“23 WATT”: an exhibition remembers how...

“23 WATT”: an exhibition remembers how much new technologies can offer

While Venice is preparing to empty itself from university students greeting them and then embrace them with the new academic year, the city continues to show excellence in exhibitions, more or less new or more or less interesting. Today I wanted to talk about the exhibition at Magazzini del Sale 3 of the students of the Academy of Fine Arts in Venice, entitled 23 WATT. The title is very indicative of what awaits us: the 23 watts are exactly the amount of electrical power that our brain normally uses for its natural functions. It is precisely from this thought that thirteen works are proposed in the spaces that I have the pleasure of visiting together with other colleagues.

Davide Barbini, Monade, 2023

The works could be inserted in the branch of new technologies, as much as this name so used and so abused, today as today finds little context, whereas every day we have some new technological discovery. But as we know by nature we have to contextualize and name everything, so I’ll just say new technologies. The works are divided into various media: computer graphics, videography, gaming, photography and virtual reality. An interesting passage of these works is that each has a function in the space and all at the end of the visit has an almost Zen harmony. The works on display, I want to stress, have been created during the training course or are elaborated thesis based on the many variations of today’s new technologies, and on their being able to intercept and express a new generational feeling.

Wu Han, A Life, 2022

The whole project is something shared between teachers and students that leads to this very interesting exhibition. I find myself smiling when I see the first work on display entitled: This Person Does Not Exist, by Matilde Bresaola, Li Zhiwei, Marco Luciani, Francesco Masetto and Irma Zorzi who have created a figure that does not exist. Sofia is so well orchestrated as a work that reminded me how in art and its history, plagiarism or shameless scavenging is an identifying element of every time and period. I smile for how much genius there is in telling with lies the time, a creative act that thanks to AI will take more and more and I pause to reflect on how much this new instrument is at the center of debates regarding the interactions between AI and man.

Giulia Gaffo, Giardino del Futuro, 2022

I paused (and complimented) to see how much can be given in works like those of Thomas Andrich, Giuliano Vaccai and Giulia Gaffo who despite using different technologies move with a similar lexicon to emphasize in a veiled way a form of poetry not obvious. Another work that has surprised me is by Davide Barbini not only for the simplicity of rendering but also for a remarkable philosophical and intellectual depth. Visiting the exhibition of these students was something unique, not only for the ability they had to tell our time with so many details and truths, but they showed a remarkable artistic performance, all of them. The group show 23 WATT can be found in Venice, at Magazzini del Sale 3, and will be visible from 16 June to 29 July 2023 and I recommend you not to miss it.

Francesco Liggieri


16/06/2023 – 29/07/2023
Magazzini del Sale 3


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