Marcin Rusak was born in 1987 Warsaw, Poland. He now lives and works in London. Marcin situates his work at the intersection of value, ephemerality and aesthetics. Marcin has a background in both humanities (BA from European Studies from University of Warsaw) and art programmes such as Man and Living at the conceptual Eindhoven Design Academy, Netherlands as well as receiving an MA in Design Products from London’s Royal College of Arts.
Roberto Sironi (1983) is an Italian designer based in Milan. His design practice combines art, craftsmanship and new technologies and his works have been presented and published internationally. Sironi collaborates with important art and design galleries and institutions such as Carwan Gallery, Gallery S.Bensimon, Bazar Noir Berlin, Fonderia Artistica Battaglia and Triennale Design Museum and he is also a Professor and Research Fellow at the Design Department of Politecnico di Milano.
“First, to feel the symbols, to feel that the symbols have life and soul – that the symbols are like us.” Fernando Pessoa
The symbols that surround us are comparable to “encoded manifestations”. In the “forests of symbols” through which man passes, which “look at him with fond familiar eyes” – as Baudelaire writes – every signal from that world, filtered by our subjective sensibility and consciousness, has a potential for interpretation. The ritual association of signified and signifier coincides with an everyday practice, often enacted in an instinctive way and an automatic mode that obeys ancestral promptings, partially unjustifiable through logical-rational reasoning.
Material goods, in a more incisive way than in the past, are now expected to embody values, to become vectors of meaning, tools useful and necessary for the production of meaning, which is “extracted” from the ordinary sphere of everyday life to project it from the present into the immediate future.
This character that grants the object the status of a “symbol” also represents its dominant or prevalent functional aspect. As if to say: in a completely saturated global context of goods, users seek forms of privileged dialogue with certain objects, with which they often establish a relationship of recognition, or of empathy – and in any case of affection – that represents a specific function of the object itself, per se. This category of goods can be acknowledged as having not only an intense expressive impact, but also an incisive evocative role, factors that are necessary for their designation as symbolic objects in their own right or as devices that are useful – even necessary – to decipher specific categories of symbolic codes.
Relying on design activities it is possible to produce – or to activate – “instruments” for the encoding of the messages embodied in symbols, necessary to reveal their meaning in a total or partial way. Thinking about this category of “sensitive artifacts,” these “utensils of interpretation” through which we gain access to thresholds of unprecedented awareness and emotion, also leads to the formulation of original narrative theses, valid for the exploration of the “forest of symbols” that is a part – in a pervasive way, with many forms – of the life of every individual.