3d Printing, Street Art and NFT: A Sensory Journey into Intangible Heritage

My talk will share two research experiences carried out over the past 3 years, the result of collaboration with the Accademia Dei Romani and the University of Tor Vergata in Rome on the one hand, and with artist Giò Montez on the other. Two unique initiatives.

1.Resistart in 3D

The first project, Resistart in 3D, was created as part of the Master’s program “New technologies for communication, cultural management and art history teaching” – MANT coordinated by Prof. Carmelo Occhipinti, of the Department of Literary, Philosophical and Art History Studies, University of Rome Tor Vergata, and aimed to census and catalog multiple works and languages of urban art in the municipalities and villages of Lazio (Italy).

Through the creation of a prototype, the project transforms the murals into 3D printed tactile works for blind people. Accessible to all become tools for cataloging and archiving an urban public work.

In this operation of translation, several anthropological and social implications, above all taking into account, within the process of digitization, the instances of artists (authors of the physical and digital work) and citizens, witnesses of the historical identity of the places, to which the murals refer.

This case study, represented a snapshot of the complex phenomenon of urban creativity, lending itself to different interpretative frameworks.

Thanks to the flexibility offered by digital technologies, from 3D Printing to Augmented Reality, from Metaverse to NFT, we are witnessing a transformation of “intangible” cultural heritage, which, thanks to digitization, acquires new meanings

  1. The Canova Case

Still in the context of digitization, I present here my second case study “The Dancer with Cymbals in Red,” a work created together with artist Gio Montez in 2023, which saw, starting from a plaster sketch by the great master Canova, the translation and realization in NFT of its digital derivative. The project, which has found not only a new market but also a new “spatial dimension,” demonstrates the potential that digitization represents for the enhancement, preservation, and promotion of contemporary artistic cultural heritage and beyond. Again, new interpretive scenarios are on the horizon: to whom to assign authorship of the derivative work, how to manage its physical/digital replicability, how to interact in the Metaverse, how to enhance an intangible work such as an NFT can be?

Toward New Horizons

The complexity that the processes of digital dematerialization are bringing into vogue requires an operational but, above all, interpretative ability, which today, can no longer be the preserve of a single professional alone. The skills in the field, which are required of the individual to address the problems range from design, art history, marketing to software programming, but also archiving, law, economics, and philosophy. To deal with complexity there will be an increasing need for a systemic view, one that can think in terms of context rather than absolutes. Artificial intelligence, Big Data, VR, AR, and all the technologies of the 4th industrial revolution are here to be discovered, investigated, challenged.

As Günter Anders “Changing the world is not enough. We do it anyway. And, to a large extent, this change happens even without our cooperation. Our task is also to interpret it. And that, precisely, to change the change. So that the world does not continue to change without us. And in the end, not to change into a world without us” (p. 1). Günter Anders,
Man is old-fashioned,
voI. II: On the destruction of life in the age of the third industrial revolution, Bollati Boringhieri, Turin 1992.


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