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Amateur practices and actors of vision. History and forms of the technologies of the look.

Head: Luisella Farinotti

Year 2018

The aim of this research project is the reconstruction of a broad segment of Italian amateur-cinema production, of the modes of use, from the bottom, of the technologies of vision of the 20th century (and beyond), considered as stages of a collective history of visuality. The final point in the processes of diffusion and appropriation of a practice that is a technique, but is also a language, i.e. a form of relationship with the world and construction of the visible, the (film) amateur is an indication of a completely modern sensibility for machines as instruments of change. It is on this very relationship between man and machine that the research focuses, on the gesture of appropriation not only of a device, but of a new perceptive dimension of the experience that that device helps to define.

The research focuses on three crucial historical steps in the transformation of the idea and amateur practice: the pioneering experiences of the first photo-movie amateurs in Italy in the 1920s and 1930s; the mass spread of photo-movie amateur practice in our country in the 1950s and 1960s; the amateur in the digital age, when the boundaries between producer and consumer, between professional, amateur and amateur are becoming increasingly fluid.

The research enabled the organisation of the first international conference on amateur cinema in Italy (May 2019).