Antonio Scarponi uses elements from architecture, multimedia arts, and design to “jam” the conventional social order. His work reflects and interrogates today’s global community by illuminating our shared humanity as well as the sociopolitical lines that divide us. Scarponi strives toward a more inclusive depiction of globalization from the point of view of the world’s population—a hive of voices, behaviors, and cultural trends from everyday life.
Design is a subversive practice, it has the power to imagine reality arranged in a different way and with a different order of values.
His 2007 interactive project “Dreaming Wall,” installed in an historic Milanese square, was a digitally generated billboard that displayed randomly chosen real-time text messages sent to the projector by people from across the world. The projector beamed ultraviolet lasers onto the billboard’s phosphorescent, UV-sensitive green panels, which allowed each message to remain visible on the panels for 15 minutes before making way for another “dream.” The dissolving layers of messages produced the “subconsciousness of a city asleep.”
Recently, Scarponi has been investigating ways to assemble cheap, readily available materials into useful, sustainable household items—and subverting one of the most recognizable international brands in the process. In his READYKEA exhibition he used plastic IKEA tubs and zip ties to create new IKEA furniture that doesn’t exist. ELIOOO expands on that idea with an instruction booklet on how to turn plastic IKEA containers into six different hydroponic devices that can be used to grow vegetables inside an apartment or office.
— Antonio Scarponi