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Rediscovering our contact with nature in the age of technology with “GrassRoller”

An original and ironic art installation that makes us reflect on the important issues of our contemporary society


Today’s reality, increasingly technologized and immersed in a virtual reality at all levels, is contributing to a true and proper separation of human beings from the nature that surrounds them. Actual contact with the primary elements of which the environment is composed is an aspect that risks being lost, sacrificed to frenzy, technological development, and the lack of time.


Gestures and actions performed outdoors, also just for fun without any apparent reason are not as frequent as in the past, and it would be good to rediscover them. It is with this idea in mind, developed with a touch of irony, that Mattia Casalegno created his “GrassRoller”.


“GrassRoller” by Mattia Casalegno


The Italian interdisciplinary artist, whose work is influenced by digital and post-conceptual art, has always stood out for his artistic projects that are participatory, immersive, and related to the public. For Casalegno, it is fundamental to discover the effects that the new media and mass digitalization have on society and his works often insist on this.


“GrassRoller” by Mattia Casalegno


“GrassRoller” is an original mechanical device that passes an enormous roller of synthetic grass on and over the body of those who want to experience the sensations this action produces. While lying on an aluminum frame, a person can experience the pleasure of rolling around in the grass, just like they used to do when they were children. The “GrassRoller”, however, is a mechanical device, and can therefore be placed indoors, where people are almost always enclosed and caged. This device creates another “reality” that obviously is quite another thing compared to a true outdoor experience, and it is precisely here that the artist’s irony lies.


Photo: Mattia Casalegno


Mattia Casalegno, with his original art project, will be present, together with other contemporary artists, at Maker Faire Rome – The European Edition 2019, the great international event dedicated to innovative technology, which will take place from 18 to 20 October at the Fiera di Roma. This year Maker Faire Rome 2019 will also host the new section MakerArt, dedicated to the relationship between art and new technologies and curated by Valentino Catricalà.


MakerArt will include installations, robotics, video art, sound art, unsettling works based on utopian concepts, innovation and – as in the case of the “GrassRoller” – bearers of reflections on our contemporaneity: advanced yes, but also contradictory.