Infochaostainment: the social strategy of Fondazione Sandretto

03/05/2018 | Digital


Until a few years ago, Fondazione Sandretto was recognized as one of many Italian institutions dedicated to the promotion of art and culture. Today, however, it has become a true style icon, for its irreverent social communication that is out of the uninterestingand even somewhat repetitive patternsof institutional communication. Credit to Silvio Salvo, press office and social media manager, crowned best press office 2017 by Artribune. On Saturday, April 28, I met him in Cuneo during a meeting dedicated to the theme of communication 2.0 and culture, organized by the students of the Project Yom, a project for youth involvement in the activities of local museums.


" I have a degree in Communication Sciences, although it did me no good ," said Silvio Salvo, " I did an internship for the Grinzane Cavour Prize and in 2005 I started working in the communication office of the Sandretto Re Baudengo Foundation in Turin. I have been involved in art communication for 13 years, but I am not an expert in contemporary art. What I know about contemporary art is what I have learned through my work. I have been involved in Facebook since 2008/2009, simply because I was one of the few who was a member. To do this job you need: to know content, to have good copywriting skills, to be up-to-date on new communication channels, to have as a mission to inform, to interact, to know people's language to create a relevant community."


"Fondazione Sandretto's main focus is the promotion of young artists, nationally and internationally. The audience we want to reach with our communication is made up of: contemporary art enthusiasts, schools, university students, families, tourists, artist collectors, people from Turin or Piedmont. How do these people inform themselves? Through the web - website, newsletter, social networks - newspapers, word of mouth/influencers."


"The main goal is to reaffirm the Foundation's positioning. In the beginning we were among the first entities in Italy, over time so many new ones have emerged. It used to be easy to get out in the newspapers, now we have so many 'competitors' and it is increasingly difficult. Another goal is to inject new blood beautiful communication processes to impart energy and attract new audiences."


Chaos, culture, dickering, community, sharing, contamination, involvement, short-circuiting.


“La maggior parte dei musei hanno un dipartimento digital che si occupa esclusivamente dei social e altre persone dedicate all’ufficio stampa. Io mi occupo di entrambe le cose. Per impostare la strategia di comunicazione, siamo partiti dai nostri punti deboli: 1. non è facile comunicare un artista emergente; 2. la Fondazione non è dotata di una collezione permanente e nemmeno di un’opera simbolo; 3. giorni d’apertura dal giovedì alla domenica; 4. nessun investimento pubblicitario online (adv) e offline (cartellonistica) e budget sempre ridotto sulla comunicazione. Mi sono chiesto cosa possiamo comunicare? Così mi sono inventato un linguaggio, che mi permetta di non comunicare in modo convenzionale. Ho sempre avuto la consapevolezza di essere un architetto della parola e dell’immagine e di poter creare cortocircuiti interessanti soprattutto sui social, in fondo come dice Marshall McLuha <<the medium is the message>>”.


"If you introduce a little anarchy...if you disrupt the established order...everything suddenly becomes chaos. I am an agent of chaos, and do you know what the beauty of chaos is? It's fair ."-from the movie "The Dark Knight Rises" by Christopher Nolan

"There are museums that are much more social than we are and they manage to use it in a popularized way, the Egyptian Museum focuses so much on history even on social, for us it is very difficult the only way to contextualize the work is to talk about the here and now, so we pay a lot of attention to elements that belong to the everyday. Contemporary art is dropped into everyday reality. I have to know these aspects, in order to communicate I have to know the context in which the works are created in this historical moment. Every element of the everyday can be used to create a scenario that communicates."

"We live in the age of chaos. As a social media manager I try to stage chaos and translate it into a scenario that crosses the boundaries between different languages (visual arts, TV, advertising, music, cinema, literature, journalism, social media). The communication strategy adopted on social must reach people who are not familiar with Fondazione Sandretto through institutional channels (website, newsletter, press releases) and can be summarized in one word."

INFOCHAOSTAINMENT= information + chaos + entertainment

"I want the first impression of people who come to Sandretto's social media to be that of being displaced. The language has to be decoded. It's unconventional for an institution, but if you think about it, it's the most conventional on social."

"Quentin Tarantino cares about watching someone getting an ear cut off; David Lynch cares about the ear."

- David Foster Wallace, from the essay David Lynch

The mission of social communication is to imprint the word Fondazione Sandretto in the collective and common imagination to make people remember the name in a fun way. Hence, the hashtag was born: #occupysandretto

When I communicate through social media (social language follows a totally different language from other channels) I have to imagine the typical or ideal visitor to Fondazione Sandretto, I have to know what kind of music he listens to, what program he follows, appropriate universal images and sandrettize them. That is why I chose to use memes, because they are the most immediate and smile-inducing thing.


Ioda is actually Sandretto's real social media manager. He has a Facebook and Instagram page. The Sandretto Foundation like all great foundations may not like many people. Especially in the beginning, many people felt they had to attack the foundation's artistic choices, so the moment the criticism became heavier, I created Ioda and had him respond to the comments. From that moment on, the criticism went to zero.


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