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

Human Ecosystems in Reggio Calabria

The Human Ecosystems project is landing in Reggio Calabria, the beautiful city at the tip of the boot of the Italian peninsula, full of history and culture.

Here we will explore the opportunities which can be found by gaining more understandings about the digital life of the city, together with citizens, organisations, city based associations.

We will meet on December 22nd 2014 at 8pm, at the Malavenda Café (Via Zecca 1, Reggio Calabria).

Here below are the Press Release and the biographies of the participants to the event (doc format, in Italian):

Human Ecosystems Reggio Calabria Press Release

Human Ecosystems Reggio Calabria Biographies


The Event

What shape does the relational ecosystem of Reggio Calabria have? Which nodes constitute it? Which emotions do citizens express on social networks? How do they interconnect? What could happen if a real time source open data would be made available to show the meeting places in the city of different cultures and communities; their influences; their bridges, hubs, experts, boundaries, connecting and separating them across themes, opinions, places and times?

They may look like questions coming out of science fiction, but in some cities of the world (such as Sao Paulo, Toronto, New Haven) they are already a reality.

We will talk about all of this on Monday December 22nd at 8pm at the Malavenda Café together with Oriana Persico, digital communication expert and co-founder – together with Salvatore Iaconesi, robotic engineer and hacker – of the Art is Open Source network, which created the Human Ecosystems project.

Human Ecosystems enables smart cities and smart communities observing the relational ecosystems of cities in real-time, to promote citizen participation and activation, as well as peer-to-peer and ubiquitous innovation processes. The project captures in real-time citizens’ public conversations on major social networks, in 29 languages, visualises them through info-aesthetic representations and generative sounds, and transforms them into a source of Open Data which is available to anyone, to make digital public space accessible and inclusive: an Ubiquitous Commons.

In fact, at the present time, it is only large operators and the managers of the large social networking platforms who have access to this citizen-generated data, to be used for their sole strategies.

Since its launch in 2013, Human Ecosystems has been used to create participatory policies, new forms of governance, urban planning, research, education processes, art installations and performances.

Back from Yale University, where Iaconesi held a fellowship, Persico will open up a dialogue with some of the major associations and startups of the city, who confront on a daily basis with the issues of urban regeneration, participative design, open data and social innovation: Letizia Cuzzola, president of Terrearse Lab, the association which promotes the “Sud Altrove” project; Giuseppe Mangano, co-founder of Pensando Meridiano, the Laboratory for Sustainable Culture, Innovation and Social Cohesion which is implementing the Reaction City project; Angelo Marra, who has just been nominated Digital Champion for the city of Reggio Calabria and, thus, the ambassador for the city’s digital innovation; Antonio Ottomanelli, artistic director of The Third Island project, starting from Calabria to create an observatory on the major public works in Italy; Domenico Rositano, president of Calabresi Creativi, winner of the MIUR 2012 grant with the project Smart DMO; Giuseppe Rudi, co-founder of Architetti Emergenti, winner of the Culturability 2013 grant; Eleonora Scrivo, territorial responsible for Action Aid, constantly active on the issues of transparency and participation through Open Data.

The A di Città Rosarno association collaborated in the realization of the event, in its effort to use participatory urbanism as a tool for citizen awareness.

The moderation will be performed by Josephine Condemi, Reggio Calabria born journalist (on Nòva – Il Sole 24 Ore), passionate about online and offline networks, and about social innovation.

Thanks to the support provided by the Laboratori it will be possible to follow the event live in streaming and in live-tweeting using the #humanrc hashtag.

Virtual is potential. Making it become real is our responsibility.

Links & Info

Fb event:

Human Ecosystems:

Salvatore Iaconesi&Oriana Persico

A di Città Rosarno:

Architetti Emergenti:

Calabresi Creativi:

Digital Champions Calabria:

Pensando Meridiano

Terrearse Lab

The Third Island

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).



Open Data as Culture: science, arts and technologies to co-create possible futures

How can Sciences, Arts and Technologies collaborate together with Societies, Communities, Administrations and Businesses to foster a culture of Openness, Transparency, Freedom and Empowerment?

We will find out in Trento, at the ICT Days event, together with Trento rise, the Bruno Kessler Foundation and the Department of Engineering and Information Science of the University of Trento.

The event will be on April 2, 3 and 4, 2014, in several locations across Trento (see for info and program).

Our intervention will be on April 2nd, 2014, at 3:15pm, at the University of Trento, in the “Polo Scientifico e Tecnologico” in room B107.

We will use some of our projects such as VersuS, ConnectiCity, Human Ecosystems, and also Enlarge Your Consciousness and Incautious Porn, to highlight and reflect on how a radical transformation is needed about what we imagine citizenship to be.

It is a transformation which is linguistic and of the imaginary. It is about the shift of what we perceive as possible, to understand and embrace new ways of working together, of relating, communicating, making decisions and getting things done.

From our point of view, in the era of knowledge and information, we have all the tools we need (more are, of course, welcome, as long as they are open, accessible and usable).

What is missing is not found at the level of technologies, methodologies and techniques.

It is at the level of desire, expectation, emotion.

We find ourselves at the edge of a scenario in which we can reasonably transform what we expect economy, knowledge, public space and governance to be.

We call this possibility Ubiquitous Commons: the possibility to create a number of knowledge-based, recombinant Commons which radically augment the well-being of our ecosystems (human, relational, economic, social, political, natural…).

Our work is dedicated to enacting global states of performance, in which everyone is engaged into embracing this possibility in constructive ways, using arts and creativity to interweave scientific, technical and technological possibilities with our imaginaries: a linguistic virus which shifts our perception of what is possible.

La Cura, after the presentation at Transmediale 2014: Afterglow

So, we gave a presentation about La Cura at yesterday’s panel at Transmediale 2014 Festival: Afterglow:

here are the slides for the presentation:

At the end of the slide, a visualization of the activity of La Cura, and of the enormous amounts of relations which have been created in the project was shown:

We wanted to focus on a few of the slides we presented yesterday, as we feel it is very important to highlight their meaning in the overall scheme of the La Cura performance.

The first concept we wish to address is the idea of Disappearance: when you become diseased with cancer, the first thing that happens is that you disappear.

You disappear as a human being, and are replaced by an encoded, simplified, medicalized version of yourself. You are literally replaced by your data. Doctors, people, nurses do not look at you, but at your medical data, at your images, the results of your exams.

This is a great loss, because, obviously, people are much more than data. They are emotions, relationships, cultures, beliefs, communities, philosophies, subjectivities, desires, expectations. This distinction has great political and social implications.

During the presentation, while highlighting the impossibility of obtaining an image of my cancer while I was in the hospital, we pointed out the radical difference which runs between the concepts of availability, accessibility and freedom (or, even, with autonomy).

They represent different levels of the way in which it is possible to determine one’s life, amidst a society, communities and within a network of relationships.

In these times, we have become prone to falling into the trap of mistaking the concepts of availability (even abundance) and accessibility with the ones of freedom and autonomy.

Of course this equivalence is obviously not valid, with the main differences lying in the domains of the imaginaries, of desire and of opportunity. We can have all the abundance in the world, but it is nothing unless we have the possibility to develop the imaginaries to construct visions about the world which we want to enact, the desire to form such imaginaries and, then, to enact the visions, and the opportunities, as subjects and members of communities and societies, to share and enact our visions.

Current times are not times of financial crisis: they are the times of the crisis of imagination, of desire and of the capacity to create shared opportunities as societies.

This scenario is closely connected with the progressive processes of encoding that are characterising our societies. Things such as relations, health, environment and social participation are progressively becoming things you buy (in the many senses according to which things can be “bought” in the digital era, as social networks have shown), rather than things you do as a society.

The entire project and global performance of La Cura is, possibly, all dedicated to breaking the code of this approach. In La Cura the medical data serves as a metaphor for this precise objective: reclaiming humanity going beyond its encoding through data. In La Cura, data is reappropriated and transformed into desire, through a global, shared performance.

In this way, we have tried to describe the emergence of a peer-2-peer welfare model, in which entire communities (potentially global) participate in a sense or reciprocity, of mutual support: the sense of a society whose well-being depends on the well-being and freedoms of all of its members.

This concept allows to research on the possibilities to enact practices in which the money and financial based economy to which we are used to is transferred into another domain, to a different set of economical systems. A transfer from one economy to a multiplicity of other ones, based on emotions, desires, emergent voices and perspectives.

In these kinds of transfer we see many of the possibilities which will fuel our opportunities in the near future.