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Multiplied Works, Open Work

Seriality and Anonymity in the Cine-visual Research of the 1960s

Marta Previti    Università degli Studi di Padova, Italia    



In the early 1960s, groups of artists begin to develop collective research in kinetic art and visual perception. By combining art, industrial design and technology, these ‘aesthetic operators’ lay the foundations for a multiplied art, made for everybody. The aim of their work is to open art to a genuine democratization process since the viewer would interact with these manipulable objects. However, this point of view questions the art myth of the ‘unique and unrepeatable’ artwork, which is replaced by the ‘open work’, produced in series by an interdisciplinary team. Moreover, the theory of anonymity and the multiples increase the critical debate concerning the concept of authenticity. The paper proposes a reflection on the diffusion of multiplied art during the 1960s. Through the analysis of the archival documents – some previously unpublished – the study identifies the crucial passages in which the experimentations of programmed Italian artists have embraced the democratic ideology of seriality.

Dec. 21, 2021
Aug. 19, 2021
July 6, 2021

Keywords: Collective workMultiplesSerialityOpen workProgrammed art

Copyright: © 2021 Marta Previti. This is an open-access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction is permitted, provided that the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. The license allows for commercial use. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.