SOMATIC SPACES · ACT I
Video and Sound Art
Concept, performance, video by Isabel Rodriguez Ramos. Soundscape by Rossana De Pace. Thanks to Dune artist residency.
‘Somatic Spaces’ blossoms from the collaboration of the visual artist and performer Isabel Rodriguez Ramos and the sound artist and songwriter Rossana De Pace.
It consists of field research, both performative and audiovisual, carried out in natural territories of the world with always different inputs. This project aims to create new awareness about the possible interactions and contaminations between Humans and Nature.
• What about the Concept?
Starting from the philosophical assumption – one of the core values of the animist tradition – that the Earth is animated and therefore endowed with Spirit, “Somatic Spaces” presents itself as the opportunity to investigate the physical space of the body through the environment and vice versa, considering the Inner Soul and the Outer Earth united by osmosis.
Peoples from many different cultures perceive the Land not in terms of a mother who nurtures and punishes (Cartesian view), but rather as an integral part of their souls. In the light of the man-nature binomial, Isabel investigated this correspondence through site-specific performative acts and resumed the creative process documenting its evolution.
REQUIEM of a felled tree
Video and Sound Art
Writted and Directed by Isabel Rodriguez Ramos. Sound Design and Performance by Rossana De Pace. Technical partner; PlantsPlay.
· What about Plants Play?
Plants Play is the first wearable device that allows you to listen to the music generated by plants and trees straightaway on your smartphone. By means of two sensors set on the leaves, Plants Play turns its electrical variations into music, which can be sent via bluetooth to the downloadable app for Smarphones, iOS’s and Androids.
The soundtrack of ‘REQUIEM’ was conceived by applying two sensors on the pith of a felled tree at Sempione Park, in Milan (Italy). Through these electrodes, ‘PlantsPlay’ device converts electrical variations into musical notes. The interaction between the hands and the tree trunk provides an example of how plants react to human touch.
Video and Sound Art
Art-film by Isabel Rodriguez Ramos. Song by Rossana De Pace. Theater operator Marta Maltese.
The Art-film “Primordialità”, conceived and directed by Isabel Rodriguez Ramos, was born from the collaboration of the singer-songwriter Rossana De Pace and the independent artistic project “Natural Mente Corpo”.
• What about the Art Film?
Accompanied by a woman born from the womb of the Earth, the viewer will be involved in a dreamlike journey to discover a primordial humanity. An ancestral ritual of purification of the spirit and fusion with natural elements will lead the protagonist to rediscover the cyclic nature of Nature by living it on her own skin. Through the senses, initially exercising tactility, Rossana accesses to the memory of water and the ancient mountain forest. The protagonist has visions that reveal the life of an archaic community which lived in harmony with the creatures and the natural elements of those places. This tribe, learning universal love and care from the elements – the concreteness from the Earth, the movement from the Water, the lightness from the Winds and the warmth from the Fire – blends and mingles with the landscape. The journey begins with an initiatory ceremony in which the Earth becomes a healer, develops in the alternation of opposites – between light and dark, hot and cold – and ends with Death, with the return to the Earth, to be reborn fruitful and begin a new Cycle.
• What about the Song?
The song “Primordiality” has been conceived by Rossana De Pace as a prayer, as an answer to a call.
Nature asks human being to come back to the roots of life; that is made in order to find the real essence: the fusion with the Earth. Thanks to this process it will be possible to rise up and find the divine in every single being and creature of the planet. This project came to life originally from the world of music with no help or influence of language and lyrics; in fact it can be considered like a “call” or a musical motif of our soul that is impossible to ignore and needs to be released outside and, in second time, analysed in his human expression. “Primordiality” is pure instinct: it’s the way of singing free from human language and based exclusively on emotions. The voice will try to paint them in the most consistent way through the melody: a universal language that can be understood by everybody.
Only in the second phase of creation the prayer has been verbalized. Because of the addition of words and lyrics to the song, humans can describe and find themselves in the reality around that is made of every single being and creature living on the Earth. Thanks to this ceremonial, the human beings can become part of the all things and distance themselves from the artificial and the shallow. In this way it will be possible to find his most authentic and primordial Being. In the second part of the song it takes place the synthesis of “prayer” and “call”; lyrics turns into a mantra: “Sono Marea, Sono Vento” (I’m Tide, I’m Wind) becoming integral part of the original and instinctual flow. By this process it can be clarified and strengthened the inherent meaning of the singing. So it happens the symbiotic relationship between lyrics and melody, like the one between Body and Earth.
At the end of this cycle we find the starting vibrations. The last verses compare everyday life’s pictures and images inspired by nature; we want to bring back the audience to its real life and membership system with the thought than natural law, conceived as sustainable living, can and must be applied to our society. At the closure of this aural experience, the audience will return to the starting point in a new way, purified and reborn in the awareness that the most important thing is cultivating Earth and Spirit to make both fruitful and ready to welcome Life.
• What about Natural Mente Corpo project?
“Natural Mente Corpo” is an ambitious multidisciplinary independent project focused on environmental and social sustainability. It’s founded by the visual artist Isabel Rodriguez Ramos and the actress Marta Maltese. In accordance with “The Global Goals for Sustainable Development” we aim to promote in particular: sustainable communities and realities, reduction of social and economic inequalities, health, education, gender equality, responsible consumption, preservation of natural heritage, peace and justice.
Starting from the reflection on the interdependence between human and nature we want to: enhance our environmental heritage by giving new life to the wild natural spaces of our territory, educate for responsible tourism, attract new targets with innovative artistic and cultural proposals and offer a concrete alternative, a protected and safeguarded opportunity to encourage young people to meet, in order to face the growing social and psychological distress aggravated by the isolation measures necessary to fight the pandemic.
The first edition of the project was developed over four days during the 2020 summer season, in Val di Susa, involving four groups of participants from all over Italy. The second edition of “Natural Mente Corpo” took place during the summer season 2021. In August we organized an artistic residency open to 25 young people from many Italian regions, who cohabitated and worked together for a week in order to create a creative community and to return, during the last day of residence, site-specific performative acts located in the woods of Torre Mondovì (Italy). We propose a space that favor the dialogue between the different languages of art – such as theater, photography and video-art – in order to offer a multipolar and dynamic experience that provides differentiated and effective strategies for encouraging an inclusive creative process. The theater allows access to the internal worlds of everyone, while photography becomes a visible and concrete testimony of the individual and collective experience.
The photographs resulting from the experience have achieved great resonance thanks to a series of publications in international photographic magazines and the video contributions have been destined for the creation of a video series and the production of an experimental short film.
Isabel Rodriguez Ramos © 2022