Open Sourcing Programmed Art: A Workshop on the Collaborative Re-enactment of Gruppo T’s Kinetic Artworks

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  • Workshop Statement 

    Programmed art is the definition given to the body of works by a group of Italian artists active between the end of the 1950s and the beginning of the 1960s. This definition was introduced by Bruno Munari and Umberto Eco in 1961 in the Almanacco Bompiani and used in 1962 on the occasion of an exhibition hosted at the Olivetti show room in Milan, featuring works by the artists of Gruppo T. Gruppo T pioneered the introduction of technology and of an algorithmic approach in the process of artistic production and their artworks embedded the utopia of an interactive democratic art made for everyone and open to everyone’s participation. Started in 2015, the project “Re-programmed art: an open manifesto” aimed at involving a group of digital artists in the process of reprogramming artworks by Gruppo T. The goal was to build prototypes of kinetic artifacts that would translate the main principles of Programmed Art into the codes of contemporary culture, following the tenets of peer production, namely open source hardware and software and digital fabrication technologies.

    The workshop at ISEA2016 aims to open and foster the discussion of the application of open source design and open hardware approaches to support reproducibility, extension and further participatory developments of re-programmed artworks by the public at large. The workshop proposes an interactive format where participants will be involved in the process of creating an open source derivative of a kinetic programmed artwork through collaborative design sessions. The sessions are based on sketching and low-fi prototyping through electronic kits based on Arduino. A special focus will be on the documentation and the sharing through on-line community platforms dedicated to DIY projects. The hands-on activities will be facilitated in order to discuss on the topic of DIY and open source and their impact on interactive art preservation and investigation. The workshop program and the outputs will be documented on the official website of the project: reprogrammed-art.cc.

    Participants have to bring their own laptops. Few technical information might be requested via email to registered participants. The workshop is open to scholars, artists, designers and students interested in the field of interactive art and collaborative practices. In particular, we seek for participants who are investigating or developing projects that reflects on DIY and open source practices in art and design as well as on alternative strategies for preserving and communicating media based art through on-line collaboration and community platforms. Furthermore, knowledge of programming and generative art and design tools is welcome even if the prototyping activities will not involve programming.