Simona Barbera is an artist and an instructor of multimedia installation at the Academia Legustica di Belle Arti in Genova, Italy. In collaboration with her students, she runs a small media lab intended for experimental work and critical study in the fields of installation art, expanded cinema, sound art and material forms of display.
What is your lab called and where is it?
The Multimedia Department of the Academy of Fine Arts in Genova, Italy
What sorts of projects and activities form the core of your work?
Who uses the lab? Is it a space for students, for researchers, for seminars?
We focus our research on the topic of the course (Multimedia studies and Installation Art, artistic practice and research). Mainly students and professors use the lab. Each student uses the lab as an archive of their work.
What sorts of knowledge does the lab produce and how is it circulated?
The lab produces archive material for artistic research, artistic documentation and archive of lessons. The main source of circulation is the academy webpage.
Tell us about your infrastructure. Do you have a designated space and how does that work?
The lab is located in a large soundproof room for multimedia studies. There is also a small library. In the next few months the Multimedia Department of the Academy will be located in a new building, and the lab will have a new infrastructure, one perhaps more accessible to students and visiting professors.
What sort of support does the lab receive?
The lab belong to the Art Academy, which receives government grants and contributions from private donors.
What are your major theoretical touchstones?
Our main theoretical fields of study are based in contemporary artistic practice and material forms of display in art. Over the last few years we have also begun to focus on the Anthropocene in relation to art.
What would you say is the lab’s most significant accomplishment to date?
Our work at the lab has produced a number of material results including historical artistic references, various software for audiovisual works, and audiovisual material for installation and art production.
Could you briefly describe your plans for the lab over the next 3-5 years?
For the next few years the lab will serve as working space that is widely accessible to students, and as a space for art production that encourages open-sourced work.
What makes your lab a lab?
The collaborative nature of our commitment to open-source and shared knowledge, both in our engagement with theory and in our material practice.