Yesterday we attended the conference “Cultura digitale e le politiche dell’innovazione” (Digital Culture and innovation policies) organized by our friend lawyer Guido Scorza in his role of president of the Institute fo Innovation Policies (Istituto per le Politiche dell’Innovazione).

We were invited to discuss  DegradArte, the art movement we created when the S1861 law was approved in the italian government.

The conference was really interesting, as it featured representatives from enterprises, law, politics, journalism, technology, art, culture and media.

While it was a real shame that many of the invited politicians didn’t come to the event, we had a chance to experience a series of contributions and debates that tried to present several points of view on the possibilities and opportunities for innovation brought on by digital technologies and digital technologies based practices.

Many of the contributions focused on commercial perspectives that, while being of fundamental importance, just don’t have the wide perspective needed to explain, or even understand, the cultural processes that move the contemproary evolution of our society.

But some of them were true gems whose atmosphere could be previewed, for example, in Guido Scorza’s opening speech, centered on the idea that governments are just too slow if compared to the contemporary evolution of society, and that they should focus on assuming the role that is clearly the most productive and effective one for institutions: to define principles, to create culture and infrastructures, and to act as enablers.

I was personally touched by Arturo di Corinto‘s contribution, in which we all were brought back to a part of reality that is seldom forgot while attending these meetings: it began with a minute of silence dedicated to the horrors that are happening during these days in Palestine, and then it continued by citing a text that has a really significant history, from its birth into the Frontiere Digitali network, to the evolution as a theme of the book published by “Il Secolo Della Rete” titled “L’Innovazione Necessaria“.

The most significant part of the debate concerned what is turning out to be a head-to-head race between the civil society, constantly evolving along the patterns defined by technology and global communication opportunities, and the institutions and enterprises, in their effort to contain the effects of this evolution and to preserve the current status of business, cultural and communication models.

Innovation has been described all along as a call for participation directed at the public, that needs to become active part of the process of cultural development, and to the institutions, that need to create the culture, tools and infrastructures needed to let this process happen.

We are a bit skeptical about the effects of these conferences, as the talks and debates seldom produce any results that go beyond formal declarations, but it was a worthwhile and valuable experience, as it created an opportunity for direct contact with many operators that are difficult to get in touch with.

We also used this opportunity to start producing the DegradArte documentary movie, which we are starting to produce with our friend Gianmarco Bonavolontà, and to promote the upcoming DegradArte Expò 2009, which will happen around September 2009 in Rome, at the Love and Dissent gallery.

But this is another story. :)

some more information here:

on Punto Informatico

on La Stampa