Refracted Bodies is the distillation of Zamagni’s latest artistic endeavours, combining established artistic media alongside XR (Mixed Reality) experiences. Realms composed of physical and non-physical elements bid visitors occupy and consider their role within the intricate technosphere that constitutes the contemporary age. Sculptures and found objects dispense connections between land and society, and consider the preservation of ancient knowledge and beliefs.
A laser-engraved print on cracked industrial plaster – repurposed from a Hackney demolition site – depicts a compound of the most powerful and transformative natural plants in the biosphere. These images are provided by the Royal Botanic Gardens online archives.
Existing as a physical object and a symbol of the spiritual importance of the land, Supercluster (2023) emits crystalline, viridescent light. The object's outer ring is thrice layered in laser-cut frosted material with custom engravings, water jet cut mild steel, and porcelain, the inner ring is metal and both are furnished with latex sheets. At the centre is a crystal, and two contiguous lasers which meet in the stone and deliver a luminous burst.
The site specific VR installation - Transposition (2023) - is defined physically by two branches covered with 3D-printed lichen-like structures and lasers. A portal connects two distinct virtual realities; a pristine cave, 3D mapped from the artist’s visits to the Lake District and displayed with a uniquely constructed spatialised soundscape, and a mine. From the tangible objects scattered about the space, to the painstakingly constructed spectral landscapes, the practice of gathering and assembling is explicit.
Here, Zamagni juxtaposes relics of hyper-industrialisation and the preservationist outlook of indigenous culture, where ecological, cosmological, and spiritual understanding, paved the way for a symbiotic relationship with nature. A critique of contemporary extractionism, Refracted Bodies considers the eradication, disrespect, and destruction of Indigenous communities, exacerbated by capitalist forces.
Project collaborators include John Lucy, Wouter Weynants, Andrea Sartini with assistance from Guglielmo Baracchini, Luke Griffiths, Daisy Smith, David Li. Special thanks to Andre Baumecker, Alessandra Gobbi, Hayden Martin and Eleanor Greenleaf.
About Matteo Zamagni
Matteo Zamagni’s practice encompasses visual arts, multimedia installations, film production, and electronic music. Combining these unique yet interlinked contemporary technologies with oracular themes, Zamagni reflects on the environmental, economic, and social turbulence of today. Zamagni’s practice offers a holistic commentary on the correlations between disaster capitalism and the Earth’s ecosystems. Using analytical geoscientific tools, VR/AR/MR, real-time generative imaging, world-building, photogrammetry, physics simulations, and CGI techniques, his artworks simulate and combine elemental natural forms with immersive media. This has included procedurally generated fractals, local reconstructions of existing terrain via LiDAR point clouds, and macro-scale aerial views of the earth. The resulting works are often stacked composites of recurring patterns in tangible and notional structures, depicting a complex continuum of local- global phenomena (from densely overpopulated spaces to climatological models).
Zamagni creates accessible, interactive entry-points for participants, who in turn, embody the artist’s exploration of the entanglements of critical-gaze, agency, human- machine perception, tracking the evolution of post-anthropocentric consciousness fostered by an entangled technosphere and biosphere. His music production project, Seven Orbits, provides a further platform for playful experimentation with audio- visual experiences. Immersive audio-visual live sets and a recent EP released with the
Shanghai-based SVBKVLT label make use of a broad palette of post-club stimuli that play with and confound audience perception. An experimental form of experience- hacking and inducing altered states that reflect the vertigo of Zamagni’s machine- vision driven visual art.