Over the past few weeks, the outside look has become absolutely pervasive. One of the changes that have characterized the Covid-19 crisis is that the domestic space, and not the traditional institutions of confinement and social normalization (hospital, factory, prison, school, etc.), has become the new center of production, consumption and political control. How to subvert this new order?
FuturDome is a free space designed to open new horizons of thought, but it does not intend to be activated independently of the reality outside. Thanks to Summer In program, we have to start reimagining FuturDome in a way that will connect us even more deeply with our communities in Milan and beyond. Over the past year, we have developed a model of a museum that is inclusive, hyperlocal, accessible and global and that continues to be defined by conversations with its communities. The spaces have an amazing legacy of pioneering work that, combined with its history. FuturDome was a very public and challenging experience. We could never have imagined, 5 years later, that we would be facing an even more difficult situation, one in which We find ourself leading us through a paralyzing and horrifying reality and hoping that we can survive and find a way to continue to be relevant for our communities. Milan was the epicentre of the epicentre of the Covid-19 crisis in Europe. In Italy and beyond, we are all facing global, political and economic uncertainty. We are facing mass unemployment and recession, loss of friends, family members, jobs, homes. Ultimately, we are facing a collective sense of grief that we have never known before, along with a growing refugee crisis, and a deepening understanding of ourselves.
We do not yet have the language for talking about this kind of burden we are living, but perhaps we can hope that this collective experience can coalesce into a strengthened sense of care and commitment to the people, places, and ecosystems that inspire, nurture and sustain us. This is a time to consider museums as places of care—not just care of collections, but care of our communities, staff and artists—and the careful creation of spaces to make and express collective and individual experiences as we recover from living through a prolonged period of isolation and loss. Mediated digital intimacies create connections, but they also reinforce the importance of being present together and of physical connection. When we come back together, we will need to re-learn how to gather in and create civic and public places, and we believe that FuturDome can play a significant role in this rebuilding.
More than ever then, there is a need to develop porous cultural institutions that are open, inclusive and empathetic. We need FuturDome to be unwavering in their commitment to maintaining spaces where human rights, diversity of opinion and creativity can thrive.
As we all try to understand and navigate the challenges of this new reality, we are working hard, with Lea Porsager, once again to plan and rethink how we will operate when we reopen. Our commitment to artists is our core. We will spend the coming weeks working to understand how to remain a public space during this time. The idea of public has inevitably changed. We are continuing to work at a distance using technology and we are developing digital content to share and activate our audiences. We will reopen, but we do not yet know how the ways that people will gather and behave in public space will change.
Outdoor, will we be once more socially unconnected? Will we be navigating one another, masked and at a respectable distance, often speaking on phones, or listening to something on earphones—each in our own world? How could we become essential workers for keeping us safe in a moment of collective reconstruction?