Fourth online study day promoted by the Association with the support of the Directorate-General for Contemporary Creativity of the Ministry of Culture, dedicated to the profound changes affecting museums,

their mission, their way of operating.


Curated by the AMACI Board of Directors




On Friday 22 March 2024, from 9.30 am, The Age of the Museum – The Contemporary Art Museum as a Hub of Complexity, the fourth edition of the online Study Day organised every year in spring by AMACI – Association of Italian Contemporary Art Museums with the support of the Directorate-General for Contemporary Creativity of the Ministry of Culture as a moment of in-depth study dedicated to the role and responsibility of museums and cultural institutions with regard to the changes taking place in contemporary culture and society.



The Age of the Museum The Contemporary Art Museum as a Hub of Complexity, curated by the AMACI Board of Directors, deals with the profound changes that have affected museums, their mission, their way of operating, including the need to reconcile the slow time of research and education with the much faster time of communication and information.


The international definition provided by ICOM 2022 also acknowledges the expansion of the functions of museum institutions from conservation to education, from participation and knowledge sharing to the organisation of entertainment activities to produce pleasure and enjoyment in visitors.


The Study Day intends to reflect on the dichotomy, real or apparent, that is created in the vision of museums, conceived both as places for the articulation of thought, debate and discussion, and as places of entertainment. It will be an opportunity to address, with experts, some central aspects in the cultural design of museums.


Now in its fourth edition, the Study Day The Age of the Museum. The Contemporary Art Museum as a Hub of Complexity follows the third edition in 2023 Contemporary Art Museums and Sustainable Development: a Necessary Practice, curated by Marcella Beccaria, dedicated to the role of museums and cultural institutions in the implementation of more sustainable global development; the second edition in 2022 Cogli l’attimo, Carpe diem, Seize the Day, curated by Marcella Beccaria, on the art of performance and its presence in Italian museum collections and archives; and the first edition Contemporary Art Museums and Copyright. A Collaborative Perspective on the Experience of the RAAM Project, curated by Andrea Pizzi, in March 2021.


The Study Day will be opened by Fabio De Chirico, Director of Service II for Contemporary Creativity of the Ministry of Culture, and Lorenzo Balbi, President of AMACI, and with a theoretical introduction by Mauro Ceruti, Philosopher and theorist of complex thought, to be followed by three in-depth sessions devoted to specific topics: Education or edutainment?; Speed up or slow down?; and Accessibility and co-design.


The initiative The Age of the Museum. The Contemporary Art Museum as a Hub of Complexity will be held online and will be fully translated into the Italian Sign Language (LIS) to enable it to be enjoyed by a deaf audience of sign-language users.


Illustrations by Elisa Nocentini


It will also feature an illustrative talk by Elisa Nocentini, museum educator, author and book illustrator, who has worked on accessibility issues through the Toolkit for Museums programme promoted by the Fondazione Scuola dei beni e delle attività culturali.




Mauro Ceruti, Philosopher and theorist of complex thought



Education or edutainment?


The museum continually experiments with new forms of public enjoyment and participation, guided by its daily focus on the people who visit it or who might visit it, on issues of physical, perceptive and cultural accessibility, and on educational and training projects that broaden and strengthen the dialogue with the territory in which it operates. In this great openness of vision and functions, the museum often exploits technological and digital innovations to broaden the public’s scope for enjoyment and participation, to the point of offering emotional and immersive experiences that come close to genuine forms of entertainment, linked more to cultural consumption and edutainment, a learning process aimed at educating while having fun.



Christian Greco, Egyptologist and Director of the Egyptian Museum in Turin

Andrea Viliani, Art Historian, curator and Director of the Museum of Roman Civilizations in Rome.



Emma Zanella, Art Historian and Director of the Museo MA*GA, Gallarate.






Speed up or slow down?


While the contemporary trend moves towards speed and simplification in information processes thanks to ever more advanced technology, the museum operates in many cases as a place of slowing down, of visual and perceptive knowledge, where the public is invited to take time to reflect and understand processes, to learn, to enter artistic practices with all their senses.


Moreover, the museum has long been a centre for study, research, advanced training and specialisation: the works and their documentation, archives, specialised libraries, the studies behind the exhibitions and artists’ projects make the museum a place for research and training, capable of tracing parallel paths of both high specialisation and broad promotion.



Carolyn Christov-Bakargiev, Curator and Museum Director

Andrea Moro, Professor of General Linguistics and Deputy Rector at the IUSS Pavia University School of Advanced Studies



Elisabetta Barisoni, Head of Ca’ Pesaro – International Gallery of Modern Art, Venice.






Accessibility and co-design


The museum’s sphere of action has been immensely enlarged, and this field of complexity also covers the very topical question of physical and cognitive accessibility, focusing on multiple audiences. How can we build a museum in which differences may coexist and, at the same time, a museum capable of research and higher education? How can we listen to people and involve them in the co-designing process, in a vision that shapes each museum in relation to its audiences?



Francesco Stocchi, MAXXI Curator and Artistic Director

Mario Cucinella, architect, founder & creative director of MCA – Mario Cucinella Architects



Caterina Riva, Curator and Director of the MACTE Museum in Termoli.


The conclusions will be drawn by Marcella Beccaria, AMACI Director, Curator and Deputy Director of the Castello di Rivoli.





The Study Day was held entirely in Italian and was accompanied by translation into Italian Sign Language (LIS) and subtitles in Italian. In order to make all speeches accessible to an English-speaking audience, an English transcription and translation of the event is available above by clicking on the yellow button.


For further information:





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