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Marco Victor Romano / Hexadecimal (cielo/erba Lipsia) / Digital printing on paper / 200 x 100 (cm)/ 2014

In an era in which virtual is increasingly perceived as a sensory extension of human reality, the contemporary individual finds himself plunged in a hyper-world in which vision and illusion are integrated completing each other. No coincidence at all if nowadays we talk about augmented reality, a brand-new strategy for a man who, trying to reach both infinite and immortality, thinks up progressively more complex ways to conquer the unknown.

With the artwork Hexadecimal, the artist intends to investigate the relationship between this virtual world, which constantly develops, and the human being that creates it.

Cielo/Erba Lipsia shows a virtual landscape in its truth of simulated reality. The colours become technical information expressed in the Computer Graphics technology digital language, precisely identified in hexadecimal codes.

In the image texture, numbers and letters overlap; in some patches they intensify saturation. Something happens in the passage areas from thin to dense colours: the eye perceives a concentration change which, however, remains unexpressed by the graph system.

This very subtle difference reaffirms the supremacy of human nature, which once again claims its own distinction capacity: its sensitivity is built on the disparity with the technology passivity, which has the means to organize data, but no means at all to penetrate the perceivable.

In the wake of Benjaminian research[1], which investigates the social meaning of the technical and material reproducibility of the artwork, Romano shows how the real data definition and technical reproduction are both empty and passive; they realize the fragmentation of the whole destroying the reference context; its primary identity flattens out, its uniqueness value is reduced by its roots.


How much remains of the sky of Leipzig in the computerized code? Which were the original shapes and shades of the grass blades?


Taken individually, the colour code does not realize the potential unity of the fragment, which, as Brandi précises, survives in the bond reflex with the whole. It is rather the result of a computerized system which uses a digital and punctual mechanical language.

Romano calls for the re-thinking on the existential man-machine gap.

To the eye of the watcher, Erba / Cielo Lipsia seems to create a short circuit: no landscape, no frame in the image, yet it shows a technical reproduction of something that once had an existence. In front of us, the digital language shows off itself by emphasizing its potential use.

At the heart of this issue, the man and his faculty of choosing. In his hands, technology is the amplifying tool of its game spaces, or even the convenient expedient which annihilates his will in the action automatism (take the Instagram likes tap tap), which enslaves the masses (take the theft of sensitive data on social networks), which drowns the rights in a placid conscience sleep.


Giovanna Calabrese

Translation curated by Ferri & Ghezzi

[1]Walter Benjamin, The work of art at the time of its technical reproducibility, BUR Rizzoli, September 2013, Milan