Feeling the changes

by Filippo Lorenzin

During the most challenging times, artists always play an important role because they perceive the changes taking place in a special way. This is the cornerstone of the reflections conceived 52 years ago by media theorist Marshall McLuhan in “Understanding New Media: The Extensions of Man”; the Canadian professor stressed this assumption writing that when a new tool is introduced in the lives of people, it takes a certain amount of time to be psychically absorbed by them. The peculiar predisposition of artists to be impressed by these dynamics have been crucial for their own investigations. Looking at art history, it’s not surprising to find many relevant artists reflecting on what it means to use a new tool for artistic purposes, often influencing the technological development itself. In this sense, PLAYGROUND exhibition is the continuation of this dialogue; it shows how two artists who belong to different generations are reflecting on what have been the most compelling questions of their times. This is not a mere collection of the history of New Media Art, but a vivid opportunity to observe the way in which different artistic sensibilities grasped, elaborated and sometimes anticipated the social changes hidden beneath the introduction of new (or, presumed as such) tools. The researches by Raúl Marroquín are not to be seen just as reminders of what we experienced when first portable cameras and Internet connections have been introduced in our lives; the works by Klaus Fruchtnis are not just interrogating our hyper-connected-social-3.0-postdigital Web world. They’re both parts of the ongoing dialogue between artists and society which crosses time and places since ever and that ask to everyone of us to take part in it.

Image © Geo-Cut-Ups (2016) collaboration with artist Sofia Uquillas.