Risking repetition, 2016 has been another wonderful, roller coaster of a year. We witnessed an explosion of projects for Factum Foundation and a continuing celebration of the importance of technology coupled with craftsmanship within Factum Arte. The exquisite video made by Factum Arte with Luke Tchalenko for the Mindful Hands
exhibition at the Fondazione Giorgio Cini, Venice (until January 8th) is evidence of this, as it follows the production of a medieval manuscript from the killing of a goat to the production of the vellum, through the preparation of pigments to the binding of the book. This intimate record celebrates the diverse technologies that are required to make even the most traditional artworks possible. In another part of the island of San Giorgio, Factum's Replica 360 scanner
is digitising the Cini Foundation's photo-archive of almost one million images. A computer vision software, written at the École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne is now being used to extract information that will help extend our knowledge of the paintings of the Veneto. Technology requires the right kind of conceptual framework and teams of people from different disciplines working together in an environment that resembles a renaissance workshop. The celebration of material transformations can be seen in everything that Factum makes.
Collaborations are the theme for this year - the ongoing relationship with the University of Basel has continued to develop the The Theban Necropolis Preservation Initiative
in Egypt (and the collaboration with Tarek Waly has resulted in the complete restoration of a great building by Hassan Fathy). Our work with Peri Foundation is developing and has resulted in cultural heritage and training projects in different parts of Russia, from diverse recording initiatives in Daghestan
to the recording of Ferapontov Monastery
in the north. A collaboration with The Trust for African Rock Art (TARA) led to the documentation of some of the Ikom monoliths
in Cross River State, Nigeria, and the recording of previously unknown sites in Chad
. An agreement has been reached with Community Jameel in KSA to record the old wooden buildings in Jeddah (and, if the political situation allows, to visit Asir in the South of Saudi Arabia to record the extraordinary geometric wall paintings). A collaboration with the Rothschild Foundation and the Royal Academy led to a highly successful 3D portraiture exhibition
exhibition at the RA and Waddesdon. An invitation from Masterpiece Fair
led to a beautiful exhibition of Factum Foundation's work designed by Charlotte Skene Catling. Our work with Strawberry Hill House
is ongoing, and the year ended with a new cluster of collaborations that are being finalised with some of the world's leading museums.
2017 promises many positive opportunities for a changing political world riddled with conflict. Factum Arte and Factum Foundation are both proudly international and celebrate the fact that works of art facilitate communication across time and between diverse religions and cultures; a theme that led the New Yorker to publish an in depth article about our work (link
With rich communication crossing boundaries in mind ...
Have a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!