The exhibition “508 Loop Detected” at APALAZZOGALLERY heralds a significant homecoming for the avant-garde duo of Net Art, Eva & Franco Mattes, alias, as they make a striking return to the Italian art scene. Renowned for their pioneering exploration at the intersection of art, technology, and contemporary culture, the Mattes traverse the digital landscape with finesse, probing the profound implications of artificial intelligence in our modern world


Eva & Franco Mattes (Milan, 2021) Photo by Nicola Biscaro

Under the enigmatic title “508 Loop Detected,” the exhibition delves into the nuanced complexities of our digital age. Evoking a programming error common on websites, where a computer detects an infinite loop, the title encapsulates the recursive nature of digital imagery and data that underpins our online existence. Throughout the show, this theme reverberates, inviting viewers to contemplate the circularity inherent in our digital lives.

At the heart of the exhibition lies “Personal Photographs,” an installation that transcends the boundaries of the infinite loop concept. Through a meticulously crafted arrangement of colored tubing and ethernet cables, digital photographs sourced from the Mattes’ personal archive undergo a perpetual cycle of autonomous circulation. This mesmerizing mechanism underscores the ephemeral and intangible nature of digital images in our hyper-connected society, prompting profound reflections on perception and materiality in the digital age.

Eva & Franco Mattes, 'Personal Photographs September 29 2013', 2024. Courtesy the Artists and APALAZZOGALLERY. Photo: Melania Dalle Grave for DSL Studio

The exhibition also showcases a series of unpublished schematics, occupying the main gallery spaces. On one side, four micro-schemes, reminiscent of miniature portraits, captivate the viewer’s gaze, while on the other, three imposing multicolored and multilayered schemes are envisioned by artificial intelligence itself. This innovative approach to creation challenges traditional notions of authorship, underscoring the evolving relationship between art and technology in the digital era.

Eva & Franco Mattes, '508 Loop Detected', installation view, 2024, APALAZZOGALLERY, Brescia.

Among the standout works is “Roomba Cat,” a poignant sculpture featuring a taxidermized feline perched atop a functioning robotic vacuum cleaner, meandering throughout the gallery space. This whimsical yet thought-provoking piece symbolizes the intersection of the natural and the artificial, offering a poignant commentary on our increasingly technocentric world.

Eva & Franco Mattes, 'Roomba Cat', 2023, taxidermy cat, robot vacuum cleaner , 34 x 34 x 45 cm. Courtesy the Artists and APALAZZOGALLERY. Photo: Melania Dalle Grave for DSL Studio

Within the confines of the Golden Room, “Up Next” unfolds—a captivating 19-minute slideshow chronicling the controversial journey of Iranian influencer Sahar Tabar through a series of selfies and newspaper clippings. Sahar’s transformation into an Instagram sensation, facilitated by makeup and photoshopped enhancements, serves as a poignant indictment of the power dynamics at play in our digital ecosystem, from algorithmic influence to societal pressures.

Eva & Franco Mattes, 'Up Next', 2023, installation view, '508 Loop Detected', 2024, APALAZZOGALLERY, Brescia.

The exhibition culminates with a site-specific intervention that transcends the gallery’s confines, projecting a stark visual juxtaposition against the backdrop of the historic palatial architecture. This vibrant sulfur-yellow installation extends beyond the gallery’s walls, symbolizing the permeation of digital culture into our physical spaces—a powerful testament to the profound impact of technology on contemporary society.

Eva & Franco Mattes, '508 Loop Detected', installation view, 2024, APALAZZOGALLERY, Brescia.