It’s a matter of teamwork, a chorus, or more precisely a relay race. Art Relay is an art project created for social networks such as Instagram and TikTok, based on collaboration. Like a relay race in sports, the pen – a metaphor for the baton – is passed from hand to hand, artist to artist, to form a potentially infinite whole. The rules are simple: only black and white; the black line has to be continuous, never broken, even when the baton is passed it has to be connected to the next drawing; the size of the overall drawing has to adapt to the format of the Instagram feed and be a multiple of three posts.
The rules of the game are set by Nicolò Gavazzi, a young Milanese entrepreneur and visionary who has founded the start-up Up to You Anthology, a brand of bags created by architects, designers and artists, manufactured by hand in Italy. The point of contact between the two initiatives: many of the designers who have made bags for Up to You Anthology are also taking part in the infinite art project of Art Relay.
“The challenge is to bring conceptual and formal continuity to the drawing,” says Gavazzi. “To find a way to get started and to continue the story where the previous episode ended is a far from banal exercise.”
To date, the baton has passed to various talents in the world of design and architecture: from Piero Lissoni to Zaha Hadid, Marc Thorpe to Elena Salmistraro, all the way to Naoto Fukasawa. The Instagram feed of the dedicated account advances with each contribution, reversing the convention narration of the social networks of Zuckerberg: the protagonist is no longer the single post, but the feed as a whole. The graphic output is in constant evolution, and every artist leaves a bequest to the next, to be taken forward in a visual narrative and a personal style, with the goal of stimulating philosophical thought and collective creativity.
The Art Relay page is the result of the sequential joining of the aesthetic language of artists and designers, challenging each other in an experimental procedure. An open work of art in an ongoing state of becoming, where the single work is the sum of all the works. Created for the aesthetic purists of Instagram, the project is also a success with the wide audience of TikTok, thanks to striking video animations.