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.


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.

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.

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

100 Women who are co-creating the P2P society

Who are the women who are co-creating the P2P Society?

Luckily, they are many.

Today, the P2P Foundation has featured one of them: our very own Oriana Persico, aka penelope.di.pixel.

From the Italian Senate, to cyber-ecology, passing through arts and scientific research, Penelope explores the many faces of innovation through imagination.

You can read the full interview here:

100 Women who are co-creating the P2P Society – Oriana Persico of Art is Open Source

“Representative elected institutions are progressively loosing sense: the sense of being connected to the organism they live in and are part of and work for – society. This is perhaps why we are barely embarrassed to talk about politics or define something as “political”: we are speaking about the pathology of representative systems more than the actual thing. We can speculate if representative institutions are pathological from their very roots […], but politics is a larger subject concerning our relations to power, the directions we want to choose among the possible and desired futures (as individuals and society), and how we organize ourselves to make it happen.”

Penelope di Pixel

Penelope di Pixel