SILVIA HELL

Air, 2018

1, 2, Air Milano, UV flatbed print on piano roll, frame, various sizes, installation view, Increasing the Wind Pressure, A+B gallery, Brescia, IT, 2018. Ph: Petrò / Gilberti
3, Air Milano Turkey Trot 20110511 - 20120101, 2018, UV flatbed print on piano roll, frame, 35,7 x 37,5 cm. Ph: Petrò / Gilberti
4, 5, 6, 7, Air Milano, UV flatbed print on piano roll, frame, various sizes, installation view, The Uncanny Valley, FuturDome, Milano, IT, 2019. Ph: Cosimo Filippini
8, The Uncanny Valley, Exhibition catalogue, EAU&GAZ, 2019


The Air series opens up an exploration of a particular space of knowledge, in which the apparent objectivity of data and information is constantly negotiated with the instability of human habits and environments.
Closer examination brings out a spectrum of exceptional events, made possible by the coexistence of different sign systems.
Air oscillates between subtle presence and a global representation, calling on us to experience the volatility of written knowledge when merged with the various ideas of freedom that lie within our interpretations of living.

In 2008, the European Parliament produced a reference text to monitor air quality. I decided to approach this document as if it were a song; instead of reading it, I started to sing it repeatedly on blues bases. I am interested in the rhythm of information, the possibility of a regulation being imprinted in an emotional substrate.
Emphasis was placed on the importance of public information on air quality and on making the data public. I asked for these data, wondering whether through them I could witness some form of expression of reality. I decided to use this raw material and turn it into a visualisation so as to bring out an air score.

The works in the Air series are prints on special perforated papers. A seven-colour system is available on the length and height of the surface, introducing a flow of information. It is a representation of the values of the main potentially harmful substances present in the air, recorded by the Municipality of Milan over the last ten years.
A different substance is associated with each colour (PM 10, black; PM 2.5, light blue; nitrogen dioxide, red; sulphur dioxide, light grey; benzene, green; carbon monoxide, yellow; ozone, dark blue). Time flows from left to right, one millimetre corresponding to one day. The paper is sectioned vertically by five intervals, and the value of each substance is placed in one of the five registers according to its average value on a certain day. The highest band marks a good value, the lowest one a bad value. The choice of the substances and their division into five bands follows the guidelines on air assessment standardised by Directive 2008/50/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council held on 21 May 2008. It also refers on how Arpa Lombardia, where the data come from, determines and communicates the five intervals.  

The perforated papers are segments of different piano rolls acquired from a private collection in Milan. They were produced between 1910 and the early 1930s and used to record a pianist’s performances. Thus a player piano can reproduce the pieces automatically thanks to a pneumatic system that executes the original performance without the performer. The composition of the wall works follows the temporal logic relative to the writing of the substances present in the air. When objects overlap, we can see the same data frame is printed onto different musical motifs.

Increasing the Wind Pressure, solo exhibition, A+B gallery, Brescia, IT
Interview with Silvia Hell | A+B Gallery, ATP Diary [ITA]

Wind Pressure Concert, 2019
19.09. > 8.30 PM, Transart19, Museion, Bolzano, IT

1, 2, 12, Wind Pressure Concert, 2019, Museion, documentation stills ©Festival Transart/Max Valenti
3, 4, 5, 6, 7, Wind Pressure Concert, 2019, Museion. Ph: ©Festival Transart/Gregor Khuen Belasi
8, 9, 10, 11 Wind Pressure Concert, 2019, Museion

by Silvia Hell
Enrico Pompili, Piano
Mark Markin, Maximilian Pellizzari, Machine operators
The work is projected by the machine of colorful light play by the artist Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack (reconstruction 1923-1999, Museion Collection).
// For the 100 years of the Bauhaus
Thanks to the collaboration between Transart, Museion and SKB - Südtiroler Künstlerbund.

The Wind Pressure Concert is about the subject of air through the use of the piano and projection. In a sort of space-time circuit, a composition is created using two contexts that have never communicated before. The work Wind Pressure Concert_score_for Ludwig Hirschfeld-Mack Lichtspielapparat_Aria Milano 1972–2017 / Aria Bolzano 2008–2017 by Silvia Hell is a chronology of seven polluting substances that were monitored in the air in the two cities. The same language the artist used to display it will be re-encoded and interpreted by the pianist Enrico Pompili. Transboundary air pollution!


Wind Pressure Concert, documentation video
Wind Pressure Concert, score and track, ON AIR, a project by Juan Pablo Macías & Alessandra Poggianti for Carico Massimo

Scored Air, 2019
video, 5’ 3’’ loop, music Enrico Pompili
Museion Media Façade, curated by Frida Carazzato

1, 2, 3, Scored Air, 2019, HD video, 5’ 3’’ loop, music Enrico Pompili. Ph: Othmar Seehauser/Museion
4, 5, 6, 7, Scored Air, 2019, HD video, 5’ 3’’ loop, music Enrico Pompili

The visual and musical performance of the Wind Pressure Concert is recoded for the media façade. Scored Air is focused on ten years of seven polluting substances that were monitored in the air of Bolzano.

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