In June 2019, ART-ER took part in learning activities during ArtLab19, the flagship event on CCIs exploring the latest innovation of the sector, cultural policies and their impact on territories. Needless to say, ICT was at the heart of it. 

The first day opened with a pitch presentation of promising creative startups employing new technologies as a competitive advantage to tackle new markets and develop new business models.  Among the most staggering inventions, there is Aerariumchain, a Milan-based organization applying blockchain, artificial intelligence, 3D scanning to cultural heritage to limit deterioration and combat counterfeiting.

But technology is also widely used within the music and film industry as a fundamental element boosting business ideas and solving problems. Aiconix, whose founders have a strong background in both the audiovisual sector and neuroinformatics, launched a system detecting when and why viewers lose interest while watching audiovisual contents: the aim is, in fact, help creators reduce bounce rates. ANote Music, instead, intends to foster investments in music through an online platform for trading where creative talents and investors meet: the former sells future streams of royalties to receive upfront money while the latter buys assets with growth potential. 

The two-day initiative continued with several workshops, seminars and round tables with many renowned guest speakers operating in the Cultural and Creative Industries sector.  Ana Drucker and Oriol Pastor, for instance, presented MIRA Digital Arts Festival Barcelona during the session Thinking (and acting) digital: projects under scrutiny. The festival presents a wider range of projects mixing music and visual arts which have a strong link to innovation and technology, the aim being the promotion and understanding of digital culture.  

Both hosts and the audience agreed on the fact that there is still a great digital divide among traditional institutions operating in the cultural sector: technology is still looked upon as a threat. Conveying the idea that the digital is a functional tool to produce new creations and optimize processes is what public administrations and stakeholders should pursue.  

ArtLab is a yearly date format created by Fondazione Fitzcarraldo, an independent organization fostering the development of CCIs through planning, research and training. The last editions of the event took place at BASE Milan, an urban regeneration project encouraging cross-fertilization among arts, technology, enterprises and social innovation.