The Open Source Meeting is dedicated to the ever-expanding circulation of open computer resources and is meant to get territorial subjects, such as Confinidigitali and Umane Energie, to meet. Their Beduino open-source platform, derived from the international Arduino project, will be the base of a multimedia park featuring national and international guests, so as to elaborate on and divulge the possibilities of open-source in the domain of digital arts and multimedia communication, both from an artistic and planning perspective.

Festival Le Arti in Città

Curated by: Marco Mancuso and Moreno Barboni

On October 10, the group Umane Energie and the Flussi section of Le Arti in Città festival had promoted a seminar called Open Source Meeting at the Fondazione Accademia di Belle Arti Pietro Vannucci in the city of Perugia.

Marco Mancuso and Moreno Barboni have imagined a day of lectures and seminars, a round table of experts, researchers, curators and artists all with different but complementary expertises. This will offer the opportunity to reflect over the enormous potential, however mostly unsaid, of open digital technologies, their impact on the social, operational and political context in which we live, on their interaction with architecture and the social spaces in our urban areas and on comprehending their emotional impact on our perception of new art forms and creative languages.

Evan Roth and James Powderly are the Meeting’s international guests, founders of Graffiti Research Lab, for the second time in Italy after their first public performance Laser Tag, curated by Marco Mancuso in December 2007 in Rome and projected on the façades of the Colosseo and the Cestia pyramid. Graffiti Research Lab is wholly dedicated to developing technologies and experimental media to enhance public resources for urban communication. GRL have therefore been invited to explain their artistic/activist project, to describe their performances in cities round the world, to talk about the possible risks and the enormous potential for communication that lies behind applying open source technologies to graffiti and media art.

Pier Luigi Capucci, critic and professor, deals with communication systems and languages and, since the early Eighties, has been investigating the relationship between technologies, culture and society and between art forms, science and technologies. His task in the Meeting will be to trigger the debate around the collective and social impact of open-source technologies. The opportunities of choosing and accessing information and new tools have, in fact, enabled new possibilities for communicating and sharing knowledge extending the awareness of the cognitive, operative, social, and political uses of these same tools.

Laura Colini, researcher at the Bauhaus University in Weimar in the department of Architecture, Media and Urban Sociology, will focus on technologies and participated city-making projects. She will describe the concept of participation in urban planning confronting it with the participation to the city entailed by ITC practices. A sort of shared-practices taxonomy to city-making, called ICT spatial practices, that allows to build up critical thinking and awareness around the urban theme of collective planning.

Lastly, the collaboration between Confini Digitali and Umane Energie that has lead to Beduino, an open-source electronic device meant to develop interactive, artistic installations. It features audio controls, sensor interfaces, led and motor controls. Slightly bigger than a packet of cigarettes Beduino, based on the more famous ‘Arduino’ hardware/software, can be used without having to write any code by those who are not necessarily computer geeks. It can be used as a real-time audio and video controller, as a MIDI control, it is useful for interactive installations, to control led lights, robotic controls and much more.

Lecture: Open Source Audiovideo
by Marco Mancuso

Audiovisual Art, the ability to create works of art – may they be narrative or abstract – by using sounds and images, has undergone a strong innovative phase in the last years. Within the larger context of ‘new media art’ it has found for itself an all-purpose role which is certainly more complex and multi-faceted, going beyond performances and installation

Contemporary Audiovisual Art seems to be today some sort of borderline area which includes pure creative and artistic expression, but also experimentation and design. A critical attitude towards this phenomenon in analyzing online shared creativity, free code and an ever more intertwined relationship between art, design and hyper architecture allows to observe how the concept of space reflects the existence of a fluid place/non-place to be explored, an element for design, a material and immaterial universe to be confronted with as it redefines the relationship of modern man and the new multimedia scapes surrounding him.

Focusing on how open-source technologies have affected the digital Audiovisual domain by showing an overview on the most interesting artistic and creative international projects, the lecture suggests some critical thought around how these tools are used, around shared creativity dynamics on the Web, free code, and around how ever more intertwined art, design and hyper architecture are. s. Progress in technology, open-source hardware and software, have eased the management of real-time audiovisual flows.