Marvels and Catastrophes, NEW PROGRAM: Rome

R-LAB and Fondazione smART – polo per l’arte presentano la prima edizione romana di Marvels and Catastrophes (M&C) un progetto a cura di Peter Lang, volto a promuovere lo sviluppo di un pensiero critico e azioni creative nell’era del Covid e del cambiamento climatico.

Marvels and Catastrophes è un progetto sul futuro che si basa sul passato e vive il presente, un workshop che promuove idee critiche e azioni creative per affrontare le sfide urgenti di oggi.

M&C è rivolto a professionisti e laureati nei settori delle arti multimediali, del design, dell’architettura, della cultura urbana, delle discipline umanistiche e degli studi curatoriali, con l’obiettivo di creare una comunità che si esprime con concetti critici, azioni performative e prototipi creativi che spaziano tra il noto e l’ignoto sulla questione dei cambiamenti ambientali.

M&C è un progetto di innovazione culturale, sociale, urbana che intende riferirsi a un preciso contesto urbano quale quello della città di Roma per la sua eredità storica e culturale.

4 appuntamenti a partire da lunedì 7 giugno presso la Fondazione smART.

Why Marvels and Catastrophes Roma?

Marvels and Catastrophes:

The creative act and the question of destiny in the era of Covid and climate change.


What kind of future awaits us as the world as we know it becomes increasingly unstable? Can contemporary global society adjust to these dramatic transformations in our planetary environment?

What can we hold on to? What can we let go of? But just as importantly, what can we still think of, create or design that could help make sense of this extended global crisis are now going through?

Marvels and Catastrophes is a project about the future that builds on the past and inhabits the present, a program promoting critical ideas and creative actions that addresses the urgent challenges we face today. Marvels and Catastrophes will bring together individuals from different backgrounds and professional interests, in the visual arts, design, architecture, urban culture and curatorial studies to promote an open discursive environment in which to reflect on the coming decades. The goal is to go public, to engage the broader community with critical concepts, performative actions and creative prototypes that mediate between the familiar and the unknown.

Statement: Rome Why Here and Now?

Ancient romans were capable of cutting through mountains, changing the flow of rivers, building extensive networks of roadways and aqueducts, just as they were proficient at dominating populations and enforcing economic dominion over vast territories. But beyond threats of invasion, Rome’s long reign was marked by many severe challenges that imperilled the city’s survival, including extreme climatic changes, unpredictable natural disasters and pandemics.

Like most early civilisations, belief in the supranatural underpinned the customs and rituals of daily life. Roman religious beliefs, superstitions, and their veneration of votives demonstrated their steadfast reverence of the intangible, the force of nature and divine providence. It is the combination of these two worldviews that built Roman culture and rests at the heart of this current research.

Just as compelling are the effects of time on shaping the city’s layered histories and tangled futures. Today Rome is a landscape of ruins and monuments, crisscrossed by high speed highways and rail lines, with neighbourhoods both overbuilt and abandoned. The capital is home to diverse populations, as often united as they stand divided. High tech space agencies along with ancient cuisines, theatres along with the latest cinemax; religious leaders, government bureaucrats and hardcore political activists all cohabit these extensive urban landscapes.

Set this coming year in Rome, the Marvels and Catastrophes program intends to survey the city’s storied past and continue the focus right up to the present. It’s a timeline that is greatly relevant to what we are experiencing now with the recent global crises. Strong and prescient visions of new worlds emerge out these juxtaposed cultures, as transmitted through the arts, literature, cinema, design and performance.  Marvels and Catastrophes is about mediating between the tangible and the intangible, the past and the present. We seek to discover new artistic trends and cultural movements that might help, in these extreme times, to overcome the fears and anxieties that are overwhelming many individuals and communities not just in Rome…