Ceramics for the Anthropocene /2017

Ceramics for the Anthropocene is a transdisciplinary project weaving connections between the famous traditional ceramics craftmanship of Albisola (IT), the research on energetic sustainability developed by the Department of Engineering at the Savona Campus and the DigiFabTURINg robotic ceramics fabrication project developed at FabLab Turin. It is a residency project that will result in the production of a ceramics artwork, which will be displayed at the Museo della Ceramica di Savona in May 2017.

The project approaches clay as a material which can be understood as geo-marker of the local territory, since its specific geological, biological and petro-chemical imprint strongly characterise ceramics artifacts and have always shaped historical ceramics traditions worldwide. The clays still present in the surrounding territory – which have characterised the rise of the Albisolese tradition but were abandoned in the late 50’s for more robust industrial materials – will be rediscovered and recovered in collaboration with local craftsmen, with the aim of highlighting their peculiarities through the final artwork.

This work is in line with the research on Smart Grid systems developed by the energetic engineering department, which aims to efficiently manage energy production inside the Campus by exploiting renewable resources (fotovoltaic systems) and by optimising energetic conversion through innovative technology.

Reflecting on the powerful implications of ‘self-sufficient’ production systems, the project aims to highlight the need to develop moderate approaches to natural resources, based on a more responsible dependence on the immediately available resources, rather than a blind reliance on a global network.

The collaboration with the project AARM aims to create a dialogue between traditional craft and innovative fabrication techniques. The robotic arm will be deployed alongside traditional techniques in the production of the final artwork, as a means of translation of the raw data coming from the control panels of the Smart Grid system in a physical object tracing the history of the energetic exchanges between internal Campus grid and the national network.

The project hopes to communicate through the artifact a broad reflection on the delicate relationship between local resources and environmental responsibility,  as wella as an attempt of integration and dialogue between traditional approaches and technological innovation through a materials lens.

Ceramics for the Anthropocene is developed in the framework of Be Sm/Art 2, developed by Radicate.eu with the support of Compagnia di San Paolo, as part of the open-call ORA!, and of Fondazione A. De Mari.

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