Expanded body #2 _ Inhabiting Time | An experience about Time in the Oasi Zegna

Andrea Caretto and Raffaella Spagna
José D. Edelstein; Marco Giardino
09 Jul / 16 Jul, 2018
Cittadellarte, Biella | Oasi Zegna, Trivero
TOPICS/TAGS: Radical ecology, experience, aesthetic experimentation, non-hierarchical ontology, time and temporality, deep time.
The module offers an immersive experience in the territory of the Oasi Zegna, a protected mountain area extending for about 100 sq. km. in Piedmont, in the Biellese Alps, between Trivero and the Cervo Valley. Starting from an aesthetic experimentation based on a non-hierarchical ontology, according to which all subjects (living and non-living, plants, animals, rocks, objects, etc.) coexisting in that area are put on the same level, the participants will be involved in a wide-spectrum debate on the concept of Time. Through a series of field experiences led by experts from various disciplines, the selected artists will have the opportunity to experience first-hand some of the perceptive aspects of Time in a natural environment, through a comparison between the different temporalities characterising the natural systems: from the Deep Time attested by rocks and their transformation to the temporality of living beings (from the life span of a few minutes of some insects to the life span of hundreds or even thousands of years of trees), eventually questioning the concept of Time itself as a fundamental variable operated by physics in the last century.

What is Time? How do we perceive the flow of Time and what is our relationship with it? What is Time for a plant? How can we approach the Deep Time of rocks? What is the relationship between the Time of machines, of human beings and natural cycles? What is free Time? What is Time for contemporary physics?

The module will represent an opportunity to discuss and reflect on these topics in an informal way, together with the mentors and the invited guests.
The first part of the module will be base-camped in the mountain refuge Alpe Moncerchio (Bielmonte, BI), situated within the Oasi Zegna, and will be characterized by a few walking excursions during which the participants – in direct contact with the natural environment of the Oasi Zegna - will experiment in person different perceptive aspects linked to Time. In the course of the excursions the mentors and the specialist guests will involve the participants in individual and collective activities, observations, gathering of materials and discussions.
The second part of the module will be held in Cittadellarte (Biella) and will consist in a work of individual research through which each participant will elaborate the experience of the previous days in the Oasi to eventually produce – under the guidance of the mentors – actions, works, devices, tales, as expressions of new ways of being in Time.


Monday July 9th
Guided tour of Cittadellarte, including the Pistoletto collection, the Arte Povera collection and the temporary exhibitions. Introduction to the Theorem of Trinamics, the symbol of the Third Paradise and the concept of Demopraxy.
Distribution of a Notebook produced by the mentors to each participant, which will be used as a working tool during the workshop.
lunch at Cittadellarte
Trip to Trivero. Visit to Casa Zegna and Fondazione Zegna, overview through the Panoramica road, first contact with the territory. Transfer to Alpe Moncerchio hut in the late afternoon.
Participants’ presentation: motivations and expectations. Participants and mentors will introduce themselves through a short story of their experience (education, interests, attitudes).
Presentation of the module’s programme and introduction of the main topics: discussion about the concept of Time and the perception of the temporal dimension.
Overnight stay in Alpe Moncerchio hut.

Tuesday July 10th
Hike in the woods, from Alpe Moncerchio to Alpe Scheggiola.
packed lunch
Field works: exercises of Time perception. The different temporalities characterizing natural systems.
Overnight stay in Alpe Moncerchio hut.

Wednesday July 11th
Session of individual work at Bosco del Sorriso.
packed lunch
Bath in the Cervo river. Visit to some places of interest near the Oasi Zegna: Sassaia, Rosazza.
Overnight stay in Alpe Moncerchio hut.

Thursday July 12th
morning - packed lunch - afternoon
The discovery of Deep Time. One day excursion with prof. Marco Giardino, starting from Bocchetto Sessera, to discover the Supervulcano and 300 million years of geological history in Valsessera. Observations and field trials.
Return journey to Cittadellarte in the late afternoon.

Friday July 13th
Lecture by prof. José D. Edelstein. PhD, theoretical physicist, Department of Particle Physics, University of Santiago de Compostela.
Collective discussion with prof. José D. Edelstein and the mentors.

Saturday July 14th
Session of individual work and discussion with mentors.
Collective discussion about the participants’ projects.

Sunday July 15th
Session of individual work and discussion with mentors.
Collective discussion about the participants’ projects.

Monday July 16th
Finalisation of the participants’ projects and set-up.
Public presentation of the projects and discussion about the outcome of the workshop.



Andrea Caretto (Turin, Italy, 1970) and Raffaella Spagna (Rivoli, Italy, 1967) explore the profound relationships linking human beings to the environment. They conceive art as inquiry, a tool to investigate the multiple dimensions of reality: formal, qualitative and physical quantitative aspects of matter but also philosophical and social ones. In keeping with their educational backgrounds – Landscape Architecture for Spagna, Natural Sciences and Scientific Museology for Caretto – their projects generate complex installations that simultaneously present the study, demonstration and experimentation of their relationship with nature. They investigate the links between human beings and other organisms and inorganic matter, developing long-term projects.

They have been working together on a regular basis since 2002, exhibiting in public and private institutions in Italy and abroad. They are among the founders of the artist collective “Diogene” (www.progettodiogene.eu) and collaborate with the research Center IRIS (Interdisciplinary Research Institute on Sustainability) of the University of Turin and Brescia. They live and work in Cambiano (Turin, Italy). 

Among the institutions with which they have collaborated: AIR Krems and kunstraumarcade, Austria, FieldWorks_Wachau (2015); Domaine de Chamarande, France, Vivre/s (2014); Merz Foundation, Turin and Riso Museum, Palermo, Italy, Meteorite in giardino (2014); GAM-Civic Gallery of Modern and Contemporary Art, Turin, Italy, Collezione Sistemica (2012); Khoj International Artists Associations, New Delhi, India, “In Context, food edition I”, Delhi Hand Cart (2012); Mudam, Musée d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean, Luxembourg, Sketches of Space (2010); Marino Marini Museum, Florence, Italy, Azioni 2000-2006 (2006); MART Museum, Rovereto, Italy, Eurasia, Geographic Cross-overs in Art (2008); PAV-Living Art Park, Turin, Italy, Sic Vos non Vobis, Internaturalità, Village Green, Ecosoft Art, Living Material (2014, 2013, 2009, 2008, 2007); CAIRN-Centre d’Art Informel de Recherchesur la Nature, Digne-les-Bains, France, 1Arbre_Populus nigra; De La Transformation Des Choses (2011, 2008); Centre d’Art Le Parvis, Ibos, France, Matières Premières (2007); Obra Social Caja Madrid, Spain, Los Limites del Crecimiento (2007); T1 Turin Triennal, Castello di Rivoli Contemporary Art Museum, The Pantagruel Syndrom, (2005); Villa Croce Contemporary Art Museum, Genova, Italy, Empowerment (2004); Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Foundation, Turin, Italy, Exit and How Latitudes Become Forms (2002; 2003).



José Edelstein (Buenos Aires, 1968) is Professor of Theoretical Physics at the University of Santiago de Compostela. He studied physics at the Balseiro Institute and his PhD was obtained from the University of La Plata. He spent postdoctoral periods at the University of Santiago de Compostela, Harvard and the IST in Lisbon.
He published more than sixty scientific papers in the main international journals of high energy theoretical physics, and three books: “Antimatter, magic and poetry” (2014, with Andrés Gomberoff; Spanish National Award of University Editions 2015), “Strings and superstrings” (2016, with Gastón Giribet, translated into Italian and French) and “Einstein for the perplexed” (2018, with A. Gomberoff).
He collaborated with artists ranging from visual and textile art (Irene Dubrovsky), fashion design (Anabella Bergero, Andrea Urquizu, Cecilia Hernández and Matías Hidalgo), and held public conversations with writers (Agustín Fernández-Mallo, Juan J. Becerra and Daniel Guebel).
His work in Science Communication was awarded with the Prize of the Spanish Foundation for Science and Technology 2012, and the Spanish Center for Particle, Astroparticle and Nuclear Physics 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2016.

Marco Giardino is a Professor of Physical Geography and Geomorphology at the Department of Earth Sciences of the University of Turin, Italy. He is a member of the Board of Directors of the UNESCO Chair in Sustainable Development and Territory Management, a member of the Italian Glaciology Committee, the coordinator of the ProGeo-Piemonte projects (promotion of the Piedmont geological heritage), the coordinator of the European geoNatHaz project for the EU-Canada university exchanges. He is co-chair of the IAG/AIG (International Association of Geomorphologists) for the working group on Landform Evaluation for Geodiversity. He is specialised in the study of the Alps, in particular in their recent evolution and natural risks due to climatic and tectonic conditions; he also studies geodiversity and geoheritage in order to develop effective geoconservation strategies. He is the author of hundreds of scientific articles, popular texts and multimedia products aiming at increasing public awareness in the field of geosciences and environmental education. He is the representative of the Erasmus programme for the School of Natural Sciences of the University of Turin. He is the coordinator of the scientific activities of the Sesia Val Grande Geopark


Please submit your applications via email to: unidee.submission@cittadellarte.it stating “UNIDEE/ZEGNA 2018 residency application (your name)” as a subject line.


For further information about how to apply please check the "Open Calls and Partners" page of the website.