Ubiquitous Commons at Hybrid City conference in Athens: Data to the People

Ubiquitous Commons and Human Ecosystems will be at the “Hybrid City III: Data to the People” conference in Athens, on September 17-19, organised by the University Research Institute of Applied Communication (URIAC), in collaboration with New Technologies Laboratory, of the Faculty of Communication and Media Studies, of the University of Athens.

The paper “Data and the City: moving from surveillance and control to the Ubiquitous Commons” will be presented there.

The paper will be available on the conference proceedings, and here on this website.

Here is the abstract:

Social networks and ubiquitous technologies have transformed the ways in which we communicate, learn, work, consume, express emotions, relate to each other, create and share information and knowledge.

Major operators create digitally mediated public and private spaces using hardware and software user interfaces, iconic and symbolic architectures, communication strategies and patterns.

This scenario creates private/public spheres in which users leave digital traces which are used to commoditise human behaviour and expression: for marketing, surveillance, social experiments and more, all without explicit participant consent: current modalities are not sufficient in enabling users to control the ways in which their data is used.

Algorithmic production of information is yet another space in which confusion and opacity are created in people’s perception of how their information will be used: they are not transparent and accountable, and laws, regulations and habits are not structurally able to confront with their continuous, fluid evolution.
This results in the systematic transgression of multiple human rights and expectations. This scenario describes a critical situation which must be confronted with.

In this article we propose a two-phase methodology whose objective is to find resolutive solutions for the presented context, starting from a focus on major social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).

The first phase is exemplified through a city-based project called Human Ecosystems which, at the time of writing, has been started in multiple cities (Rome, Sao Paulo, Montreal, New Haven, among others).

The project has four steps: re-appropriation; sharing; education; performance.
In the re-appropriation step, public data generated by users on major social networks is harvested and processed, to understand the Relational Ecosystems of the city, and the topic/emotion networks which are expressed by city-dwellers, thus being able to describe information and knowledge flows across communities.

In the sharing stage, all of the harvested and processed information is made available under the form of a source of real-time open data, released under with a peer-production license.

In the education stage, widely accessible workshops are used to engage the population in the understanding of the implications generated by the availability of such data, and of how this data can be used for citizens’ self-organisation, civic action, to understand the cities’ cultures and communities, and for participatory decision-making processes.

In the performance stage, an inclusive laboratory is created in the city in which students, researchers, public administrators, designers, artists and organisations receive support in building these scenarios, understanding them and their critical implications.

In the second phase of the methodology is the Ubiquitous Commons are defined. They come under the form of legal and technological toolkits which describe a “protocol” used to declare the intended use of element of ubiquitous information generated by users. It is an evolution of the concept of the Creative Commons, in the era ubiquitous information and dealing with the qualitative, quantitative, technical, technological and legal implications of these new forms of data.

Festival dell’Innovazione: in Bari with Human Ecosystems and Nefula

Join us in Bari on May 21-23 2015 for the “Festival dell’Innovazione” together with Art is Open Source, Human Ecosystems, Nefula and ISIA, for a workshop on the Human Ecosystems and a Human Ecosystems installation about the real-time digital life of Bari.

The Human Ecosystems Lab will be a hands-on experience, and will give everyone the tools and knowledge to observe the public digital life of their city, and to use it for citizen activation and participation, to create generative artworks, designs, services and peer-to-peer emergent dynamics in the city. On Thursday 21st, from 9:30am to 6:30pm, at Fortino S. Antonio in Bari. Register Here.

The HE/BA (Human Ecosystems Bari) installation will feature interactive information visualizations which will show the real-time public life of the city of Bari, with all its locations, places, discussions, relations, voices all shown in real-time. From May 21st to May 23rd, from 9:00am to 8:00pm, at the Teatro Margherita in Bari.

AOS and Human Ecosystems at Media Arts Festival, with Fondazione Mondo Digitale

Join us in Rome, from Feb. 25th to March 1st for the Media Arts Festival, organized by Fondazione Mondo Digitale. We will talk about creativity, education, the possible future of the arts, and we will hold a workshop on the Human Ecosystems.

Art is Open Source will be present with:

The festival is organized by Fondazione Mondo Digitale, with the following

Scientific Committee
Artistic Director
Media Art Festival in Rome

Media Art Festival in Rome

Multipli-cities: a festival in Rome, poliphonic visions on the city, Human Ecosystems

Join us on February 28-28 2015 in Rome,at the Ex Cartiera Latina ( in beautiful industrial complex deep in the Appia Antica Regional Park, in Via Appia Antica, 42) for the 2NC Fest, Multipli-Cities, a biennial event on urban multimedia narratives, offering a focus on cities and on the opportunities which open up when the city is imagined as a polyphony of voices and expressions. There, we will showcase the most recent updates of Human Ecosystems in Rome.

The festival is organised by Visiva and Naked City Project and will offer a complex setup of conferences, installations, screening and live performances focused on the city, and its multiple points of view.

You can find the full program here.

We will be present with HERO (Human Ecosystems Rome), and in a couple of talks and other sessions.

Periferica: Human Ecosystems workshops in Rome

Join us at the Periferica Festival in Rome, on February 16-21 2015 at Fusolab, in Viale della Bella Villa 94 (and some other locations: check the program for time and locations).

Art is Open Source and Human Ecosystems will be there for an installation and a workshop on Human Ecosystems, the real-time lives of cities, in which we will see the relational ecosystem of the city come to life before our eyes, and we will learn how to use it for generative arts, design, civic action and more.

Check out our profile at the festival’s website, for more info: HERE.

The festival will be rich in exhibits and performances: look who’s coming, here.