Park Associati presents Protege Noctem, a photographic exhibition of the works of Mattia Balsamini from the publication of the same name that focuses on the disappearance of the night, realised in collaboration with Raffaele Panizza, author of the texts and co-creator of the project, which won, among others, the ISPA, FOTOGRAFIA EUROPEA and GETXO PHOTO awards. The selection of works depicts the impact of light pollution on all the protagonists of our ecosystem: man, animals, plants, insects, and even deep space. The talk is an opportunity to discuss the importance of the issues raised by the research in terms of the responsibilities of designers today with Mattia Balsamini, Raffaele Panizza and Matteo Arietti–Head of Research at Park Associati. The works can be viewed at the Park Hub space from today, March 20th, to March 23rd, 2024.

Light pollution is currently regarded as a risk factor for all living beings and our ecosystem. Pollution, meant as an alteration of any natural element or substance, also affects and threatens the darkness and all the creatures who rely on this specific natural condition to live. 83 percent of the world’s population has never seen the Milky Way, the galaxy we are a part of. Excessive exposure to artificial light has serious consequences on the health of all living things, as well as on our ecosystem: the alteration of the natural circadian rhythm can cause serious diseases in humans, pollinating insects face extinction, and the tons of waste generated by the process of democratisation of space are dispersed into the atmosphere.

Protege Noctem is an investigation on the disappearance of the night; the goal of this four-handed project was to outline a story describing the alliance between the scientists and citizens engaged in fighting the progressive disappearance of the night and its creatures. The journalistic need and the fragmentary nature of this attempt to map the current light pollution situation are reflected in the meta-photographic journey that accompanies and articulates the narrative, outlining a cartography of the current awareness of and commitment to the subject. The question we ask ourselves after this journey into the darkness with protagonists, information, data, questions and possible answers is: who is still afraid of the dark?

Mattia Balsamini moved to Los Angeles in 2008, where he began working as an assistant and archivist at David LaChapelle’s practice. In 2011, after graduating with a BA honours from the Brooks Institute of California with a specialisation in advertising photography, he returned to Italy. Since then he has been teaching photography at the IUAV University of Venice, as well as photographing technology and its sociological implications, with a focus on work as human-identifying factor. Over the years Mattia carried out personal and editorial projects for MIT, NASA and the Institute of Forensic Medicine University of Zurich. He exhibited at the Triennale di Milano, MAXXI, the Fondazione Sandretto Re Rebaudengo and the Italian Institute of Culture in San Francisco.