Between Hype Cycles and the Present Shock

My long essay (or short book) “Between Hype Cycles and the Present Shock. Art at the End of the Future” is now available on NERO as a beautifully designed webpage. You can read it online or download it as a 40 pages, ready to print pdf.
"Between Hype Cycles and the Present Shock" is an attempt to understand if, and how, art can exist in the present time. We know we are living an age that is profoundly different from that in which contemporary art was born: an age of acceleration, present shock, distracted gaze and end of the future. And yet, when it comes to art, we still confront it as if nothing had actually changed: as if it were the sacred result of moments of deep focus and concentration; as if it could still be experienced without distraction; as if it were the expression of a constant fight against the old, and of an endless rush towards the new; as if it could speak a universal language, and last forever. But it doesn’t.
Rather than providing answers, this text raises questions such as: is it still possible to make art under these conditions, and to experience art as it should? What’s the price we have to pay for engaging today’s media and the crucial issues of our time, in terms of duration and long term appreciation?
Although these considerations apply to all contemporary art, I use contemporary media art as the main area of reference, as I think most of the problems I’m outlining are more visible there, and more radically affecting the art that uses the tools and addresses the key issues of the post digital age. The essay addresses sub-topics such as primary and mediated experience, the end of the future, Futurism vs Presentism, art’s relation with art market dynamics and technological hypes, art’s incorporation in the art system and in mainstream culture, obsolescence and media art preservation, the difficult relationship between artistic practices and media hypes (with a focus on Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence). Featured image courtesy Alterazioni Video.

Sopravvivenza programmata. Etiche e pratiche di conservazione, dall'arte cinetica alla net art

SOPRAVVIVENZA PROGRAMMATA. Etiche e pratiche di conservazione, dall’arte cinetica alla Net Art (Edizioni Kappabit, Roma 2020, 350 pages, ISBN 9788894361803) is a book I co-edited with Valentino Catricalà along the last four years. Available in Italian only, the book features texts by Laura Barreca, Laura Calvi, Valentino Catricalà, Alice Devecchi, Roberto Dipasquale, Ben Fino-Radin, Marialaura Ghidini, Oliver Grau, Jon Ippolito, Laura Leuzzi, Rafael Lozano-Hemmer, Alessandro Ludovico, Dorcas Müller, Stephen Partridge, Domenico Quaranta, Iolanda Ratti, Cosetta G. Saba, Domenico Scudero, Azalea Seratoni, Elaine Shemilt, Gaby Wijers; and it can be understood as an attempt to fill a gap in Italian publishing, and as a resource about the preservation of media art and technological artifacts made available to either scholars, museum curators and conservators, archivists and artists. More information about the book is available on the publisher's website.

Fresh and stale news...

( ◕‿◕✿)  In case you didn't notice, I have a new website! It's called, and I'm using it as a blog, allowing to come of age as a more static archive and as a display for my animated gifs collection.

ヽ༼⊙ل͜⊙༽ノ In this recent interview I had with the magazine "Generazione Critica" I discuss about the internet as a space of freedom vs confinement, net based galleries and shows, the success and failures of net based art. Available both in English and Italian.

( ´థ౪థ)  Flash Art Italia commissioned me a piece about Maurizio Cattelan’s Comedian. The article is now available on the printed magazine (Issue 348, March – April 2020) and on the web magazine. On this occasion, the website revived an older piece I wrote in 2012 about Cattelan’s work, titled “When an Image Becomes a Work. Premesse a un’iconografia di Cattelan” and focused on his relationship with vernacular images, internet memes and popular re-use of his own imagery. Both pieces are in Italian, but the older one is still available in English on Enjoy!

(♡⸃ ◡ ⸂♡)  My lovely Italian readers may be happy to know that Media, New Media, Postmedia (Postmedia Books, Milan 2010; 2018) is now available as an ebook at an half of the price of the paperback. Check it out in Kindle and epub format!

★⌒ヽ(´ ❥ `)  A shorter version of "Between Hype Cycles and the Present Shock" has been made available by Macro Museum, Rome, as a nice 16 pages booklet, as part of their publishing initiative Macro Asilo Diario.

.。・:*:・(✿◕3◕)❤(◕ε◕✿)・:*:・。. "Reality is Overrated. When Media Go Beyond Simulation" is an old – but hopefully still fresh – text of mine, recently re-published as part of the amazing Flatland Reader, a publication from O Fluxo presenting “a collection of art and essays that analyzes today’s post-digital conditions for critical media and artistic practice — the act of blurring the boundaries between the physical and the digital by staking out new paths for understanding and working in the transversal territories bounded by theory, internet, and art.” Check it out!

Copyshamelessly Domenico Quaranta
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Domenico Quaranta · Via Cappellazzi 3 · Crema, CR 26013 · Italy

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