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Critical Practice

Alessandro Moroni

Born and raised in Italy, currently based in London.

I graduated from NABA Nuova Academia di Belle Arti, Milan, in 2015 and I have been a founding member of the Milan based artist-run project /77 and a member of PACTO international research collective.

In 2021 I co-organised Everything Forever, a three week online festival showcasing work by artists on the Contemporary Art Practice programme.

Recent projects include Subterranean Virtualscapes on Virginia Bianchi Gallery (online), Maratona di Visione (online), Everything Forever on Matts Gallery (online), Near Future on Montez Press Radio.

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Together with Effy Harle I founded CAP Records, a framework for the release of sonic art, presenting artists whose work is at the intersection of spoken word, sound and music. Our first release is Tongue of blade ‡ Ears of mud, a compilation of contemporary sound art featuring nine artists from the Contemporary Art Practice programme. Released as a limited run of 50 cassettes, available to pre-order via Shopify. The album will launch at Cromwell Place on 21 July in conjunction with the opening of the Contemporary Art Practice showcase. 

My research is mainly concerned with commodified utopian narratives and collapsing myths of progress.

My focus is on concepts of nostalgia cycles, forms of controlled escapism and increased individualisation through the fetishisation of wellbeing and self-improvement.

Using narrative and speculative sci-fi as critical tools, my work tries to occupy a middle-ground between critique and fiction.

Call it Yours is my contribution to Subterranean Virtualscape, an online exhibition on Virginia Bianchi Gallery showcasing the work of 15 Italian artists working with digital media. ✨A3 prints available via shopify✨

Call it Yours shows a 3D rendered futuristic residential complex. The work comes from a reflection on the commodification of the concept of utopia from universal project to individualised luxury, tracing a line from mid-century modernist architecture to contemporary forms of gentrification and the language they adopt.

With still images, gifs and sound, the installation works as a stripped-down promotional page, idealising concepts of ownership and desire by the layering of different audio-visual aesthetics, from that of California modernism to those of internet native subcultures from the last decade such as Vaporwave, which questioned the fetishisisation of early visions of internet utopia and technological progress by adopting and exaggerating the looks of care-free consumerism.

Click on the link to visit the exhibition.



Medium:

online exhibition

Medium:

3D images

Size:

1920x1080

SOLARIA develops around ideas of failures and the ruins of the modernist utopia. A voice-over text, halfway between critique and fiction, tells of a recurrent dream where the ghostly image of an abandoned modernist dream is matched by a feeling of anxiety and constant delay, muddling the universal aspirations of this architectural trend with popular belief and superstition. The animation shows a cluster of modernist furniture on which sits a transparent model of a mid-century style home.

Medium:

video

Size:

2' 27''

In February 2021 I took part in Near Future, a one-day programme on Montez Press Radio focused on the relationship between contemporary art and science-fiction curated by Georgina Tyson.

My contribution was the one-hour radio show the silences we were meant to furnish are now boundless/ the corners we were meant to grace are all covered in dust, the culmination of two years of research around the trend of 24/7 playlists to chill/study to on YouTube and the genre most closely associated with them: lo-fi hip hop.

The show takes the form of a podcast/lecture with the aim of obsessively zooming-in into a hyper-specific aspect of our current reality, unpacking it to the point of revealing how the system we live in operates on a broader scale.

Through the show I analyse patterns of commodification of nostalgia and fetishisation of cultural forms from the recent past. The aesthetics of “lo-fi” and analog media become a tool to idealise better days of consumer capitalism, an ideal where individuals can seek shelter from the anxieties of never-ending recession and the constant threat permeating our post 9/11 reality. I take in consideration this genre’s relationship with earlier versions of internet-native music genres, specifically focusing on how it appropriates some of the most radical elements, such as the highjacking of concepts of authorship, to normalise and domesticate them in service of 24/7 demands for consumption. Reflecting on this relationship with past experiences, I also take the chance to speculate on possible futures for the infrastructures we build to provide solace from the bleakness of our reality.

shattered glass/ empty shells/ wandering ghosts is the fictional counterpart to the silences we were meant to furnish are now boundless/ the corners we were meant to grace are all covered in dust.

This concept album depicts an environment in a not-so-distant future where a 24/7 playlist to chill becomes aware and gains sentience only to realise mankind, the one thing it was meant to perpetually soothe, has gone extinct.

Recognisable mellow beats resurface every now and then from a stratum of unidentified rattling and crackling sounds, mutate into the haunted marimbas of ambient music past, only to progressively melt into drones and wash away in static hiss and white noise.

The album wants to enact something close to a dialogue between a self-aware future version of functional, never-ending music which was once meant to ease our anxieties and the other ghosts we have left to aimlessly roam around the end of times, after the final and fatal collapse of capitalist society.


Medium:

digital album

Medium:

3D images

Size:

1920x1080