INCOMMON digital archive by Gabriele Colombo

INCOMMON. In praise of community. Shared creativity in arts and politics in Italy (1959-1979) is a research project funded by the European Research Council (ERC Starting Grant 2015) and hosted by IUAV, University of Venice. INCOMMON is meant to be the first study to systematically analyse the field of performing arts as resulting from the practice of commonality both theorized and experienced over the 1960s and the 1970s. In particular, the project is aimed to study the history of the ‘laboratory Italy’ as the place where artistic counterculture expressed by performing arts arose in a milieu characterized by a profound relation between philosophy, politics, and revolutionary practices.

As scholars have struggled over the resistance of theatrical documents to be archived, this project illustrates a design response to the open debates about the impossibility of archiving the performance. The approach builds on a conceptual move from documents to raw footage. Through a series of data-driven visual transformations - collecting, arranging, and layering - which increasingly manipulate the same digitized material, the proposition seeks to offer a means to design an archive of the performance as a space of reappearance and re-participation, well suited for the ephemeral nature of the performance.