REPOST: Technology and culture, what is the right way?

Some time ago started a collaboration between us and Davide Madonna’s blog Davide wrote a flattering article in which he asked us some questions about the relationship between technology and culture. Last week he published our answers in this post that we report in full here thanking Davide.

We have talked about Art Marketing Management in a previous article. This time I have questioned the four authors about an issue that interests me in particular: the connection between new technologies and the culture fruition.

The answers they gave reflect, in my opinion, a lot of food for thought. Despite their favourable orientation towards technology, in effect, serious critics about how technology can help culture to grow aren’t missing.


The invasion of new technologies doesn’t risk to transform art in entertainment?

Giulia Pasdera: the relationship between technology and art is very complex and full of risks. A solution is to think that technology is serving art as a way to develop and deepen the artistic concept.

We often talked about technology, bringing positive and negative examples. For instance the Cleveland Museum of Art is constantly using technological tools but it also supports a correct interaction with the artwork. On the contrary the Canaletto case shows a worthless use of technology.

So the real risk is not the invasion of technology but its passive use, which tends to have repercussions on the museum fruition. The passivity doesn’t spur the creation of true relationships between people, or between the work of art and the visitor. Maybe the real problem is to remove the artwork pleasure from the entertainment sphere and bestow it on only technology and its possibilities.


The virtual fruition of art can put in danger the real one?

Sofia Boer: I don’t think a picture can objectively represent the reality even if this should be it’s function. Thanks to the media that we can easily access, we can visit any place in the world, see any video, painting and sculpture made by man. But there is a difference if we are in a journey in a foreign country or we are sitting on a chair in the dark with pop-corn, or we are walking inside the National Gallery in London. The fruition is not the same. The perception and the memory neither. For this reason I think that the virtual art fruition doesn’t represent a danger for the real one but it rather represents an incentive. Thanks to projects like Google World Wonders Project people can discover unknown realities and this can give them the desire to visit it personally being more informed about what they see.


What role do social media have in the cultural communication? An extra tool or a new boundary?

Francesco Zanibellato: Social media are just a communication tools added to the traditional ones. It is though a tool with a growing importance both for penetration (Facebook in Italy is at 42.44%) and for information habits. Is also a tool with extraordinary possibilities. It allows the interaction between the cultural organization and its public, improving the relations with the community. Incentivizes horizontal relations in the public, up to arrive to the supporters community. Allows to share original contents like the “previews” which help to arouse attention on the organization. Against these advantages we also need to consider some dangers. From those that make a poor showing not responding to the negative comments to the useless “good ideas” on social media. So we need to integrate social media in the marketing and community management strategies setting clear goals and available resources (see the American example). Is in this field that Italian organizations are wrong and is for this that we are fighting on the blog.


Can the culture fruition be smart?

Chiara Narduzzi: “smart” (clever) is a word that is used in a big variety of circumstances, from the eco-sustainable (smart city), to technology (smartphone) to the culture fruition and for this reason for me this word has lost each meaning. If with the smart fruition we mean an art fruition mediated by new technologies or applications for phones, then my answer to the question is definitely “yes”. The cultural heritage is a testimony from the past but it’s essential for it to be included in the present: smartphones and computers can improve the visitors experience and give an immediate acknowledgement to the keepers, showing also how to improve certain things. Therefore why not use them in the expositions? In the SmarArt case for example, we saw how by using the cellular phone the visitor can have more information about the artwork that is observing and once he gets home, keep a testimony: the technology can help the culture!

Reading these answers, I convinced myself even more that there is a thinking commune line among people working in this sector. I won’t add anything else that we need to engage, every day, to reach this shared vision.


Thanking once more the authors of Art marketing management, the only thing that remains me is to ask you: culture and technology, what do you think?