Di grande interesse la IX edizione di Consciousness Reframed, tenutasi a Vienna dal 3 al 5 luglio (del quale si parla nel post precedente), a cui ho partecipato con un paper (di cui allego l’abstract). Interessante soprattutto perché gli intensi tre giorni di conferenze hanno mostrato uno spaccato mondiale della ricerca (nell’arte e nella comunicazione) e della teoria nell’ambito delle relazioni arte/scienza. Gli atti saranno pubblicati dall’editore Springer tra qualche mese.

Mi ha fatto molto piacere la presenza, per tutta la durata delle conferenze, di alcuni dei miei studenti venuti appositamente, segno che questi argomenti fanno ormai parte dei “desiderata formativi” degli studenti più avvertiti.

Per tutte le informazioni su Consciousness Reframed 9 rimando al sito. Questo è l’abstract del mio intervento:


From life to life. The multiplicity of the living

In this paper I’ll try to argue that the symbolic acquisition acquired by our species is at the basis of the ongoing and future evolution of life forms. The idea – or definition – of life is indeed very challenging, and we don’t really know what exactly it is, also from a scientific viewpoint. After a very long period in which life on Earth only evolved inside the organic realm, from a few decades life has been expanded by some disciplines, like artificial life and robotics among others. In a near future we could assist to an extension of the idea of life and of life forms from the barely organic realm to an articulated panorama with organic, inorganic as well as intermingled (organic/inorganic) life forms.

In this path the human kind’s acquisition of the symbolic ability played a key role. By the simbolic realm and the tools which hence were produced our ancestors began to know, control, manage and use the environment, and in the same time they established a “safety distance” from the phenomenic world. With the symbolic dimension they achieved three main goals: knowledge, protection and effectiveness.

The symbolic acquisition (in the beginning the indical signs and the orality, then the images, the writings…) gave birth to a whole world of opportunities, habits. Among them: abstraction, remote communication (in space and time), culture and knowledge sharing, consciousness, imagination, introspection, the ideas of past, of future and of living in a parallel world, myths and religions, spirituality…, the ability to project, imagine and design the future. Like a chain reaction in a L.A.S.E.R., with a spectacular growth of the photons until their energy causes the ray to sort out from the tube, the symbolic ability produced a huge acceleration in the process of tools’ and artifacts’ making and in their complexity.

Today we assist to an evolution which is generating more and more complex projects and devices, still born from the symbolic ability, that are bringing to light autonomous, living entities, more suited to the anthropic environment and to the new technological challenges.