Giovanni Campus graduated in philosophy at the University of Sassari, focusing in medieval and contemporary philosophy, history of ideas, visual and performing arts. He has 15 years experience in management and communication of artistic and cultural projects in the field visual and performing arts, and has also worked as a journalist, press officer, media and institutional relations in the cultural field.
His PhD research at the Department of Architecture at Alghero focuses on the relation between rhythm and space and the role of performing arts in open and public places. In 2016 he was the project leader for the Urban Thinkers Campus “The City We Need: Open For Art”, part of the World Urban Campaign of UN-Habitat approaching the Habitat III conference in Quito.
In 2016 his research project was also selected as one of the best Italian PhD projects in the field of urbanism form the scientific committee of the National Congress of Italian PhD Schools of Architecture Design and Urbanism “La Ricerca Che Cambia”. He is also a member of the editorial board of a of the academic journal Giornale Critico di Storia delle Idee (Journal of Critical History of Ideas), edited by the University of Sassari and San Raffaele University of Milano.
The aim of this paper is to investigate some regularities and theoretical foundations of the use of the performing arts as a tool for community building, and thus promote a rational development of their use in current urban practices, e.g. for (re)activating public spaces.
When we support processes of artistic creation in urban environments we are normally looking for something more than the economical value of "creative industries". Some of those other values or functions, that can gather under the labels of "community building", "ownership", "participation", "vision", can be perfectly attained trough the sole agency of performing arts.
Nevertheless, their role is routinely overlooked by planners, even if scholars have recognised the process as the crucial part of many contemporary urban artworks, and even if the parallel between the theatre and the city is well asserted from the very beginning of urban theory (the city is theatre, stated Lewis Mumford).
Also, the relation between myth, ritual and monument as posed by Aldo Rossi is still to investigate: we propose to recognise the rhythmic aspects of the play, self-similarity and synchronization as mimesis, as the forces that gather the community and form the common ground for religious rituals, processional and street performances, street theatre and urban dance.