Workshop at Queen Mary University with self-org

REFF at Queen Mary for Self Org, workshop

REFF at Queen Mary for Self Org, workshop

Collecting all the documentation from our recent visit to London, here are some considerations on our presentation at Queen Mary University for the self-org series of meetings.

The meeting was specifically focused on the interesting intervention by David Vercauteren (, Brussels) explaining the history and dynamics of their initiatives with le collectif Sans Ticket, promoting free public transportation in Busselles by creating a fake ticket and travel card through which people were invited in bringing up dialogues with the operators on board of buses, bringing the discussion on personal levels, explaining how and why they wanted to travel for free, since they were students, unemployed and with no money or with precarious jobs. The initiative was really successful, and it also featured an interesting invasion of the institutional sphere, as the members of the collective have in some way been recognized as experts in public transportation policies and invited at conferences and meetings.

The discussion on the dynamics of a group like the Collectif Sans Tickets was really interesting, and the issues that touched me the most were the ideas of the possibility to evaluate the energy of the group, in understanding if actions were possible or even feasable, and on the ideas about  how it is at all possible to understand the (natural) roles of people in a group to not only get things done, but also to ensure satisfaction and, most of all, a feeling of live cohesion, thus enabling next steps.

When it was our turn in presenting REFF, RomaEuropa FakeFactory, we were in a bit of a philosophical dilemma: our actions are not a lot about organizing people into groups, but more about creating examples, tools, and methodologies (and also stamina and inertia) that would make it easier for people to organize themselves.

Our objective with REFF, our fake cultural institution, has never been to create a community, or even a group. We have always been focused on the performative side of it, and on the possibility to create emergent synergies that passed through art, sciences, technology, activism, business and hacking so that the result was not “a group”, but knowledge, imaginaries, visions, possibilities and empowerment.

This is exactly the reason why we choose to operate under the metaphor of the fake cultural institution. Because this is actually the exact thing that a ‘real’ institution could be: an infrastructure; a set of tools; a meta-brand that anyone moving along the strategies of the institution should be able to use to their advantage, possibly bringing in more knowledge, empowerment, examples and imaginaries.

This is what we try to do with REFF and, for example, with its education program and the technologies we are producing.

We speak a lot about augmented reality: this is what we mean when we say it. Being free and autonomous in the possibility to write onto the world, creating additional layers of accessible, open, free information, expression, imaginaries, poetics, politics, aesthetics, knowledge, visions. And to create multiple ecosystems in which this happens, establishing a dynamic of exchange and mutual involvement, disseminating information, knowledge and practices ubiquitously using performative actions and pervasive technologies.

The discussion was really interesting and lively, and we thank everyone that was there for it: we look forward to engaging this kind of dialogue with you all! It’s really important and insightful.

More info about self-org here

and Thanks to  Arianna Bove and Erik Empson  at Generation Online for creating this wonderful occasion for discussion.


An Augmented Reality Drug

back from London, here are some more info about the event held at Furtherfield Gallery, to present REFF RomaEuropa FakeFactory and the Augmented Reality Drug.

AR Drug, by Marco Bera/S4C

AR Drug, by Marco Berardi/S4C

our wonderful friends at Shoot4Change came to see the exhibit and took these wonderful pictures about the performances and the presentation of the AR Drug. An enormous thanks to our newly found fried Marco Berardi for them!

An Augmented Reality Drug has been created and distributed to the visitors at the Furtherfield Gallery in London.
REFF, the fake institution created to enact innovative cultural policies all over the world used the opportunity offered by the exhibit on the “reinvention of reality” that was currently held at the Furtherfield Gallery in London to deliver their Augmented Reality Drug to the visitors.

REFF AR Drug by Marco Bera/S4C

REFF AR Drug photo by Marco Berardi/S4C

The people at the opening of the exhibit have had the chance to taste the drug and to experiment with their effects: the possibility to create new forms of expression, to fill the world with digital content and to realize new forms of free, independent communication that are able to mutate our perception of cities and the spaces we live in, just like a psychoactive drug.
This is the metaphor used by Art is Open Source: the Augmented Reality Drug is really an open source software platform that allows people to use the so-called ubiquitous technologies, thus enabling the owners of iPhone and Android smartphones to freely create videos, sounds and other contents directly in the spaces and places of our cities. Completely new forms of communication that really change the way in which people communicate and relate with the rest of the world.

REFF Augmented Reality Drug, photo by Marco Bera/S4C

REFF Augmented Reality Drug, photo by Marco Berardi/S4C

The drug has already been distributed in dozens of universities all over Europe, and hundreds of projects for the “methodological reinvention of reality” are popping up in the laboratories of these institutes.
Everyone is addicted!

To follow the evolution of the project:



Art is Open Source:


REFF in the world:

the exhibit at Furtherfield Gallery, London:

images of the happening:

You can buy the AR Drug here on eBay


REFF in London – the opening @ Furtherfield

News from REFF in London, at Furtherfield

The Opening of the exhibit took place in a wonderful atmosphere. We were happy to see new and old people interested in the fake institution, its education program and its newly created Augmented Reality Drug.

We managed to present the AR Drug, the molecules which are used to create it, the education program on the systematic reinvention of reality and the new technologies and practices for critical invasion of our cities, that will probably be used sometime soon :)

We have to thank everyone involved in the exhibit because it was amazing: all of Furtherfield, Garrett Lynch, xname, Rebar Group, all the photographers and video makers, and then Richard Barbrook, Quayola, David Benqué everyone!

At the exhibit we introduced REFF’s AR Drug, and the three molecules that are used to make it:




“The REMIXine compound is an innovative molecule and it is a fundamental ingredient of all our drugs. The molecule powerfully reacts with other ones, disconnecting their predetermined bonds and allowing the core elements of other compounds to reassemble, forming entirely new ones, in complete freedom. REMIXine is known to augment the total entropy of systems, and it is a known stimulator of creative processes and on the systematic creation of insights on the world.”




“REALITene is a very unstable compound. Its complex molecule self-arranges into virtually infinite configurations. Furthermore, different patients have been known to react to different molecule configurations at different times in their clinical life. All these factors make REALITene a compound that is really hard to manage. Our drugs confront with this problem in a radical way: REALITene’s configuration is not determined in the lab, but is left to the shaping processes enacted by the patient and its surrounding context.”





“REINVENTum compounds collaborate with the other molecules found in our drugs to reassemble components into new forms once their bonds have been disassembled. REINVENTum has drastic effects on the equilibrium of neural ecosystems, as it is able to effectively activate the neurotransmitters which control human forms of expression: this action has profound impacts on the areas of the brain that engage language and memory, allowing the rapid formation of entire networks of new symbols.”

We also introduced the global map of everything’s that happening in the world with our fake institution

And we publicly and officially released the MACME plugin for cross-medial, augmented reality publishing, part of REFF’s education program on the systematic reinvention of reality.