Where is the city?

Curated by Lorenzo Bruni, Studio SUN, Firenze.

Sound of noise

For the blue night in Florence, Saturday 7th May, Robert Pettena directed the musical part of the “where is the city” happening, directed by Lorenzo Bruni. An enormous group of drummers, and percussionists, who all contacted each other, occupied via Martelli, near the Florence baptistery, making the happening occur.

Jungle Junction

This is a very elastic project which can expand or contract to fill the space available. The installation contributes an ecological element to some areas of the space. People so- metimes need green plants around them: branches of the nut tree provide a good, versatile, elastic material for the construction of a public drinking place, and involve the public in a green spot. The drinks, made from organic fruits and vegetables and alcoholic cocktails, highlight the contradictions between wanting to live a healthy life and wanting to have fun.

Torness 1979

Many years ago, in 1978 and 1979, young people from all over Britain went to Torness in Scotland to protest against the building of a nuclear power station. They did not want the land and sea to be polluted by radioactivity and they did not want to leave a legacy of radioactive waste for Scottish children and grandchildren. So they occupied the proposed site, planted flowers in the form of slogans, planted trees, built miniature windmills and danced with their children. At the time the protestors did not realise that they were creating installations and performances that reflected ecological themes. Robert Pettena used the film to recreate the story of the occupation, adding recent footage that contrasts the nuclear option with alternative energy sources. This film remains as a record, an example for those members of the next generation who know how to make connections between current and past events.

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Geomagnetic Rush

A few years ago the geomagnetic pole moved a few degrees, which had the effect of disorienting many species of birds, mammals and fish, who lost their way and in some cases died. Thousands of creatures perished as a result of this geomagnetic shift.

The video shows the horizontal movements of the boats across the bay and the vertical and circular movements of the fairground, to the accompaniment of the shrieks and screams of the children. Everyone is oblivious of the geomagnetic shift. Two utterly different realities are occurring simultaneously. The video was shot in Stockholm.

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© Robert Pettena 2022