Farnesina: Digital Art Experience

Farnesina: Digital Art Experience happened yesterday, promoted by Bright Festival in collaboration with the Foreign Affairs Ministry and part of Videocittà programme. With lights, colours and visual tricks, 14 Italian studios transformed and rebuilt Farnesina palace with an interactive and dynamic performance of video mapping.

Initially, the imperial palace of Farnesina was meant to be the new Palazzo del Littorio, the main site of the Fascist Party as Benito Mussolini commanded. Already in 1940, the designated use of this imperial building was changed to become the Foreign Affairs Ministry, despite the frequent interruptions due to the war. When in 1959 the architects finalised the building curating any detail, the Foreign Affairs Ministry decided to play with art to highlight the intentions of change compared to its original scope.

Characterised by the contradictions and the beauty of Italian history, when the building became operative after the war,  Farnesina gathers up a variety of contemporary artworks to promote the creativity of Italian artists in the world, becoming one of the most interesting collections of contemporary Italian art. This time, rather than opening its doors, the façade of the palace becomes a huge canvas for 14 studios of video mapping to promote Italian digital artists. In collaboration with Bright Festival, yesterday night the project ‘Farnesina: Digital Art Experience’ surprised the audience with a game of lights, colours and visual tricks transforming and recreating the building.

Apparati Effimeri (Bologna) opens the performance with a Minerva holding the world in her hands, remembering to ‘stay human’ despite where you are in the world. If Antaless Visual Design (Palermo) melts the architecture with a dynamic construction and deconstruction of lights and pixels, Antica Proietteria (Bologna) redesign the building with gold geometric shapes and glitter recalling Italian factory style. FLxER (Rome) begins with tiny particles of lights becoming white lines playing not only with the architecture but also with the history of the place, ending with ‘NO BORDERS’ to remind the importance of being open and connected with other cultures.

Kanaka (Milan) enlightens the window of the building creating a wave effect, while Luca Agagni Studio captures the building with particles of rainbow lights creating new forms. Michele Pusceddu (Cagliari) plays with coloured lights transforming in two women coming together, highlighting the importance of the encounter and dialogue. Monogrid (Florence) gives life to the buildings playing with geometric constructions, and Mou Factory (Cremona) combines the architecture with visual tricks.

OLO Creative Farm (Como) starts with a light ball to take over the building, and OoopStudio (Reggio Emilia) plays with the force of nature which recreates the building remembering the importance of the environment in our life. Pixel Shapes (Ragusa) plays with chemistry to highlight the connection between the tiniest particle and the most remote planet, while WÖA (Milan) highlights the importance of understanding what bytes of data are asking ‘how much inattention can you afford?’. The Fake Factory (Florence) ends the performance transforming the architecture in a waterfall of lights and bricks.

The performance is a contest to select three works that will be presented by Bright Festival 2020, a Florence-based event promoting digital creative explorations since 2018. After the Festival, the artists will be part of a group exhibition travelling in six cities across the world between 2010 and 2021. This performance was not only a moment to promote Italian digital art, but also to create a space of gathering and encounter in one of the most significant places of our history. While we keep forgetting that we are not only made out of our past, this performance remembers us the infinite possibility of this contemporary and messy time – and how we can be part of it by interacting with its changes and evolutions, rather than demystifying the future hiding behind its complexity.

FOTONICA Festival!


After the opening weekend, the third edition of FOTONICA Festival promotes a week of workshops and lectures on digital practices and new technologies. Jumping between Fusolab 2.0 and Nuovo Cinema Aquila, the Festival will end on December 7 with another weekend of live performances, exhibitions and video mapping interactive installations.

In Italian, the word FOTONICA refers to the photon, the elementary particle of light and other electromagnetic radiations. By definition, a photon is massless and it mediates electromagnetic interactions. Inspired by the infinite generative power of these tiny particles, the Festival promotes diverse interactions between art and technology with free events open to all. Combining diverse creative approaches to software, FOTONICA Festival becomes a space of encounter and dialogue between diverse technical disciplines and art media. For this third edition, the festival is happening in two cultural hubs at the opposite edges of the V Municipality of Rome.

With the aim of promoting the lively vibes of the neighbourhood, on Friday evening FOTONICA started openng the two locations at the same time. In Centocelle area, Fusolab 2.0 hosts an international collective exhibition and the video mapping outdoor installation Particles. Here, additionally to visual shows, there are also lectures with artists and workshops to learn new technologies. If the weekend is for kids with two workshops on theatre and videogames and electronic music, the weekly sessions are for Lights Art and Madmapper, with Michele Mattei and Massimo De Gennaro, and for Touchdesigner, with Massimo Zomparelli and Salvatore Iaconesi.

Meantime, Nuovo Cinema Aquila transforms its setting to host a live performance with music and visual. In combination with the installation ReDi by StudioAIRA! and Artecnologie exhibition, the cinema becomes a stage for performers like Datacode and L’ Age d’Or for the opening, or NVS and Vj Emiko for the closing weekend. After the performances, the night carries on with live Dj set by several artists combining local and international background.

In collaboration with AVNode, FOTONICA is part of an international and wider network promoting digital practices across the world. Organised by Flyer media, the idea of the festival begins with the international event LPM Live Performance Meeting – a meeting to explore creative practices and perform live. Collaborating with diverse artists and performers, the scope is to create a space to present and explore digital practices in a creative and dynamic environment.

Researching diverse languages and technologies, the festival is not only a call for Italian and international artists but also for an audience of expert and non-expert alike. The combination of audio-visual performances, interactive installations with FLxER Team and talks brings together creative and educational scopes. Playing with the open and cosy vibes of the V Municipality, FOTONICA interacts with the local reality to present a variety of techniques and creative explorations to play with technology.

As we said at the beginning, a photon is massless. Yet, it can travel at light speed and mediate electromagnetic interactions, which sometimes have unexpected outcomes. So do ideas. Inspired by this invisible particle and this variety of activities and interactions, FOTONICA is a dynamic environment to see how invisible ideas can materialise in dynamic and surprising performances. Promoting an Italian and international panorama, the festival is a space not only to perform art but also to meet artists from all over the world, while thinking of new approaches to technology.

Don’t miss out next weekend!