minimal glossary

The "Glossario Minimo" (Minimal Glossary) section on Ugo Locatelli's website is a part of his Areale project, which has been ongoing for over twenty years. This glossary is an evolving, multidisciplinary collection that promotes reflections on various levels of reality, encompassing perspectives from art, philosophy, and science. The purpose is to encourage wonder beyond appearances and stimulate learning through discovery. The glossary features terms from various authors, reflecting different cultures and histories. It's designed to be an open-ended, constantly evolving collection, allowing readers to freely interpret each term from their unique perspectives, thus ensuring that the glossary is never complete or final.
Continuing from the previous point about Ugo Locatelli’s “Glossario Minimo,” it’s important to note that this glossary is designed to be a dynamic and interactive resource. It invites readers to engage with it not just as passive recipients but as active participants. This approach aligns with Locatelli’s broader philosophy of exploring the intersections of art, science, and philosophy. The glossary serves as a tool for readers to delve into a diverse range of concepts and ideas, encouraging them to explore different perspectives and contribute their interpretations, thus making it an ever-evolving work.
The "Glossario Minimo" on Ugo Locatelli's website reflects his interdisciplinary approach, blending art, philosophy, and science. It's a testament to his belief in the fluidity of knowledge and the value of diverse perspectives. This glossary, being in progress and open-ended, highlights the ongoing nature of intellectual exploration and the importance of continually reevaluating and expanding our understanding of various concepts. It's a unique resource that not only provides insights into Locatelli's work but also serves as an inspiration for readers to engage in their journey of discovery and learning.

Below are some examples.


a 1. It repeats the function that the so-called 'negative alpha' had in Greek, of Indo-European origin; it indicates lack, absence, indifference, passivity, and similar concepts relative to what is expressed by the adjective or noun with which it is compounded. 2. It establishes various relations, giving rise to many complements. 3. Indicates approach, tendency towards something, direction towards a place or a model, and similar.
N. Zingarelli, Vocabolario della lingua italiana, Zanichelli, Bologna 1994.

accadere The happening that happens most is the most secret one.
E. Chini, Il linguaggio fotografico, in Enciclopedia della stampa - vol. I, Politecnico di Torino, SEI, Torino, 1969.

alchimia Alchemy is the art of transmuting metals to obtain gold. It is in no way a kind of 'pre-chemistry', but a symbolic operation. From another point of view, alchemy represents human evolution from a state where matter predominates to a spiritual one.
J. Chevalier – A. Gheerbrant, Dizionario dei simboli, Rizzoli, Milano, 1987.

ambiente 1 It is the set of relationships between objects and events.
H. von Foerster, Observing Systems, interview (1987) and selection of texts (from 1960 to 1984) edited by M. Ceruti and U. Telfner, Astrolabio, Rome, 1987.
2 A human being does much more than see, hear, feel, touch, smell, in the simple sense of recording their environment. They interpret it, explore it, dream about it, observe it, imagine it, and engage in other forms of knowledge.

William H. Ittelson, La psicologia dell’ambiente, Franco Angeli Editore, Milano 1978.

apprendimento 1 In his laboratory-books (published in Italian by Feltrinelli: Formae mentis. Essay on the Plurality of Intelligence, 1987; Opening Minds, 1991; Educating to Understand. Childhood Stereotypes and School Learning, 1993; Creative Intelligences, 1994), milestones in contemporary studies on learning, the American scholar Howard Gardner denies the unitary concept of intelligence and points out that each of us has different intelligences (linguistic, musical, visual-spatial, logical-mathematical, bodily-kinesthetic, intrapersonal, interpersonal), but no two people have exactly the same combination. 2 Learning - Edward Throndike wrote in 1931 - is to make connections. The mind is the human being's system of connection.
A. Bullock and O. Stallybrass, The Dictionary of Modern Knowledge, Mondadori, Milan, 1981. 3 Learning means to move one's gaze beyond apparent reality.

archetipo The archetype is not a concept, but a plastic, generative energy. Synonymous with archetype are formative form or idea. The idea, the intrinsic formative quality manifested in an object, is grasped through intuition, not the product of inductions and calculations; an idea ignites, springs up in the mind: it reveals itself. 'Formative form' evokes the invisible forces at work in seeds, capable of shaping living plants and creatures from inert protoplasm. Archetypes are thus unifying schemes, charged with emotional and symbolic energy: significant meanings. The extraction of archetypes requires bringing these presences out of a mental fog, which cannot be captured in the denotative field of words, but only in the aura, in the resonance of words. Reason alone does not grasp them, because it captures only meanings, not significance.
E. Zolla, Archetypes, Marsilio, Venice, 1988.

arcipelago If one imagines removing the water from the seas, one notices that all islands are connected.


areale 1 (biol.) n. The area occupied by a species that, supposed to have originated in a given place, has spread until it encountered obstacles to its expansion and reproductive capacity. (ling.) adj. Related to the area of diffusion of a language. N. Zingarelli, Vocabolario della lingua italiana, Zanichelli, Bologna, 1994.
2 The term areale is understood here in a triple sense: the "real" as an area of relation; with the privative 'a' indicating the lack, the absence of the "real"; with the 'a' of motion to a place indicating an approach to the "real".
3 Areale is a tool of knowledge, a laboratory where a continuous process of learning through discovery is generated, never finished or final. Symbolically, it can be represented by the Möbius strip. It is an indeterminate, generative, and permeable space, unstable and plastic, between reality and the reading of reality. A method of observation and self-observation, intertwining fields of knowledge and fields of tension, incorporating countless combinatorial possibilities. An open path that, by sharpening and slowing down the process of observation and listening to reality, can reveal forms of life. It tends to branch out in multiple directions, not like a tree but like a bush. Similar to the formation of a river, its course - initially faintly outlined - grows and deepens in space and time.
4 Areale is an endless exploration in the filigree of reality.
5 Branching, randomness, indeterminacy, hypertextuality, combination, connection, image, and text (verbal and sound) as open systems, inhabit the non-homologous places of the areal field.
6 In musical mechanics, a dimension analogous to the areal appears in the distance established between the composer's intent and its concrete translation into the score. It seems an infinitely small space, while in reality, it is so extensive and, above all, practicable, that it transforms the work into a generous deposit of data, from which the interpreter can draw reading elements without fear of exhausting them. The areal data is instead fed equally by the concrete practice of visual art, understood as a process of learning, and by the reflection on the phenomena of redefining things through images. The harmonic heart of the operation beats in correspondence with a territory as frank as the interpretative one: in the reading space situated between any physical place - theater - and the conceptually said place. This scope ensures a link, a continuity between the antagonistic spheres of the real and the unreal, and is configured as a field without measure and without author, in which each one can find the elements most consonant with their desire. E. Gazzola, Areale: instructions for use, in "Areale" by U. Locatelli, Elefante Rosso, Piacenza, 1997.
7 Placed in an eternally oscillating position between science and aesthetics, the areal dimension of perception has found its concrete definition and a demonstrative outlet in the presentation at the Elefante Rosso, in via Santa Franca in Piacenza. Truth be told, more than an exhibition, it is an event resulting from the sum of different actions, carried out at different times, and more contributions. S. Segalini, I revisited yesterday, in "Galleria" n. 3, Sicheledizioni, Piacenza, 1997.
8 It is clear, then, that the author's investigation takes place by disarticulating and recreating the relationships between observer and place, measuring the distance between real and unreal, assuming that these dimensions are distinguishable or do not produce, as in the Möbius strip, a continuous becoming in which each side of the ring flows into the other. The mode of perception of a space, its rhythm, and finally the investigation on the eye that observes itself at work, are the paths to follow. In this seemingly cold rigor springs full freedom, for that much left unsaid (the pauses between frames, the pauses in observation time), which pushes the viewer towards more personal escapes, interpretative or emotional or intellectual, in the labyrinth of traversable relationships. P. Soffientini, Areale: a distant look, from the review in the daily "Libertà", Piacenza, October 27, 1997.
9 It would seem, therefore, that we can resort to an almost infinite possibility to communicate something. But I think it is worth pausing right on this 'almost', so insignificant as to disappear unnoticed within the discourse. Where then is the limit to the human possibility of communicating? Or, to put it differently, is the communicative act perhaps based precisely on that irreducible core? If so, what is it? [...] In the inaugural lecture of the Chair of Semiology at the Collège de France, later made famous, given by R. Barthes on January 7, 1977, the author highlighted some very important points. He said - and here I can only summarize a much more nuanced discourse - that the real is the impossible because it cannot be represented but only shown, as it is not possible in any way to make coincide a multidimensional order in continuous becoming (the real) and a unidimensional and static one (language). F. Battistutta, Almost in Areale, "Città in controluce" n. 6, Vicolo del Pavone, Piacenza, 1998.
10 The areal sphere of observation is that dimension devoid of reality (yet not unreal) in which perception and reconstruction carried out by an observer - placed in certain conditions in front of the fact (a place, a work, a person) - are constituted with the mediation of several scientific, aesthetic, philosophical, and psychological elements. E. Gazzola, Introduction in Areale, "Città in controluce" n. 6, Op. cit.

11 Once the linguistic network informing a room is dismantled, it's possible to practice a new alphabet, chosen by the observer, with the same elements that were originally observable. Each alphabetic hypothesis, whether luminous or sonorous, rests on the removal of silence and darkness; every alphabet is a tool of transit, continually rhythmically by the consciousness that the voice disappears and is reborn every time a single word is pronounced. "This operation is the end, the way of an experience" (G. Bataille). Areale: the formal origin of the sign, its symbolic source, remains alive within any reassembly or casual representation in the real; the thousand millimesimal points where the sign begins and organizes its direction, always produce a room in the world. M. Sargiani, Areale: the reverse of language is the beginning of form, in "Città in controluce" n. 6, Op. cit.
12 This time, the museum itself is the object of attention, and the place for the gaze becomes the looked-at place. The museum reflects in the author's gaze, creating diptychs between inside and outside, light and dark, recto and verso, diptychs forced into an adjacency that overturns perception, testing the judgment evoked by knowledge. Something fundamental has occurred: it will never be the museum of photography on display, as perhaps we expected to find at the conclusion of a circular process. The place has undergone an extraction, the fragments have found their autonomy, the relocation is elsewhere compared to the origin, once again knowledge and judgment are not helpful. A revitalizing work. Like an autotransplant. L. d’Alessandro, Introduction, in "Areale: Luogo e Dualità" by U. Locatelli, Fondazione Italiana per la Fotografia, Turin, 1999.
13 In this areal operation, in which we are now involved, we struggle to govern the structure of evolutionary logic and conceptual complexity: perhaps because it resembles the attempt to identify the rules governing chaos, a theme that fascinates and engages physicists and philosophers. P. Dragone, A path on areal traces, in "Areale: Luogo e Dualità", Op. cit.
14 In this scenario, Areale - as a method and as a state of art - becomes a tool of knowledge, the laboratory in which to test the coherence of an intuition, the resistance of a concept, the translation of a historical hypothesis into a concrete document in support of a new ecology of looking. Translated into aesthetic practice, a system is 'open' and when it is perpetually modifiable, and thus increased in value by the relationship between events, things, people who exist over time, intervene, change inside and outside of it: relationships between internal elements and between margins permeable to stimuli, variations, insertions, disturbances, hypotheses, information, enrichments, meanings, ... An open system is always a work in progress. For example: this episode of Areale that we are composing in its parts, is the second chapter of an open story of the gaze. […] Photographic images are undoubtedly irreplaceable and therefore unique (only the reproduction is reproducible), based on the dualism of the transcribed elements and on the dualistic reading - therefore other and parallel to reality - of the visited place. In this case, the power of the gaze is resolved in doubt rather than in the certainty of having seen. New relationships are needed, then, if we want to unravel yet another enigma. And so, we approach a totality of looking, which includes an ever-increasing number of useful and interconnected gazes. We approach a complex system of gazes. E. Gazzola, A Systemic Art, in "Areale: Luogo e Dualità", Op. cit.
15 Areale opens with that alpha which is primarily a deviation and negation of the real. The real as a point in the pentagram. The real-object as a dimension to reinterpret and decipher, because it has always been tied to functions of destination and use, and to the conventions, no less catalyzing, of recording and writing. Rationally aware of this dilemma and deception, the author has long pursued his very personal path with coherence and constancy, not swayed by the recurring danger of formal delay or the temptation of aesthetic decryption. With utmost attention, he nourishes and renews the tools of his laboratory, in which he analyzes and compares - using etymological indices, visual finds, quotes, graffiti, ideograms, and critical thinking - the methodological elements of that project, with which he tries to construct the history of the gaze. P. Racanicchi, The image as a document of analysis, in "Areale: Luogo e Dualità", Op. cit.
16 The silent tone of the works precludes immediate emotion. The author plays with our gaze, gradually capturing it and leading us into an 'areal' world. His intent is to shake our conviction of perceiving reality in a univocal way. Rather than offering a solution or creating an alternate reality archetype, he brings forth multifaceted manifestations of reality through vision, akin to a shaman's exploration of reality through magic. This approach offers a perspective on art not confined to the avant-garde but rooted in a perennial future. F. Guerrieri, Areale, luogo e dualità, in "Galleria" – n.11, Sicheledizioni, Piacenza, 1999.
17 This creates a different place, revealing hidden aspects of things and momentarily pushing others into unreality. In Areale, individuals navigate personally through the collected data, infusing images and texts with new meanings, thereby enriching the system. N. Barbieri, A rebours, from Areale to origins, in "Piacentini" - n. 3, Piacenza, 1999.
18 The Materials for a Glossary take the form of a geographical map, folded like a city plan and attached to the general exhibition catalog. This collection, with carefully selected voices and distilled subjective definitions, forms an a-real landscape, neither real nor unreal, but beyond these categories. Locatelli's map navigates through complex meanders, reassuring slownesses, unexpected waterfalls, and whirlpools, traversing territories cultivated by philosophers, artists, poets, men, and women who have sown seeds in unexplored areas of our world. E. Lunghi, curator of the international exhibition Strange Paradises, from the general catalog, Forum d’art contemporain, Casino Luxembourg, 2000.
19 A fragment contains an aspiration to the whole. It's like observing the assembly of a kaleidoscope's glasses in slow motion to intuit and then grasp the whole. This method provides flexible tiles, frames, to recreate or dismantle any mental room or memory. P. Soffientini, In the kaleidoscope of gazes. Ugo Locatelli's investigation of observing, from the review in "Libertà", Piacenza, August 20, 2000.
20 A 'real' image must diverge from reality as much as possible to truly represent it, purifying itself from conventions, preconceptions, and clichés. The world isn't what we see, but what we would see if we could transpose views. M. Busalacchi, Letters in Shadow,, 2000.
21 The ‘areal’ image is always transitive, indicating the possibility of an exit, an ulterior motive, an intentional push towards the future dimension through the web of relationships. These operations teach us to naturally produce antibodies against the generalized dissipation of images in the media era. The author cultivates curiosity and attention as moral habits and intellectual norms. M. Vescovo, The Endless Eye, in F. Lezoli, “Ugo Locatelli 1962-1972. Photography, Writing, Experimentation”, Fondazione Italiana per la Fotografia, Turin, 2003.
22 Areale becomes a continually de-finite place, constantly renewed cognitively. It exemplifies how daily and unconscious adoption of viewpoints shapes our judgments about reality-areality. A. Bertirotti, Apparently in “Areale: Place and Relationship” by U. Locatelli, Fondazione Italiana per la Fotografia, Turin, 2004.
23 Composing a piece immanent in the operation of ‘Areale’ is complex yet fascinating. It involves deconstructing and reconstructing preconceived musical ideas. M. Napoli, U. D’Auria, Musical S-composition in “Areale: Place and Relationship”, Op. cit.
24 ‘Arealità’ suggests a lack of reality or a subtle, light, suspended reality: the distance that locates a body or is in a body. This concept redefines the real in which the archi-tectonics of bodies are played out. J-L. Nancy, Corpus (1992), Cronopio, Napoli, 1995.
25 Learning is not a process of 'appropriation'; it is neither appropriation nor expropriation but constitutes the other: inside-outside, as a supplement. B. Battistini, From the Supplement in "Trapani Areale. Seeing Beyond Apparent Reality" by U. Locatelli, P.Giuffrè Editore, Trapani, 2005.
26 Areale, from the beginning, is wordless, offering interpretive models of the sensible world. It's up to us to speak, see, or just listen. A. Bertirotti, Without Words in "Trapani Areale. Seeing Beyond Apparent Reality", Op. cit.
27 "Areale: Place and Resonance" marks a step in our Foundation's evolution towards a method of learning and awareness. L. d’Alessandro, Introduction in "Areale: Place and Resonance" by U. Locatelli, Fondazione Italiana per la Fotografia, Turin, 2005.
28 Objects are events, the result of their physicality resonating with ours. Arealità is a revelation of the hidden substance, a chaos of possibilities, a noumenic form seeking to become a phenomenon. A. Bertirotti, "Areale: Place and Resonance", Op. cit.
29 A-reality aims for a quantum leap reconciling us with life and paradox, integrating in a Batesonian, artistic, and mathematical-ethical-experiential sense. N. Crosta, "Areale: Place and Resonance", Op. cit.

30 Each Areale is a container of its predecessors, expanding like an evolving hypertext. D. Galli, "Areale: Place and Resonance", Op. cit.
31 Areale is a gateway between the real and the unreal; we are that gateway. S. Licata, Mente Areale: prospettiva di comunicazione multisensoriale, University of Catania, 2006.
32 'Areale' lends itself to many interpretations, as we perceive our surroundings differently. L. Verzé, Reflection on Areale, Turin, 2006.
33 A conversation highlighting the perceived beauty and surreal quality of the world. C. Bravi, conversation with P. Montanari, Piacenza, 2006.
34 Areal linguistics introduces concepts like borrowing and language diffusion. P. Zima, "Contact des langues", University of Nice, 2006.
35 Areale is not just theoretical but a practical tool for educational and design purposes. F. Bergonzi, Reflection on the Areale system, July 2007.
36 Locatelli's work in Areale, blending high-tech and anthropology, stimulates new ideas and projects. V. Marchis, Reflection on the Areale system, July 2007.
37 Disciplines and approaches, facing the increased complexity of reality, have shown an ambivalence: refining their tools but becoming more detached from everyday knowledge and experience. This is evident in architecture and urban planning, oscillating between scientification and aestheticization, often overlooking the practices fundamental to urban life. Areale represents an attempt to bridge disciplines and experience, navigating observation, communication across fields, and the interplay of different languages. L. Spagnoli, Reflection on the Areale system, July 2007.


arena According to Einstein, time is a mere arena in which events unfold. Time and space are modified by the presence of matter (and, more broadly, energy), and this matter influences each other reciprocally. A. Bouquet, Introduction to "The Beginning of Time and the End of Physics" by S. Hawking, Mondadori, Milan, 1992.

arte (art) "I used art to establish a modus vivendi, a kind of method to understand life, to try to make my own life a work of art, instead of spending it making paintings and sculptures. Now I think that one's way of breathing, acting, reacting to others can be treated like a painting, a living picture or a film. These are my conclusions today." M. Duchamp, filmed interview by J. Antoine in Neuilly (1968), published by Allemandi Vision, Turin, 1993. 2 This book is the story of a journey and a perspective that takes the map as a motif, a starting point, and a model for an aesthetic open to infinity. Thus, cartographies in art and of art draw multiple temporal and artistic constellations, where each approach defines a new mode of the cartographic eye. C. Buci-Glucksmann, “The Cartographic Eye of Art”, Editions Galilée, Paris, 1996. 3 Art is not just an expression of the unconscious; rather, it deals with the relationship between unconscious, conscious, and external levels of the mental process. G. Bateson, "Towards an Ecology of Mind" (1972), Adelphi, Milan, 1977. 4 Works of art are entities of intermediate quality between a thought and a thing. S.T. Coleridge, "On Poetry and Art", in "Poems and Prose", Utet, Turin, 1942. 5 Art is not to be just observed; it is art that observes us. What is art for others may not be the same for me and vice versa. What was or was not art for me before may have lost or gained its value over time, perhaps multiple times. Thus, art is not an object, but an experience; to perceive it, we must be receptive. For this reason, art is where it touches us. J. Albers, "Homage to the Square" (1950), retrospective catalog edited by P. Weiermair, Silvana Editoriale, Milan, 2005. 6 Art is a fundamental experience. It stems from the innate desire of humans to develop a means to express their inner life. S. Giedion, “The Eternal Present” (1962), Feltrinelli, Milan, 1967.  7 Art in our society has become something related only to objects, not individuals or life. Why can’t everyday life be a work of art, like a lamp or a house? M. Foucault, Postscript to Dreyfuss and Rabinow’s “The Michel Foucault Reader” (1983), Ponte alle Grazie, Florence, 1989. 8 The concept of a work of art is defined here in its procedural essence: not just a single photograph or a collection of photographs, nor a temporal sequence of shots combined with the spatial sequence of an exhibition. The work is constituted by the entirety of the moments in the operation, with its most striking manifestation being the gaze that explores the place in a novel order and intensity. This gaze can be better defined as a vector that facilitates a new reading, stimulated by the succession of signs in the images. E. Gazzola, “Areale: Instructions for Use”, in “Areale”, Op. cit. 9 Art can make the formation of an idea visible. From this perspective, the artwork - as a medium, not an end - represents both the outcome of a process and the process itself. 10 Generative art is a 'discovery', not an invention. It exists within us and around us.

ascolto 1 The Japanese ideogram for 'listen' combines the character for 'ear' within the character for 'gate', symbolizing that attentive listening allows one to enter another's world. 2 To see always means to listen; the eye transforms into an ear - a vessel - filled with sound images, visual sounds, seemingly indistinct, motionless, full of silent energy and wonder. L. Salvini, in U. Locatelli, "Areale: Place and Resonance", Glossary, Fondazione Italiana per la Fotografia, Turin, 2005. 3 The ability to pause in the silence of the mountain and understand its voice represents an extreme possibility for preserving this world. L. Bonesio, "Thinking Like a Mountain", in Antonio Stragà (ed.), "Beyond the Peaks. Metaphors, Men, Places of the Mountain", Il Poligrafo, Padua 2000.

aseità (Latin: aseitas, from a se "by itself, for itself"): A term in scholastic philosophy referring to the mode of being of absolute reality, which derives the principle of its existence from itself, rather than from something else. Thus, it's a typical attribute of divinity. In German philosophical language, the term (Aseität) was used by Schopenhauer and Eduard von Hartmann to denote the absolute reality of the Will and the Unconscious, respectively. Treccani Culture,, 2017.

associazione di idee: An act of the mind that establishes a connection between images or thoughts.

attenzione 1 In terms of attention, it's not a random distribution like that in Jackson Pollock's works - which deliberately lack 'pre-attentive' structures - that creates the utmost instability. To achieve such an effect, one must construct an organized but multistable figure, where attention can never fully settle. P. Legrenzi, "First Lesson in Cognitive Sciences", Laterza, Rome-Bari, 2002. 2 Wherever you place your attention, at that precise point, experiment. "Finding the Center, 104", from ancient Indian texts (2000-3000 BC), in Mumon, "The Gateless Gate", Adelphi, Milan, 1980.

conoscenza According to the Bible, when Adam and Eve ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, they were transformed and could never return to their original state of innocence. Previously, their knowledge of the world was expressed in their nudity, moving with and within it in the innocence of simple knowing; afterwards, they knew they were naked, they knew of knowing. Knowledge of knowledge obliges us to maintain permanent vigilance against the temptation of certainty and to recognize that our certainties are not proofs of truth. H. Maturana-F. Varela, "The Tree of Knowledge", Garzanti, Milan, 1987.