Reporting from web 2.0 summit. Are we over relying on web 2.0 giants?
November 25, 2008
Today we started a workshop on generative art with Mr Bruce Sterling, so it seems fitting to post some recent generative graphic art (for band zZz). The process involved a song, a big sheet of paper, and two chickens, one painted blue and one red. Now lets ponder the critical issues, and some ethical issues too...
November 24, 2008
The generous and gorgeous Giulia de Meo has gone. She will be remembered for patiently and positively refining all her work to brilliance, especially words, sacher-torte, and robot-dancing. The final results and the process have made a lot of people in this building extremely happy. Thanks for everything Giulia....
What was life like before Fabrica?
After my graduation in philosophy I decided to get the one in Semiotics, which is the most incredible subject ever. So I left Venice and I moved to Bologna for three years, where I lived with some friends and my sweet Charles Sanders Peirce, alias my cute cat EVVIVA.
Whatever I decided to do, it was a success. At school, with sports, at Uni. I am not proud of it at all: that was the worst thing that could happen to a young girl. Even if I could be satisfied with my life I was never happy, and I continuously felt emptiness inside me. I was missing something. Probably something like a home, a cousy, friendly place.
Last year I started to work in several places and doing very different jobs: waitress, copy writer, bar-girl…and it was really a frustrating period!
Then I went to Fabrica.
What was life like at Fabrica?
It was hard at the beginning. There were graphics, photographers, video makers and other people with specific skills. I was… I was… What did Giulia exactly do at Fabrica? Nobody knew what was my job. And Fabricanti didn’t even know that I was a student, because I have always come back home to Venice at night and I didn’t share an apartment with them in Treviso.
Semiotics? Just few people knew what Semiotics exactly meant, and I felt that I was not “the best” for the very first time. Finally.
I felt I was definitely IN THE WRONG PLACE.
I had to build my own space, to build my own specific objectives every day, step by step, and Fabrica gave me the chance to learn, to grow up. For this, I have to say thank you to Omar,‘cause he’s always believed in me, even if I was not a graphic designer. Crazy!
I have never found anything “warmer” than Fabrica in my life, and the friends I met there, managed to support me during this year, which has been quite difficult for me.
What did you learn at Fabrica?
I learnt that to share something is the most beautiful thing in the world. That nothing is special if you cannot talk about it with a friend. That you don’t have to be shy or ashamed of showing your weakness, and that the best results are those you didnt expect to see.
Day by day you can build something that can always be improved.
The process is more important than the prize. This is creativity.
I learnt to be HAPPILY IN THE WORNG PLACE…
Most memorable moments?
“Mio occhio non funziona” (Lars); “Da bambina avevo un coniglio” (Valerie); “HIIIIIIIC!” (Josh); “Troppo sensuale” (Hugo); “Cipollina!” (Pushkar); “Ciao bèa!” (Piero); “Giulietta!” (Barbara); “Giulyyyyyyyy?” (Omar); “Are u going to Treviso Dani?” (Priya); “Scopiamo?” (Brad); “Vieni a vedere la storia infinita con Siemens?” (Diego); “Seee, di corsa!” (Lars).
And then: my dirty chats with Valerie and Sir Lars; my tea time with Dani, Priya and Valerie; Josh’s hiccup; every single conversations with my dear friend Brad; Diego’s tenacy; the insults with Gabri; our zoo time when someone came to visit our department; doing shopping at Panorama with Josh, mensaboy, Valerie and Lars; our faces during meetings; Hugo’s shyness; the way I hated the Spanish people - especially Pao - during the last World Championship; to invite people at cake times, my sentence in dialect with Piero; Barbara and all the writers’ sweetness; Babak’s “ciao bellezza come stai?”; Andy saying “I love your tagliatella”; “Formaggio?” at mensa; my unforgettable goodbye party last week.
Now that I left Fabrica, I’m sure that now I would not be able to stay far from my friends: I’m gonna meet them every time I can, both in Venice and Treviso, more than before, as long as they are still in Italy, bringing my cakes and sweets again.
I have just started to work for an Agency not far from Venice. It takes just 45 minutes from my house (exactly half the time it took to me to arrive at Fabrica!) and… it’s a real job. I am the responsible for the the communication and for the relations with journalists.
Finally I can write and be creative in Italian, which is my mother language.
Now a new adventure’s started. I’m a bit scared but I felt stronger now, after almost a year at Fabrica. Thanks to my friends, di corsa.
You made me get cheesy for the first time!
November 10, 2008
Filmmaker and local girl Chiara Andrich is back in the building, yay! She joins Alessandro and the Video Department.
How did you come to learn about Fabrica?
I'm from Treviso so since I was very young I knew about Fabrica.
I decided to do my experience around the world and now I'm back in Treviso.
What have you been doing before now?
I studied Art, Music, Theatre and Cinema at the University of Padova and I worked in television and as a journalist during my studies. After my graduation I went to Barcelona where I was living and working as a documentary film editor until last july. I did the trial in july and now I'm here as a intern for the next 6 months.
What do you expect to get out of this experience?
First, I think that it is a great experience working in Fabrica and meeting people from different cultural contexts and sharing experiences of work and friendship. Second, I'm working now with Alessandro, the video department technician so I will learn many many technical things.
What will you miss from home?
My home is here, but I miss my second home, Barcelona with her light, sounds and smells.
Anything else you'd like to share with us?
My passion for cinema and a good glass of wine...
thisissand.com is a really sweet little interactive site for making your own sandscape. It's very cathartic, watching those tiny pixels fall like digital sand (at the end of a day spent pushing tiny pixels around a horrible screen).
Don't miss the gallery here.November 03, 2008
Scott Heinrich departed Fabrica a few weeks ago, in a slow and careful manner - farewelling person by person. It was like when you take off a band-aid really really slow, releasing each hair, careful not to pull any out with you. Here is his farewell interview, the most articulate ever, with all you need to know about Fabrica as a place, experience, phenomena.
What was life like before Fabrica?
Corporate and numb. Before applying to Fabrica I was generally irritated by my surroundings, work, culture, lifestyle, everything. But I was also very inspired. I have since learned that my subconscious revels and rebels in situations where I am generally disappointed with my situation. The result is a heightened and inspired state of consciousness. So in this sense (before Fabrica), I was motivated and determined to achieve something greater than what I had.
What was life like at Fabrica?
Chaotic, inspiring, heartbreaking, uplifting, surreal and awe-inspiring. Bust most importantly it is what you make of it. Some people dislike chaos, but I love it. Chaos is where opportunity lies, and is where I was most productive. If Fabrica was organised and orderly, I would have not have experienced, collaborated, or experimented as much as I did.
As for our lifestyle, Fabrica is a bubble, completely void of reality yet also somehow symbolic of a lifetime. Emotionally (albeit abstractly) I experienced a birth, death, and marriage all within my scholarship. You make intense friendships that last on average of 4-6 months, which are soon followed by a farewell, and then repeated again and again. I feel very privileged to have met so many 'best friends' from all over the world, yet at times being so far removed from them can be very painful.
What did you learn at Fabrica?
Fabrica untaught everything I thought I knew about being creative. I arrived a naive university graduate, and left two years later even more naive. This has been a process that I am most proud of. I have gained too many insights to list here, but there is one piece of advice from Enrico that has become even more relevant to me in recent weeks...
''ehh Scotta, you listen to me. Start. Just start. You people think to much, its all in your mind. People, young people, think too hard about where they belong in the world, or they fantasise too much about their dreams. By the time you decide what you want to do, the race is already finished. Finito! Capisco? Ehh, you understand?'' — Enrico Bossan
Basically this means don't waste time daydreaming or holding out for grandeur. Stop thinking 'what if?' You have exactly what you need to start right now — yourself. I also learned that a flaw in the mentality of Fabricanti is in asking permission to work on personal projects, submitting themselves to the status quo, and accepting the defeat. This is completely backward, and a form of procrastination. I am not directing this at anyone specifically, but is more so an attitude that I have seen passed from one generation to the next. And an attitude that I am asking current and new Fabricanti to change for the good of all future generations.
During my first year at Fabrica I found myself to be in a position of creative autism. Here was an environment where I was absorbing so much information and inspiration daily, that I lost clarity of what I was trying to achieve. This induced a constant state of daydreaming, which is euphoric and fantastical, but self-destructive if you are intending to be productive. And seeing as most of us enter Fabrica with high expectations, these distractions (and others) can become a real problem. Phoebe and Babak both individually helped me in controlling these distractions, but it wasn't until I encountered the writings of Gertrude Stein that I truly understood how to create what she describes as an 'inspired feedback loop', a way of balancing chaos (inspiration) with productivity.
I guess what Im saying is that yes there are problems and distractions within Fabrica, but this is true for all large creative organisations, or even solo pursuits. It is very difficult to ask 25 young creatives to conform to one structure, or one model of working. In the end it seems best to remain flexible and willing for anarchy to reign, while also maintaining a balance of control in order to be productive. This applies to Fabrica as a collective as well as to the students individually.
I am truly grateful to have gained such insights, and I encourage other Fabricanti to do the same.
Most memorable moments?
During my final week in Treviso, I realised how full of memories these medieval laneways had become. Each street corner housed the celebration of a birthday, arrival or farewell. It felt as if I were already experiencing a past life.
Some of my favourite past lives included our crossdressing escapades with Matt, Miren and Pia, idyllic bike rides along River Sile with nearly everyone, teaching Piero how to pronounce the word 'ruckus' on route to Lago Morta, sharing the joys of a Tim-Tam Slam with Donovan and Becka, returning home exhausted from a day at the Venice Biennale, and having Tomonaga cook you his famous Miso Soup, before rushing off for a one euro vino bianco with Lawrence at Torqai.
But most vividly I remember the bar where I first met Phoebe, the markets where I would meet Lars every Saturday morning, and Mama's Pizzeria (aka Gianburrasca) where Brad and I would talk about girls, films, and the injustices of Fabrica.
Three weeks ago, I moved back to Adelaide (Austraia) where I am now freelancing as an art director, and continuing my experiments and development into the realm of video making. I hope to start making documentaries about farmers in the Australian outback, because while I was abroad I realised that 'country Australia' has its own unique dialect that is considered foreign by the rest of the world. A characteristic I now find fascinating.
I hope my answers are not sounding pessimistic, because I feel quite the opposite. Every day I was surrounded by amazingly talented individuals who just by their presence fill you with hope and confidence. Letting go of this community is by far the hardest part of leaving Fabrica.
As for the new Fabricanti, and old ones...
Dont become too comfortable or take things for granted. Stop complaining. Never wait for your opportunities, always chase them. Collaborate at all costs. Agitate, question, and support each other. At all times, have ONE (and only one) concise vision for YOURSELF and your personal project. It's easy to be distracted by commercial work or false initiatives, so the more focused you remain, the more likely you will achieve your dream goal. Most importantly, enjoy what you do. You're living in Utopia right now.
Thanks Scott, for your support of everything and everyone, and buon viaggio for your next creative journey.