clicca qui per la versione italiana
Sergio Messina is a very unusual character in the italian artistic and media landscape. Born in Rome in '59, he started djing in radio stations in 1975, at the very beginning of the pirate/private radio movement in Italy. In the 80s he worked for a number of local stations, developing more and more uncommon formats until he started collaborating with AudioBox, the radio art broadcast of Rai (the national radio of Italy) where he worked as a producer and artist for five years. Meanwhile he worked as a professional Dj (1982 - 1988) and was briefly involved in the very first hip hop movement in Rome. In 1989 he took the stage with RadioMantra, an electronic radioshow with PC and samplers on stage. Within this set (that was performed live over 150 times in two years both in Italy and Europe) in 1990 he made RadioGladio, a "no copyright" song/message aimed at american audiences. It was distribuited for free in 400 master cassettes, inviting people to duplicate it (finally giving double deck tape recorders something legal to do).
The echo was worldwide, Frank Zappa praised it in an interview, radio stations worldwide picked it up (you can download it from here), the press and audiences loved it so much that they renamed him after the song (and he stuck with it). Several compilations featured RadioGladio, and it was put under copyright only after a struggle with the industry's dark side (but it's still available for free). Meanwhile SM kept two lines of production (an [almost] complete list of music and audio works is available here), making radio art mainly in Austria (with Kunstradio, throughout the 90s until today - you can sample it here) and more musical (and often political) RadioGladio stuff in Italy. in 1992 he produced Curre Curre Guagliò, the first album by neapolitan Reggae/Hip Hop band 99 Posse. He published his own first album in '93, La vendetta del Mulino Bianco (whose title, graphic design and lyrics infringed the © of the most popular italian biscuit brand) and another in '96, Inaudito, under the name of Buddha Stick. This CD (which sold out the 2000 copies printed in less than a year) has been available in Mp3 since july 1997; it's probably the first commercial albums legitimately distribuited online.
In 1996 he started writing a very personal page on the monthly music magazine Rumore; Mini Minor (now Banda Larga) is since then one of the most successful columns in the italian music press. In 1999 he created the (now closed) Radio Lilliput website, a resource for the rights of digital users that also gave "public access" to anyone that wanted to broadcast online; at the same time he started taking a public stand on many political/technological issues. In 2000 he was invited at the Ars Electronica Festival in Linz Austria, both as a musician (there is an album that documents that project, coordinated by Alexander Balanescu) and as a partecipant to the symposium with his talk (and installation) about Realcore, the digital porno revolution. Between '98 and 2002 he has been an author and live musician in the then only italian tv show about technology, Mediamente, and in 2001 he started teaching multimedia and copyright in various universities and other Italian institutions. He has also been strategy consultant for several commercial and artists' websites, including Elio e le Storie Tese and Casino Royale. From 2003 to 2009 he wrote extensively (about porn and technology) for the italian edition of Rolling Stone. In 2005 he was invited by the Istituto Europeo di Design in Milan to devise and implement a three year, Sound Design school. In the same year he revamped his Realcore show, successfully performing in seedy bars, art galleries, festivals and academic institutions all over Europe and USA, where he's been visiting artist and full faculty at the School of Photography of the Art Institute of Chicago in the spring 2009 semester (see classes descriptions). The Realcore research also generated a photo exhibition, La Rivoluzione Siamo Noi (2008/2012).
In dec. 2010 his first book came out, Real Sex, Alt porn is the new Rock'n'roll (in italian, published by Tunué). In 2011 he joins forces with longtime friend and accomplice Painé Cuadrelli to form the duo Soslo. They published three albums (Soslo I, 2011, Adagio, 2011, Ameno 2016) for the label Compl8 prod. In 2017 he was invited to give a master lecture (on his research on amateur pornography) at the international congress El Cuerpo Descifrado in Queretaro, Mexico. Presently he writes, teaches History of Pop Culture at IED in Milan, and works on his art practice and music in Amsterdam, his new home since 2015.