I read the discussion at once. I thank you very much for inviting me to
join in and I apologyze for the delay of my reply to the list.
We are talking about history and cultural heritage in relation to a
specific geographical area, the one of the Mediterrean Rim.
I would like to drive the attention to two important issues that you have
already discussed to some extend, but that I believe are radically
important to consider: 1. Language and 2. Territory.
1. The more the world is evaporating into the liquid dimension the more
language is becoming an effective component for materializing reality
through our perceptive channels.
In her post, Katarina brought on stage the economical value (and
consequently abuse and misuse) of terms such as 'culture' and 'innovation'
and she stressed the importance of context. Now, providing context for old
and new words will probably be as important as gathering and selecting
data. Filling in words with context could re-shape their very same meaning,
and consequently reality itself.
2. Annie's questioning of the choice of English as the current language for
the list leads to the question of territory to which language is
inextricably tight by an osmotic relation (hope it is correct in English).
English is - at the moment- the language that represent the skin of a meta
- place, the one that glues together various countries with the chain of
informatics and network, the same 'region' shared by economics and
politics. It is from here that we confront our ideas, that we brainstorm on
the potential combination of past and new in the vision of a near future to
shape. Also, it is from here that we are looking at a specific territory,
the one of the Mediterrean Rim.
In proposing History and cultural heritage as key elements from cultural,
historical, social as well as economic viewpoints" and their nature of
potential "observatories of issues which combine past, present and future,
fostering new economic and professional areas" we should imagine what role
will 'local' should have. Is the memory of local to be brought into the
digital whole, or should the digital bring to the territory (this discourse
is as much theoretical as much practical in considering where to direct the
work's possibilities). Language is strictly connected to this issue (as
much as climate is connected to language and territory in a chain of
events, cause and effect).
Digitalizing Heritage involves selection and elaboration of data, two
operations that already question the term 'raw', being an advanced stage of
a political operation rooted in the act of inclusion and exclusion.
Also the selection of the topic is a political act. "Talking about
geography in the Mediterranean Rim is a sensitive political act" as Oriana
has pointed out. If we talk about geography referring to the Mediterrean we
are using the word geography in the old meaning.
The *incompiuto*, the unfinished of the work by Alterazionivideo that
Oriana mentioned becomes a place of possibility. The *unfinished* shapes a
new cartography. The local south becomes visible under this tag (the one of
the unfinished), architecture filters politics and shapes its physical
Now, if we want to look at new ways of preserving the past in order to
actively affect the future, we would probably also need to take into
consideration political economical interests (and their respective
language). Reflectors on the unfinished, for instance, could be switched
off should information of the unfinished end up expanding in the main
stage of information at large. Alterazionivideo made a cultural operation
that can have a strong impact on the long term. It lives now in a liminal
and strategic place, from where it can slowly act on collective
consciousness. The word 'geography' gains another of many possibile
meanings. In this regards, there is a very interesting book by Jerry
Brotton, *The History of the World in Twelve Maps* (Penguins, London 2012),
a journey into the world of cartography and its impact on the way we vision
and we materialize the world.
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