[Air-L] La Cura: possibilities?

Salvatore Iaconesi salvatore.iaconesi at artisopensource.net
Tue May 31 09:09:15 PDT 2016

Dear Friends,

some time has passed since, in 2012, we launched the "La Cura" project when
I was diagnosed with a brain cancer. The action turned out to become an
emergent, worldwide participatory performance aimed at redefining the word
"cure", bringing it out of hospitals, administrations, bureaucracies and
the ingenuities of e-health approaches, and bringing it back into society.

Thousands participated (also many of you all, for which I thank you).

We were all able to draw upon the rich culture of biopolitics,
antipsychiatry, feminism and gender studies to collectively build an active
reflection to confront with the separation, encoding, privatisation, access
and inequalities of current medical approaches, putting in place new models
and patterns in which health is a commons built upon an high-quality
relational environment which is inclusive, accessible, caring, cooperative.

Dozens of publications have been produced, and thousands of artworks,
texts, poems, images, videos, artistic performances, articles on major news
headlines, and more, establishing a wide, active, trans-disciplinary action
which connected arts, design, sciences, humanities and the everyday life of
thousands of people in the search and enactment of new ways in which to
"cure" by considering people's health something which we all can actively
participate to, using everything from advanced technologies, knowledge,
relations, presence and hugs ;)

All of this has enormous implications on the economies and power-schemes of
health. In the age of data, quantified self and of hyperconnectivity, this
is also a metaphor for processes which can happen elsewhere in society, to
confront with complex issues such as education, energy, finance, labour,
and more.

To continue the process, we have transformed "La Cura" into a book:


The book, for now, is only in Italian, and we're trying to get it
translated in other languages, as well (and please do propose if you want
to collaborate to the translation: it would be a great help)

In the objective of the participative performance, the book also has a
strong online presence built through the fact that we're collaboratively
designing the ways in which this type of action could be replicated in many
other forms and in relation to multiple other domains.

We're working with schools, universities, student groups, rural
communities, citizen groups, activists, children, elderly and, well, many
other types of people. In Italy, for now, but we are starting the process
of momentum building so that all of these efforts can lead to
international, interconnected results which we can all work with to provoke
impact and change.

Here are just three of the many initiatives which are already going on:

We've started from education. In the knowledge ("Conoscienza") section of
the website (http://www.la-cura.it) we are assembling the materials for the
education program which is being contributed by all participants to the
action. We currently have materials on interface politics; biopolitics;
food; energy; data; privacy; autobiography; self-representation; building
collaborative knowledge-bases; handling large-scale emergent p2p
communication processes; fighting cancer while maintaining autonomy,
dignity and self-determination; social networks strategy for activists;
filter bubbles; the evolution of medicine; information overload and health;
open data and medicine; open science; the implications of algorithmic
patients. And some more.

All the materials and knowledge are currently hosted on GitHub (you can go
to the links from the website), as we're setting up alternatives which can
be more independent, sharable, replicable, and free.

Why am I telling you all of this?

For a number of reasons. The first of which is a call for participation.

First: there are many of you on the list who do things which would be of
fundamental importance for the process.

We ask you all: if all of this resonanates whith what you do and care
about, please get in touch! We will find a way to do things together.

Second: let's figure out how to create momentum internationally. We are
working on translations (of the book, of the knowledge base, of the
workshops materials, of the software tools... ), and on getting people,
organisations, schools, universities, institutions, governments involved,
in Europe and in the rest of the world. There are no fixed models for this:
we get in touch and create something meaningful together, then we make it
happen and release the knowledge so that if it is useful of helpful for
other people they can repurpose, reuse, expand, change it as they please,
as long as they share the knowledge and tools in these accessible ways.

If you are interested in creating any of the workshops, in creating one, in
creating some other kind of action: please, get in touch!

Third: a festival in Bologna.

An incredible thing is happening: a 3 day festival is forming practically
autonomously in Bologna on La Cura, and it will take place on July 8-10.

When we decided to do a little participatory reading marathon of the La
Cura book in Bologna and we got in touch with the city administration and
with some of the local organisations to make it happen, momentum started
building up autonomously, so much that everything has grown into a
full-blown festival lasting 3 full days and which is gathering
contributions in ways which are completely emergent.

This is truly a thing of beauty for us, as we don't have any control on it,
and we're just welcoming people in to make sure that their proposals fit
into the objectives and values of La Cura. A city based committee has
formed for this process, and this as well is an open collaboration, so that
anyone is welcome there, too.

So, if you want to join in to that, as well, please do and get in touch.

And, Fourth: a summer school.

We have reached an agreement with Milan's Design Triennale and with the
"Condividi la Conoscenza" event to host an artistic production which will
reflect upon the idea of a "new sensibility": the possibility to imagine a
new sense, along Gregory Bateson's idea of art as that process which
creates the aesthetics, the sense of beauty, for what "interconnects", for
"difference". We will create the artwork collaboratively in a summer school
in Florence, with the collaboration of ISIA Design, the design university
where we teach, and the result will be exhibited in downtown Milan at the
Triennale's locations.

More info about this will follow soon, but if you're interested already
feel free to get in touch.

That's a lot of things: sorry for the long message.

I hope this finds your interest and that you will consider participating in
any form you can.

All the best to you all!

*[**MUTATION**]* *Art is Open Source *-  http://www.artisopensource.net
*[**CITIES**]* *Human Ecosystems Ltd* - http://human-ecosystems.com
*[**NEAR FUTURE DESIGN**]* *Nefula Ltd* - http://www.nefula.com
*[**RIGHTS**]* *Ubiquitous Commons *- http://www.ubiquitouscommons.org
Professor of Near Future and Transmedia Design at ISIA Design Florence:

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