Ludovico Pratesi - Interview with Bianco-Valente, 1999

Giovanna Bianco and Pino Valente live in a little flat opens onto the lanes of the ancient Naples . There, they both thirty years old, by using the computer connected to a videocamera, realize extraordinary videos that artificially reconstruct the imaging process of the human brain.
The videos “Mind Landscape”, “Giostrina triste” and “Deep in my mind” have already been showed in galleries and museums of different Italian cities. It's an unusual and new art form, close to the mental routes already investigated by some film directors such as Wim Wenders in his “Until the end of the world” or Kathryn Bigelow in her disquieting “Strange days”.
We asked Bianco-Valente to tell us how they create a work of art and also what is the meaning of their evocative “mindscapes”.

How does your works of art come out?

We are attracted by the brain activity that enables memories to fix in the mind. We always start from images shot by our camera, that is to say electronic images, that are changeable and vanishing, both typical properties of the mind images. The computer enables us to realize the video editing and also to check every single frame.

These sequences are the basis for planning the plot of your videos?

A real plot doesn't exist, there is a succession of images seemingly placed in a casual way, but similar to the creation of thoughts in the human brain. A story doesn't exist, there is a sequence of sharp cuts and fluid and slight passages.

So do you work about the connection between mind and computer?

Yes, we do. There are a lot of similarities between electronic images and mind images. They are both indefinite and fleeting, and for this reason unfinished, because they come out from a continuous recomposition of codes.

Can you make a real example?

For example the video “Mind Landscape” is a kind of mental route over the childhood, you can see a sequence of children faces, the same faces of our classmates at the elementary school, edited on an incessant soundtrack that we composed. This video represents the activity of the brain in remembering very far moments, for that reason the images are intentionally blurred.

Do you use different techniques for your work?

Yes, of course. The video “Soft Luggage” partially consists of images downloaded from some scientific sites on the internet. Then we reworked and edited these images on a soundtrack that we composed with the intention of representing the sum of all the experiences, the “soft luggage” each of us has in mind.
Lately we have input in a chip ten seconds of electrical activity of our brain, together with our heartbeat and breathing: all these organic data have been digitized and input in an electronic memory.

Are you the pioneers of the “postorganic” art?

In our opinion “postorganic” means to get rid of the space and time boundaries that the materiality of the body impose on human beings, in order to discover the properties of our real immaterial inwardness.

January 1999

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