From codex to e-book, a streaming reflection on broadcasting in the digital age

From codex to e-book, a streaming reflection on broadcasting in the digital age

The events of the Modenese project that investigates the connection between knowledge in the digital age are underway. We start with the topic Transmission, for a calendar of proposals that alternates themes and interventions on "four seasons"

(photo: via Pixabay) The digital revolution has profoundly changed various uses, including that of cultural heritage and at the same time it has ensured new ways of processing and preserving the narrative, artistic, etc. experience. The first appointment of Ago Modena Fabbriche Culturali is dedicated to the theme of the broadcast, a cycle of heterogeneous events that starts on February 4 and will unfold throughout the year, giving space to a discussion organized around thematic nuclei (IQuanti, onlife, gaming) that travel in parallel with the seasons (spring, summer, autumn).

But we are still in winter and the first focus, as mentioned, is dedicated to broadcasting, as part of a project that more general wants to deepen the theme of connectivity, and therefore the dialogue between science, technology and humanities.

To inaugurate the appointment dedicated to transmission, understood as mediation and transfer of knowledge from the past to the future, the conference in live streaming A secret history of the book: from codex to e-book, with Jeffrey Schnapp, co-director of the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University.

The expert, who has been working for years in the academic field on humanistic and digital culture, will retrace the transition that saw the book become a digital object. As told by Schnapp, who spoke at the presentation of the Ago Modena Fabbriche Culturali program, the conference will be a reconstruction of the "genealogy of the" electric "book that tries to demonstrate how much all new forms of reading, all interpretations that seem to take us beyond borders of the code as it was interpreted in the 19th and 20th centuries, have a profound history. The electronic book is not an invention of the Internet age, but has a lineage that pushes us back to the experimental books of the avant-garde of the early 1900s, which precede the first laptop experiments and the current proliferation of reading devices. I will try to show that in each of these phases of secular evolution there are significant shifts but there are also many significant continuities in the way in which the concept of the book has been understood ”.

The passages, experiments and interpretations of the book object are therefore at the center of the first appointment, but the entire calendar of events on the broadcast investigates the theme of the document, also in the light of the potential of digital storage. We will also talk about the dream of the universal library in the digital age (with book historian Robert Danton, February 5); of documediality (with the philosopher Maurizio Ferraris, February 6); of the future of museums, considering their role, the digitization of collections and more generally the transformation that the devices have brought to the very concept of work (with Gianfranco Maraniello, former director of Bologna Musei; Martina Bagnoli, director of Estensi galleries, and Riccardo Falcinelli, graphic and design theorist). Not only live streaming conferences for the cultural program of Ago: the thematic core of Trasmissioni will also see the launch of projects for linguistic experimentation, installation and site performance and the advent of the Lodovico platform, which will constitute an interoperable database for the use of works and collections of citizens, in order to allow cross-institutional research.

The dialogue between institutions is also the basis of Ago Modena Fabbriche Culturali, promoted among others by the Municipality and the University of the studios of Modena and Reggio Emilia. The cultural project is not only digital but also physical as a multidisciplinary cultural pole, thanks to the enhancement of the spaces of the former Sant'Agostino hospital in Modena (still subject to restoration and redevelopment).

In 2021 Modena is a candidate to become Unesco 2021 creative city for Media arts, that natural landing place of the synergy between culture, digital and technologies. The investigation into the relationship between digital and visual / performing arts, as well as the stimulus for dialogue between humanistic and scientific knowledge, is the basis of Ago's planning; the collective and connective project is therefore also one of the pieces with which the city aims for success in the Unesco candidacy, intended as an opportunity to become part of an international network but also as a driver of development and repositioning.

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