RAVE around SEOUL
Tiziana and Isabella Pers
Within the Architecture of Intelligence by Giuseppe Stampone
Curated by Helen Hejung Choi
Texts by Leonardo Caffo, Daniele Capra, Giuliana Carbi, Nico Covre, Mylène Ferrand, Pietro Gaglianò, Valentina Sonzogni.
If, while we eat, we destroy living beings or the environment, we are eating the flesh of our own sons and daughters. We need to look deeply together and discuss how to eat, what to eat, and what to resist.
Thich Nhat Hanh
Within Giuseppe Stampone’s great map for the Seoul Biennal of Architecture and Urbanism, Tiziana and Isabella Pers present RAVE AROUND SEOUL.
This is a project to export the practices of RAVE, contextualizing them in other green places on the other side of the planet: the two artists bring RAVE animals rescued from slaughterhouse or other violent situations within the beautiful public parks of Seoul, by the means of drawing.
In order to consider the effects of the anthropocene and evaluate the consequences on food we must envision the possibility of a new posthuman era capable of abandoning the anthropocentric paradigm in favor of models of coexistence with an interest in a biocentric perspective.
We are not able to predict the forms, the way tomorrow’s humans will live, but we can practice alternative ways, different from the current dominant model.
Drawing makes it possible to set other animals in the centre of the city, no longer raised for food, or imprisoned, but totally free, in a surreal displacement: a sketched evocation of utopia. Like ‘images of resistance’, all these living beings from a small village in the countryside in Italy visually become part of the population of Seoul.
Texts by Leonardo Caffo, Daniele Capra, Giuliana Carbi, Nico Covre, Mylène Ferrand, Pietro Gaglianò and Valentina Sonzogni are part of the project.
Architecture of Intelligence
Inspired by Rem Koolhaas’ ( for the Seoul Biennale ) sentence which describes the South Korean capital as ‘Manhattan with Alps’, Giuseppe Stampone creates a new Architecture of Intelligence based on the relationship between urban spaces and their surrounding ecosystems. Seoul, one of the major and most sophisticated cities in Asia, where the most advanced technologies and the environment try to walk hand in hand, is what gave Stampone the idea for a group map as part of his recent research. He asked ten people – artists and intellectuals who are close to him in terms of ethical vocation and project sharing – to come up with ten proposals which will be put on a larger conceptual map. The focus of the action are the ‘areas of weakness’ between city and natural environment, spaces which resemble Marc Augé’s ‘Non-Places’ and Gilles Clement’s The Third Landscape. Here the attrition between civilisation and environment is more present, the balance more delicate and unstable and the consequences of each choice more serious. Together with the map Giuseppe Stampone created a children’s workshop to put together a spelling book in Korean which is displayed next to both a video illustrating the entire process and the group map to which the following people contributed:
Stefano Boccalino, Jota Castro, CCD Studio, Pietro Gaglianò, Igor Grubic, Ugo La Pietra, Stefania Gallegati , Marco Neri, OBRA Architects, Paolo Parisi, Simona Pavone, Alfredo Pirri, Isabella Pers and Tiziana Pers (RAVE), Marinella Senatore, Lorenzo Scotto di Luzio.
In Italy there is a place where what we might call “anticipation” takes form. Anticipation means bringing a piece of the future – the piece that it’s called progress – into our current time: as Isabella Pers says, this is the “present”: a gift. Rave, nestled among the villages of Friuli, is a territory where a new form of life – no longer human or animal – repopulates the utopian realm of the biodiversity of forms of existence. Tiziana Pers, together with Isabella, has helped to open the eyes of those who still struggle to imagine a state of affairs beyond the generally held view of things, a state of affairs where we can live in peace with all other creatures. It is clear that this could only be done through art: the chosen instrument of visionary philosophy. Rave is the possibility for a species to go beyond itself.
Leonardo Caffo, philosopher
The scent of freedom
Rave is a small oasis in the countryside in the North of Italy inhabited by domesticated animals. These animals have been saved from the food industry through art, and they are no longer subject to the utilitarian laws of the modern, capitalistic world. They live in a happy state of harmony and tranquillity without any impositions. Life is sweet, there are no time constraints and the only obligations are those of living together: we live in an atmosphere of peace, akin to the idyll of the garden of Eden, a state unknown to modern man.
Rave is a small enclosure where life is sacred and follows the laws of nature, sometimes harsh, but more often filled with common sense. Here the animals are not beasts. The horses are not compelled to pull carts, donkeys do not have to bear heavy loads and the sheep do not need to produce wool. It is also a haven for people who can no longer stand the shameful world we live in, a space that is home to a small utopia, right here before you. You can recognize the scent of freedom from a distance
Daniele Capra, indipendent curator
In the open air, too much energy. It’s strange for an artist or for a curator to get out of the studio and away from the thoughts that concentrate there. Isabella and Tiziana Pers have founded a project that invites them to come out, to step away from the all the structures of the system . It could happen under the great mulberry tree where you can sometimes pick fruits, or on the edge of a paddock of there residency. This is a surprising human pasture: thoughts become exchanges and an operational patrimony and a new edition of RAVE begins.
Giuliana Carbi, art historian and director of Trieste Contemporanea
Rave brings together the two different gazes of art and biocentric thinking, and the point where they meet describes and reminds us of a story of equality. Above all, RAVE truly brings this equality to life, making it into something solid and concrete, just like the countryside of Friuli. It offers a genuine and tangible experience to anyone who has been fortunate enough to visit the residency. A fragment in space and time that is thus crystallised into a pure and scintillating sensation: we are happy and we are all happy to be together. With or without a tail.
Nico Covre, creative director, Vulcano
Et si l’on écoutait les artistes, leur indignation et la seule force de leurs idées ? Si l’on ouvrait grand notre imagination, que se passerait-il ? RAVE n’est pas seulement un projet artistique collaboratif pionnier et unique au monde, c’est également un manifeste, une pièce en soi qui fait fi du mythe de l’autonomie de l’art et parie plutôt sur sa capacité transformative. L’action est au cœur de l’œuvre, des solutions sont proposées par les artistes pour mettre un terme à la guerre menée contre les autres, y compris ceux d’espèces différentes. Des animaux sont vraiment sauvés, il faut s’en occuper tous les jours, les nourrir, trouver les fonds, coopérer avec eux, etc. Ici, la théorie cherche à être en accord avec la pratique et la création rejoint l’éthique et le politique. Et si l’art n’avait jamais été qu’au service de la vie ? Comment repenser nos relations interspécifiques et mettre en place les conditions d’une coexistence telle que préfigurée dans Zoopolis (1) jusque dans l’urbanisme et l’architecture ? Qui sait jusqu’où nous porteront les rêves…
Mylène Ferrand, independent curator
Don’t call it utopia.
If Rosa Parks had not imagined that another reality was possible, perhaps she would have simply left the seat “reserved for whites” on the bus, that day in 1955 in Montgomery, Alabama. There was still a long struggle before racial segregation was prohibited by law, and every day we must fight to ensure that equality is real: not just written in the law books, but also cultural. Without Rosa Parks’ risky and imaginative action we would be weaker, and a few steps further back.
Rave is based on the same scandal, it is an interruption in a practice of abuse that is considered customary. We know that the road to an anti-speciesist world is still very long. But thankfully there is Rave. Justice needs imagination.
Pietro Gaglianò, critic and independent curator