Year: 2018
Art Direction: Studio Pitis
Editorial Design
Lightness Zine 

Lightness’ was a research based project in collaboration with Pitis e Associati. The idea was to create a magazine based on Italo Calvino’s ‘Six Memos for the Next Millennium’, by splitting the five existing memos and the sixth that was never completed into six distinct and unique mini magazines; that would eventually create a whole that ranged between many different formats and print treatments.

Having been split into groups, we were given the first chapter, ‘Lightness’.

Calvino’s first memo named ‘Lightness‘ has several meanings for him. Firstly, it is a regular practice with respect to his approach to writing itself.

I have tried to remove weight, sometimes from people, sometimes from heavenly bodies, sometimes from cities; above all, I have tried to remove weight from the structure of stories and from language”.

Secondly, it is how he tries to view the world, we can say it is a philosophical position he holds. Thirdly, he views it as a quality that is independent of the writer’s philosophical position. Lastly, he urges the coming millennium to adopt it as a way of thinking, a method to rise above the noise of life.

The task to create something light, having the same weight as what Calvino was trying to explain in his memo, was a challenge to be able to do meaningful research into the concept of Lightness and weight. Coming to the conclusion that Lightness cannot exist without weight.

Conceptually, we decided to create a list of profound or meaningful questions, we as humans, ask ourselves through the course of our lives.

The questions were:
What is the Purpose of Life?
Why do I need to eat Vegetables?
What is Love?
Why isn’t War Illegal?
How to Raise a Child?
Why do we Age?
What Happens After Death?

To add Lightness to these questions, we decided the lightest way to answer them was to ask Google.

© Tara Upadhyay 2024