Tag Archives: ecology and biodiversity

OpenGreens research on padma.okno.be

Brussels, jardin experimental, October 2010
Looking for Mushrooms.

Friday, october 8th, I went to look for mushrooms at the Jardin Experimental Massart, one of the the fieldworkspaces of the biology department of the free university of Brussels (ULB).
On my way over there, I was thinking about one of the 20th century pioneer-experimental artists: John Cage.
John Cage was not only a major figure of the musical avant-garde but also an avid mycologist, collector and consumer of mushrooms. His knowledge of the fungal world was legendary.
Indeterminacy was a lecture/performance work in which Cage recited a series of one minute stories and anecdotes in no particular order. Many of these stories related to his love of mushrooms and his experiences of collecting and studying them.
In the experimental garden/forest, I picked some of the mushrooms to study them in my studio. Following movie gives random impressions of the research of the species under the microscope, accompanied by an excerpt of Indeterminacy, read by Cage.

to watch the movie, go to the TIK video database : padma.okno.be
check also other movies of the OpenGreens collection: research OpenGreens – the marginal zones in the city where culture and nature overlap and enter into a symbiotic relationship.

korcula wild edible plants

paths02 daucus-carota_seed mentha satureja-montana daucus-carota_head
echium_plantagineum daucus-carota_leaf02

Open Greens research on Korcula Island, Croatia. First we identified the most common species of wild edible plants in the area. Secondly we made an overview of the ones that are overlapping with the edible wild plants in Brussels and surroundings. Thirdly, we went in search for specific plant-linked stories, traditional knowledge and traditional heritage. Sani Sardelic of the local museum accompanied us on a private walk through the inlands, telling us about recipies of local wild plants, linked to the food served on the Last Supper of the Christ – an habit that is annually revived by some of the Korcula fraternities. Medicinal qualities of plants were discussed, and furtheron we visited a local beekeeper with 80 hives, Carnica bees and wonderful salvia/sauge honey.
On the island are lots of melliferous mediterrenean plants, as erica arborea (tree heath), erica lusitania (portuguese heath), wild mentha (mint), echium plantagineum (purple viper’s bugloss), salvia officinalis (sauge), rosmarinus officinalis (rosemary), thymus officinalis (common thyme) and more … Especially the hedera helix (ivy), subspecies poetarum Nyman (balkans) is fully blossoming these days and is an important provider of winterpollen for the bees.
For now, all this information is archived in our mental database, and we are spinning on some experimental setups to link clocks, wind and time with longterm monitoring of several Open Greens.

kanal labs – triangulated

On saturday september 18th, three Brussels art labs invite you in Koolmijnenkaai 30-34. OKNO opens their rooftop garden and Open Greens-project to all. You can taste urban honey and drinks made of plants from the garden. You can nibble on FoAM’s detoxifying treats to help you fight urban afflictions, spiced up with plants from the Kanal area. Q-O2 invites the sound artist Pierre Berthet for a concert using waterdrops as an instrument.

After a day of walking between various urban gardens alongside the canal, FoAM will serve a range of detoxifying bites, especially crafted to eliminate toxins and pollutants from the human bodily ecology. The aperitif combines ingredients, methods and performance-eating techniques that can assist your body in fighting some of the most prominent urban afflictions, including allergies, stress related disorders, diabetes and cancer. In collaboration with OKNO and Irma Firma, the cooks will incorporate edible plants gathered and grown in the Brussels’ Kanal area.

More: http://www.platformkanal.be/nl/acties/22-festival-kanal

TIK – summer workshops in Kravín – cz

The Summer Workshops Kravín take place in a rural environment, at the edge of the small village Hranice u Malce, in the Vysocina region of the Czech Republic.
The dates – August 24 – 29. (Closing party on Saturday 28th).
The activities will twist around the several main themes: beekeeping / wind clocks / radio art / + agri-kultura.

In the beekeeping workshop, Annemie Maes will talk about new artistic approaches towards beekeeping and her experiences with the citz beehives. The apiarists from Vysocina from the Czech Beekeepers Union (Cesky svaz vcelaru – see http://www.beekeeping.cz/) will talk about their experiences. We plan to visit the nearby beekeeping educational center in Nasavrky village, with the arboretum (http://www.souvnasavrky.cz/). Hopefuly some of the numerous local beekeepers will also come.

With Gert Aertsen, Marcio Domingues, Hannes Hoelzl, Gívan Belá, Michal Kindernay and others you can invent ecological time with wind clocks in an open air workshop. The idea is to construct a series of simple wind mills – clocks in the surroundings of Kravín.
Amplion: together with Czech artist Johana Svarcova you can work on a radio play, which will hopefully go on air in the village radios.

In the evenings, we plan to have discussions, screenings, concerts, artistic presentations within an agri-cultural context. Also Diafilm Sound Robots by Barbara Huber, a selection of Hungarian movies curated by Livia Roszas, Kravin movie by Viola Jezkova, concert by the band from Brno, Hugo a Zoe. And the local country Bago band for the opening.

More information here: http://yo-yo-yo.org/summer_workshops_kravin.html.

TIK – time inventors’ kabinet : launch days brussels

… TIK is a project, an interest into ecology and media art, a collaborative experiment with time … taking an ecological approach to observing patterns in time and time control systems … the creative tools we build to generate new audio and visual artworks … a ‘horloge a vent’, an imaginary time keeping device regulated by the irregular movement of the wind …

Build your own Wind Clock in our fresh air and connected Open Green testing grounds!

*Wind Clocks* or the Time Inventors
A new ecological time concept for enjoying creativity, brought by an international group of experimental artists, gardeners, engineers, bricoleurs, managers, organizers, documentarists, writers, musicians, but mostly new 21st century style inventors with non-conventional minds. United they bring you manuals and advice, experience and ideas, about how to make your own windclock and share your data over the networks for the benefit of everyone.

*Connected Open Greens* or the Kabinet
The Kabinet, which stands for all-weather-conditioned city gardens, abandoned agricultural and industrial spaces, or miniature parks on your balconies and window sills. Come and see how you can expand your creative space by participating in an artistic network and playground for letting your creativity run wild. Ecologies are interactions between organisms and their environment.

*Development Labs and Local Distributors*
Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Croatia, Kosovo, Macedonia, Slovakia, etc…
Call us for distributors outside Europe!

Soon coming near to you:
Free conferences, publications, talks, workshops, performances, installations, new and subversive aesthetics.
Check the program and agenda at http://timeinventorskabinet.org/
Collect the logos and win a free Wind Clock or Foldable Open Green!

TIK launch days Brussels at Ateliers Claus
Rue Crickxstraat 10
1060 Brussels
wednesday 14, thursday 15, friday 16th of july 2010.
You can check the final program here.

okno, foam and klorofil @ micronomics

Since 2006, City Mine(d) devote themselves to the issue of economic paradoxes in Brussels. Under the banner MICRONOMICS, they look for answers at the micro scale. They have brought together a wealth of micro-initiatives, who are actively building an urban micro-economy that is fair to those who take part in it and that is at the heart of the way our cities are shaped.
During the 2010 Micronomics festival, Klorofil, FoAM and OKNO join forces to spread the green virus in the city. In a collaborative action they organize seed-balling workshops, construct small vertical gardens and give all information on how to grow your own vegetables on the tiniest spaces in the city …
Interested to join us? The workshops start on May 1st at Micromarché, from 11:00 am.
Check the Micronomicsprogram here.

happy new festival : klinkende stad 2010


MAHILA is a multi media project that engages with women empowerment in small communities, here especially focused on Indian countrywomen affected by climate change. The project is presented in a twofold installation. One room unveils a multiple speaker ante-chamber that guides to the second room where a film is shown. The first room gives a taste of the material and atmosphere that the artists captured during their research in India. By the use of polyphonic principles and theatrical setups Billy Bultheel creates a simple yet elegant sound installation approaching the contemplative Indian landscape.
The second room shows a film made by Annemie Maes, which is a reflective documentary on women empowerment, going from west to east and vice versa.
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interview with Vandana Shiva : the future of food

Summary of an interview I conducted with Vandana Shiva during the workshop and seminar ‘The Future of Food’ on the Navdanya-farm in Dehradun, India – early october 2008.

[flashvideo filename=https://so-on.annemariemaes.net/SO-ON/ekoTime/vandana-subt.flv height=262 width=448 image=https://so-on.annemariemaes.net/SO-ON/ekoTime/vandana-film.jpg /]

You can view this info also on PADMA (public access digital media archive).
click here for the excerpt :Vandana Shiva on Diverse Women for Diversity
Press ‘P’ to start the video excerpt.
click here for the transcript of this section.


melissa : the origin of the word honey is feminin

Beekeeping goes back throughout history and was an art that was closely related to goddess worship in the ancient world. Bees are a matriarchal society, closely related to the feminine.

MELISSA – “bee” was the title given to Aphrodite’s high priestess at the honeycomb-shrine of Mount Eryx, where the Goddess’s fetish was a golden honeycomb. Pythagoreans perceived the hexagon as an expression of the spirit of Aphrodite whose sacred number was six. She worshipped bees as her sacred creatures because they understood how to create perfect hexagons in their honeycomb. In Her temple at Eryx, the priestesses were melissae, “bees” and the Goddess herself was entitled Melissa, the Queen Bee.
Seeking to understand nature’s secrets through geometry, the Pythagoreans meditated on the endless triangular lattice, all sixty-degree angles, that results from extending the sides of all hexagons in the honey comb diagram until their lines meet in the centers of adjacent hexagons. It seemed to them a revelation of the underlying symmetry of the cosmos.

The bee was usually looked upon as a symbol of the feminine potency of nature, because while creating a magical elixir, known for its preservation properties, they were also pollinating flowers, increasing plant fertility, and abundance.

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