Can you fall in love with a landscape? And how much would you be ready to spend for it? Marco Tabasso, one of the founders of Anotherview and former talent scout of Rossana Orlandi, tells about his digital windows that tell a 24 hours story of special places, why collectors are crazy about them and why design galleries should change radically. Also giving advice to young designers …
Anotherview is one of those projects that could have come to an end in two ways. Because the idea was simple: turning a window into an eye onto the world. And the development could have been basic, department store-friendly: a screen with a sequence of landscapes and photos from a coffee table book.
Instead, Anotherview – the collective formed by Marco Tabasso, former talent scout of Rossana Orlandi, by photographer Tatiana Uzlova and digital media expert Robert Andriesse – was exhibited last June at Design Miami Basel.
And its “windows” – that provide the film recorded in a memorable place for 24 hours – are bought by art collectors, ship owners, Korean entrepreneurs, Dubai ladies. One is in the living room of a former president of a South American country, others are available to travelers of Royal Carabbean cruise ships. And one window, in the house of a Roman client, was significantly positioned alongside a work by Bill Viola.
Which is not art and it is not design but that acquires value – like both – through the careful search not only of beauty. but also of a meaning that transcends it and makes it become emotion and memory.
And its history is full of interesting reflections on the universe of design art to which many young designers aspire.
Marco Tabasso, what is Anotherview exactly?
«It is the three of us, hence a collective that develops and realizes ideas at the crossroads between art, interior design and electronics. We make windows at the moment, but there will be more. And what we sell are Days and Places in limited edition, hyper-realistic reproductions of a corner of the world caught in a specific moment of its existence. In short, we work as archivists: we look for the view, the special space and the right time to take it back. At the same time we record “days”, we codify them. We enclose them in a file, we create a memory to which someone else will have access ».
To clarify from the beginning, we are talking about an object that costs a lot, and therefore that is aimed at a niche …
«Yes. Our windows cost from 22 to 65 thousand euros, depending on the place we recorded».
How many do you sell and to whom?
«We were born in 2017 and we have sold 21. Among our customers there are many collectors of contemporary art, a former Swedish shipowner, a former president of a South American country, a Korean entrepreneur, a lady from Dubai … Lately we start to also have corporate clients such as restaurants, cruise ships, offices. Because at Anotherview we also work on tailor made projects creating customized views and installations. Like the 24h view on The Floating Piers by Christo and Jeanne Claude on Lake Iseo. Franco and Umberta Beretta, owners of the villa around which the installation was built, commissioned it».
And what do its buyers love of Anotherview?
«The novelty of the project counts: new ideas attract curious people. But after the first glance two kinds of fruition come into play. : most of the clients are sentimentally linked to the places we have taken over. Having a window on a place that they love and that can give the impression of being there is one of the determining factors of the purchase. Then there is the pragmatic fruition given by the 24-hour format. The windows show an entire day in one place, tell what happens from dawn to dusk and are synchronized to real time. Each then becomes a natural “clock” where everyone can associate a specific moment of the day with something that happens on the screen. In other cases, one of the winning factors is the flexibility of the project within an interior design. In all those parts of a house where there is no window or lacking the right light, one of our windows can radically change the perspective and open up new possibilities for design ».
Is a beautiful landscape enough to make someone fall in love? And convince him that tens of thousands of euros are a fair price for having it at home?
«No. It is necessary that the vision has its own narrative, like a 24-hour story. There has to be continuous movement. This is why often the views that include the sea or a river work better. What must be visible is a flow of time. Then the sound is also important. because of the climate, politics, the hand of man. In one of our videos, in the pool of Okaukuejo in Namibia, at night three rhinoceroses appear are start playfighting. Experts estimate that in 50 years there will be no more rhinos in Namibia and the window we shot will remain a memory of something that is gone. We call this collection “Once we were there”: the idea is to one day make a visual exhibition / story of places that are no longer there».
How did you think of creating windows with digital landscapes and making it a business?
«After 15 years of evaluating proposals by young designers (at Rossana Orlandi’s) I asked myself what I had not seen yet. What could be conceived that had not yet been designed. I began to think about the view, which is the only thing you cannot design in a home. From here, the focus on the window, an element full of metaphors and suggestions. Because it is a membrane, a filter between public and private, between intimacy and the world. What it offers us affects our mood, tells us where and when we are. So I thought to break the common idea of how and what we look at from a window. That is to create one that was a landscape proposal and allow the viewer to feel elsewhere. Studying the idea with Tatiana and Robert we thought about recording videos in 4K for 24 hours ».
What’s not easy …
«No. The first experiments were done in Istanbul where we were officially visiting the Architecture Biennale and they were a disaster. Nobody had recorded before in 4k for such long periods, the generated file was very heavy and difficult to manage for a normal computer. Even the organization is complicated. Once you have selected the place you have to find the location from which to shoot. That is a private house or a non-tourist place to give a unique cut to the recording. We must observe the changes in light and possible reflections that could end up in the camera before starting to film. We start at midnight and finish at midnight the next day without interruptions and continuing to adapt to changes in light, making sure that nothing can interrupt or interfere with the recording. The post production is very long also because the raw file weighs around 4TB. Now we shoot in 7K».
How do you sell AnotherView?
«Mainly during fairs like the Salone del Mobile, the PAD in London, Jingart in Shanghai. Then by word of mouth, through people who saw our windows at a friend’s house or in public places. Obviously it was essential to be shown by Rossana Orlandi in Milan. But the relationship we now have with galleries is more of partnership than of mere representation. We work with a few trusted companies that work together and promote the project. Rossana Orlandi, ALL Gallery in China and Los Angeles and we have some agents in Europe who follow us for the art collectors market».
So no international exclusivity at the Galleries. And an almost business partnership. It is a different model from the current one
«Exactly. One of the reasons why I wanted to start this adventure was also because I seriously believe that the structure and definition of the Gallery is outdated. That’s why galleries need to go beyond mere representation. To survive, a radical change of views and attitudes is needed».
During your 15 years by Rossana Orlandi, the gallery promoted young talents who then made it. From Nacho Carbonell to Daniel Rybakken to FormaFantasma. Your advice to young designers to position yourself in the world of limited editions
«. Think of a job to do at the same time because even if things went well you will not be able to sustain yourself for 3 or 4 years at least. is: try to understand the economic value of your work. Use creativity not only in the development of the concept but above all to optimize production, keep costs under control, consider durability, transportability and resistance of the pieces. Whenever costs are calculated, keep in mind that the gallery will recharge them by 40 or 50%. If a table costs you 1,000 you have to sell it back to the gallery at 2,000 and the gallery will sell it back to 5,000. The desire to be exhibited and participate in fairs often leads to selling underpriced. And that is the the first step towards failure».
The biggest lie on the limited edition design world …
«That limited edition design is an investment as a work of art, especially on short to medium distance. It’s true: the pieces of some historical authors (think Gio Ponti, Mollino, Alvar Aalto, etc.) can be considered investment. And the same happened at certain times for some pieces by some contemporary artist. .
considering a designer an artist and a chair a work of art. Conceptually it is a defensible position. But in reality, the so-called Design Art is not at all considered in the contemporary art world.
Last, there is the most obvious thing to which, however, few think … There are too many limited edition galleries, too many designers and too few customers willing to spend for what they offer ».