Piero Gilardi (Turin, 1942) is a pioneer of technological, multimedia and interactive art on the Italian art scene. Starting from the 1960s, he has dedicated himself to exper- imentations, with the Macchine per il futuro (Machines for the future) and the first works in expanded polythene, and he took part in the theoretical debate on Arte Povera, Land Art, Antiform Art. He conceives of art as an act of social responsibility, anticipating ecological themes and becom- ing a political militant. He has been involved in collective creativity projects in Nicargua, Indian Reserves in the USA, and Africa. Since the ‘eighties he has created various mul- timedia projects specially for the public, including IXIANA, Inverosimile (Improbable) and Ars Technica, an internation- al association set up with Claude Faure and Piotr Kowalski. In 2008 with Enrico Bonanate he created the experimental center Parco d’Arte vivente (Living Art Park), a blend of art and ecology.
In the early ’60s Gilardi began making the nature car- pets, slices of landscape which mimetically represent natu- ral, vegetable, mineral and animal elements. Conceived for actually being walked on, these participate in the construc- tion of a new biopolitical model, which favors interactivity with the viewer and a reflection on the existing relation- ship between industry and nature. Papaja caduta (Fallen papaya), which comes from his most recent production, represents the coherence of an artistic action based on the unhinging power of the imagination, whereby the violence of contemporary society can be perceived.