TED fellow Salvatore Iaconesi: “My open source cure”

Two days ago, Salvatore Iaconesi went to pick up his medical records. From now on he’ll have to be showing them to countless doctors; they are scans of his brain cancer.

A pioneering technological thinker and TED fellow,  Iaconesi has pushed the idea of ‘open source art‘, with recent work focusing on theories of virtual, extended and mixed realities, and on software as an artistic medium.

So naturally, he hacked into the encrypted medical files handed to him by his doctor, converted them to openly accessible files, and posted them online.

Grab the information about my disease, if you want, and give me a ‘cure’: create a video, an artwork, a map, a text, a poem, a game, or try to find a solution for my health problem,” wrote Iaconesi yesterday. Everything in his files is available to download, including his CT scans, lab notes and diagnosis.

Though this is clearly an unfathomably difficult time for Iaconesi, he understands the power of new collaborative networks and the subjectivity they inevitably engender.  ”‘Cure’ in different cultures, means different things. There are cures for the body, for spirit, for communication… Artists, designers, hackers, scientists, doctors, photographers, videomakers, musicians, writers. Anyone can give me a ‘cure.’”