as I understand, your main question in your picturesque account is:
*"What directions, methods and tools can we use to propose the
Mediterranean versions of "innovation", "impact" and "value" and, at the
same time, bring up those new sensibilities which are needed to make it
perceivable, comprehensible and adoptable?" *
Your immediate answer that follows captivates my imagination:
*"Going beyond current approaches towards arts and science collaborations
and promoting art as a platform to get sciences out of laboratories and
into crowded, narrow streets, with smell of spices, kids running lively
with creativity, elderly sitting in chairs outside, transgressive traders
conspiring in whispers, robots carrying some inscrutable package along the
road, shops like holes in walls along the market hyperconnected to
resources around the globe to enact trade, professionals eating under
roasted seafood under umbrella kiosks, served by bots driven by artificial
intelligences, and asking them professional advice and tasks, while they
When you thicken the plot with transgressive traders your spicy vision of
the future takes me to Neuromancer scenes from Chiba City – only now I'm
supposedly in your "Strait Metropolitan Municipality" and certain parallels
are difficult to imagine. And this difficulty might be a clue to what you
try to define as "*Mediterranean versions of innovation." *Why is sci-fi
narrative so frequently set in Asian and not in Mediterranean narrow
streets? Of course, a lot of it has to do with generalization of cultures.
William Gibson allegedly never visited Chiba City in order to write
Neuromancer, yet we go along with his imagination of the "Asian flavor."
Italian sci-fi set in the "Strait Metropolitan Municipality" might also
appeal to the reader as an all Mediterranean flavor - Italian cuisine is
after all the most popular template for preconception about "Mediterranean
cuisine." Whether written by an insider or an outsider, the account will
always give a partial view. That is why I see necessity for expanding our
view with more than accounts conjured within human neural nets, to uncover
the neglected aspects, to discover new patterns, etc.
To return to more preconceptions of Mediterranean vs. Asian version of
innovation: imagine a nostalgic Mediterranean tourist visiting some rapidly
urbanized landscape in Asia, surprised by the scarcity of nostalgia there –
encountering population that was able to progress immensely in incredibly
short period of time, displacing its long lasting traditions like a faint
memory, like a memory on a floppy disc that became useless and incompatible
with the new tech culture overnight. As if lack of nostalgia provides
conditions for progress …
The question thus turns into: how can innovation and heritage coexist and
grow out of their interdependency rather than impede each other?
Preservation will not suffice, we will need to establish a dialogue with
our creations, consider the viewpoint of art and technology itself –
technology is observing us closely and it seems like soon enough digital
neural networks will know more about us than we do. How do we incorporate,
interbreed the experiences of the heritage of inventions with the
innovations yet to come?
On Thu, May 18, 2017 at 4:26 PM, xDxD.vs.xDxD <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Dear Yasminers
> thank you Pier Luigi, Roger and Nina for having me and Oriana in this
> It is very important for us and we hope that it will turn out into new
> ideas for active collaboration involving multiple people on the list.
> I'm particularly happy because I feel like I have just emerged from the
> scenario introduced by Pier Luigi in the concept of this conversation.
> We have just returned from Messina and Reggio Calabria, from what turned
> out to be a mini-festival for La Cura, the Open Source Cure for Cancer
> which we started in 2012 when I was diagnosed with Brain Cancer: a global,
> participatory performance which used medical data to unveil new possible,
> potential scenarios for disease. Drawing inspiration from Franco Basaglia:
> how can we make the cure an ubiquitous, open, participatory performance?
> This is what we started in 2012, and around 2 millions of people responded,
> hundreds of artworks were produced, millions and millions of messages,
> almost a hundred scientific publications were produced by interdisciplinary
> teams, and thousands of actions. A book came out, and since its publication
> La Cura has become a transdisciplinary education program.
> But let's get back to Messina and Reggio Calabria, the "Stretto", the
> The Strait is an incredible place: it is a fundamental location in
> mythology, it has had an enormous importance in history, and in the history
> of commerce and trade in the Mediterranean, it is a location of infinite
> marine and coastal biodiversity, it is one of the most convenient places in
> the world in which it is possible to study abyssal fishes and plants, it
> unites the municipalities of Messina and Reggio Calabria, unites the
> continent to the islands, it separates two seas. It hosts misteries,
> legends, crimes, optical phenomena like the Fata Morgana, and more.
> It was a fundamental location for Greeks, Romans, Arabs, Spanish, Normans.
> And, recently, for Fascists, Axis, Allies, NATO.
> It is currently one of the sites in which migrants from northern Africa are
> distributed across Italy and abroad.
> Everyone wanted and wants the Strait.
> The Strait constitutes the Metropolitan Municipality of Reggio Calabria and
> Messina. Meaning that, as "Strait", the two cities constitute a single
> metropolitan city.
> This is clear if you analyze the life of the two cities. The ferry boats
> are like a bridge without the bridge: people go to the university across
> the strait; they cross over for shopping or for an Arancino or Granita; the
> ferries at office times are crowded like a subway (and, for residents and
> students, they cost like a subway). When you did not want to go to school
> and you didn't want to tell your parents, you hopped onto the ferry boat
> and went to the other side, so that you would not be seen, but, still, in
> your city. It is a urban experience which is very rich, peculiar and
> In this scenario, two different organizations set up an initiative for La
> Cura: Technè Contemporary Art Gallery in Reggio Calabria and COSPECS, the
> Department for Cognitive, Psycological and Pedagogical Sciences of the
> University of Messina.
> I don't want, here, to transform this message into an advertisement about
> the events (if you want to know more you are welcome to ask or you can look
> here: http://la-cura.it/2017/05/12/la-cura-sullo-stretto/ , but it's in
> Italian ).
> What I wanted to focus on are the modalities in which the whole initiative
> emerged, to highlight why we feel it as significant (in general and for the
> current discussion), and to open up a couple of questions.
> First of all: how.
> The initiatives originated from relational networks which are anything but
> ordinary. If you were to draw the network which brought to the organization
> of these events you would find journalists, academics, cousins, researcher,
> artists, friends, relatives, activists, psychiatrists, nurses, hospitals,
> All organized in complex, organic, ecosystemic, emergent organization
> models in which the university is not separated from cities and from their
> communities, clans, families.
> If you know something about these cultures, you won't have any problem
> imagining this kind of scenario.
> Families, social groups, clans, cities and, in general, relational networks
> and ecosystems are very complex concepts here: both in their traditional
> forms and in their contemporary, technologically driven evolutions.
> South Italy's traditional families are numerous, organic, full of a variety
> of branches. If you call someone "cousin", for example, it does not
> necessarily mean that they're your cousin (but, rather, somewhat related to
> your "clan", which can span entire villages, or continents). And they have
> radically evolved through and across technologies, with multiple
> innovations (both technological and organizational) to account for digital
> inclusion (for example of the elderly), welfare, sociality, loneliness,
> separation: a complex mix of email, social networks, whatsapps, and someone
> taking the time to running two blocks in the city to scream from a window
> that someone else's son has written on whatsapp that they arrived safely
> home from the train.
> Similar evolutions are seen also by other forms of contemporary family, by
> younger generations in general. Those with exceptional unemployment rates;
> sometimes living at home (in Calabria and Sicily, where it is not unusual
> that the family adds/builds an additional floor on the family home, even
> "illegally", to host the "family" of their sons and daughters, whichever
> its form); most of the times emigrating; sometimes aiming at forms of
> And, looking from higher above, all of these relations infiltrate cities,
> making it really complex to define the boundaries of families and clans and
> departments and neighborhoods and so on.
> In these scenarios, it is really difficult to be "alone", or isolated. Even
> at the fringes, multiple forms of welfare and connected solidarity exist
> which are unthinkable in other, even apparently more advanced, cities;
> which are beyond social services and, rather, refer to different
> understandings of social living.
> Which is, of course, a very interesting scenario for La Cura: one in which
> caring, and inclusion, and presence is not something which is the object of
> consumption – something which you purchase or have "administratively" (like
> social services) or economically –, but, rather, a sort of emergent,
> participatory performance which has, on the one hand, a character of
> creative chaos (and, thus, resilience), while, on the other hand, a
> character of sweetness, irony and organic beauty which one has no problem
> in recognizing as art, theater, performance.
> The events which constituted this mini festival ("La Cura sullo Stretto"),
> thus, were organized in this completely relational way.
> The results were amazing. Not only a whole gallery and an entire university
> department were dedicated to the events, but they collected the energies,
> intelligences and resources of multiple intellectuals, activists,
> researchers, professionals, artists, across disciplines and approaches.
> But there's more. This joyful chaos that I described also had the effect of
> eliminating barriers between gallery, university and city. Grandmothers,
> children, passers-by, and relatives which were summoned by other relatives,
> people from other cities, different departments joined in workshops and
> discussions, comments from students and citizens alike. It was like a
> market, an open air fair in the city, in which serious discussion at the
> level of excellence in science and theoretical approaches (for example the
> COSPECS department at the Uni of Messina is one of the most meaningful
> voices in Cognitive Sciences in Italy, and they engaged theBioethics Dept,
> which also hosts some among the principal membrs of the Bioethics Committee
> in Italy, and the Departments of Arts, Psychology, Psychiatry, and more)
> were intertwined with the life of the city, with elderly who had a chance
> not only to be in company byt also to explore how technologies and networks
> could contribute to avoiding loneliness and separation, with ordinary
> citizens, students and more.
> For us (and for the University, the Gallery and everyone involved) it was
> an incredible experience, in which scientific excellence, beauty, tears of
> commotion, workshops, food, granitas, and civic action all came together to
> create an experience which was transformative for multiple people.
> All facilitated and catalyzed by art, design and creativity.
> All activated through the beautiful, noisy, live relations that are typical
> of the cultures on this side of the mediterranean, methodologically.
> There would be millions of other things to say about this.
> What I would like to focus on is the model. That is: what kind of
> innovation and development model this would correspond to.
> Because, it must be said, the ways in which innovation and development are
> measured in "standard" ways (the ones which are useful for obtaining EU
> grants, for example, or with Ministries or Banking Foundations to obtain
> funds) would be able to capture only a minimal part of the impacts and
> effects which an action such as this one brings to the ecosystem of the
> A quantitative analysis and, even more, the localized (spatially and
> temporally) quantitative analysis which is the standard to construct the
> indicators which are necessary to detail if you want to access, say,
> Horizon2020 or other funding opportunities, would be able to capture and
> represent only a minimal part of the impacts brought on by an happening
> such as this one.
> Furthermore, these indicators correspond to a very precise conceptual model
> for the definition of "impacts" and "effects".
> Instead, from what I described above, indicators which are networked,
> emotional, relational, generative (meaning: observing the capacity to
> generate X) would be needed.
> And, thus, a different definition of "impact" and "value" would be needed,
> as well.
> In more than one way, the Mediterranean is and has been a model for these
> kinds of definitions. Always a crossroad for trade, migrations, art and
> war, it is a sort of internet before the internet: a network of networks,
> creating a condition of ante-literam hyperconnectivity. The Mediterranean
> as a hypertext: Ulysses comes back transformed only after having travelled,
> surfed, link after link.
> And, as recognized by Giampaolo Fabris in his Societing, by Cova, Carù and
> Dalli with their Mediterranean Marketing, and by Giordano and Arvidsson
> with the update and partial reset they have brought to both concept through
> Netnography, these times are particularly fit for enactment of new models
> of this kind. The epoch of transition; knowledge as main productive factor;
> postmodernity as economy of postindustry; new social, semiotic,
> antropologic value of consumism; new social aggregation around consumption;
> shift from transition to relation; user as partner and committent; death of
> mass marketing; social dimensions of marketing; from marketing to
> societing. These characteristics which Fabris points out, are then used by
> Cova, Giordano and Arvidsson to frame a new dimension of markets and, thus,
> of value and of the processes which are needed to construct it.
> This is evident in Matvejević's "Breviario", where the names of objects and
> things transform from interaction to interaction, across the Mediterranean
> sea. In the book "the mediterranean is not only a geography. Its boundaries
> are not defined neitherin space nor in tim. We don't know how to determine
> them, and in what way: they are incapable of being reduced to sovranity or
> history, they are not state nor nation. […] Europe was conceived on the
> Mediterranean." The word "Mediterranean" itself is a transdisciplinary
> travel in history and across ports, lighthoues, cultures, religions and
> arts, resisting and adapting through languages and jargons, and resisting
> to encounters and wars.
> Going back to the event where I started this narration, and on the value
> which it might represent, and on the methods and tools needed to "measure"
> (in lack of a better word) its impacts and effects, to communicate them, to
> make them more accessible and, in the mantime, to describe-by-performance
> new types of innovation: more gentle, inclusive, desiring, cooperative,
> aiming at coexistence, not consensus.
> This is a great, important question in our practice, every day: what
> directions, methods and tools can we use to propose the mediterranean
> versions of "innovation", "impact" and "value" and, at the same time, bring
> up those new sensibilities which are needed to make it perceivable,
> comprehensible and adoptable?
> A sincere alliance between arts, sciences and technologies would seem a
> great, positive solution to this kind of question. Going beyond current
> approaches towards arts and science collaborations and promoting art as a
> platform to get sciences out of laboratories and into crowded, narrow
> streets, with smell of spices, kids running lively with creativity, elderly
> sitting in chairs outside, transgressive traders conspiring in whispers,
> robots carrying some inscrutable package along the road, shops like holes
> in walls along the market hyperconnected to resources around the globe to
> enact trade, professionals eating under roasted seafood under umbrella
> kiosks, served by bots driven by artificial intelligences, and asking them
> professional advice and tasks, while they cook.
> When describing the Third Generation City, Marco Casagrande says that it
> "is the industrial city ruined by the people – human nature as part of
> Like a weed creeping into an air-conditioning machine the industrial city
> will be ruined by rumors and by stories. The common subconscious will
> surface to the street level and architecture will start constructing for
> the stories – for the urban narrative. This will be soft, organic and as an
> open source based media, the copyrights will be violated. The author will
> no longer be an architect or an urban planner, but somehow a bigger mind of
> people. In this sense the architects will be like design shamans merely
> interpreting what the bigger nature of the shared mind is transmitting."
> When Gilles Clement talks about the Third Landscape, about the moving
> gardens, the gardens without a form, he does not point in the direction of
> the disappearance of the gardner. Rather he talks about a new form of
> gardner, one who does not use rake and shovel as tools, but, rather, "wind
> and knowledge".
> In both cases, a new sensibility is needed. To recognize value where now,
> in our present condition, we do not see it.
> Clement and Casagrande openly speak about a new education of the gaze, and
> of the need for a new sensibility.
> As does Gregory Bateson, when he describes the need for new aesthetics:
> sensibility to a beauty to that which interconnects.
> After all: "it takes two to know one."
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SBSCRIBE: click on the link to the list you wish to subscribe to. In the page that will appear ("info page"), enter e-mail address, name, and password in the fields found further down the page.
HOW TO UNSUBSCRIBE: on the info page, scroll all the way down and enter your e-mail address in the last field. Enter password if asked. Click on the unsubscribe button on the page that will appear ("options page").
TO ENABLE / DISABLE DIGEST MODE: in the options page, find the "Set Digest Mode" option and set it to either on or off.
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