2016, site responsive drawing (indian ink and graphite on tracing paper)

# 1, dialogic site responsive action: MuseumsQuartier, Vienna courtyard 7, in front of AZW (2 facilitators + elastic band, variable duration)

#2, dialogic site responsive action: to walk from MuseumsQuartier, Vienna courtyard 7 (in front of AZW) to Burgtor/ Heldenplatz (2 facilitators + wooden strauctures + balloons, variable duration)

Curated by Walter Seidl und Gülsen Bal

Performance: 27 July 2016
Venue: stroll from MuseumsQuartier, Vienna courtyard 7 (in front of AZW) to Burgtor/ Heldenplatz

“…a pre-reflexive corporeal awareness manifested through everyday’s gestures and behaviors and typically in synch with the spatial and physical environment in which the action unfolds….bodily routines as contributing to the lived dimensions of place, including attachment grounded in habitual regularity…  the simple act of walking with its movement and rest patterns….”

more here


The work was developed during a residency at Q21, Museums Quartier, Vienna and produced by Q21 and Frei_Raum, Architekturzentrum Wienand MuseumsQuartier Wien, Austria.


Many thanks to Q21 director Elisabeth Hajek and to the support team: Lisa Ribar, Suchart Wannaset, Kai Trausenegger, score  interpreted by facilitators: Daliah Breit and Kaan Ertaylan, filming: Suchard Wannaset.

Frei_Raum, Architekturzentrum Wien and MuseumsQuartier Wien, Austria


Indisciplined, London LASER program of talks at University of the Arts London on the in(ter)disciplinary approach in my work, on 23 October 2016; London LASER is hosted by University of the Arts London (Central Saint Martins MA Art and Science) and University of Westminster (Imaging Art and Science programmes) and supported by LENS Community of Practice at UAL and CREAM at Westminster. LASER is a project of Leonardo® /ISAST (the International Society for Art, Science and Technology). London LASER is organised by Heather Barnett and co-chaired with John R A Smith.

more here , a webcast of talk is available here



‘We tend to go through places without inhabiting them. The project tries to offer people the opportunity to understand that the space between us, as well as that around us, and its history belong to us, even if we inhabit them only for a short amount of time. The awareness of one’s own identity in relation to one’s own place must be cherished and nurtured’ .


40 sculptures for hands (7 x 12/15 cm) + 10 drawings (28 x 35 cm)  + 10 wooden studs (240 x 6 x 4 cm) + workshops



more details here

related publication

Cologni, E., ‘Reciprocal Maieutics: An Approach For The Artist As Interface In Intercultural Society’ (2015), in International Handbook of Intercultural Arts Research, London, New York, Routledge Publishing


Acknowledgements. Funded by Unesco and European funding through IArt, supported by: CLAC, Museo Civico Selinuntino and Comune of Castelvetrano Selinunte, CRESM, Belice Epicentro della Memoria Viva Gibellina, la Rete Museale e Naturale Belicina, Liceo Classico Giovanni Pantaleo and the ‘Akkademia del Teatro Selinus, as well as all people who gave their time, passion, dedication, culture and experience thus activating the exchange vital for the realization of the project



2012, at Wysing Arts Centre, curated by Elionor Morgan with participants (here Becky, Elionor, Elisabeth) event of exhibition Wysing Arts Contemporary: Recollect 

Helena Blaker in coversation with Elena Cologni at Wysing Arts Centre

2012, MK Gallery, Curator Simon Wright

2013, Bergamo Scienza, Italy,  in conversation with Caterina Albano


This event is based on the multidisciplinary approach of Elena Cologni’s current project Rockfluid, where site specific art practice is underpinned by elements of geography, cognitive psychology and philosophy.

To walk through places involves kinaesthesia, memory and our awareness of where we are in any given present moment. SPA(E)CIOUS is a form of collaborative peripatetic practice, where produced and shared knowledge informs the artist’s  creative process. For participants, it creates the physical and psychological conditions to enhance an awareness of the perception – and illusion – of time and space in the present. Cologni inserts a variable element of interference in our experience, which varies every time Spa(e)cious takes place (e.g. an unstable platform). As the series develops from this, a dialogue with art critic  and film maker Helena Blaker also shapes the contextualisation of the outcomes.

Consciousness Literature and the Arts Conference, University of Lincoln, 2013



First presented at, How Performance Thinks Conference in 2012 (PSi Performance and Philosophy working group and Kingston University Practice Research Group), as a practical investigation of overlapping aspects of Philosophy and Psychology with Art, it was then presented in Art Museums and Gallery as well as a hybrid format.

SPA(E)CIOUS, is one of the outcomes of the project ROCKFLUID. This develops from a residency at the Faculty of Experimental Psychology, University of Cambridge (since March 2011), with a collaboration with scientist Lisa Saksida, with whom Elena shared a research interest in the relationship between memory and
perception. The dialogue evolved and is highlighted by open events in front of an audience (e.g. Science Festival 2011, Science Festival 2012 chaired by Caterina Albano), to inform the artist’s creative process


Cologni, E., SPA(E)CIOUS PRESENT, Dynamics of collective and individual experiences of space and duration within specious present, adopting technologies for enhancing audience engagement, while producing forms
of documentation, in ed. Julia Minors, How Perfomance Thinks conference-performance-thinks-proceedings


Arts Council England

University of Cambridge






Views from above, video installation (Northumberland Telescope) + text installation (3 paper publications, Hoyle Foyer library)
‘Limits of Seeing – Views from Above & Below’  @Institute of Astronomy, Sat 23rd June 2012,  organised by Visualise in collaboration with the Institute of Astronomy, the Science & Technology Faculty at Anglia Ruskin and Wysing Arts Centre. Participating artists will include heath bunting, Liliane Lijn, Marina Velez and Russell Cuthbert, Elena Cologni & Susie Olczak and participating scientists will include Dr Joao Linhares, Matilda Biba and Gerry Gilmore, Professor of Experimental Psychology, Institute of Astronomy.
Curated by Bronac Ferran, Carolin Crawford and Elinor Morgan.
Limits of Seeing, exhibition information , extract
Cologni claims (since her PhD, 2004) that her art research is part of the critique to the ocular-centric discourse within western philosophy, with reference to Martin Jay. Yet, the fascination she has for perception and its psychology, and geometry (all linked to the primacy of vision) is a recurring aspect in her enquiry. Her critical position is manifested through overturning given assumptions therein by adopting paradoxical formats,including: juxtaposing visual perception with physical positioning in space, drawing’proto-geometric’, non-exact shapes, setting up contradictory researchhypotheses. In this context ‘views form above’ is linked to her current project ROCKFLUID,residency at the Faculty of Experimental Psychology, Cambridge University, and it is built around a need to make the viewer aware of the space proximal to the body. This in relation to a technology driven life where most of us become increasingly familiar with (and hooked into) the views form above (GPS, Google earth,NASA satellites). A way to feel in control, by locating ourselves in the world,which Cologni parallels to renaissance perspective systems, whereby the central focus perspective represents man, but also God, the eye is God. Telescopes were built applying optics and perception studies and while telescopes offer a ‘view from below’ outwards in the universe Cologni’s work creates a critical context where the above connections become apparent.



is the outcome of a residency at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park in 2009. The resulting drawings and related sculptures are based on various maps of the place, and mark the process to devise a route for the performance journey and those elements brought into the conversation, to generate an overlapping of physical and conceptual contexts. The one to one performances can therefore also be seen as the act of drawing in the landscape as artist and audience move through it. More details here.


Conversation drawings: possibilities, (graphite on paper, 35×50 cms)

stills form video documentation
Conversations (open) (series of 10, graphite on paper, 60 x 80 cms)
Conversations (open), balsa wood (series of 10, 6 x 15 cms)

Acknowledgements. Many Thanks to Oliver Brown for liaising with the participants and supporting the project throughout; to the participants: Anna, Angie, Alan, Jo, John, Jeremy, Lesley, Lewis, Libby, Sally; rickshaw: Francis.

Geomemos was awarded the Grants for the Arts and  supported by the National Lottery through Arts Council England, the Heritage Lottery Fund, York Saint John University and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.




2002, interactive installation (scented piramids + macs + projector), Lethaby Gallery, Central St.Martins, College of Art & Design, London (here with fav participant: Paola Cologni)

The installation of scents and digital responsive projected system was based on offering a picture of my favorite seaside place reconstructed through scents, and allow others to colour my memories with their responses.

DRAWING SCENTS: some observations (from 2003)

In Drawing  Scents, I investigate the association between smells with memory, and place to interrogate on presence and absence. I would like stimulate the viewers’ imagination, as they will select a colour in relation to the smells I have chosen and presented. The installation contains all elements I was hoping to be able to include in a work: narrative, interaction aiming to final creative output, this to change the contexts conditions.

It is designed in the following way: a number of sources of smell are placed along the wall. Next to each one a touch screen with a number of colours (sounds).  On the wall in front of it a screen shows the update of the generated outcome depending on the audience feedback.

The work functions through stages in relation to the participant’s behaviour: fruition (perception through smelling); participant’s feedback through association with colour among a given selection; the participant’s choice is connected to a series of parameters to implement a graphic program; Those parameters take shape on the digital screen behind the perceiver in the form of a colour: The colour fills the space and will influence the next participant’s reaction.

The audience response was the averaged after the exhibition, the RGB information of the selected colours over the period of the exhibition[1] was: 140, 116, 118.

The installation could be presented to an audience in a different country where the different reactions to the same olfactory stimuli will be translated into a different colour. In this sense the reaction is never explained, its illustration becomes part of the work itself in the form of a printed monocrome photographic piece.

Background. Visual/olfactory memory and memorable emotions

Our sense of smell is something that many of us take for granted, but odours do indeed have an effect on our daily lives. Imagine what it would be like walking into a movie theatre or a bakery and not being able to smell each of their distinct odours. Or what if you couldn’t smell the flowers in the spring or the smell of a brand new book. The sense of smell adds a richness to our lives that we aren’t always conscious of, but as soon as it’s taken away it dramatically changes our quality of life.

In primitive times smell protected our primitive ancestors from predators and helped them find food, but today we still rely on it more than we think: smell affects many aspects of life such as attraction, memories, and emotions. The purpose of this text is to mention some of the implications involved in the delivery of the piece Drawing Scents; the piece poses questions regarding the sense of smell, particularly the relationship between olfactory memory and visual memory, without though aiming to find scientific answers.

It’s enough to think how easily we perceive a smell and suddenly remember an event or person forgotten for years, to understand the connection between olfaction and memory. This section will describe odour memory, which refers to both memory for odours and memories that are evoked by odours.

It is first important to understand the physiology of olfaction. Rachel Herz Ph.D., a psychologist at Brown University, illustrates that the primary olfactory cortex, in which higher-level processing of olfactory information takes place, forms a direct link with the amygdala and the hippocampus. Only two synapses separate the olfactory nerve from the amygdala, which is involved in experiencing emotion and also in emotional memory[2]. In addition, only three synapses separate the olfactory nerve from the hippocampus, which is implicated in memory, especially working memory and short-term memory. Olfaction is the sensory modality that is physically closest to the limbic system, of which the hippocampus and amygdala are a part, and which is responsible for emotions and memory. This may be why odour-evoked memories are unusually emotionally potent. It may be significant that olfactory neurons are unmyelinated, making olfaction the slowest of all the senses. It not only takes the brain longer to perceive olfactory stimuli, the sensation of an odour also persists for greater lengths of time than do sensations of vision or audition. The fact that olfactory receptors are the only sensory receptors directly exposed to the environment may also help explain the relationship between olfaction and memory.

Certainly more research has been conducted in areas of visual and auditory information whereas many traits of odour memory have yet to be defined. For example, storage and decay processes, characteristics of memory processes, are not yet understood with respect to olfaction. Neurological imaging techniques could further refine our understanding of the way odour memory works.

Recent research has supported the existence of olfactory short-term memory[3]. Although there is no evidence for olfactory primacy[4], White and Treisman’s experiment provides evidence for recency in olfaction. The researchers explained this finding by mentioning that primacy is accounted for by rehearsal, “a cognitive process that may not be available for odours”. White and Treisman posited that olfactory memory occurs because individuals assign verbal meanings to olfactory stimuli. They also claim that just as olfactory sense is a crucial sense for other animals, “there is no a priori reason why humans alone should lack an olfactory memory”.

Rabin & Cain in 1984 found that odour memory was improved by familiarity and identifiability. Olfaction has often been implicated in learning processes, specifically in research done with animals.[5] Research has also been done on odour memory in humans. It has been shown that patients of Korsakoff’s syndrome, who suffer severe memory impairment, show less of an impairment for odour memory than for other kinds of memory. This suggests that there is in fact a mechanism for odour memory separate from other kinds of memory.

Much research has found connections between the structures of the olfactory system and the structures involved in memory in the modern human species. There have also been associations made between the two systems through their evolutionary histories. According to Rachel Herz, “the limbic system literally grew out of the olfactory bulb”. This notion that the limbic system evolved from the olfactory system could be the key to any smell-memory connection. A link has also been made between the presence of stem cells in both the olfactory and memory systems.[6]

The main reason why I became interested in olfaction it’s relation with and effect on emotions. This is discussed by Rachel Herz, who refers to the event of odour-triggered memories as instances of the “Proust phenomenon.”[7] This common term was adopted from Marcel Proust’s novel Swann’s Way in which the author famously describes this kind of experience. The narrator is overwhelmed by the odour of a Madeleine biscuit dipped in linden-blossom tea. This scents causes a flood of memories concerning a long-forgotten childhood event. In Proustian memories the cue is a smell. One of the most distinctive properties of odour-evoked memories is the powerful emotion that often accompanies them. Olfaction and emotion are intimately connected by the structures of the limbic system. In fact the limbic system is believed to have evolved originally as a system for the sophisticated analysis of olfactory input.[8]The most ancient part of the brain comprises the olfactory and limbic areas, the rhinencephalon. The olfactory and limbic structures evolved from the, literally, “smell-brain.” In Herz view the ability to experience and express emotion grew directly out of the brain’s ability to process smell.

Herz has demonstrated the primacy of feeling in her scientific experiments. Along with psychologist John Schooler of the University of Pittsburgh, Herz claims to have produced the first unequivocal demonstration that naturalistic memories evoked by odours are more emotional than memories evoked by other cues. The study compared odours and visual cues for five items as cues for autobiographical memories. The results supported that Proustian memories are distinctly emotionally charged. The emotionality of odour-evoked memories may arise from the unique neural connections that exist between the olfactory areas of the central nervous system and the amygdala-hippocampal complex of the limbic system responsible for emotion.[9]

These direct connections may distinguish odour memories cues from other sensory memory cues because no other sensory system has such intense contact with the neural substrates of emotion and memory. Neuroimaging studies have also shed come insight on the significant neural pathways involved in the Proust phenomenon. Neurological studies have shown that odour assessments are processed primarily in the right hemisphere of the brain, which is also the part of the brain for the most part associated with emotion. Neuroimaging studies have also revealed that encoding and retrieval of memories occur in different parts of the brain. Memories are stored in the left dorsal prefrontal cortex but they are retrieved in the right prefrontal cortex, the hemisphere of the brain most heavily associated with odour identification and emotion.

Perhaps the most convincing evidence that olfaction, memory and emotion are intimately linked is illustrated by the loss of the sense of smell. Anosmia, a Greek term meaning “lack of smell,” can often lead to anxiety and depression.

John Harrison illustrates June Downey of the University of Wyoming studies on synaesthic relationship colour-smell/taste . She states that cases of coloured taste have been less well described in the literature, though attributes this not to the frequency with which this variant occurs, but to the failure of those with it to notice that tastes (or smells) evoke colours. Downey suggests that this is because objects that smell and/or taste are usually bound to “an object that’ naturally has” a colour which masks the synaesthesic colour. This may or may not be true, but it is our experience that those with, say, coloured smell are very aware of the colour of the odiferous object, as well as the colour percept elicited by the smell.[10]

Harrison also suggests that ‘smell function has, for the last couple of decades, been of interest to a number of researchers who investigate Parkinson’s desease, which features olfactory loss amongst its sequelae. A consequence of this interest has been the development and sale of the smell identification test (SIT), originally by Richard Doty and others at the University of Pennsylvania…’[11] The test conducted by a synaethete patient showed an accurate result of shape perception in relation to smells such as: chery: wave shape, mint: flat, but not filling like bubblegum, banana: round shape, lilac: shaped like a drill bit…

Harrison makes a useful distinction to devise typologies of synaethetic experiences: synaesthesia induced could be sensational and imaginal. Essentially the issue is whether simply tasting (or smelling) a substance that elicits colour is both necessary and sufficient to elicit the synaesthesic experience. ‘Would the synaesthete automatically ‘see’ the colour on being stimulated with the appropriate odour on each occasion that the odour was presented?’[12] If the answer is yes then the perception can be described as sensational, using Downey’s parlance. However, if it is necessary for the synaesthete to conjour up the colour in an effortful fashion, then the perception might best be described as imaginal.

Harrison suggests that a definition of terms is helpful in discussing these issues and so he proposes two different terms to be used to refer to these different scenarios. The synaesthesia that are believed to be automatic, constant, and irrepressible the term ‘correspondence’ can be used to describe the relationship between the primary sensation and the synaesthesic percept. In contrast, when referring to synaesthesia that are learnt, and therefore not automatic, constant, and irrepressible, the term ‘association’ will be used.

(Elena Cologni, 2003)

[1] here some of the results out of the four adopted macs produced in real time and then collected: gmac2avge — rgb(171, 102, 112), mac3avge rgb(115, 123, 144), gmac4avge — rgb(165, 128, 112), gmac5avge — rgb(98, 115, 105) part of the text files produced: mac2,rgb( 255, 0, 0 ) mac3,rgb( 255, 0, 170 ) mac4,rgb( 85, 0, 255 )mac5,rgb( 0, 0, 170 )mac2,rgb( 255, 170, 85 )mac3,rgb( 255, 85, 170 )mac4,rgb( 170, 85, 0 )mac5,rgb( 0, 85, 0 )mac2,rgb( 255, 170, 170 )mac3,rgb( 170, 255, 255 )mac4,rgb( 255, 255, 0 )mac2,rgb( 255, 255, 170 )mac3,rgb( 85, 0, 170 )mac4,rgb( 0, 85, 0 )mac5,rgb( 85, 255, 170 )mac2,rgb( 170, 255, 170 )mac3,rgb( 0, 85, 255 )mac4,rgb( 255, 85, 0 )mac5,rgb( 170, 85, 85 )mac3,rgb( 170, 255, 255 )mac4,rgb( 255, 170, 85 )mac5,rgb( 170, 170, 255 )mac2,rgb( 85, 0, 255 )mac3,rgb( 170, 170, 255 )mac4,rgb( 255, 170, 85 )mac3,rgb( 255, 255, 85 )mac4,rgb( 170, 85, 255 )mac5,rgb( 85, 85, 0 )mac2,rgb( 255, 170, 255 )mac2,rgb( 0, 0, 85 )mac3,rgb( 170, 255, 0 )mac4,rgb( 255, 0, 85 )mac4,rgb( 170, 0, 85 )mac3,rgb( 85, 255, 0 )mac2,rgb( 255, 255, 170 )mac5,rgb( 0, 85, 0 )mac3,rgb( 170, 255, 85 )mac4,rgb( 255, 170, 170 )mac3,rgb( 85, 170, 0 )mac5,rgb( 85, 85, 0 )mac2,rgb( 255, 0, 85 )mac3,rgb( 0, 0, 0 )mac4,rgb( 255, 170, 0 )mac2,rgb( 85, 0, 255 )mac2,rgb( 170, 170, 255 )mac2,rgb( 255, 85, 255 )mac2,rgb( 85, 85, 85 )mac2,rgb( 0, 255, 85 )mac2,rgb( 85, 85, 170 )mac2,rgb( 255, 0, 0 )mac2,rgb( 255, 0, 0 )mac2,rgb( 255, 0, 0 )mac2,rgb( 255, 0, 0 )mac2,rgb( 255, 0, 0 )mac2,rgb( 85, 170, 170 )mac3,rgb( 85, 85, 0 )mac3,rgb( 0, 0, 255 )mac2,rgb( 0, 255, 170 )mac4,rgb( 85, 0, 255 )mac4,rgb( 255, 0, 0 )mac4,rgb( 170, 170, 0 )mac4,rgb( 170, 170, 0 )mac3,rgb( 85, 0, 255 )mac2,rgb( 170, 0, 85 )mac2,rgb( 170, 0, 0 )mac3,rgb( 0, 0, 255 )mac4,rgb( 0, 170, 0 )mac4,rgb( 0, 170, 0 )mac3,rgb( 0, 0, 255 )mac3,rgb( 255, 0, 0 )Your name,rgb( 85, 0, 255 )www,rgb( 255, 255, 255 )q,rgb( 85, 0, 170 )bbb,rgb( 255, 0, 0 )Y,rgb( 170, 85, 0 )Y,rgb( 85, 85, 170 )Y,rgb( 170, 170, 0 )u,rgb( 85, 0, 170 )u,rgb( 255, 85, 170 )u,rgb( 85, 0, 255 )u,rgb( 85, 170, 85 )u,rgb( 170, 170, 170 )u,rgb( 170, 0, 170 )e,rgb( 85, 0, 255 ) 255 )h,rgb( 170, 85, 0 )Y,rgb( 170, 255, 255 )h,rgb( 0, 0, 85 )h,rgb( 85, 85, 0 )b,rgb( 85, 85, 85 )Y,rgb( 85, 85, 170 )Y,rgb( 0, 0, 255 )h,rgb( 85, 0, 0 )Y,rgb( 255, 0, 255 )h,rgb( 0, 0, 85 )h,rgb( 0, 85, 0 )b,rgb( 170, 255, 0 )Y,rgb( 255, 255, 170 )j,rgb( 0, 85, 0 )Y,rgb( 170, 0, 170 )Y,rgb( 255, 0, 0 )h,rgb( 170, 170, 85 )j,rgb( 170, 255, 255 )b,rgb( 255, 85, 255 )j,rgb( 170, 255, 170 )b,rgb( 85, 0, 255 )h,rgb( 170, 255, 85 )j,rgb( 170, 0, 255 )b,rgb( 0, 0, 170 )Y,rgb( 255, 170, 0 )h,rgb( 170, 170, 255 )j,rgb( 255, 170, 170 )b,rgb( 85, 170, 0 )Y,rgb( 85, 85, 255 )j,rgb( 170, 85, 170 )b,rgb( 255, 85, 255 )Y,rgb( 255, 85, 0 )h,rgb( 255, 170, 170 )j,rgb( 170, 85, 0 )b,rgb( 170, 170, 0 )h,rgb( 255, 0, 170 )Y,rgb( 85, 0, 170 )Y,rgb( 85, 0, 170 )Y,rgb( 255, 255, 255 )h,rgb( 170, 0, 170 )j,rgb( 0, 255, 170 )Y,rgb( 255, 255, 255 )h,rgb( 85, 255, 0 )j,rgb( 255, 170, 255 )b,rgb( 170, 255, 0 )Y,rgb( 85, 0, 255 )Y,rgb( 255, 0, 0 )h,rgb( 85, 255, 0 )j,rgb( 255, 255, 0 )b,rgb( 85, 0, 170 )j,rgb( 85, 170, 255 )h,rgb( 0, 0, 170 )Y,rgb( 255, 85, 85 )j,rgb( 85, 85, 85 )Y,rgb( 255, 170, 255 )Y,rgb( 255, 255, 0 )h,rgb( 85, 255, 0 )j,rgb( 170, 85, 0 )b,rgb( 170, 0, 255 )Y,rgb( 255, 170, 85 )Y,rgb( 255, 85, 170 )Y,rgb( 170, 85, 170 )Y,rgb( 255, 0, 170 )j,rgb( 170, 85, 170 )j,rgb( 255, 85, 85 )Y,rgb( 255, 170, 0 )h,rgb( 255, 170, 255 )j,rgb( 0, 85, 0 )b,rgb( 255, 85, 0 )b,rgb( 85, 0, 170 )b,rgb( 85, 0, 170 )Y,rgb( 85, 170, 0 )Y,rgb( 85, 85, 255 )h,rgb( 170, 85, 85 )h,rgb( 255, 255, 170 )Y,rgb( 255, 170, 0 )Y,rgb( 170, 170, 0 )Y,rgb( 255, 85, 170 )h,rgb( 0, 0, 85 )j,rgb( 170, 170, 255 )b,rgb( 85, 255, 0 )Y,rgb( 255, 0, 170 ) h,rgb( 85, 255, 0 )j,rgb( 170, 85, 255 )b,rgb( 85, 170, 170 )Y,rgb( 170, 85, 0 )h,rgb( 255, 170, 0 ) h,rgb( 170, 85, 255 )b,rgb( 85, 85, 255 )b,rgb( 85, 85, 85 )j,rgb( 255, 170, 85 )Y,rgb( 170, 85, 170 )h,rgb( 170, 85, 255 )h,rgb( 85, 170, 255 ),rgb( 255, 85, 85 )b,rgb( 85, 170, 85 )h,rgb( 85, 85, 170 )j,rgb( 255, 85, 85 )Y,rgb( 170, 85, 85 )h,rgb( 0, 0, 255 )b,rgb( 85, 170, 0 )b,rgb( 85, 170, 0 )b,rgb( 85, 85, 255 )j,rgb( 255, 170, 255 )Y,rgb( 255, 255, 255 )h,rgb( 255, 0, 255 )j,rgb( 170, 255, 85 )h,rgb( 255, 0, 170 )b,rgb( 85, 85, 85 )j,rgb( 170, 255, 170 )Y,rgb( 255, 85, 170 )b,rgb( 85, 0, 170 )Y,rgb( 85, 85, 170 )b,rgb( 85, 85, 0 )j,rgb( 85, 0, 85 )h,rgb( 85, 85, 170 )Y,rgb( 0, 170, 85 )b,rgb( 85, 85, 85 )b,rgb( 85, 85, 85 )b,rgb( 85, 85, 85 )b,rgb( 85, 0, 170 )b,rgb( 85, 85, 170 )b,rgb( 85, 85, 85 )b,rgb( 85, 85, 255 )Y,rgb( 255, 170, 85 )Y,rgb( 170, 170, 85 )b,rgb( 85, 170, 0 )b,rgb( 255, 85, 0 )h,rgb( 255, 85, 170 )Y,rgb( 255, 255, 170 )b,rgb( 170, 85, 85 )Y,rgb( 170, 0, 170 )j,rgb( 85, 170, 255 )h,rgb( 255, 0, 170 )Y,rgb( 255, 0, 170 )b,rgb( 85, 85, 255 )b,rgb( 85, 85, 0 )h,rgb( 85, 85, 0 )h,rgb( 0, 255, 0 )Y,rgb( 85, 85, 170 )Y,rgb( 0, 85, 170 )Y,rgb( 170, 85, 170 ) h,rgb( 255, 255, 0 )h,rgb( 170, 255, 85 )j,rgb( 170, 255, 85 )b,rgb( 170, 170, 85 )j,rgb( 85, 255, 0 )b,rgb( 85, 170, 0 )Y,rgb( 170, 0, 85 )h,rgb( 255, 255, 170 )j,rgb( 0, 255, 255 )b,rgb( 255, 170, 85 )b,rgb( 255, 255, 0 )Y,rgb( 85, 85, 0 )b,rgb( 170, 85, 255 )h,rgb( 255, 0, 0 )j,rgb( 170, 255, 0 )b,rgb( 85, 85, 85 )h,rgb( 170, 255, 85 )j,rgb( 170, 85, 255 )b,rgb( 170, 170, 0 )Y,rgb( 170, 85, 0 )

[2] Herz R.S. & Engen T.1996. Odour memory: review and analysis. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review 3: n3,pp.300-313.

[3] White T. & Treisman M. 1997. A comparison of the encoding of content and order in olfactory memory and in memory for visually presented verbal materials. British Journal of Psychology 88: n3 459-469.

[4] the phenomenon in which stimuli presented at the beginning of a trial is remembered best

[5] For example, in a study by Frances Darling and Burton Slotnick  1994, rats quickly learned to avoid licking at a drinking tube containing an odourant and quinine hydrochloride. Learning occurred relatively quickly: within only one or two exposures to this particular combination of odour and tastant. This study suggests, then, that the brain may be equipped with a mechanism for olfactory memory. Slotnick (1993) provides further evidence for olfactory learning in rats. He shows that rats have actually achieved errorless performance in olfactory learning tasks. In 1991 W. Thomas Tomlinson (1991. Restriction of early exploratory forays effects specific aspects of spatial processing in weanling hamsters. Developmental Psychobiology 24: n4 277-298.) showed that normally reared hamsters demonstrated spatial memory for the location of odour cues in an allocentric task. The fact that animals often employ the olfactory sense to locate stored food provides further support for the existence of an olfactory memory of sorts. Stephen B. Vander Wall (1991)[5] showed that yellow pine chipmunks found caches (stored food) using their olfactory sense. However, in the study, olfaction only helped chipmunks localise moist seeds and not dry seeds. Olfaction therefore plays a part in an integrated system for recovering caches and finding hidden food. Another way in which animals use olfaction is identifying their young. Gary F. Mc Cracken did a study of Mexican free-tailed bats which examined nursing behavior of mother-pup pairs[5]. He found that mother bats returned to areas where they had nursed previously, and hypothesized that olfactory cues were used to remember these places.

[6] . Neurons associated with the nasal epithelium and the those in the hypocammpus, a prominent memory structure, are both capable of regrowth due to the presence of stem cells in these systems.

[7] Herz, Rachel S. “Scents of Time,” The Sciences, v40 i4 (July 2000): 34.

[8] Gray, Peter, Psychology, Third Edition, New York City: Worth Publishers, 1999.

[9] Anatomy of the Olfactory System.

[11] Harrison, J., p. 170.

[12] Harrison, J., p,170


supported by:

Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, University of The Arts, London
Università dell’Immagine, Milan,
Dragoco New York and Paris,
Oikos Milan





2003, video live installation, Performance Art as Practice in Research (PARIP, Bristol University 2003), also in Border Crossing (with Ingar Roys and Gulsen Bal), Galley X Istanbul, and ‘Fra Autoritratto e Percezione di sé , neoncampobase, Bologna (with Alessandra Andrini, Luca Barzaghi, Anna Valeria Borsari, Emilio Fantin, Flavio Favelli, Maurizio Finotto, Horatio Goni, Alice Guareschi, Ulrike Gruber, Mala, Eva Marisaldi, Maurizio Mercuri, Dörte Meyer, Sabrina Mezzaqui, Lorenzo Missoni, Sandrine Nicoletta, Susanna Scarpa, Sabrina Torelli, Maurizio Vetrugno, Cesare Viel)


‘Tracing’, was performed as follows:

Action – I draw the shadow that my body casts onto tracing paper, on the floor, I position each sheet from the pile in a fan shaped arrangement. 1st projection – live recording of a detail of the action: my hands drawing the shadow. 2nd projection -video with sound (also in Italian and overlapped), extract: ‘The supplement adds itself, it is a surplus, a plenitude enriching another plenitude, the fullest measure of presence. It cumulates and accumulates presence. It is thus that art, techné, image, representation, convention, etc, come as supplements to nature[…] Unlike the complement, dictionaries tell us, the supplement is an “exterior addition”’.[1] supplement, added feature, addendum, addition, additive, appendix, bell, codicil, complement […] tracing, copy, duplicate, archetype, carbon, carbon copy, cast, clone, counterfeit, counterpart, ditto, ectype, effigy, ersatz, facsimile, forgery […]

My hands were drawing the contour of the shadow my body was casting onto the paper. I was  constantly re-inventing the line as the body moved following the hands’ movement. It is not possible to trace one’s own shadow, and therefore it is not possible to document the movement of one’s own body while doing it.

[1] Derrida, J., Of Grammatology, tr Gayatri Spivak, Baltimore: John Hopkins University Press, 1978, pp. 144-145


The intervention at PARIP was titled ‘Tracing’. It was conceived to address the impossibility of fixing a moment in time (Derrida) and referred directly to the production of documents for research purposes. Amelia Jones states (in the live event) that the self is inexorably embodied, and yet she argues that the works suggest that this does not mean that the performed body/self is ever completely legible or fixed in its effects. ‘Body art, through its very performativity and its unveiling of the body of the artist, surfaces the insufficiency and incoherence of the body/self (or the body-as-subject) and its inability to deliver itself fully (whether to the subject-in-performance herself or himself or to the one who engages with this body).’

Derrida called the problematic of ‘the trace’ what splits seemingly identical reflections. He attributed the trace to the memory of an ever-receding origin that always remains elusively outside of what it produces in the present. The temporal spacing of the trace never leads to spatial simultaneity and full visibility, but rather to interminable delay (diffèrance as deferral). [1]


1- Cologni, E., That spot in the ‘moving picture’ is you, (perception in time-based art), ed. John Freeman. Blood, Sweat & Theory: Research through Practice in Performance  Libri Publishing, London, 2010, pp. 83-107


Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, University of the Arts London, Practice as Research In Performance : 2001/2006