rituals around the machines

Dropcity, Milan
Milano Design Week 2022

Project info >

RAM is a performative installation, which will be hosted in a 350 sm tunnel beneath the rails of Milano Centrale, and focuses on the act of material shredding as an acoustic and musical source. This specific action recalls a whole subculture of YouTube channels displaying mesmerising productive machinery, whose actions can stick our eyes onto the screen in some sort of voyeuristic satisfaction.
The Rituals Around the Machines are the corporeal analogy to this IG-Reel magnetism: Tunnel 40 is an underground stage, inhabited by dull and noisy shredders rather than by sophisticated robots. The machines are put into operation in several specific happenings during the week, grinding the scrap materials gathered during the cleaning process of other fourteen railway tunnels before Fuorisalone. These materials are properly divided, minced and then stored and labelled for the successive steps in the material recycle chain.

The performative installation is articulated in three steps, firstly as a material cycle, then as an acoustic cycle:

In the shredding zone a metal mesh physically divides the visitors from the machines, which swallow and digest the scrap material as a first phase of the ritual. Then, in the filter, the sound produced by the machines is recorded and processed to an audio live-set, produced by Bill Kouligas (PAN) and diffused in the whole space and in the decompression room. This soundproof space, created by Rashid Uri is totally cladded with white styrofoam boards and can be visited by the public with their shoes on. Therefore, people become the subject of destruction by shattering the floor during the whole duration of the exhibition. In an effort to open up new possibilities for material lifecycles, the machines will leverage all recycled content on hand by swallowing/shredding/digesting Nike's DiSPAssembly Park installation on view in Tunnel 42 at the end of Milan Design Week. In the spirit of iSPA's core principles (Improve, Scavenge, Protect Adapt), iSPA will partner with RAM. The recycling machines on view will swallow and digest the iSPA installation – giving it both a renewed physical and metaphysical purpose. In this case, DiSPAssembly Park’s demise is re-processed into a dedicated “disassembly" inspired soundscape by Bill Kouligas – a multi-disciplinary record label and platform.

The performative destruction is then perpetrated by mechanical and human corporeities under the same underground vault. Wood and plastic shatters in an echoing chant, through which tékne returns to ritual.
Bill Kouligas
Rashid Uri

Delfino Sisto Legnani
Giacomo Bianco
Simone Zaccagnini