Andrea Ferrato has been working in communications for 25 years, and since 1999 with the Internet, focusing on its social and personal effects. He now collaborates with Banci Banci in designing their new trademark. Here is a passage of his conversation with Daniela and Marzia Banci.
Given the present information overload, how much is communication worth?
Today, communication is more important than ever before, especially its values and the way in which it is created and conveyed. We smile when unlikely commercials of the 1950s are broadcast (we do the same for those of the 60s and 70s; of those from the 80s on we tend to notice the old-fashioned style more), and the same will happen in 30 years, when we’ll realise how naïve we were to take lightly and superficially any subject that was more loudly voiced or expressed in bolder lettering. As obvious as it may sound, today, more than ever before, communication based on credible, shared values has the necessary potential to produce stronger and more substantial relationships regardless of the subject, be it a product or an idea.
Although the Internet has paved the way for endless communication possibilities, many feel overwhelmed by it.
Somebody wrote that we are all learners driving a Ferrari and I completely agree with this statement.
Many have felt overpowered by something they essentially couldn’t manage.
The culture of innovation is and will be one of the main topics to deal with in order to overcome this stalling situation, especially at social level.
I’m an Internet enthusiast solely because I can only envisage its positive potential; the negative aspects don’t regard the Net itself, but the use that is made of it and the way it’s misunderstood.
In addition to your communications work, your project METABOX also explores interaction evolution, in particular at artistic level. Tell us something about it.
METABOX was created more than 9 years ago as a personal blog in which I discussed communication topics; it was a sort of notebook closely associated with the Internet, with which I’ve been working since 1999. I soon realised that although people spoke about the evolution of the Internet, its technology and possible applications, they seldom mentioned the way in which people’s feelings were involved in these changes. I added ‘augmented sensitivity’ to the name, which already indicated a box whose walls were very ‘flexible and breathable’, and started involving artists and creative talents who could, together with me and with their art, explore the evolution of our sensitivity in this Internet age.
Today METABOX has 10 editorial staff; just like tv series, it issues new contents periodically and, each time, contains the work of an international artist who interprets the key theme of METABOX (metabox.zone)
Let’s talk about your meeting with Banci Banci
Let’s say we met indirectly, which is perhaps the best way of doing it.
My collaboration started with what I like to consider Banci Banci’s cultural and training spin-off, i.e., Philosophy of Life.
A very active association in the area of Padua, Philosophy of Life organises events in which speakers and topics provide the keen audience with original cultural enjoyment. One of the companies I worked with participated in one of these events, and I got in touch with Marzia to discuss operative issues. It was a wholehearted, dynamic meeting. We started talking about Banci Banci and our collaboration took off. I’m now in charge of their communications strategy. It is a key moment for their trademark, and the exhibition marks their decade-long activity while outlining a new path. Developments are already visible in terms of communication, and their new creations will soon follow suit.
Goldsmithing art goes back thousands of years, how contemporary do you think the Banci Banci jewellery is?
Every time I speak about Marzia’s and Daniela’s work I find it extremely hard to use the noun ‘jewels’.
I sometimes think the general word ‘objects’ conveys greater breathing space to these artifacts that contain, individually, a sliver of our existence. Each one of their jewels encapsulates the history of jewellery-making and the artists’ devotion towards materials. All of this is ennobled by the profound spiritual work that involves both the creators and the consumers of these precious objects. We are gradually coming to realise that we no longer need to possess things (we’ve started from simple things like music or the means of transport we use to move around), and this has made us shift our focus to closer relationships with what mirrors and contains our way of being and our everyday life.
The Banci Banci jewels are contemporary in that they fulfil their existence the minute we wear them, because they have been thought and made by imbuing them with our interior DNA. Even the artists’ choice of materials, which we could classify as classical, adheres to their projects. Frank Lloyd Wright used to say, ‘Each material has its own message and, to the creative artist, its own song’, and in order to be represented our values need precious matches.
When I consider a Banci Banci jewel, I don’t think of something superfluous. Essence is and will be increasingly needed in contemporary times.