Micro Histories of cities and Ubiquitous Commons, at #visualize in Lecce

Join us for #visualize, more than one week of data, in Lecce (Italy) from May 8th to June 18th 2014, in the Palazzo Turrisi-Palumbo (via Marco Basseo 1), for an incredible series of workshops and lectures about visual journalism and data, in which we will create one full project of our own.

Here is the program for #visualize: http://www.gliadditivi.org/visualize/program.php

Visualize, more than a week on data

Visualize, more than a week on data

Speakers include John Grimwade, Leonardo RomeiMartin Foessleitner, Fabio Franchino.

Our talk will be on the 16th of June 2014, and it will be mostly based on the Human Ecosystems project, and on the idea of using the real-time, human-generated infoscape of the city to create a novel form of Public Space, which we call Ubiquitous Commons.

In the workshop, running from  June 16th to June 18th, we will use the Human Ecosystems to build an actual project.

You can use this link to subscribe to the workshop: http://www.gliadditivi.org/visualize/iscriviti.php.

Here below is some info about our intervention at #visualize:

Micro-histories of cities e Ubiquitous Commons

Ubiquitous emergent narratives in cities as novel public spaces.


Each day, we generate thousands of information elements through electronic transactions, interactions with digital systems and social networks. Often we don’t realize it.

This mass of information constitutes the millions of micro-histories of our cities, in real-time, manifesting themselves during our everyday lives, while we shop or communicate using social networks.

Micro-histories unite to form macro-histories, the story of the city in which multitudes of people take part to an enormous data-symphony from which citizens’ changes, desires, emotions, vision and expectancies emerge, as well as the ones of organizations and administrations.

Through the Human Ecosystems project we observe in real-time citizens’ public expressions on social networks to describe the relational ecosystem of cities: the emergence of communities, of the themes which they discuss, and of their emotional expressions. This information can be interweaved with other sources of Open and Big Data, and with the flows of news and information, to enact a system in which cities – and their citizens – express themselves, and, most important of all, which can be used as a tool for participation, organization and planning, by everyone. A new common: the Digital Public Space of the city.


The millions of micro-histories of cities: Human Ecosystems e Ubiquitous Commons.

During the talk we will introduce the Human Ecosystems project, and the concept of Ubiquitous Commons. We will show how to harvest public information from social networks to describe cities’ relational ecosystem: the emergence of communities, the issues which they discuss and their emotional expressions.

We will confront with the legal, political, conceptual, theoretical, technical and technological scenarios according highlighting the opportunities raised by enacting processes of this kind.

We will introduce the current operative scenarios of the Human Ecosystems, and the ways in which we are using them in the cities of Rome, S. Paulo, Malmö, Montreal, Toronto.

We will show how this information can be published as a form of real-time Open Data, and how it can be used in conjunction with other sources of Open and Big Data to obtain results which are relevant for citizens, administrations, enterprises, artists and designers.


Strategic and narrative usage scenarios for the Relational Ecosystems of cities.

We will start from a practical issue (public transport, pollution, the job market…) to setup a working scenario for the Human Ecosystems, from the point of view of one of the possible subjects involved (citizens, enterprises, administrations…).

We will show how to interweave the data from the relational ecosystem of the city with other data sources to obtain peculiar and relevant information.

For simplicity, we will use the data that has been harvested in a specific city across a 6 month period, without getting into the implementation details needed to create a system for real-time observation and for natural language analysis. Nevertheless, these techniques will be explained and proper references will be given, together with the possibility to use the Human Ecosystems.

The harvested information will be used to obtain the two outcomes of the workshop: an info-aesthetic, complexity-oriented, visualization, and the description of a possible strategy for intervention onto the selected issue, using the Urban Acupuncture technique.

Desired skills for the workshop:

  • basic knowledge of HTML, CSS and JavaScript (we will work in groups, so at least one member of each group should possess these skills )

During the workshop we will use:

Visualize, brand

Visualize, brand

Visualize partners

Visualize partners

Accelerator, proposal for COLLIDE@CERN

Sometime ago we submitted our Accelerator project to Collide@CERN

This is the presentation video:

This is the project description:

Acceleratorestablishes a poetic, emergent parallel between the particle accelerator and the transformation of human communities around the globe due to the progress of sciences, technologies and of the planetary conversations which are triggered from them.

In the Age of Information, human beings experience flows of recombinant information in which “official” sources and peer-conversations interweave in the emergent creation of knowledge and awareness: languages form, relationships fall into place, words become commonplace. Conversations produce knowledge, in a planetary process which radically changes how people learn, work, relate, express, consume.

While fundamental science researches on how matter, space and time work, people’s visions, imaginaries and languages transform, expanding cultures and sense of possibility.

While particles are observed in accelerators their effects escape research labs, accelerating the transformation of people’s perception of their Universe.

People become particles in a planetary accelerator, receiving stimuli and signals (information about the results of fundamental science), moving (thinking and communicating), colliding (discussing) and transforming into other entities (transforming cultures, forms of awareness and visions for their future).

Accelerator is about this process.

A real-time info-aesthetic visualization in which a timeline of the news of the “things” which happen at CERN is compared to the emergence of words, conversations, debates, jokes, images and videos on social networks, all over the planet, across languages and cultures.

A “Human Accelerator” of the Information Age, a landmark accessible from the web and smartphones, and through a large-scale visualization to be placed at CERN, Ars Electronica and selected locations across the planet, to create planetary awareness about the transformation of human beings – and of their languages, visions, desires and perspectives – towards a new perception of possibility.

Accelerator @ Collide

Accelerator @ Collide

VersuS at BIO23, Ljubljana Design Biennial

VersuS, by Art is Open Source, at BIO23, Ljubljana Design Biennial.

VersuS at BIO23 Design Biennial

VersuS at BIO23 Design Biennial

BIO23, Design Relations

VersuS is a series of works about the possibility to listen in real-time to the emotions, expressions and information generated by users on social network and using ubiquitous technologies, and to publish them onto the cities which they are related to.

A scenario emerges according to which it becomes possible to realize information landscapes which are ubiquitously accessible and which change our experience or urban spaces.

These projects also suggest the possibility to use these methodologies and technologies to promote novel forms of participatory practices in urban spaces, for decision-making, policy-making and urban planning and design.


the video “Berlin_WantsToBeHere.mov” shows a full day of the city of Berlin as captured through social media sites (Facebook, Twitter,Instagram, Google+). Message captured show when people used social networks to express that they wanted to be in the place they were in.


the video “RomaRiot.mov” shows a full day of the city of Rome as captured through social media sites (Facebook, Twitter,Instagram, Google+). The video shows the city’s digital life during the violent riot of October 15th 2011.


the video “Rome_aDayInTheLife.mov” shows a full day of the city of Rome as captured through social media sites (Facebook, Twitter,Instagram, Google+). The video shows a full day of the digital life of the city, in its completeness, with its cycles, patterns and routines.


the video “Turin_Love.mov” shows a full day of the city of Turin as captured through social media sites (Facebook, Twitter,Instagram, Google+). The video shows 2012’s Valentine’s day as seen through social networks, with people talking about love, making fun about love and arguing because maybe their partner forgot that it was Valentine’s Day.


the video “Turin_Traffic.mov” shows a full day of the city of Turin as captured through social media sites (Facebook, Twitter,Instagram, Google+). The video shows the full digital life of the city as people use social networks to speak about traffic: being stuck in traffic jams, suggesting traffic information or alternative routes, describing accidents and, in general, providing an idea on how much people use social networks in real-time to talk about mobility.


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: