La Cura at Participatory Medicine in Montreal

La Cura, an Open Source Cure for Cancer, will be presented at McGill University for Participatory Medicine, a conference with Patrick Dubé (Living Lab SAT/CHU Ste-Justine), Alessandro Delfanti (Media@McGill) and Salvatore Iaconesi and Oriana Persico (Art is Open Source).

More info on McGill’s website: Media@McGill presents Participatory Medicine


Thursday, February 13, 2014 – 17:30 to 19:00

Participatory Medicine is a conference with Patrick Dubé (Living Lab SAT/CHU Ste-Justine), Alessandro Delfanti (Media@McGill) and Salvatore Iaconesi and Oriana Persico (Art is Open Source).

Thursday, February 13 at 5:30 p.m.

Leacock 232, McGill University

As part of our current focus on Participatory Media, Media@McGill presents two innovative case studies in Participatory Medicine, exploring the creative ways in which networked communications are currently being used to empower patients and patient communities.

Patrick Dubé, of Umvelt Service Design, coordinates a Living Labin partnership with the Société des Arts Technologiques (SAT) and the CHU Sainte-Justine children’s hospital in Montreal. His presentation will address how digital, interactive and immersive arts practices contribute to the humanization of health care for young hospitalized patients in this “living laboratory.”

La Cura, a web-based experiment in a crowd-sourced “cure” for cancer, will be presented in the form of an exchange between Media@McGill’s Postdoctoral Fellow, Alessandro Delfanti, and Art is Open Source members Salvatore Iaconesi and Oriana Persico. Diagnosed with brain cancer in 2012, hacker and designer Salvatore Iaconesi published his personal medical data in an open format online, and invited the public to respond. The result attests to vast range of what a cure might entail in the information age (

The conference is free and open to the public.


Patrick Dubé – Health Care Centres as Innovation Social Hubs: The Living Lab Experience

At the heart of unique experiences involving the mind, the heart and the body through pain, joy, birth, illness and death, health care centres are often the seat of a complex symbolism, which goes beyond the delivery of care. In a society that focuses more on the person behind the disease and on the experience behind the care, the concept of “hospitality” gradually returns to its original sense of welcoming, of dialogues, of collective sense-making through a new phenomenon: user-driven open innovation. Through several examples, mostly living labs from the international and local scene, we will illustrate how seeing health care centres as social hubs can enable new forms of technological and social innovation, not only through an actualization of the patient-partner relationship, but also through an active participation of civil society as a whole.

Salvatore Iaconesi and Oriana Persico – La Cura: an Open Source cure for Cancer

In September 2012 Artist, Engineer and Hacker Salvatore Iaconesi was diagnosed with a brain cancer.

He decided to turn his tumor into a global bio-political performance to reclaim his complexity as a human being and, in the meanwhile, to break new grounds performing a radical experiment: publish online his own medical data to crowdsource his cancer, engaging people from all over the world to find a cure and to discover what it could mean to be cured in the information age.

The narrative interweaves themes such as Open Data and privacy, to propose an analysis of the anthropological, emotional, financial, technological, spiritual, scientific, sociological, bio-political and philosophical complexities of Medicine in the digital era.

Cancer – and the cures suggested by people from all over the world – becomes a radical example of our condition as contemporary human beings, a powerful metaphor that becomes useful to define ways in which to express and share art, creativity, scientific research, experiences, stories and ubiquitous conversations in ecosystemic, holistic ways, fostering the vision of human societies which are aware that their well-being depends on the well-being of all of their members.

The story and the process show how we now have the tools – technological, methodological, relational and anthropological – to enable people to be aware, active and engaged agents of their societies.

An Open Source Cure.


Patrick Dubé After obtaining a Masters degree in Anthropology and conducting Ph.D. studies in geomatics, Patrick Dubé started a career as a research scientist in the field of health care ICT. Since 2006, he has helped organizations enhance their creative and innovation practices and methodologies. Directly involved in several open innovation initiatives with cities, SMEs, non-profit organizations and citizen communities, he currently leads the SAT/CHU Sainte-Justine Living Lab in the field of health care humanization. He also presides the Montreal Table of living labs.

Alessandro Delfanti is a postdoctoral fellow at Media@McGill, McGill University, Montreal, where he works on the role of participatory media in contemporary biomedicine and has taught an undergraduate seminar titled Online Cooperation in Daily Life. Alessandro also teaches Sociology of New Media at the University of Milan and is a member of the research group on science communication at SISSA, in Trieste. As a journalist he writes about science and digital cultures for several Italian newspapers and magazines. He is the author of Biohackers. The Politics of Open Science (London: Pluto, 2013) and of Introduzione ai Media Digitali (Bologna: Il Mulino, 2013).

Salvatore Iaconesi is an interaction designer, robotics engineer, artist, hacker. TED Fellow 2012 and Eisenhower Fellow since 2013.

He currently teaches Interaction Design and cross-media practices at the Faculty of Architecture of the “La Sapienza” University of Rome, at ISIA Design Florence, at the Rome University of Fine Arts and at the IED Design institute.

He produced videogames, artificial intelligences, expert systems dedicated to business and scientific research, entertainment systems, mobile ecosystems, interactive architectures, cross-medial publications, augmented reality systems, and experiences and applications dedicated to providing products, services and practices to human beings all over the world, enabled by technologies, networks and new metaphors of interactions, across cultures and languages.

His artworks and performances have been featured worldwide in museums, at festivals and conferences.

Salvatore actively participates to global discussions and actions on the themes of freedoms, new forms of expression and on the future scenarios of our planet from the points of view of energy, environment, multi-cultural societies, gender mutation, sustainability and innovation on both society and business, collaborating with institutions, enterprises and international research groups.

Oriana Persico holds a degree in Communication Sciences, and is an expert in participatory policies and digital inclusion. She is an artist and writer. She has worked together with national governments and the European Union towards the creation of best practices, standards and research in the areas of digital rights, social and technological innovation, Digital Business Ecosystems (DBE), practices for participation and knowledge sharing. Oriana writes critical, scientific, philosophical and poetical texts that connect to the cultural, sociological, economic and political impacts of technological innovation. She is an expert on the formal analysis of cultural and social trends, with a specific focus on social networks. She creates breakthrough communication campaigns, performances, research methodologies and strategies.

AOS at NextFest in Milan

AOS will be at NextFest in Milan on Saturday June 1st 2013 to speak about La Cura, the Open Source Cure for Cancer, Hacking culture and the opportunities to reclaim our rights and human perspectives in our contemporary times.

Here’s the title and abstract of the talk:

Medicine, Hacking, Re-appropriation, Revolution

A brain cancer becomes the opportunity to try the impossible: to find an Open Source cure for Cancer. And, in the meantime, to understand the many ways in which our human societies have changed and have become ready to perform an enormous qualitative leap: an interconnected, global, relational, peer-to-peer humanity, aware and willing to reclaim and re-appropriate our identities and our ecosystemic vision of the world.



Salvatore Iaconesi at NextFest

Salvatore Iaconesi at NextFest

Radical Openness: Art is Open Source at TED Global 2012

TED Global 2012

TED Global 2012

Salvatore Iaconesi of AOS has been nominated TED Fellow for 2012 and, for this, will be presenting at TED Global 2012 in Edinburgh from June 25-29 2012.

We’ve been reflecting on this incredible opportunity for the last few weeks.

TED Global’s theme for this year is Radical Openness, which is something we’re really interested in.

At Art is Open Source we focus on the transformations which have been brought on to human beings by the wide and ubiquitous availability of digital technologies and networks.

Everything has changed in the last few years: the ways in which we learn, work, relate, consume, communicate, experience.

We have redefined our idea of identity, place, time, privacy and public space.

And the transformation is so fast that it is really difficult to provide “answers” when questions are asked.

This, possibly is more of a time when it is more important to understand how to ask the right questions than to provide answers.

Yes, because the scenarios for further change of our lives on this planet are so many and so visionary that we’re really in need to be able to maintain focus on the basics.

How can we use all the technologies and practices which have emerged in these last few years to promote a better life for us, the people we love and the planet itself?

It still seems as if human beings are still right in the middle of this discussion.

Take the smartest of the cities, filled with sensors and cloud infrastructure and real-time systems for environment and social life, and it immediately becomes useless if citizens are not aware and conscious of their possible new roles in society.

At AOS, we’re really for human beings. For their ability to be aware, active, insightful, ethical, tolerant, caring, collaborative and constructive, if only they have the right tools, motivations, relations, contexts and social environments.

And we’re definitely for the opportunity to facilitate, amplify and enhance these powerful human characteristics, provided by ubiquitous technologies and networks.

We feel that among the most pressing issues which we will need to face in the near future to activate these opportunities will be to expand our ability to become active and aware citizens, and to redefine our possibility to interconnect and express ourselves.

And to design the ways in which these technologies and networks can be used to connect people everywhere, in the middle of New York City as well as in the middle of a desert or on top of a high mountain.

As we all know by now, fundamental problems afflicting the population the remote parts of our planet – such as water, health and food – are problems which are centered on knowledge: access knowledge and know-how and you will have your water.

And, on top of that, people are constantly producing new knowledge: from the small innovation of their daily lives, to the enormous discoveries coming from scientific research.

The problem is that most of the time these innovations remain limited in scope, and end with the person or group who created them.

This, we feel, is the great opportunity of our times: transform the sensibilities, creativities, inventions, insights, knowledge, traditions of individuals into usable, perceivable, situated, ubiquitously available knowledge for the rest of the planet, promoting new forms of sustainable, inclusive business, new forms of governance, new opportunities for sociality, culture, arts and expression.

This is what we will talk about at TED Global 2012 in Edinburgh.

Be there!

Activist develops a smartphone app to get people out of danger zones from Merlien Institute on Vimeo.

with FakePress at the Future of Education in Florence

FakePress will be at the Future of Education Conference in Florence on June 16th and 17th, presenting a research paper titled:

“Training Future Anthropologists by Innovative Means: Professional Vision from Augmented Reality NKISI Representations”

Here is a link to download the PDF of the abstract.

Here is the Future of Education Conference website

Augmented Reality NKISI

Augmented Reality NKISI

The paper deals with a research that we’ve been performing for a while with FakePress. This specific instance of the research is done by Salvatore Iaconesi, Luca Simeone and Federico Monaco, and it is perfectly integrated with the other researches FakePress is performing to analyze interesting scenarios in which augmented reality techniques and technologies can be used to promote new forms and practices for education.

In this project a NKISI statue from Congo is connected to a computer vision system which allows recognizing its features in realtime. Each feature can be then connected to digital information through a specifically taylored Content Management System.

The result is that the statue can be connected with information that is accessible directly from the statue itself, for example by moving it in front of a camera that feeds its image to the computer vision system and then shows the fetched information on screen.

This is an incredibly stimulating area for research which has applications in multiple fields, allowing us to populate objects and places with easily accessible digital information, thus potentially enacting entirely new forms of publication, education and expression.

Here is the abstract:

“Augmented reality learning tools can give significant contributions to the development of anthropological practices. The steps to acquire a professional vision in a specific research field can be supported and enhanced by ITC applications creating content for students and practitioners. Digital tools can be created and supported by versatile cross-medial Content Management Systems, allowing for the creation of networked and collaborative knowledge ecosystems that can extend the reach of digital communication onto physical artifacts, geographic locations, architectures and even bodies. Here users/researchers/students are able to stratify layers of information in ways that are directly accessible from the physical objects/places/spaces of research/study, and that allow achieving a state of continuous correlation of data, information and points of view that is extremely effective and usable: users can behave as publishers of their own impressions and experiences, or as designers building their own tools needed for their fields of activities. Innovation in education seems possible even in Humanities and specifically in fields such as ethnography research, where the practices of scientific enquiring and methodology depend strongly on how they are reproduced and transmitted. The adoption of augmented reality learning tools can be helpful for education in Cultural Anthropology and opens itself new transdisciplinary horizons of research for Information Science and Anthropology.
In this case study, NKISI, power figures from Congo, are used to create a materialized learning and knowledge sharing environment, implemented using advanced augmented reality techniques. The design encloses the choice of objects, their encoding as learning facilities, the representation of possible usage scenarios of the platform, and the definition of the scope of the AR experiences, from the point of view of the acquisition of professional skills.
The case study covers an end to end process in which the description of cultural processes and insights is used from the beginning as a basic tool both in the specific case (describing the salient characteristics of the NKISI) and as a methodological scenario that allows apprentices and students to describe and to add their experiences of the cultural meaning of these ethnic representations. Learning by doing seems not always possible and the access to virtual representation of foreign cultures can be a good compromise between a static picture on a book and the learning experience with a real ethnical artifact. Only through a testing activity in a real learning environment a new tool can be shaped according to users’ needs and can be compared to how professional vision is gained by training and experience in other ways and by other educational means”


AOS and FakePress @ PubliCamp 2010

we will be at the third edition of the PubliCamp in Bari, Italy on the 1st, 2nd and 3rd December 2010.

Public Camp 2010 – spot #1 from FF3300 on Vimeo.

We will discuss the scenarios for communication and publishing with FakePress and we will bring with us little Angel_F , as an example of a new vision on identity, privacy, public spaces and innovation.

The program of the PubliCamp 2010 is impressive.

You can download it here if you want

here is some info about who will be there

be there if you can!