We refuse to think that science and art are two distinct facts, and that the gestures made in one of the two disciplines do not also belong to the other. Artists anticipate scientific gestures, scientific gestures always provoke artistic gestures.
Primo Manifesto dello Spazialismo, Milano, 1947
Art and science are indistinguishable facts, such is the provocative statement Fontana made in his Primo Manifesto dello Spazialismo, in 1947. Katherine Hayles would define these two disciplines ‘isomorphic’, Edgard Morin would speak of ‘recursivity’ and Pierpaolo Antonello would not hesitate to add philosophy and technology to the equation. The artwork throughout the Twentieth Century, indeed, becomes rhizomatic, since it ingests and in return offers a series of different stimuli, in open dialogue with other art forms, with science, with philosophy and with technology. The artistic research of post-war Italy at large was entangled in this discovery; the fading anachronism of realism (and neorealism) coexisted with new lines of research in the visual arts, as well as in music and writing. The experimental wave looked back and added to the avant-garde movements of the first half of the century, which were now considered «museal art», ready to become a tradition for much needed innovation after the impasse generated by autarchism and by the fascist regime. Art finally opened up to contamination which was at once transnational and transdisciplinary.