Fine Arts student Gaia Del Santo uses the internet to explore human existence through art. Charging cables as umbilical cords, data profiles and the almighty matrix surround and fascinate the young artist of the Generation Z as much as nature itself.
BY LUKAS ZITZER
Lukas Zitzer: Why do you study art?
Gaia Del Santo: Art enables me to express myself and my ideas, to dissolve, to grow, and find myself again.
What are you currently working on?
I am reflecting on the relation I bear to my data profiles. We never meet but constantly influence each other. I do not want others to see them. Yet somehow, I don’t care about them.
Is there a recurring theme in your artistic work?
Hard to say. I often engage with many different topics at the same time. The individual works always have a core theme. But it varies greatly from work to work. The most important topics to me are Generation Z, the Internet, subcultures, the exchange with my environment, and dealing with certain feelings. In general, what it means to be a human being nowadays.
What inspires you?
It really cannot be more clichéd, but my inspiration comes from all aspects of life and my environment. Really everything, from Mother Nature to the Matrix – Mother Internet. Everything is connected, influences each other, and then affects me. At the moment, my thoughts and ideas are mainly concerned with social and political issues dealing with Generation Z.
Who or what doesn’t suit you at all?
I cannot stand censoring myself. It feels like I am burying small pieces of my personality in an imaginary graveyard somewhere in the front of my head, which then totally nags me. Self-censorship is sometimes necessary, but fake.
Which object could you not do without in quarantine?
I think I would be pretty lost without my charging cables. In a way, devices are eternal newborns. They are constantly being separated from their umbilical cord and sooner or later have to go back to the matrix. A beautiful and likewise sad thought.
What problems do you face as a young artist in the Corona crisis?
I can consider myself very lucky because I really only have one problem at the moment: money. To be more precise, the lack of it. I work as a waitress and I am paid by the hour. So, by Swiss standards, the cards are stacked against me. Especially now. I hope the situation improves soon. I simply could not afford to study without a regular income. But at least, I’ve got plenty of time for my projects now.