Gianni Romano - Bianco-Valente, 1998
Giovanna Bianco and Pino Valente have been working together on digital videos since 1995, videos that can be viewed as such or that serve as the raw material for still images to he transferred onto other photographic supports. Though the images all begin as moving and magnetic, the artists will photograph the video stream (either printing and scanning or making use of a digital camera) and print the final stills on canvas or PVC.
This technical "pause" is a necessary part of the process leading to the final image intended for public consumption, but there are other connotations to be considered as well. The deviation between the moving image and the still picture produces a strange sense of tension, one magnified by the seemingly excessive slowness of the videos as compared with the traditionally dynamic qualities of the photographic still.
Even the titles of these works (e.g., Transit, R.E.M., Lost, Mind Landscape, Deep in my mind) distance the young art team from the hypothesis of their prevarication over the digital image's glamour, suggesting a more humanistic dimension, an inner dialog reflecting the conditions of man rather than the latest technological fireworks.
Bianco-Valente do, in fact, describe their work in terms not immediately compatible with the kind of interpretation the images themselves would seem to prompt: "We like electronic images, their impoverished decisive potential, their very nature, which is almost by definition evanescent. We like their similarities with mental images, which seem like clear, well-defined entities but are actually nothing more than fleeting manifestations of obscure, fragmentary biochemical codes".
The concept of capturing an image brings us immediately to one of the aesthetic dilemmas that haunt this closing chapter of the twentieth century: the loss of memory. While we possess the technical ability to store images, the very possibility induces the conceptual uncertainty of which images to store. Contemporary supports for the storage of electronic information are still vulnerable to degradation, exposing us to the risk of "forgetting" that which we have labored to conserve in recent years.
Bianco-Valente respond with the persistence of their memories, with images that testify to consequential experiences involving the various selective and cerebral processes that once provoked Leonardo da Vinci to describe art as "a mental thing" rather than a simple strategy for coming up with the Next Big Image.
Taken from : Bianco-Valente, by G. Romano, Zoom magazine, October. 1998