Zoe Romano is a craftivist, digital strategist and lecturer focused on social innovation, women in tech, technology, open design. She graduated in Philosophy at the University of Milan, worked for several years in digital communication and tech, developed her social skills as media-hacktivist on precarity, material and immaterial labor in the creative industries. She worked for Arduino as digital strategist from 2013 to 2017 and then co-founded WeMake Makerspace in 2014. She works on R&D, training and eu-funded digital social innovation projects. She also develops courses and workshops around e-textiles and digital fabrication in different contexts.
Maddalena Fragnito is a cultural activist exploring the intersections between art, transfeminisms and technologies by focusing on practices of “commoning care”. At the moment she is a Doctoral Student at Coventry University’s Centre for Postdigital Cultures. She co-founded MACAO (2012), an autonomous cultural center in Milan and SopraSotto (2013), a self-managed kindergarten by parents. She is part of research groups/projects Rebelling with Care (2019), Pirate Care (2019), Biofriction (2020) and Institute of Radical Imagination (2021).
During the last two years, Zoe and Maddalena have been working together on the DSI4EU project and the Rebelling with Care publication (2019). They are now opening KINlab, an interdisciplinary lab in the San Siro neighborhood in Milan.
OBOT wants to implement a citizen science approach into the investigation of the womxn body, specifically, around three conditions of life: teenagehood, fertility and menopause. The project wants to identify a toolbox of processes and practices to design a replicable blueprint for a neighbourhood-based wet-lab by gathering collective intelligence through DIT analysis. We called it OBOT, Our Bodies Our Tech, to give homage to the 70s Our Bodies, Ourselves publication. Our aim is to accelerate the reflection and experimentation of open and shared technologies around bodies, within and beyond their biological sex determination.
Up until now, most of the biohacking labs have been focused on experimentation, art and making by attracting mostly middle class highly educated men. With OBOT we want to challenge the complexity of the topic and lower the barriers for a more diverse crowd, through the creation of content and experiences with which people can relate. OBOT aims to explore new open-source approaches with practices of collaboration, co-creation and citizen science, by fostering an inclusive environment around womxn’s care, starting from a neighbourhood level. Moreover, we want to position OBOT as a collective advocacy-awareness by monitoring the boom of commercial startups that are occupying the market of fertility and hormones measurements.
Zoe and Maddalena are two Biofriction artists in residence and, within the Biofriction project they take part in several activities such as Braiding Friction as part of the Phagelogies working group members, Paratext, Biofriction Radio, Paratext