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News from the Quadriennale Library Archive
The Il pulsante leggero di Rinaldo Funari fund


Our documentary wealth has been enriched by the addition of a new archival fund, that is, Il pulsante leggero di Rinaldo Funari, which includes material valuable for studying the beginnings of computer art in Italy in the 1980s       

The fund consists of about 30 folders containing letters, photographs, audio-visual materials, grey literature, volumes, magazines and various types of documents. In particular, it contains material on the activities of the Il pulsante leggero association, which was founded by Rinaldo Funari (1943-2014) in 1983 and named after an expression this latter coined together with critic Enrico Cocuccioni for a theoretical text on computer graphics. Said text was published in the ’50×70′ art magazine, which was edited by Funari himself, in December 1983. Cocuccioni and Funari’s meeting in 1983 marked the beginning of their close collaboration. Indeed, they curated together the Le fiabe volano exhibition (Rome, 1984), which saw the inclusion of a number of pioneering figurative experiences produced with computers alongside traditional illustrations and comics. A series of exhibitions was also held – as documented in the Fund – in the 5×5 Art Studio in Via Garibaldi, Rome, which is a rare example of an exhibition space dedicated to computer art and was founded and directed by Rinaldo Funari himself in the early 1980s.

The most interesting group of documents concerns the events, forums and exhibitions devoted to the theme of the relationship among art, science, visual communication and applications: witness the Camerino Electronic Art Festival, which was a fundamental point of reference for reflections on the interaction between art and new technologies from 1983 to 1990 and was promoted by the Il pulsante leggero association for several editions. The Festival hosted conferences and exhibitions on the lingos of computer art and graphics, video and photography, cinema, TV, music and cultural heritage.

There is considerable documentation on the participation of Pulsante leggero in numerous other exhibitions in which the association took part by presenting special ‘compilations’ featuring the works of various Italian computer art authors.

There is also a collection of essays, magazines and monographs on computer art by Italian artists published between the 1980s and the 1990s, as well as documentation and data sheets on about 40 artists who have used computers as a new technical means of expression and communication in connection with the activity of Pulsante leggero, including Daniela Bertol, Colour Factory, Crudelity Stoffe, Ida Gerosa, Giovanotti Mondani Meccanici, CGE Group, THC Group, Mario Sasso, Riccardo Sinigaglia, Paolo Uliana, Videosintesi.

Thanks to the support of Eni, which has been the main sponsor of the reorganisation and inventory project, and to the collaboration of the Department of History, Anthropology, Religion, Art and Entertainment of the Sapienza University of Rome, the fund will soon be open to the public.


Main sponsor