During the 1st edition of the Istanbul Design Biennial, Milan-based architect and photographer Antonio Ottomanelli has recently proposed the temporary installation Firefly City as part of his on-going Mapping Identity research.
Alongside students from Marmara University, Ottomanelli worked during five nights to build a mobile structure equipped with a projector, video camera, an external light and a drawing tablet, inspired by the ubiquitous Turkish streetcar, which is found all over the city, selling food, drinks or trinkets.
In a temporary, night-time installation titled Firefly City, the streetcar was taken to one of the city's busiest streets, inviting passersby to intervene, and share stories on the cultural and urban particularities of the city. These stories were sketched in the mobile car, and projected in real time onto pieces of the city, in an effort that Ottomanelli describes as "composing urban visions, new scenarios, mapping critical urban elements and tell the stories of an ever-growing migrant, multiethnic culture".
Ottomanelli's Mapping Identity research seeks to chart a collective biography of intimacy in particular contexts, such as Baghdad and São Paulo. In Istanbul, he surveyed and recorded a series of daily life episodes described by the workshop participants, who drew their stories on a map of the city and brought photographs to support their tales. The recorded stories combine outputs of mental mapping of the city, alongside the recollection of events of the everyday life focused on the perception of the space. Another of the workshop's outputs was the Panoramio Analogic installation.
Antonio Ottomanelli: Firefly City
Project: Antonio Ottomanelli and Paola Villani
With: Claudia Mainardi, Giacomo Ardesio, Clelia Vegetti, Hannes Goetz, Marlon Zigante, Nina Savic, Meron Celentano
In collaboration with: IRA-C interaction research and architecture in crisis context; Marmara University, Interior Design Faculty