Invisible Cities: Annibale Siconolfi

The interview is conducted as part of the SuperRare April Exhibition: Invisible Cities, curated by an and Elisabeth Johs.

Annibale Siconolfi is an artist, architect and sound designer from Italy. His art is characterized by a complex 3D modeling of futuristic cities and landscapes. Annibale has experimented and studied different 3D techniques with the aim of giving life to his visions characterized by endless urban scenarios, coexistence between nature and technology and new types of habitat. His work has appeared on some of the biggest online art and architecture platforms and exhibited in France, Russia and Italy.

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What will the cities of the future be like? RE-CITIES is one of the megacities of the future that I imagined. Modeled entirely in 3d, this work tells us about a future civilization forced to a vertical expansion due to total saturation of the building land.
A. Describe the cities in your art

Futuristic, mysterious, eternal. The cities of future are the main subject of my art. My vision of these cities is influenced by the work of architecture masters like Le Corbusier, Louis Kahn, Antonio Sant’Elia but also from writers like Philip K Dick, Isaac Asimov, Italo Calvino. Since i was a child i experimented with different fields of art, from sound design to architecture, and i think all these elements now converge in my artworks.

B. How did you become interested in using cities as the subject of your art? Which aspects of cities fascinate you the most?

I’m an architect so it was natural for me to start experimenting with cities models.

The thing that fascinate me mostly is the complexity of the cities. I like to analyze how the urban fabric has evolved from the begin to the actual status, and how it could be in the future. 

Memories of a lost world
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“I remember… those people, their way of living and those enchanted places.”
C. What do cities mean for you?

They represents the greater expression of the human sociality. Every city is like a complex organism to study and humans are their lifeblood.

D. Which are your favorite cities? How do these cities inspire you and influence your art?

Honestly i think there are so many beautiful cities, i don’t have a favorite one. One of the city which inspired me lately was Naples, i’m fascinated by its dense urban fabric, the overpopulated areas and so many influences of different cultures. Also i like by the contrast between the urban agglomerations and the “empty” of the sea. 

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E. What are you trying to express through depiction of cities? In portraying cities, what are the (bigger or personal) stories you’re trying to tell?

I want to represent my dystopian / utopian vision of the cities of future. I try to relate to the extreme consequences of some problems that afflict the world today, such as global warming, overpopulation, pollution, epidemics. But it is not always so obvious. In other works, I like to create more pleasant cities and landscapes of the future, in which the observer can get lost pleasantly for a few minutes. But generally i prefer that the viewers will have their own interpretation of my works. It’s nice to see how they inspires so many writers and directors to create stories around.

F. What’s your approach to make art about cities (creative process, technique, art genre, aesthetics etc.)

Generally i start from a vision i had in my mind, i try to realize it as much detailed as possible. I experiment a lot of not standard techniques with 3D softwares trying to represent it. if you have a precise idea to realize in your mind then you have to find the technique to create it and i think this is the funniest part of the creation.  

The Old Town
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A glimpse of the old town, where the past meets the future.
G. What does your ideal city look like? Or, for artists who do futuristic cities: what’s your philosophy considering urban designs for a future city?

I think cities of future should have a better organization and more respect for the nature. I would like to see more parks / green areas and less traffic.  Also i see the ideal city of future as a city able to accomodate all the cultures of the world in a peaceful way.

H. What’s the relationship between people and cities (or nature and cities) in your art?

the relationship between nature and cities it’s one of the main themes of my work. Some of my artworks are characterized by extreme solutions for this difficult co-existence, like enormous O2 generators able to clean the air of the polluted areas or gardens built on the top of abandoned cities. I hope that these scenes will stir viewer’s conscience. i think we need to change our life style and find solutions to defeat the pollution problem, this is what our planet is asking us now.

Infinite Cities
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“Cities, like dreams, are made of desires and fears, even if the thread of their discourse is secret, their rules are absurd, their perspectives deceitful, and everything conceals something else.” ― Italo Calvino, Invisible Cities
I. What are the little things you want your viewers to notice in your art?

i’m obsessed by little details, so i always hope that my viewers will spend some time to observe all of them.

J. What’s your dream art project to do?

i have so many dream art projects. one of them is to realize an explorable 3d city based on my artworks.

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