“All readings are also mis-readings, re-readings, partial readings, imposed readings, and imagined readings of a text that is originally and finally never simply there. Just as the world is originally fallen apart, the text is always already enmeshed in contending practices and hopes.”
Donna J. Haraway, Simians, Cyborgs, and Women: The Reinvention of Nature

It´s a love story, but a tragic one. The project Green Diamond by artist Rachele Maistrello is an imagined archive, telling a love story of reality and fiction, of human and nature, and of a factory worker and an acrobat. Throughout her practice, Maistrello has used photography as a medium of storytelling. In her current project, photographs of the acrobat Gao Yue wearing a green full-body suit are fused with cut-outs of an oversized green diamond. The photographs are extended by videos and works on paper that build an imagined archive of the Green Diamond factory, set in the late 1990s in the outskirts of Beijing. The full archive of the Green Diamond project is accessible online with sections currently exhibited at the MAXXI.

The project describes cyborgian experiments, designed to create sensory experiences of nature. The visitor discovers the factory´s workings through conversations between the acrobat Gao Yue and factory worker Li Jian Ping. The late-nineties email communication creates a sense of historical distance, leaving the visitor comfortably wandering through the image and text documents, not wanting to question their authenticity. In the story around Gao Yue, we learn about the chip experiments. We eventually discover how these experiments not only seem to slowly weaken Gao Yue physically, but further prevent her from experiencing inter-human love. The love story of Gao Yue and Li Jian Ping does not have a happy end, just like the modernist longing to control nature.

Green Diamond was developed during research trips to Beijing. It is a reflection of its hyper-urbanity and staging of modernist futures. A feeling of utopia and dystopia, that is accelerated in China´s urban environment. In Green Diamond, nature becomes a mere projection of a feeling. For centuries, technology has been developed to alter nature or make us independent of it. After entering the age of the Anthropocene we are now faced with the consequences.  From wild-fires, floods to the current challenge of a pandemic, the destruction of natural habitat for human development demands structural change. Rachele Maistrello´s dystopian retrospective into a nature simulation lab that seemed a realistic vision of the future in the 90s, can be read as a commentary on a current ideological struggle on finding a new relationship towards nature and our planet. Using the ambiguity of photography, she creates a speculative a place that never was, but could have been, while raising the question of where we are heading.

Antonie Angerer

Insallation view, MAXXI Museum, 2021


Green Diamond is a company existed in Beijing between 1995 and mid-1999, whose headquarters were located in the Economic and Technological Development Zone on Jinghai Road. GD was a factory of highly sophisticated hi-tech technology, whose aim was the development of refined microchips in diamond powder, called "GD sensors”, capable of provoking in the human body sensations and feelings related to nature. Through a series of gestures, combined with sensors implanted in precise parts of the body and the use of virtual contact lenses and ultrasounds waves, the user of "Green Diamond" would be able to experience sensations such as the heat of the sun on their skin or feel fresh air blowing in their faces.

尽管没有任何确切证据证明绿钻公司真实存在过,从2018年起,Rachele Maistrello在李建平的帮助下,收集到了现有所有关于绿钻公司的资料,让我们得以一窥在这里发生过的事(李建平在1994至1999年间曾是绿钻工厂的一名工人)。

Since 2018, Rachele Maistrello, thanks to Li JianPing (李建平), who was employed in the factory between 1994 and 1999, has worked to collect allavailable documents to reconstruct what happen in this company, although is still impossible to find any final proof to its existence.


Between 1998 and 1999, the company employed Gao Yue (高跃), one of the most promising acrobats of the school of acrobatic art in Beijing, which had the task of testing thesensors and working on the new “Green Diamond” gestures- For about nine months, Gao Yue and Li JianPing had a relationship, which resulted in Li JianPing collecting most of their conversations and a bigger number of documents from Gao Yue’s working process.


When Li JianPing left the company, all company emails and all kinds of web documents were immediately deleted, both online and on his computer. Li JianPing, however, had kept several printed mails, videos and photographs to build a small book for Gao Yue to commemorate their first anniversiary, which became the foundation for the research into the history of Green Diamond.  Thanks to a recent reevaluation of the documents, Li JianPing's archive is now available to the public.

Rachele Maistrello 首度在I: project space 呈现李建平个人档案中的原件,其中包括这些图像和纸质资料。绿钻网站(the "Green Diamond website")上有李建平最具有代表性影像以及一系列由原材料复原的图形设计壁纸。一些影像和复原后的“绿钻”标语是在伯纳德控制设备公司(Bernard Control Factory)员工的帮助下完成的。这是一家位于静海路的公司,它离绿钻公司原来的总部很近。“绿钻姿势”的复原也得益于伯纳德公司现任员工伍淑清的帮助。

Rachele Maistrello presents at I: project space for the first time a series of original documents from Li Jian Ping's personal archive (analogue photographs, paper documents).  The "Green Diamond website" contains a rich collection of Li JianPing's most significant videos and a series of “graphics design wallpaper” reconstructed from the original materials.


Some videos and there construction of the "Green Diamond" slogans have been reconstructed in collaboration with the workers of Bernard Control Factory, a company located in Jinghai Road, not far from the original headquarters of Green Diamond Factory. The recreation of the "Green Diamond gestures" have been possible through the efforts of Wu Shuqing, a current emplyee of Bernard Control Factory.

如果你有更多关于“绿钻工厂”的信息和材料,请联系RacheleMaistrello,李建平和I: project space.

If anyone has further information or materials they want to share about the "Green Diamond Factory", please reach out to Rachele Maistrello, Li JianPing or write to I: project space.

the project involved Bernard Control,
Social Sensitivity R&D Department 
founded by Alessandro Rolandi

Insallation view, MAXXI Museum, 2021 
detail of Green Diamond website