Installation view, Alessandro Pongan. TOTEM, BUILDING TERZO PIANO

ph. Simone Panzeri


“Il totem come origine del pensiero collettivo e della coscienza umana” – Talk

05.10.2023, 17:30

[The totem as origin of the collective though and of human conscience]


Thursday October 5th, at 5.30PM

at the first floor of BUILDING



Serena Tabacchi



Alessandro Pongan

Eugenio Alberti Schatz

Giacomo Nicolella Maschietti



*The dialogue will be held in Italian.

Reservations are required; places are limited.
RSVP: or +39 02 89094995



On the occasion of the personal show of the artist Alessandro Pongan, titled TOTEM, on display from September 14th to October 21st, 2023, BUILDING TERZO PIANO presents a dialogue between the artist Alessandro Pongan, the curator Serena Tabacchi, and the lecturers Eugenio Alberti Schatz and Giacomo Nicolella Maschietti.


Through the bodies of works of Alessandro Pongan, the totem becomes a symbol of the poetics of the sacred in contemporary art, up to the point of evolving into digital material sculpture, the culmination of the artist’s elaboration of his work. The dialogue between artist Alessandro Pongan, journalist and art critic Giacomo Nicolella Maschietti, and writer Eugenio Alberti Schatz, along with exhibition curator Serena Tabacchi, will investigate the evolution of the digital work in all its forms, from design to its physical creation. The idea that generates the creation of a work represents a form of human connection and social sharing through the message that the artwork manifests. The totem is a passage of knowledge, a moment of union, between artistic thought and collective participation. Together with sculptures, digital native works and generative projections reminisce the aesthetics of 1970s pop culture, minimalist design, and Brutalist architecture. A combination of past and future that Pongan continues to explore, marking a perimeter within which creativity has no limits.


Alessandro Pongan (La Spezia, 1963) grew up between Spain, Italy, and Brazil due to his family’s frequent transfers. When he moved back to Italy, he settled in Milan, where he studied Visual Design at the Scuola Politecnica di Design in Milan, after his studies in the scientific field. In Milan, he founded his own professional studio, called Officina Design, a multidisciplinary research laboratory, which is still active today. In 2017, he began to focus more on artistic practice, dwelling between the digital environment and the physical state. The Totem project is an ongoing expression of this research; it could be imagined as a weaving of a poetic narrative in which works are born digitally, but they are eventually given a physical state in the form of sculpture, graffiti, installation, video projection, or monumental work.


Serena Tabacchi is the director and co-founder of MoCDA, Museum of Contemporary Digital Art. She works as an independent curator of digital art and new technologies, and she is currently involved in the development of an art program on digital culture at Rifugio Digitale in Florence focused on generative and site-specific art. She has worked at TATE Modern and Britain in London, and she curated some of the first web3-related international digital art exhibitions, events and fairs (NFT London, CADAF Miami, CI Bloom Istanbul). She has curated digital art exhibitions for museums and foundations in Italy (MAXXI l’Aquila, Fondazione Palazzo Strozzi, Fondazione Terzo Pilastro at Palazzo Cipolla, Museo della Permanente DART, Dynamic art Museum), and she curated the first NFT art auction with CAMBI auction house. She is in charge of curating the digital native contemporary art catalog for Cinello, DAW® (Digital Artwork).


Eugenio Alberti Shatz, after his studies in ancient literature, is dedicated to the profession in the world of communication and public relations. He spanned different areas of writing, from translation to poetry, from art and photography criticism to travel literature and aphorisms, giving birth to a micro and heterogeneous cultural industry. He has published with Rizzoli, Salani, Skira, Einaudi, Blonk, 24 Ore Cultura, Corraini and others. He has been involved in organizing cultural events, and he has made documentaries on art and science. He writes poetry, and he has been conducting a personal conceptual art research.


Giacomo Nicolella Maschietti is a professional journalist. He writes about art and the market for Artslife, Private, Patrimoni, and Milano Finanza. He is host and author of the TV show titled “Top Lot, le aste in diretta,” broadcast every weekend on SKY channel 507 Class CNBC since 2008. He is professor for Masters on the art market at the Istituto Marangoni in Florence, and at the Catholic University of Milan.