An alias of the Alterazioni Video cinema production group, Turbofilm embroiled a disparate cast of artworld characters, including Baltoyanni, in the comedically self-sabotaged production of a crowdsourced “documentary” about the inventor of Bitcoin—for some reason being shot in Puerto Rico. Baltoyanni contributed an essay on the work to Alterazioni Video’s book Turbofilm and the Uncertain Future of Moving Images, published in 2016 by Logo Fausto Lupetti Editore.
Retrieved from the deepest levels of the treasure box of my unconscious. I hereby present my brief – yet eventful – encounter with Alterazioni Video ( aka Turbo Film Productions ). It must have been February of 2013, when I was invited to Puerto Rico by Ramiken Crucible Gallery. The idea was to produce a show inside a cave somewhere in the jungles of the North. My immediate purpose was unclear, but I know that Paololuca Barbieri Marchi was invited to document the whole thing.
In the time between his invitation and the actual trip, Paololuca with Alterazioni Video, managed to develop a very successful Kickstarter campaign titled "Surfing with Satoshi," prompting fans to invest in Alterazioni’s questionable campaign to find Satoshi, the "mythical" inventor of the Bit-coin. With ample cash in hand, he suggested bringing the whole Alterazioni Video team on board-merging the cave show and their Turbo Film.
Are you aware of how avalanches move , starting small and steadily and then increasing in speed, while recruiting anything or anyone in their way until nothing can resist them? That is Alterazioni Video. They moved like an avalanche, owning everything that came their way; it was almost impossible to contain them or apply any set of rules . Each day started like an adventure and any acquaintance could become a character in the video. Between the four Alterazioni Videο members, one actor, the executive producer , and the two people making a documentary on them (SeeThink Films), Allerazioni Video now physically outnumbered Ramiken. We would soon discover that the collective out-everything.
My first memory of our home in Barceloneta is Kaffa taping the words "MILF Hunter" to the side of the pickup truck. From the hitch hungs a pair of plastic testicles. By the front porch sat Eric Banks, reading his book. (He remained there for most of our stay in Puertο Rico.) A former editor of Bookforum, thoughtful and contained, I am sure he came to curse Paololuca's powerful charms, which had gotten him there in the first place.
Paololuca is a kind of Mediterranean shaman who can sway you into just about anything. Kaffa is another version of Paololuca, with similar abilities in facilitating the absurd. Together they were unstoppable. This is how we found ourselves in a house filled, at times -improbably- by the local authorities, but also a group of local artists, a surfing rooster, and a roller derby team to top it all off. They knew they needed a cop. They didn’t know they would manage to persuade one to star in the film that was coming to be, complete with cop car and guns. They went out one day to watch Puerto Rican cockfights, and they came back with a roller derby team. The rooster did manage to surf, but within the limits of the swimming pool. Thankfully, it was wisely graced from an inevitably traumatic encounter with the ocean.
By the end , on one of those nights when the work is almost done and local spirit has taken away our last inhibitions, Mr. Banks has shared the same lollipop with a local belle and Giacomo -barely recognizable from repeated mosquito assaults- has recorded Juni Figueroa free-styling in regaetton. l found myself on the kitchen floor waiting for the never-ending focaccia of Kaffa, while Masu was quietly tattooing (stick and poke) the name of his wife onto his arm next to a Bitcoin logo.
How much of all of this is actually conveyed in the video is hard to tell. I will go as far as to separate the product from the collective. The fact that there isn’t (and never was) any kind of storyboard or any kind of plan whatsoever says so much about the impossibility of classifying Alterazioni Video. As I said, Alterazioni Video is an operational avalanche; it turns out, the cave only makes an appearance in the last 4 minutes of the film.