Published on Friday, December 17, 2010
Theatre plays controlled by the audience through a joystick (Best Before
by Rimini Protokoll
, seen in Torino on October 26th running within Prospettiva 2)
, concerts played with Nintendo wiimote
by Francis Faber
) or iPhone (Meg
and his live concert played with the Apple mobile phone), digital books (Grammatron
by Mark Amerika
) that interact with a mouse click, works of art directly realised in digital format (drawings for iPad made by Valerio Berruti
or Andrea Contin
Perhaps we finally have it: creativity is starting to take full advantage of the new millennium technological possibilities. Sure, it’s been decades since art has become interactive, but artists of the calibre of Myron Krüger, Jeffrey Shaw, Masaki Fujihata, Lynn Hershman
or Italians Piero Gilardi
and Studio Azzurro
have always been isolated "phenomenon". Labelled as pioneers because they were the only innovators in an environment still perceived as "traditionalist" in many ways.
Only today, therefore, technology seems to be ready to substitute the technique. Larry Shiner, in a beautiful book entitled The Invention of Art,
recalls how the term ' artist ' has for centuries gathered together under the same name painters, musicians, writers, architects, but also carpenters, blacksmiths, farriers. The word ' art ' was more of a technical skill (in ancient Greek, in fact, it was called techne
). It is only in the eighteenth century, with the birth of aesthetic theories, that the artist started to be differentiated from the craftsman, passing, writes Shiner, "from a vision of art as a construction that lasted for two thousand years to a new idea of art as creation"
. With modern technology, the artists’ independence from technical skills has become even greater. There is a middle way, a very interesting one, which sees technology as an addition to the expressive possibilities rather than a means of replacement for technical skills.
That is Valerio Berruti’s thinking. On the occasion of his recent solo exhibition at Fondazione Stelline in Milan, he has submitted the application for iPad, a free download from iTunes, that contains images, texts, multimedia, e-book catalogues and the soundtrack of the show conceived by K-Conjog
, also including a series of fingers made drawings on the Apple tablet
thanks to the Brushes program. "It was very strange to begin with"
says the artist. "I love technology, but I have always worked with artisanal techniques
. The great thing about Brushes is the back-stage showing; at the completion of the drawing there’s a movie telling about the genesis of the work. I always wondered how great artists draw and I'd love to see where they correct and change. Certainly each illustration has its pros and cons, one has to learn to distinguish and use the media without being enslaved by it. In short, technology is a means and not an end
". Other than introducing new creative possibilities, particularly technology within everyone's reach, it can change the way to enjoy art. In Paolo Mele’s opinion, founder of MakeApp - tink tank created by agencies: Turin Adfarmandchicas, E-Gate and Giň Minola who made Valerio Berruti’s application - : "We needed something that gave a new impetus to the art publishing and especially to the use of contemporary art. This is the first real attempt to exceed the limits of the paper, which, especially in certain fields of art, has represented a closed cage. The possibilities are endless: a show can be re-lived in your own room or you can assist the exploration on the spot of the show with a new type of guide that gives you access to extra content, details on opera, enlargements, three-dimensional rotations. In addition there are also original works created directly on the iPad
But if the numeric figures on iPhone and iPad sales are reassuring (Apple expects to sell eight million tablets in 2010, 50 millions in 2014), it is equally true that we are in Italy, a country where, despite the high number of mobile phones, connectivity is still poor (we are the latest among the G8 countries), and it’s even worst if we consider the cultural experience. "Of course, if we look at many of the data, not only on art and culture, the first idea would be to jump on the first plane and leave" tell us Guido Tabbia and Daniele Amadeo, developer and art director of Make App. "If we were to live in Silicon Valley, life would have been easier, but we like challenges. We have this ambition: we want to provide the public with cultural content on new media that could be one of the keys to stimulate and intrigue a new audience receiving art and interacting with it