A new website was recently launched showcasing the collaboration between Olafur Eliasson and Ai Wei Wei. The website address is moonmoonmoonmoon.com and is an interactive site that requires WebGL an application that allows for 3D viewing via the 2D experience. The application is still quite new and not available in all platforms yet. Firefox proved to be the best option and opened this virtual door into the combined vision of these two world-renowned artists. I recently chatted with Berlin based Marcello Pisu who is also the Digital Curator of the website.
Katy Diamond Hamer: How did you get involved with this collaboration?
Marcello Pisu: As a co-curator of Falling Walls, this incredible science/research multidisciplinary conference I work for since I moved to Berlin from NYC in 2010, I was talking to Olafur Eliasson, that usually helps us find an artist speaker that fits in our “innovation” oriented lineup. After considering a lot of alternatives I suggested Ai Weiwei. He gave me the contact to invite him to the conference. And I asked Olafur to be the host of the talk, to “interview” him through live web video-chat, since, as you know prof Weiwei can’t leave China for his issues with the government. Or I should say for the issues of the government with him. So not only they both accepted, but they came out with the idea to do something together, their first collaboration. They wanted to do something on the web addressing the topic of creativity beyond boundaries. And since I also curate art that deals with technology I got involved.
KDH: As Digital Curator, were you able to choose content and/or virtually curate existing content within a predetermined, web-based space?
MP: Let’s say by digital curator we mean somebody who curates the digital space, that guides the development of an art piece as a curator would do it in a specific physical location. A sort of constant quiet voice that says “this would work, this wouldn’t for this and that reason”. I have an academic and professional background in digital marketing, social media, copywriting, besides cultural management, so that comes natural. I found the right team, a very rare combination of artists and interactive designers, Lucas Werthein and Shahar Zaks, and of course they live in NYC. I worked with them on a show in Moscow and they’re brilliant and good friends. In Berlin I couldn’t find anybody in my “digital community”. Weirdly enough Berliners showed to be less visionary and more materialistic than NYers. Germans have a hard time to dream. The artists and their studios were incredibly thorough in making this happen, they worked really hard: the process itself, that lasted not even 2 months, took place long distance between Berlin, NYC, Copenhagen, Beijing, is the achievement itself of the mission of the artwork.
KDH: How has being involved with contemporary art specifically in Berlin been reflected in your own interests and projects?
MP: Frankly as an independent curator and editor I focused on topics like social, scientific, urban innovation, rather than art. That’s because, besides very few excellences like Olafur Eliasson, Tomas Saraceno, Tino Sehgal, Thomas Demand, that are based here – but are almost never exhibited in town, I find the local art scene pretty mediocre. Maybe it’s the way things are presented, the cheap and sloppy Berlin way, watered with some bad wine, but I feel that a lot of this diminishes the social importance of art as an element of connection and understanding of…ourselves. Artists here very often think of producing objects to hang to a wall rather than act like revolutionaries. I recently started curating shows and installation of public art and art connected to technology, I think that these areas are out of conventions, so I feel comfortable with that. But I always work internationally, I can’t really say that my focus is Berlin.
KDH: How long will moonmoonmoonmoon.com be available? What’s next on your schedule?
MP: Moon doesn’t have a deadline yet, it will grow, change, it’s a new planet that we are creating all together. I’m working with Ai Weiwei and Olafur Eliasson on the next moves. We want to start a movement, and give art back to the people. Are you with us?