The Electronic Man featured at the Giovannini Prize


The Electronic Man

The Electronic Man

The Electronic Man will be featured at the 3rd edition of the Giovannini Prize on November 28th 2011.

The Giovannini Prize is an initiative created by Associazione Amici di Media Duemila to support people, companies and organizations and their projects in communication and sustainable innovation. The Prize has been created in the memory of Giovanni Giovannini and through the action of the Media Duemila magazine he created 28 years ago.

Here is a PDF describing the finalities of the prize (italian).

In its 3rd edition the Giovannini Prize will be dedicated to sustainability.

The event will be held at the headquarters of the FIEG (Federazione Italiana Editori Giornali, the Italian Federation of Newspaper Publishers) in via Piemonte 64, Rome, Italy.

Here is an article on Media Duemila magazine describing the program of the day.

MediaDuemila magazine and the Associazione Amici di Media Duemila ONLUS will continue their support for the Electronic Man project, as an innovative research on the possibilities for the near future of communication, by hosting the installation version of the global performance at the event.

the Electronic Man at Arteractive in Turin

The Electronic Man will be featured in Turin at Arteractive, November 2-6 2011.

Arteractive in Turin

Arteractive in Turin

The project unites a group of artists who have been working with new digital technologies and with specific focus on the research about novel forms of establishing relations with the audience.

Arteractive is an exhibit whose aim is to investigate these the effects of these researches and the potential for innovation of these forms of art and iconographies, which inject a direct possibility for action and reaction for people, creating explicit mutations at aesthetic and social levels.

The exhibit will feature a set of different metaphors and techniques, assessing the virtual domains and activating emotions and sensations in visitors and interactors, establishing multiple types of connections with social media, networks and virtual technologies.

The opening of the exhibit will take place on Thursday November 3rd starting at 6pm.

There will be a preview event on November 2nd at 7pm.

The exhibit will be open to the public on November 3rd, 4th and 5th from 11am to midnight, and on November 6th from 11am up to 8pm.

The address is:

Parcheggio Residence Cristina, 52, Turin
(access is from via Principe Tommaso, at the corner with via Oddino Morgari)

The concept and exhibit is curated by Chiara Canali.

Invited artists are

Alessandro Biagetti, Mirko Canesi, Umberto Ciceri, Davide Coltro, Giuliana Cuneaz, Nicola Evangelisti, Daniele Girardi, Glaser/Kunz, Vincenzo Marsiglia, Gabriele Pesci, Gianfranco Pulitano.

We (Salvatore Iaconesi and Oriana Persico) will be featured in the exhibit with the Electronic Man, our global performance created in occasion of Marshall McLuhan’s Centennial celebrations, with the partnership of MediaDuemila under the scientific direction of prof. Derrick de Kerckhove.



New forms of writing: augmented reality and ubiquitous publishing in Pompei

McLuhan meets Pompei. On October 20th 2011 we will be in Pompei for an event in which we will engage the new forms of writing enabled by ubiquitous technologies and augmented reality.

McLuhan incontra Pompei

McLuhan incontra Pompei

Organized by MediaDuemila as an event for the centennial celebrations of the birth of Marshall McLuhan, the event will feature the official launch of a project dedicated to knowledge, education and scientific experimentation dedicated to the students and young generations of the city of Pompei: “McLuhan meets Pompei: writing in the times of Social Networks. From graffiti to Augmented Reality”.

Derrick de Kerckhove, MediaDuemila’s scientific director, will lead the project which will have its official start

October 20th, from 9:00am to 1:00pm
at the Theatre “Di Costanzo e Mattiello”

and will present the fundamental contributions by:

  • Matteo Ciastellardi (University of Milan, University of Barcelona)
  • Salvatore Iaconesi and Oriana Persico (University of Rome “La Sapienza, FakePress Publishing and Art is Open Source)
  • Candida Livatino (Graphologist)
  • Maurizio Pellegrini (Ugo Bordoni Foundation)
  • Maria Pia Rossignaud (Director of “MediaDuemila”)
  • Antonio Varone (Director of the “Scavi di Pompei”)

The project will continue in December with a Connective Intelligence Atelier and with the creative laboratories for digital communication titled “The Electronic Man and the Digital Wall”, promoting the acquisition of knowledge and skills on ubiquitous technologies and media, and the reflection on global society, characterized by the continuous interconnection of human beings, cultures, nationalities and languages, just as forecasted by McLuhan.

Here on MediaDuemila you can find a short text that describes our intervention in the event and in the project.

Here are some extracts, translated in english:

“Ubiquitous technologies materialize new and fascinating forms of writing as well as new forms of sensibility and planetary awareness, in a scenario which sees our perception of the world radically mutated.


The impacts of this mutation have effects on the ways we work, learn, communicate, relate and spend our free time. Digital networks and technologies are at the base of this mutation and determine a drastic change in out models for thought and expression.


In ‘The Electronic Man’ a suggestive and effective narration shows these new spaces for possibility and opportunity, and makes them observable.
A global performance forms the foundation of a research project which has been able to enact a new form of planetary writing and sensibility.
Thousands of QRCodes have been disseminated by internet users in their cities, and are forming the access portal to participating to this global experiment: the creation of a connective body and identity, and the acquisition of an externalized, added sensoriality, through a technological device.


As of today, around 50 thousand people all over the world participated to the performance/experiment, creating a scenario which bears very high interest for scientific and cultural research, due to the material possibility to observe and experience these novel possibilities: accessible ubiquitous technologies, relating people across multiple cultures and social contexts, on a planetary scale; augmented reality, ubiquitous publishing, natural interfaces and geo-referenced systems which are able to create and enable usage of new forms of writing, new sensibilities and tools for awareness and communication.


In Pompei the technologies used for the Electronic Man project will be explained and given to students and teachers. Together with them we will create a performative workshop in which these methodologies and techniques will be used in practical scenarios, inventing new forms of citizenship and processes which are able to narrate the story of the territory, people’s identities, the value of the production and the richness of the culture of the land and of the people who inhabit it.


Appropriating these languages, creating usage grammars for them, freely activating them in our daily lives: these are becoming the conditions and toolsets of the global citizen and of a new form of citizenship which is truly capable of transforming human beings into active agents of our societies, more aware, tolerant and conscious of the value of its territory and of fellow human beings.”

the Electronic Man at the Social Media Week art exhibit e-festival

the Electronic Man, our project focusing on McLuhan‘s theory by the same name and presented in occasion of the celebrations of the centennial of his birth, creates a new sense for human beings by using the possibilities offered by networks and portable digital devices.

the Electronic Man at the e-Festival

the Electronic Man at the e-Festival

Digital interactions (such as interacting with a QRCode sticker in urban environments) are transformed into a body stimulus, instantaneously available to thousands of people all over the world.

This global performance shows in a very simple way a novel possibility for human beings, who are becoming able to adopting new sensorialities with extreme ease and thus becoming sensible to their environment, cities, networks and digital relations in innovative ways, radically modifying their perception of the world, of their relationships with other people and with the ecosystem.

These new possibilities have become truly accessible only in these last few years, and represent an incredible arena for experimentation and research for business, arts, sciences and humanities, fostering new scenarios for knowledge, learning and planetary awareness which have the power to shape our ideas of citizenship and our relation with the social and natural environment.

During the Social Media Week, in its 2011 Milan edition, and the Festival della Rete (Network Festival) the e-festival is taking place (Sept. 2011). Inside the e-festival Chiara Canali is curating an innovative arts exhibit featuring some of the most interesting researches and productions in which networks, and their ability to mutate people’s and societies’ lifecycles, are the main star.

In the exhibit works by Alessandro Brighetti, Mirko Canesi, Umberto Ciceri, Davide Coltro, Daniele Girardi, Vincenzo Marsiglia  and Gabriele Pesci are together with an installation featuring the Electronic Man, in which people will be able to experience the global digital sense that is being created, enacted and experienced by thousands of people worldwide using smartphones and urban interventions.

More info here:

on ArtCo

on ArtCo in some more detail

on Milano Cronaca

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