Friday, July 06, 2012

"In 1948 I tore a large sheet of brown paper to get little rectangular pieces that I piled up, and with which I erected a rather unstable column. In 1954 I straightened out a piece of corrugated cardboard with a surface area of a square meter. Since 1957, without interruption, I have been smoothing out the silver paper from cigarette boxes. In 1962 I began to detach the filters from cigarettes, with which I created long strips; in the case of the Murattis I was startled to note an extremely interesting granular stratification. In 1958, under the guidance of Mr. Sergio Vercellino, a resident of Vagliumina (Biella) and an agriculturalist, I cut, with a scythe, about 3 m(3) of grass. In 1950 about twenty small ice cream glasses, which I collected with some difficulty, were inserted one inside the other so as to form an arch. In the same year I filled a little plastic box with some twelve little matchboxes, and with a great deal of difficulty I bought a packet of Marlboro which I soon took apart, flattened and stretched out. In 1949 I had rolled up a meter of yellow fabric and put my little finger in it to form a kind of tower of Babel. In 1953 I took a red or blue rubber band and stretched it with the four fingers of my right hand to form a square. A pile of sand about 30 cm. high was made in 1949, in Alassio, where I also dug a big hole until I found water. The first pile of matches and the first bundle of pencils date back to 1947. There were also countless works either with salt water or aqueduct water, or with other liquids of various kinds. Using a pencil as a ruler I cut up a poster in 1948, and in the same year, if I remember correctly, I poured an inkpot into a glass full of sawdust. In april 1951 I melted tinfoil and other metals and poured them into some water. The first experiments with a sheepskin that I squashed against some glass, not to mention the experiment of of pouring liquid sugar on a marble kitchen table, took place in 1952-53. Bending a piece of rubber between two fingers, rolling a sphere on a plane inclined by myself to this end, rolling up a soft wire inside a pencil, mixing different colored powders, these are the works carried out between March and April 1949. From 1946 onwards, I have continuously poked fires with the help of various materials. In 1954 it took me three days to glue together a manuscript that I had torn into a thousand little pieces; two hours were enough to put in a vertical position, in a line, 342 matches; it took me a moment to put a weight on a spider's web; I took advantage of the early hours of the afternoon to strip off the bark of a tree to see its smooth, moist surface."

Alighiero e Boetti, born December 16, 1940
See also Adam Curtis

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