Muntaka Chasant, Burning sheathed cables to recover copper at the Agbogbloshie e-waste landfill near the center of Accra, Ghana’s capital city (detail)
After this long summer break I would like to resume from the central theme of this blog. That is, from that discourse already undertaken around the images and the impact they have on the constitution of our imagery and, therefore, of our experience, determining many of our points of view and the “form” of our thinking itself.
I had already written about how my generation had grown up under the powerful influence of a predominantly visual information, brought by different media (https://www.danilosantinelli.it/danilos-blog/colonized-imagery/), and how the same child school education, from Comenio onwards, has made use of the picks of images in the course of the educational activities of the various disciplines, even in the absence of a prior linguistic-expressive literacy with respect to visual grammars.
In several interventions, then, I have tried to prove the foolish use, by some fringes of art, of images that meet only market criteria that change them into further instruments of colonization of the imagery of individuals and becoming, finally, antithetical to the art itself. Or at least to that idea of art enshrined in Romanticism which, following the abandonment of the client, assigned it a role of planning and human emancipation, of which today there does not seem to be any trace. And so I had endeavoured to trace the historical reasons for the betrayal of that role and of today’s drift (https://www.danilosantinelli.it/danilos-blog/two-or-three-things-about-the-blog/, https://www.danilosantinelli.it/danilos-blog/1-modern-postmodern-altermodern-the-imaginary-in-the-contemporary-era/, https://www.danilosantinelli.it/danilos-blog/2-the-process-of-abstraction-in-the-contemporary-age/, https://www.danilosantinelli.it/danilos-blog/3-the-process-of-dematerialization-of-art/).
For these reasons, many of the internal interventions in the blog focus on the expressive grammars of the image. In a world invaded by images and visual media, the dissemination of this grammar is a tool for restoring democracy. Democracy decayed as a result of a new illiteracy induced by information that cannot be decoded by most because it consists of images whose language has not been transmitted at school.
From the early seventies of the twentieth century an ecological-environmental thought has made its way until it became an emergency. The historian Giampiero Carocci attributes this thought to the internal mutations of the period between 1945 and 1973, characterized by the technological and economic explosion of the West following the Second World War, an aspect that will increasingly mark the gap with the geographical areas of the Third World, given also the growth of the population and well-being of the West. A welfare based on the industrial practices of the Fordist-Kynesian model which ended with the economic crisis of 1972, but which, in fact, determined the start of the ecological alarm. From the early seventies, the so-called Information Age with its immaterial goods, by now the flagship product of capitalism, imposes itself. Crisis that allows its replacement avoiding the stagnation of the market following a decayed interest. A process made at the expense of ‘entire nations and geographical areas and which has as a consequence an increasingly massive and rapid migration.
This ecological-environmentalist thought, so widespread today, risks sinking if it does not take due account of the visual and constitutive identity of the new generational imaginaries. Both the Fordist-Kynesian model mechanical industry and the digital industry typical of the Information Age impose their products through advertising images, but first of all because they are premised on the creation of a socio-cultural fabric permeated with iconic symbols transmitted through television, social networks, comics, cinema, videos and musical costumes, fashion, art, in short, through the multiple declinations that images can assume and that constitute the imaginary of the market sensitive to that product and, therefore, the market itself, which has become immaterial and only “cultural”. Culture, in all its forms, merging into the typical process of information-product, participates in the colonization of the imaginary rather than in its liberation.
This imagery of frenzied consumption, imposed by the visual media, has led to the resulting pollution. For this reason it is necessary to develop an ecology of the imaginary, requiring particular attention and ethical effort from image operators: whether they are filmmakers, cartoonists, artists, TV or internet operators, stylists, illustrators (especially those devoted to children’s illustration), designers, cartoonists. Here I am not referring only to the subjects of their work or the type of their clients, but to the formal heritage that they spread. This formal panorama, which becomes a form of thought, constitutes the economic fabric of that frenetic and ruthless industry and economy that burns entire geographical and social areas, plunging them into poverty, but also human and moral areas that plunge into despair. That formal heritage is the “physical” identity, visible and attractive, of that capitalistic-material economy and at the same time our form and mental vice.
Since it is not plausible to be able to change the substance of things without a substantial change in our thinking, there is an urgent need for an ecology of the imaginary that leads to a different “form” of thought, which today coincides with the increasingly standardised media forms in order to better fulfil their task as goods.
For these reasons, the much praised “professionalism”, in the field of visual arts, too often forces operators to promote trivial and stereotyped forms that produce, or rather reproduce, ideas and thoughts as trivial and stereotypical. Forms and thoughts that are harmful because they are polluting material of the widespread imagination.
AA.VV., Desideri in fiorma di nuvole. Cinema e fumetto, Paisan di Prato (UD), Campanotto Editore, 1996.
AA.VV., Gulp! 100 anni a fumetti, Milano, Electa, 1996.
AA.VV., Nuovo fumetto italiano, Milano, Fabbri Editori, 1991.
ARGAN Giulio Carlo, L’arte moderna 1770/1970, , Firense, Sansoni Editore, 1982.
ARNHEIM Rudolf, Arte e percezione visiva, , Milano, Feltrinelli, 2002.
BARBIERI Daniele, I linguaggi del fumetto, Milano, Bompiani, 1991.
BARILLI Renato, Il cilclo del postmoderno. La ricerca artistica degli anni’80, Milano, Feltrinelli, 1987.
BARILLI Renato, Informale oggetto comportamento 1. La ricerca artistica negli anni’50 e’60, Milano, Feltrinelli, 1979.
BARONI Daniele, Il manuale del design grafico, , Milano, Longanesi & C., 2006.
BONITO OLIVA Achille, L’ideologia del traditore – Arte, maniera, manierismo, , Milano, Feltrinelli, 1981.
BORDONI Carlo FOSSATI Franco, Dal feuilleton al fumetto. Generi e scrittori della letteratura popolare, Roma, Editori Riuniti, 1985.
BOSCHI Luca, Frigo valvole e balloons. Viaggio in vent’anni di fumetto italiano d’autore, Roma-Napoli, Edizioni Theoria, 1997.
BRANCATO Sergio, Fumetti. Guida ai comics nel sistema dei media, Roma, Datanews Editrice, 1994.
CALVESI Maurizio, Le due avanguardie. Dal Futurismo alla Pop Art, Bari, Laterza, 1991.
CAROLI Flavio, Magico primario, Milano, Gruppo Editoriale Fabbri, 1982.
CAROCCI Giampiero, Elementi di storia – L’Età delle rivoluzioni borghesi, volume 2, , Bologna, Zanichelli, 1990.
CASETTI Francesco DI CHIO Federico, Analisi del film, Milano, Bompiani, 1990.
COSTA Antonio, Il cinema e le arrti visive, Torino, Einaudi, 2002.
DE GRANDIS Luigina, Teoria e uso del colore, Milano, Arnoldo Mondadori Editore, 1984
DEL GUERCIO Antonio, Storia dell’arte presente, Roma Editori Riuniti, 1985.
DE MICHELI Mario, Le avanguardie artistiche del Novecento, , Milano, Feltrinelli, 1988.
DE VECCHI Pierluigi CERCHIARI Elda, Arte nel tempo, , Milano, Bompiani, 1996.
DE VINCENTI Giorgio, Andare al cinema, Roma, Editori Riuniti, 1985.
DORFLESS Gillo, Ultime tendenze nell’arte d’oggi, , Milano, Feltrinelli, 1985.
FAETI Antonio, Guardare le figure, , Roma, Donzelli Editore, 2011.
FARNÉ Roberto, Iconologia didattica – le immagini per l’educazione dell’Orbis Pictus a Sesame Street, , Bologna, Zanichelli Editore, 2006.
FAVARI Pietro, Le nuvole parlanti. Un secolo di fumetti tra arte e mass media, Bari, Edizioni Dedalo, 1996.
FRESNAULT-DERUELLE Pierre, I fumetti: libri a strisce, , Palermo, Sellerio Editore, 1990.
GOMBRICH, Ernst H. HOCHBERG Julian BLACK Max, Arte percezione e realtà, , Torino, Einaudi, 2002.
GUGLIELMINO Salvatore, Guida al novecento, , Milano, Editrice G. Principato s.p.a., 1982.
HARVEY David, La crisi della modernità, , Milano, Il Saggiatore, 1997.
HONNEF Klaus, L’arte contemporanea, Köln, Taschen, 1990.
HUGHES Robert, Lo shock dell’arte moderna, Milano, Idealibri, 1982.
ITTEN Jhoannes, Arte del colore, , Milano, Il Saggiatore, 2001.
KRICHER John, L’equilibrio della natura (mito e realtà), , Ghezzano, Felici Editore, 2011.
KUBLER George, La forma del tempo, , Torino, Einaudi, 1989.
LYOTARD Jean-François, Peregrinazioni. Legge, forma, evento, , Bologna, Il Mulino, 1992.
LYOTARD Jean-François, La condizione postmoderna, , Milano, Feltrinelli, 1990.
MALTESE Corrado, Guida allo studio della storia dell’arte, , Milano, Mursia, 1988.
MENNA Filiberto, La linea analitica dell’arte moderna, , Torino, Einaudi, 1983.
MUNARI Bruno, Fantasia, , Roma-Bari, Laterza & Figli, 2008.
PALLOTTINO Paola, Storia dell’illustrazione italiana, , Firenze, VoLo Publisher, 2011.
PELLITTERI Marco, Sense of comics, Roma, Castelvecchi, 1998.
POOL Phoebe, Impressionismo, , Milano, Rusconi libri, 1988.
RAFFAELI Luca, Il fumetto, Milano, il Saggiatore, 1997.
REY Alain, Spettri di carta, , Napoli, Liguori, 1988.
RICCIARDI Enrica, Il cuore delle nuvole. Arte figurativa e fumetto, Paisan di Prato (UD), Campanotto Editore, 1996.
SCARUFFI Piero, Guida all’avanguardia e New Age, Milano, Arcana Editrice, 1991.
SWEENEY Michael S., Dentro la Mente – La sorprendente scienza che spiega come vediamo, cosa pensiamo e chi siamo, Vercelli, Edizioni White Star (per l’Italia), National Geographic Society, 2012
TORNAGHI Elena, Il linguaggio dell’arte, , Torino, Loescher, 2001
VALLIER Dora, L’arte astratta, Milano, Garzanti, 1984.
WORRINGER Wilhelm, Astrazione e empatia, , Torino, Einaudi, 1975.
APOSTOLOU Apostolos, Addio postmoderno, benvenuti nell’età dell’altermoderno, in Cultura Oltre, 2018, https://culturaoltre14.wordpress.com/2018/04/21/addio-postmoderno-benvenuti-nelleta-dellaltermoderno-di-apostolos-apostolou/
CAMPA Riccardo, Dal postmoderno al postumano: il caso Lyotard, in Letteratura-Tradizione, volume 42, 2008, https://ruj.uj.edu.pl/xmlui/handle/item/58854