Salvatore Iaconesi is an interaction designer, robotics engineer, artist, hacker. TED Fellow 2012 and Eisenhower Fellow since 2013.

He currently teaches Interaction Design and cross-media practices at the Faculty of Architecture of the “La Sapienza” University of Rome, at ISIA Design Florence, at the Rome University of Fine Arts and at the IED Design institute.

He produced videogames, artificial intelligences, expert systems dedicated to business and scientific research, entertainment systems, mobile ecosystems, interactive architectures, cross-medial publications, augmented reality systems, and experiences and applications dedicated to providing products, services and practices to human beings all over the world, enabled by technologies, networks and new metaphors of interactions, across cultures and languages.

His artworks and performances have been featured worldwide at festivals and conferences.

Salvatore actively participates to global discussions and actions on the themes of freedoms, new forms of expression and on the future scenarios of our planet from the points of view of energy, environment, multi-cultural societies, gender mutation, sustainability and innovation on both society and business, collaborating with institutions, enterprises and international research groups.
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DISCUSSION Preservation

there are so many possible points of view on this!

on one side:

technology fades. It fades faster now (i had a really a hard time finding a RS232 port last week.. only USB) with technologies becoming obsolete and incompatibly different every what.. 6 months? :)

but it's part of the whole experience!

technologies make us do things. It's not that they are "just" enablers for activities and processes. They also "force" us to do things, such as hunting for software drivers, dealing with system behaviours, buying new components because you're the only one left with a specific one (it happened with floppy disks, with ports, with processors, video cards.. everything).

it's right in some ways, wrong in other ones, but it's part of teh experience we have of networks, computers etcetera..

so it's probabily part of the "artwork" as well..

on another side:

as someone said before platforms become fundamental for experiencing some works. cpu power, network connection speeds, media types, codecs, technologies... all of these combine to form the experience we have of a work. Even the fact that different people can have different experiences from it (or, to the extreme, someone can even have the experience of not being able to see the work completely, possibly because he has the wrong technology, not enough CPU power...) according to what they have available to access a work.
In many cases "preserving" just cannot be translated just in a matter of "keeping somewhere a computer on which this work sunctions correctly".

on yet another side:

it's surely romantic to have the idea of a "digital artwork" restorer, such as we have them for paintings, frescoes and antique furnitures.
but it would be a totally arbitrary work, i guess.
what would he/she do? adapt software? produce a virtualized platform? keep a PC or a C-64 working like a mechanic?
in any case it would look more like a re-enactment of the work.
and so it would be nice to make this thing explicit and significative, and leave it to open source practices, such as Rob sad a couple of messages before.

and yet on one more perspective:

and then, in the end... who would choose what to preserve? little old me? a community? "people"?
we are describing a complex thing here, that could be possible only if performed by an institution of some kind. Someone that could guarantee for a long time the availability and maintenance of a virtualized platform, a connectivity, a software/hardware expertise.... lots of stuff.
while it would be surely a lovely job to do (both at managerial and executive/technical levels) it looks a bit "strange" to say the least.
Especially when most of those works are highly "immaterial" in themselves.
And, even more, especially when many speak about the change from the kinds of processes in which "institutions do things", describing a more rhizomatic approach to life, made from emerging dynamics and processes, and from dialogue.
There seems a bit of an ecosystemic unbalance in these kind of efforts.

And, in my opinion, also a tragic disconnection from the meaning of many things.

and, possibly, in a last point of view:

we live on information and on communication. on documents, videos, images, comments, hyperlinks, relationships, emotions. it could prove more significative, ecological, sustainable and evolved to go beyond this model in which a "thing" is kept in "a dusty closet" (or in something thatis conceptually the same) to be able to experience it for ages, and to turn to models in which "things" are kept alive as people use them and modify them, and share, update, describe, film them.

as a model it's a bit far from the average egocentric artist :) but it's what it would be nice to do, no?



DpSdC - Degradazione per Sovrapposizione di Corpi

hello everyone!

we just published the article presented at the (re)Actor3 / HCI2008 conference/event in Liverpool.

you can find it here:

"Degradazione per Sovrapposizione di Corpi (DpSdC) investigates on interaction mechanisms created using low cost DIY technologies, aiming at the creation of emotional environments that can be used to break the users’ inhibitory barriers to narratively access dialogue on socio-political issues."


- (re)Actor3

- HCI2008

- Degradazione per Sovrapposizione di Corpi

- some videos and a report



hi Michael

i understand your point of view and :

> I too deplore the loss of connectedness but this is
> not simply something brought about by the net, but
> by the political character of the last 25 -30 years
> in which with few exceptions the right and the
> market-cheerleaders have made the running

if you happened to take a look at what I did now and in the past you'd probably know that this is my exact point and that i know and assert that "the net" is just one of the parts of the scenery.

but i think that i don't share this part of your perspective:

> "Who attaches the electrodes?" and you can bet your life it's *not* the computer.


> Cliff's implication being that workers can and do
> go slow, go on strike, organise, even in the most
> appalling conditions. The same is true today.

because i think it is not merely a political point, as it involves spheres that are philosophical, perceptive etcetera.

social order is a complex system, and it is based not only on will, laws, police, jobs, mortgages... it is also based on other elements that are just powerful in composing the ways in which we perceive or lives and what we want to do.
culture is not something that can be imposed by law, it is a network.
our perception of time is described in terms that are defined at several levels.
As are the things that we consider as "something we want/need to do".

so, if it is the "right" time/place/context, you will attach the electrodes, or you will not. and that goes for the workers of the story too.

and, by the way, we don't have explicit things such as a screen in every room built like in 1984, but we do have lots of things around us that serve the same purpose. things made of paper, of records in databases etcetera. or even things that do not require "someone" watching you, because they leave that task to you alltogether, their function being the one to suggesting suggesting and more suggesting.

> The artistic one is the the piece would be a lot
> more engaging the *less* it was prefaced with the
> rather tendentious and, as I've argued,
> impressionistic and inaccurate spiel.


as a matter of fact i don't think of it as inaccurate and impressionistic at all!
opinable, as anything, and open for discussion is something that seems more fitting as a description.

> Give us the opportunity to relate to the
> products of your mischievous and fertile
> imagination and to allow these to bear fruit
> in our own without telling us in advance *what*
> we should be thinking!!

so that's the problem! I talk too much!

seriously: everything i do is part of a research. sometimes i like to leave things around with maybe just a link and one or two words, sometimes not, maybe feeling the need to put down a couple of paragraphs explaining (to myself or to others who are free to read it or not) what i'm up to.

the fact of the "thing" being more or less engaging or suggestive is more or less a side effect that amuses me, as my work is not in those paragraphs on the webpage or in a message sent on a newsletter, but in the ways in which i use the research in producing things in online/offline performances, works, or even in "commercial" works (i use quotes on "commercial" as I put a lot of political/aesthetic/philosophical/anthropological research into them as well). that is documentation.

so i feel not an inch guilty or unsatisfied for having written all that, and for providing you a less engaging experience ;)

my best!



do you know this, as well?



hello there!
while i agree a lot with what you say, i must add a bit to that. And, actually, i add to it something that goes in the same direction.
As it seems that i keep on having the same debate over and over. :)
no, nothing changes at all. It just gets systematized, and more tools are available to perpetrate the detachment from the body.
While all of the things you say about the past are true, there always was a "physical human" behind all of that. One that had to do a whole bunch of things to "act": physically go to a place, eye contact, touch, and so on. And the consequences of doing things were quite different, too. Being looked at, touched, hit, imprisoned, takn to places, tortured, pulled off a gambling table by guards because you are out of money, or burnt because you are heretic (to stick to some of your examples) are things that all have several levels of "connectedness" more than anything that you can experience in a virtual world (computers, networks, polygons, textures...). well, at least for now.
this is simply clear when we talk about an environment such as second life, but itis something that is happening, in many different ways, in other contexts of the contemporary world.
media creates virtual realities in which we get disconnected from wars, brutalities, murders, financial issues, ecological issues because of the way in which we are presented with them (a show) and by repetition.
bureocracy turns "real things" into sheets of papers (or data) that go through procedures.
the way we work is going through such a change, as well: just go o a corporate office of some kind and you'll see people that are not people at all at the workplace, but little blocks fitting inside a machinery.
production changes, turning products into services and communication, taking the material part of it all (geographically) far from our perception.
environment is far from our perception, too, as we perfectly know what's going on, but we stil continue using/doing/consuming things that we perfectly know we should not use/do/consume.
we might as well have a tag on things stating how many people have died to produce it and to bring it to us, and we'd still use it.
and we could go on with examples.
all of this can happen because we are disconnected from it all.
we know it, we listen about it, we see it on television, we read about it, yet we don't feel it.
just like if you get slain by some kind of monster on, say, world of warcraft and you go like "oh well, i got slain". because you won't bleed, hurt, die.
the post-industrial is progressively turning everything to immateriality (at least for the part of the world who can be post-industrial) and, consequently, into a virtual reality.
nothing new at all, but an enormous difference in scale, efficiency and pervasiveness.
OneAvatar is about that, taking a simple setup (me being stupid on second life with some usb-controlled electrodes and some software) to start a dialogue on the critical analisys of technologies, media and on our perception of things.