Tag Archives: open green


Summer and autumn 2011 we were visited by several television crews, due to the participation in the Open Gardens city circuit organized by the bibliothèque René Péchère.
Several News or Garden programs covered our intensive edible rooftopgarden in a short documentary.
TV Brussel were the first to film, on september 25th 2011. A day later, the crew from Jardins et Loisirs / RTBF followed. The young guys from Ushuaia TV experimented in the rooftop with their Canon 7D cameras and travel stuff, for the program Garden party, on november 22nd 2011. Continue reading

city honeybees at documenta 13 – kassel

GREEN CORRIDORS AS SOCIAL SCULPTURE is a new project by OKNO. It builts upon the researchdata which are gathered in the OpenGreens. During Documenta 13, the project will be introduced by Annemie Maes at a salon hosted by the Critical Art Ensemble.

The salon takes place sunday july 8 at 1pm, in a house at the far end of the Hauptbahnhof Kassel, close to the railway tracks. It discusses the theoretical bases and ecological and technological foundations of ecological corridors in the city and challenges us to think how corridors act as art works. It then looks at concrete examples of ongoing projects that are in the process of realizing the vision of corridors, particularly the Open Green project.

In the spirit of Joseph Beuys, this salon discusses how art can be relevant again for shaping society in positive ways, as opposed to catering to the speculative interests of a small circle of rich collectors. Concretely, we put forward ecological CORRIDORS in urban environments as a new medium of social sculpture, a Gesamtkunstwerk that relies on the creative participation of many. Corridors are ephemeral living structures in the form of green spaces connected through animal life (such as bee colonies). They are set up and maintained by urban communities to regenerate areas of the city, particularly areas which are subject to social and urban stress. Corridors are here seen as art works that contribute to social cohesion and sustainability by raising awareness and minimizing resource waste. Artists create the safe spaces that enable the disruptive activities required to make corridors and they make the internal structure and activities of corridors visible through visual and auditory representations.

WHERE: Documenta 13, Kassel – sunday july 8 at 1pm – salon hosted by Critical Art Ensemble, Hauptbahnhof Kassel.

time / shapes

Patterns are everywhere in nature. Where does this order and regularity come from? It creates itself. The patterns we see come from self-organization. Whether living or non-living, scientists have found that there is a pattern-forming tendency inherent in the basic structure and processes of nature, so that from a few simple themes, and the repetition of simple rules, endless beautiful variations can arise. From soap bubbles to honeycombs or delicate shell patterns, Phillip Ball (science-writer) explains how these patterns are self-made and why similar shapes and structures may be found in very different settings, orchestrated by nothing more than simple physical forces.
Philip Ball – Shapes

beedoc project

We participate in the international BEE DOC project with 2 colonies of our apiary (colony#1 and colony#2). The BEE DOC comprises a network of eleven partners from honeybee pathology, chemistry, genetics and apicultural extension aiming to improve colony health of honeybees.
The BEE DOC will empirically and experimentally fill knowledge gaps in honeybee pests and diseases, including the ‘colony collapse disorder’ and quantify the impact of interactions between parasites, pathogens and pesticides on honeybee mortality.
read more on the BEE DOC project: http://www.bee-doc.eu/

research : bee monitoring in the OpenGreens

The enhanced beehive is a gateway to a honeybee colony and its environment. Numerous possibilities for observing the bees’ behavior and important measured values from within the hive are provided as well as measuring data for the climate and vegetation in the honeybee colony’s direct environment. Storing all of the data over a period of several months allows not alone a very well detailed observation but also the ability to discover and follow long-term trends of complex relations between the superorganism and its environment.
moviefragment 01: bee swarm starting to build their nest – infrared camera, filmed inside the hive
moviefragment 02: honey bees storing honey, filmed through hive observation window – close

The ecysystem of the hive and garden is monitored by many measurement systems on its biotic and abiotic elements.
Two webcams, equipped with infrared leds, make it possible to film in the hive in the dark. They monitor the behaviour of bees (and their movements over the frames) in the hive.
Since the hive was populated with the swarm on may 4th 2011 (http://opengreens.okno.be/bee_colony_timeline.php?id=437), the 2 webcams record at 15 fps the life in the hive: the comb building, the bees’ movements and action.
In the top of the frames (in the hive body box) there are 3 temperature sensors capturing the temperature in the beehive, as well as a CO2 sensor and a sensor recording the humidity in the hive.
Outside of the hive, the temperature and the humidity of the immediate environment are also measured.
The webcams are connected to a PC board that is configured as a streaming server. It makes the images of the hive in real time available on the internet:
The data from the different sensors are (via the arduino) also stored on the internet.

The ascellus, the aphids and the nasturtium together form a biotic community as they all are interacting organisms living together in one habitat or biotope (the nasturtium that is still alive and kicking).
Together with the rest of the above pictures (the bees, the other plants in the garden), the wind, the soil, the air, the sun and/or temperature, the rain … they form the ecosystem of the rooftop garden. it is a combination of the biotic and a-biotic elements of that place.
The more diversity we have in the ecosystem, the less fragile or vulnerable it is.

the plant cell, the golgi apparatus, the orange and the coffeebean

Fotosynthesis in 2 steps: from the anorganic elements H2O and CO2 (water and carbondioxide) the chloroplasts in a plant build organic matter via the energy of the sun. In the first step ATP (adenosine triphosphate) and NADPH2 are created; in a second step this ATP is used to free energy (->ADP+P+energy) to create glucose (C6H12O6) en oxygen (6O2). It’s a balance of anabolic and catabolic reactions – the (anorganic) fluids go up (water, minerals) and the organic matter (glucose, starch) goes down to the roots of the plant where it is used for its growth or stored as future nutrients.
Cellular respiration is the set of the metabolic reactions and processes that take place in the cells of organisms to convert biochemical energy from nutrients into adenosine triphosphate (ATP), and then release waste products. The reactions involved in respiration are catabolic reactions that involve the redox reaction (oxidation of one molecule and the reduction of another). Respiration is one of the key ways a cell gains useful energy to fuel cellular changes. The cellular respiration process takes place in the mitochondria.

Some pdf’s as an introduction to the world of biology:
overview of cytology
overview of metabolism
overview of ecology

Diffusion is a non-energy consuming proces between 2 substances. In the picture above, 300 gr sugar is diluted in 750 ml vodka. The proces takes place in a bottle containing an orange with 40 incisions (in which 40 coffeebeans are stuck). Leave the set-up for 40 days (christian) or for 21 days (pagan). The result should be a delicious drink for the upcoming holidays. Cheers!

seeds and the city : a dive into brussels OpenGreens

Time Inventors’ Kabinet – eco.conference #05
On a different soil. Growth in art, society and culture
annemie maes – okno – brussels – (lecturer)
Praha – 9/10 november 2011

Seeds and the City: a dive into Brussels OpenGreens

The synonyms for an OpenGreen are many :
the experimental Hortus, the OpenAir Laboratorium, the Vivarium, the Kabinet of Wonders, the Meeting Place. But all OpenGreens are zones where culture and nature overlap, and where locals play with a diversity of solutions to make the city greener and their life more sustainable.
OPEN stands for openness, collectivity, experiment, bottom up, DIY, networks of creative people.
GREEN stands for nature, ecosystem, natural processes, biodiversity and biological clocks.
What experiments link urban farmers, city beekeepers, eco-artists, herbalists, mushroom raisers
and city foragers? What interests and actions do they have in common?

Seeds and the City : 10 actions to make your city greener
01. seedswap and seedbombing
02. urban foraging
03. create rooftop gardens
04. map edgelands, railroad tracks and other non-spaces
05. reclaim public space
06. grow your own mushrooms
07. set up technological gardens
08. start city bee monitoring
09. stay local : exchange and create with your own harvest
10. observe – collect – compare and create using the OpenGreens database

download the presentation:

eco-conference#05 – on a different soil

Growth in art, society and culture.
An international conference, organized within the framework of the project TIK (Time Inventors’ Kabinet) and as an accompanying program of Science and Technology Week 2011.

Thursday November 10.
Utopia of the garden. Urban and rural gardens and today’s green utopias.

Could one say that art degenerates as it approaches gardening? (Robert Smithson – A Sedimentation of the Mind: Earth Projects, 1968)

The aim of the conference is to look at the changing approaches to the soil, and the subjects of growth and growing in society, culture and art, in urban and rural contexts. At the same time, we try to challenge the simplyfiying concepts of nature and natural, as presented in the arts. It is often in the arts though, where the various influential phantasies concerning nature emerge.
We want to confront artistic approaches with views by ecologists, biologists, eco-activists, economists, non profit organizations and foundations, about subjects like: (city) gardening and agriculture, transformation of city flora and fauna, relationship between urban and rural, philosophies of the garden, sustainability of cities and villages, long-term growth in economics (participatory economics, economical de-growth, natural capitalism etc.).
Artists often comment on the dissolving of the natural, cultural, and technological. Artistic approaches are often used as a political tool in the praxis of transforming the environment. Can aesthetics play a key role in the process. How and for what purposes are the newly emerging green spaces used by artists? To what extend are visions of the cities-as-gardens and its inhabitants in the roles of gardeners, just another utopian phantasy? How do the actual city forms of gardening look like: green spaces with open access (open greens), guerilla gardening, rooftop or vertical gardens, (so called) beautifying alliances. How are the permacultural processes reflected in the city planning? What are the most inspiring models of ecological towns and villages?

Friday November 11.
In the wind. Art of the Ecological Time.

Discussions about ecological time, slow food, growth and de-growth. Presentation of art projects – artists as gardeners, beekeepers, fruiters, farmers, growers, mushroom pickers, cooks, herbalists, barometers and indicators of pollution…
7: 30 PM wind clock concert Re:wind time.

Thursday 10 > Sunday 13.
Exhibition. Where the wind blows.

The exhibition is focused on the artworks, using the natural processes. It will present the installations, using the wind energy, The Hanging Garden, using DIY hydrophonic system, open greens databases, laundry clocks and other projects.

Download the full program: TIK_Praha_program


Today’s professional mushroom growing is an energy-consuming process. But it is perfectly possible to grow your Oyster mushrooms, your Shiitake’s or lesser known edible mushrooms in an energy-friendly and ecological environment. This can be done with a minimum of work, time and space. Okno is inviting mycologist Ann Van Belle to introduce you into the world of mushrooms with a practical demonstration followed by a lecture and Q&T-moment. Continue reading

eco-conference#04 – skopje, macedonia

Time Inventors’ Kabinet is a project, with an interest into ecology and media art, and a collaborative experiment with time, taking an ecological approach to observing patterns in time and time control systems. It gathers some experimental artists, gardeners, engineers, bricoleurs, cultural managers, organizers, documentarists, writers, musicians, as new 21st century style inventors with a non-conventional attitude.

Time Inventors’ Kabinet is een exerimenteel project dat ecologie en mediakunst samenbrengt. Het onderzoekt het concept tijd via de observatie van ecologische tijdsprocessen. In het project komen kunstenaarrs, tuiniers, ingenieurs, bricoleurs, managers, organisators, filmmakers, schrijvers en muzikanten samen. Allemaal zijn ze als nieuwe uitvinders geinteresseerd in de niet conventienele ‘andere’ TIK-tijd. Van 5 tot 10 oktober kan je hen ontmoeten in Skopje, Macedonia, tijdens de ecoconference #04. De gesprekken en presentaties vinden plaats in Damar (Old Bazar), op 7 oktober vanaf 20u.