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09:00-11:00 Session 10A: New Technologies, Creative Practices and Cultural Heritage
Perspectival Kinaesthetic Imaging at the service of archaeology and cultural heritage

ABSTRACT. This presentation will start by providing an overview of the technologies employed in HANDMADE, an ERC project directed by Lambros Malafouris, which set out to understand the creative gesture in pottery-making and ceramics. Hosted by Oxford’s School of Archaeology, the project seeks to illuminate the cognitive entanglement between hand and clay as it is encountered in pottery and ceramics workshops all across mainland Greece and the islands. How do potters and ceramicists bring forth new forms and meanings when engaging with the material world? To study the variable relationship between creative thinking and material engagement, the teams’ members employed four kinds of multimodal visual captures. Cognizant of the fact that different perspectives allow us to appreciate different aspects of the phenomenon in question, we used not just photography and videography but also drawing and mobile eye-tracking. Our aim was to juxtapose the records produced through these ‘old’ and ‘new’ technologies so as to get a richer, more spherical picture of pottery-making. We, moreover, aimed to share and discuss our records with the study’s participants so that knowledge about kinesis and aesthesis can be produced with them rather than from them. In moving then from participant observation to immersive interaction, the project yielded a multifaceted methodological toolkit called Perspectival Kinaesthetic Imaging (Malafouris et al. 2023).

            As I will argue in the second part of this presentation, Perspectival Kinaesthetic Imaging can be used at the service of both archaeology and cultural heritage—but in both cases, in the service of unconventional variants thereof. In archaeology, for instance, it can be used for the empirical grounding of a radical new framework known as Material Engagement Theory, or MET for short. What makes MET different from traditional archaeological theories is that it recognizes how things shape the mind instead of just the opposite (Malafouris 2013). Therefore, rather than treating archaeological discoveries as the epiphenomenal products of long-gone minds, it treats them as scaffolds for new kinds of thinking and meaning. Yet, besides helping archaeologists approximate better past lines of material and semiotic scaffolding, Perspectival Kinaesthetic Imaging can also prove of value to the purposes of cultural heritage. Speaking from personal experience, it can do this not only by recording and conserving local handmaking practices at the brink of extinction but also by teaching us how to attend and respond to the presence of other beings and things in the world. As Ingold (2024, p.38) is keen to point out: “That’s why fieldwork proper is not ethnographic at all, but educational”—note here that “[e]ducation, in this sense, lies not in the cultivation of reason but in the art of correspondence.” I will thus ultimately conclude that it is only by helping us think through the world that anthropological fieldwork might be able to help us reframe how to think about the world, past, present, and future.



Ingold, T., 2024. Anthropology is good. American Ethnologist, 51(1), pp.37–39.

Malafouris, L., 2013. How Things Shape the Mind. MIT press.

Malafouris, L., Carnegie, R., Creswell, M., Iliopoulos, A., Koukouti, M.D. and Ross, W., 2023. Perspectival kinaesthetic imaging. Multimodality & Society, 3(4), pp.366398.

Mapping creative gestures in crafts: embodied cognition, metaphor and meaning

ABSTRACT. Creativity has become one of the most sought-after skills of the 21st century. The idea that creativity is an everyday skill, not only in the hands of professionals, has been circulated by an emerging body of literature drawing on the concept of vernacular creativity. While this area of creativity research is rapidly gaining ground among academics within and outside the discipline, less attention has been paid to designing methods that are suitable to map and capture its distinctive qualities. This is particularly relevant in relation to the manifestation of creativity through gestures, a phenomenon which makes the core subject of gesture research, an interdisciplinary, and already established field of study. In fact, although the close connection between creativity and gesture has been proven, research in this area remains limited due to a series of challenges arising from the multimodal nature of studying gesture, as well as from the variable-based approach to analysing it.

My paper contributes to the emerging field of creative gesture research. In doing so, it outlines an interdisciplinary framework for mapping creative gestures in the work of textile craftspeople that I developed for my Marie Curie project. The novelty of the framework resides in the use of conceptual metaphor theory and embodied cognition as a lens to assess how ideas of sustainability are tacitly embedded in the working practice of textile makers. Studies show that metaphors are fundamental constructs for understanding the world around us; in their seminal book, “Metaphors we live by”, Lackoff and Johnson show how metaphors express the way we conceptualise and think about the world around us. Similar to the concept of creativity, metaphor operates through the same semantic parameters i.e. adaptiveness, flow and emotion. In doing so, the notion of conceptual metaphor becomes a suitable lens through which to analyse how ideas of sustainability are tacitly embedded in the gestures of textile makers.

I start the paper by briefly outlining the theoretical foundation of the framework. In doing so, I introduce the notion of conceptual metaphor as an entry point into creative gestures, as well as theorise its link to embodied cognition and elements from dance studies that enable a more insightful classification of the types of movements making up creative gestures. I then describe how the different tools that operationalise the framework (e.g. phenomenological interviews, observations, recordings and imaginative ethnography) are logically linked to each other to enable a holistic mapping of gesture. I then exemplify its application by discussing one of the 12 case studies in my project. The example clarifies the way in which the framework can be applied in practice and the way in which the tools are orchestrated to serve the purpose of mapping gestures. The paper concludes by highlighting the importance of developing alternative interdisciplinary approaches to deep map creative gestures. I also argue for the possibility of extending the application of such open-ended frameworks to other forms of intangible cultural heritage, such as masonry or woodwork, which have been historically less discussed in creativity research.

The paper makes a contribution to expanding the current set of approaches for mapping creative gestures through the design of a tailored, interdisciplinary and open-ended framework. As a conceptual instrument, the framework ultimately contributes to better understanding the multimodal nature of and the variables through which creative gestures are encoded as metaphors in craftsmanship. Last but not least, its application raises important questions about suitable ways to communicate this knowledge to audiences.

Creativity and the aesthetics of material engagement: the case of paintings

ABSTRACT. How does creativity work in the art of painting? This topic has not been explored by 4E cognition aesthetics although creativity in general has been already indirectly the object of various papers. Lambros Malafouris (2011), drawing on Noë and O’Regan (2001) theory of sensorimotor contingencies and his own work on material engagement (Malafouris 2013), argued that the creative process involving an artist and a medium does not consist in the imposition of a predefined internal model on the material. Instead the creative process is an active exploration towards a final product which is discovered through the interaction with the medium itself. When a potter is working at his wheel he touches the clay, the clay itself now modified shows unexpected new affordances to the potter which intervenes again, and again the clay presents other affordances, until the final product is the result of both the potter and the clay and their interaction. Shaun Gallagher (Gallagher and Kronsted 2021; Gallagher 2021) has taken the aesthetics of material engagement of Malafouris one step further, exploring its applications to the art of dance. Gallagher here uses the concept of “affordance space” (Brincker 2014; Gallagher 2018): when a dancer is improvising a solo piece the next movements that the dancer will take are not decided in the brain, but they are rather evocated by the possibilities inherent in the result of the movements before. We could say then that for enactivism creativity and the aesthetic experience consists in a continuous exploration of new affordance spaces by the cognitive unity of the artist and the medium (Vara Sanchez 2023). Can we apply this model to painters and their way of working? I think that the answer is affirmative, and it can lead us to discuss some bolder claims regarding paintings in general. If the painter does not impose his own visual representation of a scene to the medium, but rather let the medium (colors, brushes) modify in unexpected ways what he sees (as enactivists argue) then we could conclude that for enactivists paintings should not be descriptive representations of the world, but rather objects that alter (drastically or not) our ordinary way of seeing with the help of the medium. According to this conception when seeing a live portrait the beholder is not simply seeing on the canvas a representation of a model depicted but a new visibility that nor the artist nor the beholder have ever seen before: a model that offers to the viewer new and different affordances from the model in the real world. This conception of paintings is very similar to Emmanuel Alloa’s notion of seeing-with (Alloa 2021a, 2021b). For Alloa images are not neutral objects that represent transparently the world around us as in the seeing-in conception (Wollheim 1987). They are instead devices that through their material configuration induce the beholder in seeing new objects of vision that only in and with pictures could be seen: each act of seeing is always a seeing-with (Merleau-Ponty 1964), a gaze oriented and guided by the normative criteria of the materiality of the picture itself. In the last part of the paper I will concentrate more on this conception of the painter creative process: for which creating a painting is not simply to display the visible, but to make visible as once Paul Klee (1920) famously said. I will analyze pro and cons of this conception in relation to enactivist aesthetics, wondering if it could be helpful for giving life to an enactivist account of painting that is still missing.

Creative Gestures as Sketches and Sculptures in Architectural Design

ABSTRACT. Creative gestures can be particularly well observed as they partake in the communication about things that do not yet exist or about events that are yet to happen, that is, ‘things’ emerging in processes of imagining, developing, designing and negotiating new ideas and associations (e.g., Streeck & Lebaron 2000). These contexts, we claim, genuinely lend themselves to investigate and witness the dynamic spatio-visual potential of creative gestures, that is, how the hand becomes – to cite Leroi-Gourhan (1980: 237f.) – “the creator of images and symbols.”

Our contribution presents a cooperative approach to examining gestures in the context of architectural design practices, joining perspectives from cognitive semiotics and the visual arts (AUTHOR 1 & 2 2017). It explores, theoretically and practically, various embodied creative strategies involving constantly changing and merging perspectives, scales, and virtual spaces (AUTHOR 1 2016; AUTHOR 2 2017). In particular, we pursue the following questions: What are the dynamic and spatial dimensions of gestures describing and developing, on the fly, novel objects and directions of imagination? When gestures become for a moment fluid images in space, how do these ephemeral sketches look like? What is their semiotic gestalt? How can we account for the invisible and immaterial aspects of gestural movements, for instance, sensorial movement traces gesturing hands leave in the air or virtual objects they pretend to manipulate? What bodily cultural techniques are entrenched in such gestures? And how do gestures guide the exchange of ideas between designers and interactants more generally?

In order to investigate these questions, the team employed not only video, but also motion-capture technology (in the Cognitive Semiotics Gesture Lab, RWTH Aachen), and developed an interface that allows one to visualize otherwise invisible movement traces and to transpose them into geometries. The plug-in „Mo-Cap Gesture Sculpting“ (AUTHOR 1 2023) for the software Grasshopper3D uses computational and algorithmic design to transform gestural articulations through hybrid applications for further creative exploration as well as for semiotic analysis (e.g., AUTHOR 2 2019).

Our goal is twofold: i.) to highlight the merits of an interdisciplinary approach (gesture and design research) to empirically investigating creative processes engendered by practitioners’ gestures actually produced during design processes; ii.) to present examples of materialized gestures, e.g., in the form of 3D printed gesture sculptures which render a given gesture as an aesthetic gestalt that has become permanently visible and tangible. An example of a 3D-printed gesture trace based on numerical motion-capture data is given in Figure 1 (please see the uploaded pdf-version of this abstract); it represents the gestural part of a multimodal description of someone walking down a winding staircase. During the presentation, we will showcase a set of similar, recently created gesture sculptures (some of which were part of a gesture exhibit shown in several museums

09:00-11:00 Session 10B: New Digital Tools and Technologies for Archaeology
Craniofacial reconstruction of the knight of Tomb no. 29 from a Lombard- Avar cemetery of Vicenne in Central Italy (Campochiaro, Molise, 6the8th Century AD)

ABSTRACT. The exhibitions at the Museo Sannitico in Campobasso include important archaeological finds from the Campochiaro site in Molise (central Italy), dating back to the 6th-8th centuries AD. This archaeological site, comprising two distinct inhumation areas named Morrione and Vicenne, offers insights into the complex tapestry of early medieval life and death.

The cemeteries of Vicenne and Morrione stands out for its multicultural dimensions, as evidenced by the diverse origins of grave goods, including Lombard, indigenous, and Asian artifacts. This diversity suggests a community composed of various ethnic groups coexisting within the region (Ceglia, 2004). A particularly striking feature of some graves is the burial of a man alongside his horse, complete with harness and Avar-style stirrups, a practice that points to Asian funerary rituals (Jordana et al., 2009). Such burials have parallels in a wide geographical and chronological span, from Iron Age Siberia and Mongolia to Transcaucasian and Hungarian regions during the Age of Migrations, and are associated with central Asian peoples such as the Scythians, Huns, Avars, Mongols, and Magyars (Kurylëv et al., 1989; Pavlinskaya, 1989; Jordana et al., 2009).

The arrangement of horse, body, and grave goods in these burials bears a remarkable resemblance to the Pazyryk burials of the Iron Age nomadic tribes from the Altai Mountains, suggesting deep-rooted cultural continuities (Jordana et al., 2009). Scholars like Genito (1991) and Ceglia (2004) propose that the Campochiaro community was ethnically diverse, comprising locals, Lombards, and Avars. This hypothesis gains support from preliminary anthropological analyses of the skeletal remains (Rubini, 2004).

Historical accounts, such as those from Paulus Diaconus in his "Historia Langobardorum," suggest that Campochiaro might have served as a military outpost, positioned strategically to monitor the movements of the Byzantine army in the eastern and southern parts of Italy, which posed a constant threat to Lombard territories (Rubini e Zaio, 2011). The absence of evidence for permanent settlements or built structures at the site suggests that the cemetery's users were possibly semi-nomadic, aligning with the broader patterns of settlement and mobility during this period (De Benedittis, 1988, 2004). After the 8th century, the cemetery fell out of use, marking the end of an era for this fascinating site (Ceglia, 2004).

The most distinctive feature of the early medieval section of the museum is the showcase with the full reconstruction of the burial of a knight laid to rest with his horse in rich silver trappings (Vicenne tomb no. 29).

Given the enormous scientific interest that the tomb in question has always attracted, an interdisciplinary research project was conducted with the aim of producing a realistic and reproducible 3D facial reconstruction of the horseman's face, integrating data derived from studies of physical anthropology, archaeogenetics and craniometry with the most recent disciplines of 3D digital analysis and reconstruction.

Facial reconstruction represents an interdisciplinary technique capable of recreating the face of individuals with good approximation, based on the morphology of the skull. In particular, starting from the digital photogrammetric survey of the rider's skull, the 3D model of the same was obtained. Applying the 'traditional' craniometric measurements to the 3D model, in the next step, it was then possible to recreate the anatomy of the inhumed person's face using specific 3D modelling software.

The work involved the important collaboration between archaeologists and computer reconstructionists, with the common goal of offering first-rate archaeological communication to the public, in which scientific rigor and narrative aspects were combined.

The two aspects, reconstruction and archaeo-anthropological study, were integrated to highlight the potential of these techniques useful for research, but also for the protection, enhancement and communication of the osteological remains examined.

Exploring the knowledge over the dark. Advanced multidisciplinary archaeology investigations from Polla and Pertosa caves (Salerno, Italy).

ABSTRACT. The fossil caves of Polla and Pertosa-Auletta are two important examples of geomorphological and archaeological contexts in which it was possible to verify the usefulness and effectiveness of the application of innovative technologies to the study and interpretation of the caves. Their structural morphology, conditioned and limited by the incidence of hydrogeological phenomena, e.g. water and mud, which over time, have jeopardised their accessibility, visibility, stratigraphic and archaeological interpretation. The natural and archaeological connotations of these caves has led to the creation of a methodological intervention programme, based to the development of an experimental application model, that considers the serious operational limitations and makes use of innovative technologies to be used both before and after in data management and interpretation. The Polla and Pertosa caves have both attested an anthropic presence ranging between the final Neolithic, the Eneolithic and the Bronze Age (3,800-975 BC). They also document evidences of a residential use (presence of pile-dwelling structures) and cultic use (sepulchral areas and areas used for votive purposes) divided into chronological phases (Davide, 1959; Messeri, 1959; D’Agostino, 1971; Minelli e Guglielmi, 2020; Carucci, 1907; Larocca, 2017). The known comparisons in central-southern Italy, regarding the transition period between both the Eneolithic and the Bronze Age and the Middle and Final Bronze Age, are currently few. From a methodological viewpoint, the use of technologies has permitted to preserve and to record in a better way the archaeological finds, storing and analysing 3D volumetric shapes that have provided cognitive possibilities by increasing and deepening the more traditional working tools (Di Meo, 2021). If on the one hand the objectives are the continuation of historical and archaeological research, on the other we wanted to develop an integrated system between nature and high impact popularization models using virtual survey technologies. The direction marked by this pandemic phase has made the use of these methodologies even more urgent, favoring the spread of a New Digital Humanism that can determine a social impact capable of guiding future approaches to the management and scientific treatment of data. In this regard, through the web platform dedicated to the Virtual Reality Experience it was possible to carry out a virtual tour of the 3D reconstruction of both caves, developed on the basis of archaeological data and the high resolution three-dimensional survey carried out through the integration between laser scanner and photogrammetry. This platform contains virtual reproductions connected to the archaeological and natural history of the Caves, with diversified levels of access to information, which constitute a model of virtual experience with a strong scientific and social impact.

Virtual Reality for Archaeological Dissemination. KV62: The Tomb of Tutankhamun

ABSTRACT. Until recently, watching a high-quality 3D movie was considered a futuristic experience, but the extreme passivity of the experience soon proved to be a significant limitation. We then moved on to greater interaction with the 360 ° vision, where the viewer, wearing special glasses, could choose what to look at on each side. However, the limit of being unable to interact with the surrounding environment remained a constant. Virtual Reality eliminates these obstacles, allowing the user to "physically" enter the reconstructed environments. Several archaeological sites, although significant, are inconspicuous to the general public. Numerous places cannot be visited for conservation, restoration, or logistical reasons. Virtual Reality allows us to break down these invisible barriers, and the KV62 is a case in point. The impossibility of seeing the tomb with the funerary items inside is a significant limitation for visitors. A limit that Virtual Reality has managed to erase. Thanks to 3D modeling software and an in-depth study of Carter's archive, we have created a reconstruction of the tomb of Tutankhamun as it appeared at the time of its discovery. The interactive environment offers visitors information on the funerary objects and the tomb. All these features are a significant step forward in scientific popularization. The reconstructions in Virtual Reality make it possible to facilitate the usability of archaeological sites, using simple and impactful language. Furthermore, since it is a "binary code," Virtual Reality has the considerable advantage of speaking the language of the new generations, stimulating curiosity about the past.

Social media and social networks: new creative tools for archaeological heritage communication
09:00-11:00 Session 10C: Art and Law in the Age of AI
Creativity and New Frontiers of Art in the Age of Generative Artificial Intelligence

ABSTRACT. Generative Artificial Intelligence is having a significant impact on every aspect of our lives. The possibilities of this technology range from healthcare to the arts, education and communication. As a result, some have rightly referred to today as the AI moment. In the field of art, DALL-E 3, integrated into ChatGPT, Midjourney and other similar tools have contributed significantly to expanding the range of possibilities for artists to express themselves. Although the concept of AI art is controversial and at the centre of numerous aesthetic, ethical and legal debates, there is no shortage of those who see generative artificial intelligence as a valuable tool in the artistic field. Among those highlighting the potential of AI in this area are those who emphasise how it can lead to a democratisation of art, allowing more people to express themselves artistically. AI is also seen as a source of inspiration, fostering creativity and the generation of new ideas and styles. Human-machine collaboration can also lead to hybrid art forms in an unprecedented fusion of horizons: think of artists such as Pindar van Arman, Sougwen Chung and Tyler Hobbs, or the Dead End Gallery in Amsterdam, the world’s first physical AI art gallery. On the other hand, the concerns associated with the use of these instruments are well known. Emblematic is the case of “Théâtre D’Opéra Spatial”, a controversial work by Jason Allen created with Midjourney and winner of the first prize in an art competition organised by the Colorado State Fair in 2022. The image, a print of which can be purchased for $750 per copy, is the result of 624 prompts and revisions to the input. Allen also said he used Adobe Photoshop to correct imperfections and Gigapixel AI to improve resolution and increase size. This was not enough to obtain copyright registration. The US Copyright Office ruled that Allen’s work could not be considered a human creation because the generative artificial intelligence had been trained on a large number of copyrighted works. As a result, its output was not considered original content. In Europe, too, the debate is open and evolving. It is not by chance that the AI Act, which proposes to regulate generative artificial intelligence systems, addresses the very issue of copyright. The European Union’s proposed regulation on artificial intelligence, which is currently at an advanced stage of development and is expected to be voted on in early 2024, includes three transparency requirements: a) an obligation to declare that the content is generated by artificial intelligence; b) the creation of a model to prevent the generation of illegal content; c) the publication of a summary showing which copyright-protected data has been used to generate the content. The aim of this presentation is therefore to take stock of generative artificial intelligence in the field of art, highlighting the positive aspects on the one hand and the ethical and legal concerns on the other, and to question what should be understood by creativity in the light of the technological revolution underway today.

Creativity in Law and Music: The Judge and the Musician Between Text and Context

ABSTRACT. This presentation analyses the paradigms of interpretation and the evolution of the creative processes in music and law. Whether it is matter of a score or a law, the text is reborn through the work of the interpreter who, in dealing with the epistemological problem of the understanding, has to harmonize the purity of the philological reconstruction of the object with the need to actualize its sense. Moving from the creative character of every interpretation—neither the musician can be reduced to a mere executor of a concatenation of musical symbols on the staff as Stravinsky wanted nor the judge may be conceived as a bouche de la loi according to Montesquieu’s theory—this work, after having discussed Gadamer and Betti’s hermeneutical approaches to music and law, focuses on the issue of the limits to the interpreters’ freedom. The interpretation here proposed revolves around improvisation, seen as a typical cultural practice of the aesthetic dimension of music. Improvisation, which from baroque to jazz does not correspond to the realm of absolute freedom, is used as a trait d’union in order to make a comparison with legal experience. This is particularly true with the development of case law, which becomes increasingly problematic especially in the light of ‘‘liquid modernity’’, where the ‘‘polytheism of values’’ has been gaining strength. Seen from this perspective, the comparison between the judge and the musician in their activity as interpreters of a formalized system of signs highlights the controversial relationship between form and creativity, the accuracy of the text and the requisites deriving from the social context, certainty and justice.

The creative gesture in copyright law. From the artistic ferment of the 20th century to Artificial Intelligence.

ABSTRACT. Art and law are apparently two irreconcilable worlds, the first as a continuous evolution of new expressions and new tools, the second, although variable, aimed at seeking a concrete and defined regulation of human relationships and artistic expressions. However, the legal discipline of art develops from the need of protecting artists, to guarantee and benefit artistic production and therefore, the whole community. When is a work protected? According to Italian law, when it has a creative nature. However, the same law does not specify when a work can be defined as creative and, therefore, it is necessary to take into account the several law cases and academic interpretations to identify interpretive and evaluative criteria of the work of art. Certainly this process is not easy, sometimes it ended into a mere technical/expressive debate, up to relate the applicability of copyright to the concept of novelty and originality of the work, as an expressive form of the author’s intellectual work. In fact, the law protects the form in which the idea is transposed, which is therefore associated with the existence of something, in a creation/artefact relationship. But Art, with its expressive urgency, has always challenged the law and keeps on testing the solidity of this relationship and the principles of originality, creativity and form. The advent of the ephemeral art, appropriation-art of the avant-garde movements, the dematerialization of the contemporary work of art, the performance, have revolutionised the creative process and therefore the legal regulation. Judges and academics have had to reinterpret the foundations of copyright law in light of new forms of expression. With the digital revolution, the creative process has been mediated by technological systems, reaching today almost the total automation of the process through artificial intelligence systems. The human gesture is no longer at the center of the creative act and, in the near future, it could be totally replaced by the intervention of the machine. In front of all today’s displays of artistic creation, it is necessary to reconsider traditional regulatory concepts and the “legal” conception of a work of art, probably no longer suitable for representing the new artistic categories. New expressive forms of contemporary art as well as the new methods of production linked to the digital world, deterritorialized and anarchic, need an updated concept of creativity. For the current conference, the analysis concerns the evolution of the concept of creativity in copyright law and how academics and law cases have managed the challenges of art progress, avant-garde and ultimately automation given by the use of digital and artificial intelligence systems.

Legal Design and Creativity
09:00-11:00 Session 10D: Creative Gestures, Epistemic Diversity, and Social Change
Feminine literature as a radical political gesture: Gilman, Solanas, and other W.I.T.C.H.E.S.
Practices of desire: feminist approaches to politics and social change

ABSTRACT. Creativity and social change are central elements of the arendtian idea of politics: humans, who imagine and act together in the plural dimension of politics, bring the unexpected and contingency to the public realm (Arendt, 1958). This bond between politics and creation, embedded in interaction and interdependence, has been at the heart of many feminist approaches. In the interweaving of the personal and the political - and bodies, imaginaries, and relations - these visions have brought to the center an idea of politics that does not coincide with, but rather dodges, the dimension of power (Diotima 2009). Feminist politics has roots in practices, alliances, and desires. Bodies, gestures, and performances emerge as nodes of feminist conflicts, as shown by feminist, transfeminist and queer urban practices in recent years (Bonu et al., 2023; Butler, 2015; Castelli, 2015; Caleo, 2021). This passionate idea of politics goes far beyond the institutional plane. It roots in shared practices, not strategies. It refuses power over embodied subjectivities. Likewise, it’s fluid, and it refuses to crystallize in institutions. What is the relationship between this dimension and the idea of politics that instead looks to the institution, to power, and to sovereignty? Effectiveness in politics is usually ascribed to the sphere of power. Political conflict is intended to be effective only if it leads to power, a new beginning, new institutions, and new constitutions. Is it possible to think political institutions beyond this idea of efficacy, and outside the constraints and contradictions of sovereign power? And, again, what makes a political experience endure, and at what cost? What role does desire play in building and maintaining an institution of radical politics? What kind of "institution" does such experiences give life to? Bringing into play the practice of controlled anachronism (Loraux, 2005), we can read these questions under a new light in the confrontation between contemporary queer and trans/feminist self-determined spaces and radical experiences of the past, such as Hull House in Chicago. Modern western theoretical tradition defines an institution on the base of some specific issues, such as authority, unity in representation, sovereign decision, superiority over individuals, prescription of orders, rationalization, and a clear topography between inside/outside – us/them. None of these elements seems compatible with the Hull House experience. Jane Addams's vision about the organization of communal living can be described as receptive, non-ideological, fluid, and methodologically non-agonistic. Settlement actions were not planned in advance, based on general assumptions and ideologies, but were based on listening and responding to the needs and urgencies of the neighborhood. In an analogy between the social settlement and the social organization of a healthy, real democracy, Addams finds a common trait in relationships: caring for each other's urgencies, meeting needs, listening, deciding and acting together, as in a good neighborhood. In this sense, Maurice Hamington (2010) identifies in the organizational arrangements of Hull House the full expression of Addams' feminist relational ontology, in which subjects are always caught in a network of relationships and not individuals, atomized actors. For Addams, the settlement was the physical manifestation, rooted in territory and embodied in practices, of this vision. Its purpose was to foster the development and self-determination of individuals through community support and the creation of networks and alliances, through shared practices and lifelong education. Its purpose was shared knowledge, and participation, beyond the identity divisions that marked and distanced individuals in society. A space where neighborhood residents could learn about each other and simultaneously understand the mechanisms and dynamics that ran through American society. At the same time, they encountered new visions and histories, which contaminated and enriched their perspective.

Composting-with-care as a Creative Gesture: Fostering Epistemic Diversity in Interdisciplinary Practices

ABSTRACT. Recent post-anthropocentric turns in many fields of the sciences and the humanities have led to a recognition that a paradigm shift away from dominant, siloed epistemologies and toward more transdisciplinary, pluralist ecologies of knowledge is necessary to respond to the urgent pressures of impending ecological and economic collapse. This performative paper delves into the concept of composting-with-care as a transformative and creative gesture within interdisciplinary practices. Drawing insights from embodiment, the arts, sciences, and technology, the paper explores how friction between disciplines can serve as catalysts for epistemic diversity. It argues that embracing and navigating friction can lead to innovative and inclusive knowledge creation. If biodiversity is the measure of a healthy ecosystem, epistemic diversity should be the measure of a healthy knowledge system. When friction is generated between different perspectives new knowledge is produced. This frictional encounter has value per se and must be cared for (care as labour) as a site of knowledge generation. The paper argues that by valuing the differences between the diversity of approaches to knowledge, we are actively fostering the necessary epistemic diversity to address the elephant in the room (wicked problems) that we share as a planetary ecology. Paraphrasing Donna Haraway, it matters what words we use to tell stories of our worlds (Haraway, 2016). Global issues such as climate collapse require a variety of knowledge from different places and experiences to address the same struggle. Composting-with-care draws from Donna Haraway’s figuration of a society of compost made of multispecies alliances like a symbiotic body politic (Haraway, op cit, p.134). In a composting-with-care scenario, we care for the ingredients we add to the compost pile such as concepts and origin stories. In this vision knowledge and practices pay attention to artificial distinctions between humans and other than humans. In this approach, the critique of entrenched epistemic habits (those that deprive us of alternative visions) becomes the cure that enables a reshaping of current narrow dominant systems of knowledge creation. In other words, when we alter the position of the human within a relational context, the possibility of different ‘Anthropocenes’ unfolds (Colebrook, 2014). In this paper, academic and performative ‘ingredients’ are carefully composted together to interrogate anthropocentric hierarchies of knowledge. In this scenario, the creative gesture is re-positioned as a node in a network of relationality. As such, the creative gesture ceases to be the action of the Anthropos to become a relationality between a diversity of biotic and metabiotic actors, thus de-centring anthropocentric worldviews and repositioning the creative gesture as a relational negentropic practice. Demonstrating the author’s framework and methodology of composting-with-care as an analytical, pedagogical, and epistemological tool to foster epistemic diversity. The paper contributes to the discussion of the making of a pluralistic system of knowledge, with the addition of care as labour (including space, time and institutional support) as a fundamental aspect for interdisciplinary practice to flourish.

REFERENCES Haraway, D. (2016) Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene. London: Duke University Press. Colebrook, C. (2014). Death of the Posthuman. Essays on Extinction. Vol 1. Ann Arbor: Open Humanities.

Experience as a creative process: between psychology and the social sciences
09:00-11:00 Session 10E: The Barriers and Challenges to Creativity
Creativity and Nothingness

ABSTRACT. I propose to think the boundary condition embodied by the social through creativity in several steps. First, I will pay attention to contemporary capitalism, the context in which the main and most pressing demand for creativity unfolds, although it makes a soft use of it. Second, I will show that creativity in its strong sense demands that the observer recognizes his ignorance in the face of an object to which he recognizes cognitive and operative autonomy. Third, I will affirm that the recognition of ignorance in the subject corresponds to an external reality based on indeterminacy, since no event is more likely to appear than another, something that the social and natural sciences recognize, although they are unable to explain how the creative spark springs from this nothingness. Fourth, I will prove that the ancient myths of death and rebirth, all the rites of passage and the incubation process of shamans and ancient sages make it possible to fill this gap. Fifth, I will point out that the consumption of entheogens, present in those worlds, but equally stimulated by the new spirit of capitalism forged in the last third of the twentieth century, allows the experience of death and rebirth through the dissolution of the ego and the consequent expansion of consciousness. Sixth, I will suggest that creativity is an unconscious knowledge that is related not to logos but to wisdom, characterized by accepting the dissolution of subjectivity in the indeterminacy on which our existence rests. Finally, I will propose four tips for liberating indeterminacy and thus favoring the creation of anarchy.

Stealing considered as one of the fine arts

ABSTRACT. “Do you think artists should be worried about the birth of generative AIs?”“The emergence of generative AI undoubtedly raises questions and considerations for artists.However, whether artists should be worried about it depends on various factors, including theirperspectives, goals, and adaptability. […] Ultimately, whether artists should be worried about thebirth of generative AI depends on their willingness to adapt, experiment, and embrace technologicaladvancements in their creative processes. While there are challenges and uncertainties associatedwith AI in art, there are also opportunities for innovation, collaboration, and the exploration of newcreative frontiers.” (ChatGPT 3.5)The birth of the avant-garde and the emergence of practices and objects such as rectified and non-rectified ready-mades and found art, the massive use of quotations, détournement, parodies andpastiches, and the appearance of industrial techniques which characterize art in the age of itstechnical reproducibility (Benjamin, 1936) have called the art world to a wide reinterpretation of therelationship between authors and works, artworks and simple artifacts, originals and copies,creativity and creation.Nearly two centuries after the invention of the daguerreotype (1837) and nearly a century and a halfafter Edison's phonograph (1877), the recent spread of generative artificial intelligences has beenmet with openly critical tones by many artists and actors in the art world. Underlying thesecriticisms is the suspicion that generative AIs, trained by drawing on an ever-widening repertoire ofintellectual works to be found online, undermine the entire system of art creation and production byconstantly infringing copyright laws and depreciating the very act of artistic creation (Manyika,2022; Murphy, 2022).In this intervention, the result of a joint effort carried out by specialists whose expertise andexperiences range from aesthetics to art history, from psychology to economics to newtechnologies, we attempt to reframe the issue by assessing the alleged ethical concerns regardingAI-supported creation.By comparing the new techniques with accepted and historicized artistic practices, and by analysingtheir economic background in the dialectic between open source and copyrighted works, we traceback some of the aforementioned alleged ethical issues to mere economic preoccupations.Finally, following the lead of critics who have greeted generative AIs as new tools which mightpossibility broaden the artistic and creative horizon, changing the very modes of production andreception of art (Ng, 2021), we suggest that both the debate on the definition of art and thereflection on the relationship between creativity and originality, between authors and their works, berenewed.

Penelope's Web 3.0 Old and new inequalities in the fashion of the future

ABSTRACT. Fashion and technological progress have always been two linked fields. The role of fashion in the formation of class distinctions, of imaginaries, the co-production of self-awareness, of gender stereotypes and the formation and construction of bodies has long been studied. With the rise of new digital technologies, these dynamics have increased more and more. At the same time, the forms taken by the fashion supply chain have multiplied, starting from production, and arriving to creative and communicational works. It is also well known that fashion played a powerful role in marking class differences, such as ostentatious consumption, as a "desiderata" that only a privileged few could access. This work, therefore, questions the issues of material inequalities and of body representation where the digital increasingly challenges the boundary between materiality and non-materiality, reality and imagination, canon and new models. Virtual play environments stand, from this point of view, as the most frontier fields, because on the one hand, they are increasingly the object of interest by brands, and on the other hand, they are open to the possibility of creation by users, not always following an established canon related to traditional media communication. Here, the research question is to see if the dynamics of construction of imaginaries, definition of stereotypes of aesthetic beauty, actions on bodies both "mechanical" and cultural, instances of gender, etc. attributed to fashion by the existing literature are also replicated in the digital context (clearly adapting/platforming the tools of the context itself), or whether these dynamics are changing with and because of the action of this new type of fruition of the fashion product, both as a "material object" and as a "cultural object". To do so, this research employs netnography and visual ethnography, which were used to construct and analyze a data set composed of advertisements and images of video game characters with three peculiarities: this methodological approach responds to the very nature of the object of study: both fashion and videogames have a distinctly visual nature; both of them depend on and live within digital and global media contexts. Materials of advertisements and images of game characters conveyed by video games that have three well-defined peculiarities: 1. the possibility of being played online in multiplayer mode; 2. the popularity of the selected platform; 3. the presence of anthropomorphic characters. Thus, the presence of human/ anthropomorphic characters is crucial for the purposes of this paper. Gaming platforms that match these three characteristics are: 1. League of Legends; 2. Fortnite; 3. Apex Legends; 3. Overwatch; 4. Valorant; 5. PUGB. Each platform has its own characteristic aesthetic codes and imagery, but among them they share at least the three characteristics and selection dynamics that allow them to be grouped within a single "family." The choice to focus the analysis on advertising and "official" content of these platforms is related to the desire to explore what meanings and representations are conveyed by producers in a top-down mode, thus following the communication mode of the traditional fashion.

11:40-13:30 Session 12: Plenary Session: Creative Gestures
Location: AULA MAGNA
Creativity in the arts as resource for individual, collective, and public memories

ABSTRACT. This paper explores the role of the artistic creativity in shaping the individual, collective,and public memories of very traumatic events. It refers to an ongoing projectTRAMIGRART (Prin, 2022-2024), which conceptualizes the traumas related to wars andthe forced migration through the Mediterranean applying the framework of the CulturalTrauma Theories (CTT) (Eyerman, 2001, 2016, 2019; Alexander et al., 2004). According tothe CTT the public knowledge and definitions of traumas are socially and politicallynegotiated. There is a gap between the event and its definitions: this sematic space isfilled by the “trauma process” necessary to frame the event socially and politically. Fortrauma to emerge at a cultural level, a new master narrative has to be successfullyestablished by a carrier group who projects “the trauma claim” (ibid.) to the public, bydealing with the several issues, such as the nature of the pain, and the attribution ofresponsibility, among others. Cultural traumas take shape in relation to a dramatic hole inthe social fabric in ways that jeopardize social cohesion (Smelser, 2004). The failure of anycultural form available for the public inscription of traumas can pose serious threats todemocracy and civic engagement. It is exactly in this gap, in this empty space that thecreative gesture -especially if originated in the artistic field – can play a fundamental role inre-shaping the public knowledge.By focusing on “the restless nature of events” (Wagner-Pacifici, 2010), according to whichit is necessary to track events in the making and to analyse the specific mechanisms thatestablish eventful acts, the meanings and the continuing consequences of the events arehere reconsidered. Since events are fluid and restless, the evaluation of the nature and ofthe capacities of the multiple forms of the events represents a more productive way ofassessing the interaction between memories and socio-cultural representations. If atraumatic event is fluid and subject of continuous changes, it means that there is apotential for transforming it, “working through” its individual, collective, and publicmeanings within the texture of the civil society that has been disrupted (Tota and Hagen,2016; Tota 2023a, 2023b). In this sense, traumatic events are actual societal challengesthat open questions related to efforts for building a more cohesive society. Therefore,individual, collective and public memories assume a political role and represent amultidisciplinary tool that, instead of being locked to the idea of simply “narrating the past”,contributes to new inscriptions of traumatic pasts in the public discourse. From thistheoretical framework, the role of the creative gesture of transformation linked to theartistic codes becomes a very central and powerful mean to consolidate the democratictexture of a society.ReferencesAlexander, J. C., Eyerman, R., Giesen, B., Smelser, N.J., Sztompka, P. (eds.) (2004),Cultural Trauma and Collective Identity, Berkley: University of California Press.Eyerman, R. (2001), Cultural Trauma. Slavery and the Formation of African AmericanIdentity, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Eyerman, R. (2016) ‘Social movements and memory’, in A. L. Tota, T. Hagen (eds.)Routledge International Handbook of Memory Studies, London: Routledge, 79-83.

Eyerman, R. (2019), Memory, Trauma, and Identity, London: Palgrave Macmillan.Smelser, N. (2004), ‘Psychological trauma and cultural trauma’, in Alexander, J. C.,Eyerman, R., Giesen, B., Smelser, N.J., Sztompka, P. (eds.), Cultural Trauma andCollective Identity, Berkley: University of California Press.Tota, A. L., Hagen, T. (2016) (eds.) Routledge International Handbook of Memory Studies,London: Routledge.Tota, A. L. (2010) “Ethnographying public memory: the commemorative genre for thevictims of terrorism in Italy”, in Atkinson P., Delamont S., Sage Qualitative ResearchMethods, Sage: London, Vol. 4 (2), pp. 131-159.Tota, A. L. (2023a) Eco-Words. The Ecology of Conversation, London: Routledge.Tota, A. L. (2023b) Ecologia del pensiero. Conversazioni con una mente inquinata, Torino:Einaudi.Wagner-Pacifici, R. (2010) ‘Theorizing the Restlessness of Events’, in American Journal ofSociology, 115 (5), 1351–1386.

Understanding the importance of epistemic communities in creativity research

ABSTRACT. There are increasing calls for more interdisciplinary research and the domain of creativity appears to be a fertile ground for such endeavours. Just a glance at the range of disciplines and topics that come together under the umbrella of this conference demonstrates the wide-ranging reach of creativity studies. However, there are still fundamental aspects on which we do not agree - from the very definition of creativity to the manner in which it should be investigated. These disagreements are likely to be deep-seated because they stem from epistemological disciplinary allegiances that are hard to shake. In this talk, I will draw on research in creativity to offer the argument that these differences are generative and that the skills and knowledge required to understand human creativity will come only from diversification rather than homogenisation. 

Techno-Aesthetics in the (Neg) Anthropocene

ABSTRACT. This paper will revisit the question of Techne and Aesthetics as set out in the original philosophical project of Gilbert Simondon at the foundation of the college internationale de philosophie. It will then turn the work of Bernard Stiegler to explore how the techno-aesthetics can enable us to better comprehend questions negation of anthropic processes (neg) Anthropocence will conclude by exploring meaning making as forms of idiom and new forms of locality.