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Kinetic simulacra


From 23 April 2016

Curated by Matteo Fieni


This research is based on the formal analogy between the graphic motifs adopted by the barcode system and the photographic motifs that can be obtained through a mechanical process. Traceability, control and critical evaluation of computer data are related to the reactions they produce on thought. Economic systems (market), design and landscape (architecture and urban planning), places (consumption centers) are thus completely channeled along the consumerist chain and transformed in their own use.

All this translates into a sociographic approach influenced by the media and virtual panorama, which plays a fundamental role in the contemporary world. The constant remodeling between supply and demand produces an ever faster and more dynamic flow of data, making the present more distant from reality, and impossible to stop. The images are therefore to be understood as a reflection of this physical-perceptual alteration process. The relationship between photographic (optical) manipulation and social manipulation, simulation and concealment of reality is to be seen as a purely artistic analysis inspired by the poetics of science fiction writer Philip K. Dick.


Matteo Fieni

December 2037



Critical bibliography


Agamben , Giorgio, The man without content, (1994), Quodlibet

Barthes , Roland, La camera chiara, Note on photography (1980), Gli Struzzi 230, Einaudi

Baudrillard , Jean, Simulacra and Simulation, (2016), Michigan

Belting , Hans, Anthropology of images, 2013, Carocci Editore

Benjamin , Walter, The work of art in the age of its technical reproducibility, Art and mass society (1966-1991), Little Einaud Library

Clair , Jean, Critique of modernity, Consideration on the state of the fine arts, 1983, Umberto Allemandi & C.

Dick , K. Philip, The simulacra, (1998), Fanucci Editore

Flusser , Vilém, For a philosophy of photography, 2006, Bruno Mondadori

Foucault , Michel, Surveiller et punir, 1975, Edition Gallimard

Freund , Gisèle, Photographie et societé, (1974), Editions du Seuil

Frigeni , Veronica, The optical unconscious of history: for a rhetoric of perturbing vision in Antonio Tabucchi , Between, IV.7 (2014),

Gimpel , Jean, Against art and artists, Birth of a religion, (2000), Bollati Borighieri

La Cecla, Franco, Against urban planning, (2014), Einaudi

Latouche , Serge, The Westernization of the World, (1989), Bollati Boringhieri

Leonardi , Nicoletta, Photography and materiality in Italy, Franco Vaccari, Mario Cresi, Guido Guidi, Luigi Ghirri (2013), Postmediabooks

Krauss , Rosalind, The optical unconscious, (2008), Bruno Mondadori

Mohnoly-Nagy , Lazlo, Painting, Photography and Film, (1987), Piccola Biblioteca Einaudi

Rovelli , Carlo, Seven short physics lessons, 2014, Adephi

Salingrados , A., Nikos, Anti-architecture and demolition, The end of modernist architecture, 2005, Libreria Editirce Fiorentina

Sontag , Susan, Sur la photographe, 1993, Christian burgois Editeur

Vaccari , Franco, Photography and the technological unconscious, (1994), Agorà Editrice





Hommage to Philip K. Dick

Bellevue, Zürich (CH, 2016)

Lightbox, Lamda print, size 110 x 75 cm

"Barcodes", photography as an abstraction


Barcodes faces from an aesthetic-technical point of view the transition process that brings the essence of an image from iconodule, that is to say venerative, to iconoclast, moving on the conceptual level to focus more on the form than on the subjects tout court. Wanting to make this research analytical, we can talk about a photograph that starts from an architectural / urbanistic approach and, through a purely optical manipulation, sublimates the real by dividing it into its own patterns and transforming the original drawing / landscape into structures mainly of a luminous nature.

It is an "iconoclastic" operation, in the etymological sense of "breaking an image", which suggests an extremely aesthetic mosaic, which makes photography abstract. The process could be defined as “pure documentary uchrony”, since it fragments time, placing it in spatiality. These kinetic simulacra (ref. Baudrillard) obtained in “one take” (ie without the aid of post-production processing), respect that optical / technical unconscious to which many theorists refer (Krauss / Benjamin / Vaccari).

This new research can be considered, for its "paratactic" and "multiple" approach, omnivorous since it incorporates different photographic genres, moving for example from the documentary to the portrait level, to arrive at the study of the motion of bodies (futurism, kinetics) without upsetting one's nature. Barcodes could be considered as a natural continuum of the historical avant-gardes and associated, for aesthetics, with the work of Mario Cresci.



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