omaggio a Nikola Tesla

l i g h t n i n g   p o e m
  lightning poem  
  about Nikola Tesla  

In their text Anti-Oedipe Deleuze and Guattary choose the “schizo” as the hero of our modernity. The schizo is totally free from the logic rooted in our social sense and from the logic of demand and supply.

Here is Don Quijote. Here is Nikola Tesla.

But with a flash of lightning in his hand.


In 1898 at Colorado Spring, Tesla is able to tune up the so-called Magnifying Transformer: the idea, which he would realised fully later, was to build a transmitter of waves that he called stationary. These waves were able to transmit signals through the earth and reach the other extremity of the globe. That it to say that it was possible to transmit wireless electric power.

Tesla moved to Colorado Springs and started working. Inexplicable things were taking place in the neighbourhood…strange electric discharges: if one walked around the area, sparks would shoot out of the earth and go through the soles of one’s shoes to come up one’s feet. One day there was a boy who took a screwdriver and put it near a fire extinguisher and a four-inch spark came out from the pump.!* Sometimes the grass near the laboratory was so electrical to provoke a corona effect: they call it “St Elmo's fires”*! But people did not know that it was only a child's play! The man of the laboratory was simply tuning up his instrument in order to prepare himself to make one of the strongest experiment of all time of that experiment. Thanks to that very idea he was able to break the world record for the longest flash of lightning never produced by a man: 42-meter long, (130 feet) . . . yet, it was of no importance!

The theatre usually first phagocytes and then discharges to adventure on new creations. But Nikola Tesla told us: “stop”, and we stopped, or rather we kept on deepening and defining what emerged forcefully from him. An almost childish desire for the waiting and for the suspension that fill us when we are in front of the “wonderful” thing, of thaumatos

"magnificent, a wonderful vision, an awful display, glorious, so wonderful that somebody could fear to speak . . .".

His inventions caused a sense of estrangement; he fought against identification: “Then I observed to my delight that I could visualise with the greatest facility. I needed no models, drawings or experiments. I could picture them all as real in my mind. The moment one constructs a device to carry into practice a crude idea, he finds himself unavoidably engrossed with the details of the apparatus. As he goes on improving and reconstructing, his force of concentration diminishes and he loses sight of the great underlying principle. My method is different. I do not rush into actual work. When I get an idea, I start at once building it up in my imagination. I change the construction, make improvements and operate the device in my mind. It is absolutely the same to me whether I run my turbine in thought or test it in my shop. There is no difference whatever; the results are the same. In twenty years there has not been a single exception.”

His astonishment had nothing to do with the enchantment,  on the contrary it transformed the ordinary into something extraordinary. His astonishment had never been just bare stupor because it was always an answer. To us the exceptionality of this figure is that Tesla always preferred the ethic to the invention and to the technological achievement. In this world subjected to the logic of trade and to the return of the investment, Nikola Tesla, right from the top of his 1000 patents, is one of the few figures, probably the only one, that chose to act, in a strictly technological field, toward a direction that would have made him realise only apparatus bound to improve the living conditions of man.

Nikola Tesla’s story begins in 1856, when, on the stroke of midnight between the 9th and the 10th of July, in a little Croatian village of Smiljan at the Rev. Milutin and his wife Djouka’s house a son was born. And it ends on the 7th of January, in 1943, in New York. In a room of an hotel. Alone.

The day after the FBI affixed the seals Top Secret. Nothing would have changed for the following 40 years.

Tesla used to tell to his assistants:

 - A new idea must not be judged from its direct results. -he light of our current knowledge we would have liked to meet him a long time ago. Actually it was a casual meeting. For w

In 1999 we were preparing our work “Eva Futura” (Future Eve) based on the novel of the same title by the French writer August Villier de l’Isle Adam. The main character of this novel is Edison. It is very well-known in the United States, and in Europe the fame of the magician Menlo Park was connected mainly with Edison’s incandescent lamp. In Villier’s novel Edison is the inventor of an android, a kind of electromechanical clone of the beautiful Alicia. Again our approach to the novel was not due to mere scientific technical interests, in fact, Villiers uses the metaphor of the clone, which will replace the true Alicia, to take the reflection on the honesty of human relations to extremes. According to our custom we brought our examination of the novel to a parallel and deep study. On the one hand we studied the scientific aspect of interpersonal relations, by examining the figure of the hysteria; on the other hand we investigated the main figure of the novel: Edison.

Tesla came out of these researches. Almost from nothing. Why?


To us, up to then, "tesla" was just the unity of measure for an electric size.

Our study of Edison led us up to research into what has been called “The Wars of the Currents” in The United States, a kind of battle that set up Edison’s direct current against a “certain” Tesla’s alternating current. We began a parallel study on that figure. We found out that in 1943 the Supreme Court of the United States revoked the invention patent of the radio to Marconi to grant it to Nikola Tesla. The plate of the first hydroelectric power station in the world at the Niagara Falls says that seven out of nine patents belonged to Nikola Tesla. The invention paten of the first alternating current engine belonged to Nikola Tesla. At Colorado Spring in 1899 Nikola Tesla was able to generate about a 200-metre long flash of lightning.

That flash of lighting struck us too.

If Nikola Tesla had been only what we have just told above, why is there no sign of him? Here it begins our adventure in search of Nikola Tesla. And then “the problem of increasing human energy” appeared us  on the horizon, an extraordinary piece of writing that foretold prophetically all the problems that are still affecting humanity.

Then from his autobiography came out a remarkable tale: a life story so full of extraordinary events that anybody cannot help thinking it deserves eternal and wide recognition; yet it is also the tale of the conscious and evil suppression from those who had a precise interest in relegating Tesla’s name and memory to the scrap of history. In the light of the knowledge of his life, of his cognitive approaches, of his faith in the constant progress of humanity and his faith in the very man, we may well say that Nikola Tesla was a great man. And it is undoubtedly true that he was a man of science and invention, as well as the ascent of Everest cannot be simply described as the ascent of an high mountain.

Nikola Tesla was a revolutionary in the full sense of the word.

“Tesla wants to leave nothing but Tesla: no sons in perennial safe keeping or under an illusory protection – but philosophical subjects truly alone – that is to say that they are bound to think everyone for himself.

“The progressive development of man is vitally dependent on invention. It is the most important product of his creative brain. Its ultimate purpose is the complete mastery of mind over the material world, the harnessing of the forces of nature to human needs.

This is the difficult task of the inventor who is often misunderstood and unrewarded. But he finds ample compensation in the pleasing exercises of his powers and in the knowledge of being one of that exceptionally privileged class without whom the race would have long ago perished in the bitter struggle against pitiless elements.

Speaking for myself, I have already had more than my full measure of this exquisite enjoyment; so much, that for many years my life was little short of continuous rapture. I am credited with being one of the hardest workers and perhaps I am, if thought is the equivalent of labour, for I have devoted to it almost all of my waking hours.

But if work is interpreted to be a definite performance in a specified time according to a rigid rule, then I may be the worst of idlers.

Every effort under compulsion demands a sacrifice of life-energy. I never paid such a price. On the contrary, I have thrived on my thoughts.”


con: Eleonora Sedioli, Catia Gatelli, Lorenzo Bazzocchi

sound: Toxine
 video: Toxine
Architetture sceniche: Lorenzo Bazzocchi, Eleonora Sedioli

Tesla coil: Lorenzo Bazzocchi

tecnica: Andrea Basti, Manuela Savioli
organizzazione e cura: Catia Gatelli

regia: Lorenzo Bazzocchi

una produzione masque

Con il contributo di: Provincia di Forlì, Regione Emilia-Romagna, Ministero per i Beni e le Attività Culturali