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VIA APPIA PARK

Wright Brothers, flight over Centocelle, 1909
For Exploded View, I am exploring the Appian Way through video recordings of aerial views of the park, and researching the audio-visual archive of the park. The research also delves into 'The Dream of Scipio' (Somnium Scipionis), a section of 'On the Republic', a literary dialogue on Roman politics, written in six volumes by Cicero. The work was rightly seen as a condensation of important ideas from ancient philosophy and cosmology by scholars in the middle ages. Scholars now recognize it as a superb example of a popular meditation technique widely practiced in different schools of classical philosophy, and known today as the 'View from Above'. Cicero’s account is fictional and draws on a variety of philosophical influences. In Cicero’s account, the Roman tribune Scipio Aemilianus describes how, exhausted from feasting, drinking, and talking late into the night, ''I fell into a deeper sleep than usual.” As he sleeps, he dreams, and in his dreams he experiences a mystical revelation, a vision of his mighty forebear. In the dream, Aemilianus encounters his grandfather’s spirit in the outer rim of the heavens, where the ancients supposed pure souls dwelled, near to the gods. Hence, together they look down upon the stars, the earth, and the many different lands and nations dispersed across the surface of the globe, realizing how small and fragile the earth is, in comparison with the overwhelming size of the cosmos. For the final presentation of my artistic research, I will be exploring the fictional nature of this historical account through a video installation, created with archive footage of the park seen from above, and through night walks on the Roman road, based on notions of psychogeography and lucid dreaming.

Daniela de Paulis works together with Daniela Alcadia, urbanist and researcher at the Università Roma Tre, Rome.
Daniela de Paulis (Rome, 1970) is a media artist based in The Netherlands. She exhibits internationally, often collaborating with other artists, scientists and radio amateurs. Since October 2009 she is artist in residence at the Dwingeloo radio telescope. Since 2010 she has been collaborating with a number of international organisations, including Astronomers Without Borders, for which she is the founder and director of the Arts programme. She is member of the permanent international SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) committee, the only worldwide forum for SETI scientists, and member of the METI (Messaging Extraterrestrial Intelligence) advisory panel. She has published her work with the Leonardo MIT Journal, Inderscience and Cambridge University Press. Daniela is a licensed radio operator and radio telescope operator.

More information about her work can be viewed here: www.danieladepaulis.com, www.cogitoinspace.org, www.opticks.info