On Facts and Fiction

Curated by Antonia Alampi and Warren Neidich

With Isaac JulienFederico CampagnaChiara CappellettoErminia dell’OroChiara FigoneGabriella GhermandiValentina PisantyCorrado Sinigaglia and Tiziana Terranova

On June 20 and 21, 3pm – 8pm, at Aula Magna Silvio Trentin, Ca’ Dolfin – Ca’ Foscari University, Venice
On June 22, 7pm – 9pm at Zuecca Project Space, Venice

The Saas-Fee Summer Institute of Art (SFSIA)www.artbrain.org and The Journal of NeuroaestheticsZuecca Projects and Ca’ Foscari University of Venice, are happy to present “On Facts and Fiction: Analyzing Propaganda and Fake News in the 21st century”, curated by Antonia Alampi and Warren Neidich.

Rumor to Delusion“, a solo-exhibition by Warren Neidich on view at Zuecca Project Space, critically engages with issues concerning the construction of subjectivity and consciousness in our present moment by using the infamous “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory as its model. You may or may not remember how this fake news story, conceived and nurtured on Internet chat rooms and billboards, like Reddit and 4chan, during the 2016 presidential campaign, went viral and potentially affected the electoral outcome.

Taking this event as its starting point, “On Facts and Fiction: Analyzing Propaganda and Fake News in the 21st century” is a two-day program concerning the concept, use and technological distribution of “fake-news”, and its legacy within the history of propaganda, in particular in connection to right-wing movements in two very different contexts, namely Italy and the United States.

Firstly, the program will investigate the subtle and complex relations of fiction and facts, trying to unravel what has been defined “post-truth society” in its present day context. Special interest will be placed upon the historical context and today’s rise in far right populism in Italy, in which the program takes place. Secondly, it will situate the discussion around fake news in the Italian political philosophical movement of post-Workerism and Italian cognitive capitalism in its early and late stage. In the former condition, it will discuss the relationship of valorization and financialization to the emergent forms of capital production that are based on the fictive capacity of language to create engaging stories for the purposes of selling and marketing. Key here will be the relationship of valorization to the disruption of the sign and signifier as conducive to fake news. In the latter, its connection to embodiment, performativity and sculpting the material brain will be emphasized, by exploring the notion of the plastic social brain. To quote Victoria Pitts-Taylor: “Although it is not framed as such in scientific accounts, the plastic, social brain also reveals neurobiology to be political – that is, capable of change and transformation, and open to social structures and their contestation.

The symposium will include presentations, readings, debates and performances from a heterogeneous array of specialists from the fields of culture, philosophy, neuroscience, critical theory and media to produce a unique perspective with which to address the crisis of truth in current features.



JUNE 20, 2019 | 3pm – 8 pm | Aula Magna Silvio Trentin, Ca’ Dolfin – Ca’ Foscari University
Greetings from prof. Flavio Gregori, Provost – Cultural Activities and Relations of Ca’ Foscari University of Venice
Introduction by Antonia Alampi, Curator
15:30: Screening Isaac Julien. Western Union Small Boats. 18 min
16:00: Corrado Sinigaglia + Q&A
16:45: Federico Campagna + Q&A
17:30: Valentina Pisanty + Q&A
18:15: Erminia dell’Oro + Q&A
Closing remarks by Antonia Alampi and Warren Neidich

JUNE 21, 2019 | 3pm – 8pm | Aula Magna Silvio Trentin, Ca’ Dolfin – Ca’ Foscari University
15:00: Warren Neidich + Q&A
16:00: Chiara Cappelletto + Q&A
17:00: Tiziana Terranova + Q&A
18:00: Chiara Figone + Q&A
Closing remarks by Antonia Alampi and Warren Neidich

JUNE 22, 2019 | 7pm – 9pm | Zuecca Project Space
19:00: Performance Scoring the tweets by Warren Neidich
19:30: Performance Queen of flowers and pearls by Gabriella Ghermandi