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TRANSIT @ Posidonia, Ulysses Systems Party, Posidonia 2022

Artist, Marianna Lyra, talks about the work Transit @ Posidonia. The work is a ‘sculpture in performance’, an installation facilitated by three dancers. It took place during the Ulysses Systems party at the semi-industrial PHIAT Garage in the framework of Posidonia 2022. Marianna Lyra’s work resonates with Ulysses Systems view that software is transitioning into becoming significantly more situationally aware. Emulating how humans understand the world rather than how computer languages manage data relationships. We are transiting towards expecting data to give us the story within the bigger picture. Marianna Lyras describes how the work Transit came about and what it means.

“I heartily thank you all for being here tonight to witness the launching and virgin voyage of the vessel TRANSIT, an arc more than a vessel, a carrier of souls, cities and cultures of the past, the present and the future.

Its construction started in my studio during the first Covid 19 lockdown in 2020, which as you remember kept us hermetically closed in our homes.

On my rationed walks in Athens during that period, I noticed an excess of cardboard boxes of all sizes deserted in the streets, leaning usually against the blue and green trash bins, empty shells which once hosted huge TV screens, fridges, furniture, you name it, as if the citizens of this city had gone on a huge shopping spree to alleviate boredom, fear, anxiety or simply discovering the time to renovate their homes.

Αs I gathered them into my studio, these cardboard boxes became my inspiration. Following the creative process, an architectural construction started to emerge. Box by box was transforming itself into something that started to look like a city, then like a ship or rather an imaginary vessel. First it inhabited my studio. Gradually, as it grew and grew, it found its way into this iconic building of the 1920’s, Fiat’s first car show room and depot in Athens, to complete itself.

The poem, “Ithaka”, we just heard, by Constantine P. Cavafy, recited by the late Sean Connery, is a symbolic rendering of Homer’s hero, Ulysses’ journey and return to his homeland Ithaca. The story of a journey, which I read many many years ago and which has stayed deep in my heart, as it seemed to echo the life journey of every man with its adventures and experiences, its trials and wonders.

I hope the “vessel” TRANSIT, brings good fortune to the Ulysses Systems journey. The transition of discarded boxes into an arc “full of adventures” may not benefit from the software the company has for many years pioneered and provided to the shipping industry. But it is attuned with the company’s ever developing ventures and collaborations to provide solutions to a world that is in transit, that is changing under our very eyes. Above all, Ulysses Systems understanding of the vital role the Shipping Industry is called to play in these troubled times.”

Marianna Lyra

Do hear Sean Connery, as tempered as Homer’s hero, Ulysses, movingly recite Constantine’s Cavafy’s “Ithaka”.

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