Paolo Cirio: Systems of Systems

Paolo Cirio: Systems of Systems

Until 26 July 2019 Paolo Cirio presents a solo exhibition at Giorgio Persano Gallery in Turin, IT.

Systems of Systems presents more than a decade’s work by Cirio, whose practice seeks to expose the machinations of systems of surveillance, propaganda and control through the creation of networked artworks.

Paolo Cirio’s ongoing engagement with the aesthetics of information systems, and how they increasingly shape social interactions, references the term System Aesthetics, coined in 1968, and early exhibitions exploring the term (Information at MoMA and Software at Jewish Museum). Systems of Systems presents a body of work focused on interrogating and presenting the aesthetics of systems. The flowchart has particular prominence in the exhibition.

Cirio’s works are themselves systems, whose workings actively interrogate the structure and function of regulatory or censorial systems as well as laying out aspects of governance structures for gallery visitors to see. His works are thus both educational and confrontational - they are simultaneously images of the operations and signifiers that bind contemporary social structures, and working models which test the possibility for disrupting or creating alternatives to those structures.

Systems of Systems is the premiere of two new works by Cirio. Foundations, a large scale installation in the central gallery space, reflects simultaneously on the ontologies of political systems and of contemporary art industry systems and practices. Meaning is a series of three flowcharts engraved on mirrored glass, which outline Cirio’s semiotic theory regarding meaning-formation on the internet. The work examines the way meaning is produced and the dynamics by which significance takes root. The triptych reflects the image of the visitor and gallery, prompting visitors to consider their role in the production of meaning. Other works in the exhibition are Open Society Structures (2009, also available as a digital edition on Sedition),  Sociality (2018), Global Direct (2014), Gift Finance (2010), World Currency (2014), and Hacking Monopolism Trilogy (2005-2011).

Systems of Systems is accompanied by a monograph, Flowcharts, which documents Cirio’s art and activism and its deployment of the flowchart as an aesthetic and political device.


Systems of Systems is at Giorgio Persano Gallery, Via Principessa Clotilde 45, Torino Italy until 26 July.

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Paolo Cirio
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