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Un altro takeover: arte e digital engagement secondo gli studenti del GIOCA

By 27 Marzo 2017 Agosto 6th, 2019 No Comments
È successo di nuovo. Gli studenti del GIOCA ci hanno preso gusto hanno scelto il nostro coworking space per il loro secondo symposium, sul tema del digital engagement nell’arte.

Come la volta scorsa, oltre ai nostri spazi, abbiamo lasciato nelle loro mani anche i nostri canali web e social per una sera e loro ci hanno puntualmente restituito un racconto ricco di stimoli e riflessioni. Il punto di vista? Quello dei millenials, già nativi digitali, che sentono grandi responsabilità sulle spalle. 

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The Symposium took over BAM!’s coworking space once more — but this time was a little different.

On the evening of Wednesday, March 15, Symposium participants gathered to discuss an exciting challenge facing today’s arts and cultural practitioners: Digital Engagement.

Digital platforms are constant in 2017, and yet they are ever-changing. They are universal, yet used differently by demographics and communities across the globe. Digital tactics are fickle tools, but increasingly important as arts organizations seek innovative ways to engage existing audiences (and create new ones). Harnessing the mass-connectivity of today’s digital world is something organizations strive to accomplish and race to keep up with.

The first step toward utilizing digital engagement as arts and cultural managers, is to define the term. However, unlike many words, terms, and titles in the management field, the definition of digital engagement is not clear-cut. During the Symposium, we discussed the WHAT, WHO, WHY, and HOW of digital engagement: WHAT actions do we consider digital engagement in the arts and cultural sector? WHO is affected by digital engagement, and in what way? WHY use digital tactics? And lastly, HOW should we use it?

Participants of the Symposium are GIOCA arts and cultural management students; they come from widely varied backgrounds, not only in terms of nationality, but also in terms of skillset, artistic medium, and administrative goals. At first glance digital engagement is a topic we can all relate to, something we experience and interact with daily. However, when you begin to examine the basics (the WHAT, WHO WHY, and HOW), the topic blossoms into something much more nuanced, influenced by individual preference and area of expertise. By the time we turned off the lights and locked the doors to BAM’s coworking space, it was clear that each Symposium participant came at this subject from a slightly different angle: some approached the subject of digital tactics from the perspective of performing arts, while others viewed digital interaction through the lens of video-gaming and graphic design, and everything in between.

Over the course of the evening we aimed to explore and explain the differences in our national internet cultures. We discussed government, restriction, privacy, mass-information, digital media, and the role of social networks. People shared experiences of censorship, incarceration, mass-mobilization, and “movements” — reflecting the reality that the growing digital world affects almost every aspect of our physical world, transforming it into something unprecedented, and moving far beyond the scope of the arts and cultural sector.

Opinions were debated, perspectives were shared, and “Aha!” moments were had, as we encountered new ideas and considered old ones in new contexts. As members of the millennial generation, life in the digital sphere is effortless, and we frequently take our fluency for granted. Being part of the global digital community and advocates for salient arts and cultural experiences places a unique responsibility on our shoulders: to continually challenge the intentions and applications of the technology we use daily, and discover new ways to promote the kind of art we believe in.

We found no finite definitions, no answers, solutions, or formulas for efficient and effective use of digital tools during the Symposium 2.0. However, we explored the minds of our colleagues, challenged our own opinions by inviting the critique of diverse perspectives, and planted the seeds of an innovative future. Thank you so much to BAM!, for allowing us to use their space for our second Symposium, and providing the resources we needed to make this evening a success. Many thanks as well to the Symposium organizers, without whom such a complex and multifaceted discussion could not have taken place. We look forward to the next one!