Unlocking Potentials

Vortrag, Milano - Spazio Maiocchi

As part of SPRINT
Take the Book – Spaces for Art and Science

Milano - Spazio Maiocchi

As part of SPRINT
Take the Book – Spaces for Art and Science

The talk will be held in Italian and will take place at H18:00 at Spazio Maiocchi, via Achille Maiocchi 7, Milan. Free entrance. 

Getting work published is one of the main activities that artists and researchers have in common. The expectations, however, toward what a book could potentially be and the objectives associated with the act of publishing vary considerably. Researchers from all disciplines usually work under high pressure to advance their academic careers by way of publishing new insightful research in journals, anthologies, and in the form of monographic contributions. Artists, on the other hand, are less constrained by the limitations of what constitutes highly standardized publication formats. They challenge accustomed conceptions of the book, experimenting with materials, designs and different ways of presenting.

The book constitutes a sort of common space in which interaction is possible: surely, interaction with the book, its shape, and the modes of expression it permits, but it also figures as a point of reference, a common playground that connects different actors involved in the business of making books. In its many manifestations, the book can be construed as an intellectual challenge to be mastered, a cultural artefact to be cherished, a toolbox to be played around with, a carrier of ideas, imaginaries and information to be consumed, or as an opportunity to exhibit and showcase collaborative endeavors. There are indeed many ways of thinking of the book in view of both its tactile-experienceable qualities and the more notional-abstracting dimensions that describe its conception and contents.

This encounter is part of Take the Book – Spaces for Art and Sciencea series of three events that will take place during November and December 2021 entirely devoted to the book, between history, art and science.

The event is also part of the series of events organized by SPRINT in collaboration with Istituto Svizzero and coincides with the finissage of the exhibition The Most Beautiful Swiss Books.

Unlocking Potentials – The Art of Publishing Books

This third event in the ArtScience series on the history and future of books focuses on innovative art publishing and presents two publishing projects, one from Italy and one from Switzerland.

Computer Comics 1984-1987 by the Giovanotti Mondani Meccanici group, founded by Antonio Glessi and Andrea Zingoni, is a volume edited by Francesco Spampinato for NERO, it represents an important part of the history of postmodern culture in Italy and testifies to the multimedia nature of publishing projects of this period. As probably the first ever 8-bit digital comics, originally launched on the pages of the countercultural magazine Frigidaire, today the material comes back collected and ‚remastered‘, for the first time.

The second publication presented is Dimensions of Two, curated by the Swiss graphic studio Norm, formed in 1999 by Dimitri Bruni and Manuel Krebs. The edition accompanies Norm’s first museum exhibition, It’s Not Complicated, at the Design Museum Zurich, highlighting the studio’s solutions characterized by reduction based on a rich structure of ideas, presenting the studio’s vision of the most fundamental elements and laws of graphic art, both now and in the future.

The conversation between curator Francesco Spampinato and graphic designer Dimitri Bruni will reflect on the technological implications of the projects presented and the multiple artistic practices involved. Navigating the concept of ‚limit‘ as a fact or poetic choice, in order to build visions, also in terms of a challenge to find effective and innovative expressive solutions, also with regard to the distribution of the book itself, which today as never before is an ‚object‘ in constant mutation.

The intervention will be moderated by Stella Succi.

In collaboration with the Zurich University of the Arts (ZHdK).


In accordance with current regulations, the public is required to present a Covid Green Certificate at the entrance in order to access the event. This includes one of the following:

  • • You have received the anti-COVID-19 vaccination, with proof that you have received the first dose of vaccine at least 15 days previously or that you have completed the vaccination cycle;
  • • Recovery from COVID-19 within 6 months prior to the date of the event;
  • • Present a rapid antigenic or molecular test with a negative result within 48 hours prior to admission.