs. It was quite epic—a cross between a theatre play, a sculptural installation, opera, dance and fashion show. The collection is really joyful and screams summer, so I began by thinking about what ‘gelato’ would sound like. I imagined metallic sounds and warmer sounds of fabric on wood—glockenspiels, triangles, drums, wooden percussion, vibraphones, and I had a vision of a magic mountain which the performers, wearing these amazing clothes, would emerge from moving in synchronization with the sounds—this was my starting point.

NR: What does the process of rehearsing or being in workshops involve? 

GS: With live performance works, the rehearsal period is more intense. I always script and storyboard, and it was the same for Gelato! There are spoken word poems in this piece as well as the music and choreography. By the time we went into workshopping in mid-December we were at a really good stage with the musical composition, and I had choreography ready to show to the dancers. We were working with four incredible percussionists who were able to immediately play the working score so that the dancers could start to interpret the live instrumentation and we could adjust the score as went, which was a brilliant way to work. The music starts out very minimally and gradually builds up as the percussive mallets are handed to the musicians. Some instructional elements were built into the score, so everyone’s movement was highly choreographed, and I had constructed my own mallets using coloured threads from the collection – so these were woven into the piece. The workshopping days were crucial to figure out if the movement and vocals I had imagined alone in my studio could even work on a grander scale! I had props too, as I wanted the performers to all begin from inside a ‘mountain’ and emerge with large circles like musical notes transforming the whole picture into a giant score. There were twenty performers to direct, so it was pretty intense. We went into full-on rehearsals for six days at the end of January and had the first dress rehearsals at the venue the day before the show. I loved this collaboration with Hermès, it was wild.

NR: How does working with performers compare to playing the role of other performers (alongside) yourself? 

GS: The casting process is always really complex as I have a very clear idea of how I want the performers to look and what voices they bring. For both the Hermès piece and my last film Quarantaine (2020), it took a long time to find the right people, months of searching and meeting people. When I perform inside my work it’s a very insular and personal process, often just me and the camera. For my film THEDA (2007), I built all the sets in my studio and worked for a year filming myself in the various Theda Bara inspired roles, so became totally absorbed into the character. The way I work with a bigger cast definitely has some connection to this, I feel the need to demonstrate rather than just describe, it’s quite mediumistic, transferring my movement and voice into them. I like to work with a mix of professional and non-professional performers as the non-pros bring something magical and otherworldly. It often feels like the less experienced person is a stand-in for me in some way—I relate to them more strongly as they are working things out on their feet and negotiating this strange environment they find themselves in. 

NR: There are characters, themes and motifs – the brain, the bubble – that reoccur in your work; did you always attend to develop your practice in this way? Or did it just occur over time? 

GS: All the pieces I’ve made from the very beginning are completely interlinked. It happens naturally that one work leads to the next, so the themes and motifs overlap and merge. Sometimes an element in a work I made twenty-five years ago might suddenly appear in something new. A performance work I made at the Stedelijk Museum Amsterdam in 1995 called The Hungry Brain suddenly started to inform a work I was developing in 2013 which eventually became Before Le Cerveau Affamé a new performance and installation piece. In this work I created an illustrated set of predictive cards (Le Cerveau Affamé), the suits were the bubble, the hand, the brain and the cat. These cards found their way into my film Quarantaine. The cards appear in a critical scene in ‘The Grey Room’ where a group of waiting women are chosen for a card reading—the cards selected guide them to the next level of the journey in the film’s narrative. Sometimes it seems like one big Gesamtkunstwerk!

NR: As an extension of that, in The Voices of Quarantaine you make reference to De Quincey’s The Palimpsest of the Human Brain which seemed to be an apt description of your work. Would you say that your work is palimpsestic?

GS: I think my last answer definitely describes a very palimpsestic way of working. I enjoyed making the performance lecture, The Voices of Quarantaine (2021), as I got to reveal some hidden details at the heart of my film Quarantaine. There are so many layers of meaning in my work it can baffle some people, so it’s useful to be able to unpeel these for the viewer. Although the lecture itself was something of a palimpsest too. While I was reading De Quincey, I realised that his essays had directly inspired Dario Argento’s 1977 masterwork Suspiria which in turn had inspired the forest wall-mural I had painted in a scene in Quarantaine. At the very beginning of Quarantaine we follow two women through an arboreal portal in a city park which leads them into a school of instruction—the first room they encounter has the eerie wall painting. The mural in Suspiria had always haunted me so it became an ominous character within my film—it holds another portal to take the initiates onto the next stage of the voyage.

NR: How much of your work is grounded in the idea of autobiography, and to what extent does the notion of autobiography become a way to introduce (fictional) narrative?

GS: There is quite an even mix of the fictional and factual, but it’s so integrated that I often lose track of which is which. I made fictional works in the past which I performed in and people presumed they were autobiographical. An early video The Party (1995), for example, was a piece about a lonely female character who throws the perfect party for one. It began as a fictional narrative, but I did spend two days alone having a party in my studio—constructing a bar, making food, dancing, drinking elaborate cocktails. When I look back at this work it’s part of my history and feels almost autobiographical, it’s a perfect merging of the two. There are personal stories within Quarantaine, which I discuss in the lecture, these stories begin from a ‘real’ place or at least a memory of something real and gradually become so entwinned within the world I’m creating that they drift away from reality and become something totally new. 

NR: How do different mediums lend themselves to a particular work? What informs whether you use audio, film or a live performance?

GS: The idea usually informs what the piece will be.

«A memory I had about my parents burning all my records when I left home for example ended up transforming into a live sound performance piece called Top 40 on Fire (2010).»

I rebought forty of my favourite destroyed singles and had them played simultaneously on forty record players. It created a cacophonous sound at first that sounded like fire, but as each track petered out you started to hear the voices of the singers coming through and the final vocal lyric was quite profound. If I’m commissioned to make a work then it’s slightly different, although sound always plays a huge part of every work. Live works are the most difficult for me as it’s impossible to control exactly what will happen on the night. I’m pretty controlling about all the details so this can drive me insane; the uncertainty—at some point you have to let a performance live without you. When I made Androgynous Egg (2017), a live piece for Frieze a few years ago, it took me ages to let the performers just own the piece. It was performed four times a day for the whole of Frieze and it was only on day two when I realized that I didn’t need to sit in all the performances—they had it, it belonged to them now and I had to set it free, like releasing a child into the world. Quarantaine was really borne out of Androgynous Egg. I knew that I wasn’t finished with some of the subjects—the eggs, the Pink Ursula Material, the instructional poetry, even the choreography, and that I needed to make a film. Writing and making the film was my way of taking back the control I had relinquished with the performance. It meant I could close-in on the action and focus on the important details. Filmmaking is more my natural medium. I love editing with image and sound, it’s where the magic happens.

NR: In relationship to the magazine’s theme – celebration – how does your work celebrate, and explore, womanhood?

GS: I would say that it does this in every sense. I began in the early ‘90s by working with my own body and voice to create video and sound works. These works gave me an actual voice. I was suddenly able to articulate something within the work in a way that I felt I couldn’t in real life. It was a celebration of my inner world. Over the years I’ve gained the experience and confidence to transfer this and to share the ideas with performers, musicians, singers and composers so that the world becomes bigger, more complex and intense. THEDA was the last work I performed in front of the camera. It was a very physical work where I was on screen the whole time for forty minutes. Each time I screened the work at a cinema I invited different musicians to accompany it and perform a live soundtrack. I had done it a few times in London and New York when I realised that it was predominantly men that were playing the music; by some strange fluke it had worked out this way. I was invited to screen it in Berlin at an old silent movie theatre and decided that this time it should be a woman accompanying it. I tracked down this amazing soprano Sigune von Osten—diva der neuen musik, who had worked with John Cage and Luigi Nono, and she agreed to compose a new soundtrack and perform live to the film. There was something incredible about the combination of a woman (me) attempting to dissect and enact the lost films of another woman (silent movie star Theda Bara) while being interpreted and accompanied by the extraordinary vocals of a third woman (Sigune von Osten), it was a metaphysical experience—a total celebration and exploration of the female body and voice.


Images · Georgina Starr

Sho Shibuya

«I just so happened to want to capture the contrast of the beautiful sky against the ominous news.»

Sho Shibuya is a graphic designer who has lived in New York for the past ten years – the last five of those years spent painting every day. Originally from Tokyo, Shibuya’s move to the Big Apple gave rise to a fascination with the city and the elements of design that are distinctively “New York”. In fact, something the designer was quickly struck by was the number of plastic bags that littered the city’s streets – is there anything more “New York” iconic than the “Thank You” plastic bag? Shibuya began collecting abandoned bags which were the subject of a book from 2019, Plastic Paper. If the project was a celebration of the city’s rich visual identity, as captured in plastic bags, it was also designed as to provoke a necessary conversation about the environmental hazards caused by single-use plastic. The bags were banned state-wide on 1st March 2020, though a loophole meant that retailers serving food can still these bags. Nonetheless, Shibuya’s bag collection was featured in a New York Times article the day before the ban. 

Fast forward to late May that year – with the city slowly emerging from lockdown following the first COVID wave – and Shibuya’s work appeared on the pages of the New York Times once more. This time, however, it was the designer sharing a photograph of a full-page painting over the newspaper’s cover on Instagram. Shibuya depicted a sunrise gradating from white to deep blue on the day that the Times paid tribute to the almost-100,000 deaths to COVID in the United States at that moment in time. This was Shibuya’s first full-page painting on (or over?) the cover of the New York Times, and it captures the way in which the designer (and painter) strives to “really understand [an] event and show respect to any cause.” There was some criticism to that initial post – that in painting over the names, it was glossing over the scale of pandemic’s impact – but as the subsequent paintings reveal, Shibuya’s creative interpretations of that day’s news, whether poignant or funny, emotional or thought-provoking, have come to attract an appreciative, warm response from a growing Instagram audience.

By using the daily New York Times as his canvas, Shibuya paintings move between reportage of local, American and international affairs – from painting the giant Snoopy inflatable from the 1988 Macy’s parade on Thanksgiving, the diagonal lines synonymous with OFF WHITE in honour of Virgil Abloh’s death, a collaboration with Patti Smith urging Americans to vote in the 2020 election, to painting scenes from the floods and forest fires that gripped the world last summer. If Shibuya began by painting the sunrise each day from his window during the lockdown, his paintings have become an entryway into a wider celebration of the little things we can be hopeful about. Each day, no matter what, the sun rises – and the news, no matter how difficult it may be, continues. And amongst that, Shibuya’s paintings give us a moment of pause and reflection. 

NR: You started sharing Sunrise Through a Small Window on Instagram during the first American lockdown in 2020; were you expecting the kind of response you have had since then?

SS: Not at all. Painting has been part of my daily ritual for over five years. It just so happened that this series seemed to strike a chord in people. I appreciate the response; it makes me feel connected to the world through my work.

NR: What was it like being commissioned to paint two new sunrise scenes and exhibit a further 53 of your newspaper paintings in collaboration with Saint Laurent at last year’s Art Basel Miami for the 55 Sunrises show? 

SS: I visited the Yves Saint Laurent Museum in Marrakesh, Morocco, back in 2018. I was fascinated by the whole experience there. Three years later, the collaboration started, and I am grateful for the opportunity. It was my first time in Miami. The idea for the location came from [Saint Laurent creative director] Anthony Vaccarello; I never expected the show to be held on the beach. I thought, it’s a wild idea that you will be able to look back and experience the sunrises and the turmoil of 2020 and 2021. Then, after you are finished looking at the painted sunrises, you can see the real sunrise on the ocean outside.

«It’s like a time capsule, or like a pathway from past to present, and perhaps a future, because I believe the sunrise carries with it some bit of hope or optimism for the future.»

NR: The New York Times paintings are quite different to your book Plastic Paper and the creative platform associated with it. How, in different ways, do both relate to the experience of living in New York?

SS: The objects at the centre of each work, the designs on the plastic bags and the New York Times newspaper, are both everyday objects in New York. From a foreigner’s view, I treat them differently. For instance, if someone took a trip to Japan, they would probably notice cultural significance in mundane objects, like Japanese typography on a sign or Pachinko store, etc. The everyday objects feel fresh to me. That emotion made me use it as a canvas.

NR: Do you have an idea of which painted New York Times covers, news or events might resonate with your audience?

SS: Each piece has different reactions. For instance, the inflation piece that visually explains «no more 99 cent pizza» might resonate with people in New York. In another article, I depicted the tragedy of the wildfires in Greece, and I received a lot of comments from Greece. If the events somehow relate to how people feel or what they’re thinking about, they respond. It’s a natural reaction.

NR: Some of your newspaper paintings (like Rudy Giuliani’s melting hair dye) are quite playful, whilst others are more poignant, how do you decide what kind of approach you’ll take with the paintings?

SS: I never plan what to paint. It is always spontaneous.

«I always start after reading an article, and if something lingers in my mind afterward, I paint that feeling or thought so I can speak up in a visual way.»

NR: What was it about the cover of the New York Times that lent itself to being the canvas for your sunrise paintings in the first place?

SS: I think it was a bit of chance. I always read the New York Times every morning, and when I made the very first painting, I just so happened to want to capture the contrast of the beautiful sky against the ominous news.

NR: Of all the New York Times paintings you’ve shared on Instagram, which one means the most to you? And which have people most engaged with?

SS: The first full-page painting: May 24, 2020. The New York Times cover paid homage to the 100,000 people who had died from COVID. I was really emotional painting that one and still remember every moment of when I was painting it. The most engaged one was when I painted the Palestinian flag on the cover. I agree when Haruki Murakami said, “between a high, solid wall and an egg that breaks it, I will always stand on the side of the egg.”


Images · Sho Shibuya

Carmine Romano

Staying behind the camera to capture the rawness of emotions

A man of few words, photographer Carmine Romano prefers to hold the camera and point the lens to his subjects rather than be the subject himself. In doing so, he captures the rawness of the Italian lifestyle and living, often becoming an observer of a scene rather than the participant. His images overflow with the nuances of serendipity and home, charged with liberation and a promise of self-expression. With NR, the photographer displays the exclusive space he has carved for himself, a realm where his clipped sentences weigh a thousand ideas.

NR: There is a documentative sense in your photography. Do you view your style the same way – a documentary? Whenever you capture the images of people, it feels as if you are photographing their real selves. Is the rawness of people the emotion you want to capture?

CR: Yes. I feel that my style leans more towards a documentary-like photography than fashion photography. My goal is to capture people the way they are at the moment, trying to seal their authenticity.

Going back to your roots in photography, what was the first photograph you captured? Do you still have this image with you? Do you keep tabs on the development of your photography?

The first image that I always keep in mind is a picture that I took when I was ten. I took a photograph of the oldest man in my neighborhood in Napoli, who was an artisan that repaired old shoes. I do not know if it was the first pics I ever captured, but of course, it is that one that I  have always treasured with me.

The influence of family seems alive in your photographs. How essential is family to you? Do you believe in the phrase blood is thicker than water?

In my photography, the influence of my family and the good values that my parents taught to me are always essential to me, so yes –

«I think we should never forget where we came from.»

Carmine Romano

Aside from family, the essence of community comes through your images. From gatherings to sharing stories over meals, you seem to have a penchant for togetherness. What lessons in life have you learned from your community? Is it important for you to belong in a community? 

Nowadays, it is important to me to interact. In a society where everyone is behind a digital screen, meeting people, sharing moments and emotions with them, and having conversations with them are important. I think that we do not have to forget that we are humans, and we need to keep our contact solid, perhaps doing it over lunch or dinner for instance.

For you to capture portraits, I can imagine that you have to form a bond with the person you are photographing. What do you tell them before, during, and after the shoot? Who has been the most memorable subject so far? Also, do you believe you chance upon the emotions, settings, and looks of your photographs, or do you instruct and arrange them before the shoot?

Exactly. Before shooting a person, I always try to learn and understand them; to be with them in order to comprehend who they are. I try to establish a relationship with them, and I love listening to them and trying to understand how they feel.

I prefer to do it before, without a camera, and then come back to shoot. The most memorable subject to me was Rita, an old woman in my neighborhood who, after few meetings, she showed me her best, meaning who she is, in the picture.

From here,

«I think there is always a scene to capture for those who know where to seek and how to find it.»

Whenever you feel like taking a break from photography, how do you recharge? How do you celebrate your life outside the camera? Then, how do you celebrate la dolce vita through photography? Is there a place in Italy that you have not yet been to before but would love to visit soon?

To recharge, I travel to different cities and often go to the sea to watch the horizon and the waves. La dolce vita through photography has to be celebrated from a vision – a personal interpretation even. In Italy, I love going back to Sicily. 

Would you say that you are a private person? I am only asking because I wonder if you will allow another photographer to capture what your everyday life looks like.

Yes, I am a very private person. Usually, I only post overviews of my private life, not its entirety. I do not like the idea of being on the other side of the camera.


Images · Carmine Romano

Andrés Reisinger

Experimenting with boundaries until the intangible becomes tangible

Testing the limits of the boundaries communities and self impose shapes the utopia Andrés Reisinger aspires to manifest. His visual artistry intersects art, design, music, architecture, fashion, and beyond, always moving along the waves of culture and never settling for anything marked as conventional. The results give birth to the manifestation of a hybrid reality, one where the intangible becomes tangible. The duality of the physical and digital realms, the fruition and transition from a blueprint to reality, the faces of strangeness and their unearthly appeal, and the celebration of a newborn: everything moves in and out of Reisinger’s creative ethos.

NR: The first thing that caught my attention was your title on Instagram: Unclassifiable Artist. Does this indicate the millions of ideas you want to test and of creative endeavors you want to venture to?

AR: I would agree with that. I have been inspired by the Argentine writer Borges, who was also Unclassifiable. I am focused on constant self-improvement, constant experimentation, constant development; wherever it takes me.

My task is to keep discovering and introducing new mediums of work and ways of experiencing art and design. So, my practice cannot be easily classified, because it is not something that I can fully classify yet, and I probably never will.

As an artist, how essential is it to be multidisciplinary? Do you think a creative should focus on a single discipline in art?

My work is based on pushing the boundaries between the digital and the physical realms to achieve hybridity. In this sense, I consider and love visual culture as a whole, essential in all of its  declinations. There are incredibly interesting intersections that we are seeing and can be further developed between art, design, music, architecture, fashion and so on, and my work is heavily focused on context rather than by piece. Only by mixing different ideas and connecting them will we create new ones.

From Argentina to Barcelona, how do the cultures and communities in these countries – and the others you have been to – influence the way you conceive your works? Can your viewers see the nuances of these cultures in what you create?

Most of the places I have lived in are in South Europe, so my works are heavily influenced by culture from the countries here. These places, for many reasons, have been central social territories, which is something that has influenced my approach to creation and the way I have been sharing my journey on the internet since the very beginning of my career (approximately 15 years ago when I started with digital art and design). I have always felt the need to share the way I see the world.

Let us talk about your works. I want to start with An Essay Before Meeting my Daughter. Congratulations, first of all! How do you feel about being a father? How did you celebrate it? Did you feel worried or excited?

I felt all sorts of emotions. It is an experience that cannot be truthfully described or translated. It feels like I am flourishing. It is a novel way of looking at the world. It is an excellent way to cultivate perspective. The way you manage your time, your ideas, and your instincts: they all grow. It is a great challenge in life. It is amazing, and I love it.

Continuing this, you wrote: Anxiety, nervousness, happiness, fears, beloved moments, all that are absorbed and expressed through my artistic lens. Could you guide us on the metaphors of this piece, from the rolling apples to the flipping pages of the books?

The piece was the result of a long reflective process. I wanted to gather and somehow express all the feelings and thoughts that guided these moments of my life, and the piece came very spontaneously as the emotions naturally channeled themselves into form.

With The Shipping, it is the manifestation of a new hybrid reality concerning furniture. How do you envision the future of design in furniture? Would technology replace manual labor?

«I see it as a hybrid of digital and physical; the encounter between the two is already offering an overwhelming amount of possibilities.»

And although it might seem a very futuristic scenario to some, we already spend a third of our days connected to any device screen. We are undoubtedly living in a time where our physical lives are and will continue to be more and more integrated with the digital realm. And as we get more comfortable living in these different spaces, we will get more and more used to owning things and living there.

There are of course differences between the two realities that will never compensate each other. Technology will make things earlier in production, that is for sure, although I cannot say which mode is easier. One thing I can say is that creating a digital chair – such as Hortensia, Tangled, Complicated Sofa, or Crowded Elevator – was the most difficult thing I have ever attempted. Technology can help us do more creative work and less mechanical procedures. Artisans will always exist, and they will benefit from new technologies.

I love the backstory behind The Hortensia Armchair, from having been a concept to a real seat! What made this project challenging? How did you take on the challenge? Did you learn anything from this experience life- and design-wise?

Because it was such a complex design to realize, I was doubting whether to invest time and money to bring the chair to life, so I guess the challenge was against myself. I am incredibly glad that I decided to go for it.

What I am most proud of is that the Hortensia Chair created digital demand before the supply, which is a total disruption within the design industry. We were able to build an interest around a digital object that seemed almost impossible to realize and gave life to it first through a limited edition and then with Moooi in a more affordable version.

It was an interesting phenomenon to witness, with regards to sustainability, most especially. We did not launch another project, hoping for the market to accept it. We created the need first digitally. It showed to design and other companies that this is definitely a possibility.

Continuing the previous question, what do you do when you want to make the impossible possible? Have you ever felt like dropping a project halfway? What made you continue it?

I work with context and try to, in part, deform reality to achieve a surreal atmosphere. That uncanniness between reality and fiction, digital and physical is to make the impossible possible. I do not want my work to be too explicit, or it would defeat its purpose. If it is too blatantly strange, it is instantly dismissed, but if it is not so strange but just enough, it is instantly absorbed into everyday reality. I strive for a slight strangeness leaving the viewers disoriented.

Generally, challenges inspire me, so I have rarely thought about dropping a project halfway.

«If I recognize the possibility of discovering a new production methodology, a pioneering approach within the physical and digital, I will strive to see it through as I know I will learn a lot during the process.»

As we focus on Celebration for this issue, how do you feel about what you have achieved so far in this lifetime?

I am proud, I am humbled, and I am projected into my practice.

Is there anything that we should be celebrating with you in the upcoming weeks?

In mid-January, I presented Winter House, a residential project in the metaverse inspired by the frosty season. It is an important one I would  like to celebrate as it represents the preliminary project of an architecture studio for the metaverse I am establishing with other partners. There will be more – a lot more – but 2022 has just started.


Images · Andrés Reisinger

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