The first of a series of public art installations that connect art and science. The site-specific installation takes place on the terrace of Palazzo Reale in Palermo by the international artist who has been living and working in Sicily since 2018.
Since the dawn of time, mankind has sought answers to the secrets of the universe through the most mystical paths: art with its fascination and science with its discoveries. Together, they create the path to understanding what fascinates us in different fields and hold the key that allows us to grasp the true power of beauty.
The human need for discovery is perceived in advance by art and later by the transformation of the paradigms of science. For example, the three-dimensionality of space and the uniqueness of time belong to a model of perception of the world in which images are believed to be a faithful reproduction of reality, and this perception becomes insufficient when the epochal problem of imaginative perception focuses on the non-directly perceptible representation of energy. With the evolution of technology, the images of painting could no longer compete with photography and film in faithfully reproducing perceived reality, there is therefore a need to express through the arts a new perception of the world linked to its more intrinsic and dynamic aspects.
For contemporary artists, today’s ever-changing stream of scientific developments is a boundless source of inspiration, enabling the creation of original works of art that would have been unthinkable a few decades ago. What was once unimaginable, or at least inconceivable, is now being transformed into reality through the creation of art objects that challenge the mind and body, surpassing human limits. This is the case with the timeless sculptures of Edoardo Dionea Cicconi, the Italian artist who investigates the relationship between art and science with his projects, trying to sensitise viewers to grasp the subtle relationship that links the world’s phenomena to a concept of intrinsic beauty.
In his latest work, the artist, investigating the relationship between substance and light, has codified the true colours of the aurora borealis by making them digital, creating a light sculpture that projects a moving play of colours into the sky; this is the first time Cicconi has used light as the sole medium for his art, experimenting with new technologies. A sculptural aurora that becomes a collectively usable phenomenon, the installation that is open to the public leaves the observer breathless and marks a new chapter in the artist’s research.
The sculpture was created on the historic terrace of the Palazzo Reale in Palermo, and this location, probably one of the most important and prestigious places in all of Sicily, was not chosen by chance; the Palazzo Reale is the oldest royal palace in Europe, since 2015 it has been part of the World Heritage List and its sumptuous decorations are a true manifesto of Arab-Norman art, an eclectic symbol of openness and cultural exchange. The palace houses the Astronomical Observatory of Palermo, founded in 1790, internationally renowned for its specific vocation in the field of space astrophysics. Today is also the headquarters of INAF – the National Institute of Astrophysics.
In this installation entitled “AKR”, the relationship between substance and light is investigated, and the title refers to radio emissions naturally produced by planet Earth. Edoardo Cicconi tells us about one of the most intense electromagnetic phenomena, called Auroral Kilometric Radiation (AKR). Since other planets also emit cyclotron radiation, AKR could be used to learn more about Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune and to detect extrasolar planets. “We are happy to collaborate with the artist”, The Director of INAF OAPa Francesco Bocchino states, “This installation, through art, ‘returns’ the aurora borealis to Palermo – this phenomenon was formerly observed by the Observatory’s astronomers but today could hardly occur, given the light and air pollution of our city”.
The installation will become a meeting point for in-depth discussions and interviews, where researchers, scientists and artists will question contemporary issues such as ecology, cohabitation, integration, the future and technology. The reflection on the changing perception of space and time in science is still open and far from an unambiguous conclusion. Science fact is an ongoing exploration of new ways of thinking.
“Time and Space are two universal themes. I think that all artists in general reflect on them. It is impossible to reflect on something without taking time and space into consideration because it would be something non-existent, without reason” The Cicconi states “the care and attention towards the materials and the creative process must correspond to the dedication towards researching a narrative and a strong, underlying concept”.
The project, made possible with the support of ARS – the Sicilian Regional Assembly, and with the patronage of the MIC – the Ministry of Culture, Comune di Palermo, INAF – the National Institute of Astrophysics, is supported by ANCE Palermo, Art Made in Sicily, and Vintage by Callari, and was promoted by RESIN ETS. All realities actively promote the territory of Sicily, as well as the technical partners “Sinergie Group” and “D&D Show”. The GIBEL APS platforms will convey video insights and interviews, where researchers, scientists and artists will question contemporary issues such as ecology, cohabitation, integration, future and technology.
After Palermo, the installation will also be shown in Milan, Florence and Rome during 2023.
“Time and Space, are two universal themes. I think that all artists in general reflect on them. It is impossible to reflect on something without taking time and space into consideration because it would be something non-existent, without reason” & “The care and attention towards the materials and the creative process must correspond to the dedication towards researching a narrative and a strong, underlying concept”.
Edoardo Dionea Cicconi “AKR” / Frequencies of Light
Artist: Edoardo Dionea Cicconi / @edoardo_dionea_cicconi
Words: Alisia Marcacci / @miabrowe
Editor: Maria Abramenko / @mariabramenko
Photo & Video: Caccia Luca
Cicconi Edoardo Dionea
Di Liberti Dario
Edit: Cave Studio