Exchanges and integrations between digital and analogue in contemporary art
Davide Giannella talks about the ULTRADIM program, presented as part of the Triennale Estate program schedule, of which he is the curator. A reconstruction of the development path of a project that aims to explore the relationship between the digital and analogical dimensions of the artistic production.
Alterazioni Video, Calm before the storm
In the field of artistic and cultural production, for some time now, the question has been raised as to what the new exhibition and use formats could be, such as the systems for cultivating and conveying increasingly large audiences to institutions, galleries, independent spaces, theatres, cinemas and every possible place delegated, until a few months ago, to the production and transmission of contents. The closure of these spaces in the peak phase of the pandemic and the progressive reopening that is taking place, have inevitably accelerated and radicalised these needs for re-interpretation.
During the lockdown period, a primary and somewhat hysterical reaction led many to espouse the theory that any type of content - regardless of the expressive language taken into consideration and the type of narrative conveyed - would be saved by its direct and unmediated digital transposition. For some aspects a solution that could be shared, especially in a moment of emergency and with the main intention of safeguarding and disseminating content that is still at risk of extinction. However, such an approach does not take into account several fundamental aspects of the production and enjoyment of an artistic experience and the intrinsic relational nature of each work. Actually attending a museum, a theatre, a cinema or a concert, allows us to live a complete sensorial experience, respecting the intentions of the authors who conceived the works, amplifying their meaning and scope through the interpretations of individuals and, finally, the sharing of impressions and points of view within the audience itself. A system that, starting from the artists and the works they conceive, involves (in public space and time), audience, operators and structures. Entire communities of interest grow around shared narratives and values that still feed and enhance, through their participation, culture in all its forms.
Equally, it would be short-sighted not to consider the enormous possibilities of experimentation and diffusion in the artistic field offered today by new technologies. Works that already exist or are in the process of being formulated, conceived and born in digital format, deserve extreme attention and respect, precisely because they do not lose their essence but express themselves from within and through a different dimension and can generate as many new systems of meaning.
Invernomuto, Black Med Chapter V
It is therefore inevitable to raise a series of questions, both on a theoretical and practical level. How can we return to a public and collective dimension of artistic experience? How can we share it? How can we be directly involved in it? How to overcome the coldness and flatness of digital platforms? How can we safeguard artists and projects? ULTRADIM was born as a consequence of these questions with the intention, rather than giving answers, to generate propositions on the subject: a platform for research and comparison around the relationships and interweaving between digital and analogical dimensions, attempts to integrate organic and inorganic experience, between technological and artistic experimentation, between the density of space/time and the rarefaction of data.
This investigation was started last June 19th in the garden of Triennale Milano by a meeting chaired by Carlo Antonelli, Vittoria De Franchis, Alberto "Gabber Eleganza”, Guerrini and Emanuele Zagor Treppiedi around the theme of music and dance before and after the pandemic, an exchange on the costumes and uses of music, from dances to concerts on Fortnite to festivals on Twitch.
It continued on June 22nd with a live-cine-performance conceived exclusively for Triennale Milano by Alterazioni Video in collaboration with No-Text. The Palazzo dell'Arte became for a few hours the film set for a film shot and streamed via Zoom from five different locations around the world and offered to the public on a large screen in the garden. A way to reconsider the museum's current role and to revisit places that are momentarily uninhabitable, as well as an experimentation of new potentials of common technologies in the artistic field. On July 6 the musical group Casino Royale, together with the director Pepsy Romanoff, presented a film conceived and built during the lockdown: an original sound track distributed to different authors to be re-read and reinterpreted in total autonomy constitutes the musical framework of a complex body held together by images edited in parallel by the director. A reflection on distances, the propensity for collaboration and collective works.
Invernomuto, Black Med Chapter V
With Invernomuto, on July 9, we discussed their latest work, still in progress, Black Med Chapter 5, a research started during Manifesta 15 around sounds and music generated in the Mediterranean basin. A research that has led to the identification of multiple points of cultural contact between different populations and cultures and should be systematized and stored in a digital platform managed by a specifically developed algorithm. The last meeting before the summer break has instead seen Riccardo Benassi as the protagonist, who has implemented an unprecedented hybridisation between the formats of performance, lectures and book presentations. In live streaming from Berlin, for about an hour Benassi entertained the audience interpreting some writings and sweetening the standard format of Zoom through video and digital elaborations.
Reflections and artistic gestures that can help to reformulate everyone's vision of the complexity and fragility of the contemporary. Tools for the formulation of a new dimension, neither purely analogical nor purely digital, rather a virtuous and conscious synthesis of the two parts, an amplified dimension: ULTRADIM.