Algenic Codes

The dawning of a new era has already broken!

The pyrotechnologic civilization is slowly exhausting. This started at the dawning of civilization with the discovery of fire as a source to forge metals, and came to its climax with the industrial revolution and the use of pit-coal. While this civilization is ending, a new one, that opens unimaginable perspectives – both in a positive and in a negative sense – to future generations, is evolving, founding its relations on biotechnologies and information technology.

And if pyrotechnology era had Alchemy as philosophical frame and conceptual guide to technological manipulation of nature made by man, the new biotechnological age will find in Algeny a new philosophical perspective and a dominant metaphor for this immense, dreadful, fascinating world of scientific research, that will condition all social, economical, ethical and moral relationships. Alchemy, deriving from the Arabic term that means “perfection”, tended to push and help nature, through the guide of man and fire, to come to its optimal status, that in gold found its image of incorruptibility and – precisely – its perfection. Algeny (the term was created by Nobel prize Joshua Lederberg, an American biologist) has the aim to change the essence of living being, to better living organisms already existing and to project new ones, with the intent to bring to perfection their performances. The final scope of an algenist is to build in laboratory, through manipulation, recombining and programming of genetic material (the DNA) of any living being, the perfect organism, whose “golden status” is represented by its optimal efficiency. All this through the use of more and more sophisticated information systems.

Genetic manipulation is already provoking global changes in the most different fields of economy – from the agricultural to the energetic, pharmaceutical and medical field – setting the basis of the so-called new bio-industrial revolution.

Obviously this creates the possibility of heated debates on the bio-ethic and moral ground, as well as it happened for the industrial revolution: but if it is true that the damages made by technology are incalculable, because of foolishness and human avidity, it is also true that the advantages for all humanity have been enormous. The same will happen for biotechnological revolution: but it’s impossible, as men of culture, not being fascinated and affected by this huge technological subversion that is already under everybody’s eyes.

Artists have always been conditioned by great scientific and technological changes: a large part of art, starting from Renaissance, is full of iconological valences coming from an alchemical matrix; painters and sculptors have interacted with the world of medicine and science, offering their work to the comprehension of living world, even also projecting technological instruments (e.g. Leonardo).

But also modern and contemporary art hasn’t free itself from celebrating new researches in technological and scientific field: it is enough to think to the interest that the advent of microscopy caused in abstract art – Kandinskij is a perfect example – or to think to the influence that the rising of new industrial technologies had on the artistic research of our Futurism. Lucio Fontana himself founds his poetic on one of the biggest dream of mankind (the conquest of cosmos), made true by the marriage of science and technology, that is to conquer new frontiers of space and time, following the laws laid down by Einstein. Sometimes artists anticipated scientific actions, but more often scientific actions provoked or conditioned artistic actions.

For this – as an artist and a biologist – I dedicate this new cycle of works – the Algenic Codes – to the rising of this extraordinary philosophical and scientific process.

Even if my painting has always felt the effect of my being biologist and scientific designer, and even if I oriented my personal stylistic research in the abstraction field, I’ve always tried to tell the relationship between the living unity, completed or in development, in its multiple shapes, and the whole power of the germinative element, that is the egg.

Today, without abandoning the valence of narrative abstraction, that better suits to my level of language, laid aside the intents maybe too didactic of my former cycles – Contemplations and the Eulogies of Square – I reached a dry synthesis of content.

I’m not interested anymore in putting in relation different phases, nor I don’t feel anymore the need to interconnect biological shapes with strictly geometrical ones.

My only intention is to show the infinite morphological potential of living, through its archetypal common valence – the symbol that in my paintings constantly repeat itself every time in a different way -, and through the infinite quantity and variety of signs – genetic material, DNA made linear or entangled – creating CODES that are, in a metaphoric sense, the same that biotechnologist are trying to interpret.

A tension full of doubts, anxiety and expectations remains, obviously, and in a very strong way. But who has no tension, in these times?


Bruto Pomodoro