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The case of the Venice Biennale

How has the Venice Biennale been affected by the digital revolution?
The Venice Biennale has been around for a very long time– earlier than the digital. And therefore, it has been affected in a way as old institutions get affected by revolution, maybe, both slower and in more subtle ways. But it has also profited from it. Obviously, it has a huge online presence, its website, lots of apps related to the Venice Biennale, the Biennale Zone and lots of artists using digital platform to promote– the artists and galleries promote their presence at the Venice Biennale. But all of this is rather small, in a way, or rather micro sociological.
But there’s also a macro effect and it is the fact that by Biennales, in general, are much more connected because of the digital revolution of the digitalization of culture in general which creates a sort of global culture. Which is obviously another subject. But that means that the Venice Biennale, which used to be first the only one, and then one of a few biennales, is now part of a network. Part of a world of biennales, which is a very central node. And that is a big difference, from being more or less an island, is now a node in a network that is connected globally. And that has actually augmented its importance, I think.
Both because it’s the first of its kind, and of a kind that has success and therefore is seen as important and repeatable format. And also because at the Biennale– To be at the Biennale, either in person, ideally, or at least digitally, to know what’s going on at a Biennale, is really a key indicator of actually belonging to the art world. That particular art world. So in that sense it has been very affected and generally, I would think, in terms of its impact in what would be seen in a positive way. Culturally that is maybe a much harder answer to give and one that also needs further research.

Watch this video, where Monica Sassatelli, from the University of Bologna, answers the question: “How has the Venice Biennale been affected by the digital revolution?”

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Culture in the Digital Age

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