Art and Museums, Art and technology: your enterprise seems to be focused on conservation and development (or, even, just the dissemination of knowledge) of works of art. What is missing in the current way of preserving and enhancing the enormous artistic Heritage of Italy?

For centuries, museum professionals were the only responsibles for transmitting contents and messages of the cultural places. Recently, the demand for bottom-up approaches and for dialogues between institutions and public, appears stronger. Similarly, places where to enjoy and transmit cultural values need a greater availabilty to other new perspectives. In a technological world, visiting the museum no longer starts with a person entering the building, and does not end when a person comes out. Collecting real objects to preserve them in “boxes” (that is, out of touch), imposing different languages and attitudes in the daily dynamics of the general public, creates a strong division between culture and contemporary society. The current public is more an author than a mere spectator, as it actively participates in the construction of new meanings and contents, inside and outside cultural sites. It is therefore essential to change perspective, to challenge established practices, to rethink how to transmit the culture. In this way, it will become an integral part of the life of a society, generating innovation and cohesion.

In your presentation, on the Fondazione Cariplo website, you write: “We created a new format to enjoy the Cultural Heritage. It travels on technological, stable, interactive and high-definition supports, directly next to the objects, and provides a system of storytelling to promote and enhance the national and international Cultural Heritage, to the general public”. How important has been the digital, to this purpose?

Digital is the heart of the project, a tool to generate new contents and new experiences. Modern digital technologies are extremely versatile in generating, managing and disseminating large amounts of information, and in designing them towards diversified kinds of public. They transform the visitors’ experience, involving them directly in the construction of new contents and meanings. In addition, such technologies help to develop a new culture of accessibility, and have an “intimate and friendly” relationship with the user. Finally, digital technologies can also provide cheap, accessible and sustainable solutions for different realities.

We met during the Cultural Innovation project (IC), by Fondazione Cariplo. What was the most important contribution of this experience? Which skills did you develop, more than before?

We came up at IC with an idea, a great enthusiasm and the awareness that the direction was the right one, but there was still long way to go. The path we took helped us to develop the project, to find its sustainability and to build its uniqueness. Moreover, this experience encouraged us more than anything else and, sometimes, “forced” us to put into play our points of view, our predispositions and convictions, up to create a complete team of our individual skills. IC assisted us in the search for a balance between the enterprising approach and the socio-cultural vocation.

Which are your plans for the immediate future? And your concrete next steps?

We will inaugurate soon two projects that represent two parallel challenges. On the one hand, the insertion of the technological element, to integrate a museum that already has a strong historical and cultural heritage and a strong social and educational vocation. On the other hand, the connection of several cultural places of a city, to turn it into a “museum of museums”. Our intention is to develop the interactive potential of our tool with the public, and its applications in the fields of education and accessibility of culture.