Off-Media

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'Vertigo. The century of Off-media Art, from Futurism to the web,' currently on view at MAMbo in Bologna, Italy, is a group show that traces the artistic use of technology throughout the twentieth century in order to propose a definition of 'off-media.' Challenging the modernist notion of 'medium-specificity,' in which each medium is understood as an autonomous entity that operates around its own properties, the exhibition argues that 'it was the progressive incursion of new media that fostered a strong contamination of classical aesthetics, rejecting the presumed division between painting and cinema, sculpture and architecture, theatre and music, design and dance, to affirm an interdisciplinary language' within art practice. Curators Germano Celant and Gianfranco Maraniello brought together over four hundred works that cover the historic avant-gardes (from futurism to suprematism; from constructivism to dadaism; from neoplasticism to surrealism), the postwar neo-avant-garde movements and the contemporary production. From the experiments in sound and poetry of Tommaso Marinetti and Kurt Schwitters to Nam June Paik's video-sculptures and Bill Viola's video-projections, this project thus allows the viewer to understand how technological development and cultural innovation have combined in such ways that, according to the curators, 'the various declinations of the artistic universe have become effectively off-media.' - Miguel Amado