Ai nati oggi (To those born today) is the work of artist Alberto Garutti, supported by the MAXXI foundation as part of the collective exhibition “La strada. Dove si crea il mondo” (The street. Where the world is created.” curated by Hou Hanru. The installation is promoted by the Municipality of Rome and planned, built and maintained by Acea, which manages the capital’s public lighting system.
“The initial challenge was to enter his perspective, so that we could be sure to remain as faithful as possible to the original idea” explains Cristina. The artist wanted to simulate the pulsations of a beating heart by turning the lights on and off. “But this gave rise to two problems. Our public lighting systems are not designed to incorporate a dimming function, that is, the light intensity cannot be regulated and, in pedestrian areas such as Piazza del Popolo, the standards in force do not allow the lighting flows to be dimmed, or turned off completely during the night.”
To create the work, the lighting elements installed in the square had to be "emptied" and fitted with an independent control system that could be monitored by the Acea technicians using a dedicated web page.
The led lamps were then connected to control devices, connected online via wi-fi. This means that the lighting system in Piazza del Popolo can dialog via web with a tablet installed on the other side of the city, in the maternity ward of the Gemelli General Hospital: just one touch and in a few seconds, the input reaches the led lamps in the street lights.
“We then had a series of meetings with the artist and our technicians to test the system that we were making and agree on every aspect of the final result together: dimming level, duration, speed of the reduction and increase in the light intensity. "To ensure compliance with the standards, we calibrated the system so that the intensity of the lighting on the ground never goes lower than the minimum set levels."