Programmed Machines. Post-screen works: Computer sigillati/Sealed Computers (1992-)
“Le installazioni di Computer sigillati erano come 'officine metafisiche', ambienti-processo con centinaia di macchine programmate per generare flussi di immagini inesauribili e lasciate funzionare senza schermo.......”
“Il desiderio di creare immagini immense ricorre nella storia dell'arte, ma è irrealizzabile nel tempo di cui dispone l'artista: in queste installazioni l'azione artistica è delegata al tempo infinito della macchina......”
Centinaia di computer programmati per generare flussi inesauribili di immagini casuali e lasciati funzionare all'infinito (serie IMs, Naa, Atlas2). Dal 1992 alcune macchine sono state "sigillate" (serie Computer sigillati): le immagini vengono generate ininterrottamente ma senza poter diventare oggetti fisici.
Hundreds of computers were programmed to generate flows of continuously expanding random images and left to run ad infinitum (IMs Naa, and Atlas2 series ). From 1992 some of these machines were "sealed" (Sealed Computers) in such a way that images are continuously generated but they are prevented from becoming physical objects.
"The project series Sealed Computers by Maurizio Bolognini points us to what might form the most significant line of force in the field of software-based art......"
"Bolognini's cryptic universe is silent and inaccessible as a galaxy. Generating images that would cover a surface area of approximately four square miles a day, the installation could feasibly cover every inch of the world."
Lily Faust (NY Arts Magazine)
"The complete inaccessibility of the vast quantity of visual imagery created by the work references a technological sublimity of the void beneath the digital world....."
Benjamin Garfield (The Cyborg Subject)
"I do not consider myself an artist who creates certain images, and I am not merely a conceptual artist. I am one whose machines have actually traced more lines than anyone else, covering boundless surfaces. I am not interested in the quality of the images produced by my installations but rather in their flow, their limitlessness in space and time, and the possibility of creating parallel universes of information made up of kilometres of images and infinite trajectories. My installations serve to generate out-of-control infinities......" (MB)
Sealed series (1992-)
Art Aesthetics, in Mono, n.
1, Ed. FBAUP Porto, July 2007:
from Garfield Benjamin,
The Cyborg Subject: Reality, Consciousness, Parallax,
Palgrave Macmillan, London 2016, pp. 87-88:
Machine Art in the Twentieth Century,
Press, Cambridge Ma 2016, p. 1:
from Eduardo Navas,
Art, Media Design and Postproduction, Routledge, London 2018, pp.
"I argue that the persistence of cinematic in long-duration network aesthetics proves crucial for explaining the way lateral time inflects historical temporality in the digital age. Beyond Youtube, a number of new media artworks share Every Icons concern with nonhuman timescales. At the same time, many of these works draw extensively on cinematic forms and aesthetics in ways that demonstrate an abiding interest in the history of media forms and, more generally, the changing status of historical experience. [...] It may be helpful to sketch a continuum among long-duration works, several of which have become well-known in discussions of new media aesthetics. At one extreme of lateral time lies Italian artist Maurizio Bolognini's anti-cinematic Sealed Computers, one piece in a series of Programmed Machine works produced in the 1990s. In this work Bolognini networks computers in the gallery and program them to generate abstract images indefinitely. One doesn't actually get to see the images, as Bolognini has encased the computers in silicone to prevent access. Save for the whirring of fans cooling hard disks, there is little indication to the viewer that these computers are actually doing anything. Nonetheless, they run on and on, speculatively marking a kind of time through the production of images that we cannot see."
from Marijke Goeting, Through the Time Barrier. Art and Design in the Digital Age, APRIA #02: Time Matters, 2021, pp.35-50:
"For an artist like Bolognini, the technological sublime resides predominantly in the field of info art and generative software, because these technologies produce something that is as much determined by the artist as it is under and beyond his control. In a sense, these technologies level the position of the artist and the viewer, who are both challenged by the force and scope of computation. ‘Computer-based technologies make available something which moves in the direction of transcending the artist,’ Bolognini writes, ‘creating a discrepancy and a disproportion between the artist and his/her work.’ In sum, Sealed Computers reflects on the fact that contemporary digital technology can evoke a sublime experience precisely because of its inherent lack or dispensability of visual representation. This is underlined by the observation that contemporary technologies are designed not to signify, but to disappear into functionality. That is why the technological sublime is characterized by ‘blank and static activity,’ critic Jeremy Gilbert-Rolfe writes, ‘intelligence without gestural expression, encoding without inflection or irregularity, pure measurement, and pure power. It is found in machines which resist personification but nonetheless interact with the human."
from Giacomo Pigliapoco, "Maurizio Bolognini", in Salto nel Vuoto. Arte al di là della Materia, GAMeC Books, pp. 235-236:
"Bolognini manifesta in Sealed Computers come il processo algoritmico di creazione sia una simulazione dell'atto umano di ideazione. I Computer sigillati, con la loro capacità fisiologica di generare contenuti, sono degli organi intellettivi, in grado di produrre contenuti artistici, sradicati dai limiti temporali della finitezza umana e posizionati nello spazio espositivo, per conservare il processo infinito di esecuzione. I computer diventano così una manifestazione dell'ingegno dell'artista, un'oggettivazione del suo ruolo di creatore di immagini, rendendo questo flusso creativo potenzialmente sconfinato nel tempo ed esprimendo sinteticamente il desiderio umano di restare al mondo."