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29 Sep 2015

Mattia Casalegno at Southstreet Seaport, NYC

'SBGWC', detail. Courtesy of the artist.

EYEBEAM Center for Art and Technology


October 1th to November 14th, 2015 opening hours: Tuesday - Sunday 11:00AM - 6:00PM South Streer Seaport, 117 Beekman Street, Manhattan, NY

Peter Kaiser, Communications Director
+1 802 922 7284
+1 347 378 9163 ext. 1002

34 35th Street
11232 Brooklyn, NY

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'Sexy Beautiful Girl Webcam part.3' is a site specific installation consisting of a series of upward vertical structures lined on the wall: hinged in each structure, a thin, glossy screen displays pixelated close-ups of people, appearing and disappear with irregular pace. Above each screen, blue and red indoor growing LED strips -the kind of lights used to grow plants in extreme environments and possibly on the surface of Mars- irradiate a purple glow projecting otherworldly shadows on the walls.

Despite the title of the piece, the subjects appearing on the screens are mostly white males, caught in sexual and intimate poses. Sometimes they seem typing in front of their webcams, others they disappears within seconds.
The title of the piece gives us some context. 'Sexy Beautiful Girl Webcam Part 3' is in fact the name of a Youtube video depicting a young girl typing and posing in front of her webcam, often used to fake one's own identity in online video chats.
After some time of analyzing the subjects on the screens, it becomes clear that indeed they are interacting with something that's not in our space, seeking something which escape us.

While previous Casalegno's works were participatory, relational, and often activated by the audience's interaction (Unstable Empathy, 2012 –The Open, 2014 - The GrassRoller, 2014), in this last project the audience is a mere spectator, witness of a humanity on display and never engaged, caught on the process of connecting with an 'alter' which is never present.

The piece will be on show at the Southstreet Seaport Gallery as part of 'Outside/In', an exhibition exploring the porous and fluid boundaries between bodies, technologies, and the world outside. 'Outside/In' is produced by the Eyebeam Center for Art and Technology. Other participating artists: Nancy Nowacek and Torkwase Dyson.

Mattia Casalegno
is an Italian visual artist working in a broad range of media. His multidisciplinary work is influenced by both post-conceptualism and digital art, and has been defined relational, immersive, and participatory. His practice explores the effects new media have on our societies, investigating the relationships between technology, the objects we create, our subjectivities, and the modes in which these relations unfold into each other.

He is recipient of a Center for Cultural Innovation Grant and a Young Italian Artists Award, and participated at the New Technogical Arts Awards 2015. In the past years he exhibited at MACRO Museum in Italy, Kuandu Museum of Fine Arts in Taipei, Mutek festival in Canada, Le Cube in France, Nuite Blanche Brussels, among others.

His works are been featured internationally in publications and catalogues such as 'A Touch of Code', Gestalten Books; 'New Media Design', Sometti; and 'Deleuze and Audiovisual Art', Manchester Metropolitan University.
He writes regularly about contemporary art on the online magazine, and holds an MA in Communication Studies from 'La Sapienza' University in Rome and an MFA from University of California Los Angeles. He instructed classes at UCLA and the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, CA.

He is currently dividing his time between Los Angeles, where he founded his studio 'A Radical Hypothesis' in 2010, and New York, where he recently co-founded the artist space and independent gallery ROOMSERVICE.

, founded in 1997, was conceived as a non-profit art and technology center dedicated to exposing broad and diverse audiences to new technologies and media arts, while simultaneously establishing and demonstrating new media as a significant genre of cultural production.

Since then, Eyebeam has supported over 245 fellowships and residencies for artists and creative technologists; run an active education program for youth and adults; operated programs for artists' professional development; and mounted an extensive series of public programs. We produce approximately four exhibitions and 40 workshops, performances, and events annually.

Today, Eyebeam offers residencies and fellowships for artists and technologists working in a wide range of media. At any given time, there are up to 12 resident artists and fellows onsite at Eyebeam's production spaces in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, developing new projects and creating work for open dissemination through online, primarily open-source, publication as well as a robust calendar of public programming that includes free exhibitions, lectures and panels, participatory workshops, live performances and educational series.