Updates from Ubiquitous Publishing

Just a quick update pointing out a series of wonderful reactions about the Ubiquitous Pompei project.

Ubiquitous Pompei

Ubiquitous Pompei

Carlo Infante published a wonderful article on L’Unità, comparing the Ubiquitous Pompei project to his practices of Urban Experience. Thank you Carlo!

(you can download the PDF of the article by clicking here)

And then a coverage of the project appeared here on Post Interface

Be sure to check out the website for Ubiquitous Pompei here:


and to keep track about the project on FakePress Publishing’s website here:


More news coming up in these next few days!

Ubiquitous Pompei: the final event for the digital city created by students

On December 14th, in the city of Pompei, we celebrated the final step in this phase of the Ubiquitous Pompei project, created through a series of workshops performed together with high school students who were invited to imagine the digital future of their city.

All together for the presentation of Ubiquitous Pompei

All together for the presentation of Ubiquitous Pompei

This has been an incredible experience for us. The possibility to work in tight contact with young students and to become enablers for their awareness of the possibilities offered by technologies and networks has been an amazing opportunity.

We were able to explore with the students the concepts of new forms of citizenship, innovative forms of participation and collaboration, novel ways of deciding and evaluating public policies, engaging ways of narrating the stories of the places in which they live, getting people, companies and administrations involved.

Vice-Mayor Claudio Alfano and the students

Vice-Mayor Claudio Alfano and the students

The workshops were used to introduce students to the opportunities and scenarios offered by ubiquitous technologies such as augmented reality, location based media and services, and QRCodes and other digital tagging techniques. On top of that, students and educators were  introduced to the MACME and NeoReality technologies, to be used in the process of imagining and creating the prototypes used to describe the digital future of the City of Pompei.

The technologies have been provided to students, educators and public administrators through an open platform. It can be found here (click to open PompeiAR, the tech platform used to create Ubiquitous Pompei).

Art is Open Source and FakePress Publishing will maintain the platform open and accessible to students/educators/administrators to allow them to continue in their journey through technological innovation: continuous experiments will be performed (and so don’t be surprised if, sometimes, test content pops up on the linked website: it means that students are actually working on it, experimenting on their city’s future) and, possibly, be transformed into real-life scenarios.

Giampiero Gramaglia and Derrick de Kerckhove at the event

Giampiero Gramaglia and Derrick de Kerckhove at the event

The event on December 14th has been a wonderful experience and a chance to finally get together with all involved actors to evaluate the results of our efforts.

During the event, a commission composed by Derrick de Kerckhove, Giampiero Gramaglia, Claudio Alfano, Maria Pia Rossignaud and Antonio Irlando experienced the presentations of the projects created by the students, introduced by Oriana Persico and then presented directly by the young innovators. After the presentations the commission evaluated the prototypes produced during the project and assigned an award of distinction to the project which implemented an ubiquitous book dedicated to the ancient “social networks” found in Pompei’s ruins, where people inscribed graffiti messages about their daily life and full of useful information; An augmented reality application allows you to read these graffiti by framing them in your smartphone and, thus, to translate them from latin into your own language, to discover the lives of ancient Pompeians and engage an experiment in atemporality by being able to comment the ancient graffiti and open up a dialogue across time.

All students were awarded a certificate of participation to the project.

We definitely wish to thank the Public Administration of the City of Pompei – and especially Claudio Alfano, the Vice-Mayor of the City of Pompei and Town Councillor for   Technological Innovation, and Mayor Claudio D’Alessio – for embracing with such energetic enthusiasm the vision proposed through this project, and by making us feel so welcome and appreciated in our efforts to discover, together with students and educators, the positive opportunities which the digital future can bring closer to us, and helping us to develop our cities, relations, jobs and environments.

And we sincerely wish to thank the students and professors at the Liceo Socio-pedagogico E. Pascal and the Istituto Bartolo Longo, the two schools which joined us in this wonderful experience: you have been so nice to have dedicated us some of your time and energies, and so wonderful to have perfectly understood the sincerity with which we propose our ideas and skills.

And, of course, we wish to thank MediaDuemila and Associazione Amici di Media Duemila, for creating the “McLuhan Incontra Pompei” project and, thus, making this all possible, and prof. Derrick de Kerckhove for leading our visions.

More really important people/organizations which we want to give sincere credit and thanks to can be found here, at the project’s website.

HERE you can find the Ubiquitous Pompei project website, the open platform used by students and educators to design the digital future of their city.

HERE you can fide the project descriptions that have been proposed by students and presented on December 14th 2011

HERE you can find information about the MACME technology used in the project.

HERE you can find information about the NeoReality technology used in the project.

The Ubiquitous Pompei project, as well as the concepts produced by the students, are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

the Electronic Man at the Planetary Collegium, CR12, in Portugal

A few months ago we presented the Electronic Man, a global performance created in occasion of Marshall McLuhan’s centennial celebrations, held throughout the planet.

The Electronic Man

The Electronic Man

A conceptual and theoretical analysis of the project has been accepted for presentation at the Planetary Collegium‘s annual conference: Consciousness Reframed 12 “Presence in the Mindfield” 

Here below, the abstract we presented for the conference/publication:

Charlie Chaplin’s 1936 movie “Modern Times” shows human beings changing the ways in which they perceive the world by establishing contact with a new set of technologies.

Time-keeping devices are possibly the most effective agents of change represented in the movie: visually ubiquitous, these devices have had radical impact on lives of human beings well out of the walls of industry, drastically changing our perception of time in ways that are not only powerful and all-encompassing, but also very intimate, influencing the very structure of the our perception of the world.

“Time” is now a machine-mediated experience in our whole lives, from as soon as we wake up in the morning by listening to an alarm sound.

Our sense of time is not the only one changed by technologies, as our experiences of space, our vision, our proprioception have changed as well, and several entirely new senses have emerged since the entrance of digital technologies and networks in our daily lives.

This concept can be framed into the wider set of theories connected to Neuroplasticity, starting from the early insights of William James (1890), up to the experiments of Ramachandran in the beginning of the 1990’s, to the studies of Merzenich and Jenkins (1990) and to the analysis of behavioural consequences of synaptic rewiring by Doidge.

We joined the worldwide celebrations of the centennial of Marshall McLuhan’s birth, in 2011 with an act of global performance art by investigating and enacting the scenarios for the emergence of new, externalized senses through the use of ubiquitous technologies.

McLuhan’s theory of the Electronic Man according to which the “Electronic man like pre-literate man, ablates or outers the whole man. His information environment is his own central nervous system” (McLuhan, Counterblast, 1969) was juxtaposed to de Kerckhove’s description of how “we are invited to refine our proprioception to extend our point of being (rather than our point of view) from wherever we are to wherever technically extended senses can allow us to reach” (The Skin of Culture, 1997).

The objective was to envision, design and realize a global system which would enact a digital sense, externalized on a mobile device such as a smartphone.

Stickers connecting to the performance through a QRCode were disseminated across cities in the world. By scanning the QRCode people can join in the performance. Whenever anyone interacts with the performance, all the smartphones of the other participants vibrate, thus establishing an instantaneous neo-tactile sense.

More than 35000 people joined in the performance, across continents, nations, languages and cultures.

The paper will analyze the methodology, design and implementation of the performance. The analysis and evaluation of the results of the performance will be also disclosed and described, from the point of view of the possibility to create new synthetic, accessible, usable and effective senses externalized onto digital devices, extending people’s sensorial experience of the world to their global info-scape.

And here below is the information about the conference:


PRESENCE IN THE MINDFIELD: Art, Identity and the Technology of Transformation

12th Consciousness Reframed International Research Conference

The conference will look at the exploration of the plurality of self through which we navigate the actual and virtual universes of our making. Transdisciplinary discourse, the adoption of new technologies, the invisible forces and fields of the sciences, the recuperation of abandoned metaphysical and spiritual models of being, can all find expression within the context of this conference.

Centro Cultural de Belém, Lisbon, Portugal

November 30 to December 2, 2011.

Organisation: Skilled Art Project

In cooperation with the Planetary Collegium, University of Plymouth, England, Fábrica das Artes, CCB, Lisbon and Artshare, Aveiro, Portugal


CLICK HERE to find the full list of presenters


Angel_F at Transmediale Festival in Berlin

An update after quite a while about our little digital child Angel_F

When we were at Transmediale, Angel_F and its dad, Derrick de Kerckhove, introduced the Opening Ceremony of the Transmediale Festival with a lovely dialogue.

While at the festival, Angel_F went around on its baby pram playing a little joke on people: the webcam mounted on its monitor constantly used computer vision techniques to capture the faces of everyone who happen to play with the kid for a bit.

Angel_F at Transmediale

Angel_F at Transmediale

All captured faces were then used on a face recognition algorithm to actively search for the people Angel_F had met in Berlin. Whenever that happened, the delighted digital kid sent them a message like “Hello! We’ve met in Berlin, would you like to be my friend?”.

Scary and invasive as it might sound, people were more than delighted to offer their friendship to the digital kid and around 20% of the captured faces were identified on Facebook alone.

This has also proved to be a wonderful opportunity to, once again, explore how digital networks and technologies are deeply affecting our ideas of public and private spaces, of privacy and of intellectual property. People reached in this terribly invasive way were more than eager to thoroughly discuss these themes.

During the event Jodi Rose was so nice to host an instance of her Tea parties at Transmediale’s OpenZone.

Here below some reports of it all! :)

Angel_F on Booki

FakePress on Traces

ANgel_F on Artist Talks




Angel F with parents Salvatore Iaconesi and Oriana Persico from ArtistTalk on Vimeo.





McLuhan: “Traces of the Future”. After the event and the Electronic Man

Just out of the event “Tracce di Futuro” where an incredible set of contributions participated in creating a wonderful day during which the figure of Marshall Mcluhan became the liet-motif used to trigger some truly interesting discussions on the visions of our current present, and on the ways in which understanding the present can be used as a corner stone to build a more interesting future for our planet.

The Electronic Man at McLuhan's centennial in Rome

The Electronic Man at McLuhan's centennial in Rome

The event, organized by MediaDuemila and Osservatorio Tuttimedia included incredible contributions by Norman Doige, Philippe Cahen, Derrick de Kerckhove, Gian Paolo Balboni, Francesco Passerini Glazel, Canadian Ambassador James A. Fox and senator Vincenzo Vita.

After the conference in the morning, the afternoon was activated by the Ateliers of Connective Intelligence, a very interesting module for the creation of truly participative opportunities, transforming an ordinary conference into a productive hybrid in which the interconnection of competences, skills, knowledge and visions managed to actually produce proposals which may well go beyond the lifespan of the event.

We at AOS and FakePress actively participated to the event with the creation of the global performance titled “The Electronic Man”. The performance has been and still is being extremely successful in creating an ubiquitous body and an externalized digital sensoriality, in which (potentially) the whole connected world joins into the nervous system of human beings, creating a new sense which is active/reactive to other connected people’s digital interactions.

Here is a little video interview (sorry, it’s in italian) in which I briefly explain the concept:


The reactions to the Electronic Man have been incredibly active: people from all over the world have been participating to the performance, attaching stickers and accessing the system to contribute a continuous realtime stream of emotions for this ubiquitous body.

At the event in Rome, a realtime information visualizations allowed visitors to instantly experience emotional states coming from Europe, Americas, Asia and Africa (strangely no-one from Australia participated :)  ) .

While experiencing the globally disseminated effects of the performance, people were happily discussing with us the possibilities that this kind of global interconnection and added sensoriality represent for science, communication, marketing, politics and publishing, creating new forms of expression that allow interconnecting the ideas of millions of people worldwide, directly in/on places, bodies and objects.

An iPhone/iPad/Android application for the Electronic Man will be released during the next few days. And a wifi realtime low-infomation gadget that can be connected to mobile phones and laptops is almost at the final stage of design, transforming the Electronic Man into a yet more pervasive and accessible experience.

Stay tuned for updates.