Matteo Marangoni at Arts Conference: Art and Technology

Thursday March 9th
13.00-16.30, Groninger Museum

Artists have always been fascinated by developments in technology: from electronic music and virtual reality to net-art and science fiction novels. Historically, technological developments have often been the impetus of artistic revolutions, both with regard to the production and the reception or experience of art. Conversely, the imagination of artists have inspired scientists to develop new technologies, for instance for space travels. However, technology sometimes also gave inspiration for darker images of the future in the arts – think of dystopias like Huxley’s Brave New World, Atelier van Lieshout’s SlaveCity, or Dave Eggers’s novel The Circle.

During the day program of Arts Conference 2017, Matteo Marangoni will be giving his talk “prototyping new rituals – tool making as a strategy for autonomous creation”.


Sound, art, music: to play we need instruments, and a ritual arena. The role of the artist goes well beyond making “content” within established boundaries. Defining the rules of the game is an integral part of the creative process of an artist. From a technological perspective, this means remembering that we are in first instance “tool makers”. We make our own tools to interact with the world and with others.

Education and society often steer us towards specialisation, figuratively amputating our own human capacity to learn many things, but we have the choice to take other routes. Developing outside the constraints both of traditional and commercial art forms, radical artists working with music and sound since the turn of the 20th century have been designing their own tools as a strategy to pursue creative autonomy.

Creating new instruments is a complex process, but the hardest part is going beyond simply creating new instruments, and inserting these new instruments within a ritual context. It is through ritual that we share our exploration of the world and our discoveries with others.