Maifesta, "European Nomad Art Biennale" takes places in European non-capital cities every 2 years. The next is in Murcia, Span, 2010
No 7 was in 2008 in italy, in 4 locations.
(This talk is having technical issues and it wounds like somebody is drilling the ceiling.)
The locations are along Hannibal's route with the elephants. Napoleon went through there? It used to be part of the Austrian empire. The locals were not into Napoleon and launched a resistance against him. The "farmer's army" defeated the French 3 times.
(I think this presentation might also be an artwork. I don't understand what is going on.)
Every year, the locals light a fire in the shape of a cross on the mountain, commemorating their victories.
The passages were narrow and steep and the local dropped stones on the army, engaging in "site specific" tactics. One of the narrowest spots was Fortezza, which was also a site for manifesta. There is a fortress there, built afterwards, the blocks the entire passage. There is now a lake beside there, created by Mussolini for hydroelectric power. The fortress takes up 1 square kilometre.
there is a very long subterranean tunnel connecting the 3 parts of the fort.
(He has now switched something off and the noise has greatly decreased)
The fortress was built after the 1809 shock. But nobody has ever attacked it. There was military there until 2002. They used it to hold weapons. The border doesn't need to be gaurded anymore.
during ww2, it held the gold reserves from the Bank of Rome
The manifesta was the first major civilian use. None of the nearby villages had previously been allowed to access the space.
The other 3 manifesta locations were real cities. Each had their own curatorial team. They collaborated on the fortress
The fortress' exhibition's theme was imaginary scenarios, because that's basically the story of the never-attacked fort.
The fortress has a bunch of rooms around the perimeter, with cannons in them, designed to get the smoke out very quickly.
We live our lives in highly designed spaces, where architects have made up a bunch of scenarios on how the space will be used and then design it to accommodate that purpose.
the exhibition was "immaterial" using recordings, texts, light
There were 10 text contributors. A team did the readings and recordings. Poets, theatre writers, etc.
The sound installations were for active listening, movement, site specific.
He wanted to do small listening stations where a very few people can hear the text clearly, as there are unlikely to be crowds and the space was acoustically weird. The installations needed to have text intelligibility. They needed to be in english, italian and german, thus there were 30 recordings.
The sound artist involved focusses on sound and space. The dramatic team focusses on the user experience design.
(Now he's showing a video os setting up a megaphone in a cannon window. It is a consonant cannon. Filters the consonants of one of the texts and just plays the clicks. He was playing this behind him during the first part of the talk, which explains some of the strange noises. In one of the rooms, they buried the speakers in the dirt floor/ In another room, they did a tin can telephone sort of thing with transducers attached to string. Another room has the speakers in the chairs. Another had transducers on hanging plexiglass. The last one they had the sound along a corridor, where there was a speaker in every office, so the sound moved from one to the next.