The Treccani Institute of the Italian Encyclopaedia and the Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art have signedin March 2023, a strategic cooperation agreement which will lead to a series of collaborations such as exhibitions, artistic residencies, seminars and publications. The project is supported and promoted by the Italian Cultural Institute of Shanghai. At the same time, the second edition of the “Chinese and Italian Humanities and Art Dialogue Forum” by title ‘Arts, technologies and AI‘, jointly organized by the Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art and the Treccani Institute of the Italian Encyclopaedia.
The theme of this edition is ‘Arts, technologies and AI’. In today’s world of art, AI (Artificial Intelligence) has already surpassed technology and has itself become a language of creation. The Chinese and Italian guests present at the forum discussed what sparks ignite the dialogue between art and AI. AI, applied to the artistic field, loses its original connotation and, on the contrary, becomes a brush, a musical instrument, a type of imaginative power.
Creators and artists in different fields of knowledge have applied technology to their expressions, also sparking unprecedented controversies. With their professional knowledge and broad perspectives, the artists thoroughly discussed what is the future of art, whether artists’ authorship will be affected and what will be the value of man-made artworks, opening a comparison session which, second Massimo Bray, director general of the Institute of the Italian Treccani Encyclopaediawas very significant.
This is a topic close to the heart of Sun Wenqian, director of the Shanghai Museum of Contemporary Art, who believes that, regardless of where we are and technological changes, the artist’s vitality is in itself the essence of art. Human emotion and imagination are the wings that hover above technology, and human thought as well as technological progress will continue to evolve hand in hand. This is precisely the purpose and meaning of the dialogue between Sino-Italian humanities and arts.
What is referred to as “the digital age” is not only the age of technological progress, but also the age in which technology profoundly dominates our ways of perceiving, our belief systems and the world around us. Il art curator Valentino Catricalàwho, despite his young age, has been working for many years in the field of digital art, and the art historian Daniela Cotimbowho has chosen to focus his research on different forms of expression, especially new technologies, share a dialogue that represents an avant-garde vision and voice of the art world.
An AI, knowing hundreds of brush strokes of classical Chinese landscape painting, is perfectly capable of painting a soulful landscape. L’artista cinese Qiu Zhijie, one of the first to experience a work of artificial intelligence, believes that something truly great is yet to come. According to theChinese artist Han Bo, technology will pervade every field of human knowledge. Socrates argued that Daedalus’ works must be bound otherwise they would escape. The new digital age that humanity is facing today is no different from the labyrinth of Daedalus: a cycle that is the destiny from which human beings cannot escape.