Ludovica Carbotta


featuring Giulio Pignatta, voice Bridget Mullen

Falsetto (tnt002) Ludovica Carbotta_photography Werner Mantz Lab, Van Eyck_cutph. Werner Mantz Lab, Van Eyck

The project Falsetto, linked to my research around the notion of human isolation in relationship with the environment of contemporary cities.
It is inspired by two main references, one is the observation of contemporary reality as the prospect of urban environment becoming sentient: the notion of smart city. The other reference is linked to the cinema and literary world of deserted urban environment especially those depicted in post-apocalyptic narratives. is a fictitious laboratory where models of archetypal architectures have been reproduced, something we can think of as “last architectures”.
Falsetto is a term for a singing method that male singers – tenors in particular – employ to reach high notes as female voice. In general, the technique consists on singing notes so far off the singer’s usualrange that they sound artificial. I encountered the word falsetto researching on bunkers and otherinsulation structures built during the Cold War. During this time, the United Kingdom developed a broadcasting system for times of war called WTBS (Wartime Broadcasting System), through which pre- recorded messages would be broadcasted via radio in case of a nuclear attack. One of the passwords that the British government chose to authorize the broadcast of a national warning was ‘falsetto’. The bunker is built exactly on that purpose and somehow it is only inhabited by the voices of those messages.
As in the UK bunker those architectural models contain a trace of a sound that mixes human voice and linear time code audio signal, the track switches between these two languages delivering a message as an introspective monologue. The repetition scheme could suggest either the message is generated by a machine or by a hopeless human.


Ludovica Carbotta (Torino, 1982) lives and works in New York (US). Her practice focuses on the physical exploration of the urban space and how individuals establish connections with the environment they inhabit. In recent works, by combining installations, texts and performances, she is researching on fictional site specificity, a form of site-oriented practice that considers imaginary places or embodies real places with fictional contexts, recovering the role of imagination as a value to construct our knowledge. Carbotta has recently completed a MFA at Goldsmiths University in London (2015). Her work has been exhibited in numerous institutions including, Kunstlerhaus Museum (Graz), MAXXI Museum (Rome), Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo (Turin), Hangar Bicocca (Milan), Dublin Contemporary (Dublin), Matadero (Madrid), Swiss Institute (Rome), Les Instants Chavirés (Paris). Recent solo exhibitions: Marta Cervera Gallery, Madrid (2017), ON Public – Monowe, Bologna (2016), A motorway is a very strong wind, Care Of, Milan (2014); Vitrine 270° – Without Walls, Galleria Arte Moderna, Turin (2013); Greater Torino, Sandretto Re Rebaudengo Foundation, Turin (2011).
She is the co-founder of Progetto Diogene, an International Residency Program in the public space (Turin – and The Institute of Things to Come, a research centre on futurological scenarios ( She was awarded the Ariane de Rothschild Prize, Milan (2011), the Premio Gallarate (2016), International Fellowship Gasworks, London (2016), and the Special Mention at Premio ITALIA, MAXXI Museum, Rome (2016). In 2017 she is fellow researcher at Jan Van Eyck Academie, in Maastricht, in 2018 recipient of New York Prize, ISCP/Columbia University; and resident at NTU CCA, Singapore.