Mauro Martino

Strolling Cities - Visual Poetry generated by Artificial Intelligence - XVII Venice Biennale

Strolling Cities unveils the naked, materially seductive form of several Italian cities, by means of millions of photos taken during the recent lockdowns ('20/'21) that show the urban space as an unfiltered landscape of walls, streets, and buildings. Returned to the immanence of their materiality, cities abandon their stereotyped semantic contents, to embrace a new dimension of extreme elusiveness. A generative A.I. model trained with these images creates perpetually moving video-paintings, whose indefinite contours suggest a potential transformation of urban places, once ascribed to specific 'social functions', into open spaces available to countless (re)writings. The observer strolls while standing still, and the city changes in front of her, generating a unique cognitive experience, questioning and re-imagining the space at once. The A.I. reacts to voice commands or to a poetic text, producing new associations that immensely broaden the urban imaginary of the future.