Edoardo Pistolesi Somigli

Pervitin Power

Il video qui sopra è un breve trailer. Il video completo “Pervitin Power” è lungo 6:37 e sarà presentato per la prima volta nella mostra Verfremdung nella galleria VBK, Berlino, dal 29 ottobre al 14 novembre 2021. Dopo l’apertura della mostra, dal 1 novembre, il video sarà anche visibile online in ESSENCE/ABSENCE, Padiglione di The Wrong Biennale n°5.

Pervitin was the drug of Nazi Germany: a methamphetamine, which increases wakefulness and physical activity, and decreases appetite. Like most addictive substances, methamphetamine can give users a feeling of pleasure, confidence, and energy beyond what they normally experience. The “meth high” involves both physical and psychological changes, which manifest themselves in euphoria and, at the same time, emotional blunting: people become less aware of their feelings. It is said to spark a great enthusiasm, as well as a feeling of confidence and omnipotence.
Pervitin was officially prescribed for soldiers and certainly contributed to the success of the Blitzkrieg and subsequent German invasions. But over time, the addiction and side effects of the drug became fatal to the German army: people, while strongly addicted, experienced the symptoms we know today such as nausea, hallucinations, and diminution of cognitive capacities, anxiety and depression.
To read more about the subject: https://thesecuritydistillery.org/all-articles/pervitin-how-drugs-transformed-warfare-in-1939-45

Pervitin is known in our time as Crystal Meth. As most people know, it is a nowadays an illegal drug which brings misery to many people.
“Meth” is also the Jewish word for “death”, and came to my mind in connection with the Prague legend of the Golem, which has fascinated me for decades. In Jewish folklore the Golem is an animated anthropomorphic being, which is entirely created from inanimate matter (usually clay or mud). It is brought to life by writing the word EMETH, meaning “truth”, on its forehead. To disable the Golem, one can erase the E from EMETH, creating METH – “death”. The legend of the Golem inspired the Czech Karel Čapek to write R.U.R. (Rossum’s Universal Robots), the 1920 play that gave the word „robot“ to the world.
The formula METH-EMETH functions as a mechanical method to simulate a consciousness at will. It strongly reminds me of the Nazis practices and of other war leaders, who intend to manipulate their soldiers with narcotics, stirring up their will to assassinate. The drug puts them in a state of trance and less aware of the atrocities they commit. They act as non-human robots do. However, we ought to call this behaviour inhuman.
In my work “Pervitin Power” I try to express these thoughts. The video has been recorded in 360° in a room of the Schwerbelastungskörper, a large cylinder made of concrete in Berlin. It was built in 1941 to study the feasibility of constructing large buildings on the area’s sandy bottom, in preparation for the planned construction nearby of a massive Triumphal Arch, that Hitler wanted to build for his Germania city project. The arch was never built, but the cylinder is still there. See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schwerbelastungsk%C3%B6rper
In this room charged with history, I take on the role of the soldier and discover that my clone is sitting opposite me. After simulating a Pervitin shot and putting on a gas mask (an original WWII item), a change of consciousness takes place. Concepts such as TRUTH, HUMAN, ROBOT, POWER, ALIEN are written on the foreheads of me and my clone. From these emerge animated drawings and images. They move through the space like hallucinations and culminate into a violent climax.

title: Pervitin Power
technique: Experimental 360° video and animation
length: 6’37”
year: 2021
music: “Unmistaken Abstract Marching Band” by Edoardo Pistolesi Somigli*
concept, camera, cast, drawing, animation, effects: Maria Korporal

© Maria Korporal 2021

* Edoardo Pistolesi Somigli is co-founder & Station Manager @ Dots Unlimited Radio, a multichannel webradio dedicated to free music, sound research and new forms of communication and language: www.duradio.net
Knob-twiddler in the field of experimental music, fond of all possible links between sound and psychology, undergoing multiple ambient/noise/psychoacoustic creative projects plus -within the scientific community- currently approaching sounds and frequencies to be applied in several alternative cognitive-behavioral therapies in the treatment of various forms of OCD, freely and originally inspired by some tests conducted by Jean Piaget in the 40s of last century. He has already collaborated with Maria Korporal in the projects ZoOm into my Room and Is a dot a black hole?

ZoOm into my Room

Il video qui sopra è un breve trailer.
La versione completa è lunga 4:57 ed è disponibile come pay-per-view su www.visualcontainer.tv

-> click here for the video on VisualcontainerTV

Screening e presentazioni:
• 23 aprile – 16 maggio 2021: UPDATE 21, Galleria VBK, Berlino.
• 30 ottobre – 1 novembre 2020: contemporary art ruhr (C.A.R.), INNOVATIVE ART FAIR, Essen.

Our social and private life has undergone a drastic turn towards digitalisation as a consequence of the pandemic that originated in the beginning of 2020. Human contacts now often are replaced by video-chat Zoom or Jitsy.
In this video I try to show the human experience of loneliness and impotence during their „meetings“ in cyberspace. Even if the light image accurately depicts the person, eye contact is impossible. We look at a screen that shows a simulacra of some other human being and of ourselves.
The video develops seemless in three stages: in the “introduction” images of video chats trasfer proper light beams from chat rooms into real rooms, followed by what could be called the phase of “creation”, in which a lonely person who’s chatting tries to pull the simulacrum out of the light beams, zoom it into her room and bring it to life, and thirdly the phase “longing”, in which the eternal longing for the deep contact with the other is expressed.

In his science fiction novel Neuromancer, published in 1984, William Gibson wrote the revealing phrase: “Cyberspace. A consensual hallucination experienced daily by billions of legitimate operators, in every nation …” In the last decades we saw this global development coming about, but the Covid virus has accelerated this significantly. However, the video goes further back in time. Cinema lovers will unfailingly recognize the references to „Maschinen-Maria“ of Fritz Lang’s Metropolis (1927), another visionary of the technological future. And the profiles in the last scene, which hesitantly approach each other and break away again and again, are ancient Greco-Roman sculptures, simulacra from the cradle of our culture.

title: ZoOm into my Room
technique: Experimental video and animation
length: 4’57”
year: 2020
music: “Blue Funk Hypertransit” (excerpts) by Edoardo Pistolesi Somigli
concept, images, animation, effects and montage: Maria Korporal
© Maria Korporal 2020

Edoardo Pistolesi Somigli is co-founder & Station Manager @ Dots Unlimited Radio, a multichannel webradio dedicated to free music, sound research and new forms of communication and language: www.duradio.net
Knob-twiddler in the field of experimental music, fond of all possible links between sound and psychology, undergoing multiple ambient/noise/psychoacoustic creative projects plus -within the scientific community- currently approaching sounds and frequencies to be applied in several alternative cognitive-behavioral therapies in the treatment of various forms of OCD, freely and originally inspired by some tests conducted by Jean Piaget in the 40s of last century.

Stills from the video:

Is a dot a black hole?

Il filmato parte da un “flipbook”, un libro animato. Mentre l’artista lo sfoglia, un punto cresce sulle pagine, e prende vita. O è un buco nero? Molti altri punti più piccoli ne escono, volano nel cyberspazio e si trasformano – ma alla fine si perdono in una grande spirale e vengono aspirati di nuovo dal punto nero nel libro.

La musica è di Edoardo Pistolesi Somigli. “Knob-twiddler” nel campo della musica di ricerca, da sempre interessato al legame tra suono e psicologia, attualmente impegnato su studi di frequenze e sequenze audio da applicare in terapie cognitivo-comportamentali nella cura di forme varie di disturbi ossessivo/compulsivi, liberamente ispirati da esperimenti condotti da Jean Piaget negli anni ’40 del secolo scorso.
I suoni di “Is A Dot A Black Hole?” sono stati elaborati tutti sul tracker Renoise 3.0.1_

Fa parte del progetto HearteartH – vedi sito www.heartearth.rf.gd

titolo: Is a dot a black hole?
tecnica: Experimental video and animation
durata: 2’22”
anno: 2015
concept e visual: Maria Korporal
musica: Edoardo Pistolesi Somigli