go to the ehibition website
download the exhibition catalogue: click here
A border, by definition, is simply a line separating two political or geographical fields. The word itself connotes political, economical, cultural, and psychological zones, along with conflicts and their conflicting positions. The same word also inhabits the act and the possibility of trespassing. Diverging thoroughly from this idea, this exhibition focuses on such projects and works that question the circumstances and limits of their territories of research, as well as the capacities and possibilities of the medium they choose to work with.
One of the main intentions of the “Soft Borders” exhibition is to duplicate the operation logic of the Upgrade Network in a gallery space, and to function as an “interface” to aggregate all possible means of perceiving and interpreting the word “border” by the Network. Yet, interface is a protocol that manages a border.
Although the exhibition displays different methodologies, technologies, motivations, and approaches, each and every work shapes, covers, and fills the volume of the gallery space in like attitude. It is the common language of the Network, which values equal distribution, sharing of information and production in tune with a similar mental and productive frequency. Parallel to this basis, the title “Soft Borders” also contains a strong indication of the word “software”, which operates on common languages (follows a code) shared and known by those who are correlated with it. In this respect, the expectation of this exhibition is to build new links and to explore new possibilities through and with the audience by sharing the common language of the Network.
(Basak Senova, curatorial statement)
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.
CALL FOR PARTICIPATION!
Prelude to another time
Online 25-26-27 April 2010.
Soon OKNO, ESC and COL-ME will start a 2-year long project called Time Inventors’ Kabinet. The idea is to rethink the way we are perceiving time, relate it to ecological concepts, and see what the impact could be on creating media art works. For more information, please read below the “Introduction to the “Time Inventors’ Kabinet” [TIK]”.
The online sessions on 25-26-27 April are a starting point. These days, we will try to work out some ideas, using simple tools like a wiki and a chat server. We will try to generate some basic textual material together for developing collaborative works based on the idea of Wind Clocks, ecology and time.
For more information: http://timeinventorskabinet.org/wiki/doku.php
Each session introduces a couple of subjects we can discuss and write out together. Just to see what the creative interests could be and to link them to relevant existing resources and documentation. We hope to come to already some preliminary ideas, that can be further developed within the future TIK Project workshops.
Participation is possible either from OKNO’s space in Brussels (see http://okno.be/node/194), from home, or anywhere else with internet access. We encourage not to work alone, but to invite other interested artists as to encourage collective creativity.
Pad.ma is a web-based video archive, launched as a public website http://pad.ma in February 2009, that works primarily with footage and not finished films. Pad.ma’s interface offers some exciting new ways in which moving images, timelines, text and maps can be linked. It offers a practical technical and legal framework through which footage can be shared. It makes an appeal for thinking about film and video “production” in a number of different ways: as a filmmaker publishing video that is not a film, as a film editor organising footage using the archive, as a writer across one or many video clips, as a scholarly researcher or film student contributing notes or using links to clips as references, as a filmmaker reusing another’s material, as a programmer building further applications using pad.ma’s open source software base, for example.
Pad.ma a collaborative project initiated by five organizations: oil21.org from Berlin, the Alternative Law Forum from Bangalore, and three organisations from Mumbai: Majlis, Point of View and Chitrakarkhana/CAMP. The entire archive is searchable and viewable online, and is free to download for non-commercial purposes. This offline exhibition reveals the many potential ways in which pad.ma can be used.
The idea is to detect bio feedback of plants from the okno open_green, send these data from the garden (over a radio frequency connection) into okno_inside, transform them into generative music and stream them over the okno_radio.
After a collective brainstorm, different parts of the project are setup and worked out by different people. At the end everything fits into one project.
We discussed possibilities to measure subtle activities of plants and create a human/plant interaction. We discovered that all plants in the open_green are showing a highly complex biodynamic response to their environment.
We conducted experiments to try and find out how plants react to wind, air pressure, touch, light, movement, sound etc.
We were experimenting with different sensors on stems, flowers and leaves observing data and biodynamic responses. First we looked into measuring the bio resistance of the plants. We tried to build a galvanometer based on the Backster experiments.
Simultaneously we were working with stretch sensors: long thin pieces of stretch fabric were attached to the sunflower stems. When the flowers move in the wind, the fabric becomes more or less resistive and generates different data.
We worked with all kinds of conductive and natural materials used for measuring variable resistance: stretch fabric / conductive thread / graphite / metal wool / foil / wire / and the plants themselves.
We decided to work with 2 data types: the Slow Input where plants are growing and moving, changing absorbation of light and temperature (plant as actor); and the Fast Input: drumming, touching, knocking, talking, rubbing and pressing the plants (using plant as interface).
2. alternative powering:
We put small 4.5V solarpanels in serie to power arduino’s and sensors.
3. wireless connections:
The data are send via an internal radio network. We configured Xbee Radios with Xbee Shield via Serial connection (USB). Each Xbee is given an address/name/destination via AT commands. The arduinos are programmed to handle the data.
4. sonification and streaming:
The numbers we are getting in from the garden are becoming parameters and generators of our open_green sound. The data coming out of the 14 analog input streams are sonified via Supercollider create a nice ‘zen-sound’.
music from sunflowers
# Artist: Isjtar
# Title: Music for Sunflowers
# Length: 4:46 minutes (10.59 MB)
# Format: MP3 Stereo 44kHz 311Kbps (VBR)
At the left hand a snapshot of the so-on_hive, populated with Buckfast bees. At the right hand, a snapshot of the okno_hive, populated with European Black bees.
The Buckfast bee is popular among beekeepers and is available from bee breeders in several parts of the world. Most of their qualities are very favorable. They are extremely gentle. Their main drawback is that they are very liberal in their application of propolis to inner surfaces of their hives, thus acting to defeat one of the main purposes of the modern beehive — that combs should be easily removable for inspection.
The European dark bee can be distinguished from other subspecies by their stocky body, abundant thoracal and sparse abdominal hair which is brown, and overall dark coloration; in nigra, there is also heavy dark pigmentation of the wings. Overall, when viewed from a distance, they should appear blackish, or in mellifera, rich dark brown. For breeding pure dark bees according to the standard, details of the wing veins are nowadays considered to be the only reliable distinguishing character.
“Imagine living outdoors indoors in a transparant dome, picking organically grown vegetables right in your kitchen, sleeping in a bed under luxuriant trees, comfortable regardless of the weather outside.
Your autonomous garden home is heated and cooled by the sun, which also provides electricity and heats water.
Your Garden of Eden captures, treats, and recycles it’s own water.
the plants provide the oxygen-rich, clean air of a forest.
There is no connection to city power, water or sewage systems. It is truly organic architecture.”
Excerpt of Bucky Works, Buckminster Fuller’s Ideas for Today – by Jay Baldwin, co-founder of the Whole Earth Catalog.
During the month of august, so-on will organize for okno 2 workshops dealing with the topics of media ecology, mobile- and networked architecture.
Connected Domes #01 consists of building greenhouse geodesic domes out of recycled materials as there are: newspapers, scrap metal, twigs, bamboo …
Connected Domes #02 will populate the greenhouses with wild plants, sprouts shooting up out of homemade compost. The plants will act as a print, a mirror of the greenlife of so-on’s garden over the last year.
The plants will be powered and stuffed with sensors (touch, humidity, UV) and the 3 domes will be connected in a wireless network by arduino’s and xbees.
On the dome-structure recycled computer ventilators will be added to provide a gentle breeze to the leaves, as well as small solar panels and led lights to light up the domes at night.
A sonification of the gathered data via Maxmsp and PD will turn the connected domes into musical instruments.