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Does storytelling kill stories?

di Alfonso Casalini

Does storytelling kill stories?

Just a few years ago, the word storytelling in the Italian cultural world was barely acknowledged. In recent times, however, this term knew an unquestionable success, soon becoming a “must do” for every practitioner or academic researcher in cultural related disciplines and organizations.This kind of approach has been kind misunderstood by many Italian […]

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Gestire cultura

Museums and Storytelling: From the last trends to the future

di Sara Cicatiello

In 2010, Kelly found that museums’ adult visitors were deeply aware of their learning preferences and that they wanted experience both educational and entertaining. On a more general scale, LaPlaca Cohen “Culture Track Report 2014” reveals how the meaning itself of what a cultural experience is like, expanded to activities more related to nature and entertainment. According to this report, audience values a TED talk or a visit to a Botanic Garden just as culturally engaging as going to the museum or attending a theater performance. The public is more demanding and wants to satisfy more than one need at the same time, pursuing activities that are educational, entertaining, interactive and customizable. This expanded notion of culture is on top of the priorities of professionals, as it challenges them to find continuously newer and more unique attractions, able to deal with a much wider range of competitors to the public attention. In order to address the increased uncertainty, museums reshaped their programs to include more and more extra-ordinary events, such as family days, curators’ talks, nocturnal exhibitions, and so on. On the one hand, special events are successfully flourishing and tend to be more participated, to have a wider impact on social media and to be more easily sponsored than ordinary programs. On the other hand, it seems that museums would be struggling at actually improving the ordinary visitors’ experience, which is a much more radical transformation affecting deeply each department, from the Curatorial to the Visitors’ Services and it is often extremely costly. In this gap among special programming and ordinary visit, the organization Museum Hack has found a fertile environment for its growth.

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Luoghi insoliti

The future art of storytelling: Future Fabulating in Madeira Island

di Valentina Nisi

The practice of predicting the future has a long history, ranging from personal consultation in the patterns of coffee grounds to global computational projections derived from vast sums of data. The longing for a vision of the future offering some certitude seems to cross cultural boundaries. Engineer Alan Kay stated that “the best way to predict the future is to build it”. There are people who are doing this today. The Future Fabulators (FFab) [1] is an art and research project funded by the EU Culture Programme (2007-2013) in co-operation with the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency. Future Fabulators is led by the Time’s Up [2], Linz based, art collective, in collaboration with FoAM [3], M-ITI [4] and AltArt [5]. As principal investigator at M-ITI, in this article I will describe the research and artistic developments of FFAb mainly from the M-ITI prospective although the project had been a thigh collaboration, where we often came together, confronted and challenged ideas, inspired and helped each other in many ways.   The Future Fabulators intent moves beyond words and statistics to make possible futures tangible. Future Fabulators develops storyworlds in which the public can see and experience predicted and imagined futures in a way that they, as individuals and groups, might live them – replete with the beauty and banality of everyday life in an alternate world. Storytelling and story-listening have always been intertwined ways of understanding, explaining and creating the world. In this project we share these stories with trained futurists, storytellers and the public, our experts of everyday life, integrating their stories into experienceable narratives from which we all can learn about different visions, prejudices or habitual patterns that influence how we see the world and thus how we imagine our future. FFab uses techniques from physical narration, context-aware narrative, and future pre-enactment to translate future scenarios into storyworlds, which are built as immersive situations in public and private spaces and designed to be playfully explored and enacted by a broad population.   In particular Future Fabulators at the Madeira Interactive Technology Institute focused particularly on conceiving, developing and evaluating mobile, context-aware, multimedia, and transmedia stories. We investigate the contemporary panorama of creative media and translate stories of the future into artifacts of the present. Our goal, in close synergy with our FFabs partners, is to unfold the potential of technology and storytelling, blending tangible narrative, interactive technologies, and future forecasting.

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