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.

La Cura featured on, and some exciting news

La Cura, My Open Source Cure for Cancer, has been featured as La Cura as TED talk of the day. Go check it out!

It is a wonderful chance to announce that the book about La Cura is coming out soon, with amazing features.

La Cura on TED

La Cura on TED

The book, coming out soon after the summer, will come out in Italy first for an important publisher, and will soon be featured in multiple countries (note: we’re still looking for publishing agreements in other countries; if you’re a publisher/editor/agent outside of Italy contact us! We would love to hear from you!)

The book will take the form of a narrative (from my point of view, from Oriana’s, and from the thousands of points of view of those who have taken active part in La Cura), a conceptual analysis of La Cura, a design publication featuring many, many wonderful contributions to La Cura, and a toolkit (technological, methodological, legal, aesthetic) to enact actions like La Cura to promote participatory medicine practices and radical, inclusive collaboration processes in which the entire society takes participatory action in the well-being of their fellow human beings.

Keep you eyes open for this, contact us if you want to join in the action and, of course, look around and share, share, share.

The performance continues.

La Cura featured as TED Talk of the day

La Cura featured as TED Talk of the day

An Open Source Cure for Cancer at King’s College in London

Join us at King’s College Department for Social Science Health and Medicine with the Bioethics and Society programme for a conversation on:

“The Cure”, an Open Source Cure for Cancer: a conversation with Oriana Persico and Salvatore Iaconesi

The network “Citizen Participation in Science and Medicine” is pleased to announce that Oriana Persico and Salvatore Iaconesi will be at SSHM on June 4th, 2015  to discus their project “La Cura” (The Cure), an Open Source Cure for Cancer: Hacking Participatory Medicine and the Biopolitics of Data.

When: June 4, 2015, 2-4 pm

Where: Room S -3.18, KCL Strand Campus.

When Salvatore Iaconesi was diagnosed with a brain cancer, he hacked his medical records and opened them up, transforming his disease into a participatory, collaborative performance. In the discussion, we will confront with the biopolitical implications of participatory medicine, and of the rituals of ethical hacking, as critical opportunities to reconsider the role of communities and societies in positive, constructive, inclusive ways.

Please register here (feel free to use this link if you want to invite others):

For more information about “La Cura”, click here. You can also watch Salvatore’s Ted talk here.

For inquiries contact Dr Lorenzo Del Savio:

The Participatory Condition: Open Source Cancer. Brain Scans and the Rituality of Biodigital Data Sharing

Together with Alessandro Delfanti we have just finished writing a chapter on the forthcoming book “The Participatory Condition“, forthcoming on the University of Minnesota Press.

The chapter is titled: “Open Source Cancer. Brain Scans and the Rituality of Biodigital Data Sharing“, and it deals with La Cura project, which we created when Salvatore Iaconesi became diseased with brain cancer, and decided to turn the situation into a biopolitical performance interweaving hacking, society, anthropology and sciences.

From the chapter:

“While patient reclamation of the medicalized body is becoming a more common subject of discussion, by proposing the concept of the ritual we have here focused on the cultural significance of biodigital data: once liberated through hacking from their objectifying role in the context of medical institution, open source data provides a commons upon which new forms of digital solidarity can emerge.47 In doing so they can trigger public responses which enable collective reappropriations of the experience of cancer and other illnesses. Against techno-determinist ideologies, we also suggest that, by performing such rituals, members of digital countercultures—such as hackers—can turn to digital technologies, rather than only their bodies, as a battleground for the reconfiguration of social and political possibilities.”

The chapter will be featured in the forthcoming “The Participatory Condition“, a book resulting from the international dialogues originating from “#PCond. The Participatory Condition“, an International Colloquium held in Montreal at the Museum of Contemporary Art on November 15 and 16, 2013. The Colloquium’s main objective was to assess the role of media in the development of a principle whose expansion has become so large as to become the condition of our contemporaneity. The book is forthcoming and will be published in 2016.

The chapter, in an early, pre-release version, can be accessed at:

You can cite the chapter as:

Delfanti, A. and Iaconesi, S., “Open Source Cancer. Brain Scans and the Rituality of Biodigital Data Sharing,” in Barney, D., Coleman, G., Ross, C., Sterne, J. and Tembeck, T. (eds): The Participatory Condition. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press (forthcoming).



La Cura, at Wave, with Susanna Pozzoli

La Cura will be featured at Wave, Collective Intelligence, an exhibit promoted by BNP Paribas, in Paris at the Parc de la Villette, from September 10th to October 5th 2014 through a video by artist Susanna Pozzoli.

Click HERE for some more information about La Cura at Wave.

Click HERE to know more about La Cura, an Open Source Cure for Cancer.

For the exhibit, a video has been created by artist Susanna Pozzoli, a beautiful, insightful contribution to La Cura: