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Under the Volcano, 2000
An Interactive Multimedia Installation exhibited as part of the 2000 DeCordova Annual
"Under the Volcano" is a real city. It is home to approximately 10,000 California Harvester ants who actively pursue their daily lives, collecting and storing seeds, retrieving water from the moat, and moving an entire mountain of sand that will bury their city...more." -- George Fifield, Curator & Director of the Boston CyberArts Festival From Artists Statement

This installation has its own web site. For more info, video and an in-depth dialogue about the meaning of this installation, click here "The city in Remo Campopiano's installation

I often use live animals to act out metaphors of human activity. Although, this is the first time I include the viewer in the creative process.



Ants have basic instincts. In this installation I encourage their inclination to move the sand toward the water. People, especially children, are inclined to explore. By giving them the means, I am encouraging this inclination, harnessing it to a productive end.

It's really not the ants that will be observed, the museum visitor is also Under the Volcano.

For more, go here and choose, "Statement."

An except from "A dialogue with Remo Campopiano"

Q: Ok, you have the ants covering up a circuit-board city. Why?

RC: The city represents humanity's current contribution to the earth, the industrial age. If you look at the Earth as a living organism, which I do, I see this period like a prolonged illness that we had to go through to get to the next stage of our evolution. The ants represent the digital world, a cleansing, healing stage that has the potential to reverse the destructive nature of modern industry.

Q: What about the digital age could do this?

RC: There has been a lot said about the Internet and the digital revolution, but one thing most people agree on is that it has made the earth a smaller place. It is blurring the borders between nations and peoples. The gap between cultures is beginning to shrink, as all these borders become porous.

Q: But how is this healing?

RC: Well, here you have to step back a little and look at human society as just one of the societies that inhabit the earth. There are billions of systems in nature that make this a living planet. Humans are just one, albeit, a dominant one at present.

Q: OK, granted, but what's that got to do with the digital age. For more, go here and choose, "What's It All About."

Visitors operate the switches to move the cameras left, right, up, down and zoom.

The robotic camera mechanisms.

This was my first venture into robotics, which later became a major part of my work.

In addition to viewing the live video from the installation, visitors entering the museum lobby got a sneak preview.



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Phone: (614) 353-8290, Email: remocampopiano@gmail.com.