Shanty Town at MusicalZOO

Shanty Town at MusicalZOO

Jul 4, 2013

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The Link Art Center is delighted to announce the project Shanty Town, which will be presented on occasion of the MusicalZOO festival from 25 to 28 July 2013 in the exclusive setting of Brescia Castle.


Produced by the Link Art Center for the MusicalZOO festival, Shanty Town is a show/installation that explores the new dimensions of degrowth, urban decay, the outsourcing of labour and creative reuse. The architectural structure designed by Gabriele Falconi and produced using recycled materials will play host to the works of Filippo Minelli and the collective IOCOSE.



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Interested in the various forms of urban decay, that he envisions as contemporary “ruins”, and the emergence of slum settlements in the capitalist West, the architect Gabriele Falconi ( explores these themes not from a moralistic, exposé-driven perspective, but as a point of departure to think about reuse and the function of architecture in a period of economic degrowth. His structure, produced using materials supplied by the cooperative Cauto, fits into an eclectic personal approach that reflects an ongoing interest in how nomadism applies to architecture and temporary constructions, leading him to study in Finland and frequent Paolo Soleri’s utopian project in Arizona, Arcosanti, and Vito Acconci’s studio.




Filippo Minelli ( also uses the same recovered materials, grafting his work REALITY (2013) onto Falconi’s structure. This project is a monumental written message that develops the artist’s exploration of text in public spaces. According to Minelli, “Reality is by nature changeable and subjective. Our perception of it depends on the cultural tools we have at our disposal, our interest in and curiosity about the unfamiliar, and our current emotional state. But the spectacularized make-believe of so-called ‘Reality’ TV is basically the opposite of that. My piece ‘Reality’, made from recovered materials, therefore encapsulates a contemporary contradiction, being a clear representation of something that is a part of our lives, and the whole life of part of the local community and much of the global population.”




The collective IOCOSE (, approaches the project from a different angle, “populating” this Shanty Town with the symbols it developed during the project A Crowded Apocalypse (2012 – ongoing). In a complex attempt to explore the dynamics of how conspiracy theories form, it exploits the online model of working made possible by crowdsourcing in a way that is only paradoxical on the surface. The project highlights the ambiguities inherent in the breakdown of the world of work in the post-Fordist era, with the concept of drawing on a pool of workers willing to perform small jobs in exchange for equally minimal remuneration. Welcomed as the technology that unleashes our collective intelligence, crowdsourcing – like the outsourcing it attempted to replace – soon ended up replicating the economic imbalances between different parts of the world, showing how intangible work is by no means immune to the social, economic and geographic differences that underpin tangible labour.


The three projects, which come together as one in this successful collaboration, highlight the intrinsic contradictions of the contemporary Shanty Town, which is both a primitive form of accommodation and a consequence of urban sprawl, a place which is at once starkly real and startlingly unreal, both an arena for creative recovery and reuse and a post-apocalyptic nightmare: the perfect expression of a world that, as Franco Berardi Bifo wrote, is witnessing the end of the future.


The Link Center for the Arts of the Information Age ( is a multifunctional centre that promotes art using the new technologies and critical reflections on the issues of the information age, by organising workshops, events and exhibitions, producing publications, forging partnerships with private and institutional bodies and networking closely with similar international players. Established in Brescia in 2011, the Link Art Center takes a “nomadic” approach, with projects ranging from the web to the local dimension to international collaborations.


musicalZOO ( is a not for profit association set up in 2008 by a group of public venue managers and cultural associations working in Brescia and the surrounding province to promote artistic and cultural events. Since 2009 the association has been organising the festival of the same name, bringing new national and international music and art to Brescia.


Cauto ( is a Brescia-based social cooperative that helps disadvantaged groups enter the world of work and has been operating in the environmental field for many years with a commitment to reduce rubbish and waste.


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