Giovanni Sellari’s The Stressonauts: Art, Idleness, and Intergalactic Escape

Giovanni Sellari's project, "The Stressonauts," was born from his personal need for a momentary escape from daily life, from the intimate and inescapable desire to find the space and time to devote to one of the most indispensable activities for maintaining a psychophysical balance: idleness.

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Giovanni Sellari’s project, “The Stressonauts,” was born from his personal need for a momentary escape from daily life, from the intimate and inescapable desire to find the space and time to devote to one of the most indispensable activities for maintaining a psychophysical balance: idleness.

He was born and raised in Papiano, a small town in the green heart of Umbria, a place where life flows at a much more sustainable speed compared to the rhythms of a fast-paced and competitive city like Milan, where he has lived and worked since 2011. In order to survive all these years in such a hostile environment, he gradually started to adopt the survival strategies typical of astronauts: wearing an airtight spacesuit to protect himself from the radiation and lack of oxygen in the external environment (here referred to as ‘brief meetings’ and ‘pm10’) and spending as much time as possible inside his small spaceship (here referred to as ‘studios’).

From this personal thought came the idea and title of his project: The Stressonauts are a group of intergalactic explorers who, tired of the hustle and bustle of interstellar traffic, feel the need to take a long break to break from their daily routine and detoxify from accumulated stress. They therefore decide to set course for a quiet provincial planet that has been uninhabited for a long time now: in fact, all its inhabitants have moved to productive galaxies located light-years to the north. Once they arrive on the planet, the Stressonauts, in order to regain peace and contact with nature, impose a few but strict rules on themselves: for the two months of their stay they will try to spend as much time as possible in solitude performing the simple activities that the wild planet can offer them, they must not use technological tools in any way, and they can neither connect nor communicate with their working galaxy. As soon as they arrive on the planet, however, they find a film camera and two old black-and-white rolls of film still intact. Without too much effort, they determine to take one picture a day for sixty days. Don’t ask him how he managed to retrieve these photos but, without too much effort, he decided to show them to you, to try to tell their short story.

His project is therefore nothing more than the mock photographic testimony of this idyllic laziness, melancholic and amusing at the same time. A self-ironic rediscovery of the beauty hidden in the simplicity of moments that are empty of commitments, but full of reflection and self-discovery. “The Stressonauts,” from a technical point of view, is a borderline photographic project: the images are generated entirely by AI, but originate from landscape photographs taken in analogue, and taken specifically to be used as ‘reference images’. The complete project consists of 60 images, each image has as its filename/caption exactly the input prompt used to generate the image.

Social media is a virtual space overflowing with happy photos of happy people having happy experiences in happy places, activating a system of ‘staging’ the idyllic moment that transcends and mystifies the experience itself. With “The Stressonauts” on social media, he was caught up in the competitive mania and, by posting one photo a day for sixty days, he wanted to emphasize just how ‘staged’ this is. As already mentioned, “The Stressonauts” is a borderline photographic project, produced with AI but starting from shots taken on film. For this reason, he would like it to be exhibited ‘going back’ to analogue. In his hypothetical idea of an exhibition, he would print the images in darkroom on silver salts baryta paper, through the digital enlarger technique, and he would place these alongside an old analogue slide projector that would cyclically project the whole series (through 35mm transparent paper prints mounted on slide frames). A reminder of the viewing and exposure styles typically associated with classic photography that we trust, that ‘authentic’ photography that we unconsciously still believe cannot lie.

About Giovanni Sellari

He was born in Papiano, Perugia on the 8th of September 1986. He was studying Science in College when he was thunderstruck by contemporary art. This passion led him to undertake a theoretical-artistic path that developed first towards Philosophical leanings during his bachelor degree: a journey that brought him to focus his dissertation on Aesthetics and write “Arte e Artista nella dottrina delle Idee di Schopenhauer,” achieving 110 cum laude. It is through in-depth studies and practice that he has enhanced his artistic discipline, attending a Master of Science in Photography at the School of Fine Arts of Brera in Milan, graduating with 110 cum laude: titling his dissertation “Qui e Altrove: divagazioni sospese sull’immagine contemporanea.” Thanks to his education, he has started acting both as a writer in contemporary art topics, and as an artist by showing a production that is an outcome of theoretical-philosophical sparks. He sees the camera as an extension of thoughts rather than an eye’s lengthening. He is not looking for fleeting instants but hunting overloaded thoughts. In recent years, he has added the element of storytelling to this creative process: photography and storytelling, he thus began to tell stories through images. In 2021, he co-founded Punctum.Studio, a multidisciplinary creative studio focused precisely on storytelling. He lives and works in Milan, but if you are looking for him during summer, you will find him in Levanzo.

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Submission
Dodho Magazine accepts submissions from emerging and professional photographers from around the world.
Their projects can be published among the best photographers and be viewed by the best professionals in the industry and thousands of photography enthusiasts. Dodho magazine reserves the right to accept or reject any submitted project. Due to the large number of presentations received daily and the need to treat them with the greatest respect and the time necessary for a correct interpretation our average response time is around 5/10 business days in the case of being accepted. This is the information you need to start preparing your project for its presentation.
To send it, you must compress the folder in .ZIP format and use our Wetransfer channel specially dedicated to the reception of works. Links or projects in PDF format will not be accepted. All presentations are carefully reviewed based on their content and final quality of the project or portfolio. If your work is selected for publication in the online version, it will be communicated to you via email and subsequently it will be published.
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How can we help? Do you have an idea or something you'd like to share? Please use the form provided, or contact us at contact@dodho.com
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