Alterazioni Video's tactics and artistic practices
by Marco Scotini
Established in Milan in 2004 by Paololuca Barbieri and Alberto Caffarelli, the group waiting to be transformed into a S.p.A., now benefits by the participation of Matteo Erenbourg, Andrea Masu and Giacomo Porfiri. Grandchildren of the community video groups, of the militant communication labs, of the counter-information and the Italian "video hoodlums" of the 70s, Alterazioni video members describe themselves as a platform which combines art with a social and an alternative function of the new electronic media. Culture jammers, neo-situationists and media-activists, the members of Alterazioni Video infiltrate - camouflaged - through the meshes of Society ready to highjack messages and information of the official communication stepping from one medium to another: from street art to web space, from D.J. live sets to physics laboratories, from urban enquiries to the production of community T.V. Image saboteurs, they focus their work more on the use of representations rather than on the production just like when they set up a fake fashion show in Milan, when they reconstruct the format of Guernica painted in an ONU blue on an expository space in New York or they replicate the tapestries by Alighiero e Boetti for Shanghai.
But it isn't all about proposing themselves as an antagonistic subject against the interdiction zones, though it is more like acting as a collective figure which tries to open the repossession spaces of communication techniques and a social imaginary otherwise controlled and disciplined. In this sense we must interpret the first production as video-makers who've just come out of the post-Seattle movements ("101 out of 3 million", 2004 or the video "Sunny side", 2005), the idea to grant their spaces in museums and galleries for a fund raising operation to support the Black Bloc on trial for the G8 in Genoa (like in the case of Empowerment in Genoa, 2004 and Disobedience in Berlin, 2005) or the creation of a communication junction between the inhabitants of a village and the rest of the world (Isola Space Sharing, 2006).
Alterazioni Video therefore belongs to that emerging artistic generation which operates through various projects in the "grey zone" between art and politics.