The glacial erratics are rocks that tell us a lot about the territory in which they are located. They are manifestations of the memory of a territory, geological monuments, and visible signs of the ancient presence of a glacier. Some of them host engravings from the Neolithic age, and others have become objects of worship and pagan rituals, whose traces still remain in popular folklore. Then there is the orbit: the route described by a moving body in relation to another body.
Erratic Orbits is a project aimed at modulating and building memory through movement in the environment: the Turin stage is the starting point of an itinerant reading that will end in Berlin. Derek MF Di Fabio’s helmet sculptures (already presented during the exhibition GALLA at L’Ascensore, in Palermo) become tools to support the performative reading of m*’ poems. Produced in collaboration with Giuseppe Varia, the helmets derive from the observation of the Palermo phenomenon of bike tuning, which is a contemporary form of local craftsmanship. A simple mechanics is carried out by a non-uniform group of teenagers to expand and amplify themselves. It is perhaps their motion, taking back the streets, to make themselves heard and seen. The origin of the phenomenon is unknown, as it is also for many of the repertoires of folk music traditions: everyone knows the music’s rhythms and melodies but the author(s) often remains unknown. With these helmets, the artist also alludes to the possibility of experiencing the bicycle as a sort of prosthesis of the body and to the “emotional speeds” with which they cross through and live in cities.
m’ texts propose inner dialogues, sharp observations on human nature, and crude annotations of reality. Within m’s artistic practice there is a strict rule about not bringing new objects into the world, so she orients herself toward the written word, performance, video, and sound. In these poems, m resorts to the stream of consciousness, thus avoiding those daily processes of self-censorship and leveling of petty or elegiac, bucolic thoughts in an alternation of low impulses, sub- lime visions, and trivial reviews of reality. It is no coincidence, in this sense, that the readings are held near places whose function is dismantling and transforming waste into energy (such as waste-to-energy-plants): the desire is not to flatten the aesthetic experience of the real environment, which includes waste, scraps, and excesses of production, as much as the uncontaminated spaces.
The process of transforming waste into energy brings us back to the ideas of movement and of becoming internal and external to the body, a body that not only moves in the environment but is moved by the environment, highlighting a process of “queering” between the individual and the surrounding environment.
Curatorial text by Giulia Mengozzi
Translate by DMFDF and Holly Ruth Fletcher.
Erratic Orbits with live soundtrack by Garino Luca at Teatrum Botanicum – PAV Torino, curated by Giulia Mengozzi September 2019