Carola Bonfili


The Flute-Singing is a CGI-modeled video that tells the life of a mythological creature, prior to his role in a video game. The project is intended as a spin-off of the story of one of the creatures presents in a wider project, Second Order Reality, a video-game currently in progress, that plans to meld videogame techniques with states of introspection that concern the intimate perception of one’s own body and immediate surroundings.

The work interprets the landscapes and symbologies of a range of different texts, including The Temptation of St. Anthony by Gustave Flaubert and The Island of Doctor Moreau by H.G. Wells. Although the creature’s appearance recalls that of a fantastic being, alien, or a hybrid fruit of some experiment, its interiority reflects the spirit of an existentialist and melancholic character. In the memories of this creature, there are traces of narrations of some figures present in the Metamorphoses of Ovid, such as Procris, Scylla, Arachne or Salmacis. The classical narrative construction of the Metamorphoses is dismembered within an AI program designed for role-playing games. The different stories – as well as different inputs inserted as impromptu responses to the reaction of the program – are used to influence the software, which in turn builds other responses, based on predetermined algorithms that have the purpose of constructing plausible stories. This material will be used to outline the psychological profile of a creature who feels nostalgia but does not know what for. The intentions to use men as a universal repertoire of behaviour, and to apply this behaviour, de-boned and-structured, to a creature who questions its being in the world. The audio project will be realized by Francesco Fonassi.

Carola Bonfili (1981, Rome) lives and works between Brescia and Rome. Taking inspiration from natural forms and cognitive mechanics, yet driven by an obsessive attention to details and hidden macro phenomena (mnemonic functions, mental/subconscious forms and impossible resolutions) all her work moves toward multi-layered narrations, crystallized each time by a strong idea of the self and its cultural relevance across the time. AI principles, CGI, VR, A/V environments and automatic writing are the main tools of her recent research. A performative matrix is often found in the production processes at the basis of her sculptural works and environmental installations, which are immersive in nature and tend to forms of transmedial narration. Her work was presented in various institutions both in Italy and abroad, of which: MAXXI, Rome; Triennale Milano, Milan; Italian Institute of Culture, Los Angeles; Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève; La Galleria Nazionale, MACRO, American Academy in Rome. She has gotten several awards and acknowledgements: Premio LUM, 2011 (finalist); Rome Prize, American Academy, 2008-2009 (winner); Premio Strozzina, Florence, 2009 (finalist); and she participated in a residency with the American Academy in Rome in 2007 and with MACRO in 2012. Since 2004 she collaborated with the magazine NERO with which in 2011 she begins her publication of Names of Numbers; a series of monographic books about drawing.

PHOTO CAPTION: Carola Bonfili, The Flute Singing, 2021, production still, CGI video, graphic project by Imago, sound by Francesco Fonassi. Production MAMbo – Museo d’Arte Moderna di Bologna and Centre d’Art Contemporain Genève

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