polis: a collective blog about cities worldwide

Remixing Nature in a Digital World

by Rebecka Gordan

"atto n.7" (2006)

Artist Giacomo Costa creates cityscapes that are as unconventional as the life he leads. Born in Florence in 1970, he studied violin intensively before dropping out of high school to pursue a career in motocross. He began photographing the Mont Blanc region in 1992, eventually improvising on reality with digital media. By 2002, his focus had transitioned from mountains to megacities, often combined with other extreme natural phenomena. Costa now works as a paramedic on city streets and ski slopes, and his artwork is testament to an extraordinary worldview.

"secret garden n.1" (2008)

"Giacomo Costa: The Chronicles of Time" by Luca Beatrice, with a foreword by Norman Foster, contains an insightful overview of the artist's work:

"Giacomo Costa’s research initially began with the study of photography before moving gradually in a direction that has lost all contact with traditional photography. Employing sophisticated digital techniques borrowed from the world of cinema the artist reinterprets the collective imagination of the metropolis, creating unreal cityscapes, spaces with vast perspectives that include spectacular ruins and architectures. Suspended between tradition and modernity, real and dreamlike, the “views” in The Chronicles of Time recall the sci-fi genre (are they perhaps the result of natural catastrophes? nuclear wars?) and at the same time, so rich in meticulous details, they seem to be the fruit of a contemporary reinterpretation of the most classic topos, that of the ideal city."

"aqua n.6" (2008)

Costa presents a hyperbolic remix of the world as we know it, bringing human power and vulnerability strikingly to the fore. And his cities are no less natural — or unnatural — than his mountains, glaciers, forests and seas.

Credits: Images from Giacomo Costa.

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