photo by Benedetta Folena
photo by Benedetta Folena

I met Mattia for the first time in the digital-verse a few months ago and I was immediately attracted by his works. Very smooth looking, intriguing and elegant figures were composing on my screen using delicate stamps: more electronic art, maybe, than digital. Stamps are such an attractive form of artistic visualization for me, I am fascinated by the far east writers’ ability to fill white spaces of paper with ideograms that to me are glyphs without a meaning, but beautifully done. In the Italian recent art history, we had the beautiful works of Giuseppe Capogrossi and Alighiero Boetti: tradition and a philosophy are in this form of artistic expression. So, I decided to ask Mattia if we could share opinions about his art, his research and his very last artistic quest: Artificial Intelligence at Playform.io

TheDArtCo: Hi Mattia, tell me about your beginnings.

Mattia: I am an electronical technical expert that twenty years ago realized I wanted to be an artist doing music and Polaroids and pictures. Then I started putting stamps together and Xeroxing images: my art-style was born.

TheDArtCo: Why stamps?

Mattia: Doing art by stamps for me is first of all meditation. I take a white sheet of paper and I fill it with stamps until it is done. Meditation and the organization of the white space of paper with many stamps is very spiritual to me.

TheDArtCo: Now the Artificial Intelligence, tell me about this new art experience

Mattia: Well I love art and I love technology. In March 2020 in Italy we have been locked down for the COVID issue. I had heard about AI and I was not so impressed by the results. But, you know, I was closed in my place, could not go out and so I started using Playform AI just for the fun of it.

I started using the artworks I did with a copy machine to feed the AI and well, after the first results I have not been able to stop, they were very good indeed! The more artworks I was putting in, the more intriguing artworks the AI was offering back. They were more and more coherent with the poetic of my art: AI was becoming good, very good…. Too good, maybe!

TheDArtCo: Is this a serious thing or you consider this an experiment?

Mattia: Oh, it is a very serious thing! Now he is my replicant, the intern in my arthouse. Next step could be a way to program the AI, that would be a fantastic possibility to move forward!

But also, now AI is very useful to me: I can take care of new ideas while I know that my assistant is doing its job for me! It is working night and day…. It is amazing!

TheDArtCo: So, the Undefined project is just at its beginning… You taught Playform, now can the pupil become better than its teacher?

Mattia: So far, AI is an intern for me, not an artist on its own by now, maybe if we could use software languages like Processing and Arduino to program it, we could move ahead… But, you know, I like the mistake, the imperfection. Something that is unexpected that comes out from the artwork and is calling me up! So far, AI cannot do this.

TheDArtCo:  When we used the Playform AI, we did not try to train too much the AI and that allowed it to generate something new, different from the images we used to feed it. Can this be a way?

Mattia: Well it is possible. Now I have two exhibitions in Playform: a personal one and a collective. Please visit Playform.io so you can see how this cooperation between my philosophy and the Digital Artificial Intelligence is proceeding. I like this. I feel it is a way to exploit at its best the enormous potential of the Art on the blockchain. This is something very important to me: connecting my artistic experience with a new medium to improve my art.