Hacking Melanoma

Join us in Capri from October 20th to November 1st for Hacking Melanoma!

Hacking Melanoma will be a hackathon dedicated to the technological, social and relational aspects of e-health, and explicitly dedicated to the diagnosis and cure of Melanoma, skin cancer, one of the most frequent forms of cancer, but, also, a form of cancer which, if diagnosed in its early stages, can be cured with 100% success. This is why having the availability of early diagnosis solutions is of such vital importance.

During the hackathon, we will spend 3 days immersed in a deep brainstorming session: people with different skills, expertise, experiences and passions will interact to unveil innovative ideas.

3 thematic tables will be present: Medicine, Development and Communication. Each table will have its brief (linked above) to start thinking and acting.

A jury composed by Alex Giordano, Giovanni De Caro, Marco Mistretta, Salvatore Iaconesi, Oriana Persico and Arturo Di Corinto will participate to the evaluations of the ideas which will come as a result of the brief.

This is the link to the programhttp://www.i3-dermoscopy.it/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/programma.pdf

These are some Frequently Asked Questionshttp://www.i3-dermoscopy.it/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/FAQ.pdf

Look here to understand who is involved and which are the partners of the initiative: http://www.i3-dermoscopy.it/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/comunicato-stampa.pdf

Come to:

Centro Multimediale “Mario Cacace”

via G. Orlandi 100, Anacapri, Naples

Petterns of Commoning is out

The book “Patterns of Commoning” edited by David Bollier and Silke Helfrich is out.

From the book’s website:

In Patterns of Commoning, more than sixty frontline activists, academics and project leaders from twenty countries explain how commoning is empowering people to challenge the deep pathologies of contemporary capitalism and invent powerful, participatory alternatives.

Among all of the contributions, it contains our chapter on the Digital Commons.

Cite as:

Iaconesi S. (2015) “Digital Arts as Commons” in “Patterns of Commoning” Bollier D. (ed.), Helfrich S. (ed). Commons Strategies Group.


Ubiquitous Commons at Smart City Exhibition in Bologna

Data as Commons. This will be the focus of our intervention at Smart City Exhibition 2015 in Bologna, on October 16th 2015, at 9:30.

What happens when data becomes a commons? How can we build the high quality relational environment which is needed for citizens to effectively manage commons? What data can become a commons? How can we create inclusive, collaborative economies of multiple types through data commons? What impacts can these kinds of processes have on a city and its community? How can the practices of daily life change through data commons?

These are only some of the issues which we’ll confront with in Ubiquitous Commons‘ intervention at the Smart City Exhibition:


We will talk about them with Gianni Dominici (General Director of Forum PA), Andrea Borruso (Open Data Sicilia), Pina Civitella (Responsible for Information Systems Development at the City Administration of Bologna), Christian Iaione (LabGov),Bruno Monti (Manager of the GIS Unit at the City Administration in Milan), Ilaria Vitellio (CEO at Mappina).

Read more HERE on Ubiquitous Commons.

Myriads, Trangression in the Post City: after Ars Electronica 2015

Some times has passed after Ars Electronica 2015, and our participation to its exhibit and to education programme with the Myriads project, part of the Human Ecosystems and of the Ubiquitous Commons.

In this post we wish to share some images from the exhibit, some information and materials about the 15 workshops we held while we were there, and some general considerations and perspectives for the future(s).

Myriads and Ars Electronica: some links







The Myriads Exhibit

The Myriads exhibit constituted an environment in which everything you see/hear/experience is generated through the data massively captured in multiple modalities from the city.

Myriads, the installation overview 2

Myriads, the installation overview 2

Myriads, the installation overview 1

Myriads, the installation overview 1

In this case, data was massively harvested from major social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) to gain understandings about the myriads of micro histories of the city, as they evolve with people’s behaviours, emotions, movements in the spaces of the city, and their flows of information, knowledge and communication. (the Human Ecosystems technology was used to perform the massive harvesting of this data, and for the use of Natural Language Analysis and Geo-referencing techniques interpret what emotions, movements, behaviours, topics, relations and flows were expressed by the captured messages).

Everything in the space was designed to show the passage from the industrial city to the Third Generation City, the  city of the flows of data, information, knowledge and emotions.

In the exhibit, the data coming from the interpretation of emotions, expressions, gossips, movements and behaviours, become the generative sounds, visuals and knowledge which you could see and access in the projections, screens, speakers, and in the workshops. As in Marco Casagrande‘s definition: the third generation city is the ruin of the industrial city, in which gossip, ruins infrastructures, transforming them into syncretic maps of the flows of citizens and their communications/exchanges in the city.

Myriads, the relations in the city

Myriads, the relations in the city

A large projection showed the most recent relations forming in the city, and expressed through our activities on social networks. Each time someone would comment, reply, or engage in conversations, the network shown on the visualisation would react accordingly. Each dot represents a person (or, better, a user on social networks), each line connecting dots represents a relation, with the line thicker or thinner according to the weight of the relations.

The sound heard in the exhibit space was the result of a data-sonification process which transformed the data of the sequences of emotions, expressed constantly on social networks, into sounds and waveforms.

The result was similar to this one (which is, instead, coming from the city of Rome, with the same process):

In another part of the exhibit four monitors, mounted onto metallic carts which were originally used to move mail envelopes and packages around in the enormous mail handling facility which hosted this year’s Ars Electronica exhibit, the Post City, continuously showed a series of info-aesthetic visualisations.

In the first monitor, the emotional map of the city was shown.

Myriads, map of emotions

Myriads, map of emotions

In the map, the emotions are color coded, and are shown on the map according to the locations in which their concentration was observed, and through a series of social network users (for whom their recent emotional history was represented) and posts (captured from one of the mentioned social networks, and coloured according to the emotion). On the bottom a timeline allowed to view emotions’ evolution through time.

A second visualisation showed the relational ecosystem of the city, as expressed through social networks.

Myriads at Ars Electronica: the relational ecosystem

Myriads at Ars Electronica: the relational ecosystem

While the projected visualisation of the relations in the human ecosystem of the city displayed the most recent relationships, as they formed, this one visualises the most persistent relationships. In this way it is possible to represent the communities (or tribes, as defined in Netnographical theories), the consistent relations which form around themes and topics, the ways in which they evolve through time, and the roles which people assume in these relations, whether they are experts, influencers, amplifiers of messages, hubs or bridges among different communities.

The third visualisation dealt with the use of language.

Myriads at Ars Electronica: words and languages

Myriads at Ars Electronica: words and languages

In this visualisation, the most (and least) common topics are described in terms of the ways in which people use language in discussing them. Which words are used for which topics, and their relations can generate multiple insights, also by observing how the use of languages to refer to certain topics evolves through time. In the visualisation, selected topics are explored in terms of the words used to discuss them, and in the relations among different topics.

The last visualisation expanded this type or observation, and explored the relation among different topics.

Myriads at Ars Electronica: topics relate to each other

Myriads at Ars Electronica: topics relate to each other

In this visualisation (taken from here), the topics are listed on both axis of the matrix (rows and column headers) and if there is a color at the intersections it means that the corresponding topics are discussed together: the brighter the color, the more often this happens. The elements are constantly shifted together to highlight different characteristics: topic clusters (group of topics which are often discussed together); recurrence (showing the frequency with which topics are discussed) and others. These characters are also color-coded, to reflect the most probable groups to which the various topics belong.

The Education Program

At Ars Electronica, the Myriads project included 15 workshop pills: 15 different micro workshops, each one dealing with one specific point of view or perspective which was relevant to the concept of the work.

Myriads, the Workshop Pills, 2

Myriads, the Workshop Pills, 2

Myriads, the Workshop Pills, 3

Myriads, the Workshop Pills, 3

Myriads, the Workshop Pills, 1

Myriads, the Workshop Pills, 1

Each workshop pill was distributed under the form of a dose of the Myriads’ knowledge drug, each containing one micro-slide with the title of the workshop and a link to a set of documentation items which were used in it: from articles, to scientific publications, to software and tools.

These are all of the micro-slides of the workshop-pills:

The workshops covered multiple topics: identity; relational ecosystems; practical examples of generative arts (and the software needed to create it); privacy and surveillance; peer-to-peer ethnography; zombies (and the significance of understanding each era’s monsters). There was also a hidden, mysterious 16th workshop (which some people actually managed to find) going under the title of Jennifer Gabry’s essay “Telepathically Urban“.

Each workshop lasted 20 minutes, giving participants a good overview of the theme, as well as the possibility to choose which workshops to participate to, assembling the, into an educational and experiential path.

These are the slides from the workshop:


We were very satisfied with the results.

As is always our intention, both the exhibit and the education program were a stimulus for people’s perception for possible futures of cities, helping them to build their own imagination, vision and desires beyond mere technologically possible futures, tending toward better understanding of their desirable, imaginable futures, together with other people, their conflicts, agreements, divergences, differences and harmonies.

In this, the education program constituted a major advantage. Workshop participants really seemed to appreciate the effort dedicated to exploring possibilities, going beyond the techno-imaginaries which are currently promoted by industry operators.

People were very engaged, stayed long after the intended 20 minutes duration of the workshops, bringing up interesting and profound conversations. They came back over and over, multiple times, even given the richness of the program at Ars Electronica. This happened for the specific need, expressed by many participants, to confront with the absence of conflict, differences and transgression in the technological discourse about the future of the city.

For example, this was particularly visible and highlighted by the industrialization of mind workshop, and by the identity workshop, where we analysed some of the most critical aspects of the emergence of the experience economies and of the creative economies, as well as in the Ubiquitous Commons workshop, where we learned some models to use to enact participatory actions to propose autonomous alternatives.

In the end, the clear issue was about te importance of the themes which we confronted with in Myriads. They go well beyond the technological features of the “future” cities, and regard human beings’ fundamental rights and desires.

La Cura at Dreamers Day in Milan

While we wait for the upcoming book, La Cura, the Open Source Cure for Cancer will be in Milan for the Dreamers Day, on October 18th 2015, together with two of its great inspirations: an oncologist who is also a hacker, Pier Mario Biava, and an enlightening personality of the theories of complexity, Ervin Laszlo.

At the Dreamers Day, we will have a talk and presentation about the story of La Cura, and about its most recent updates, which include the preparation of the upcoming book, and the peculiar structure we are giving it. It will be no ordinary publication, but, rather, the continuation of the performance of La Cura: the opportunity to take back disease into society, and to reclaim our humanity in the process, through technology, relationships, sciences and solidarity.

We will be more than happy in Milan, because we will get to be on stage together with two of our greater inspirations: Pier Mario Biava and Ervin Laszlo.

Pier Mario Biava is no ordinary oncologist. We call him the hacker of oncology, because in his research he tries to find ways in which cancer cells are not brutally destroyed but, rather, reprogrammed. This is a very interesting approach, as it simulates life, rather than death. In fact, his research aims at stimulating cells towards differentiation, just like it happens when we are born: first a bundle of indifferentiated cells grows and, then, a program (like a software) found in the epigenome causes them to differentiate, becoming the cells of our skin, liver, brain, etc, eventually arriving at building the whole body in all its different parts. Biava tries to cause the same effect in his cures, actually re-programming cancer cells into differentiation.

This approach has a series of very important things in common with La Cura.

Probably the most important of them is the fact that in this approach medicine becomes a complex entity, whose objective is not to simply apply some protocol to “bomb” cells and to treat some symptoms, but to perform complex interventions whose aim is to “restore meaning“, to create the conditions and the environment (acting on chemical, physiological, dietary, psychological, social and cultural levels) for the whole human being (including all of his/her interconnected components, from cells to social bonds) to re-program itself, with meaning and intention. As said, these interventions are as complex as imaginable, acting at micro-levels through factors which are able to stimulate cell reprogramming, at macro-levels, through dietary and social/psycological interventions, and through everything that there is in-between these two extremes. This has always positively shocked us for its affinity to what we did in La Cura: bringing out the disease from the hospital and back into society where the human being can, finally, be cured, through surgery and chemistry, and through solidarity, relationships, arts, creativity, and more, all part of the Cure. This is, for us, an important approach, with effects which are not merely scientific, but also political, social, cultural.

Together, Ervin Laszlo and Biava have presented the “Manifesto for the New Paradigm in Medicine“.

According to the Manifesto:

“In the light of new discoveries in the fields of physics, biology, epigenetic, neuroscience, psychology and psychosomatic, it is necessary for science, which so far has provided a fragmented picture of the world, bound by disciplinary aspects apparently unrelated, to look for a new paradigm. This paradigm has to unify the various disciplines, starting from what connects the physical universe to the living world, the living world to the social world, the social world to culture.
In this context it is important to consider the crucial role of consciousness in the knowledge of the world in relationship with information and in-formation.
Given the foregoing considerations, the diseases which affect the living systems have to be considered as an imbalance of information. To understand the causes and the nature of the different diseases we will continuously consider the two logics with which it is possible to decode the information, ie the sign and the symbolic logics.
3) Diseases have to be considered as an imbalance of information. In other words, diseases have to be identified as pathologies of information, that can be classified according to different types of disruption of information.
4) Disease is an event simultaneously individual and collective. It is individual when it is limited to an individual subject, but, given that all living beings are in a dynamic relationship with each other, the individual disease only reflects the reductive vision with which it is considered. So it would be more correct to define every disease as collective.”

Again data and information are not mere objects on which to run software and protocols, but they are a complex expression of life and, thus, their understanding and possibility to attribute shared meaning, constructed together are features which become immediately of political and philosophical importance.

This is an extraordinary intuition which, for us, is a wonderful way of expressing what we tried to achieve in La Cura: health is not a service, and we’re not customers. Health is within the possibility to create shared meaning of our life. Health is not in the hospital, or in technology, it’s in society and in the possibility to access information, and to attribute meaning to it, together, with our human relations and nature.

And for this, if you find yourself in Milan on October 18th come to the Dreamers Day to meet us, La Cura and Biava and Laszlo.