[NetBehaviour] salvatore iaconesi

Ruth Catlow ruthcatlow at gmail.com
Mon Aug 8 13:06:47 CEST 2022


sending again... <3

On Wed, Aug 3, 2022 at 11:07 AM Ruth Catlow <ruthcatlow at gmail.com> wrote:

> Beautiful writing
> about a beautiful person and part of such an inspiring, important art duo
> with a brilliant talent for finding new pathways to possiblity.
>
> Thank you so much for sharing Roberta.
>
> We had the delighful honour of hosting and exhibiting *REFF- Remix the
> World! Reinvent Reality! by *Salvatore and Oriana at Furtherfield in 2010.
> These photos capture the verve of the event
>
> https://www.flickr.com/photos/http_gallery/albums/72157626175020078/with/5488796867/
>
> Rest in Power Salvatore!
> Loads of love for Salvatore and Oriana
>
> On Tue, Aug 2, 2022 at 5:43 PM roberta buiani via NetBehaviour <
> netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org> wrote:
>
>> Hi all,
>> coming out of my lurking mode. I usually don’t post. I tend to be super
>> slow and quite shy about almost anything I write, but Salvatore’s departure
>> has really shaken me and sometimes I find that writing helps a bit.
>> I am pasting below the in-memoriam note I just sent to Leonardo. this is
>> my perspective as a fellow Italian who worked several times with him and
>> Oriana from a distance, but developed a solid friendship that I cherished
>> for many years.
>> last time I talked to him was in March. little did I know it would be the
>> last time.
>>
>> peace.
>> Roberta
>>
>> -----------
>>
>> Writing to celebrate the life and work of Salvatore Iaconesi is not easy.
>> It is not easy because his body of work is so extensive and diverse that
>> one would never have enough space to fit it in a few pages; it is not easy
>> because it extends over, it is entangled, and it is shared with a
>> formidable network of collaborators and friends, which he and his life and
>> artistic partner Oriana patiently and passionately built for many years.
>> But it is especially not easy because his departure is hard to accept. It
>> has been a slow departure, during which he planted many seeds for future
>> work and activities, made new friends, established new collaborations.
>> “Salvatore Iaconesi is alive” announces the website of HER: She Loves DATA,
>> the cultural research centre he and Oriana had founded in 2013. Still, it
>> is difficult to accept that his body, and his wit are no longer with us.
>>
>> Salvatore Iaconesi’s work was eclectic, ranging from projects supporting
>> remix and opensource culture, to experiments with AI and hybrid marriages
>> between human and non-human, community data mining and data sharing,
>> collective performances, pedagogical initiatives, and much more. No matter
>> where and by whom his projects were carried on, they were all conceived in
>> the spirit of community participation and co-creation involving many
>> actors, human and non-human; they could be remixed and expanded, recombined
>> and played with.
>>
>> I met Salvatore in 2010 at the SHARE festival in Torino. The editorial
>> project he and Oriana presented gave me a taste of the spirit that
>> characterized their future projects: a drive to reveal the narrow minded,
>> exploitative and extractivist rules imposed by institutions and those who
>> retain power, and a desire to rectify these rules by mobilizing a network
>> of individuals and communities with whom to re-think and find solutions for
>> these rules. REFF (RomaEuropa Fake Factory) became a fake cultural
>> institution and an editorial project in response to the exploitative rules
>> imposed by the institutions promoting a funding contest. Hopeful applicants
>> had to agree to transfer any ownership of their work to the funding agency.
>> The latter could then re-use, remix and republish said work. However, no
>> project already containing remake, mashups, and remix would be admitted.
>> The response was an edited book collecting essays, artworks, and editorial
>> experiments that exposed this rather hypocritical and contradictory
>> position and enacted the very practices that had been forbidden by the
>> contest.
>>
>> When I first invited Salvatore and Oriana to Toronto in 2014, they had
>> been launching a data visualization project titled Human Ecosystems (HE) in
>> Rome (Italy) and Sao Paulo (Brazil). The project encouraged members of the
>> public to reflect on and visualize the city’s human geographies and
>> affective flows, by capturing information from social networks. Instead of
>> just collecting data from users and artfully laying them on a map, the goal
>> here was to achieve a new and more reflexive understanding of the ways in
>> which different cultures express opinions, emotions and affect. Most
>> importantly, it sought to reveal how cities’ relational ecosystems are
>> formed and which roles different people assume in their communities
>> (influencers, hubs, experts, amplifiers, bridges among different
>> communities etc...). This was made to empower the public to view data as
>> relational agents rather than discrete bits ready to be collected to create
>> more surveillance. Together, during a few (and very snowy) days, we worked
>> with students at the Transmedia Lab (York University) and the members of
>> the public at ArtSci Salon, our art and science collective, to build an
>> affective map of the city. Even the very skeptical City of Toronto’s Open
>> Data team was willing to listen.
>>
>> Freeing data from the grip of institutional and corporate power, from
>> their extractivist agendas, from their techno-solutionist patina of fake
>> neutrality was at the core of Salvatore and Oriana’s work.  The main
>> mission of their cultural research centre is to use data and computation to
>> create new realities that would think past using, exploiting, and depleting
>> data and instead rethink the configuration of, and the relationships being
>> established in the neighborhood, the city and the environment.
>>
>> The reappropriation, repurposing, and re-vitalizing of data had profound
>> political significance for Salvatore. They also resonated personally.  In
>> 2012, following his diagnose of brain cancer, he found himself trapped in
>> the same situation he was rallying against with his art. Now a patient, he
>> was stripped from his individuality, and found himself caught in a medical
>> system intent to measure, visualize, and examine his condition only, one
>> not seeing him as a whole person: “the patient is a strange being …
>> entirely made of data: blood exams, images of body parts, lab values,
>> diagnoses”. He describes his experience with the medical system as a
>> ritual: “your body, personality, and social connections disappear, and are
>> replaced by data and images”. In the medical ritual Iaconesi was caught in,
>> everything is obsessively quantified and passed through body scans,
>> software, and digital models. He had suddenly become a bundle of data, over
>> which he seemed to have no control. But even that resulting disembodied
>> entity had been taken away from him. In fact, to add insult to injury, all
>> data collected from his body had been stored in a proprietary format
>> impossible to share.
>>
>> La Cura became a long-term life journey that extended well beyond medical
>> treatment or medical data sharing. His rebellion against the reductive
>> constraints imposed by the medical technologies, and against an inflexible
>> and impersonal medical system, materialized into the release of his medical
>> data online. He turned to the community at large to seek help, solidarity
>> and comfort. His request was drawn by a need to open up “cancer’s “source
>> code” as a biopolitical rite of healing, aimed at redefining concepts such
>> as “disease” and “cure” “… to re-appropriate the condition of being ill,
>> and to foster a society that recognizes disease as a complex experience —
>> one felt by social bodies as much as individual bodies”.
>>
>> His story far exceeds issues of information gathering and dissemination;
>> issues of disease and control. This act of sharing was not meant to
>> disseminate information with the purpose of receiving more. It was not
>> meant to acquire knowledge to be used for his exclusive benefit. His act of
>> sharing opened to a precarious and indeterminate space. By turning to a
>> community made up of close friends and complete strangers, he welcomed and
>> eventually recovered human and affective elements that had been lost in the
>> extreme operation of reduction he was enduring during his experience within
>> the medical system.
>>
>> Maria de la Bellacasa explains that caring is “everything that we do to
>> maintain, continue and repair our world, so that we can live in it as well
>> as possible”. Caring also means becoming aware that “studying and
>> representing things have world-making effects”. It is a way of thinking and
>> speaking beyond what we assume to be some social and “politically” useful
>> research. La Cura evolved into many other projects, all initiated with the
>> same spirit of caring, using data creatively and for social causes: “the
>> cure does not exist if not in society”.
>>
>> Last time I had the pleasure to collaborate with Salvatore, and last time
>> I heard his voice was in March 2022, during an interdisciplinary series of
>> talks, workshops and events that I co-created with my colleague Elena
>> Basile titled: “Who Cares? Sustaining relations of health beyond the time
>> of crisis”. We invited Salvatore and Oriana and their team to facilitate a
>> Data Meditation, because we knew that their approach to data to evoke
>> self-reflexivity, empathy and mutual sharing, instead of impersonal and
>> mechanical interaction would break the cycle of apathy that had
>> characterized so many conferences and talks (including the one about health
>> care!) during the pandemic. During one of the roundtables, coincidentally
>> scheduled exactly 2 years after the beginning of many lockdowns around the
>> world, Salvatore shared his extraordinary experience of being in a hospital
>> just before Italy shut down: “The Hospital was shutting down. Surgeries
>> were stopped, people were being sent back home. But the pandemic was
>> hitting full strength in the realm of information and data too. People were
>> massively exposed to horrible things about the pandemic, completely and
>> carelessly fed with information about people who were sick, dead and dying,
>> with no care for their fragilities…The use of data and information at the
>> time was truly violent and careless. It was a very violent experience. We
>> decided that we should do something about it. That’s when we started
>> developing these new rituals where these data and information are not
>> forces that divide people but unite people and bring them together. That’s
>> the origin of what we call Nuovo Abitare” .
>>
>> The “Nuovo Abitare” resonated greatly with our desire to bring together a
>> community of users, artists, scientists and caregivers to reflect beyond
>> the cruelty of a tired health care system and its triage based culture.
>> Importantly, it gave us hope that this new concept could one day be adopted
>> by many.
>>
>> I want to remember Salvatore Iaconesi with these words, because I think
>> they not only encapsulate the profound sense of justice and care that drove
>> his work, but also his optimism and hopeful thinking, in the face of the
>> violence imparted by and conveyed through data, in spite of collapse due to
>> climate change, wars, political unrest, medical emergencies etc..
>>
>> It is certainly not a chance that the logo that stands out on the site of
>> HER: She Loves Data is a heart. A heart which will grow larger thanks to
>> the way his thinking and his generosity touched and inspired many of us.
>> Even though his body is no more, his legacy is here to stay.
>>
>>
>>
>>
>> On Aug 2, 2022, at 11:59 AM, Alan Sondheim via NetBehaviour <
>> netbehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org> wrote:
>>
>> Hi Everyone,
>>
>> I was hoping someone would say something; I didn't know him, but from his
>> work at Furtherfield, I felt his thinking resonated with my own the
>> strongest in the show.
>> There was no bio for him in the back; was that his desire?
>>
>> Best, Alan, and Marc, I hope you're doing well. At the moment speechless,
>> too much pain everywhere. And thank you everyone for this list and
>> Furtherfield -
>>
>> On Tue, Aug 2, 2022 at 4:21 AM Helen Varley Jamieson <
>> helen at creative-catalyst.com> wrote:
>>
>>> last week my copy of "frankenstein reanimated" arrived & i immediately
>>> turned to page 175 and read patrick lichty's interview with salvatore,
>>> about "la cura", the collaborative artistic project to open source a cure
>>> for the brain cancer that he had just been diagnosed with (the interview
>>> was made in 2012).
>>>
>>> salvatore died a couple of weeks ago, on 18 july. has this sad news
>>> already come through on netbehaviour? maybe i missed it ... i am
>>> remembering salvatore's smile and laugh, his warmth and generosity; and the
>>> cyberformance that myself, francesco buonaiuto and miljana perić created
>>> for "la cura" (which was only performed once, for salvatore & oriana, in
>>> 2012 or 13 & now exists only as fragments on my hard drive).
>>>
>>> r.i.p. salvatore - i am glad to have known you!
>>>
>>> h <3
>>> --
>>>
>>> helen varley jamieson
>>>
>>> helen at creative-catalyst.com
>>> http://www.creative-catalyst.com
>>> http://www.upstage.org.nz
>>> https://mobilise-demobilise.eu
>>> _______________________________________________
>>> NetBehaviour mailing list
>>> NetBehaviour at lists.netbehaviour.org
>>> https://lists.netbehaviour.org/mailman/listinfo/netbehaviour
>>>
>>
>>
>> --
>> *=====================================================*
>>
>> *directory http://www.alansondheim.org <http://www.alansondheim.org/> tel
>> 347-383-8552**email sondheim ut panix.com <http://panix.com/>, sondheim
>> ut gmail.com <http://gmail.com/>*
>> *=====================================================*
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>
>
> --
> Ruth Catlow
> she/her
> Co-founder & Artistic director of Furtherfield & DECAL Decentralised Arts
> Lab
> +44 (0) 77370 02879
>
> *I will only agree to speak at events that are racially and gender
> balanced.
>
> **sending thanks
> <https://www.ovoenergy.com/ovo-newsroom/press-releases/2019/november/think-before-you-thank-if-every-brit-sent-one-less-thank-you-email-a-day-we-would-save-16433-tonnes-of-carbon-a-year-the-same-as-81152-flights-to-madrid.html> in
> advance
>
> *Furtherfield *disrupts and democratises art and technology through exhibitions,
> labs & debate, for deep exploration, open tools & free thinking.
> furtherfield.org <http://www.furtherfield.org/>
>
> *DECAL* Decentralised Arts Lab is an arts, blockchain & web 3.0
> technologies research hub
>
> for fairer, more dynamic & connected cultural ecologies & economies now.
>
> https://decal.furtherfield.org/
>
> Furtherfield is a Not-for-Profit Company Limited by Guarantee
>
> Registered in England and Wales under the Company No.7005205.
>
> Registered business address: Carbon Accountancy, 80-83 Long Lane, London,
> EC1A 9ET.
>
>
>

-- 
Ruth Catlow
she/her
Co-founder & Artistic director of Furtherfield & DECAL Decentralised Arts
Lab
+44 (0) 77370 02879

*I will only agree to speak at events that are racially and gender
balanced.

**sending thanks
<https://www.ovoenergy.com/ovo-newsroom/press-releases/2019/november/think-before-you-thank-if-every-brit-sent-one-less-thank-you-email-a-day-we-would-save-16433-tonnes-of-carbon-a-year-the-same-as-81152-flights-to-madrid.html>
in
advance

*Furtherfield *disrupts and democratises art and technology through
exhibitions,
labs & debate, for deep exploration, open tools & free thinking.
furtherfield.org <http://www.furtherfield.org/>

*DECAL* Decentralised Arts Lab is an arts, blockchain & web 3.0 technologies
research hub

for fairer, more dynamic & connected cultural ecologies & economies now.

https://decal.furtherfield.org/

Furtherfield is a Not-for-Profit Company Limited by Guarantee

Registered in England and Wales under the Company No.7005205.

Registered business address: Carbon Accountancy, 80-83 Long Lane, London,
EC1A 9ET.
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