Metaphysical Infrastructure!

In the evocative space of Radura, the installation developed by Stefano Boeri in the Cortile della Farmacia of the University of Milan, a meeting was held to reflect on the relations between technology, facilities and the condition of our contemporary landscape, considered as cultural and anthropological structure.

The main players were photographer Antonio Ottomanelli, writers Gianluigi Ricuperati and Cristiano De Majo, designer Paolo Cascone.

Food for thought came from the presentation of two projects: Oigo, The Third Island and Hacking Gomorra.

Oigo (Osservatorio Internazionale sulle Grandi Opere – the International Observatory on Major Public Works) stems from The Third Island project, a documentary photographic research work carried out by 11 photographers who, together with journalists, activists, local entrepreneurs, have gone through Calabria collecting references, histories and landscapes.

Photography is an important tool to give a key role back to landscape, a proactive tool for all the players committed to territory transformation”, explained Antonio Ottomanelli, the photographer who coordinated the research work.

The result of this research work is an important news report which is really valuable not only as a photo feature, but also because it reports all that often escapes the mass media. “This observatory aims at monitoring and informing about the conditions of our contemporary Major Public Works that in Calabria are, for instance, the Salerno – Reggio Calabria motorway or the Gioia Tauro harbor”, underlined Antonio Ottomanelli. “They create a bridge to enable us to take pieces of landscape back, pieces that otherwise would disappear from our view”.

Hacking Gomorra is the name of a project by designer Paolo Cascone. At the heart of this project there is the idea of “hacking” the Vele di Scampia residential buildings through 3D printing techniques with a self-regeneration project.

L’hackeraggio delle Vele (Hacking the Vele) is the enlightened popular buildings project which was initially set up with laudable intentions, but that has become a terrible place for humanity known through the novel Gomorra. It is now being redesigned, as Cascone, its creator, said “as a possibility to include in the rigid structure of the buildings a series of modules designed to be plugged into the pre-existing structure in order to customize the interiors of the buildings”.

“Or through the creation of a FabLab in the communal areas of the buildings to give life to everyday objects such as furniture or furnishings, starting from a grid originated by the structure. All this will be made of recycled materials, at least partially coming from the buildings themselves”, concluded Cascone.

Photography and 3D technology: can they really become the instruments for a new approach to our way of understanding and relating with the environment?

Text by Danilo Signorello – Photos by Efrem Raimondi