Pennacchio Argentato
17 Ottobre 2020 – 10 Gennaio 2021

'Sudden Confusion' is the Pennacchio Argentato’s new solo show of at Acappella Gallery in Naples.
The 'What's on your mind?' Facebook status update invites you to tell others what you are doing and gather feedback from your friends. Feeds and notifications tailored to your needs and behaviour keep popping up every time you look at your digital device. So you get sucked into something you didn't intend to get sucked into. Everyone is competing for your attention; as it is the most valuable commodity in human history, a billion dollarsdollar industry. With the intensification of what Shoshana Zurboff has called surveillance capitalism is an attention extraction model, that works on human psychology making us vulnerable and exploiting and damaging the healthy fabric of our society trough targeted advertising. The technology system that we heavily relay on is a bias towards political polarization, fake news, and manipulative narratives, raising populism and conspiracy theory and creating a pandemic of confusion. Pennacchio Argentato' s sculptures address a state of psychological vulnerability, manipulation and disorientation. The statue of the teenager, ready to go out equipped with backpack and hat but without clothses, is standing on a platform made of water, a critical primary resource for the survival of the human species, to indicate a situation of emergency. 'I am feeling lucky' is the title of this sculpture and his posture suggests that he is about to step away from the platform and move on. What will his next step is going to be?
The two sculptures with the melting pound coins refer to the effect of surveillance capitalism on the economy, the widening of the inequalities between rich and poor and how technology can impact the political power through manipulative narratives and fake news. A plinth of milk boxes and an olive tree-branch are supporting ‘The Algorithm Dream’ coins’ sculptures, to suggest food as a primary need and as well as the environmental crisis. The melted coins resemble Salvador Dali's melted clocks in 'The Persistence of Memory'. There is a link between surrealism and surveillance capitalism. As Kenneth Goldsmith points out, 'The web is tinged with surrealism, employing its methods of drift, disorientation, and disjunction as ways of opening up new and unknown experiences.' The algorithm curates and arranges our desires as a digital libidinal force, we are dreaming someone else’s dream becoming more and more disoriented and defenceless. Tristan Harris, the co-founder and president of the Centre for Human Technology, calls for a “design renaissance”, in a search for a more ethical way to use technology without being exploited and manipulated. He claims, ‘We can’t change a system unless we have a shared understanding and shared language.'

- Zuboff, S., 2020. The Age Of Surveillance Capitalism. New York: Public Affairs.
- Goldsmith, K., 2020. Duchamp Is My Lawyer. The Polemics, Pragmatics, And Poetics Of Ubuweb. Irvington: Columbia University Press.
- Thompson, N., 2020. Tristan Harris: Tech Is ‘Downgrading Humans.’ It’s Time To Fight Back. Wired [online] (available here)

Marisa Argentato, 1977, Naples Italy
and Pasquale Pennacchio, 1979, Caserta, Italy.
Staatliche Hochschule fur Bildende Kunste, Stadelschule, Frankfurt a.M;
Accademia delle Belle Arti, Naples.

Art Viewer
Platform Green

 Sudden Confusion Installation view     
 Sudden Confusion Installation view     
  'I am feeling lucky' 2020 detail      
  'I am feeling lucky' 2020 detail      
 Sudden Confusion Installation view     
 Sudden Confusion Installation view     
 ‘Algorithm Dream’ #3, 2020   Plaster, acrylic resin, paint 
 ‘Algorithm Dream’ #2, 2020   Plaster, acrylic resin, vine tree 
 ‘Algorithm Dream’ #2, 2020   Plaster, acrylic resin, vine tree,  
 'I am feeling lucky' 2020 Plaster,    acrylic, iron, plastic bottles 
 'I am feeling lucky' 2020 detail     
 Sudden Confusion Installation view     
 ‘Algorithm Dream’ #1, 2020 Plaster   acrylic resin, milk boxes, paint 
 ‘Algorithm Dream’ #1, 2020 Plaster   acrylic resin, milk boxes, paint 
 Sudden Confusion Installation view