ELMCIP, in Edinburgh, discussing Electronic Literature as a Model of Creativity and Innovation in Practice

Electronic Literature as a Model of Creativity and Innovation in Practice (ELMCIP) is a collaborative research project funded by Humanities in the European Research Area (HERA) JRP for Creativity and Innovation. ELMCIP involves seven European academic research partners and one non-academic partner who are investigating how creative communities of practitioners form within a transnational and transcultural context in a globalized and distributed communication environment. Focusing on the electronic literature community in Europe as a model of networked creativity and innovation in practice, ELMCIP is intended both to study the formation and interactions of that community and to further electronic literature research and practice in Europe.

read write reality

read write reality

The partners include: University of Bergen, Norway (PL Scott Rettberg, Co-I Jill Walker Rettberg), Edinburgh College of Art, Scotland (PI Simon Biggs, Co-I Penny Travlou), Blekinge Institute of Technology, Sweden (PI Maria Engberg, Co-I Talan Memmott), University of Amsterdam, Netherlands (PI Yra Van Dijk), University of Ljubljana, Slovenia (PI Janez Strechovec), University of Jyväskylä, Finland (PI Raine Koskimaa), University College Falmouth at Dartington, England (PI Jerome Fletcher), and New Media Scotland.

We took part in this project as case studies in the research “Digital Manual: Authority, Authorship and Voice” by Dr Penny Travlou (PI), a cultural geographer, and Dr Smita Kheria (Co-I), a legal scholar in intellectual property law and copyright.

We will present our point of view at the ELMCIP Conference “Remediatng the social” on November 1st 2012.

Here below are the links to the e-book which is among the results of the project:

In the book you will find the article “Rhizomic ethnographies” by Penny Travlou, which gives more details about the parts of the project we have been part of.


updates: here below are our slides at the conference

Here below a slideshow describing the story and results of the overall project.

The future of academic discussions, on Limina

Limina n.2

Limina n.2

Our article “Utopian Architectures and the Dictatorship  of the Imaginary. A Selection of Topics in Favor of Holistic Education Paths, and the Role  of the Fish Eye in the Observation of Reality” (by Salvatore Iaconesi and Stefano Bonifazi) has just been published on the n.2 Issue of Limina (on page 183), by Planetary Collegium’s M-Node.

It is a peculiar article, as it uses a novel form of system which has been designed and proposed to suggest new forms of publishing which can be used to structure academic discussions, including their outputs in terms of papers and articles.


“Classical” scientific publications are created by crystallizing the results of the research of one or more academics/scientists/researchers at one specific moment in time, also loosing the information about the dynamics according to which these results have been produced, their connection to the evolution of the research process, the relations and interactions occurred between among all parties engaged, and their unfolding through time and relational space, including the possibility to represent  the network of contributions (be them practical, relational, theoretical, operational, thematic…) which have brought to the scenario described in the “paper”.

The “paper” or article is, basically, a narrative, structured along the lines defined by good academic and scientific practices, which looses all dynamic information about the research process being described in it, also making it very difficult to connect to its further development.


To produce the paper we have used a system called Knowners, an Open Source WordPress Plugin which allows you to represent the network of relations running among the content produced by multiple authors operating onto the same publishing space (implemented through a website running the WordPress CMS).

During the research process all the activities which formed the research were added to the Architon website:


While adding the various parts of the research to the system, a network formed, which can be seen in the home page of the site.

Architon's main network

Architon’s main network

The various elements of the network are  calculated in real-time by a keyword based and natural language based algorithm which analyzes the content added to the platform, and uses the themes and tags used in the various information bits (parts of article, texts, data and meta-data added to the system under the form of posts and multimedia elements) to describe the relations running among all elements, their authors (which can be more than one, under the form of multiple WordPress users, or under the forms of commenters).

Each element of the visualizations is interactive, allowing users to decide the focus of their navigation, and to easily traverse the topics and relationship networks defined through the research.

So, as the research process unfolds, its content network unfolds as well, preserving the time-scheme (under the form of the time-data generated when creating the content elements) and the relational-network running between the authors and other forms of contributors (e.g.: commenters) taking part in the research under various roles, and also running between the various contents, allowing to highlight:

  • the themes touched by the research, and their relations
  • the contributions of each author in relation to each theme
  • the time-based dimension of the research process

The system also allows to keep track of the future development of the research: by simply including a QRCode and a link to the graphic layout of the paper, readers can connect directly to the online system and, thus, see its updated status, in real-time, and also eventually contribute to it, making all this wealth of information not only immediately accessible, but also interactive and participatory.

The scientific article becomes alive: a relational network which evolves in time and to which anyone can participate.


We’re developing the Knowners system to allow interconnection between different systems.

Imagine two teams of researchers working on the similar issues, maybe from a different point of view.

Imagine they work using this kind of system to produce the content and the outputs of the research.

Since the two teams share some of the same issues, some of their content, keywords and themes will match, with the resulting relations-network reflecting the differences of their approaches, methodologies and results.

We’re developing the function which will allow to interconnect two or more of these Knowners systems so that different researches could be visualized onto the same graph.

This would bring an incredible result: the possibility to being able to immediately and visually compare researches operating on related themes, and to visually understand and interact with their interrelations, dependencies and mutual interactions.

Also: the fact that all this is working on standard, open, consolidated protocols (such as the ones used by web systems such as WordPress, including RSS, pingback, XML-RPC, atom, etc) opens the doors to incredible possibilities, such as the one (which we are developing) in which as soon as someone produces scientific content about a theme which is relevant and interrelated to your research, your visualized graph would transform to reflect this, showing, actually, who is working on your same themes, and how, and how it is related/different/complementary/divergent from your work.

ConnectiCity: Living Cities in Berlin for re:publica

VersuS, city visualization

VersuS, city visualization

Lately we’ve teamed up with an impressive series of partners to investigate on the future of our cities.

On May 2nd – 4th we will be in Berlin for re:publica to gather up and summarize our efforts so far.

Re:publica represents an enormous convergence of individuals and organizations who are dedicating their efforts to the conceptualization and enactment of innovative scenarios for humanity, with specific focus on urban contexts, as the locations in which most part of the destinies of our territories and populations are shaped and put into action. And, accordingly, Action! is the slogan of the 2012 edition of Re:publica.

We will participate to two sections of the event:

In the panel SMART CITIES : (IN) VISIBLE CITIES we will discuss about the emergence of novel visions for the cities of our present and future.

Together with Susa Pop, of the Public Art Lab (who promoted and organized the panel), a keynote by Tim Edler, of realities:united, Martin Spindler, and Khaldoun Al Agha we will investigate on

“How could urban media as temporary communication platform facilitate the exchange between citizens to support the diversity of a city? How can we use the networked infrastructures for the shaping of a socio-cultural urban development? Due to our understanding of the human as crucial reference point for our future cities, the citizen centric model will be a key topic in this session.”

Then, in the roundtable URBAN MEDIA LOUNGE, organised with the kind support of Enterprise Europe Network Berlin-Brandenburg, we will join the project European Urban Media Network for Connecting Cities, a research on three visions for the city of the future: the Participatory City, analysing the communicative potential for community-building through urban media, the Visible City fostering a city that is intelligent, efficient and sustainable and the Networked City. (initiator: Public Art Lab, 2012 – 2016)

The Lounge will also host the launch of the publication Urban Media Cultures (release: April 2012, avedition).

In the roundtable we will present the initial concepts of the Living Cities project, a massive initiative that we initiated with an impressive list of partners to design and implement novel scenarios of the creation of participatory practices for city and community development in cities, focused on P2P models, participatory governance, digital inclusion policies and a high level of attention to the scenarios of diversity and multiculturalism, to create wellness, richness and opportunities in urban contexts. The project has not yet been disclosed, and will be officially presented at the event.

the Co-Creation of cities: AOS presents ConnectiCity in Florence at ECLAP Conference

VersuS, the co-creation of cities

VersuS, the co-creation of cities


Is it possible to imagine ways to use ubiquitous technologies and the emergent narratives which take place on social networks to design cities using co-creation practices?

On May 7th – 9th we will be in Florence at the ECLAP 2012 Conference on Information Technologies for Performing Arts, Media Access and Entertainment to discuss these issues.

We will participate with a paper and a research contribution in which we explore our most recent projects on the themes of Urban Sensing, Citizen Science, P2P Urbanism, and on novel ideas for the design of smart cities, more focused on the idea of human collaboration and relation than the “classical”, data-focused visions of smart cities.

Here below is the abstract of our intervention:

“Is it possible to imagine novel forms of urban planning and of public policies regulating the ways in which people use city spaces by listening to citizens’ expressions, emotions, desires and visions, as they ubiquitously emerge in real-time on social networks and on other sources of digital information?

This paper presents the theoretical and methodological approach, the investigation and research phases, the design and prototyping processes constituting the ConnectiCity initiative, a collaborative, multi-disciplinary series of projects in which artists, scientists, anthropologists, engineers, communicators, architects and institutions participated to the design of innovative ubiquitous and pervasive systems which were able to transform the ways in which the concepts of urban planning and city-wide decision-making are defined. Novel forms of urban life were imagined, in which cities became the time/space continuum for multiple, stratified layers of information expressing the ideas, goals, visions, emotions and forms of expression for multiple cultures and backgrounds, producing new opportunities for citizenship: more active, aware and engaged in the production of urban reality, and in the transformation of city spaces into possibilistic frameworks.”

A provisional programme of the ECLAP 2012 conference is available at the following link:



Digital Manual at the University of Edinburgh

We have recently been involved in a research project based at the University of Edinburgh and led by Smita Kheria and Penny Travlou dealing with the investigation of models of emergent multi-authored publications employing open source and co-creative practices.

The title of the project is Creation and Publication of the “Digital Manual”: Authority, Authorship and Voice. The information can be found here at the Website of the Digital Manual project.

From one of the project information pages:

“Digital manuals, or emerging forms of the book, function as a resource and platform for digital practitioners, including artists, in their use and manipulation of technology for new forms of writing and publishing. It allows a co-creative community to arise through this interaction of agents (e.g. technology, users) and has serious implications for notions of control and ownership over resulting creations. When such digital manuals are developed, used and shared by creative communities, it enables them to employ technology to change the contours of their creative practice and how it is accorded peer recognition, thus shaping the creative community itself. More broadly, the development of the Digital Manual is contextualised by concerns with emerging forms of authorship, production and knowledge-making and how these might be intrinsic to processes of social formation.”

The project will involve the collaboration of a wide research network and the study of a series of open source creative communities, including us at FakePress and Art is Open SourceUpStage and Make-Shift, an open source platform for cyberformance and a very interesting festival, FLOSS Manuals, a collaborative publishing platform that enables fluent collaboration with local and remote writers, and Sauti ya Wakulima “The voice of the farmers”, a collaborative knowledge base created by farmers from the Chambezi region of the Bagamoyo District in Tanzania by gathering audiovisual evidence of their practices using smartphones to publish images and voice recordings on the Internet.

Stay tuned for more info. :)