La verità mediata. Comunicazione politica e arte nell’era digitale
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Since the 1960s, art has often addressed the ambiguous way the media interpret reality. However, artists have adopted different strategies, also determined by the technological changes in communication. During the 1960s and 1970s, artists linked with Visual Poetry declared a “semiotic war” against the language of mass communication, that aimed to “reveal” its forms of mystification. In the post-media era, art’s relationship with society has changed: the very notion of public art (or social art) has evolved from that of a practice taking place in an actual space to a practice diffused through the simultaneous space of the media, where it can be experienced by many private viewers. Such new way of defining the public sphere, in the context Byung-Chul Han called “society of transparency”, is very similar to the way people today interact with ‘news’. The very distinction of “true” and “plausible” has therefore changed. “Truth” is not in the content of an image, but rather in its power, since images, as Hito Steyerl puts it, are “poor” in themselves, conveyed as they are through large-scale digital mediums. The forms of art which adopt these same mediums and their diffused strategies of communication provide us with interesting insights on our current political, economic, and social circumstances. Moving from the debate originated by the Documenta 10exhibit, aptly titled Politics Poetics, this essay analyzes the main theoretical contributions and artistic responses (General Idea, Francesco Vezzoli, and many young new media artists) on this subject, showing how art addresses the notion of “truth” in the public sphere, as well as language and media images used in political communication.
keywordsPublic art; politics; digital art; media; digital communication.
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