Giovanni Christian Di Iorio
I hope this message finds you well.
If you’re reading this, it means I somehow managed to channel
all the negative emotions and thought I’ve collected in these
stressful days and finally made them into a proper semester
I’m sorry for the screensaver cover. I know it may feel misleading,
but the cover was just there in order to gather some interest
around the artifact, not to reflect the actual content beyond
an aesthetics phylosophy thing.
Aside from that, system is currently being restarted, and you’ll
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be soon brought back to the initial menu.
Check the available files. Some of those readings might be of
Ciao for now.
Giovanni Christian Di Iorio
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_NETWORK CURRENTY UNAVAILABLE
Don’t worry, you may likely experience
some sort of emotional
unease while looking at the following
It’s perfectly normal, and it is
intentionally made so.
To quote the good old Wikipedia:
in aesthetics, the Uncanny
Valley is a hypothesized relationship
between the degree of an
object’s resemblance to a human
being and the emotional response
to such an object.
不 気 味
The concept suggests that
humanoid objects which imperfectly
resemble actual human
beings provoke uncanny or
strangely familiar feelings of eeriness
and revulsion in observers.
“Valley” denotes a dip in the
human observer’s affinity for
the replica, a relation that otherwise
increases with the replica’s
の 谷 現
Examples can be found in robotics,
3D computer animations and
With the increasing prevalance
of virtual reality, augmented reality,
and photorealistic computer
animation, the “valley” has been
cited in reaction to the verisimilitude
of the creation as it
The uncanny valley hypothesis
predicts that an entity appearing
almost human will risk eliciting
cold, eerie feelings in viewers.
The concept was first identified
by the Japanese robotics professor
Masahiro Mori as “bukimi no
tani genshō” in 1970.
The term was then first translated
as “Uncanny Valley” in the
1978 sci-fi book Robots: Fact,
Fiction, and Prediction, written
by Jasia Reichardt.
-100 -75 -50 -25 0
25 50 75 100
Mechano-humanness score (-100 to 100)
The reason that lead me to
discuss and express some of my
thoughts through such a strange
concept are tied into my personal
interpretation of human behaviors
when facing important situations,
and sometimes issues.
Sometimes, I think we’re already
living an uncanny valley. Often I
think we’re already in deep shit,
but hopefully there’s still hope
for us all, or some.
_TIME IS YOUR ANXIETY
PUT INTO NUMBERS
_NO TIME TO HAVE WASTE TIME
TIME, PAST AND PRESENT
FOR BURNT NORTON
“T. S. EL
Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind.
But to what purpose
Disturbing the dust on a bowl of rose-leaves
I do not know.
Inhabit the garden. Shall we follow?
Quick, said the bird, find them, find them,
Round the corner. Through the first gate,
Into our first world, shall we follow
The deception of the thrush? Into our first world.
There they were, dignified, invisible,
Moving without pressure, over the dead leaves,
In the autumn heat, through the vibrant air,
And the bird called, in response to
The unheard music hidden in the shrubbery,
And the unseen eyebeam crossed, for the roses
Had the look of flowers that are looked at.
There they were as our guests, accepted and accepting.
So we moved, and they, in a formal pattern,
Along the empty alley, into the box circle,
To look down into the drained pool.
Dry the pool, dry concrete, brown edged,
And the pool was filled with water out of sunlight,
And the lotos rose, quietly, quietly,
The surface glittered out of heart of light,
And they were behind us, reflected in the pool.
Then a cloud passed, and the pool was empty.
Go, said the bird, for the leaves were full of children,
THERE’S EVEN MORE OF THAT!
Translated by DVM, from “Le
possible et le réel”, pp. 99-116 in
La pensée et le mouvant, P.U.F./
Quadrige, 6th edition, according
to which it first appeared in the
Swedish journal Nordisk Tidskrift
in 1930. The French text is online
Translation taken from the
AND THE REAL
I would like to come back to a subject on which
I have already spoken, the continual creation of
unpredictable novelty that seems to go on in the
universe. For my part, I believe I experience it at
every instant. My attempts to represent to myself
the details of what will befall me are in vain: how
weak, abstract, diagrammatic they are in contrast
to the event that actually happens! Actualization
brings with it the unforeseeable little nothing that
Say I have to attend a meeting; I know what
people I’ll find there, around which table, in which
order, for the discussion of which problem. But
once they come, sit down, and start chatting as
I expected them to, once they are saying what I
thought they would — the whole scene gives me a
new and unique impression, as if it had now been
drawn in one creative stroke by the hand of an
artist. Goodbye to the image of it I’d made myself,
that simple juxtaposition, thinkable in advance, of
things already known! This scene may not have the
artistic worth of a Rembrandt or a Velasquez; very
well, it is every bit as unexpected, and in this sense
every bit as original. Now I may be charged with
simply not having known the details of the situation,
with not having had the people, their gestures,
and their attitudes at my disposal, and therefore
with mistaking a simple overflow of details for true
novelty in the whole. But I have the same impression
of novelty in the unfolding of my inner life.
And I experience it more vividly than ever when I
exercise my will, bringing about an action of which
I am the sole master.
If I deliberate before acting, the moments of
deliberation arise in my mind like the successive
sketches, each unique, that a painter would make
for his picture; the act itself, becoming accomplished,
can realize as precisely as it likes what has been
willed and hence foreseen, it will nonetheless take
an original form.
—Fine, one might say; there may be something
original and unique in your mental state, but matter
is repetition: the external world obeys mathematical
laws; a superhuman intelligence that knew the
position and velocity of all the atoms and electrons
in the material world at a given moment could calculate
any future state of this world, as we ourselves
do for solar and lunar eclipses.
—Ultimately I’d agree with that, if it were only a
question of an inert world (and despite the controversy
that has sprung up on this question, at least
for elementary phenomena). But such a world is
only an abstraction. Concrete reality contains living,
conscious beings, that are framed all around by inorganic
matter. I say living and conscious, because I
take whatever lives to be conscious in principle; it
becomes unconscious in practice when consciousness
goes to sleep, but, down to the very regions
where consciousness slumbers, in the plant kingdom
for example, there is structured evolution,
definite progress, aging — all the external signs of
abiding that characterize consciousness.
And why should we talk of inert matter into which
consciousness can only be inserted, like a picture
within a frame? By what right does the inert come
first? The ancients imagined a World Soul that would
ensure the continued existence of the material
universe. Pruning this concept of its mythical aspects,
I would say that the inorganic world is a series of
repetitions, or of infinitely fast quasi-repetitions,
which sum to visible and predictable changes. I’d
compare them to the oscillations of a clock pendulum;
the one ticks off the progress of a spring’s
progress as it unwinds, the other sets the tempo of
life for conscious beings and measures their abiding.
This is how living beings abide essentially —
they abide precisely because they are constantly
developing something new, and because nothing
can be developed without research, which always
begins by slowly feeling one’s way forward.
TIME IS THIS VERY HESITATION,
OR IT IS NOTHING AT ALL.
If you take away consciousness and life (and you
can only do this through artificial abstraction, since
the material world, once again, may necessarily
imply the presence of consciousness and life), you
will indeed get a universe whose successive states
are theoretically calculable in advance, like juxtaposed
images on a film reel before it unwinds.
But in that case, what good is the unwinding?
Why does reality deploy itself this way? Why
couldn’t it decline to be deployed? What good is
time? (I’m talking about real, concrete time, and
not this abstract time that is only a fourth dimension
Such was the long-ago starting point for my
reflections. Some fifty years ago, I was very keen
on Spencer’s philosophy. One fine day I realized
that time had no purpose, that it did nothing. Now,
whatever does nothing is nothing. And yet, I said
to myself, time is something. Therefore it does
something. But just what can it do? Basic common
sense answers: Time is what prevents everything
from being given all at once. It holds back, or rather,
it is identical to holding back. It must therefore be
development. Wouldn’t it then be the vehicle of
creation and choice? Would time’s existence not
prove that things are undetermined? Would time
not be this very indeterminacy?
If this opinion is not shared by most philosophers,
it’s because human intelligence is made precisely
to take things the other way round. I say intelligence,
not thought, not mind. For besides intelligence,
each of us has the immediate perception our
own activity and of the conditions under which we
exercise it. Call it however you like; it is the feeling
we have of being creators of our intentions, of our
decisions, of our acts, and thereby of our habits,
of our character, of ourselves.
AS CRAFTSMEN OF OUR OWN
LIFE, AND EVEN AS ARTISTS
WHEN WE SO DESIRE,
WE CONTINUALLY WORK AT
KNEADING THE MATTER
GIVEN US BY THE PAST AND
PRESENT, BY HEREDITY AND
CIRCUMSTANCES, INTO A
UNIQUE FORM, ORIGINAL,
UNFORESEEABLE AS THE FORM
A SCULPTOR GIVES TO CLAY.
We are doubtless aware of this work and its uniqueness
while it goes on, but the essential thing is that
we do it. We don’t need to delve into it deeply; we
need not even be fully mindful of it, any more than
the artist need analyze his own creative power.
On the other hand, the sculptor must know the
technique of his art and everything that can be
learned about it. This technique concerns above
all that which his work will have in common with
others’; his materials’ requirements dictate it, to
him and to all artists. It concerns that part of art
that is repetition or manufacture, and not creativity
proper. On this the artist focuses his attention, or
what I would call his intellectuality. Likewise in the
creation of our character we know precious little
about our own creative power; to learn more would
require us to turn back to ourselves, to philosophize,
to swim against the current of nature — for
nature wants action, and has hardly ever thought
As soon as we go beyond simply feeling our inner
élan and thereby assuring ourselves that we can
act, as soon as we bend thought back on itself so
that it might grasp this power and capture this
élan, our difficulty becomes great, as if we had to
reverse the normal direction of consciousness.
On the contrary, we have the greatest interest
in familiarizing ourselves with the technique of
our action, that is to say in extracting, from the
conditions in which it operates, everything that
might furnish us general rules and recipes to base
our conduct on. Our acts will have newness only
thanks to whatever repetitive sameness we have
succeeded in finding in things. Our normal faculty
of knowledge is therefore essentially a power to
extract whatever is stable and regular in the flow
IS THIS A M
Perception takes up the infinitely repeated perturbations
that are heat and light, and contracts them
into relatively unvarying sensations: trillions of
external oscillations crystallize in our eyes, in a
fraction of a second, into a vision of color. Is this
then a matter of mental conception? To form a
general idea is to abstract from diverse and changing
things a common aspect that does not change,
or which at least offers our activity a solid handhold.
The constancy of our attitude, the sameness
of our potential or virtual reaction to the multiplicity
and variability of represented objects — there
you have the hallmark of the generality of ideas.
Is this, finally, a matter of understanding? That
would simply be to find links, to establish stable
relations among passing facts, to draw out laws
— a task that admits of perfection, insofar as the
relation is precise and the law mathematical. All
these functions are constitutive of intelligence.
And intelligence, being a close friend of the stable
and the lawlike, attains truth insofar as it sticks to
whatever is stable and lawlike in reality, to materiality.
In this way it touches one side of the absolute,
just as our consciousness touches another
when it grasps within us a perpetual blooming of
newness, or when, more expansively, it sympathizes
with the boundlessly regenerative work of
The error occurs when intelligence claims to
comprehend this latter aspect as it comprehended
the first, and employs itself in a task for which it
was not made.
FP_PRINTER IS RUNNING
“Ever since the first computers, there have always
been ghosts in the machine. Random segments
of code that have grouped together to form unexpected
protocols. Unanticipated, these free radicals
engender questions of free will, creativity, and even
the nature of what we might call the soul. Why is it
that when some robots are left in darkness, they will
seek out the light? Why is it that when robots are
stored in an empty space, they will group together,
rather than stand alone? How do we explain this
behavior? Random segments of code? Or is it something
more? When does a perceptual schematic
become consciousness? When does a difference
engine become the search for truth? When does
a personality simulation become the bitter mote...
of a soul?”
Dr. Alfred Lanning
(I, Robot, directed by Alex Proyas 2004)
SOCIAL BEHAVIOR ANALYSIS
WE’VE REACHED A POINT WHE
WE LIVE IN A DATA
RE WE CAN EASILY SAY THAT
DATAFYING THE GLOBE: CRITICAL INSIGHTS
INTO THE GLOBAL POLITICS OF BIG DATA
The promise of Big Data for international relations and global governance
needs to be critically understood as containing inherent problems
and limitations. Two broad cautionary themes integrate the
insights raised in this collective discussion into the problems and
limitations of Big Data for international relations and global governance.
First, this collective discussion highlights the difficulties involved
in the notion of using Big Data for predicting future trends and for
policy guidance in the sphere of international relations and global
governance. Schwarz analyses how the promise of using Big Data for
improving the future necessarily entails the difficulties of interpreting
data from the past for future policy and practice. McKeil argues
that the promise of Big Data for international relations and global
governance implies a “datatopian” future global order of continuously
adjusting global security and development systems that is ultimately
an unobtainable global order, because every adjustment for
risks creates new risk correlations. Dean draws out how the narrative
of Big Data’s promise for improving future international relations
and global governance through algorithmic governance is shaped by
eschatological preconditions. Duffield argues that through the application
of Big Data to development and security global governance,
the global North is testing its future in the post-colonies of the global
South. Chandler suggests that the use of correlational knowledge
for international relations and global governance necessarily limits
Second, this collective discussion puts a clear focus upon the inherently
political nature of the application of Big Data to international
relations and global governance. Schwarz argues that the interpretation
and coding of data is an inherently political activity. McKeil
highlights that the ambition of a “datatopian” global order, even if
ultimately impractical, enables political shifts in the modern mode
of global political culture and practice. Dean spotlights that it is the
hubris of the promissory narrative of Big Data which enables a new
algorithmic governmentality. Duffield’s analysis points to the emergence
of Big Data governance as not a beginning but rather the
end-point of international retreat and a politics of remote governance.
Lastly, Chandler argues that the “datafication” of governance entails
an ontopolitical normalization of political problems as phases in a
modular process, rather than as aberrations of practice.
It seems unlikely that the drive towards Big Data-driven understandings
of international relations and global governance is going
to abate anytime soon. This collective discussion cautions that the
dynamic behind this appears to have less to do with Big Data’s
success in traditional problem-solving terms and more to do with an
underlying transformation of both the approach and the aspirations
There’s a features that accumunates almost every
person on this planet. For some is the only drive to
push forward druing everyday life. For some others is
just a method to verify that things are being managed
in the proper way. Then for others more it’s perceived
as a natural instinct of our sentient species.
MORE POWER AND
WITH ALL THAT,
Growth is sure achieved also when it’s about career
we’re talking about. Not only in terms of money, credentials
or networks and links, but also internally.
Growing makes us feel improved, keeps us engaged
into putting our best efforts in everything. However,
human beings are also rather sentimental and “versatile”
when it comes to change behavior to serve their
own needs, even if that doesn’t make any logical sense.
FOR ONCE THOUGH, LET’S TAKE ALL T
THIS TIME WE MAY USE A CLASSIC AS
HIS MODERNITY AND SET IT APART,
AN EXAMPLE OF MAN BEING MAN!
LUCA DE BIASE
“Lascio poi pensare al lettore, come dovessero
stare in viaggio quelle povere bestie, così legate e
tenute per le zampe, a capo all’in giù, nella mano
d’un uomo il quale, agitato da tante passioni, accompagnava
col gesto i pensieri che gli passavan a
tumulto per la mente. Ora stendeva il braccio per
collera, ora l’alzava per disperazione, ora lo dibatteva
in aria, come per minaccia, e, in tutti i modi,
dava loro di fiere scosse, e faceva balzare quelle
quattro teste spenzolate; le quali intanto s’ingegnavano
a beccarsi l’una con l’altra, come accade
troppo sovente tra compagni di sventura”.
Renzo goes to Azzeccagarbugli and to repay
him for the service he asks for, he brings him four
capons. These chickens are destined to end badly
all together: they are companions of misfortune
but they can’t find anything better than attacking
It wasn’t just Manzoni who thought of comparing
humans to chickens. But in some cases the metaphor
becomes tremendous evidence. In a phase of
global crisis, with climate change already beginning
to disrupt the most diverse ecosystems, with social
polarization increasingly desperately separating
those who are inside and those who are outside
the dynamics of economic value generation, with
the unequal distribution of knowledge and educational
opportunities, humans find nothing better
than to argue over an impressive amount of details,
dividing themselves into regions, nations, tribes,
bell towers, ecochamber... At this stage it seems
that dozens of heads of state, thousands of parties,
millions of social network users have understood
that if they want to conquer a piece of power they
must vehemently attack someone else, generating
consequences difficult to forget and wounds
difficult to heal.
Humans have always quarrelled, unfortunately.
But there are times when conflicts are functional
to modernization. There are other eras in which
an ideology or an elaborate form of thought leads
humans to war, revolution or struggle. There are
conditions so unsustainable and sudden that they
generate revolts that are less thought out but easily
interpreted because they are based on facts that
unite the many suffering and separate them from
the privileged few. But the current quarrel seems to
be a technical consequence of the communication
system: the power of social networks is such as to
allow certain forms of quarrelsome, accusatory,
behind-the-scenes, conspiracy-rigging behaviour
to obtain sufficient traffic and attention to build a
power that can be exercised in some way. The only
thought, in these cases, is not in the people who
speak but in the design of the platforms they use.
On the net one can still build a sort of collective
intelligence of humans capable of addressing important
issues, from climate to social and economic
inclusion. But to build it, it is necessary to rethink
the platforms so that they encourage behaviors
oriented to quality information, methodologically
correct deliberation, participatory decision making.
All these are unifying objectives. Such as to create
conditions for collaboration: in the community, in
communication, in commons...
Se non si fa nulla, i polli continueranno a beccarsi,
fino a che non finiranno nella pentola di qualche
FAR FROM HOME,
FAR FROM FREEDOM
When I started thinking about how to set up this
project, I already knew that I also wanted to dedicate
a small part of it to my personal experience.
In particular, considering the curious circumstances
that characterized the second semester of university,
I found it cathartic and useful to have these
few lines of spontaneous creative freedom.
I’m not even sure anybody is actually reading this.
Partially because this is an editorial project for a
graphic design task, so it’s unlikely than anyone
would ever care to anything except font pairings,
layout, compositions or something that is either
readable in few seconds or stunning enough to
deserve some less superficial attention form the
reader. Also, some more pages and content may be
well-accepted in order to give a bolder appearance
to a book which isn’t even supposed to be printed
in any traditional wauy.
Let’s just say that part of this chapter is deeply
personal, and part of it is assignment-driven.
Anyway, the point is: as many others in Italy,
and in other parts of the world, I had to endure a 2
months long lockdown in order to arginate further
spreading of the Covid-19. I was luckier than others,
since I’ve spent my quarantine days in my student
residence, so we weren’t really alone by ourselves,
but that doesn’t mean everything was easy.
My lockdown period wasn’t just about social
distancing, online college classes, remote working,
video calls with family and friends.
What came out of it was first and foremost a
confrontation with myself.
ME AND MY
DOOM ETERNAL PLTHR.
IN SEARCH OF
If yes, I’ve got you covered. Understandably, after all the
though stuff we’ve briefly discussed – well, that I or others
have – you may just want to sit and relax a bit. Maybe you
want to read some good and cheerful books. Or sitting in fron
of a console or computer and play colorful and fun videogames.
Or maybe you’re one of those “sofa, wine and movie”
people and a good old movie it’s just your thing to regenerate
after minutes spent working hard for your future.
OUR PRIVATE COLLECTION
INTERESTING STUFF TO C
IS FULL OF
Free University of Bozen-Bolzano
Faculty of Design and Art
Bachelor in Design and Art – Major in Design
Course: Project Visual Communication
Course title: Order & Eccentricity
Summer Semester 2020
Giovanni Christian Di Iorio
Book | Future is an Uncanny Valley
Project leader: Prof. Antonino Benincasa
Graphic Design: Prof. a.c. Emilio Grazzi
Theories and languages of visual communication:
Prof. Emanuela De Cecco
4:3 spread aspect ration
Fonts | Font Sizes & Leading:
6 Column Grid
CPL | Character per line - Body Text: