REINCANTAMENTO - Open source and work-in-progress meditation on magic and technology


✦ Open source and work-in-progress meditation on magic and technology

Where are you?
This is the website of REINCANTAMENTO, welcome.

REINCANTAMENTO is a hybrid entity, existing at the intersection of an artistic unit, an activist group, and an esoteric startup. More seriously, it is an independent collective of researchers, philosophers, and designers dedicated to exploring the intricate relationship between technology, magic, and society.

The extended mind of REINCANTAMENTO includes the individual ones of Alessandro Y. Longo, Anna Fasolato, Giorgio Craparo, and Jeein. Additional input occasionally comes from Marco Mattei, Vincenzo Grasso, Lorenzo Casavecchia, Lapo Sorride, Stranding Production.

REINCANTAMENTO originated as a series of articles by Alessandro, published on Medium in April 2020. This initial series delves into philosophical approaches to digital technologies, the issue of surveillance, the question of design, and possible solutions to enchant our tools once again. From this crucial philosophical framework, an online meditation with daily outreach on Instagram and article publications across various magazines emerged. In this phase, Speculum! was also born, a philosophical trio engaged in contemplating the idea of the future through YouTube and newsletters.
In 2022, REINCANTAMENTO moves to Berlin and begins organizing performances and workshops as expansions of its philosophical research.

The process of web design has been oriented around the concept of

A concept dating back to Web 1.0, a digital garden is an experience that affects the senses, a cognitive space living an eternal work-in-progress, an oasis of cues, sparks and multimedia deluges. Compared to social media's logic:

“The Garden is our counterbalance. Gardens present information in a richly linked landscape that grows slowly over time. Everything is arranged and connected in ways that allow you to explore. [...] You get to actively choose which curiosity trail to follow, rather than defaulting to the algorithmically-filtered ephemeral stream. The garden helps us move away from time-bound streams and into contextual knowledge spaces. ”

Crossing different styles, from pixel-art to old cryptography manuals, via retro games, HD aesthetics and blogosphere frenzy, the first iteration of our garden is born. Far from being truly autonomous, this digital space is still a work-in-progress and further iterations are planned.

P.S. If you're interested in learning more about digital gardens, click on these flowers 
🥀  🌸 🌼

What do we do?

First and foremost, REINCANTAMENTO is a writing label that has infiltrated various Italian magazines since the biennium 2020-21. Starting from 2023, we publish our articles in the DROPS newsletter, which you can find at this link. In the Writings section, you can find all the articles both in Italian and in English.

The Bonus Texts section includes the two contributions made for Fondo - an artistic space in Turin - and the ideas behind the logo of REINCANTAMENTO, Blume #1. Plus, it contains some notes on the idea of digital gardening and a dialogue written for Stasis during the event 'Holy Waters' in December ‘21. We thought of some reading paths to give coherence to all this material, you can follow them by clicking on the keys at the bottom of the articles. This idea is still in development.

The Videodrome collects the multimedia content of REINCANTAMENTO. You will see the two seasons of Speculum!, the series dedicated to philosophical speculation, hosted by the Decamerette network during the two Italian lockdowns. Speculum! is the collective entity mentioned above and born from REINCANTAMENTO’s spores: it’s a philosophy trio composed of Alessandro Y. Longo, Marco Mattei, and Vincenzo Grasso. During 2021, Speculum! was a newsletter now it’s partially on hold, sending some emails from time to time. You can stay updated on what we do on our Telegram channel. Other videos hosted on friends’ channels plus the video essay Archeologia Futura (Future Archeology), my talk on Tech Collapse, and more videos are part of this section.

Finally, the Garden section, a reworking of the Tumblr-era blog, is a messy page of visual inspirations and HTML tricks, an experiment in jpg file curation, and a radical elaboration of the idea of repost.

Why are we doing it?

We want to contribute to the construction of a common and collective horizon for a new techno-social evolution. To help dissolve the disciplinary boundaries that separate concepts from matter, code from artworks. To connect the dots across the jagged map of the present so that new paths can emerge. Trying to occupy the Insta-space without falling victim to influencers-anxiety and hype cycles. To nurture the hope that new networks and new machines can be born for the people. Alternatively, to fail spectacularly while trying.

A new, formal introduction - 31.10.22

REINCANTAMENTO began as a series of articles and gradually explored various media such as podcasts, video essays, live streaming, generative models, and more. The visual component has become increasingly prominent over time. The web design and the visual aspect of this page, including the emphasis on specific icons and the use of colors, are crucial to our meditation. For this reason, we have created a small visual grammar to aid in navigating and categorizing REINCANTAMENTO's diverse research tracks. We have divided our work into six different categories. This color system will characterize every new node in our constellation.

1. Digital Gardens: personal spaces on the Web, renewed user experience, design for the commons, and networks of solidarity.
2. Peer-to-Peer Constructivism: decentralized webs and p2p, blockchain and NFTs, torrent culture, re-building Internet structure
3. Synthetic Creativity: art & machines, generative models, literature and music playing with digital tools, history of net art, playful approaches to technologies.
4. Resisting Surveillance: resistance to Surveillance Capitalism, tactical tech, GDPR, and other legal approaches to hiding personal data
5. Red Cybernetics: non-Western and non-capitalistic metaphysics of technology and computation, red cybernetic in URSS, China, Chile etc.
6. Tech Collapse: the materiality of tech, finite resources and supply-chain issues, the geopolitics of components

These categories are not purely thematic but represent different perspectives that go to make up the oblique gaze that we have always tried to integrate into our project.

  1. Digital Gardens addresses the problem of sociality on the Internet and the existential experience the user faces.
  2. P2P Costructivism tells us about attempts to reconstruct the structures that characterize the network and, more generally, a constructivist approach to the problems of the digital world.
  3. With Synthetic Creativity, we celebrate art's playful and sometives naive approach to technology and its ability to gracefully reveal some of its interesting dynamics. Visual arts, music, and literature teach us much about how to deal with the digital revolution.
  4. Resisting Surveillance is the legal and tactical perspective toward the present state of affairs, the set of solutions and resistance coming from both the State and activists against the Tech Giants’s domination.
  5. Red Cybernetic is a decolonial exploration in search of new metaphysical understanding and paradigms of computation, outside of the Western World.
  6. Tech Collapse represents the infrastructural issue on which the digital world is founded: the limited amount of resources, conflicts over components, and problems of provisioning, while global warming catastrophe unfolds everywhere. 

One final note: we must always remember that "the map is not the territory." Expect, therefore, that even our mapping will prove partial and incomplete, that categories will blur into each other, and that new islands will emerge over time. This is an attempt to provide a new rhythm to our work but is in no way definitive.