Invisible Airs, Council Chamber Room, Bristol, UK

bnr#39 => Invisible Airs, Council Chamber Room, Bristol, UK

Manifesta07

aluminium



Manifesta07 , 21:07:2008: 100 days - Autonomous Province of Bozen / Bolzano – South Tyrol.


Aluminium grew out of Harwoods involvement with the Raqs Media Collective who were curating Mainfesta07 in Bolzen/Bolzano and who asked him be on the curatorial team.


Harwoods role was to investigate the media ecologies and media systems surrounding the site as possible site for curatorial investigation.


The Alumix building was a disused aluminium factory constructed in the 1930's period of industrialisation promoted by the fascists. It was part of the Italianiastion of a largely German speaking part of Italy.

aluminium



“The extraction of value from any material, place, thing or person, involves a process of refinement. During this process, the object in question will undergo a change in state, separating into at least two substances: an extract and a residue. With respect to residue: it may be said it is that which never finds its way into the manifest narrative of how something (an object, a person, a state, or a state of being) is produced, or comes into existence. It is the accumulation of all that is left behind, when value is extracted...There are no histories of residue, no atlases of abandonment, no memoirs of what a person was but could not be." - (Raqs : With Respect to Residue, 2005)


Raqs had been working on ideas around residue and so the site of some future redevelopment was ripe for investigation.

aluminium



Bolzano: abandoned 1930's Alumix building.


The walls are thick of this Fascist Factory - Disconnected power (Water tower) -> the main grid is disconnected but the porcelain insulation lies scattered around the floor. In the entrance the doors are jammed with rolls of paper -> graphing the power consumption of the Alumix plant for the last twenty years of it's life. The world-wide average specific energy consumption is approximately 15±0.5 kilowatt-hours per kilogram of aluminium produced from alumina. (52 to 56 MJ/kg).


The walls are thick of this Fascist Factory - Disconnected power (Water tower) -> the main grid is disconnected but the porcelain insulation lies scattered around the floor. In the entrance the doors are jammed with rolls of paper -> graphing the power consumption of the Alumix plant for the last twenty years of it's life. The world-wide average specific energy consumption is approximately 15±0.5 kilowatt-hours per kilogram of aluminium produced from alumina. (52 to 56 MJ/kg).


aluminium



1927: Fortunato Depero’s creates Depero Futurista (also known as The Nailed Book) held together by two aluminum bolts — a manifesto of the machine age.


Aluminium xmas trees, pots and pans, door and window frames, wall cladding, roofing, awnings, high tension power lines, wires, cables, components for television, radios, computers, refrigerators and air-conditioner, cans, bottle tops, foil wrap, foil semi-rigid containers, kettles and saucepans, propellers, aeroplane, gearboxes, motor parts, tennis racquets and Zepplins.


La Cucina Futuristica, the Futurist cookbook, was published in 1932, and described Marinetti as "the caffeine of Europe", while Filippo Tommaso was "a saucepan always on the boil" probably aluminium. The cookbook noted that a Futurist meal should "excite the enamel on the teeth, fill the nostril with heaven" and even "choke the oesophagus with admiration". One recipe, White and Black, explained that the dish should be "a one-man show on the internal walls of the stomach consisting of free-form arabesques of whipped cream sprinkled with lime-tree charcoal. Cons: the blackest indigestion. Pros: the whitest teeth."


Futurist restaurant, the Holy Palate, was open for a year in the early 1930s. It was covered in aluminium and had "semi-colourless columns and large metallic eyes".

aluminium



Fascists made Aluminium the national metal of the Italy in the 1930's - In a huge national advertising campaign during the 30's, Aluminium was described as being be both avional and Anti corroding. Avional from the word meaning air-plane, would suggested the modern technological aspect highlighting both speed and strength. Anti corroding, non-corroding, would highlight traditional values, everlasting and sturdy.



State Entry Exit Combat Forces Population Military Losses
Ethiopia 1935 1936 100000 28000000 16000
Italy 1935 1936 330000 39000000 15000


On October 3, 1935, Italy attacked Ethiopia from Eritrea and Italian Somali-land without a declaration of war.


Marinetti was "the caffeine of Europe", Aluminium was the fascist metal and In 1933 in anticipation of cheap Ethiopian Coffee, Alfonso Bialetti fashioned and crafted the first Aluminium Stove-top espresso coffee maker the Moka Express.


Rational for the book:


With the 100th anniversary of Futurism two years away and Mainifesta07 being partly held in the Alumix building in Bolzano this book is a play with the complex legacy of the futurists and Aluminium. Controversially Futurism promised to "exalt aggressive action" and "glorify war - the world's only hygiene", this grew out of a desire to embrace Italy's industrial future and reject history, religion and even the country's national dish. Filippo Marinetti, was friends with Benito Mussolini, and the two were arrested together at pro-war demonstrations in 1915.