Digital technologies allow us to create precise copies of artefacts—but what does this mean for the idea of ‘authenticity’? Ben Luke, δημοσίευση The Art NewspaperMarilena Pateraki
March 2020 was to be a significant month in the story of Factum Arte and the Factum Foundation, the digital pioneers and producers of works of art and facsimiles of historical objects. But because of the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, Factum’s two exhibitions at the Palazzo Fava in Bologna—one uniting the paintings of the 15th-century Griffoni Polyptych for the first time since 1725, the other focusing on the foundation’s technological preservation of cultural heritage—did not open. But the book accompanying the second show, The Aura in the Age of Digital Materiality: Rethinking Preservation in the Shadow of an Uncertain Future, has now been made available for free as a PDF on Factum Arte’s website.
The publication explores Factum’s technological advances in cultural heritage from a practical and philosophical perspective. The basis of the foundation’s work is recording objects and spaces through surface not just volume and in exponentially higher resolution than had previously been possible. “Factum’s interest has always been the surface of things,” says Factum Arte’s co-founder Adam Lowe. “Because it’s in that level of data that you understand what they are.” The company’s 2001 project in Egypt, using a scanner pioneered by Factum’s other co-founder Manuel Franquelo to record the tomb of Seti I, remains the bedrock of its activities today.
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