Liber scriptus proferetur,
in quo totum continetur
The theme of the third edition of the Cima Norma Art Festival, which will take place from 9 July to 4 September 2022, is inspired, once again, by one of the great metaphors that have crossed the history of western civilisation. This time it is the book, an object that since antiquity has been considered an analogon of the world. A world that man is called upon to read, decipher and interpret.
In this beginning of the second millennium, characterised by a hypermediated and hyperconnected society, the readability of the world is certainly a highly topical issue. On the one hand, in fact, the interpretation of the world that the traditional mass media offered us in the past is being undermined by the proliferation on the Internet and on social networks of information among which it is difficult to distinguish the true from the false, so much so that specific neologisms, such as fake news and post-truth, have sprung up to describe this difficulty. On the other hand, the increasing digitalization of every moment of our lives means that all our actions are automatically ‘read’ and recorded, both to feed statistical and predictive models and to ensure collective security. Ours is moreover a historical period in which, while the book object seems more and more destined to take second place to the shiny touch surfaces of computers screens, the daily production of information has reached such a dimension that now only algorithms and machines are able to cope with and ‘read’ this incessant and endless collection of data.
Faced with the immeasurable quantity of Big Data that the growing computational capacity makes available to us, however, a doubt arises: will it not paradoxically be precisely the potentially limitless increase in the amount of information at our disposal that will definitively undermine our ability to ‘read’ the world? And who will be the ideal reader of this new hyper-technological ‘liber mundi’: will it still be man, or can it be no more than some form of artificial intelligence?