Roberto Pugliese was born in 1982 in Naples, Italy where he completed his studies. He currently lives and works in Gavi, Italy. Having graduated in electronic music from the San Pietro a Majella conservatoire in Naples, where he studied under the guidance of Professor Agostino Di Scipio, he now shares his time between teaching at the Frosinone fine arts academy (sound art and the planning of sound spaces), his musical activities, and the production of sound installations.
Usually, when Roberto is speaking to anyone about his work who does not know it, in order to simplify things he defines himself as a sound artist because sound is the constant element uniting all his works. However, there are other components that are significant to his work, such as the visual aspect which is equally important, the technology, the installation, and the sculpture. In some cases Roberto has included the stimulus of scents and, in other cases, he has made cybernetic works.
Roberto explains his development process for creating his multi-media projects.
Roberto’s projects always start from a concept with sound. A vision that forms and sounds in his mind at unpredictable times. In the next phase he organizes himself so he can transform this vision into reality. Then he analyses his visual concept to figure out what materials to use to give it form and that process only can be very different from each other and, in fact, some projects need years of study and investigation. According to the nature of the project, Roberto usually writes the management or interactive software and, at the same time, the musical software too. He constructs by himself most of the software that he uses for work.
Roberts describes the interactive experience his audience receives at his multi-media exhibitions.
By using software-piloted mechanical devices that interact with each other, with the surrounding environment, and with the viewers, Roberto aims at examining new aspects of research into phenomena linked to sound; the analysis of the processes that the human psyche uses for differentiating natural from artificial structures (both acoustic and visual); the relationship between humanity and technology; and the relationship between art and technology, though always giving an important role to the visual aspect. So sound becomes both an object of research and a means of acoustic and visual expression. It is a vital energy that animates the inanimate, a guide for analyzing and stimulating the human psyche and perception. The idea of creating an active support between the work and those who enjoy it also stimulates Roberto to create a dimension in which sound itself moves to make diverse sound-perspectives for the listeners. Art exits from a two-dimensional situation in order to give life to real sound-and-visual-environments. In this way the users are totally immersed in perceptive worlds that will accompany them in their sensorial experience, an experience that throws open the doors of the mind and, above all, manages to ask questions of those who have access to it. Roberto says “I strongly believe that the main aim of contemporary art is to stimulate curiosity and ask questions.”
Roberto shares the influences and inspirations that behind his multi-media projects
Roberto trained as a musician and graduated in electronic music from the conservatoire, but he have always been sensitive to art. His professor, Agostino Di Scipio, besides being an excellent musician and composer, also makes sound installations. Stimulated by his lesson, Roberto made his first sound installations by uniting his enthusiasm for music to that of art. He also strongly believes that art must mirror the times in which we live and that the means it cannot be separated from the ends for which it is made. Roberto quotes Heidegge “Artists have historically always made use of the most advanced technologies in order to progress with their research and to arm themselves with the latest expressive means. Oil paints, for example, or brushes or chisels are also technological means. Living in this particular moment of history I have simply used existing technology.”
Do you envision transposing your art projects into digital media formats?
“In the past I created works that can also be enjoyed in a digital format, but I believe that a firsthand experience of an installation, above all if it is a sound piece, can be unrepeatable.”
How have the multi-media arts impacted on the art world?
“I think that the impact has been gradual, first with the arrival of photography, then with cinema, video-art, performances, happenings etc., even if today there are still many people who are not “at ease” with any of these expressive means. Multimedia or trans-media art, as I have written before, are an inevitable consequence of our times.
Where do you envision the multi-media arts will be in the next five years?
“I think that luckily there is increasing interest in media art, above all in sound art, as was confirmed by the presence of this kind of work at the Venice Biennale, at MoMA, New York, and in other institutions around the world. Even the art market has “discovered” sound art, and sound works have been acquired by prestigious collections. I believe that multimedia art is the present and a large part of the future.”
“I would advise them to master the technological means before using it for their works. To study the history of the “new technologies” in order to know what has already been done. Unfortunately, too many artists in this sector improvise and have decidedly mediocre results. Knowledge and culture are vital for art.”
Tell us about two of the most inspirational moments in your career.
“The first was at the Centre Pompidou in Paris; I was very young – I think I was about 11 or 12 years of age – and on entering the museum I saw a table with the chairs attached to the ceiling; it was a work by Iannis Kounellis, and I believe that vision irreversibly changed my way of thinking about art. The second was when I listened for the first time to a composition by my professor, Agostino Di Scipio; I was far older then, I think perhaps 21 years of age, but in that moment I understood the immense and unexplored potential of sound.”
Where do you see your career going in the next two years?
“I think that this is a very interesting moment in my career, one of great growth. Next year I will be having a series of shows for the Fondazione VAF’s prize which will be held at Macro Testaccio, Rome, and then at the Stadgalerie museums in Kiel and Chemnitz, Germany. I am greatly oriented towards the United States where I hope to return soon and exhibit my works after the great experience I had at Marfa in Texas.”
Roberto Pugliese website: www.robertopugliese.com
Watch Roberto Pugliese in his creative process in the videos below (the interviews are in Italian)
ACS Magazine brings the latest trends in the art world. Meet Sound Artist, Roberto Pugliese from Naples, Italy. Read about Roberto in the ACS Magazine November/December 2015 at http://emagazine.acs-mag.com/arts-cultural-strategies-november-december-2015/page/50-51. Renée LaVerné Rose (Publisher & Editor-in-Chief). To view previous digital magazines, the latest issue and sign-up to get emails of the latest magazine release, special editions and news updates at http://www.acs-mag.com.