It was 1992 when the first text message was sent by a 22-year-old test engineer for Sema Group in the UK via the Vodafon network. The text message read “Merry Christmas”. Since then, in the recklessness of society, the way we communicate would face a destiny that the language purists would have categorically convicted. What we are witnessing then, is a radical change, an evolutionary step. However the third millennium, with its incessant technological development, is characterised by one of the most exceptional and epochal crisis of interpersonal relationships, facilitating the ambiguity and the fluidity of identity. This prevents a stable assumption of identity (being here) which, in turn, is reflected in the instability of relationships (being here with) which, finally, undermines deeply the generative and design possibilities of these relationships (being here for). We have therefore moved from the man without qualities of Musil to the man without bonds of Baumann with some sort of continuity. An overlap that comes to define a new horizon between both identity and relationships.
Derrick de Kerkchove wrote: “Art arises from technology. It is the opposite force that balances the disrup tive effects of new technologies in culture. Art is the metaphorical aspect of those same technologies that it uses and criticises”. Milena Sgambato’s paintings and her artistic research are based on these assumptions. They allow the audience to interpret them and to enter into a reality, their reality. The relation between man
and technology is nearly indissoluble and symbiotic in which the sensory explosion is favoured by the new tools that become “technological extensions” of our body.
Marshall McLuhan wrote: “Narciso as narcosis” in which a youth Narciso mistook his own reflection in the water for another person. This extension of himself by mirror numbed his perceptions until he became the servomechanism of his own extended or repeated image. These interpersonal relationships, social networks and even silence and loneliness may be turned on and off like a light bulb. Therefore: ON-OFF, input and output, real or artificial, in or out are massive and layered use (or it would be better to say abuse) of technological means which affects and determines beings and their relations with others.
The era described by Milena Sgambato is that of interactive loneliness marked by a constant and obsessive need to be always available and stay connected. The individual who lives and acts in such a situation develops states of distress, anxiety and fears. The artist cleverly records these emotions in a colouristic way in which a not too distant past is constantly recalled by symbolic elements. Thus art seems to be the only function that is not hampered by speed of change. Its progress in conjunction with technology fulfils the creative, communi- cative and innovative abilities, needs and aspirations of individuals.