Having been raised on a sail boat and being both an avid sailor and an committed artist living in urban settings , Maia Marinelli exists in constant a flux between the irresistible vastness of the open seas and the intensity of a concrete jungle. In this borderline her work attempts to bridge the cultural disconnect between the urban landscape and the natural landscape, navigating between conceptual activist practices and atmospheric interactive installations were the ordinance must physically relate with their surroundings.
She is currently working on a series mechanized data visualization kinetic sculptural environments that react to and mutate with meteorological changes. Her current research is inspired by the relationship between the rapidly changing meteorological patterns of the Arctic territories and the growing controversial phenomenal of “Arctic land rush”, land appropriation and land rights of the UN’s Arctic territories.
Maia Marinelli holds an MFA from NYU’s Interactive Telecommunication Program in New York, and she received her BFA in Theater and film set design at the Fine Art Academy of Florence, Italy. Her work has been featured at Sculpture by the Sea, Arctic Circle Residency, SXSW, LACMA, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Genoa Italy, the University of British Colombia in Vancouver, Perth Institute of Technology, International Studio & Curatorial Program in New York, Pecci Museum of Contemporary Art and Biennial of Mediterranean Artists. Her experience has included activist work and photojournalism working with “Colors Magazine International”, “Journal of Visual Anthology” and “Diario” to name a few..
MAIA ANTHEA MARINELLI
New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts – New York, NY
Masters from the Interactive Telecommunications Program
Fine Arts Academy - Florence, Italy
Bachelors in Theater and Film Set Design
FHP Fachhochschule Potsdam - Potsdam, Germany
Fellowship in Photography, Communication Design and European Media Studies.
2017 (Upcoming) Museums of Contemporary Art, Rome, Italy.
2016 Arte_FITS.Foundation. Dorado, Puerto Rico, USA
2015 “Communication Design” - Zona Dynamic, Tempelhof Field, Berlin, Germany.
2011 SOUNDSTORM - LAB Gallery. New York, USA.
2004 ARAZZO - Museo del Castello Svevo. Bari Italy. Sponsored by Ministry of Cultural Heritage Bari. Italy.
2002 IMPERO (Impair) - History Museum. Bari, Italy. Sponsored GAI (National Archive of Young Artist). Bari, Italy.
2000 Portrait of The Read Couch - Schautankstelle Photography Art Gallery. Berlin, Germany
2000 Blue Angel - La Corte Arte Contemporanea, Florence, Italy.
1998 Let’s Get Pretty - Galleria DumDum, Bolognia , Italy.
1994 Let’s Get Pretty - STAP Art Gallery. Florence Italy.
2015 GlogauAIR Artist in Residency Program Spring Open Studio, Berlin, Germany.
2013 Sculpture by the Sea, Cottesloe, Australia.
2011 Burning Man, Nevada, USA.
2010 Arse Elektronika San Francisco, USA.
2010 FIGMENT Festival. Governors Island, New York, USA.
2009 Italian Artist in New York, International Studio & Curatorial Program. Brooklyn NY, USA.
2008 DUMBO Art Festival, New York, USA.
2008 LACDA, (Los Angeles Center For Digital Art). International New Media Expo. Los Angels, USA.
2008 NIME, (New Interface for Musical Expression) Museum of Contemporary Art Villa a Croce. Genova, Italy.
2006 BAPLab, Brooklyn Creative and 3rd Word. Brooklyn NY, USA.
2005 NIME, (New Interface for Musical Expression) University of British Colombia Vancouver, Canada.
2004 Gemine Muse Young Italia Artist Archive, Fortezza della Brunella. Carrara, Italy
2003 STYLIN, Miami Basel Art Loves Design. Miami, USA.
2003 DUMBO Art Festival New York, USA.
2003 Corpo Impriggionato (the impersonated body), Centro Per il Pensiero Femminile (National Center for Woman culture) & Fondazione Italiana Per la Fotgrafia (Italian Photographic Foundation).Torino Italy
2002 Museo Nuova Era, Bari. Italy
2001 San Francisco International Art Exhibit, Refusalon Gallery San Francisco, USA.
2001 DUMBO Art Festival, New York, USA.
2001 Guardaroba. Liberi e Vestiti, Museum of The Old Monastery of Santa Scolastica Bari. Italy
2001 16°52.2’ East, 41°07.6’ North. (Public video installation, performance, audio documentary). In collaboration with Radio Canale 100, Secondary Fine Art School Bari, Fine Arts Academy Bari, Institute & Music and Music Therapy Bari, University for Mediterranean studies Renè Cassin, no profit cultural association ACLI and Publicarb. Project sponsored by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage Bari.
2000 Comparisons, SACI Art Gallery. Florence, Italy.
2000 Biennial of Mediterranean Artist, at Ex Mattatoio Roma, Italy.
1999 Notes, Spazio Tempo Art Gallery, Florence, Italy.
1998 Private Vision, sponsored by the city of Orvieto, Italy.
1998 Galleria DumDum, Bolognia , Italy.
1998 Indicazioni -Pitti Fashion Week, Rita De Panis Fashion Show Room, Florence, Italy
1998 Tutto Logica. Cultural Rave , Turin Italy
1995 Media a Zona,Galleria Vialarga. Florence, Italy
1994 Video Minuto. Pecci Museum of Contemporary Art, Prato
2016 Arte_FITS.Foundation. Dorado, Puerto Rico, USA.
2015 Resident at The Arctic Circle Exploratory Residency, North Pole.
2015 GlogauAIR Artist in Residence Program, Berlin, Germany
2013 Arte_FITS.Foundation. Dorado, Puerto Rico, USA
2013 Gallery Central Perth, Australia.
AWARDS & GRNTS
2011 Black Rock Art Foundation. Grant recipient for "Wind Playground" (USA)
2010 Arse Elektronika Award for the Global Orgasm Project (USA)
2003 Graduate Fellow scholarship at Interactive Telecommunication Program. Tisch School of the Arts at New York University. New York, USA
1998 Erasmus Fellowship - Communication Design and European Media Studies (Italy/Germany)
2000 Award Emerging Mediterranean Artist - (Italy)
2013 Blown Away, The Sunday Times Magazine. Australia.
2012 Wind of Change, Modern Luxury Hawaii . USA.
2012 The Wind Playground: A Refreshing Installation, Burn After Reading Magazine. USA
2009 Arazzo Instant Book Published by Carta. USA/Italy.
2008 SoundScaper published on the “New Interfaces for Musical Expression journal”. International.
2005 Mocean published on the New Interfaces for Musical Expression journal. International.
2004 Giovani Artisti nei Musei Italiani (Young Artists in Italians Museum) Associazione Giovani Artisti Italiani GAI (National Association For Italian Young Artist). International.
2003 New York Elderly Tales published in Colors Magazine (edition # 56). International.
2003 Hot Dinner and a Prayer published in Colors Magazine (edition # 54) International.
2003 Greta’s Journal published in the Visual Anthropology Journal by the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences. International.
2003 My Body as a Diary published in Colors Magazine (edition number #53). International.
2000 Blue Angel Published in Future Vision, Biennale of Mediterranean Artists catalog published by Castelvecchi. International.
2000 Show review on Flesh Art Italy. Italy.
1998 Let’s Get Pretty Sole 24 Inserto Arte. Italy
2014 to present - Freelance Creative Director at Palazzo Fizzarotti - Bari, Italy. (http://palazzofizzarotti.com) – Bari, Italy. Transitioning a centuries old historical landmark into a cultural incubator. Oversee culturally sensitive restorations while pioneering a 21st century art-center experience2011 Senior Experience Architect at COLLEGE BOARD (www.collegeboard.org) – New York, USA. Designing a new college planning community platform combining a tailor step by step experience with social network like tools setting to help student chose, plan and connect to college success and opportunity. 2010 / 2011 Senior Experience Architect at ORGANIC (www.organic.com) – New York, USA. Re-architecture and prototyping for an extensive redesign of Hilton sites. Brands included Waldorf Astoria, Conrad, Hilton, Double tree, Garden Inn, Hampton, Homewood Suits, Home 2, Hilton Garden Vacations. 2011 Supervisor Sailing / Creative technologist (consulting/volunteer) Working on the Protei (www.opensailing.net) – International. Supervisor Sailing / Creative technologist (consulting/volunteer) Working on the Protei team designing a fleet of Sailing Drones, developed primarily to collect Oil Spills under Open Hardware licensing by Open_Sailing, randomwalks, V2_ and Amorphica. Protei Project: https://sites.google.com/a/opensailing.net/protei/ 2010 Senior Interactive Designer at Icon Nicholson/ LIB (http://www.lbi.com) – New York, USA. Desingeing community based educational platforms to connect and educate both HIV patents, physicians and supporting communities 2008 Art Director at Mediated Spaces (www.mediatedspaces.com) - New York, NY. Art Director for “The SoundScaper”, an interactive art project incorporating the web, GPS-enabled phones and performers to create a sonic composition transforming the grid of Manhattan into the staff paper of a musical composition. The project was showcased at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Genoa and at the L.A. Center for Digital Art (LACDA) for the International New Media Expo in Downtown Los Angeles. 2009 Senior Interactive Designer at Skinny (www.skinnynyc.com) – New York, USA. Experience Architect at Skinny New York designing new engaging communication platforms integrating multiple media strategy including events, three-dimensional spaces, social software, cell phone application, game design and websites. 2006-2008 Interactive Designer at R/GA (www.RGA.COM) – New York, NY. Worked as an interactive designer developing creative strategic solutions, online advertising campaigns and conducting research including ethnographic studies, surveys, heuristic analysis, usability testing and coordinated the analysis of test results for improving customer experience. Clients included: L’oreal, Verizon, Johnson&Johnson, Avaya, SCJ, Purina and BAM Academy 2006: Photographer & Writer at Diario (www.diario.it) – Milan, Italy. Conducted research and developed journalistic enquiries as a freelance writer and photographer for Diario, a national Italian newspaper. 2005 Teacher & Program Developer at The Producer Project (www.theproducersproject.org) – New York, NY. Taught video and multimedia skills to high school students as a teacher in the New York City public school system. The focus involved developing an alternative education program to allow students to learn the use of video and multimedia technology. 2005 Executive Producer of Time Bomb, (www.timebomb-film.com) – Dresden, Germany. The project explored how the firebombing of Dresden still influences the cultural and political equilibrium of the city today. Responsibilities included resource management, scheduling, overseeing sound and lighting and interviewing participants. www. timebomb-film.com 2003 Photographer at Colors Magazine (www.colormagazine.com). Treviso, Italy Colors Magazine. Worked as an independent freelance photographer/writer developing concepts, conducting research and creating visual and written essays. The projects involved travel throughout southern and eastern Europe, North Africa and the US. 2002-2001 Designer at Benetton Experimental Communication Center (www.fabrica.it) - Treviso, Italy. Developed concepts and idea as a graphic designer and photographer for the launch of Fabrica retail stores across Europe. Projects also included work for Benetton’s campaigns and events along with work for external clients such as the Red Cross, Witness and TrenitItalia developing identity and advertising strategies.
Like a sculpture, a person or an artist, is made of a 3-dimensional layering of textures, each constructed by life and professional experiences, converging into a unique being, shape and function.
In my case, those textures are eclectic and at times contradictory to a commonly perceived artistic background. In this landscape, often finding difficulties in placing my self into a social or cultural milieu, my work finds roots in a diversified professional and artistic background, researching a wide rage of ideas without restriction of crafts and size.
Landing in LA in 1994 at 17 yrs old, after graduating from the Fine Art High School in Bari, Italy, I began my artistic practice as a performance artist working with Linda Sibio at the Rachel Rosenthal Co. Studio. Trained to design and build in a wide rage of mediums, I began building sets, costumes and props, while being introduced to Performance Art. This medium spoke to me instantly as it allowed not only to work on a 3-dimensional plane using unlimited tools, crafts and technologies, but also, unexpectedly, connecting with my experience as a professional athlete.
In retrospect, the mental and physical commitment needed with performance art mirrors the ones required in professional sailing. Here, if art was a need I fostered at an early age, sailing is, still today, a way to sculpt and dance with nature (wind or water) and space as well as a training ground for physical, emotional and intellectual independence.
By my arrival in Los Angeles, I had been a member of the Italian team and sailed professionally since the age of eight. Also, being raised on a sailboat, the open water and horizon functioned as a limitless stage. Its surface and depths, a gym to exercise strength and independence. The movement from port to port, each with their own culture, language and landscape, a matrix to crack. This sharpened my curiosity, language and observation skills, which later would inform both my artistic and photojournalism career, sharpening the person and the artist I am today.
While in LA I took photography classes and began what I called “Getting Lost.” These self-directed experiences were aimed at exposing myself to as much diversity as possible while building a respectful relationship between photographer and subject. Starting with a bus drive, I would get lost in the city, navigate through my surroundings, relying on a mixture of instincts and traveling ability, reading people and situations while documenting it with writing, drawing and photography. Those experiences taught me about society, emotions and human nature, building the foundation for my future work and the portfolio with which I was accepted in 1994 at the Fine Art Academy in Florence, Italy.
Through these early formative years, my practice became inherently involved with the process, almost performance like, of living an experience and/or building an experience. A fil-rouge, that runs through my work despite its subject or medium.
In the early work, this paradigm is channeled through performance art, with subjects often shifting in the range of social issue, gender and woman identity. At the center of this work is the body in performances like “Ti Amo Tua Loly” (1994- 2001 exhibited respectively at STAP Art Gallery in Florence and at San Francisco International Art Exhibit with Refusalon Gallery San Francisco, USA) and “Lets Get Pretty” (1994 - 1998 exhibited respectively at STAP Art Gallery and Pitti Fashion Week in Florence, Galleria DumDum, Bolognia, Italy which also acquired one sculpture for its collection).
As my identity as an artist began to be nationally recognize with my work published in Flesh Art, Arte Critica, Opening, Republica, Segno and Sole 24 Ore, I began to feel forced into the “Performance Art Corner”. Realizing there is only so much one can cannibalize from their own self without nurturing it with new experiences, I shifted away from the body as both space and identity, exploring the concept of space as a body, venturing into installation art and back into photography. An example of such shift are: “Blue Angel” selected for the 2000 Biennale of Mediterranean artists in Rome and “16°52.2’ East, 41°07.6’ North” sponsored by the Ministry of Cultural Heritage Bari, exhibited during “Arte Maggio” in 2001.
This shift also called for a break from the formal art world; it was time to “Get Lost,” this time at sea. Using my skills as a sailor I secured a job in Cadiz as a deck hand on a sailboat headed to Bermuda. There, I found another boat and then more. A year later, the photographic work created during those eight months at sea secure me a position at “Fabrica” a job as a photojournalist with “Colors Magazine” and a free lance position as a journalist for Diario. The work developed in the following years was then published both nationally and internationally, included in the Visual Anthropology Journal by the International Union of Anthropological and Ethnological Sciences, Showcased in 2003 in “Corpo Impriggionato” curated by “Fondazione Italiana Per la Fotografia” and “Centro Studi e Documentazione Pensiero Femminile” in Torino Italy, which also acquired my work for its collection.
Simultaneously, after reporting and witnessing the atrocity of the Balkan war and the U.S. declaring war in Afghanistan, I began working on “Impreo,” using female craft to depict the dynamics of power, war and conflict inherent in a imperialistic culture and economy. With a body of work stretching from 2003 to 2009, “Impreo” is, sadly, an ongoing project. Its last incarnation “Postcards from a War Zone,” combines both embroidery and journalism processed into a series postcard size embroideries telling the accounts of war from the prospective of war survivors, highlighting the human elements of history especially of war history. Showcased in 2009 during the show "Italian Artist in New York” curated by Renato Miracco, Director of Italian Cultural Institute in New York, “Postcards from a War Zone – 12 kilos in 12 days” tells the story of a war survivor living in Pristina during the 12 day bombing during which he lost 12 kilos in body weight due to the emotional and physical stress endured.
Transitioning away from journalism and back into art, my work roots into installation practices and, with it, grew a new interest in digital technology. Leveraging my skills in photography, cinematography and theater production, I moved to New York City working on independent film and theater productions, sharpening my skills, playing with “new toys” and fitting it into my needs. Perusing my interest in interactive and digital art, I applied to the “Interactive Telecommunication Program” at New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts were I was awarded a scholarship and graduated in 2005.
With the combined knowledge of digital technology and mechanics, my work turns a new leaf directly inspired by my relationship with the ocean and the science surrounding it. The aim of those works is to make science more relatable, transforming data into physical and emotional experiences, stimulating the audience’s intuitive nature.
“Mocean” marks the beginning of this new body of work. Inspired by log passages at sea, it uses water as a musical interface, transforming wave and wave patterns into sound, through an array of 150 year-old organ pipes. Here, like at sea, the wave patterns and its rhythm, gives life to the work, transforming wave shape and period into air pulses, shaping the tone, pitch and rhythm of large arrays of organ pipes.
Mocean, in its incarnations, has been exhibited in multiple venues including New Interface for Musical Expression conference in Vancouver Canada , 3rd Word. Brooklyn NY and the DUMBO Art Festival. Currently, “Mocean” is being redesigned and expanded to be installed in Bay City, Michigan during the 2018 Tall Ship celebrations.
Along the same lines, works such as “Monad Pavilion” (2010) , “SoundStorm” (2011) and “Dimensional Homogeneity” (2015) revolve around the science of meteorology, translating invisible dynamics of physics into kinetic environments. Using meteorological maps as a blue print, these works employ a combination of digital technology, maritime rigging and pulley systems, to sculpt kinetic environments moving, morphing and interacting with one element of earth’s circulatory system: the wind.
Installed on Governors Island New York during the FIGMENT Festival, Monad Pavilion, is a site-specific transient structure that uses weather balloons to reflect and respond to its surroundings. SoundStorm, exhibited in the LAB Gallery in New York City, is a kinetic installation using technology and sculptural elements to create an interactive environment that moves according to the barometric pressure, exploring the dialogue between art and nature. Dimensional Homogeneity, installed in Berlin during my residency at “GlogauAIR,” looks for emerging architecture in the flow of nature and wind behaviors. The project is inspired by “Dynamics Meteorology” by James R.Holton & Gregory, translating abstract concepts of physics into both 3-dimensional and bi-dimensional work, including a 3 story high kinetic sculptural environment, drawings and prints.
Following the wind and leveraging the physics behind the Venturi effect is also “Wind Playground” (2013), a 57 x 65 foot wide by 18 foot tall atmospheric sculpture designed to sculpt and accelerate wind, allowing people to play with and understand wind. Showcased at “Sculpture by the Sea in Cottesloe Australia”, it uses sailmaking techniques, recycled windsurf riggings and colorful sailcloth to interact with local wind patterns, funneling wind into a maze of tunnels creating wind-microcosms. “Wind Playground” was awarded a grant from “Black Rock Art Foundation,” attracting support from people and organization from across disciplines. Produced on the island of Maui (Hawaii), working with Barry Spanier sailmaker and world speed records holder, it has been showcased in publications such as Modern Luxury, Inhabitat, Sunday Time Magazine, Sculpture Agency, ArchKids and Burn After Reading Magazine to name a few.
Wind Playground is the first project that combines the diversity of my skill sets into one massive work, allowing me to embrace my eclectic upbringing. With this shift came also a geographic one: first moving away from New York City’s concrete jungle into one at the edge of a tropical forest overlooking the ocean: the island of Maui. Then securing both a residency with “The Arctic Circle Exploratory Residency” and a six-month residency GlogauAIR in Berlin.
Here, I began working on relationships between the rapidly changing meteorological patterns of the Arctic territories and the growing controversial phenomenal of “Arctic land rush,” land appropriation and land rights of the UN’s Arctic territories. “Occupy North” is one of the brainchild of such research, giving birth to a series of provocative legal actions aimed at occupying and owning Arctic territories.
While in Berlin, I also developed a workshop with porno activist Slavina, produced “Expedition Series – Berlin”, a 24-hour Performance with performance artist Frédéric Krauke and collaborated with “Zona Dynamic” creating “Communication Design,” a site- specific urban intervention installed at Tempelhof Field in Berlin.
Back in Maui as discussion over climate change, Indigenous rights, sustainable living and sustainable agriculture crowded the headlines of newsfeeds and social media, I found myself experiencing it firsthand. First by interacting with the intricacy of Hawaiian culture and history, then, together with my partner in transforming our house into an off-the-grid homestead, and finally restoring and farming the surrounding land using an agroforestry approach to reintroduce Hawaiian indigenous and endangered plants.
This long and slow painstaking work introduced me to botany, opening new avenues of works while connecting key elements from previous projects, with a particular interest in earth’s circulatory system, focusing on the relationship between land, waterways and ocean currents.
Works such as “Infinito”, commissioned by the Arte_FITS.Foundation are examples of such research. Exploring the disconnect between contemporary human experience and the surrounding natural world, this land/art intervention utilizes the sculptural nature of Ficus trees to sculpt a large infinite symbol made of roots, trunks, and branches weaved together. “Infinito” functions as a meditative experience which puts in relationship the virtually infinite life of a tree with the one of a human life.
Finally, “Natural Effect” is new body of work that combines experiences of past and current works, together with research developed through my Arctic Residency and work in my studio on Maui. Through this process, I want to reconnect the audience with their surroundings, drawing a path, or course of dialog, between us and our rapidly changing environment, all while creating memorable, engaging and thought provoking art works.