EN | interview: Michela Sacchetto
M.S. Hello Stefano, are you back to work? A few months after the recent “EGOISTA” project we are in the mountains, in one of the places you have lived during your past environmental actions.
S.V. Oh, yes .. you know, when I get stuck on an idea …
M.S. I have prepared some questions, but I would prefer to start with the three ones that I just thought of. So, why this place?
S.V. The place is usually the source of inspiration, not the goal. So, since the last installation was in an urban environment, now I ‘m in a more open space, in the mountains. The place where I found the urge to complete an idea suggested to me a month ago. So from an abstract sketch on paper, I now find myself finishing the final details of a work I have prepared for this new version of the cube.
M.S. A version proposed as a “living” space, why and how?
S.V. For me it’s just an excuse to bring more people together. In this case, dealing with a number of pre-existing settled temporary units, I put this “housing” unit near the campsite, open to the sky, where someone would be even happy to spend the night. In a practical sense, it isn’t a typical housing unit. The cube is not equipped with everything you need and also is not practical to be adapted to a nomadic user, but my idea is that people take it as a temporary living experience, as a context where another type of subjective experience occurs, which is the main interest of my work.
M.S. I’m sure we’ll talk that more later. Somehow, you wanted to make the cube functional, why?
S.V. I started with this concept: at the beginning it was a little sculpture, which has now evolved and been adapted and equipped for a more complex function. To be honest, I had not even thought about making this variation, I was rather given the idea. Then, just to see it take form, I wanted to make it grow. At the end of the day, I can’t predict what utility it will have for others.
M.S. So you want to remain elusive … Then, let’s continue to talk more generally about your work of art. A work in which there are two constant ideas, namely, the insertion of objects in the environment and the possibility to change them, to “experience them”.
S.V. I see an object as a link. The inclusion of this in an open space comes from the capacity of people to build their own artificial environment. In this sense I like to give a double meaning to the possible use of the installation: one suggested by the shape and the other one, subjective, derived from simple ideas that I associate with it. I want to use the object in this way, experiencing it as a sort of act of search for a balance with nature.
M.S. Therefore, you introduce a foreign element in our daily lives to bring awareness to the man / environment relationship?
S.V. And more: awareness of actions. The subjective experience of which I was talking to you about, refers in particular to the act of collecting ideas when in a context that allows you to immerge directly in the environment, and afterwards giving it an importance, cultivating it.
M.S. It’s for this reason you have produced this current configuration of the cube, or as you call it, ROSSOCUBO CON VISTA (red cube with a view)?
S.V. Of course! In fact I started with the aluminium structure, built in 2009, the red cube already of a medium size, now expanded by 40 cm so as to make it partially habitable, at least, according to the function I would like to give it, that is, for overnight stays. Also the context of the cube led it to maintain its original natural material. Finally, I added a cover of transparent material. Inside the cube, people can rest, the primary condition needed to look at the sky and relax, so, you can dwell and even come up with new ideas.
M.S. And this, with no directions, is the action that you suggest, and not impose, to the user? An experience of apparent isolation, which creates a communion with a natural living environment and the participants own inner identity, a creator of eventual new ideas?
S.V. Yes, it’s an action that helps to temporary suspend our ordinary lives, to see if we are still able to “surprise ourselves”. The surrounding environment, is an excellent neutral medium, allowing you to give importance to something ephemeral and subjective but as powerful as an idea.