“The Open Future”: MCD magazine, issue #68

Chief Editor Invited Marco Mancuso

Marco Mancuso was invited by Anne-Cécile Warms, head editor at MCD Magazine, from 2003 one of the most printed magazine worldwide about digital art and culture, to curate a special issue of the magazine around the impact of open technologies on the main fields of contemporary culture: art, audiovisual, design, internet, music and science. Marco Mancuso contacted 5 authors from the Digicult network, to curate the 5 different sections in which the publication its devided.

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Section Curators: Bertram Niessen (internet & society), Claudia D’Alonzo & Marco Mancuso (video & audiovideo), Elena Biserna (music & sound), Sabina Barcucci (design & architecture), Alessandro Delfanti (art & science)

Guests: Lev Manovich, Michel Bauwens, Steve Kurtz (CAE), Kenneth Goldsmith, Adam Ardvisson, Marc Fornes, Joanna Demers, Norbert Palz, Geert Lovink, Daniel Dendra, Julien Ottavi (Apo33), Mattin, Eric Deibel, Marc Dusselier, Sara Tocchetti, Sonia Campanini, Luciano Palumbo, Pasquale Napolitano.

Recent years are witnessing radical transformations in the relationships among art, science, design and society. The progressive de-institutionalization of the forms of production, management and consumption of material and immaterial goods brought by new technologies (desktop manufacturing, DIYscience, 2.0 communities) is reshaping the way we conceive culture, giving more importance to bottom-up taxonomies of reality (i.e. the folksonomies) and questioning traditional paths of change (Open Innovation) and power (p2p communities).

Social transformations connected to changes in economy and technology are questioning seriously our traditional ways to conceive culture, social relationships, communication, creativity and innovation. On one side, individual creativity seems to become the main engine of the world around us. On the other side, the rise of collective intelligence in social networks and the uncountable artistic, political and social bottom-up experimentations fostered by new technologies, are challenging the romantic myth of individual creativity.

Presentations: Open World Forum 2013 (Paris), Piemonte Share Festival 2013 (Turin), fOSSa 2013 (Lille).

Analytically we can say that this phenomena are acting both horizontally and vertically. Horizontally, they are blurring the borders between different fields and disciplines, merging methodologies, languages, tacit and explicit know-hows. Vertically, they are affecting the distinction between “high”, academic approaches and “low”, ingenue ones. This cross-pollination creates enthusiasms and skepticisms at the same time. On one side it’s perceived as an unforeseen expansion that will led to continuous innovation. On the other side it’s seen a a menace for stability, quality and fairness.

This monographic issue of MCD magazine explores this panorama according to six curators specialized in five different fields. Firstly, Bertram Niessen will investigate the social ambiguity of digital creativity, the chances given by bottom-up co-production and the challenges offered by web-based practices of creative sharing. Secondly, Claudia D’Alonzo and Marco Mancuso will focus on the changes taking place in relation to creation practice, dissemination and fruition of audio-visual artistic contents.

Thirdly, Elena Biserna will provide an overview on musical artistic practices and, at the same time, show the significance of this scenario in the sphere of cultural and everyday practices. As fourth, Sabina Barcucci will investigate reasons, state of the art and developments of the relationships among design, education and complexity, looking at the new cognitive forms as the output of such phenomenon. Finally, Alessandro Delfanti will examine the problem of the transformation of science expert epistemology, focusing on the political, artistic and cultural dimensions of biohacking and DIYbio.