Visual Alchemy

Maria Chiara Fagioli




Portfolio 2017.



“Edea” is a written and visual content story of two different cultures in an internal dialogue, who meet in a place intended to implosion, between Atlantis/Ulysses and ET/Wall-E. In the middle silences, solitary lands, the hope expressed in a little unknown life never seen before: the thread of life. The arcane that connects to the new “Self”.
The dilemma: tabula rasa or sad acceptance.
By leaving the ground the universe is closer. But no return.
Each step will crumble the previous.
So the deep sense and questioning of humankind, without gender dialectics.



The greatest lesson of life can be love, meant to be universal. The moral of the story raises questions about freedom perceived and commonly accepted, so our nature, the real emancipation, and relationships. In the end, peace, given and taken, the largest act of love and freedom.
Love is definitely the allegorical matter that allows transmutation, change. Humus, but never a bond of ill addictions.



“Edea – Brush of Wings – Dialogues with the Self” is a [Limited ed. of 10 albums] Graphic project 18×18 cm, plus 9×9 cm Gicleé FineArt Baryta Hahnemühle prints 325 gsm, extra smooth light gloss. Plus a double cover and laces.


The AR Album, Instructions for Use:
1. Download/Read the AR Book “Edea – Brush of Wings – Dialogues with the Self” >> 
2. Download the Aurasma app ( )
3. Scan the Pages containing the AR symbol with a mobile device
4. Enjoy the AR Book !


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Abstract liquid photography is the new old unphotographable

The exploration of the photographic medium thus reaches the abstract genre, the crucial limbo of many practices from painting to music. Technically blurred or not exactly sharp, multi-exposure, in immediately recognizable compositions, sometimes distorted, the photographs become interpretive and subjective. Abstract thought turns out to be vast, a free flow less constrained by schemes and rationality. Many photographers have pursued the invisible, or rather, what is distant from the visible, from the real. They are seekers of dreams, deities, builders of liquid and chameleon-like thoughts. Variables vary from the aesthetic factor to a more functional one, such as optics and science. Without powerful telescopic derivations we would ignore the lunar craters or other wonders of the solar system and surroundings. We can also mention other uses, light-beam or electron microscopes, and facial recognition that interact with global security systems. In the last months of 2017, Apple are also improving the Face ID technology, which scan faces via smartphones, mirror less camera and selfie logic. Some improvements to be implemented due to inaccurate authorizations. So photography is about computer engineering in the digital age, but also about dreams and allegories. Unthinkable worlds can be seen, and what we see becomes astonishment and representation of a limit just a moment before unimaginable. And from a photograph, visual and infrared mapping spectrometer, and from 13 years of Cassini’s orbit, we could hypothesise life on Saturn.


© Alvin Langdon Coburn, Vortograph, 1917, Photography


The distinctions between image and photography remain an almost unresolved issue, due to the various forms of representation and use. A labyrinthine meaning takes shape between sense and nonsense, in which the spectator without any reference point is unprepared and forced into too personal reasoning or emotion. So Pollock and Alvin Langdon Coburn’s Vortograph recall the spirals of the spirit, expanding colours and hallucinatory jets up to the kaleidoscope, not only an aesthetic appeal but an intense way of experiencing the creation itself, all-encompassing. Exploratory. The more or less organised entropic figures distance themselves from tradition and from indexical univocality, and this is the great fracture ontological and of significance, as well as immediate commercial embarrassment. The vision is transformed into turning leaves, photomontages, in which disciplines and vision of visions merges, and seal new and contrasting feelings because not completely grasped, even if they come from everyday life.


© Maria Chiara Fagioli, Anaesthesia series, 2017-2018, Digital photography, 50 × 75 cm


As in the well-known exponent of the Bahuaus László Moholy-Nagy, photography is the presence of thought, whether geometric and rational, or more casual and instinctive. Hence, new approaches to the genre and the image builders raise, no longer passive moment depictions, but waiters for Godot and visual alchemists. These distinctive efforts take shape into new codifications, composing images and stylistic individualities and languages.
The abstracts are distinguished into pure and real, and it is precisely the same concrete root that makes the intellectual process non-objective and contradictory in terms. Acceptance and liking are often proportional to our receptivity to new models. American pictorialism and expressionism have followed up personal imaginaries that can open to the universe. Geometries, colours, or dynamic fluids make the composition, which in turn may result in a harmonious product of elements.
The judgment coincides with the break-through openness.



Reference list:


Combining all the possibilities together, up to mixed reality.

Experiencing unexpected combinations leads to mixed reality, spaces of languages and emotions. Mixed-reality is that system in which physical and virtual worlds merge together. Predictive and generally computational models are used in the virtual world to increase experiences and knowledge on visible reality. Digital photography has almost completely abandoned the dark red light caves, and increasingly uses software and dialogues with integrated systems executing various functionalities. In particular, such calculation systems are assembled according to architectures into hardware structures. Let’s take an ordinary smartphone or a PDA of the first twenty years of the Twenty-First century. They will include a digital photographic resource, objects that are increasingly interfaceable and able to communicate with each other. It is precisely this transversality and reversibility of the elements that move the concept of photography further. Controls and stimulations are the cause of a different approach both from the learning point and from the movement generated to obtain the expected results. The engineer and the designer are increasingly in symbiosis, a bit like the photographic concept at its birth.

The purposes are many: from visualization, to prototyping, to commercial developments. A verisimilitude to the world of reality is often required to make familiar and natural the context. This implies that the lighting and shadow conditions must be considered in the final rendering. In addition to photographic post-production, up to digital art, architectural studies use the method of image reconstruction, which it can be through sensors, with the purpose of obtaining real images, sometimes so photorealistic to lose the artificial taste. When rebuilding an environment, the starting point is to calculate the radiance distribution through optical instruments. Then proceeding with the numerical calculation in order to elaborate algorithms of luminance approximation, direct and indirect, and of probability. Calculations so precise and complex that they can also become real-time. Thus, it is possible to create hundreds of frames, to be then mechanized in successive dynamics, both simulating visual effects of light and interactions. The production of photorealistic reality is growing in visualization applications and augmented reality.


© Maria Chiara Fagioli, AR book Wonder Branada, 2015, AR digital photography

Notes: Thanks to the augmented reality you can see the evolutions of Spartacus’ flight, a seagull traveller. Given a photograph and through a third-party application, the photograph comes alive.


This technological requirement has led to the creation of methods and tools to identify the brightness level and create scenes of composite objects, returning mixed-reality renderings.

In this sense, the truthfulness of the images can be questioned about the difference from a human eye, so when the image coincides with photography, and therefore also on the ethics of production. It is exactly when there is an act of progress, that it is difficult to understand if what we depend on is at our service or against our humanity. For this, the effects of the technical frenzy boomerang might be foreseen and assimilated within our societies. The exploitation of resources is not understood only as a form of coercion on the environment, but also on our nature itself. Every change affects the whole world balance. When a precarious and exploited existing state accomplishes a model that leads to technological unemployment and technical improvements, a shared and widespread permanent prosperity opens a diatribe, in the name of new cyclical austerities. At best, humanity could give birth to sedated, specialized beings, and unaware of the greatest right of life, but overwhelmed by consumption that from time to time will change name and form. So, here we come to the army of Google Robot that automatically processes and recognizes the best photographs of Street View, and drones that fly over our future. Precisely at the frontiers of artificial intelligence and the issue of giving robots a black box, there’s a need to understand the limit to the use of robotic means before their industrialization, and the modality of our interaction, in the most extreme war and pornography scenarios. The artefacts of these new realities, in the photographic sector and in general in the real world, will define the ethical boundaries of this new humanity, if abnegation or new dignity development, and its interaction, aesthetic perceptive and experiential.

In the beginning it was the individual image.


Reference list:


The possible declinations of the photographic concept arise

Cinema, in its essence photography in motion, offers many ideas for experimental research, and can embrace the abstract concept of use and meaning through colour, which in turn can synaesthetically affect physiologically induced music.
At the base of the cinema development, there are visionaries, inventors and storytellers who, from the moving sequence of photographic images, have structured a highly technological and narrative language according to time and therefore in perspective of the evolution variables. Much of the technique results to be manual, as well as was hand colouring films in the early colour cinema, while the intellectual contribution has been the stimulus to the investigation and interrogation of possible realities. Understanding the era and the reactions to novelties is also tracing the boundaries of a medium, which can then be disregarded from time to time. The manual colour applied as it was done in the late-19th century before the invention of colour photography, was understood as an approach that did not conform to the values of cinema aesthetics and its intrinsic realism. In fact, Kinemacolor and Technicolor were the first successful colour photographic processes. Nowadays, digital software, like Lightroom and mostly Photoshop, have reduced the clear distinction of the photographic medium, expanding the initial vision of reality and mixing other techniques such as watercolour. Photography meets fantasy, provoking new mixed media concepts, especially in the fashion industry and in the editorial.


© Craig Mc Dean, Vogue Italia, 2008, Mixed media photography


However, the Myth of Total Cinema seems to be affected by the doctrine of the faithful and realistic reproduction of what the eye of our eye sees in everyday life, mechanically projecting matter and movement. Exactly the dynamic evolution loses the perceived subject based on a more detached narrative dialectic. The photographic anthropocentrism is subverted, according to variables of use and a more sophisticated and structured sense, expressing the visible as macros, like the solar galaxy. The film director is only the creator of the Big Bang, always assuming is the Great Beginning, the one from which the whole chain reaction starts, leading to the cosmological model of the constituted universe. There is no longer a thesis and its opposite, but a current that shapes tendencies and disciplines a collective experience, ultimately producing the film.
The search for transcendental knowledge has made synaesthetic studies possible across various media. Oskar Fischinger, through his optical poems during the Second World War, managed to significantly connect Franz Liszt’s music to paper in stop motion, in Technicolor. Harmonised chromatic circles that vibrate and move visually, and drag the viewer towards dynamic and abstract rhythms, intend to reproduce the sound. Previously the neurologist J. Leonard Corning, had written on the effects of chromatic vibrations and music, which can influence the observed patients until hallucinatory forms, bringing consequent emotions.
The artistic and modernist attempts to interpret the medium can be defined as a vernacular approach to matter, not in the derogatory sense, but as an act of profound research and otherness. The nature of the medium is studied in a given historical period, offering reflections on cinema as an extension of other existing and possible means. So, the enchanted images of the Phantoscope pictures projected, become wonder and curiosity, an end in itself and the boundary of the device, which is why the experimenter plays and explores new languages, future new mechanisms. The underlying logic is the amused enjoyment of performance and personal culture, such as the use of Jenkins’ applied iconography. A standard of reading and understanding is possible thanks to literacy. The colour dynamics are taken for non-fictional uses, public communication and advertising, with the purpose of guiding the viewer emotionally.

By developing contexts that influence the subconscious, colour consciousness broadens the spectrum of the social and educational function of cinema. Thus, our experience in the world explores our inner interests in occult desires, up to the spirituality obtained by Kandinsky’s musical metamorphosis and senses. And perhaps this is the greatest critical and aesthetic challenge of the moving image.
Visual becomes silent, silent becomes sound.


© Maria Chiara Fagioli, AR experience – Edea, 2017, Video

Notes: Augmented reality enhances experiences. I used the photographs of the Edea portfolio to enrich the reality of the printed book. The images in motion, allow an alternative key to the use and meaning of picture, exploring techniques and languages. The spectator is involved in this abstract rhythm of mixed media concepts.


Reference list:


Every color is emotion, every emotion is persuasion.

It is interesting to understand how colour can affect the emotional sphere according to factorial analysis models, given by experimental observation on scientific basis. Often in advertising, tonalities are chosen based on what they want to communicate, so feelings up to an epistemic vision that is stimulated in the spectator.

This is the case of a research conducted on 31 volunteers to understand how they responded to 20 colour stimuli on a given preference scale of colour-emotion, thus taking into account the activity-weight-temperature degree for single colours categorized by Osgood and observed by Kobayashi and Sato, until the development of a fourth factor to be analysed, the hardness. The significant differences in the data obtained were not so much of gender, as those of chroma and brightness, directly connected to the fifth factor that is the dynamics hypothesized by Hogg, and possibly of appreciation. Tense and liking indicators responses underwent significant variations between British and Chinese people. Specifically, British people intended tension as active and like was cool as well as cool colour, while for Chinese tense coincided with hard, masculine, heavy, and like with cool, modern, clean and so applied in colour.

Despite different conditions and data, however, such colour-emotion factors can be reached, partly demonstrating that there can be a universal reading key, independent of geography and local culture. Sato studied the likes of the Japanese, and so on. It turned out that green and blue as primary colours, but also white were the favourites.
The factorial evaluation of the elements before the analytical collection is comparative: the classic hot-cold basically, although in this research this is considered an indirect emotional attribute. Subsequently, data are parametrized in the three-dimensional hue-lightness-chroma CIELAB colour space, the result of which is given by the relationship between the accuracy value of the interviewees and a negative-positive coefficient of correlation. The highest accuracy was estimated in weight and then weight-hardness. There are also interrelations and proportions among the factors and attributes.

From the factorial analysis, a predictive model of a couple’s emotion-colour combinations is realised, given by an equation that approaches the average idea of the intensities of each colour-emotion. The same applies to the various factors, which generate harmony-disharmony from the pleasure or less that arise in the observer, and attributes, such as chroma and luminosity. Certainly, a method with strong limits and inaccuracies.
Hence, the colour preference method based on values belonging to the CIELAB colour space, thus modelling a multi-variable system.
The model shows a certain preference based on hue, and in the subspecies on lightness, from the most appreciated blue to the lesser yellow, then the combination and quantification of the chromatic elements.

The perception of colour significantly impacts the human experience. The colour psychology and its persuasion that comes from these considerations is also a marketing aspect. Think of the red Coca Cola, which easily is associated with the brand.


© Maria Chiara Fagioli, Anaesthesia series, 2017-2018, Digital photography, 50 × 75 cm


Reference list:

The irrational and unconscious, the associative stimuli in photography and in the arts.

Since the end of the 1950s, the artistic movement Op Art, born from the encounter between Bauhaus’s shapes and colours in the first artistic phase


© Johannes Itten, The Encounter, 1916, Oil painting on canvas, 105 x 80 cm


and Futurism studies,


© Giacomo Balla, Velocità e rumore, 1914-5, Sculpture, 40.13 x 46.5 x 7.9 in.


becomes established, exploring phenomena of perception, and psychological and optical mechanisms in symbiosis with technology. It is formal abstraction, a language properly based on patterns of perception psychology, which stimulates visual effects, and optical sensations from the viewer’s point of view.

The greatest production is in painting and in cinematographic works, while the photography recalls objects on light-sensitive paper, the “Photograms” by László Moholy-Nagy, professor at the Bauhaus school, but also the cross avant-garde of the eclectic precursor Man Ray, like his “Rayograph” of the 1930s. Photographic work becomes an act of genius, mental, as well as image from real life. The mechanicalness of the medium blend imagination and shutter click elements. The technique is mixed with irrationality, towards new mechanical creations and ways of perceiving images by connecting them to unconscious and individual anxieties, till erotic fantasies. The spectator is indeed projected into formalist mechanical forms expressive languages or abstracting visions, where he acquires new knowledge of the world of senses and intellect.

From Optical Art, numerous experiments of visual mechanisms have been made, expanding the horizon with mathematical formulas and technical experiments.
Effects and sensations are the answer of the perceptual process as a result of visual stimuli organized in shapes, directions, and movements, finding crossroads between anatomy and physiology of the nervous system and the conscious of the observer. What it’s seen can manifest constancy phenomena, referring to constant elements for adaptation, experience, desires nature. The perceptive process establishes relationships with neural mechanisms of patterns, such as translations, dilations, rotations that can be combined into percept and unitary macros. What happens when percept leads to more perceptual experiences? This is the case of the synaesthetic phenomenon, where multisensory experiences occur as a result of a given stimulus, as in the case of graphemes and colour that may be associated. Synaesthesia influences perceptual and cognitive mechanisms in the same neural condition. Studies on colour contrast effects have hypothesized the relevant object-color association catalysed by a low-level visual perception, thus with-unconscious access.

From the tasting pictures, to colours that sound, art has described two types of experiences: the one realised by the synaesthetes, the one that provokes associations in the spectators, and we can remember Kandinsky and Anne Salz. In photography, we often find experimenters who recount an indefinite sense of impossible rationality, through compositions often hung in the balance between emotional involvement and the shutter click.


© Eggleston , Untitled Improvisation DCC 02.25 3-01 + Greenwood, Mississippi, 1973, Photography



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Who are you, oh Photography!

Photography is the transportable vehicle that carries information and syntax of experience.
It interprets the social change, testimony of the society we live in by intersecting technical modalities. In the 21st century, we have the convergence of photography with computer-based literacy, radically changing speeds, processes, debates, and trends. The film roll remains a medium to be archived or to be exposed, a memory of memory brushed up, if necessary, collectively. The birth of photography saw a mechanical device creating realistic images, in proportion to the times, primarily for cultural and social purposes, nourishing the traveller’s curiosity or what is ethnographic and anthropological documented with respectful reflection.
Between art and science, initially it was difficult to be placed. Accuracy was the specific feature of the medium, which was intended to recreate faithfully what the human eye saw, and later to give a personal style through the technique imposed by the hand, and so on, compositions and rules, image manipulation. In the industrial era it has become a representative and democratic means, albeit with significant differences between mass-media and sophisticated models. So the utility has extended up to fashion, ad, and forensic sectors, reinforcing also the concept of uniqueness now easily reproducible.
And every novelty breaks old certainty. The obvious correspondence with reality becomes digital manipulation, distorts realism, is flow of unconsciousness.
It is the human eye that makes majestic the photographic parable, candid curious radical significance dreamer. It was during the ’90s that photography has embraced other areas, such as graphics and typography, and skills have begun to expand and mix. Moreover, photographic images have changed also according to the processing and reproduction development, and finishing. On screen, they display a peculiar brightness or typical backlight, making the experience of the same picture so different from the printed version. Chemistry becomes a digital cloud, realism blurs toward abstraction.


© Maria Chiara Fagioli, Anaesthesia series, 2017-2018, Digital photography, 50 × 75 cm


So, the spectator-vision relationship also depends on the aesthetic and technological context, by relativising a way of living the medium in complex systems and multiple execution possibilities, engaging emotionally at various levels.

The theorized content interpretation is gradually overturned, and the empty message that was believed to be intrinsic in the multiplicity of portrayed “Figures”, as the quality of the thing itself, becomes an attempt of generative semiotics to be coded and transferred to the viewer. The significance of the message does not only reflect what the eye sees, but goes beyond the perception and the subject, expounding organized structures of different attributive status, in a kind of semantic grid of associative nature or less. Behind the “Mirror” we find the cosmos, the knowledge, our relationship with the existing society. Photography opens to the sequence, imaginary and structural movement, the lexeme abounds with lexemes. Photography is permanence, truth, dimensionality, and it can be just the opposite as abstract and transformative seed. Being and having to be actualised, significantly changes deeds over the years, focusing the attention on narrative-object motives.

The common denominator of photography is the technical instrumentation for obtaining the image: instrument and image. The 21st century sees the growth of a class of image makers who explore the boundaries of the medium to make it instrument of instrument, and open it to the broader sense of visual imagery connected to contemporary visual arts. Snap is eye, manipulation is intervention, increasingly sophisticated and multi-coordinate.



Reference list:



The democratic hearthquake

Immagine 1


Bodies, magnitude, collapse. Some details to get the same information. Words like tomato sauce and lasagna to geographically contextualize the accident. The Italian drama shifts on culinary recipes. It’s the cartoon of Charlie Hebdo, by definition a satirical weekly magazine.

Two figures standing with a big and markedly hawk nose, typical of the Middle Eastern ethnicity but also salient trait of the Italian poet Dante Alighieri. An ordinary man, covered in medical bandages and blood-spattered, next to a woman with her eyes closed, sagging breasts and belly skin. They all belong to the same team, wearing identical summer clothes. On the night of the 24th of August, Amatrice was completely gone. Next to the couple, slabs of stones stacked one above the other, punctuated by legs and feet, blood, and above all rocks.

300 in 2660 inhabitants died. Medieval towns, still conserving the ancient structure, rose up on the historical fault lines of the Apennines. Then successive quakes and destruction. Italy is between the tectonic plates of Eurasia and Africa, a geologically complex condition explained in the northeast movement at a rate of approximately 24 mm/year. Images of ruination, the proscenium is consumed by the arduous recovery of bodies. Meanwhile the seismic swarm incessantly amplifies damage. Fatigue, pain. The posthumous anger of the mayor Sergio Pirozzi of Amatrice for the sense of abandonment, or the immediate grotesque illustration, evoke and provoke, using an institutional or parodistic “J’Accuse”. Ultimately the eclipse of human beings’ finiteness.

A society can be defined as a structured set of characteristics that found mutual roles in democracy. Media, state, and society are involved in an osmotic and symbiotic relationship that moulds public opinion. The order is wrapped up by the social contract, diversifying conventions and traditions gone liberal and inclusive, through new models of subjugation and semantic connected schemes. While the materialistic global society provides power to the individual, human aggregation becomes a fading reflection underneath the superficial self. The fence establishes the collective welfare imposing its “opera omnia”.

Offence against decency, obscene speech, defamation, and injury turn into an ethical issue or a distress cause. The instigation is punishable, because it may harm or lead to excited reactions. In the middle, the lowest common denominator is hyper-control.

The naked truth is splashed across the front page: destruction, debris, rescues. There is no space and time for sensationalism, the story is self-evident and the way of reporting is objective, detached. Even the sense of aesthetics is limited to earth tones and busy people. Everything is unexpected, the man impotent. The human condition has now the two speeds of salvage and immobility still for a long time.

On the other side the secondary source compares deaths and injuries to culinary dishes, metaphor of the service offered by the Mafia. The grotesque admonishment describes the associative prejudice about Italy and crime. It led to an international dispute, plus some political exchanges between Italy and France, sometimes undiplomatic. The dangerous joke disgusted the Italian political class, and even the Interior Minister Angelino Alfano responded with a colorful vocabulary. The French Embassy distanced itself from the sentiment, not representing the general audience. In the meantime a priest invokes the Doomsday caused by civil unions. Blame or stones, whilst the cartoonist Michael Heath at the Spectator defended the right to satire, the dusty pastiche was causing anger and the media circus undermined the ability to rationalize. Delirium.

The regulation of speech easily falls on the history of human relations. In Skokie, Illinois, a Nazi-march was banned according to the American Constitution and its First Amendment, considered as an offense to the Jewish community. Just move to Italy and the fascist Celtic cross is tolerated, despite the symbolism is the crime of apology of fascism, the so-called Scelba Law. The “bouche de la lois” operates different standards, defining the limits of the legitimate constituted state. Liberalism may argue censorship, the judiciary system may reply the Offence Principle. The flags of hate violate equality and human rights and can not be accepted.

As in the Pirrandellian “One, No One and One Hundred Thousand”, the society mirrors a complex system of individual/social projections and blurred borders established by the same emotional factors that can affect the civil regulation, first of all. On Jan. 2015, 12 people were killed and 11 injured in the Paris attack against Charlie Hebdo. It was claimed by the radical Islamism, like the Rushdie affair was. The magazine was ironic about Muhammad on the cover of November: “100 lashes if you don’t die of laughter!”. The terrorist massacre opens the debate of the secular culture as opposed to the religious component. Among the largest of utopias is the human community, a systemic multiculturalism connected where everything is possible, and the social conduct is over the concept of blasphemy and dogmas for one or the other faith. In democratic terms, the multi ethnic society stands on the basic principles that do not have to offend anyone. Restrictions preserve democracy, the power from people, but face with contradictions. In fact, it’s remarkable that we can enumerate a lot of borderline visual parodies of other global leaders avoiding arming ourselves. During the French sexual scandal in 2014, the president François Hollande has been caricatured by the same magazine with a decadent small penis. Weeping. It was an intimate derisive personal attack, the Hobbesian invective gnome. No punishment or life-threatening consequences occurred. About one year before the Paris attack, the Metropolitan Museum of Art removed all the images of the mentioned Muslim leader. This zealous political correctness depicts the Islam taboo or phobia in the West, in times of conflict instead of confrontation. The visual semiotics and verbal communication expected not to be abusive or insulting, state a strong religious anxiety also from a legal viewpoint. This antidote to the uncanny contains an ontological trafficking of warnings between episteme, doxa/public opinion, dogma. So the corollary shows the characteristics of power and its subordinate branches, the object-subject-victim roles. In this context, Charlie Hebdo can be seen as a powerless minority in a vulnerable position.

The sociocultural differences between Islam and the West puts their deepest roots in an innuendo of historical circumstances and in vested roots of hierarchical freedoms. The dominant argumentation comes from religious and cultural background, the resultant force of fatwa or commandments. Absolutists such as Khomeini point at the western imperialism and insolence, while other fanatics persecute those who are not considered good Muslims. Who judges the Western hegemony, also professes the hegemony in the opposite direction. When dictatorship, the basic foundation of democracy falls down and the freedom of speech can be prosecuted also in the West “de facto”. Not least the terrorist cells radicalize teachings and precepts.

The gap between dominant cultures shows the limits of different nearly disingenuous systems. WikiLeaks, a public online library, in this sense raises crucial questions on privacy and secrecy. Julian Assange denounced illegal practices of multinationals and strong powers. His permanent confinement inside the Ecuadorian embassy in UK shows us the measure of the control exercised by those who are considered liberal states and the sense of justice. Recently the founder became harmless and the internet connection cut off. Accused of spying in US, also punishable by death penalty, similarly but conversely he has been proposed for the Nobel Peace Prize several times due to his contribution to transparency and information. In accordance with the hacker philosophy from which he comes from, he shares the positivist sense of solidarity-based economics and knowledge, but ethical duty and rule of law can collide. If the democratic responsibility is to preserve the life of the people, beyond a reasonable doubt, and to disseminate the principles of democracy, once again behind the veil the machine is defective and domestication may result unpredictable.

From the state of nature the evolved mammal transcends his basic needs and instincts, entering complex adaptive emotions and relations but also their opposites. Civilization depicts the highest thought and aspiration, but also the lowest behavior and ambition. In this boundary line between progress and degeneration, the human being is definitely the tightrope walker of evolution or deprecated progress, served by accidents and attempts that will occur. Aggregation is none other than a system of belonging accents. While the human being is able to reason and abstract standing erect, contrarily would no longer be a creature of reflection, but mimesis of blurred traits, ambiguous brutality and Frankenstein’s abomination.

Returning to the cartoon, the satire may deconstruct a social dynamic, a taboo. In this case the listener and the author share an unresolved matter. Charlie Hebdo’s intention is to ridicule the Mafia, not the earthquake victims. The attitude of the speaker is in good faith towards the object of humor, although naively exceeds the boundary of mourning. Clearly it’s not glamorizing violence and blood, like the avantpop Oliver Stone’s censored Natural Born Killers did. 

The ethical issue opens on existential height considerations such solidarity and the respect for human dignity and suffering. They are inversely proportional to the economic objectives of the profit-driven mass market, not objectifying the politics of scoop but also the provocative, filthy language for commercial purposes. The illustration symbolizes the complex problem of the layered freedoms within the fields of press, speech, information.  If there is any conscience of conduct it can’t be imposed, so the practice drives a synoptic embarrassing contradiction in which a voluntary attitude instead of independence, puts the harnesses on wild horses. The market censorship is the most ruthless of the demons. The spiral of neoliberalism crushes vices and virtues in the same way, serving carrot and stick to global illusionists. Journalistic satire or journalism are both healthy and increase power and choral influence. It’s hard nut to crack the unaffiliated voice. Variance and covariance conform to groups and groups of groups, so even the minority is subordinate to a trend or expression, barely questioning on the Gothic Line.

With the advent of social networks humor and communication become less reasoned. We are experiencing an unmanageable global wave, almost uncontrollable. Analyzing Facebook, the founder Mark Zuckerberg applies censorship to nudes by Helmut Newton considered pornographic instead part of our heritage, but also an uncontrolled self-regulation policy over comments among users. We can remember sexist insults to Laura Boldrini, the Italian President of the Chamber, on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. So much content to deal with, algorithms of approximation that do not argue the logic.

In February 2015  the famous hashtags “Is threatens” and “We_Are_Coming_O_Rome” satirized excessively on Twitter the imminent invasion of the Caliphate in Italy too. Demystifying provocations. Compared to the French case, only a general belittlement and amusement of the weak points of a thesis. Rome is chaotic, a challenge even for the Romans, who ask for respecting the line of conquest. When the mask is removed, the foreseeable decades.

Minstrels and court jesters continue to be in vogue professions. They no longer wear medieval clothing, but translate their colorful inner world into real language and figurative contribution.

May win Nobel prizes, like the cases of Italian Dario Fo or the American Bob Dylan, singing stories or doing the world foolish. The author observes and shakes up the psyche to assert positive values or less, in a territory where forms and conventions embrace genuine expressions and anti conformism.

During the performance, the other or the classes are treated as the locution to be ironically deconstructed, metaphor of cold myths and satyrs. So the tragicomedy “satura lanx” is presented through allusions and deductions, arguing to prove by contradictions and paradoxes more or less legitimate by the audience. Often far from objectivity and detachment, the expressive vehicle is to bind the opposites of figures and emotions in a resulting disjointed, fictitious archetype of laws, ethics and morality. The distorted communication may lead to a picturesque form of insult or a burlesque reality of vices and scapegoats, victims and accomplices. The figuration may be extreme, carries embarrassment and describes the best funambulatory condition of the human being. Satire is the real medicine for the comfort zone of the politically correctness, where the exquisite reflection of the counterpoised transcends disparaging or fatuous landscapes. These rolled defects shape and transform new social variations and relations, distancing from the miserable laughter due to the throwing cake on face. Dario Fo symbolizes the pagan medievalist invoking deities and fictional paramnesia disguised in the most courtly of languages. He portrays the pure cultural relativism of the ruling class, careful cautious fixed. Italy is definitely  the Middle Ages of the sociopolitical dynamics. Now he can take the liberty to wear a headdress of days gone by, staring like a Dali while he speaks and prophesies. The contemplative eloquence scratches the foolishness of the immutability, in the artistic sphere where the saints are gods, and people can deceive themselves on honest inclined planes. Finally, the rational preconstituted order bursts, allegories and fantasies fill old beliefs.

What is hell, what is Eden, the imitation is an upside world. The hero becomes the narrator who subverts the current moral, roles, and muster rolls. (S)he turns into the orchestra leader of the audience, highlighting related frustrations and hidden fantasies.

The Mafia is a criminal organization which turns its profits usually through violent acts. From a business viewpoint is an enlarged cooperative company. Its tentacles also infect the real estate development, suffering from poor quality building materials. At the time the illustration was created, the connection event-causality was fictitious and there’s no concrete evidence of the speculation conducted over the years by Mafia and ‘Ndragheta. The case law is handling contracts, omissions and contributory negligence yet, both of historical and recent houses. While trying to understand all the nuances to laugh at natural disasters or deride the citizenry marked by centuries of historical subjugation, the effort of connecting the dots points out a country, or a neighbor, nothing more than Pizza Mafia and Mandolin.

A bitter pill to swallow. Après La Grande Bouffe.

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Earthquakes in Italy, Myanmar Show Power of World’s Fault Lines [online].

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‘Is minaccia’, la satira è sui social network [online].

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The “Grande Lisboa”: dreamlike microcosm to discover.

“Here the sea ends and the land begins.”

Rectangular-shaped and almost one-third of the Italian area, Portugal is the westernmost country of the Continental Europe, facing completely the Atlantic Ocean and bordering only with Spain.
It consists of a favoured maritime position, with its 830 km of coastline. During the Age of Exploration, a considerable experience was acquired in navigation, enabling the creation of a large colonial supremacy over the centuries: Africa, Asia, South America.
The rule ended in 1975 in conjunction with the independence of Angola, Mozambique, Guinea Bissau, Islands of Cape Verde, São Tomé and Principe, so in 1999 Macao returned to China.
The territory, influenced by the Azores anticyclone especially in the North, is subdivided into southern Subtropical – Mediterranean and north temperate maritime climate.

In general the landscape belongs to the Quercetum domain: oak, cork, Holm. The deciduous trees are mostly present in the humid northern regions (Quercus pyrenaica, chestnut, beech); in the warmer and dry south prevail persistent species. The centre is characterized by mixed vegetation formations (Quercus lusitanica).
In altitude zones are relevant typical arboreal associations of cold environment (Scots pine, Celtiberian birch, heather meadows, and juniper); on sandy coastal soils are lush and maritime pines, Erica arborea scrub towards the south – centre, moreover the dwarf palm, carob, mastic, wild olive.

The population has an average density of 112/km2 and a third lives in the two districts the Grande Lisboa and Grande Oporto.
The country has maintained a traditional economic structure linked to primary activities (agriculture, fishing, farming, mining), still influenced by rural traditions and lifestyle, but with a constant development of industrial and service sectors, after joining the European Community and a worldwide cultural – sport agenda.

Portugal is a presidential Republic based on the Constitution of August 10 1989, whose head of state, “President da República”, is elected every five years under adult Universal suffrage. Legislative power is in the hands of the National Assembly, “Assembleia da República”, whose deputies are voted by the people every four years. The country is administratively divided into eighteen districts, “distritos”, including constituencies municipal, “concelhos”, headed by a mayor, “President da Câmara Municipal”.
The archipelagos of the Azores and Madeira are autonomous regions, but unlike the Italian Valle d’Aosta don’t enjoy economic prosperity, but above all attracting landscapes.

The Portuguese capital, Lisbon, was founded by the Phoenicians under the name of Alis Ubbo. The Romans renamed Olisippo, who became later Olisippona, then Lissapona and finally Lisboa.
In the seventh century the city was conquered by the Arabs of North Africa until it was freed by the first king of Portugal, Dom Afonso Henriques, in the twelfth century.
Lisboa is composed of seven hills like Rome and is situated at the mouth of the Tejo river, whose banks are connected by two major bridges: the red “25 do Abril” of 1976 and the white “Vasco de Gama” of 1999, in honour of the fifth centenary of the discovery of the sea route to India.
From the other side of the first bridge is visible the massive statue of Cristo Rei, representing Jesus with open arms that reminds the Rio masterpiece.
“Children with proud gaze, the lynx eyes of Braganza, looking at the North.
Dreaming the overseas, as garland intertwined in a dance.”
The first time I landed in Lisbon, I got the impression of a vibrant European city and at the same time a placid, mild place between America and Europe.
People hurry but are also available to engage a conversation in one of the innumerable coffee bars. They are kind, willing to guide you for a stretch of road if needed. Priceless.
It is worth to forget the wrist watch and climb alleys, following the curvy medieval streets of the seven hills.

Here begins the discovery of the ancient glories of the Portuguese navigators.
Starting from Praça do Commercio, a square plaza enclosed by three arcades where in the middle stands the equestrian bronze statue of Don José, in front of Rio Tejo. In the nearby river station you have the possibility of
boat tours, enjoying a romantic and seductive prospect of Lisbon.
From the monumental Arco Triunfal, adorned at the top by the Gloria symbology crowning the Genius and the Value, runs the “Rua Augusta”, which culminates in the central district of Baixa – Chiado, renovated by Marques de Pombal after the earthquake that razed the city to the ground in 1755.
The absorbed bronze statue of writer Fernando Pessoa merges into the dichromatic tiling of the street, out of the garnished Baixa – Chiado underground. Then the immersive atmosphere of emblematic cafes, delicious and tempting patisserie, “pastelarias”. Chiado is the most sophisticated setting, point of meeting for young people, artists and intellectuals, schools of arts, theatre, living history. In harmony with the cerulean facades decorated with ceramic tiles, “azulejos”, ranging almost overlap with the tones of the sky.
To enjoy a panoramic view of the city you can take the Elevador de Santa Justa, the famous neo-Gothic lift.
Finally, the Carmelite church of Igreja do Carmo, uncovered by the earthquake of 1755, whose interiors are still well-preserved.

Continuing on, you can reach the Rossio district and its Praça Pedro IV, with its bronze statue and pompous fountains.
At the Northwest corner, the station Estação do Rossio in Neomanuelin style and its majestic stained-glass windows from the horseshoe shape, luxuriously decorated with marble and iron elements.
The Sporting stadium offers curious details, a succession of tiny tiles from the vibrant polychromatic yellow – green effect. Local tastes sublimate colours, so the “vinho verde”, young and bubbly wine, and “Ginjinha”, cherry liqueur accompanied by a good Fado music.
At Restauradores, close to Rossio, there’s the commemorative obelisk of the regained Portuguese independence of 1640, after the Spanish submission.
Thus arriving at the tree-lined avenue Avenida da Liberdade, even more impressive than the Ramblas of Barcelona, lies the centre of Lisbon’s advanced economic activities. At the end of the road is also located the marble monument of the Marques de Pombal.
The capital shines of enchantment and refined simplicity.
By night, get lost in Barrio Alto, a district of orthogonal colourful streets near Baixa-Chiado, the real essence of Lisbon: a mixture of ancient traditions and cosmopolitanism, but also a meeting place for many young people and enogastronomic choices. The “Barrios” are obligatory destinations for culture, history, architecture and social identity. They are attractive paradigms for the living city. Typical and popular, with clothes shops, and conceptual Portuguese artists, in an eclectic and culturally multifaceted environment. Family-run restaurants alternate with intimate libraries, houses of chá (tea), breathing a metaphysical common atmosphere.

Between the Barrio and the Chiado is the monument of the native Luis Camões, one of major Portuguese poets, in the leafy Praça also spectator of the peaceful Red Poppies Revolution in 1974, after forty-eight years of
Salazarian dictatorship.

It is now the turn of Alfama by the yellow cable car, “O Electric 28”.
This area appears as a concentrate of countless alleys, a dense network of buildings covered with azulejos, culminating into the majestic Castelo de Sao Jorge, whose periscope offers a complete view of the city and of estuary; and even tiny gardens where to breathe ornamental flowers, imperceptible stairways towards the horizon river which slowly flows into the cold and crystal Ocean waters.

Amazing effects continue in the most contemporary and futuristic part of Lisbon: the Park of Nations, an area of astounding fountains, and the Portugal Papillon, a contemporary architecture with a huge sail-shaped roof suspended above the atrium, so the largest aquarium in Europe, the Oceanarium.
Faraway the majestic Ponte Vasco de Gama, created during the Expo ’98.

Before approaching towards the neighbouring maritime centres, you can admire the masterpiece of Manuelin art, the “Torre de Belém”, branching off as an iceberg from Tejo with its turrets, battlements shaped crest, balconies, sculpted ropes.
It’s really close the Monument to the Discoveries, dedicated to Henry the Navigator and symbol of a memorable past. The most important Portuguese discoverers are plastically detailed till Vasco de Gama, the first towards the boundless Ocean. 52 meters high, it recalls the profile of a caravel, whose marble stands out from the blue sky.
Finally, the Mosteiro dos Jeronimos, a stately monastery welcoming with its rich portal and a stunning interior supporting octagonal cupolas; arches and balustrades harmonize a spectacular cloister.
By tasting one of the best wines in the world, the Port, in a peculiar terrace called “Alcantara Docas”, you are seduced by the magic of the place. Saudade: a thin drizzle that is turning grey fading the horizon, the
sweet melancholy of the past or the sad hope of a distant place, the Romantic fighter of his tragic fate, inspiration and nourishment of the artist. Melodies accompanied by the Portuguese guitar, half-way between a mandolin and classical guitar, that tells a story of sea without return, bringing together all the people.

Echoes through the waves and the melodious songs of haunting lost sirens, perhaps beyond of the unmatchable horizon. Ahead of the city of light, water up to New York.

“Oh, continual escapes, departures, euphoria of the Different!
Eternal soul of sailors and sailing!”
“Here, where the sea ends and land awaits.”

Reference List:

● 1: José Saramago, L’anno della morte di Ricardo Reis, Einaudi Tascabili, 1996.

● 2 : Franco Battiato, Album: L’imboscata, Traccia: Segunda Feira, Polygram, 1996.

● 3 : Álvaro de Campos (eteronimo di Fernando Pessoa), Ode Marittima, La biblioteca di Repubblica, 2004.

● Touring Club Italiano, Portogallo, Touring Editore, 2002.

Trumpism beyond the EU

Gearwheel with blades, enabled by the wind power, allows the grinding of raw materials belonging to the cereals supply chain. It’s a complex mechanical system, in the enviable Leonardesque picaresco style.
Straight across from the apologue of the “Windmill”, there’s the newly elected stars and stripes captain: Donald Trump.
As in the most unbelievable stories of NASA/ESA Star Wars, you have to take a step back at the time of Brexit. The first dart against the supranational union was thrown, increasing the collective syndrome of the evil foreigner. The Tower of Babel dusts off new the fishing fleets of duties and taxes, while the visa business may compensate for the Commonwealth independence bill. The lesson is established: the ancient “Veni, Vidi, Vici”, is soon replaced by the New Age “I invade, I exploit, I abandon”.
The old Europe, mother of the contemporary Occidental school of thought, bears, implies, is subject to.

In the end the election campaign depicts strong tones, appropriate to the US GDP levels, the highest in the world. Or testosterone apology. The world is the silent spectator of an invisible economic war, and a few naked masks.


While the Brexit spreads its wings, questions about the future exchanges raise. The academic affair becomes blurred, uncertain. It is not just increasing the debt annually or not, but what European students will deserve in UK and how they will be treated.

The strong wave of populism and dissatisfaction towards migrants is developing nationalist and alarmist consciences, despite the labour market is still healthy. These causes, seemingly far from places of intellectual awareness, label destructively a neighborhood.
Negotiations are still open and unpredictable, governments can observe the free trade and movement of persons, or consider hard Brexit.

The university is an investment in terms of assets and speculative resources, but the self-regulation of some realities may not guarantee social and meritocratic protection. Furthermore the right to work could be argued. There won’t be any substantial change with immediate impact. The University of Hertfordshire found a higher support for the “Remain” position. The benefits vary from relationships and challenges, to programs and grants, as Horizon 2020 and Erasmus. The importance of inclusion moves along the parallel lines of the competitiveness, and Britain could not be attractive anymore compared to other European destinations.


Placed the striped shell
on the bruised oil sands
you stretch out a hand
to catch fragments
and roots gone astray.
Distractedly supine
I was vibes, breath of the nimbuses
snap of the sea,
an airplane passed away
facing upturned flecks and contrails.


Your pretentious hand
after the flavor of translucent
landscapes sequences,
deviated over the tops
of the mountains
along steep winding valleys
up to be trapped
in netted stocks,
biting the pulp
voracious in mellowness
to seek infinity,
and climb up again
for two erratic touches
the lithe sin of season.


Tiny grains
in quiet contemplation
adrift on suggestions
for fruitful spells,
the crackling torpidity
turned off to wander
with my plumed asters,
which light hand can push
a sour breath
that chimed
laden with dew and camellias,
infinitesimal minutes
close up to savor
rubbing purple flesh
above the indelible
ferruginous bridge.


The thick acrid drizzle
of next flowering
covered glades
where the deeds
soaked in sweat and scream
climbed up,
that beauty
of making love
breathing the broom fields,
barren land dunes and heather,
grain that sparkle above us,
who are waiting for death
and staying up over the fiery-hot skies,
stifled by crystallized hopes.


Old lovers
met again
on the opposite
sea shore,
caressing the dried salt
in a laconic wilderness,
unfair was the shimmer
that captured
the preponderant rise
of joyful spurting water
between the complaints
of indifferent meridians
beyond contact.


A unpleasant
galaxies pack
obscured the broad
reflection of rays
between the murmuring prayers
of a north-east wind,
I collected stones
to avoid being sucked
into the whirlpool
of the impossible
loving you in a half.


Nothing more I knew
the way back
in the faltering mist
nor to embrace
delusive hands
gave me comfort,
the strength of the sea
hushed bitterness,
oh guardian of hope
who could never soar.


Bashful entities
imperceptibly pave
on the tip of the pen
fluid witticism
hearing at a distance,
accurate persecutors
penetrated inside purple
rivulets crystals
to the bone.


Anything but
was the composure
of the wrong way
that will be.
The earth is broken up
in an abyssal precipice
of precipitous remembrance,
the fall pushed
beyond the Great Bear
into an icy void
of spectral lips.


Human creatures or famished sycophantics,
the moist promontory turned the sun
into a thousand fragments of salt
reflecting a shivering starry lake,
the world dozed
while taking a mournful look
to the shadows of ancient planted crosses,
humanity fed by drying papers
uprooting high crowns of redwood.
The plans of love are unripe
the time merciless.


Suspension spurts
in glowing wires
opened to the arch
made of boulders
and stacked rocks
to balance
the vigorous course
sprouting for life,
ecstasy of primitive algae
and purple water lilies,
scrambled rhythms eastward.
The prow brightened up
despite the sails stirred
foaming reasons
of outrageous expectations
in deceptive movements.


The rustling whistling pine trees
come in through windows
scratched by rain lances,
dryness evoked thorny clouds
veiled of an evaporated libido,
vibrant plumed attrition
on a bed of wet air.
I squeezed the amulet
with gauze and bay leaves
a while of kiss,
mitigated by tinny condensed sounds,
leading over the space of the divisible
to the Elysian fields of absence.


A decadent scenery
of ancient glorious ruins
inflamed wreck
to start over
the human genesis
among false saints
poets of light
and insatiable demons.
A fleeting wind
had been distracted by time
irreversible flow,
towards oblivion
already destinies seeking each other
through impetuous seas
of love storms,
here we are
between lands parched
by arid destroyers
and teardrops of sky,
clear mirrors
of essence.

Who we are,
pearls of truth
inside upwind gales,
monuments staring
at the bewitched complacence
of nonsense
the subdued cry for freedom.
Behind quiet petty steps
dying for what.


I ever wished so intensely
the coveted smell of voluptuousness
resting on lava stone trays,
while endless monstrosities
of torments and agonies,
death dealers
and barbaric bustles
of ravenous hyenas.
Exile still mellowed
the sharp pain
that drop by drop
silenced the pale love,
filters of hatred and resentment
that my faltering resistance
crumbled into microscopic pieces,
already dust,
Heart dust
the shame of those who have not loved
once in life.
Two murders were committed.


Inside a filament
following roots
under the rude asphalt
cracked underfoot,
the rain wandered
attracting the sparkling
notes spread
between the seawater droplets
that carved the small pale bark.


On the horizon a rainbow broke,
the catharsis of indelible arpeggios
above the violin strings
and imperturbable centuries-old cedars,
therefore the first kiss was painful breath
and melodious thirst
between desolate words.
We perished of soft toque.


Mosaic pieces arranged on a chess board
out of my sight
under refined skies
whose everything sees
and all hold our peace,
The off-putting scent of alluring musk
and fatality.
At last we consumed an elixir of eternity
into jangling goblets
attempting the intangible space.


Counterfeit orgasms
the train lifted its reservations
disappearing on metropolitan tracks
under the planar ticking rhombus
remotely pressing.


An extensive winter
to gaze on a bench
left in ruins
echoed the last words
by the Canadian lover,
the porphyry toppled
from our own ashes,
opaque stains of a lazy sun
and the fierce intrigue
– I would find you through his eyes -.
You were not here anymore,
or there,
between filtered rays
and another deceptive adventure,
a blooming bonsai
to soothe and caress
standing between eastward flocks,
again away
and now close
and then from the invisible depths of our reasons,
where truth and love
feed the sacred flame of justice,
my sweetheart.


Oh candid storm,
unruffled paradox of our great virgin forests,
a scattered light in the varied air
permeated with cotton dreams
and cordial dragonflies.
The wisdom of grace moves the world.
En route.