and, starting from Roberta and Katerina:
I have been thinking about cultural heritage as a problematic term. I
> completely agree with her. we can think of cultural heritage as a mummified
> item, but we can also think of it as something dynamic, constantly
> changing, crisscrossed by all sorts of odd, subtle and definitely
> oppressive relations of power, and definitely multilayered.
> She is right when she mentions the implication of cultural heritage and
> the political.
> However, I also have other items in mind. for instance, how do we define
> cultural heritage? what stands for it? and who gets to call it cultural
> very briefly: when I think of cultural heritage, I don't necessarily think
> of big monuments and landmarks. by themselves, those are, to say it
> bluntly, pieces of stone. what makes them monuments though is the fact that
> there is an entire city living in their proximity, and a bunch of people
> assigning significance to them. this significance can be historical,
> geographical, but also very personal. [...]
I could not agree more!
And this direction is very linked to the other one which we were embracing
on the topic, related with transgression, desire and imagination (public,
private, intimate, etc).
For example, aiming at creating platforms for dealing with these
"transgressive" versions of Cutural Heritage, when we created the Real Time
Museum of the City in Sao Paulo, capturing the myriads of micro-histories
of the city through massive social network data capturing processes, we
also created an Emotional Compass.
If you want to know more you can read a short discussion here:
(and more documentation is available on this book:
http://www.springer.com/it/book/9783319434025 and we'll put more online
The objective of the Emotional Compass was to be able to recognize
*Emotional Landmarks* in cities.
These can be described as those locations in which, for different
socio-cultural groups, at certain specific times, conditions and contexts,
a certain pattern of emotional expression takes place systematically.
For example, an office building, on friday late afternoon, may be the
emotional landmark associated to extreme happiness for all the office
employees. But, at the same time, could be a boring, hated place by the
ones who do the cleaning, as they would be only starting their work while
everyone is having fun.
In longer version of the study, for example in the book, we investigate how
understanding these and other "different" types of landmarks can bring to
interesting, useful new definitions of Landmarks and of Cultural Heritage,
which are networked, emotional, relational, ecosystemic, and which can be
used performatively, to generate new liveliness and civic imagination.
For example, this is what we do when we say that we do Digital Urban
Acupuncture (DUA): understand the flows and densities of data, information,
knowledge and communication to gain understandings of the city which are
similar to the ones which an acupuncturer would have, and then turning
these understandings and insights open source, so that a variety of
different actors (including citizens, artists, desgners, researchers,
policy makers, kids, elderly..) can use them to design and enact their
performance of the city.
> I will be visiting Athens in the next few weeks (talking about political
> and economic forces ...after all the polemics, I will be checking out
> Documenta) and Venice (mmmmm…Biennale, and the big boats in the luna, and
> the environmental threat coming from the sea etc…) and I bet lots can be
> said about these two places alone.
exactly. from a DUA point of view, for example, these large events would
take a completely different form, as they would be made by first setting up
ways to observe a relational ecosystem (for example, in case of Documenta,
of the city, of its artists, of the artists which traverse it or the topics
that matter for it; or as in the case for Milan's Expo: teh relational
ecosystem of agriculture operators, for example), understand its models,
variations, differences, dynamics, and then implementing a series of
interventions in which all stakeholders appropriate this knowledge to
perform the city, to transform it.
The institution becomes a platform for imagination, expression and
*[**MUTATION**]* *Art is Open Source *- http://www.artisopensource.net
*[**CITIES**]* *Human Ecosystems Relazioni* - http://he-r.i
*[**NEAR FUTURE DESIGN**]* *Nefula Ltd* - http://www.nefula.com
*[**RIGHTS**]* *Ubiquitous Commons *- http://www.ubiquitouscommons.org
Professor of Near Future and Transmedia Design at ISIA Design Florence:
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