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Contemporary Italian Artists and New Media: roots, new approaches and new prospective
Since the Post-war period, Italian artists have experimented new media and technologies with a challenging approach. This experimentation has stayed for a long period out of mainstream museums and institutions with few notable exceptions. Lately this is progressively changing as public cultural institutions and academia are opening their doors to new media art. Today several young Italian artists are facing the challenge of new media with different approaches and sensibilities by way of testing and experimenting new technologies and devices, social media and Internet. Starting from a definition of “new media arts”, our paper will make a chronology of Italian media art from its beginnings to today, to problematize how Italian artists pioneered media art and, in particular, Video Art, Sound Art, Computer Art, Satellite Art. Our analysis will include seminal early examples, as well as selected case studies from the Italian Contemporary New Media Art Scene including: Lucio Fontana’s broadcast at RAI in 1952, Filippo Panseca ‘s Experiment of Satellite Art (1975) with Pierre Restany, Pietro Grossi’s Mixed Paganini, (1967), Mario Martone’s Tango Glaciale (1982), Ida Gerosa’s,experiments with Computer Art in the 80s, and artworks by Alterazioni Video, Luca Maria Patella, Studio Azzurro, Donato Piccolo, Micol Assael, Rosa Barba, Iocose, Salvatore Iaconesi and Oriana Persico, Eva and Franco Mattes. Our paper aim to trace some tendencies and threads in early artists’ experiments with new media discuss their legacy uncovered in today’s artists’ experimentation with media. This new research for a chronology of new media art in Italy was prompted by the Chronology of Video Art in Italy (1952-1992) (2012-2015), researched by Leuzzi and Catricalà during the AHRC funded project REWINDItalia (DJCAD, University of Dundee).