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Tafter Journal
Number of Followers: 1  

  This is an Open Access Journal Open Access journal
ISSN (Print) 1974-563X
Published by Monti &Taft Homepage  [2 journals]
  • Culture and War: more than an aristocratic pastime

    • Authors: Stefano Monti
      Abstract: In this number of Tafter Journal, we will not cover war reflections neither we will talk about the claimed relevance of culture within the overall geopolitical equilibrium.We’re rather covering reflections and stories about two of the main derivative topics that war probably will generate, and that will dominate the EU public debate after War will come to an end, and they both relate to culture in a straight or broad sense.On one hand, Casula and Cosci investigate “the logic and dynamics of the cultural work” stressing how, “In artistic worlds, more than in other fields, educational and occupational choices are often seen as following the presence of exceptional individual talent, conceived as a natural gift. This notion tends to cover the structural nature of gender inequalities in music and to present women’s marginalization within jazz worlds as a personal matter related to sexual differences, rather than a social issue to be redressed.”On the other hand, the essay of Buoncompagni is addressed understanding the contemporary international framework of “digital identity”, with a particular focus on the most vulnerable sectors of the global population, and, above all, refugees.Both of the articles reveal insights that we should all take into account, especially in the next 6-12 months: as the reading of Casula and Cosci suggests, the first element we should consider when we look at the near future is that culture has real impacts when we talk about of “practiced culture”. Everyday culture has on our lives an impact that is far stronger than institutional or red-carpet culture. Thus, when we the war will be finally finished, EU is expected to address the communitarian investment efforts to the realization of multiple everyday culture actions, despite the realization of flagship interventions.This means that, banally, the EU should invest in the creation of new and several cultural and creative industries, with or without profit purposes, enabling natural and endemic cultural growth processes. Furthermore, the reflections of Buoncompagni remind us that we should keep in mind how the most important purpose of “refugee or migrant” population management, is to realize for those people a social inclusion program.European Union, nowadays, has the opportunity to demonstrate, to its citizens as well as to the other countries, a European Model of migrants management: a model that encourages the creation of a relationship between migrants and citizens, based on the awareness that both, migrants and inhabitants, need a profound connection, the firsts for survival reasons, the latter for social development needs.In this sense, the current number of Tafter Journal tells us three different stories: the trends about "degendered" development practices within the jazz world, the need for a more profound cultural awareness in the usage of digital identity tools in order to avoid the threats deriving from incorrect usage of the same technologies we’ve built in order to protect the most fragile persons within our global society; and the need to understand how cultural research, and cultural practice, should be no longer conceived as an exercise in style.Culture is not an aristocratic pastime anymore.Culture is an industry, and in the meanwhile, it is a powerful asset with which we could and maybe should improve our conditions, empowering our identities and strengthening our capabilities. Museums and institutional culture have a key role, in times of peace. Everyday non-institutional culture comes in handy when actual problems need to be addressed.
      PubDate: Fri, 15 Apr 2022 15:50:00 +000
  • Framing the socially invisible: a transdisciplinary gender analysis of two
           documentary films on jazz

    • Authors: Clementina Casula
      Abstract: The article focusses on the analysis of two documentary films by Ramon Tort: A film about kids and music. Sant Andreu Jazz Band (2012) and Andrea Motis. The silent trumpet. A story about the suc-cess of simplicity (2018). The first film allows for an analysis of the Catalan jazz band as an agency of degendered socialization, teaching school-age boys and girls how to play jazz while being part of a group and building the self-confidence also allowing them to envisage a career as professional mu-sicians; the second film, on the launching of the international career of one of the previous ‘kids of the band’, shows the relation between socialization within the band and the successful breaking of the invisible barriers hampering women’s access and career-making within occupational fields still conceived as a male dominion – as in the case of jazz. The integration of standard tools of social re-search with an audiovisual methodology allows to identify the logic and dynamics of the cultural work framing a creative space, grounding both the educational and occupational experiences con-sidered and their documentation, where the relation between jazz and gender is articulated follow-ing egalitarian principles.
      PubDate: Fri, 15 Apr 2022 15:50:00 +000
  • Connected refugees: (liquid) surveillance or computer management of

    • Authors: Giacomo Buoncompagni
      Abstract: In the time of covid-19, a lack of data can mean social invisibility, the cancellation of fundamental rights, and death. In the current political and pandemic climate, in Italy, in Europe, and other countries around the world the migration discourse still creates huge public debates and conflicts between institutions and citizens. Despite this, for some years now, there has been discussion about the addition of new digital identity systems that would promote a more effective policy of collaboration and management of the migration phenomenon. What is needed is a knowledge base on the technical and bureaucratic dangers, the difficulties of defending privacy and obtaining full and informed consent, and the challenges of identity data protection for all actors in the ecosystem. Institutions and stakeholders can use this knowledge to ensure that adequate technical and organizational safeguards are in place before digital identity systems are developed, implemented, and integrated. Only then can we realize the benefits of trusted socio-technical systems and at the same time protect the fundamental rights of vulnerable and marginalized populations. The new challenge for institutions today is to manage, also digitally, the phenomenon of international migration. Through an in-depth analysis of the international literature, we investigated the relationship between digital infrastructure, migration management, and surveillance, and possible technological, identity, and cultural risks.
      PubDate: Fri, 15 Apr 2022 15:50:00 +000
  • Culture is coming, maybe.

    • Authors: Alfonso Casalini
      Abstract: It’s clear that in the next years, our society will experience a great technological shift: there is plenty of great-new-things next door, and most of them are based upon one word: “content”.It is the case of the metaverse or the case of the NFT evolution, but it is also the case of the IoT protocol or the home automation: as a society, today we are called to produce and consume an amount of content never seen before in our human history.Content, however, is not culture.Content is content, as well as information, are information.Is for this reason that reducing the gap between content and culture should be one of our most important concerns.It is a huge challenge, that deserves to be more acknowledged because the difference between “content” and “culture” hides profound cultural idiosyncrasies and generational gaps.Looking at the inner structure of our society, it clearly emerges that those institutions which should be train citizens in developing awareness about the “vision of the world” carried on by new technologies are the institutions that most of all should be trained about it.Educational systems, as well as cultural institutions, look at the digital transformation mostly as a “communication display”: they’re more involved in understanding how to promote their events using TikTok than understanding which kind of knowledge should be developed in order to foster independent thinking amongst new generations.It’s not a “fault” since these kinds of institutions are structurally unprepared for this.We should simply face the facts: most Italian institutional museums do not provide visitors with an informatic ticketing system or do not use CRM to register information about their visitors in order to interact with them.So, on one hand, we live in a world grown with paper and pen, and on the other hand, we have generations growing with metaverses and blockchain.
      PubDate: Tue, 15 Feb 2022 20:30:00 +000
  • What Big Data Is and How Can We Use It

    • Authors: Luigi Laura
      Abstract: In recent years, we have witnessed an exponential growth of the amount of data we are generating. As an example, consider the numbers depicted in Figure 1, that shows what happens in one minute in Internet, for both the years 2016 and 2017. In a single minute, approximately 150 million email are sent, 350 thousand new tweets appear in Twitter, and 40 thousand posts in Instagram, both in 2016 and in 2017. But the figure allows us also to see the impressive growth, in a single year, of some statistics: the search queries in Google raised from 2.4 to 3.5 million, video views in Youtube jumped from 2.78 to 4.1 million, and Uber Rides almost triplicated, from approximately 1300 to 3800.WhatsApp messages exchanged went from 20 to 29 million.There is an explosion of data, and the natural question is whether we can use it to improve our daily lives. We already witnessed some examples in which we can exploit the data: Google Maps has real time information about traffic data, and suggests us the fastest route available according to this info. Amazon knows what we bought, i.e., what we like, and can suggest us similar items based on shopping preferences of people that have similar tastes. Apple (and other companies) can recognize our friends in the pictures, that are geolocalized thanks to the built-in GPS in our smartphones, and helps us in retrieving and organizing them. We choose restaurants and hotels based on the feedback of thousands of customers in Tripadvisor. Big Data is already in our lives. In the following section, we will try to provide a better picture of what Big Data is. Then, the natural question become “How can we use it'”
      PubDate: Tue, 15 Feb 2022 20:30:00 +000
  • “γνῶθι σαυτόν” Technology as tools for inclusive museums:
           Liquid museum experience

    • Authors: Anna Maria Marras
      Abstract: The accessibility is one of the most important stuff for museums and often is replaced with “inclusion” because involves in holistic way all museum life in general. Thanks to digital accessibility the museums join the visitor’s technologies behaviours and improve the knowledge sharing on site and on the web with usable and responsive website and digital library. “Museo archeologico nazionale di Cagliari” liquid museum experience has its foundations in the awareness that the accessibility, in all forms, is a part of global museum strategy.
      PubDate: Tue, 15 Feb 2022 20:30:00 +000
  • Boosting gender equality through music production.

    • Authors: Clementina Casula
      Abstract: The new centrality of the cultural and creative sectors in the socio-economic development of contemporary capitalist societies has brought to acknowledge arts and culture as a fundamental asset for territorial development. The debate has mostly focussed on the potential role of artistic and cultural production in boosting the attractiveness both of cities acting in a competitive global scenario as well as relatively remote locations neglected by standard tourist routes. Less attention, however, has been paid to its transformative action in the social fabric, requiring the analysis to include an ethical dimension within discourses on socio-economic development.In this article I will adopt the latter perspective, considering the potential contribution of artistic and cultural production to the process of enhancing democratic and inclusive morphologies in local territories (UCLG 2021). The discussion will be based on an empirical qualitative research on two Italian female brass bands, emerging in quite different territorial and organizational contexts, but both contributing to challenge those gender biases, prescriptions and practices still hampering women’s full participation both to music worlds and social life in general.
      PubDate: Wed, 15 Sep 2021 18:15:00 +000
  • Enabling Culture in enabling development

    • Authors: Stefano Monti
      Abstract: This number of Tafter Journal reflects on “music”, and “music industry” as two distinct but, after all, clearly connected phenomena, by highlighting the mutual relationship between "contemporary cultural content" and "contemporary cultural industry". Since human beings became citizens of a world bigger than them, they understood the need for production and distribution systems in order to reach any kind of goods and services. Culture makes no exception.In this sense, when we look at cultural production, both in the sense of professional production of contents and in the meaning of active consumption of culture, we should fix our attention to the fact that culture need industrial means to survive. This kind of relationship is even clearer in music production, where the organizational aspects are part of the of the production itself.This kind of relationship should be clear when we look at music market data. Focusing on a small-sized country such as Italy is, it is possible to understand it in an easier way: when we discover that, among the 20 Italian regions, two of them, and namely, Lombardy and Lazio, host the 40% of music distribution companies, the 40% of music management companies, the 37% of record labels, the 31% of music events and concert organization agencies, and, the 41% of audience expenditures, we’re not describing only the geographic distribution of music production, we’re defining where, and how, our cultural contents are developed and disseminated. We can detect the effects of this kind of geographical distribution, or, this sort of this “cultural mechanics” in both the article of this number.Valentina Casula, in her article, focuses on how artistic and cultural production are key aspects in processes of enhancement of a more inclusive and egalitarian social fabric, by discussing the results of an “empirical qualitative research on two Italian female brass bands, emerging in quite different territorial and organizational contexts, but both contributing to challenging those gender biases, prescriptions and practices still hampering women’s full participation both to music worlds and social life in general”.On the other hand, the article of Limongelli, that we’ve chosen to re-publish in this issue, reflects on the strong relationship between the rise of innovative start-ups in the music industry and the number of artists involved in the creation of cultural content addressed to niche audiences.Together, the articles could define a “connection” that should interest many territorial administrators: while most of the music consumption (not including concerts or events) is managed through online platforms, music production still remains an enabling “engine” for territorial development.This implies further several reflections in the strategic development of our cities: digital marketplaces can be today intended as one of the main distribution channels of music content, and, today, there are more and more young artists starting their careers by simply uploading their works on a social network.By promoting not only cultural active consumption, but also cultural production, territorial administrators could lead our city in reaching both, the social desired effects that culture produces, and the economic development of a “little music industry”, which could help territorial emerging artists in carrying on their passions without the need to “leave” for the “big city”. By interpreting our territories as "spots" of bigger networks, our cultural production (music production in this case, but also artistic production could be shaped in this way), could show interesting features also for the development of a production system better fitting also for the exportation of cultural goods and services.The web taught us the potentialities of networks. We just need to understand that networks work also in the "real world".
      PubDate: Wed, 15 Sep 2021 18:15:00 +000
  • Music Industry: between indie productions and innovative startups

    • Authors: Lara Limongelli
      Abstract: In these times we used to talk about every kind of art expression as performative acts: for visual arts and also for music. Like all performing art, also music introduces itself as a theatrical experience, an all encompassing and communal experience – the involvement of spectators for first, feelings, the emotional power from the rituals surrounding these shows, the experience.In this cultural landscape, in our times, two things seems in opposition, but they don’t: on the one hand, the introduction and the diffusion of new technologies creates open space to experimental form, sort of mash up between music, video and interactive systems ( it results from the tradition of the experimental music from 1970, with personality as Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson, Meredith Monk, Steve Reich, Robert Wilson, Peter Gabriel, Brian Eno and many more), even introducing AI (artificial intelligence[1]) or VR (virtual reality), the simple streaming vision of a live show, and also more relevant implications for music business.On the other hand, economic crisis put every musicians in the necessity of embracing new ways of sharing, creating and selling music.This necessity often is a translation of a new kind of diy (“do it yourself” practice) for musicians, producers, promoters, helped by digital technology: this is not valid only for live events (different places from the institutional ones, as record store, Blutopia [2] in Rome for example, or clubs, different tour management or self-promotion with the use of social media and video sharing) but also for single musicians, emerging bands or labels and associations.As an interesting article writes about music business – which we can extend also to music and musicians in general: “the music business has been through a number of changes in the last fifteen years, and has often found itself at odds with emerging technology (…) Decimated by piracy and services like Napster, record companies tried to adapt, first by selling mp3s and then finally agreeing to join forces with commercial streaming services like Spotify and Apple Music. Those services represent an ever-growing portion of revenue for labels and artists, but one big problem remains - they fail to make up for the loss of income due to declining CD sales. Fortunately, there are a number of new technologies that will bring major changes - and significant financial gains - to the music business.[3]”
      PubDate: Wed, 15 Sep 2021 18:15:00 +000
  • The medium does not equal the message

    • Authors: Alfonso Casalini
      Abstract: While Europe is involved in facing the social and economic difficulties heightened by the pandemic, there are several innovations that are ready to be implemented and to be part of our daily lives.Among them, public debate pays great attention to the enormous possibility that 5G could represent for our development.It’s out of doubt that 5G, and the subsequent development of IoT technologies, could be one of the “next great things” of the very next years. As well as it is out of doubt that this technology could sensibly transform many patterns in cultural production and consumption.Nevertheless, there is a huge risk that the cultural and creative sector could misunderstand the real potential enabled by this kind of technology: a major understanding of non-technological needs.The very real potentiality is not only in the development of new and powerful technological platforms. Neither it is only in the creation of new social platforms.It is in the possibility to connect human beings with “cultural products and services”, it is the possibility to give human beings a more profound understanding of the place where they live and to engage with their own territories.On the other hand, new tech-introduction could give new perspectives about how people react to specific cultural stimuli, prompting us in a data-driven interpretation of reality.In this framework, however, the threat is that cultural and creative professional, organization, and public administrations could be only attracted by the Wow effect that often this kind of technologies produce, and, thus, interpreting it as a sort of a contemporary Wunderkammer developed in a global scale.The possibilities of this new kind of technology are far greater than this: but to reach the real potentiality, we need to develop knowledge and competencies that could enable us in structuring a new system of thought.A system of thought that uses tech to reach humanity, to understand cultural needs in an effective way, in order to understand how to better engage with cultural targets. A system of thought where tech is just a production factor into the wider cultural and creative value chain.After all, as most of the people who love culture know, the famous McLuhan phrase claims that The medium is the message", and not that the medium equals it.
      PubDate: Thu, 15 Jul 2021 14:30:00 +000
  • IVIPRO: Narrating Italy through Videogames

    • Authors: Andrea Dresseno
      Abstract: Videogames can become the way to discover the world that surrounds us: this is the premise of the Italian Videogame Program project. IVIPRO is a national and cross-regional project, working closely with all local institutions. On one hand, we are mapping Italy from a videogame-oriented perspective, to identify locations and stories that are more suitable for virtual worlds; on the other hand, we entertain a continuous dialogue with software houses, local institutions and museums, in order to understand their needs and help them in discovering how to promote the Italian heritage inside videogames.The core of the project is the recently launched Places & Tales database, available in Early Access. A tool – based on four different categories: Locations, Themes, Characters and Objects – which can give developers inspiration for the narration of their video games, offering in-depth analysis of Italian places and stories.The article will focus on: an overview on the Italian videogame industry and cultural context; IVIPRO and its goals; an in-depth analysis of the database, plus some concrete examples of games set in Italy and of fascinating locations and stories.
      PubDate: Thu, 15 Jul 2021 14:30:00 +000
  • Reality calls to a new interpretation of culture

    • Authors: Stefano Monti
      Abstract: In Italy, one of the most widespread interpretations of the cultural role in our lives and societies, affecting also the interpretation of cultural heritage and production, tends to create a visible division between the role of public bodies and private entities.Indeed, this kind of interpretation, still relevant in various contexts, today appears quite anachronistic, weakly reflecting the real state of the art.Largely diffused in the second half of the 20th century, this kind of interpretation claims for a strong differentiation between an ascetic-like approach to cultural heritage, mostly led by public entities in the name of the “public good” nature of culture, and the opportunistic, marginalist, profit-based private approach, in which private entities are represented as a sort of commodification agents, whose interest in culture is only led by profits and egoistic interests.Despite the public debate draws this kind of interpretation with more euphemistic words, undoubtedly this kind of approach still remains in the background of the cultural debates: on one hand, there are plenty of laws and rules focused on limiting the role of private agents in cultural fields; on the other hand, there are even more examples of public interventions calling private agents to an only fundraising role within the cultural context.In response to this kind of approach, together with the non-always-brilliant results in terms of cultural heritage management that are visible in our country when we go far from the Superstars (Colosseum, and so on), it is growing a more and more widespread public dissatisfaction, mostly in younger generations of professionals which would like to work within the cultural heritage sector.Paradoxically, this kind of tiredness could help growing another extreme approach to Cultural Heritage, in response to the conservative attitude that, in fact, governs our cultural heritage management.
      PubDate: Sat, 15 May 2021 17:30:00 +000
  • When a company makes itself a book. A glance to the phenomenon of
           corporate books and monographs in Italy

    • Authors: Valentina Martino
      Abstract: The paper investigates the phenomenon of company books, published by enterprises and other kind of organisations to narrate their corporate history and activities. Such publications, conceived according to several possible disciplinary standpoints, narrative approaches and expressive languages, represent a very singular literary and communicative tradition in the Italian context.A preliminary analysis aims at framing in brief the historical origins of the sector, its characteristics, development, and contemporary exploit. In such a review, a special attention is devoted to corporate monographs – company “history” or “anniversary” books – representing the primary and most refined genre within company literature. Then, an overview is proposed about specialist libraries and documentary centres dedicated to corporate books in Italy, with a special focus on the “BiblHuB” project, promoted since 2018 by the Sapienza University of Rome.
      PubDate: Sat, 15 May 2021 17:30:00 +000
  • Museum’s self-financing capacity: axes of development to increase
           Italy’s 1.737 billion euros worth cultural heritage self-generated

    • Authors: Federica Brunetti
      Abstract: In Italy, performance measures linked to museums’ self-financing capacity have been systematically disregarded, as cultural heritage has been traditionally considered as a sector incapable of being a State’s profit generating asset. This article aims at outlining innovative revenue streams that museums could develop in order to increase their self-generated income. France’s public cultural institutions’ management is analyzed and considered as an example proving it is possible to have the cultural heritage sector financing its own growth.
      PubDate: Sat, 15 May 2021 17:30:00 +000
  • Ecclesiastical Cultural Heritage

    • Authors: Alfonso Casalini
      Abstract: In the wide framework of cultural resources present on a territory, there are still instruments and assets that, for multiple reasons, do not enter in traditional mixed offer of a city or a region. Ecclesiastical cultural heritage is often part of the structures that public administrators let slip. For Italy, it seems like paradoxically. While an important part of the art history and of cultural heritage is related to the history of Church, and while there are almost no cultural itineraries that do not include an ecclesiastical reference, the so-called “ecclesiastical museums” are still a marginal part of the policies realized to improve cultural, social and economic growth of our territories.In this article, we will discuss both the theoretical implication and the concrete opportunities that the empowerment of the ecclesiastical museums could generate for Italian territories, in terms of the touristic, cultural, and spiritual offer.As occur for “secular” ones, the ecclesiastical museum expresses a set of differentiated values that we need to take into account: the economic and social values are, therefore, specific consequences of the intrinsic cultural and historical values represented by the artworks that the museums store and protect. Furthermore, ecclesiastical museums present an aspect that every kind of consideration needs to take into account: the relevance of the spiritual and religious values and the role of the artworks as an important tessera in the wider mosaic of evangelization function.
      PubDate: Tue, 16 Mar 2021 07:35:00 +000
  • Versus the superstars

    • Authors: Stefano Monti
      Abstract: In discussing the general influence of economic progress on value, Alfred Marshall wrote: The relative fall in the incomes to be earned by moderate ability... is accentuated by the rise in those that are obtained by many men of extraordinary ability. There never was a time at which moderately good oil paintings sold more cheaply than now, and… at which first-rate paintings sold so dearly. A business man of average ability and average good fortune gets now a lower rate of profits... than at any previous time, while the operations, in which a man exceptionally favoured by genius and good luck can take part, are so extensive as to enable him to amass a large fortune with a rapidity hitherto unknown.The causes of this change are two; firstly, the general growth of wealth, and secondly, the development of new facilities for communication by which men, who have once attained a commanding position, are enabled to apply their constructive or speculative genius to undertakings vaster, and extending over a wider area, than ever before.It is the first cause... that enables some barristers to command very high fees, for a rich client whose reputation, or fortune, or both, are at stake will scarcely count any price too high to secure the services of the best man he can get: and it is this again that enables jockeys and painters and musicians of exceptional ability to get very high prices… But so long as the number of persons who can be reached by a human voice is strictly limited, it is not very likely that any singer will make an advance on the £10.000 said to have been earned in a season by Mrs. Billington at the beginning of the last century, nearly as great as that which the business leaders of the present generation have made on those of the last.
      PubDate: Tue, 16 Mar 2021 07:35:00 +000
  • Communicating archaeology to everyone.

    • Authors: Carlo Baione
      Abstract: Cultural Heritage does not represent a value in itself, but it rather embodies a relational value: an archaeological site, for instance, is whatever value the civil society and the community of reference give to it. The communication of the meaning of our heritage to the public of is hence a duty that belongs to the professionals of Cultural Heritage: archaeologists at Poggio del Molino (Populonia, Italy), in a global archaeology approach, have sought to open the research to the public using digital technologies, thus making operations open and accessible to everybody, on and off site.
      PubDate: Tue, 16 Mar 2021 07:35:00 +000
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