The mechanism works: this is the synthesis with which we could describe the inaugural day of the Laboratory of the future, held on November 23rd in Palermo, at Palazzo Abatellis, within the setting of the Bam – Biennale Arcipelago Mediterraneo.

The various participations which have followed, on the themes of Demography, New technologies and Democracy, have opened in-depth and engaging debates, which extended to the large audience that filled the Hall of the Triumph of Death on the day.

The mechanism works because it shows that there is a wide interest in exploring the contemporary themes of our world. On demographics, with Franco La Cecla, Maurizio Alfonso Iacono, Cloe Piccoli, the choice was made to broaden the constrictive and divisive arguments about migration, and introduces – thanks to Mayor Leoluca Orlando – the theme of mobility as one of the rights of contemporary humans. With regard to technology, the main speakers (Leonardo Caffo, Cecilia Laschi, Kenneth Goldsmith) have leaned towards a positive outlook on great changes and advancements brought about by contemporary technologies. They emphasise the advantages of robotics and digital development, without forgetting the risks of humans finding themselves in a perfectly functioning technological system, while at the same time becoming obsolete, no longer necessary for it. Finally, we have the great theme of Democracy, with Damian Tambini, Helen Mountfield, Fulvio Vassallo and again Maurizio Alfonso Iacono. Here, the risks and difficulties of the current democratic system have been highlighted, largely due to the new media which can easily distort the truth and degenerate democracy into populism.

There is no need to review every little detail from this day. It is the first meeting and is very useful to learn from, with regard to refining the method even before obtaining the results. The Laboratory of the future will now continue, taking place in various other cities, making sure that the video materials and texts will be used to enrich discussions on the website

Thanks to the generous hospitality of Palermo, with the artistic Director of Bam, Andrea Cusumano, and Evelina de Castro, director of the Palazzo Abatellis who, thanks to the support of the Sicily Region, decided to support the project.

Laboratory of Future is a project started by the art critic and curator Fabio Cavallucci and founded on the collaboration of a transversal group of representatives from the world of culture: from the former Councillor for Culture of the Municipality of Carrara Giovanna Bernardini, to the critic and independent curator Lorenzo Bruni; from Tiziana Casapietra, Director of the Museum of Ceramics in Savona, to computer scientist and publisher Giovanni Sighele and the artists, musicians, directors and theorists Alexandra Bolgova, Andrea Cavallari, Huiming Hu, Gian Marco Montesano, Stefano W. Pasquini, Virginia Zanetti.
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