June – October 2022
Artists: Abraham Yael Pérez Mosqueda, Emma Maggiani, Flaminia Mattioli, Francesco Agazio, Girija Jhalani, Jessica García, Sofie Engelschiøn
Curated by Arts Curating students Marines Salcedo Gutierrez, Sabrina Morales Echart and Cosima Zhu, Re:mixing the city (might delete later) uses the physical world through the digital lens of Augmented Reality. It explores Florence’s iconic landmarks, chosen for their relationship to the history of fashion, to install digital sculptures by Multimedia Arts students through AR filters on Instagram. There are two complementary ways to experience the project: using the I’M Firenze Digest platform as an exhibition guide, catalogue, and documentation; exploring Florence through your Instagram lens to evoke digital sculptures in seven locations across the city.
Art stands as an ongoing process of reviving and remixing the past with the present.
Traditionally, visual art is defined as manual artwork, such as painting, drawing, or sculpture. The ongoing progress and in digital technology has challenged art beyond its physical limits, expanding its scope to achieve a multi-sensory experience that elevates the senses. With confinement limiting face-to-face or physical experiences with art in recent years, digital art has created new value for its genre, redefining its importance in creative disciplines. CGI, 3D animation and artificial intelligence are considered exponents of the contemporary genre.
Given this new digital boom, Multimedia Arts undergraduate students from Istituto Marangoni Firenze are exploring this new wave to provide their perspective on digital art. The students have been guided by mentor Andy Picci, a digital artist who produces art that is both sharp and playful. He examines the effects of digitalisation on society and identity. Picci has challenged the methods of creating, communicating, and exhibiting digital art.
From these starting points, Florence becomes a new creative playground, in which their original artworks play with the nature of iconic and traditional locations in the city. They merged antique facades and landscapes with their digital creations, which viewers can experience either through this digital platform or via Instagram, directly on the spot.
The idea of experiencing art beyond the walls of a museum or a fixed structure makes the show a spontaneous exhibition that viewers can visit freely. They are not forced to follow a set path in this open space, but they are invited to explore the city’s landmarks with a new purpose.
Each location is chosen not only for its importance in the city’s landscape and history but also because they were all venues for major fashion events, strengthening the bond between fashion, art, and architecture that defines contemporary Florence.
The exhibition is open then for viewers to create a dialogue between the buildings and landscapes of Florence, with physical structures coexisting with the digital plan perceived through the screen. Shifting from invisible to visible, the viewer gains power over the artwork, with the option to evoke the digital works according to their desires and revisit their surroundings.
Augmented Reality strengthens the students’ work, establishing the interaction between virtual environments and the physical world and allowing both to merge through smart devices, such as mobile phones and tablets. In this case, the artist’s creations are shown through Instagram, a platform whose interface can render 3D objects over historical landmarks in real time via a camera lens.
This contrast between the landscapes of Florence, the viewer’s choices and the artists’ imagination generates a new opportunity for empathy and discovery. That is what art has been in all these centuries; forms and media will change, but the essence of creating and connecting will stay the same.