It has been a year since we started to think, sometimes to even believe, that nothing would return as it was. During this year of pandemic, we have mostly questioned ourselves about the future of the arts, of entertainment, and culture. To some the pandemic has been a time to expand their borders, finding alternative ways to escape their life margins, beyond geography. Never as much as in this past year we have fed our addiction to social network. While a friend told me, full of enthusiasm, how his commitment not to re-download the Instagram app lasted for more than three months, I couldn’t stop to surrender to the gravity force of the explorative vortex.
Yehwansong, The way we touch each other in 2020
Those sharing my same obsession for walking miles along the blue line up to the end of unknown roads on Street View can understand. Among the many things discovered feature, above all, the new generations of artists and intellectuals of the post-digital era. So, I began a collecting job, mapping styles, creating compilations of references and visions to suggest questions on the directions of the arts in this new era.
What elements of the “experience” era could we combine in order to create new languages? Can new mental associations rewrite the future of all those practices that have been subtracted to us? Can digital art go beyond the material confines of an object, reproducing sensations like tactility, or the memories of a scent? Can it be an arena for new cognitive experiences playing with colours, surfaces, organic and synthetic materials?
Four international artists and an Italian collective tell us their vision and artistic practice. Not all the images and projects have been made in this recent period of time, however they represent ideals, values and utopic answers to pressing contemporary necessities. Often, the works are reflections on the theme of everyday life but are inserted into a dystopic narration inhabiting a different dimension.
Questions on the future of the interaction between man and technology are central to these works, like in the case of Aaron Sheer, or of Australian artist law-degree, whose opuses are exhibited or sold in virtual galleries in the form of NFT. In other cases, they are conceived like proper voyages in the universe of the user experience, where even the screen’s touch function is a form of metalanguage allowing us to reach each other like Yehwan Song does. While some artists prefer to create digital works starting from a tangible hardware, like Andreas Gysin and Sidi Vanetti, others, like Matthew Stone for instance, display a digital nature rooted in analogic processes like writing, pictorial and graphic experimentations. However, their works can be modified or amplified through our knowledge of the world via new virtual connections, similarly to what the artists and intellectuals involved in Progetto Vicinanze – Altrove do.
In a still uncertain moment, where technology represents one of the main sites of affirmation for artists, perhaps there is hope that in the future new scenarios could contribute to change the course of dramatic events, interrupting the mankind’s habit to repeat history.